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Opec bends the markets

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-08-16-41By Ed Crooks, December 2, 2016

In 451 CE, the great Roman general Flavius Aetius rallied a motley army of imperial troops and barbarian allies, and halted the advance of Attila’s Huns at the Catalaunian Plains in Gaul, buying the empire some time and temporarily interrupting its long-term decline. This week’s Opec meeting in Vienna had something of the same feel about it.

Opec’s power peaked in the 1970s, and the US shale oil revolution of the past half-decade has threatened to consign the cartel’s influence to history. But by agreeing a deal to cut production on Wednesday, the Opec ministers showed that if they all acted together they could still bend the oil markets to their will, at least for a while.

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Opec cuts neither dead nor alive

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By Ed Crooks November 28, 2016

Opec’s possible production cut is the oil market equivalent of Schrödinger’s cat: neither dead nor alive. When they met in Algiers in late September, Opec ministers agreed the need to reduce output, but left the allocation of the cuts between individual members to be finalised later. If they cannot agree on that, the deal will die. At their meeting in Vienna on Wednesday, the ministers will have to open the box, and we will find out whether or not the agreement is still breathing.

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Shell Tops Ranks Of Ideal Oil, Gas Employers

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By Irina Slav – Nov 15, 2016, 10:10 AM CST

Shell has emerged as the number-one employer in the energy industry, according to a Rigzone survey among 8,400 respondents in more than 100 countries. This is the first survey of this kind since the start of the price slump.

The top 10 of the best employers in the industry, according to the survey, is occupied by Big Oil and Big Oilfield Service, with Chevron at #2, Exxon at #3, and BP at #4. Halliburton was fifth, followed by Schlumberger, Aramco, Total, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International at #10.

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Shell vs BP: which oil giant should you buy?

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By James Connington14 NOVEMBER 2016 

In the hunt for income‑producing stocks, BP and Royal Dutch Shell are two obvious candidates.

Both have so far kept dividend promises made before the oil price crash, leading to hefty yields: 7pc for BP and 6.7pc at Shell. But which firm is better placed to sustain such attractive dividends?

At first glance, it can look like splitting hairs. Each is prioritising dividend payments, although there is little chance of dividend growth.

Both have taken significant action to cut costs and sell assets in response to the lower oil price.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell: The Comeback Is Here

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Alpha Investor: Sunday Nov 6, 2016

Summary

  • Shell posted a massive turnaround in its bottom line last quarter on the back of an improved production profile, lower costs, and higher price realizations.
  • Shell’s financial improvement is set to continue going forward as upstream oil price realizations will continue to improve on the back of a positive demand-supply environment in the oil industry.
  • Oil demand has exceeded supply by 500,000 bpd this year and the trend will continue as the likes of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. continue to reduce output.
  • Shell’s focus on lowering both operating and capital costs will allow it to attain break-even point even if oil prices remain at $50/barrel, which will also improve cash flow.

On Tuesday last week, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) reported impressive results for the third quarter. In fact, Shell was able to achieve a major turnaround in its bottom line performance, posting a profit of $1.4 billion as compared to a huge loss of $6.1 billion in the same quarter last year. This impressive turnaround in Shell’s bottom line was a result of an increase in production as compared to the prior-year period, driven by the acquisition of BG that led to a favorable production mix in the upstream segment.

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Oil chiefs under fire over ‘pathetic’ new climate investment fund

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Emily Gosden, energy editor: 4 NOVEMBER 2016 • 7:53PM

Oil giants including BP and Shell have been pilloried by climate campaigners after disclosing their annual contributions to a much-hyped new green investment fund would be less than BP chief Bob Dudley earned last year.

Mr Dudley and Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden were among industry heavyweights who appeared at an event in London to announce plans by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) to invest $1bn in “innovative low emissions technologies” over the next ten years.

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Hold the champagne

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screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-14-50-16By Ed Crooks, November 4, 2016

If you are looking forward to the oil industry recovery, you shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet.

Over the past eight days, the world’s largest listed oil companies have released third quarter earnings reports. From all of them, the message was that while the worst might be over, they were still facing a long hard road ahead.

