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Carbon capture: Collaboration needed says Shell head

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By John McManus: BBC News: 14 April 2016

The head of energy giant Shell’s UK and Ireland operations has said the UK government should have continued to support a scheme to develop carbon capture technology.

The technology – to store carbon emissions from fossil fuels underground – was being developed at Peterhead power station with the help of Shell.

Chancellor George Osborne cancelled the competition in his Autumn Statement.

Shell’s Paul Goodfellow said the technology needed more development. read more

Shell Nigeria deal probed in Italy

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The oil giant said it was cooperating with the authorities.

The probe is connected to the 2011 $1.3bn purchase of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oil block by Eni and Shell.

As part of the investigation, Shell headquarters in The Hague were searched in February by Dutch police and prosecutors, a spokesman added.

“We can confirm we have received notice of proceedings from the public prosecutor in Italy,” the Shell spokesman said.

In 2014 a Milan court starting probing Italian oil giant Eni over allegations of corruption connected to the OPL-245 offshore oil block acquisition. read more

Nigeria’s NNPC ‘failed to pay’ $16bn in oil revenues

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Tuesday 15 March 2016

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Nigeria’s state-owned oil company has failed to pay the government $16bn (£11bn) in a suspected fraud, according to an official audit.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) provided no explanation for the missing funds, the auditor general told MPs.

Oil revenue accounts for two-thirds of the government’s funding.

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to crack down on corruption since coming to office last May.

The NNPC has not commented on the auditor general’s findings.

The state oil giant has been mired in corruption allegations and losing money for many years.

Last month, the government announced that the NNPC would be broken up into seven different companies.

Nigeria’s former central bank governor Lamido Sanusi, now the Emir of Kano, was dismissed by the previous administration after saying that $20bn (£12bn) in oil revenue had gone missing in 2013. read more

Shell being sued in two claims over oil spills in Nigeria

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Two communities are claiming compensation and want Shell to clean up their land.

Shell said it is at an “early stage” in reviewing the claims and that the case should be heard in Nigeria.

The Ogale community of about 40,000 people in Rivers State, on the coast of Nigeria, who are mainly farmers or fishermen, are some of the claimants.

Their case is being handled by law firm Leigh Day.

Spills since 1989 have meant they don’t have clean drinking water, farmland or rivers, their claim says. read more

Oil and gas investment ‘collapsing’ despite cost-cutting

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23 FEB 2016

Investment in new offshore oil and gas projects is collapsing despite cost-cutting efforts, according to a report.

Industry Body Oil and Gas UK said that less than £1bn was expected to be spent on new projects this year, compared to a typical £8bn per year in the last five years.

Its new 2016 activity survey said this was despite costs dropping.

Oil and Gas UK said exploration remained at an all-time low with no sign of improving.

The survey said the industry’s drive to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and increase production has had “marked success”. read more

Shell confirms 10,000 job cuts and a steep profits fall

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Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed it is cutting 10,000 jobs amid its steepest fall in annual profits for 13 years.

It made $1.8bn (£1.23bn) for the fourth quarter of the year, compared with a $4.2bn profit for the same period the year before.

Full-year 2015 earnings, excluding identified items, were $10.7bn, compared with $22.6 billion in 2014.

The oil firm indicated it would report a massive drop in profits two weeks ago.

The company reports earnings on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis.

Last week, shareholders in Shell, which is Europe’s largest oil company, voted in favour of its takeover of smaller rival BG Group.

The company cut back hard on investment.

Its capital spending for the year was slashed to $28.9bn, $8.4bn lower than in 2014. read more

Oil prices in reverse amid Opec call

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Oil prices tumbled again on Monday, eroding last week’s gains, as Opec called for co-operation from oil-producing nations outside the cartel.

Brent crude fell 4.1% to $30.86 a barrel following a 10% rise on Friday, while US oil shed 4.7% to $30.68.

The slide came as the head of Opec called for all oil-producing nations to work together.

Abdullah al-Badri said both Opec and non-Opec oil producers needed to tackle oversupply to help prices rise.

“It is vital the market addresses the issue of the stock overhang. As you can see from previous cycles, once this overhang starts falling then prices start to rise,” he told a conference in London. read more

Shell’s profits dive ahead of BG deal shareholder vote

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20 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has reported a sharp drop in profits just a week before shareholders vote on its planned takeover of smaller rival BG Group.

For the fourth quarter it expects profits of $1.6bn to $1.9bn, less than half the $4.2bn it made a year ago.

It expects full year profits of $10.4bn to $10.7bn, below its $10.8bn guidance.

The oil firm has issued the preliminary results to enable investors to have up-to-date information on its performance ahead of the vote on 27 January.

Its shares fell 3.7% in early trading.

But chief executive Ben van Beurden said he was “pleased” with the results.

