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Shell to Start Feeling Norway Heat on Ormen Lange Gas Project

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By Mikael Holter: November 30, 2016 

Norway expects Royal Dutch Shell Plc to go forward with a shelved project to boost recovery of natural gas at the Ormen Lange field and warned it will start pushing the company for progress from next year.

“A clear message to Shell is that we expect that it seizes the opportunities that exist at Ormen Lange and comes to a decision to take this forward,” Bente Nyland, the head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said in an interview in Oslo on Wednesday. “There are a lot of resources at Ormen and we have to get them out.”

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Kazakh President Says Partners in Shell Oil Field Face Tax Claim

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Nariman Gizitdinov and Torrey Clark: November 24, 2016 — 6:42 AM EST

Kazakhstan’s authorities are looking at whether the Karachaganak oil and gas venture, which includes Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA, has unpaid taxes.

“The tax authorities have tax issues — they didn’t pay,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in an interview on Tuesday in Astana, without elaborating. He also confirmed the government is now seeking to change how revenue from the field is shared with the companies, which is allowed by the terms of the contract.

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Shell’s debts rise as it misses asset-sales target

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PUBLISHED NOV 19, 2016, 5:00 AM SGT

LONDON • Royal Dutch Shell is more than US$4 billion (S$5.71 billion) short of its asset-sales target for the year, prompting credit ratings agencies to warn that its record debt will not start shrinking soon enough.

Shell piled up borrowings following its biggest acquisition, the purchase of BG Group, and needs to hit disposal targets to help pay for it and stave off rating reviews, according to the agencies. The company sold US$1.7 billion of assets in the first nine months of this year, according to a Nov 1 statement, well short of its US$6 billion to US$8 billion guidance.

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Nigeria Reaches $5.1 Billion Debt Settlement With Oil Majors

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By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Rakteem Katakey: November 17, 2016

Nigeria reached a $5.1 billion settlement to reimburse foreign oil companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc for past operating costs.

The amount, less than the $6.8 billion previously discussed, will be settled through crude-oil sales over five years and will be interest free, Petroleum Minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters in the capital, Abuja, Thursday.

“What we have been able to put together has enabled us to shave about $1.7 billion in savings for the federal government from the $6.8 billion that was owed,” he said. “The barrels to pay those will come from incremental barrels generated by the oil companies, not from the current 2.2 million-barrel-a-day production.

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Big Oil Looks Past Profit Crunch as Cash Flow Shows Recovery

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By Javier Blas: November 9, 2016

Ask any oil-company accountant, “what’s the difference between income and cash flow?” and they’re likely to say income makes the headlines, cash pays the bills.

It may be glib, but there’s a nub of truth there. Cash generation is the yardstick used to judge a company’s ability to invest and pay dividends, and it’s been growing at the biggest oil producers for three quarters in a row.

Last quarter the world’s largest listed energy companies — Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc — reported cash from operations of almost $26 billion, up 67 percent from the previous three months and more than double the first-quarter amount, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Shell, Total CEOs Question Solar in Room Full of Solar Investors

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By Anna Hirtenstein: 3 November 2016

When executives from some of the world’s biggest oil companies question the ability of solar energy to make money in a roomful of renewables investors, awkwardness ensues.

That’s what happened Thursday at the Energy for Tomorrow conference in Paris, where the chief executive officers of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA said solar power isn’t profitable.

“Growth of renewables has been remarkable but capacity of industry to make money in that segment has been remarkably absent,’’ Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said during a panel discussion. “The 10 largest solar companies collectively never paid a cent of dividends.’’

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Shell thinks demand for oil could peak in five years

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Written by Bloomberg – 02/11/2016 4:16 pm

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest oil company by market value, thinks demand for oil could peak in as little as five years.

“We’ve long been of the opinion that demand will peak before supply,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on a conference call on Tuesday. “And that peak may be somewhere between 5 and 15 years hence, and it will be driven by efficiency and substitution, more than offsetting the new demand for transport.”