The snap reactions from the stock market were mixed: positive for  ChevronRoyal Dutch ShellTotal and ConocoPhillips; negative for ExxonMobilBPEniStatoilPetrochina and Cnooc.

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Oil majors pledge $1 billion for technologies to fight climate change

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By Karolin Schaps and Ron Bousso | LONDON

Some of the world’s biggest oil companies, including Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, pledged on Friday to invest $1 billion to help fight climate change as a global deal to wean the world off fossil fuels came into force.

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which also includes Total, BP, Eni, Repsol, Statoil, CNPC, Pemex [PEMX.UL] and Reliance Industries, has established the Climate Investments fund which will help develop carbon-reducing technologies over the coming ten years.

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BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc aren’t out of the woods just yet

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By Ian Pierce – Friday, 4 November, 2016

It’s been a good few weeks for investors who kept faith in oil majors’ ability to survive slumping prices. First there was the OPEC supply cut agreement made in Algeria and then Q3 earnings season rolled around and included a slew of positive trading updates. (LSE: BP) posted a $1.6bn replacement cost profit, a 34% jump from last year’s number. And Shell (LSE: RDSB) earned $1.4bn on a current cost of supplies basis, a long way from the $6.1bn loss recorded this time last year.

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Oil majors join forces in climate push with renewable energy fund

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By Ron Bousso | LONDON

Top oil companies including Saudi Aramco and Shell are joining forces to create an investment fund to develop technologies to promote renewable energy, as they seek an active role in the fight against global warming, sources said.

The chief executives of seven oil and gas companies — BP, Eni, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total — will announce details of the fund and other steps to reduce greenhouse gases in London on Friday.

The sector faces mounting pressure to take an active role in the fight against global warming, and Friday’s event will coincide with the formal entry into force of the 2015 Paris Agreement to phase out man-made greenhouse gases in the second half of the century.

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Oil stand-off threatens dividends at BP and Shell amid fears that a deal to prop up prices is about to collapse

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By SABAH MEDDINGS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 23:34, 1 November 2016 | UPDATED: 23:34, 1 November 2016

Dividends at BP and Shell are set to come under threat as fears grow that a deal to prop up oil prices is about to collapse.

The two oil giants yesterday reported better-than-expected results – and gave a boost to their millions of small shareholders by protecting payouts.

But they have only been able to keep their dividends after slashing billions of pounds in costs following a collapse in the oil price from $112 a barrel in 2014 to less than $30.

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Shell and BP tighten the belt over low oil prices with spending cuts

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-11-05-51PUBLISHED: 07:22, Wed, Nov 2, 2016 | UPDATED: 07:41, Wed, Nov 2, 2016

The FTSE 100 rivals warned investors not to expect a big upturn next year as they plan for prices in the low $50s-per barrel compared with current rates of about $48 for Brent.

But their efforts to balance investment in future growth while battling tough trading conditions and rising debt met with contrasting reactions as Shell’s share price rallied 84p to 2199p while BP slumped 21¾p to 462p.

Shell, whose £35billion acquisition of BG Group made it the world’s top liquefied natural gas producer, boosted underlying net profit for the three months to the end of September by 18 per cent to $2.8billion, compared with analysts’ forecasts of $1.71billion.

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BP And Shell Optimistic The Market Is Turning

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screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-16-01-19By Nick Cunningham – Nov 01, 2016, 6:23 PM CDT

BP and Royal Dutch Shell reported their latest financial figures for the third quarter and both companies showed some improvement, a sign that the oil markets are starting to find their footing.

A few days ago, some of the other oil majors released third quarter earnings, revealing the ongoing damage being done to the balance sheets of even the largest oil companies. But BP and Shell offered some reasons for optimism for the industry.

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No let-up for Royal Dutch Shell and BP amid oil price crash

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Taken together, the lesson of the past six months is that both UK-listed oil majors remain under intense pressure from weak oil prices but are making progress towards reshaping their businesses to cope with the slump.

Yet, the scale of the financial gamble was evident in the tripling of Shell’s net debt from a year ago to almost $78bn at the end September. This represented a debt-to-equity ratio of 29.2 per cent, close to the 30 per cent level which Shell has previously declared as the upper limit at which it was comfortable operating.