“The completion of the BG transaction, which we are expecting in a matter of weeks, will mark the start of a new chapter in Shell, to rejuvenate the company, and improve shareholder returns,” he added. read more

Shell the company most criticised by campaigners

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Sunday 17 JAN 2016

German carmaker Volkswagen was one of the “most disliked” companies for pressure groups last year following its emissions scandal, a survey has found.

Shell was the most criticised by campaigners, followed by Monsanto, which makes genetically modified food.

Half of the top-10 most criticised companies on Sigwatch’s list were energy firms, because of “the elephant in the room – climate change,” Mr Blood said.

Top was Shell, but TransCanada, ExxonMobil, EDF and BP also featured. read more

Share markets rattled as oil price slide continues

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The main stock markets in London, Frankfurt and Paris sank by about 2%, tracking steep overnight losses on Wall Street and on Asian indexes.

The Brent crude oil benchmark fell another 0.4% to $30.15 a barrel, having briefly drifted below $30.

The pound hovered close to five-and-half-year lows against the dollar.

The FTSE 100 index was about 1.9% lower two hours into trading, with only four stocks in the index making gains.

“This market is in contraction and I expect this contraction to continue for the next six months,” Beaufort Securities’ sales trader Basil Petrides told Reuters. read more

Standard Life says it will vote against Shell BG tie-up

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It said a weak outlook for oil prices plus risks for BG in Brazil could make the deal “value destructive for Shell shareholders.”

Few investors or analysts have openly challenged the deal’s strategic benefits for the firm.

Shell said it remained confident of winning the vote.

A Shell spokesman said: “We continue to believe we have the broad base of shareholder support we need for the deal to complete.”

Shell has also won the support of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an influential advisory firm, which recommended that Shell shareholders support the deal. read more

Oil price tumbles to below $33

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 13.37.25Brent crude fell 4.7% while US West Texas Intermediate was down 3.9%.

For US oil, that was its lowest point since touching $32.40 in December 2008 during the global financial crisis.

But the price of Brent crude was seen falling to fresh 11-year lows. The last time Brent was so low was April 2004.

Huge oversupply and near-record outputs have continued to drag on oil prices, which are now 70% lower in value than when the downturn began in June 2014.

Companies and governments that rely heavily on oil revenues have been suffering as a result.

Adding to the continuing fall in oil prices, China depreciated the yuan on Thursday, sending regional currencies and stock markets tumbling.

Demand for crude tends to fall when the US dollar is stronger against currencies of purchasing countries and China remains the world’s biggest energy consumer.

China’s stock markets were suspended for the rest of the day, less than half an hour into trading, after falling 7% and triggering a new circuit-breaking mechanism for the second time this week. read more

US Gulf oil spill nearly ruined BP, says chief Bob Dudley

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The giant oil spill from a BP rig off the US coast in 2010 nearly ruined the company, its chief executive has said.

Bob Dudley described the fire on the Deepwater Horizon and its aftermath as “a near death experience” for the firm.

It was one of the worst environmental disasters in the US and saw BP pay fines and compensation and sell off more than £30bn ($45bn) in assets.

Mr Dudley told ex-BP boss Lord Browne – a guest editor on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme – it was a “tragic accident”. read more

Shell to face Nigeria oil spill lawsuit

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A Dutch judge has ruled that a court in the Netherlands should hear a case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by four Nigerian farmers.

The farmers and fishermen want Shell to clean up oil spills in four villages in the Niger Delta and pay compensation.

The latest ruling overturns a decision that was made two years ago by a lower court.

The oil giant said it was disappointed with decision made by appeals court judge Hans van der Klooster.

He ruled that Dutch courts had jurisdiction in the case against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary. read more

Royal Dutch Shell plans 2,800 extra job cuts after BG deal

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Royal Dutch Shell has said it will cut 2,800 jobs if its planned takeover of BG Group goes ahead, about 3% of the combined group’s workforce.

The proposed job cuts are in addition to the 7,500 job losses Shell announced in July.

The tie-up between Shell and BG deal is due to be completed early next year.

However, an institutional investor has told the BBC that the deal does not make “financial sense” at current oil price levels.

David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, told the BBC it was “very difficult to make the deal work” with oil below $40 a barrel, saying oil prices needed to be $60-$70 a barrel. read more

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11 December 2015

The oil price has fallen to a new seven-year low after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a slowdown in growth in demand for oil.

The price of Brent crude oil fell below $39 a barrel at one point, its lowest since December 2008.

The IEA said demand in the current quarter was growing by 1.3 million barrels a day, down from 2.2 million barrels in the previous quarter.

The IEA predicts that will slip back to 1.2 million barrels a day next year.

The price of Brent crude fell to $38.90 a barrel at one point, before recovering slightly to $39.13 – still down 60 cents in the trading session. US crude oil also fell, down 50 cents to $36.12 a barrel. read more

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