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Shell’s Record BG Deal Starts to Pay Off as Production Surges

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screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-16-01-19By Rakteem Katakey: November 1, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s biggest takeover, the subject of intense investor scrutiny during crude’s collapse, is starting to pay off as Europe’s largest oil company chalks up its highest profit in five quarters.

The cash now generated by BG Group Plc — acquired by Shell for $54 billion in February — outstrips its spending, while production has risen by about a third in two years, Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said Tuesday. The integration of its assets has been completed “well ahead of time,” he said.

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Shell’s $78 Billion Escape Act

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55By Chris HughesNov 1, 2016 8:38 AM EDT

Eight months on from the $64 billion acquisition of BG Group and Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s finances seem to be under greater strain than ever. The Anglo-Dutch oil major’s net borrowings stand at $78 billion and indebtedness is a smidgen below management’s self-imposed ceiling. Even as the benefits of buying BG are starting to show, the takeover has trapped Shell in austerity measures for the foreseeable future. The good news is that progress is likely to be visible, and that provides a useful story for the shares.

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Shell Smashes Estimates as BG Acquisition Drives Up Output

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By Rakteem Katakey: November 1, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates after its acquisition of BG Group Plc boosted oil production, helping to counter a slump in prices. The shares rose.

Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes advanced 17 percent from a year earlier to $2.79 billion, The Hague-based Shell said Tuesday. That exceeded the $1.79 billion average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and the earnings of U.S. giant Exxon Mobil Corp.

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BP, Shell Help Lift Oil-Trading Profitability to 6-Year High

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By Javier Blas and Andy Hoffman: October 26, 2016

The trading arms of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc enjoyed their best year ever in 2015, helping push the combined gross margins of oil merchants to a six-year high, according to a closely watched report.

Oil traders last year “stormed ahead, thanks to low, volatile spot prices that created cash-and-carry opportunities,” consultancy Oliver Wyman said in its annual review of the commodities-trading industry published Wednesday.

These gross margins — a rough measure of profitability — rose to a combined $19 billion, the highest since 2009, when oil traders benefited from big price swings and oversupplied markets. For commodities traders in general, total gross margins stagnated at $44 billion for the second consecutive year as natural gas, power and other markets underperformed oil.

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Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government

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Esther Kiobel filed a briefin the Southern District of New York on October 12 seeking permission to issue subpoenas against Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The request was for the production of documents for a lawsuit expected to be filed in the Netherlands. The lawsuit is connected to a previous case in which Kiobel was a lead plaintiff, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. In this case, Kiobel alleged human rights and civil liberty violations against the oil and gas giant’s operations in Nigeria’s Ogoni region. The Dutch case, expected to be filed in late 2016, intends to allege that Royal Dutch conspired with the Nigerian government to commit human rights violations against the Ogoni people. Cravath represented Royal Dutch in the U.S lawsuits and this application intends to obtain the discovery from those cases.

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Shell Among New LNG Sellers for Asia Gas Hub Contender Singapore

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By Ann KohSerene Cheong and Dan Murtaugh: Oct 24, 2016

Singapore, which is vying to become a regional center for the trading of liquefied natural gas in Asia, picked Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Pavilion Gas Pte Ltd. as its next suppliers of the fuel.

The companies will have exclusive rights to sell 1 million metric tons of LNG annually for up to 3 years, with imports beginning in 2017, the city-state’s Energy Market Authority said in a statement. The country will also consider spot purchases of the supercooled fuel and piped natural gas on a case-by-case basis, S. Iswaran, the Minister of Industry, said at the Singapore International Energy Week conference on Monday.

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How electric cars could smash BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc

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By Harvey Jones – Tuesday, 18 October, 2016

Investors in UK-listed oil giants (LSE: BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) have been paying close attention to the oil price because they know that unless it climbs higher, their juicy 7%-plus dividend yields will be in jeopardy. However, they need to look to more distant horizons, because even if the oil price does climb a little higher this year, the long-term outlook is mixed.