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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’s earnings beat Exxon as oil majors adapt to low prices

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By Ron Bousso and Karolin Schaps | LONDON

Royal Dutch/Shell and BP on Tuesday joined peers in reporting higher than expected earnings by making further deep cuts in spending to cope with an oil price downturn now in its third year.

Shell’s stocks rose by over 3 percent as it announced higher quarterly earnings than arch-rival U.S. Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest listed company by output. Anglo-Dutch Shell is hoping to outgrow Exxon over the next few years after acquiring rival BG for $54 billion earlier this year.

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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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Fitch: Batteries could be key disruptor to oil industry in “investor death spiral”

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Oct 18 2016, 12:45 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Oil producers such as ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) must prepare for radical change as adoption of new technologies like electric cars could happen faster than originally anticipated, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.

“Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry,” and an acceleration of the electrification of transport infrastructure could create an “investor death spiral” as investors flee the oil patch, Fitch warns.

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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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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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Oil: OPEC Finally Agrees And Investor Takeaways

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Dividend Income: 5 October 2016

Summary

  • OPEC has agreed to put a ceiling on oil production at 32.5 million barrels per day, representing a 900k cut from its current output at 33.4 million.
  • The news supported oil’s rise by nearly 10 percent, and benefits some companies significantly more than others.
  • The author still recommends to stay away from offshore, but upstream producers with lower break even cost could be an attractive investment. Integrated majors’ dividends are also safer than ever.

News Summary

To the surprise of everyone, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Nations (OPEC) has agreed to put a ceiling on oil production at 32.5 million barrels per day, which is significantly less than its current 33.4 million barrels per day of production. The news has helped oil price rally nearly 10% to almost $51.50 per barrel Brent.

In this article, I will try to dissect the news and its effect on integrated majors, upstream producers and offshore producers. Of course, the news benefit some of these companies significantly more than others, which are actually unaffected or evenly negatively affected by the news. Similarly, I will analyze how it will affect the United State Oil ETF (NYSEARCA:USO) and other oil related ETFs going forward.

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Shell, Chevron Drop Off Platts Top 10 Energy Firm List

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screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-21-16-05By Irina Slav – Oct 03, 2016, 10:26 AM CDT

Shell and Chevron were among the international oil giants that fell off the top 10 companies of 2016 in the S&P Platts’ annual ranking of the 250 biggest companies by assets and revenues. The asset value and revenue figures are all for 201—the year when the oil price collapse really began to be felt.

The USA Today quotes Platts as saying the changes in the top 10 segment reflected the continuing depression on international oil markets. The price slump, Platts said, hit oil and gas majors’ earnings hard, and it also led to a serious devaluation of assets, meanwhile benefiting companies with stronger downstream operations, pure-play refiners, and power utilities.

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Opec’s unclear resolve

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Opec’s unclear resolve

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By Ed Crooks, September 30, 2016

After two years of inaction as a strategy, Opec this week decided to do… something. Exactly what it will end up doing has yet to be determined.

When Opec ministers met at a beach resort in Algiers, they agreed a statement setting a target for their oil production that is roughly 250,000-750,000 barrels per day lower than the cartel’s current output. The big missing piece from the deal, though, was how the cartel’s members would share out the cuts needed to reach that target. A “high-level committee” of representatives from member states, supported by the Opec secretariat, will work on recommendations for individual countries’ cuts, which could be confirmed at the next ministerial meeting, in Vienna on November 30.

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Is OPEC’s Output Deal A Game Changer For Royal Dutch Shell And BP?

Is OPEC’s Output Deal A Game Changer For Royal Dutch Shell And BP?

Royston Wild: Sept 29, 2016

Investors in the fossil fuel sector have finally had cause to celebrate this week after OPEC suggested that an output freeze could finally be in the offing.

The idea had initially been tabled at the start of the year as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and Russia got around the table. But Iran’s determination to get the pumps ramped back up to pre-sanction levels put the plan firmly on the backburner.

