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Shell Cuts 2,200 More Jobs to Withstand Lower-For-Longer Oil

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By Rakteem KatakeyMay 25, 2016 — 11:19 AM BST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will cut 2,200 more jobs, taking the total tally of losses to 12,500 from 2015 to 2016 as the world’s second-biggest oil company continues to adjust to the slump in prices. 

At least 5,000 jobs will be cut this year, the company said in an e-mailed statement. These reductions are in response to oil prices staying “lower for longer,” and as a result of the acquisition of BG Group Plc earlier this year, said Paul Goodfellow, Shell’s vice president for the U.K. and Ireland. 

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Royal Dutch Shell Merger Completion Results in Serious Debt Woes

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By Micheal KaufmanMay 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm EST

The energy sector has been badly affected due to substantial decline in oil and gas price. This has forced companies to implement counter steps such as capital expenditure reduction and asset disposals.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), a major oil company, is reportedly looking for buyers for its North Sea assets. The assets had been mainly bought during its multibillion takeover of BG Group.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the company is in talks with chemical producers including privately owned Neptune Oil and Gas and Ineos Group AG, established by former CEO of Centrica Sam Laidlaw. Shell could look to sell a package of assets and want to gauge buyers’ sentiments before formal assets disposals process is launched. With no final decision been made yet, there is also a possibility that the assets might be retained.

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Shell, Exxon Seen as Oil Majors Most Exposed to Nigeria Violence

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Shell may be losing almost 50,000 barrels of oil a day: Rystad

Exxon fields linked to Qua Iboe terminal also vulnerable

By Angelina Rascouet: May 20, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are the international oil companies most exposed to the explosion of violence in the Niger River delta that has cut Nigeria’s output and fueled a rally in global crude prices, according to Rystad Energy.

Shell and Exxon have the most production in vulnerable parts of the oil-rich region — onshore or near the coast, according to Per Magnus Nysveen, senior partner and head of analysis at the Oslo-based consultant. Shell is losing almost all of the 50,000 barrels a day it pumped in the delta last year, he said. That’s about a quarter of its output in the country. Exxon pumped 145,000 barrels a day last year — about half its Nigeria total — from shallow-water fields that could also be targeted, Nysveen said.

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Shell Said to Start Talks With Buyers for North Sea Asset Sales

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03By Dinesh Nair and Rakteem Katakey: May 19, 2016 – 1.24PM BST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is in talks with potential buyers for some North Sea assets, mostly fields it got this year as part of the record acquisition of BG Group Plc, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant has been in talks with companies including privately held chemical producer Ineos Group AG and Neptune Oil & Gas, set up by former Centrica Plc chief Sam Laidlaw, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Shell is seeking to sell a package of assets and is talking with companies to gauge their interest before a formal sale process is launched, the people said. No final decision has been made and Shell may decide to retain the properties, they said.

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Dutch Take On Gazprom in Battle Over Europe’s Oil-Linked Gas

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Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.52.28The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands…

By Kelly Gilblom: May 18, 2016

In its new role as a natural gas importer, the Netherlands wants to make sure it doesn’t overpay.

GasTerra BV, the nation’s biggest buyer and seller of gas, initiated arbitration against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit, the Russian company said Monday. It is seeking a price review for fuel purchased from Europe’s largest supplier under a long-term contract linked to oil, which has rallied this year as the price on gas hubs extended declines.

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The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands, home to the European Union’s largest gas field, which turned it into a net importer of the fuel. Utilities from Germany’s RWE AG to Turkey’s Botas Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS filed arbitration claims against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit after market prices fell below contract rates, with EON SE and Engie SA settling cases with Europe’s biggest gas supplier this year.

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Shell Faces Opposition on CEO’s Pay as Bonus Seen as Excessive

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Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.17.55Rakteem Katakey: May 17, 2016

Two shareholder-advisory firms recommended investors vote against the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden’s pay, saying his bonus is “excessive.” A third adviser said shareholders should give “qualified support.”

Van Beurden’s annual bonus, equivalent to 245 percent of his salary last year, was not acceptable, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd. said in an e-mail on Tuesday. Advisory firm Glass Lewis also said shareholders should oppose the pay deal.