Golden years

I’ve always thought ‘black gold’ to be a rather daft a description for oil, given that gold has few practical uses but the global economy runs on crude. However, that may not always be the case, due to the rise of electric vehicles and renewable energy. A new report from the World Energy Council suggests these two trends could hit demand for oil sooner and harder than expected. Oil consumption could actually start falling within the next 10 to 15 years and if correct, this would play havoc with the investment case for BP and Shell.

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Oil From $50 Billion Kashagan Field Starts Flowing to Export

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By Nariman Gizitdinov: 14 October 2016

Kashagan, a vast oil field in the Caspian Sea, sent its first crude for export after about 16 years in development and more than $50 billion of investments.

The venture loaded 26,500 metric tons of crude for export into the country’s pipelines, Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Of that, 7,700 tons was sent to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium. Reaching stable production will take “some time” as commissioning work continues both offshore and onshore, the ministry said.

The project has been plagued by multiple delays and cost overruns. A 2008 budget estimate of $38 billion jumped to $53 billion by the end of last year as the partners replaced undersea links after sour gas cracked the pipes. The crude from Kashagan is reaching an already saturated market, with prices at less than half the level of 2013 when the project hit a setback. Expectations for the field’s exports even prompted OPEC to flip supply predictions for next year.

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Shell Said to Consider Sale of $1 Billion Malaysia LNG Stake

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Elffie Chew and Joyce Koh: 14 October 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is considering a sale of its stake in a Malaysian liquefied natural gas export plant, which could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Shell is gauging interest in its 15 percent stake in MLNG Tiga Sdn., which owns an LNG terminal in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, according to the people. The sale may draw interest from private-equity firms, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. Malaysia’s state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd., which holds 60 percent of MLNG Tiga, has pre-emptive rights on the stake, one of the people said.

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Shell May Snag 95% Discount on Next-Generation Ethanol Plant

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Mario Parker: 13 October 2016: Updated onOctober 14, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is set to pay $26 million for Abengoa SA’s ethanol plant that cost it and taxpayers about $500 million to build.

Shell’s so-called stalking-horse bid, which is subject to court approval, was disclosed in documents filed Wednesday with Kansas District’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court. If Abengoa receives competing bids, an auction will be held Nov. 21 for the 25 million-gallon-a-year-plant, the filings show. The bid was confirmed by Mark Kisler, managing director at Ocean Park Advisors, Abengoa’s consultant.

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Shell North Sea Sale Said to Draw Ineos, Siccar Point Bids

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Dinesh Nair: 12 October 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has invited binding bids from parties including Ineos AG and Blackstone Group LP-backed Siccar Point Energy for the sale of some of its U.K. North Sea assets worth about $2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

North Sea-focused energy explorer Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. has teamed up with U.S. private equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners to submit a second-round bid before the Wednesday deadline, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. No final agreements have been reached, they said.

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Shell, BP Hold Lure of Higher Payouts After Brexit Hurts Pound

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55By Rakteem Katakey: October 12, 2016

The British pound’s slump to a 30-year low is handing a windfall to U.K.-based shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc.

The currency’s decline means the two oil companies are making higher payouts to U.K. investors when they distribute their dollar dividends in pounds. Shell and BP have pledged to prioritize defending their dividends through oil’s biggest downturn in a generation.

The companies have maintained their payouts for the past two years and shareholders who have stayed invested through crude’s slump are likely to get additional cash in the U.K. currency as the pound remains weak following Britain’s June 23 decision to exit the European Union. The potential for higher cash payouts is driving up the companies’ London-listed shares. U.S. investors get no benefit from the currency’s more than 17 percent slide against the dollar in the period, which makes the pound the worst performer among major currencies.