However, with Tehran’s reluctance to take part in a deal now apparently thawing, stock pickers have become more optimistic over the growth outlook for many of the oil industry’s major players.

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Shell and BP shareholders can use votes to make firms go green, campaign group says

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Written by Mark Lammey – 29/09/2016 7:42 am

A campaign group is urging Shell and BP shareholders to use binding votes on pay plans to encourage bosses to embrace green energy, a news report said yesterday.

ShareAction said sticking with old remuneration policies that reward executives for digging for oil would lead to both companies becoming obsolete and going bankrupt, The Guardian reported.

In line with rules introduced in 2013, large companies like Shell and BP face binding shareholder votes on three-year pay policies next year, the report said.

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Shares in oil giants BP and Shell surge on production cut deal

Shares in oil giants BP and Shell surge on production cut deal

The agreement by OPEC countries boosts hopes for a sector which has seen mass job cuts, but could push up prices at the pump.

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Thursday 29 September 2016

Shares in Royal Dutch Shell and BP have surged after top oil producing countries agreed to cut production for the first time in eight years.

Shell climbed 6% and BP was up 4% following the decision by OPEC – with other commodity firms also performing strongly.

The stocks helped the FTSE 100 Index turn 1% higher, with improvements also seen in French and German markets, following an upturn for Asian shares overnight.

OPEC’s agreement on Wednesday helped the price of a barrel of Brent crude climb above $49 overnight, before slipping back slightly.

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BP and Shell investors urged to reward bosses for backing green energy

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Shareholders should use binding votes on pay policies next year to push executives to stick to climate goals, says ShareAction

Sean FarrellThursday 29 September 2016 00.01 BST

Shell and BP’s pay plans encourage their bosses to dig for oil instead of investing in low-carbon energy and should be overhauled by shareholders, according to the campaign group ShareAction.

Investors in the oil companies should use binding votes on pay policies next year to scrap short-term targets and reward chief executives for working towards the target set in Paris last December to limit global temperature increases to 2C or less, the responsible investment group says in a report.

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Shell’s 70-year dividend record at risk

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By Lee Wild | Thu, 22nd September 2016

Running an income fund has been fairly straightforward for the past few years. Drug giants like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN) have kept up shareholder returns and the telecoms sector has offered rich pickings. So have BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB). However, income plays are becoming more expensive, and now we’re hearing that Shell’s dividend record is in serious danger.

Shell has not cut the dividend since the Second World War; it’s a fact we love to repeat whenever the conversation turns to the oil sector and dividends. And, despite a 55% rally since late January, the shares still offers a prospective dividend yield of 7.3%.

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Shell and BP have lost billions – now the low price of crude is hurting other firms too

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 September 2016

Oil is slowly climbing back to $50 a barrel as a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia and an agreement on production in Venezuela helped to stabilise prices.

The production agreements could finally give some assurances to dozens of companies who have suffered since crude slumped from $114 a barrel in 2014 to $28 early this year.

Oil supermajors such as BP and Shell have been high-profile casualties, losing billions in profits.

They’ve written off billions of pounds and have had to slash tens of thousands of jobs as they change their businesses to cope with the reduced profits.

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FTSE 100 edges higher but BP and Shell slip on oil glut fears

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Nick FletcherTuesday 13 September 2016 11.18 BST

Oil shares are among the biggest fallers after crude prices slid further in the wake of a downbeat report from the International Energy Agency. The agency said the oil market would be oversupplied until at least the first six months of 2017, given a sharp slowdown in demand and rising stocks. A month ago it predicted suppy and demand would be broadly in balance for the rest of the year, and inventories would fall sharply.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said:

The IEA has joined OPEC in pouring more cold water on the oil price this morning. After OPEC flipped its prediction of dwindling non-OPEC supply in 2017, instead warning that it was set to rise due to a major new oilfield in Kazakhstan coming online, the IEA has issued a stark warning that the pickup in demand seen in the first half of the year has completely evaporated. It has cut its demand forecasts for the second half and the whole of 2017 and is now predicting the glut will remain in the global market for the whole of next year. Oil prices are down this morning, although the real capitulation could come towards the end of the month if OPEC and Russia fail to agree a supply freeze

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Shell begins production at world’s deepest underwater oilfield

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Simon BowersSunday 11 September 2016 17.15 BST

Royal Dutch Shell has started production at the world’s deepest underwater oil and gas field, 1.8 miles beneath the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest costly addition to Shell’s production capacity comes despite Van Beurden’s repeated pledges on climate change. In May, he said: “We know our long-term success … depends on our ability to anticipate the types of energy that people will need in the future in a way that is both commercially competitive and environmentally sound.”