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Shell’s manipulation in the spot market

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By Jonathan Crawford: May 13, 2016

Sixteen years after California experienced rolling blackouts and soaring power prices, two of the last companies accused of taking advantage of the shortage are facing a decision by federal regulators.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Iberdrola SA have until May 27 to respond to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge’s initial ruling last month that they sold electricity at inflated prices during the California power crisis of 2000-2001. While other companies that sold power under long-term contracts in the state have long since settled charges, Shell and Iberdrola elected to fight the case.

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Shell’s Saudi Aramco Option

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Cheap oil crimping your spending plans? Sitting on a bunch of valuable upstream oil assets that could be monetized? How about a mammoth IPO? No, not Saudi Arabia. I’m talking about Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell is Europe’s third-biggest company by market value. But after the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group, its net debt is by far the largest: an eye-watering $70 billion.

Big Borrowers

Shell’s net debt is the largest of any company in western Europe

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

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The Anglo-Dutch company says debt is likely “to go up before it goes down” and its reduction is “priority number one”. With credit-rating agencies on its case, Shell has to deliver on a pledge to divest $30 billion of non-core assets within three years.

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Big Oil Abandons $2.5 Billion in U.S. Arctic Drilling Rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Jennifer A Dlouhy: May 10, 2016

Drillers forfeit millions of acres amid slump in oil prices

Royal Dutch Shell still holding on to one lease in Chukchi Sea

After plunking down more than $2.5 billion for drilling rights in U.S. Arctic waters, Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and other companies have quietly relinquished claims they once hoped would net the next big oil discovery.

The pullout comes as crude oil prices have plummeted to less than half their June 2014 levels, forcing oil companies to slash spending. For Shell and ConocoPhillips, the decision to abandon Arctic acreage was formalized just before a May 1 due date to pay the U.S. government millions of dollars in rent to keep holdings in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.

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Canadian Crude Prices Surge as Fire Hits Shell, Suncor Output

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  • Oil-sands output may be down by 1 million barrels a day: RBC

  • Suncor, Shell, Husky, ConocoPhillips cut production amid blaze

By Robert Tuttle and Rebecca Penty: May 6, 2016

The worst wildfire in Alberta history is boosting Canadian crude prices as oil companies evacuate workers and shut in as much as 1 million barrels a day of output.

Western Canadian Select, the benchmark for oil sands production, strengthened $1 to an $11.85-a-barrel discount to U.S. West Texas Intermediate on Thursday, the narrowest spread since July, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The absolute price rose $1.54 to $32.47 a barrel.

Suncor Energy Inc., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Husky Energy Inc. are among companies that shut plants or reduced production. Cnooc Ltd.’s Nexen, ConocoPhillips, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Statoil ASA were also affected. The shutdowns follow supply disruptions in places like Nigeria and Iraq earlier this year that have helped global prices rebound from a 12-year low.

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Shell’s BG Risk Starts to Pay as Output Added, Costs Slashed

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By Rakteem Katakey: May 4, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s record $54 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc is starting to pay off as the assets give it higher production and cash flow, helping it beat analysts’ earnings estimates when it reported quarterly results Wednesday. 

While Europe’s biggest oil company benefits from BG’s assets, it’s cutting expenses quickly enough to ensure the takeover isn’t adding any new costs. Shell’s forecasts for capital spending and operating expenses this year are now at the same level they would have been even if it hadn’t bought BG, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said. A majority of the 16 percent increase in oil and gas output came from the acquisition.

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Samsung Heavy loses $4.6-billion FLNG order from Shell on oil drop

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03By KYUNGHEE PARK on 4/28/2016

SUNGNAM, South Korea (Bloomberg) — Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s third-largest shipbuilder, said an order to build three floating LNG production facilities was canceled after the energy development project was scrapped amid a plunge in oil prices.

The contract, valued at 5.27 trillion won ($4.6 billion), from Royal Dutch Shell was voided because of the current difficult market conditions, the Sungnam, South Korea-based company said in a regulatory filing Thursday. The shipbuilder won the deal in June on the condition that the project will start only after the client is ready to proceed.

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Shell Outlines BG Consolidation Plans

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April 25, 2016 7:24 a.m. ET

LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC will offer a new voluntary severance program for employees and plans to close a number of U.K. offices in the wake of its roughly $50 billion acquisition of BG Group PLC, the company said Monday.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant has proposed plans to consolidate its London operations in central London and close its Thames Valley Park campus by the end of the year. The company also intends to close BG’s offices in Aberdeen by the end of 2016 and Shell’s Manchester offices by the end of 2017.