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Idemitsu and Showa Shell postpone merger amid founding family reservations, Iran-Saudi tensions

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-14-31KYODO, STAFF REPORT: 13 October 2016:

Oil distributors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. have decided to postpone their planned April merger as Idemitsu has yet to gain consent for the deal from the founding family, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Idemitsu, the nation’s second largest wholesaler, and Showa Shell, the fifth biggest, were expected to announce the decision later in the day, according to the sources.

Idemitsu and Showa Shell originally revealed a plan to merge in 2015. But the progress of the merger has become increasingly uncertain after Idemitsu founding members, who hold a 34 percent stake, enough to veto the merger, announced their opposition to the plan in June.

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Nigerian Militants Are Getting Ready to Strike Oil Again

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By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: October 4, 2016

If the Nigerian government wants to fight militants blowing up oil pipelines, it should send troops into the creeks and mangrove swamps of the Niger River delta. Not the city.

That’s the suggestion of Babalola Olarewaju, a taxi driver who plies the airport route in Port Harcourt, the largest city in the restive oil-rich region.

“We’re talking about people who blow up pipelines in the night and then disappear,” said Olarewaju, 41, as he perched on the hood of his rickety cab outside the Le Meridien Hotel in the city center, referring to three T-72 tanks, Nigeria’s main battle tank, parked about a mile away. “What has a tank got to do here in the city?”

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Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch

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The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system…

By Alaa Shahine and Stefania Bianchi: 25 Sept 2016

Saudi Arabia’s central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world’s biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits “on behalf of government entities.” It’s also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its “supportive monetary policy.”

The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity. That’s pushed up the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark used for pricing loans, to the highest level since 2009. The central bank was said to have offered lenders 15 billion riyals in short-term loans in June to help ease liquidity constraints.

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Oil drops below $46

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By Ed Crooks: September 16, 2016

The more positive mood in crude prices last week always looked fragile, based as it was on nebulous talk about a possible Opec production freeze and volatile US data that were heavily influenced by storm Hermine at the beginning of the month.

That vulnerability was exposed this week. Brent crude, which briefly hit $50 per barrel on September 8, dropped below $46 on Friday.

As prices fell, analysts took differing views on the outlook. Bloomberg focused on the chance of a rebound, as markets started to focus on the growing risk of shortages. On the other hand, the FT’s Neil Hume pointed out that there was still more crude production capacity set to come on stream as a result of the investment binge of 2011-14 – not least the much delayed Kashagan field in Kazakhstan – meaning that prices could remain depressed in the short term.

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Argentina’s Energy Minister Sold Shell Shares After Pushback

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By Carolina MillanSeptember 13, 2016

Tax declarations show he owns $1 million worth of Shell shares

Aranguren was chief executive officer of Shell Argentina

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Argentina’s Energy and Mining Minister, Juan Jose Aranguren, has sold his shares of Royal Dutch Shell Plc following criticism from anti-graft authorities, President Mauricio Macri said.

Aranguren, formerly the chief executive officer of Shell Argentina, sold his shares in the company, Macri said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. Earlier, the minister was excused from all dealings with Shell in Argentina, according to a decree published in the official gazette. The minister, who owned $16 million pesos ($1 million) shares in the company according to reports of his tax documents for 2015, received a non-binding recommendation on Monday from the anti-graft office to sell his stock.

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This 89-Year-Old Scion’s Defiance Threatens a $1.7 Billion Merger

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By Stephen Stapczynski and Tsuyoshi Inajima: Sept 8, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50In Japan’s carefully-choreographed, corporate world, public power struggles are generally frowned upon. Shosuke Idemitsu, 89, apparently doesn’t roll that way.

At an Idemitsu Kosan Co. shareholder meeting in June, investors were expected to vote in favor of reappointing directors who are supporting the government-backed, $1.7 billion merger with rival Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. that’s scheduled to close by April of 2017.