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Why I’m expecting Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc to plummet!

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By Royston WildThe Motley Fool: Friday, 2 September, 2016

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Investor appetite for the oil segment has taken a knock in recent weeks as fears of a prolonged supply glut have weighed.

British majors Royal Dutch Shell(LSE: RDSB) and BP(LSE: BP) have seen their share prices slip 10% and 7% respectively during the past six weeks, for example. And I believe a sharper retracement could be just around the corner.

Stocks keep surging

Broker predictions that the oil market is set to balance later this year are being put under increased scrutiny as already-plentiful stockpiles continue to build.

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Speculation rises over Opec output freeze

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By Ed Crooks: September 2, 2016

Over the past month, the big stories in the oil market have been speculation about a possible production freeze from Opec, and the reality of rising activity in the US shale industry.

The rumours of Opec action have followed the pattern that has become wearingly familiar over the past couple of years, since the landmark meeting in November 2014 confirming that Saudi Arabia was not prepared to cut production to try to stabilise prices.

As the meeting – in this case, a gathering on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algiers on September 26-28 – grows nearer, suggestions that a freeze will be discussed grow louder. Venezuela, which has the most urgent need for a higher oil price, sounds the most enthusiastic about curbing production. Other countries make supportive statements and agree to meet, without promising any action themselves.

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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 Looking Beyond Petroleum

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There are many players looking to enter the oil markets thanks to the raft of deals available as the oil price crash appears to be over. For the oil majors, this will likely mean major opportunities to snap up unconventional producers and assets at low valuations. One “oil” major that may not be participating is Shell. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is increasingly turning away from its roots in oil and moving towards natural gas as an alternative.

In the year 2000, 37 percent of Shell’s production was from natural gas. By 2015, that number had risen to 49 percent. For ExxonMobil, those figures were 40 percent in 2000 and 43 percent in 2015. For Chevron and BP, the 2000 figures were 27 percent and 40 percent respectively, and for 2015, it was 33 percent and 38 percent. Among oil majors, only ConocoPhillips has seen a comparable shift to gas going form 33 percent to 43 percent gas production between 2000 and 2015.

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Shell Sells Gulf Of Mexico Asset, But Faces A Tough Road Ahead

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 23.13.17Sarfaraz A. Khan: Aug. 31, 2016 3:20 PM ET

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. GoM to EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash.
  • The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves.
  • The company, however, has made little progress toward achieving its target of selling $6Bn to $8Bn assets this year and $30Bn by 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) has recently agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Houston-based EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash. Shell was pumping 25,000 barrels of oil per day from these offshore properties, which was equivalent to 5.8% of the oil giant’s Gulf of Mexico production or less than 1% of its total production.

The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves which stood at $15.2 billion at the end of June. Shell intends to sell $6 billion to $8 billion of assets this year. Overall, the company aims to dispose $30 billion of assets, spread in 5 to 10 countries and representing 10% of its production, by 2018. That will allow the company to reduce its debt which has ballooned following the $53 billion takeover of BG Group.

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Joint-venture partners in Browse open to new options

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BRIDGET CARTER, GRETCHEN FRIEMANN:

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 30, 2016

The one thing that the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse project has never had much of is unity among the project partners. But that may quietly be changing.

DataRoom understands that the various joint-venture partners in Browse are open to new development options for the project, and that the pipeline option floated by Woodside last week is increasingly being seen by all the partners as the most sensible plan as it stands today.

Woodside chief Peter Coleman told journalists on Friday that the option of connecting Browse to the big but ageing North West Shelf liquefied natural gas plant via a massive 1000km subsea pipeline was back on the table.