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Oil prices drop faster than companies can cut costs

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Bloomberg News: SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 2016

The world’s biggest oil companies, set to report their worst quarterly earnings in more than a decade, are finding that their cost-cutting efforts haven’t matched the decline in crude prices over the past two years.

While producers have been deferring projects, eliminating jobs and freezing salaries, the process will take three years to complete, according to Barclays oil sector analyst Lydia Rainforth. In the meantime, profits are being hammered.

“A lot of work still needs to be done on costs,” she said. “It’s a reflection of how much costs had piled up and how long a process this is.”

For producers from Royal Dutch Shell to Chevron, reeling under the threat of credit-rating downgrades, slashing costs is the surest way of protecting balance sheets. Still, reversing course is proving painful after $100 oil persuaded companies to pump money into expensive areas in search of new deposits, hire more people and rent rigs and services at record rates. Productivity suffered.

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Oil washout

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 21.42.31Ed Crooks: 22 April 2016

They wanted a freeze, but all they got was a wash-out. The 18 oil-producing countries that met in Doha on Sunday were supposed to finalise an agreement to hold production at January’s levels, but instead the meeting broke up in acrimony and recriminations. John Kemp at Reuters suggested Saudi Arabia was turning the “oil weapon” on its rival Iran.

The FT’s Roula Khalaf wrote that the failure of the talks highlighted the rise of Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s 30 year-old deputy crown prince. His growing influence and the waning authority of veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi add a new element of unpredictability to Saudi policy.  Bloomberg Business Week had a long and fascinating interview with Prince Mohammed. As President Barack Obama visited Saudi Arabia, David Gardner wrote that the kingdom’s 70-year bargain with the US, promising security in return for a steady flow of oil, was becoming frayed.

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Shell Could Save $4.5 Billion by Matching BP Productivity: Chart

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57By Rakteem Katakey: April 12, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc could reduce operating costs by as much as $4.5 billion a year if its employees matched the productivity of BP Plc, according to Morgan Stanley.

Shell’s output per employee in oil and gas exploration and production was 26 percent lower than BP’s last year, meaning Europe’s biggest oil company has scope to cut about 9,000 jobs in that division, Morgan Stanley analysts including Martijn Rats wrote in a report dated April 8.

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Shell to Chevron Awaiting Demand From LNG Market in `Pause Mode’

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James PatonRebecca Keenan and Dan Murtaugh: April 12, 2016

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The over-supplied LNG market is in hiatus as energy giants from Chevron Corp. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Woodside Petroleum Corp. await a surge of demand from countries seeking access to energy.

Liquefied natural gas producers are in “pause mode” as low prices have stalled development of new projects, Woodside Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman said today at the LNG18 conference in Perth. That respite means that coming years demand will exceed supply, causing prices to rise back to higher levels, Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden said.

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Saudi Aramco, Shell to Break Up 18-Year U.S. Refining Marriage

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Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 22.36.32By Joe Carroll and Wael Mahdi: Bloomberg.com: March 16, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. are ending an 18-year refining partnership as the Anglo-Dutch crude titan prepares to sell billions of dollars of assets and as Saudi Arabia’s national oil company eyes a possible initial public offering.

Shell will assume control of two Louisiana refineries operated by the Motiva Enterprises LLC joint venture, as well as nine fuel terminals and rights to Shell-branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the U.S. Northeast, the companies said Wednesday in a statement. Aramco will retain the Motiva name and take ownership of the largest U.S. refinery, in Port Arthur, Texas, along with 26 terminals and exclusive license to sell fuel under the Shell brand across Texas and much of the U.S. Midwest and Southeast.

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Shell Seen as Best Oil Major Wager by Analysts After BG Deal

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.comMarch 9, 2016

Ben Van Beurden staked his reputation on Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $53 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc as crude slumped. Analysts are rewarding the chief executive officer by putting the enlarged company in pole position to exploit a market upturn. 

Shell’s shares will rise about 12.2 percent in the next 12 months, the most among the world’s six biggest non-state oil companies, according to the target prices of analysts compiled by Bloomberg. More than 65 percent of analysts who cover Europe’s largest oil producer recommend buying the stock, the highest share among its peers.