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Reopening of Forcados Terminal — Bad News for Crude Prices

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Staff Writer on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm EST

After militant attacks on its oil facilities in Nigeria, as well as numerous pipeline outages, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in the West African country is at last ready to start deliveries this month.

According to Bloomberg, Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Group, an energy company that uses the terminal, said operations were expected to resume in the middle of September. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the matter.

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Slashing Dividends: The Only Option Left For Big Oil?

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By Nick Cunningham – Aug 31, 2016, 4:03 PM CDT

The oil majors will have an extraordinarily difficult time trying to maintain their hefty dividends in today’s oil market environment, and unless oil prices rebound substantially, companies may be forced to slash their payouts to shareholders.

The largest oil producers pay shareholders a combined $40 billion in dividends each year, a level that is not sustainable with oil prices at $50 per barrel, according to Chris Kettenmann of Macro Risk Advisors. “There’s massive risk to the dividend structure of these big oil companies over the next 12 months,” Kettenmann said on Bloomberg TV.

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Shell Becomes First Non-Bank to Join Mexico’s Oil Hedge

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Javier Blas and Nacha Cattan: Sept 1, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc participated in protecting Mexico against low crude prices in 2017, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, the first time an oil company has taken part in the world’s largest commodities hedging program.

The Mexican government spent $1 billion buying put options — contracts that give it the right to sell at a predetermined price — to lock in an average price for its export basket of $38 a barrel for next year. Shell’s trading unit was one of the seven counterparties to the Mexican government, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

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Shell’s Forcados Oil Pipeline Seen Restarting in September

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Paul BurkhardtAugust 31, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in Nigeria will resume deliveries in September, according to an oil company that uses the line.

“We are hearing Forcados is due to return at the middle of next month,” Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Group, said Wednesday by phone from London. “It has been a tough situation for us these past couple of months.”

The Forcados pipeline system is among oil infrastructure targeted by Nigerian militants this year. In February, Shell declared force majeure — a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts — after militants blew up a line feeding the Forcados terminal, which typically exports about 200,000 barrels a day. Of that, Shoreline sends about 52,000 barrels a day.

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Shell Says While Gas Is the Future, It Won’t Be Traded Like Oil

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At the moment, there is a global glut of natural gas…

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Kelly Gilblom and Rakteem Katakey: August 30, 2016

Natural gas is rapidly becoming one of the most traded global commodities, but that doesn’t mean it will have a global price, according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

While the fuel can be transported anywhere on liquefied natural gas carriers, it will probably remain regionally priced for the time being, with some contracts continuing to track oil, said Roger Bounds, senior vice president for global gas at Shell. Prices will depend on location, regulation and infrastructure, as some countries replace coal in electricity generation to cut carbon emissions.

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The Panama Shortcut

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Jon Asmundsson: August 15, 2016

When the sun rose over the Caribbean Sea on July 25, the Maran Gas Apollonia was churning toward the new Panama Canal with a shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas that it had loaded at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Tugs guided the 90,434-ton tanker into the first of the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara Locks. The gates closed, and water filled the first chamber. That night the vessel passed through Gatun Lake and the new Cocoli Locks and entered the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first LNG tanker to transit the expanded shipping lane that opened in June. Built in 2014, the Royal Dutch Shell-chartered tanker is about 13 meters (43 feet) wider than the largest ships the old locks could handle. The expansion opens the Panama Canal to about 90 percent of the world’s LNG fleet, up from less than 10 percent, allowing these football-field-size tankers to shave 11 days and one-third the cost of the typical round trip to Asia. In July the U.S. Department of Energy predicted 550 tankers could be crossing each year by 2021.

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Shell Calls Force Majeure on Nigeria Gas Supply After Leak

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 09.29.20By Paul Burkhardt and Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: August 10, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its local unit has declared force majeure on supplies to a liquefied natural gas plant in Nigeria because of a leak in a pipeline as the OPEC member suffers from militant attacks on energy infrastructure that are hurting exports.

“The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs,” Natasha Obank, a Shell spokeswoman, said in a statement. The leak occurred on the Eastern Gas Gathering System, or EGGS-1, pipeline which supplies the bulk of Shell’s gas to the Nigeria LNG plant on Bonny Island. Some supply continues through other pipelines, Shell said.

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Crude Slump Sees Oil Majors’ Debt Burden Double to $138 Billion

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22“On the debt, it may go up before it comes back down,” Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry told investors last week. “And the major factor is the oil price.”

By Javier Blas: August 5, 2016

When commodity prices crashed in late 2014, oil executives could look at their mining counterparts with a sense of superiority.

Back then, the world’s biggest oil companies enjoyed relatively strong balance sheets, with little borrowing relative to the value of their assets. Miners entered the slump in a very different state and some of the world’s largest — Rio Tinto Plc, Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc — had to reduce dividends and employ draconian spending cuts to bring their debt under control.

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Idemitsu Family Buys Showa Shell Stake in Bid to Stop Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima, Stephen Stapczynski and Shigeru Sato: August 3, 2016 — 7:09 AM BST Updated on August 3, 2016 — 8:37 AM BST

Idemitsu Kosan Co. founding family descendant Shosuke Idemitsu has begun buying up shares in rival Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK in a bid to block a proposed merger between the two companies.

The Idemitsu founder’s son purchased 400,000 Showa Shell shares and may buy more until his namesake company gives up on the deal, according to a statement distributed to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday. Showa Shell rose as much as 12 percent to 1,014 yen, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year, and closed 3.8 percent higher. Idemitsu fell 3.9 percent to 1,984 yen.

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Oil Giants Find There’s Nowhere to Hide From Doomsday Market

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By Joe CarrollJuly 29, 2016 — 1:02 PM BST: Updated on July 30, 2016 — 5:01 AM BST

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc this week reported their lowest quarterly profits since 1999 and 2005, respectively. Chevron Corp.’s third straight loss marked the longest slump in 27 years, and BP Plc lodged its lowest refining margins in six years.

Welcome to year two of a supply overhang so persistent it’s upsetting industry expectations that the market would return to a state of balance between production and demand. It’s left analysts befuddled and investors running to the doorways as the crude market threatened to tip into yet another bear market, dashing hopes that a slump that began in mid 2014 would show signs of abating.

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Shell: Paradise Postponed

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PHOTOGRAPHER: ANDREY RUDAKOV

By Chris Hughes: July 28, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has delivered a shock.

Weeks after cheering investors with a big plan for living within its means, the oil major’s second-quarter earnings plummeted from $3.4 billion to $239 million. Paradise — a cash-generative company driven by February’s $64 billion acquisition of BG Group — has been postponed.

So much for the benefits of BG. This was the first set of numbers to include a full contribution for the acquisition, and so far the deal has pushed indebtedness higher while introducing a raft of one-off integration costs.

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Next Week Is as Good as It Gets for Big Oil

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ByRakteem Katakey and Joe Carroll: 22 July 2016

Several majors expected to post highest earnings in 3 quarters

Strong performance may not last as oil seen easing back to $40

For oil companies, the second quarter might be as good as it gets.

Shares gained more than in any other industry, thanks to crude rising from a 12-year low. Profits were the best in at least three quarters for majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and BP Plc, helped by cost cuts, analysts say. The rest of the year might not be as rosy as supply holds near record levels.

The combined market value of the world’s oil companies shrank by $2 trillion in the past two years following crude’s collapse. While analysts agree the worst of the oversupply is over, BNP Paribas SA and JBC Energy GmbH are among those forecasting a slide back to $40 a barrel as output rebounds in Canada, Iran, Nigeria and the U.S., hurting producers whose investment cuts have put future growth in doubt.

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The Future of Big Oil? At Shell, It’s Not Oil

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Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 07.42.44The energy giant is shifting to gas as the industry adapts to climate change.