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Shell Hopes To Sell $30 Billion In Assets, But Timing Is Terrible

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Irina Slav: 06 March 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is planning to sell assets worth a staggering $30 billion in a bid to prop up its balance sheet, after completing the $53-billion acquisition of BG Group last month. The majority of these soon-to-be-offloaded assets are in the midstream and downstream operations of the company.

The plans were first mentioned by Shell’s chief executive during a conference call at the beginning of February. Two anonymous Bloomberg sources familiar with the divestment program stated that this divestment may include pipelines in the U.S., a stake in a gas project in Trinidad and Tobago, and interests that Shell holds in oil and gas fields in India.

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Cash Can’t Fix the Village Ruined by Shell’s Oil

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Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 15.03.25By Chris Kay and Ed Kiernan: Bloomberg.com

3 March 2016

As canoes glide past mangroves blackened by oil in the Niger River delta, two dozen children splash around in a creek covered by a sheen of crude while families take shelter from the punishing midday sun in half-built houses.

Once a bustling farming and fishing town in the region of Ogoniland, Bodo has become a poster child in Nigeria for the devastating impact on local communities caused by the leakage of about 240,000 barrels of crude a year in the delta, close to the amount that spilled in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground off Alaska.

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Shell Said to Mull Sales From U.S. to India in $30 Billion Plan

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By Dinesh NairMatthew Campbell and Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.com: 2 March 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is lining up assets for a $30 billion divestment program that may extend from the U.S. and Trinidad to India following its record takeover of BG Group Plc, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Assets linked to Shell’s interests in Trinidad & Tobago and stakes in oil and gas fields in India may be on the block, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are confidential. Pipelines in the U.S. are also high on the list, they said, adding that disposal plans aren’t final and will depend on demand.

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Nigeria Groups Take Oil Spill Complaints Against Shell to Court

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Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 15.03.25Sarah McGregor and Chris Kay: March 1, 2016

Two Nigerian communities have filed cases in a London court alleging Royal Dutch Shell Plc is responsible for oil spills that have contaminated the Niger River delta, according to the legal team representing them both.

The first hearing for both claims against Shell and its local unit, Shell Petroleum Development Co., will begin on Wednesday in a London court, according to the statement. The action is being led by Leigh Day, the law firm that handled a similar case that Shell settled last year by agreeing to pay 55 million pounds ($77 million) to compensate more than 15,000 residents of the Nigerian Bodo community for oil spills in 2008. Shell Petroleum Development is “at an early stage” of reviewing the claims, the company said in a statement.

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Scant hope of an imminent rebound in prices

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The Davos of energy

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By Ed Crooks: February 26, 2016

This week many of the biggest names in the worlds of oil, gas and power were gathered at IHS CeraWeek in Houston, the annual conference that is regularly  – and accurately – described as “the Davos of energy” or  – more questionably – as “the Burning Man of energy”. It should come as no surprise that it was this event that generated most of the week’s big stories.

The star of the show was Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s formidable oil minister, who was making his first appearance at the conference since 2009. It might have been expected to be a case of Daniel in the lions’ den. Saudi Arabia is seen by many in the industry as the architect of their troubles, because of Mr Naimi’s refusal to cut production to attempt to support prices. As it turned out, though, he won over the crowd very quickly, delivering a speech that included both a convincing explanation of his strategy, and a few pretty decent jokes.

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Arctic Was a Bet That Didn’t Pay Off, Departing Shell Chief Says

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Jennifer A Dlouhy: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

The departing chief of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.S. division, who presided over its failed quest to find crude in Arctic waters off Alaska, said the effort was still a point of pride because it demonstrated the company’s technical expertise.

Marvin Odum, 57, is leaving the company in a reorganization announced Wednesday. He has been with the company for 34 years and held the post atop its U.S. division, Shell Oil Co., since oil prices were at record highs.

The Arctic was “a big bet,” Odum said in a telephone interview Wednesday. 

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Another Oil Crash Is Coming, and There May Be No Recovery

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Tom Randall: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

It’s time for oil investors to start taking electric cars seriously.

In the next two years, Tesla and Chevy plan to start selling electric cars with a range of more than 200 miles priced in the $30,000 range. Ford is investing billions, Volkswagen is investing billions, and Nissan and BMW are investing billions. Nearly every major carmaker—as well as Apple and Google—is working on the next generation of plug-in cars.

This is a problem for oil markets. OPEC still contends that electric vehicles will make up just 1 percent of global car sales in 2040. Exxon’s forecast is similarly dismissive. 