By Matthew CampbellRakteem Katakey and James Paton: 20 July 2016

At Australia’s Curtis Island, you can see Big Oil morphing into Big Gas. Just off the continent’s rugged northeastern coast lies a 667-acre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal owned by Royal Dutch Shell, an engineering feat of staggering complexity. Gas from more than 2,500 wells travels hundreds of miles by pipeline to the island, where it’s chilled and pumped into 10-story-high tanks before being loaded onto massive ships. “We’re more a gas company than an oil company,” says Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive officer. “If you have to place bets, which we have to, I’d rather place them there.”

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How Lower Oil Prices, Brexit Are Impacting North Sea Operations

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Jul 19, 2016 at 7:35 am EST

Thanks to Brexit vote, the oil and gas markets are experiencing significant level of uncertainties. With UK now stepping out of the European Union, many oil and gas companies have reduced operations as they feel that demand may not be as robust as it used to be.

The North Sea is one of the highest cost regions in the world. With the recent development in the UK market, companies fear higher costs, which can derail operations in the region. As reported by Bloomberg, Wood Mackenzie, a consulting firm, has indicated that around 30% of the fields in the region are operating at a loss.

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American Gas Will Be First to Pass Through Expanded Panama Canal

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Naureen Malik: July 19, 2016

Shell set to send tanker carrying U.S. LNG through canal

BP scheduled to send second tanker through the following day

The first cargo of liquefied natural gas set to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal locks will be American.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Maran Gas Apollonia vessel is scheduled to pass through the canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on July 25 after loading LNG from the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the Panama Canal Authority, which oversees the locks’ operations. BP Plc’s British Merchant LNG tanker is expected to become the second to pass through the canal the following day and a third tanker is slated for early August, the agency said in a statement late Monday.

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Getting Ready for Another Round of Commodity Market Downturn

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By Staff Writer on Jul 18, 2016 at 7:30 am EST

Crude oil prices have dropped below the $50 per barrel mark yet again after hitting their highest level in 2016 last month. US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading at $45.97 per barrel while Brent is trading at $47.69 per barrel in European Markets today. The global crude oil benchmark reached as high as $52.51 per barrel earlier in June.

Although oil prices have recovered some momentum after touching 12-year lows of $27 per barrel earlier in 2016, it still has a lot of ground to gain before reaching summer-2014 levels. Oil market showed some positive gains in June when oil prices crossed the psychological barrier of $50 per barrel. However, it was short-lived as it is currently trading below $48 per barrel.

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Uncertainty in the oil price war

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By Ed Crooks: JULY 15. 2016

“War is the realm of uncertainty,” wrote the great Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. “Three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty.”

That applies to price wars every much as it does to the real kind. Almost from the moment crude began falling in 2014, news outlets started running confident-sounding claims that one side or another was winning the battle often depicted as a struggle between Saudi Arabia on one side and US shale producers on the other.

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Shell-Led Group Delays Decision on Canada Gas Export Plan

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By Natalie Obiko Pearson and Rebecca Penty: July 11, 2016

LNG Canada cites industry challenges, capital constraints

Project says it can’t confirm when it plans final decision

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners delayed for the second time this year a final investment decision on a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from Canada’s Pacific Coast to Asian markets.

LNG Canada, which is also backed by Mitsubishi Corp., PetroChina Co. and Korea Gas Corp., cited “global industry challenges, including capital constraints” in announcing the postponement in a statement on Monday.

“Participants have determined they need more time prior to taking a final investment decision,” the joint venture said. “At this time, we cannot confirm when this decision will be made.”

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Einstein Never Knew He’d Help Shell Discover Oil

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By Eric Roston: July 7, 2016

Albert Einstein suggested a century ago that large-scale cosmic violence—two black holes colliding, for example—might send gravitational ripples through the universe like a stone disturbing the surface of a pond. In September physicists in the U.S. conclusively detected gravitational waves for the first time, again proving Einstein right. While it’s a safe assumption he wasn’t thinking about how building a wave observatory might lead to finding oil and gas, two physicists in Amsterdam have started a company betting they can.