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Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. Chief Leaving in Leadership Shuffle

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The president of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.S. division is leaving the company as part of a reorganization announced Wednesday, and Executive Vice President Bruce Culpepper was named as his successor.

Marvin Odum, 57, has been with the company for 34 years and held the post at its U.S. division, Shell Oil Co., since oil prices were at record highs. He also was in charge during Shell’s failed Arctic drilling bid. Culpepper, who will become the U.S. country chairman and the president of Shell Oil on April 1, has been overseeing human resources in the Americas.

“Marvin has had a long and distinguished Shell career and I’m grateful to him for the central role he’s played in the company’s success,” said Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, in a news release Wednesday. “He leaves our important businesses in the Americas well positioned for the next phase of their development.”

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OPEC’s Freeze Backfires

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The punchline? The joke’s on OPEC.

There are several glaring problems inherent to the freeze, whereby members of OPEC and other large producers such as Russia are supposed to not raise their oil output from current levels, not least that they are already producing too much oil for the market to absorb.

But there is a more subtle effect that actually works against the likes of Saudi Arabia: The freeze raises hope. In particular, it raises hope in the otherwise largely despondent world of energy financing.

Monday night, before those oil ministers iced the freeze, Cabot Oil & Gas, a U.S. exploration and production company, announced it had sold an upsized offering of new shares that should ultimately raise roughly $1 billion.

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For Exxon and Shell, Age of Ultramajors Comes at the Wrong Time

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As oil and gas prices have tumbled, Exxon and Shell have been forced to retreat. With oil barely above $30 a barrel, they’re cutting spending, including some costly, high-risk mega-projects. Photographer: George Osodi/Bloomberg

By Javier Blas: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

Despite their size, both companies suffering with cheap oil

Exxon and Shell cutting spending as fast as everyone else

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 07.54.19This may not be the best time to be bigger than big.

The $64 billion tie-up of Royal Dutch Shell Plc with BG Group Plc and the steady growth of Exxon Mobil Corp. are creating a new league of two: the ultramajors. Executives at smaller companies are even starting to joke that Chevron Corp., Total SA, BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and ENI SpA are merely the mid-cap sector of Big Oil.

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BG Group, Gas-Shipping Pioneer, Trades Final Time Before Merger

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Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.com: February 11, 2016

BG Group Plc, pioneer of natural-gas shipping, will trade on stock exchanges for the last time on Friday, 19 years after it was created.

The shares will delist Monday as BG becomes a fully owned unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc following the industry’s biggest acquisition in more than a decade. The stock has increased ninefold since 1997, when former state monopoly British Gas Plc split its exploration and production arm from retail. Shell gained just 15 percent in the period, while BP Plc declined 4.4 percent.

The BG takeover will catapult Shell into second place among the world’s most valuable public oil companies, behind Exxon Mobil Corp. Shell plans to run BG as a subsidiary initially, merging the two companies over the course of a year, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the matter. BG’s assets, including gas projects from Australia to Kazakhstan, will help the Anglo-Dutch energy giant ride out the oil-price slump.

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For Oil Companies, It’s a Year of Slashing Costs and Jobs

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This year will be another hard one for the oil majors as they cut spending.

Over the past several weeks, the world’s biggest oil companies have posted earnings that show just how brutal it is these days to be an oil major. The industry is going through the biggest downturn since the 1990’s.

Following a dramatic 60% plunge in oil prices over the past 18 months, oil companies are desperately slashing costs by cutting jobs, decommissioning rigs, halting the purchase of new oil gear, and pulling back from exploring new fields.

On Tuesday morning, BP BP -8.45% reported its worst annual loss in over 20 years. The company, which is the sixth largest in the world, says it will cut 7,000 jobs by 2017, or almost 9% of its workers.

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S&P Lowers Shell’s Rating, Puts Other Oil Majors on Watch

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47David Marino: Bloomberg.com:

1 February 2016

Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating on Royal Dutch Shell Plc and sees a significant likelihood of downgrades for several Europe-based integrated oil and gas majors in the next weeks.

“We lowered our ratings on Royal Dutch Shell Plc to ’A+/A-1’ from ’AA-/A-1+’ and placed the long-term rating on CreditWatch with negative implications,” S&P said in an e-mailed statement. “We also placed on CreditWatch negative our ratings on BP Plc, Eni SpA, Repsol S.A., Statoil ASA, Statoil Forsikring AS, Statoil US Holdings Inc., and Total S.A.”