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Iraq Inquiry Shows Oil Was a Consideration for U.K. Before War

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British officials held talks with BP and Shell about Iraqi oil

Blair said high oil price was his big “domestic worry”

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By Javier BlasJuly 6, 2016 — 4:27 PM BST

The U.K. government held talks with Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc to ensure British energy companies were “well-placed to pick up contracts in the aftermath” of the invasion of Iraq, according to declassified documents released as part of an official inquiry.

Although the report, overseen by former civil servant John Chilcot, doesn’t explicitly say oil played a role in the war, documents publish on Wednesday show British officials discussed how to obtain “substantial business for U.K. companies” in the energy sector.

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Oil Is Still Heading to $10 a Barrel

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By A. Gary Shilling:JUNE 28, 2016 12:00 PM EDT

Back in February 2015, the price of West Texas Intermediate stood at about $52 per barrel, half of its 2014 peak. I argued then that a renewed decline was coming that could drive it below $20, a scenario regarded by oil bulls as unthinkable. But prices did fall further, dropping all the way to a low of $26 in February. Since then, crude rallied to spend several weeks flirting with $50 per barrel, a level not seen since last year. But it won’t last; I’m sticking to my call for prices to decline anew to $10 to $20 per barrel.

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Brexit impact fades

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Gary Shilling for Bloomberg View suggested oil could drop to $10.

By Ed Crooks: Friday, July 1, 2016

Oil was one of the markets where the initial shock of the UK’s Brexit vote quickly faded. Brent crude was about $51 per barrel as the voters went to the polls last week, and today was trading at about $49.50. 

The 34 per cent rise in oil so far in 2016 has been its best start to a year since 2009, and helped commodities outperform other asset classes over the past six months.

The rise in prices has brightened the mood in Texas, according to a new survey carried out by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. It looks like being a good data source to watch in future.

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Saudi-Iran Conflict ‘Minefield’ for Japan Oil Refiner Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima,  Emi Urabe and Shigeru Sato: Updated on July 1, 2016 

  • Idemitsu founding family says shouldn’t hold stake in rival

  • Co. agreed to buy share of Japanese refiner Showa Shell

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43The conflict between Middle East oil suppliers Iran and Saudi Arabia is playing out between the founding family of one of Japan’s largest refiners and its board.

Idemitsu Kosan Co. agreed last July to buy a stake with 33.3 percent voting rights in Showa Shell Sekiyu KK from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for 169 billion yen ($1.64 billion). Idemitsu has close ties with Iran and shouldn’t be associated with Showa Shell, in which state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. owns a stake, said a lawyer for Idemitsu’s founding family, which “wants the company to let go of the stake.”

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Shell CEO Urges European Governments to Keep Economy Steady After Brexit

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Ben Van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, is seen here in Perth, Australia in April 2016. Mr. Van Beurden urged Europe’s governments to keep the economy steady despite the turbulence created by the U.K.’s referendum. PHOTO: AARON BUNCH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

By SARAH KENT: June 30, 2016 5:49 a.m. ET

Speaking at a conference in London, Ben Van Beurden emphasized the benefits of a single market and free movement of people. “I hope that the future relationship between the U.K. and the rest of Europe will continue to provide conditions for economic growth,” he said.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Recovery Will Strengthen The Rally

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Jun. 29, 2016 4:22 PM ET|

Summary

Royal Dutch Shell’s upstream business has struggled on account of lower oil price realizations, but this is about to change going forward.

With Brent now hovering around $50, the average price of oil has improved in the second quarter and this will help Shell improve its realizations in the upstream.

Shell’s upstream performance could improve further as higher inventory drawdown on the back of weakening production and stronger demand will lead to higher prices.

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