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Shell’s BG Arbitrage Fades as Investors Look Set to Back Deal

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45By Rakteem Katakey and Ryan ChilcoteBloomberg.com: 25 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is on the brink of completing its biggest acquisition as shareholders look set to back its purchase of BG Group Plc.

Risks to the deal completing have almost disappeared. The discount of BG’s shares to the offer price narrowed to a record low of 2.2 percent on Monday after some of Shell’s top shareholders and advisory firms backed the transaction this month. It was at 12.5 percent on Dec. 21.

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Shell’s acquisition, the industry’s biggest in at least a decade, came under scrutiny after oil prices fell by half from about $60 a barrel the day before it was announced in April. The slump, which Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden expects to be prolonged, previously kept BG’s discount to the offer from narrowing as some investors questioned whether Europe’s biggest oil company was paying too much. That’s changing as shareholders come round to Shell’s view on the long-term rationale of the purchase.

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Oil Rout Prompts Moody’s to Consider Shell, Total for Downgrade

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Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.08.33Moody’s will also review the ratings of two U.S. refining joint ventures linked to Shell, Motiva Enterprises LLC and Deer Park Refining LP.

By Mikael Holter and Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.com: 22 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and Statoil ASA, three of Europe’s biggest oil producers, were among more than 100 energy companies whose credit ratings were placed on review for possible downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service.

The reviews come after the rating company cut its oil-price forecasts and should for the most part be completed this quarter, Moody’s said in a statement on Friday. Prices may recover more slowly than companies expect and there is a risk they may fall further, it said.

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Oil’s Nightmare Scenario Dominates Davos

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Global Stocks on Brink of Bear Market as Oil Slides; Ruble Sinks

By Javier Blas, Grant Smith: Bloomberg.com: 20 JAN 2016

The first mantra of the oil crisis was “lower for longer.” Then “lower for even longer.” Now in Davos, oil executives are starting to talk — or rather, whisper — about a new nightmare scenario: “A lot lower for a lot longer.”

Oil executives, policy makers and banks said in the first days of the World Economic Forum that a recovery will remain elusive in 2016 as major producers keep pumping and China’s fuel appetite slackens. And they fret that prices could take another hit as Iranian crude freed from sanctions flows back on to world markets.

More from Bloomberg.com: The North Dakota Crude Oil That’s Worth Almost Nothing

“It is the third year in a row we have more supply than demand,” Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, told Francine Lacqua in a Bloomberg Television interview. “Prices will be still under pressure. I don’t see any reason why we have a surprise increase in the price in 2016.”

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Shell Fourth-Quarter Profit Plunges as Oil’s Slump Deepens

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Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.comJanuary 20, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said fourth-quarter profit plunged as the rout in crude prices deepened. 

The company sees profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes of $1.6 billion to $1.9 billion, The Hague-based Shell said Wednesday in a preliminary earnings statement. That compares with the $1.8 billion average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and profit of $3.3 billion a year earlier.

Shell, which is buying BG Group Plc in the industry’s largest deal in a decade, has cut jobs and reduced spending as Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden prepares for a prolonged downturn. Crude’s slump below $30 a barrel has driven down Shell’s market value to the lowest in almost seven years and prompted concern it may be overpaying for BG’s production and cash flow.

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Oil Giants Start Losing Safety Net as Refining Margins Squeezed

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Rakteem Katakey and Firat Kayakiran: Bloomberg.com: 19 JAN 2016

Refining profits that buttressed earnings for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc as crude prices plunged are now slumping, further pressuring all of the world’s biggest oil companies as they move into 2016.

Global refining margins, the estimated profit from turning oil into gasoline and diesel, fell 34 percent in the fourth quarter, the steepest decline in eight years, to $13.20 a barrel, data on BP Plc’s website show. Every $1 drop cuts BP’s pretax adjusted earnings by $500 million a year, according to its website.

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Shell’s Earnings to Show Depth of Rout as Oil Extends Losses

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.27.35Shell will on Wednesday become the first major oil producer to announce annual earnings as it enters the final stages of its plan to buy BG Group Plc in the industry’s biggest deal in years. Investors will scrutinize those preliminary numbers for signs Europe’s largest oil company is doing enough to justify the acquisition as crude drops below $30 a barrel. 

Shell has cut thousands of jobs and reduced spending as Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden prepares the company for a prolonged downturn while looking to BG to add production and cash flow. The 18-month slump in crude, the longest since the mid-1980s, has delayed $380 billion of investments in the industry, driven down profits and erased more than $2.7 trillion of oil companies’ market value.

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The North Dakota Crude Oil That’s Worth Less Than Nothing

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Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.15.28Dan Murtaugh and Javier Blas: 18 JAN 2016

Oil is so plentiful and cheap in the U.S. that at least one buyer says it would need to be paid to take a certain type of low-quality crude.

Flint Hills Resources LLC, the refining arm of billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch’s industrial empire, said it would pay -$0.50 a barrel Friday for North Dakota Sour, a high-sulfur grade of crude, according to a list price posted on its website. That’s down from $13.50 a barrel a year ago and $47.60 in January 2014.

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Deal or No Deal? The Numbers That Matter for Shell’s BG Takeover

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45…investors have questioned whether Shell is paying too much after oil prices slumped to the lowest in almost 12 years.

By Rakteem Katakey: JAN 11, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is a month away from completing its biggest acquisition, which would vault it over Chevron Corp. to become the world’s second-biggest non-state oil company.

The takeover of BG Group Plc would raise Shell’s market value close to $175 billion, boost flagging reserves and production, add to cash flow and bolster its ability to pay dividends, the company says. Yet investors have questioned whether Shell is paying too much after oil prices slumped to the lowest in almost 12 years.

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Shell’s BG Deal Gets Backing of Shareholder Advisory Firm

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By Rakteem Katakey: Jan 8, 2016: Bloomberg.com 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has won the backing for its takeover of BG Group Plc from a body that advises many of its largest shareholders.

Shell’s biggest ever deal has “compelling strategic rationale” and “significant positive economics to be realized within a relatively short time frame,” Institutional Shareholder Services said in a report dated Thursday. “Support for this transaction is warranted.”

Shell is on the brink of pulling off its biggest acquisition, but oil’s collapse to less than $35 a barrel from about $55 on the day the deal was announced in April has prompted some investors to question whether the company is paying too much. The energy producer has justified the deal by saying it would boost its ability to maintain dividends, make it the world’s largest LNG producer and give it new assets from Australia to Brazil.

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Shell Opens Natural Gas Wells Off Irish Coast

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A wall of steel protects the workers at the entrance to the Corrib gas terminal site, which opened on Wednesday in Bellanaboy Bridge, Ireland. Credit Paul McErlane/Bloomberg News

LONDON — Two decades after being discovered, natural gas began flowing on Wednesday from wells off Ireland’s northwest coast. Royal Dutch Shell, the oil company, said it had begun producing gas from undersea wells, part of an effort for Ireland to produce more of its own resources.

Opening the taps in the Corrib field, more than 50 miles offshore, is a breakthrough for the oil and gas industry in Ireland, which had mostly disappointing results in recent years while encountering resistance from environmental groups.

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UK awash with oil as tankers forced to turn around

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Unseasonably warm winter weather has left the UK with its highest October stockpiles of oil for the past five years, according to Government figures

By John Ficenec, and Agency: 2:46PM GMT 22 Dec 2015

Record high temperatures in December have left the UK with the highest stocks of oil for five years as Europe-bound fuel tankers are forced into mid-Atlantic U-turns.

An unseasonably balmy period means the UK is on track for the warmest December in more than 100 years, and stocks of oil and gas are piling up as households turn down the heating.

Oil stocks in the UK have risen to almost 15m tonnes, which is 9pc above the same stage last year, according to the latest figures released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

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Shell-BG Deal Not Yet in the Bag Amid Fears of Further Oil Slump

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“..if there’s another sharp spike down in oil prices — crack through $30 towards $25 — there has to be a pain threshold beyond which the board would have to turn around.”

By Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.com: December 21, 2015 -2.42PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is on the brink of pulling off its biggest acquisition. Yet the widening discount of target BG Group Plc to the offer price shows that a further steep drop in oil prices could still put the deal in doubt.

BG traded 12.5 percent below Shell’s bid price on Dec. 18, the biggest discount since early September, compared with a 6.4 percent gap on Dec. 4. While BG shares soared when news of the deal broke eight months ago, they’ve since tumbled more than 20 percent as oil prices slumped.

If benchmark Brent crude sinks to the mid-$20s a barrel, the transaction may fall through, said Philip Lawlor, a strategist at Smith & Williamson Investment Management LLP in London, which owns shares in both Shell and BG. Trz Trading BV’s Niels Lammerts Van Bueren said it “all depends on the oil price.”

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Shell and BG Shareholders to Vote on Deal at End of January

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The takeover, valued at about $70 billion when it was announced in April, has come under scrutiny as crude prices slumped below $40 a barrel amid a global oversupply.

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By Amanda Jordan: December 21, 2015

Shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BG Group Plc are expected to vote on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 on the companies’ planned combination announced eight months ago.

Shell and BG plan to publish shareholder documents as soon as Tuesday, the companies said Monday in a regulatory statement. In BG’s case, votes in favor must represent at least 75 percent of the total value of BG shares. Shell requires 50 percent backing.

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, won Chinese antitrust approval for its purchase of Reading, England-based BG this month, clearing the last regulatory hurdle for the deal.

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Shell, Gazprom’s Russian LNG Venture Readying Export Boost Plans

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.13.03By Stephen Stapczynski and Ichiro Suzuki: Bloomberg.com: Dec 18, 2015

Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., the only liquefied natural gas exporter in Russia, has agreed to begin design work on an expansion, the joint venture said Friday.

The partners — Gazprom PJSC, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. — will add a third production unit at the Sakhalin-2 LNG export terminal to raise capacity by 4.8 million metric tons to 14.4 million metric tons a year, Miyuki Shiga, a Mitsui spokeswoman, said by phone. The design process will take about a year and the first cargo from the new unit is expected to ship early next decade, Shiga said.

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Shell to Expand CNOOC Petrochemical Venture in Southern China

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By Bloomberg News: December 15, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is expanding its petrochemical venture in southern China with China National Offshore Oil Corp.

The two companies signed an agreement Tuesday to double the capacity of their equally held ethylene-cracking facility in Guangdong province to 2 million metric tons a year and add other chemicals units, Shell said in an e-mailed statement. The new facilities are expected to start operation in two years, it said, without providing a figure on the cost of the expansion.

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Shell Bid Aims to Preserve U.S. Drilling Rights in Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 16.53.51Jennifer A Dlouhy: December 15, 2015: Bloomberg.com

  • Oil company files appeal challenging rejection by Interior

  • Clock now ticking on oil and gas leases expiring in 2020

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Royal Dutch Shell Plc is fighting to preserve U.S. drilling rights in Arctic waters three months after halting exploration indefinitely there because it failed to find meaningful oil or natural gas deposits.

Europe’s largest oil company filed a notice of appeal Tuesday challenging the U.S. Interior Department’s Oct. 29 rejection of the company’s requests to stop the clock on Arctic oil and gas leases that otherwise expire between 2017 and 2020. The dispute is expected to undergo an administrative review, possibly delaying a final judgment until after a new U.S. president takes office.

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Big Oil Let Off Hook

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Statoil ASA no longer face an European Union investigation into potential manipulation of fuel benchmarks, the regulator indicated on Monday. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

By Aoife WhiteStephanie BodoniPeter Levring and Gaspard Sebag: Bloomberg.com: 7 December 2015

  • EU’s Vestager shows willingness to dump cases going nowhere
  • Commission retreats from high-profile oil investigation

Days after dropping a high-profile probe into some of Wall Street’s top banks, the European Commission quietly sounded the retreat from an antitrust case that’s embroiled some of the world’s biggest oil producers since 2013.

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Oil Firms Dropped From EU Probe Into Fuel-Price Manipulation

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By Aoife White: December 7, 2015

  • Crude oil sector no longer under investigation in case

  • EU steps up case focusing on ethanol benchmarks rigging

Oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Statoil ASA, no longer face a European Union investigation into potential manipulation of crude oil benchmarks.

The European Commission “is currently not investigating further behaviors in price benchmarks for the crude oil sector,” Ricardo Cardoso, a spokesman for regulator said in an e-mail. He said the EU’s current probe focuses “on price benchmarks for the ethanol sector.”

Raids on Shell, BP, Statoil and price publisher Platts in May 2013 over suspected benchmark-rigging echoed probes into banks for trying to fix the London Interbank Offered Rate and foreign exchange markets. EU antitrust regulators levied 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in fines later that year over Libor manipulation.

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