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Is energy industry ready to join open source world?

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By David Hunn: August 26, 2016

Landmark, a technology unit of the energy services company Halliburton, is betting that it is, unveiling a cloud-computing platform last week that will allow companies to collaborate on developing software to process the massive volumes of data they collect on everything from geology to seismology to chemistry to drilling to flows of oil and gas. The idea is that easy and open access to the code on which the platform is based will lead to faster and better analysis of the data and ultimately to innovations that allow the industry to extract more oil and gas at lower costs.

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Why I’ve sold all of my Shell and BP shares, by manager of £543 million

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22Bailey concluded his comments with the remark that the Shell dividend is uncovered. That means the company is not generating enough cash to pay the dividend itself.

David Thorpe 25 Aug 2016

Stephen Bailey, who runs the Liontrust Macro Equity Income fund has revealed the reasons why he has sold all of his shares in Shell and BP.

He began selling his Shell shares about a year ago, and completed the sale, ‘during the month of August’ 2016.

Bailey commented, ‘A year ago we had 9 per cent of the fund in oil, now it’s zero. You have to look at the macro view on this, and be very concerned about the oil market. The big suppliers in the market can no longer be controlled by OPEC, the Saudis recently announced an initiative called project 2030 which is aimed at boosting other areas of the economy, and they are doing that because they expect to receive less revenue from fossil fuels in the future.’  

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Can OPEC save BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc?

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By Ian Pierce – Thursday, 25 August, 2016

Oil majors must long for the halcyon days when a sustained period of low crude prices could be expected to send OPEC riding to the rescue with sweeping production cuts and a promise to boost global prices. Now, two years into a global supply glut that shows few signs of lifting, do oil majors need an OPEC to finally take action?

BP (LSE: BP) wouldn’t say no to the help. Interim results released last month saw underlying replacement cost profits, its preferred metric of profitability, slump 67% year-on-year. Add in a $2bn statutory loss for the period and net debt leaping to $30.9bn and worries have rightly begun to proliferate that dividends will be slashed sooner rather than later.

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Oil major debt climbs to record high as crude prices continue to wallow

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Billy Bambrough is City A.M.’s deputy news editor. Wednesday 24 August 2016

Some of the biggest global oil majors are being weighed down by record levels of debt.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron hold a combined net debt of $184bn (£138bn) — more than double their debt levels in 2014, according to analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

The drop in the oil price has been blamed for the soaring debt levels. The price of a barrel of oil remains less than half of what it was in the summer of 2014.

The enduring low oil price and soaring debt levels have caused some investors to question whether the majors will be able to fork out for new investments and dividends in coming quarters.

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Largest Oil Companies’ Debts Hit Record High

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By SELINA WILLIAMS and BRADLEY OLSON: Aug. 24, 2016 

Executives at BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron have assured investors that they will generate enough cash in 2017 to pay for new investments and dividends, but some shareholders are skeptical. In the first half of 2015, the companies fell short of that goal by $40 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of their numbers.

“Eventually something will give,” said Michael Hulme, manager of the $550 million Carmignac Commodities Fund, which holds stakes in Shell and Exxon. “These companies won’t be able to maintain the current dividends at $50 to $60 oil—it’s unsustainable.”

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Cash flow problems at Shell?

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By Roland Head – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Oil and gas giants Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) and (LSE: BP) have been among the top performers in the FTSE 100 so far this year. Shell stock is worth 31% more than at the start of January, while BP is up 23%.

But these gains don’t seem to reflect the weak state of the oil market or both companies’ rapidly-growing debt piles. Are investors turning a blind eye to the risk of a dividend cut in pursuit of the 7% yields available on both stocks?

Cash flow problems at Shell?

Shell’s interim results showed that the firm’s net debt has rocketed from $25.9bn one year ago to $75.1bn today. Much of this is due to the BG acquisition. I expect Shell to be able to refinance a lot of BG’s debt at much lower interest rates than those paid by BG.

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

BAGHDAD/BASRA – | BY AHMED RASHEED AND AREF MOHAMMED: Business | Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:05am EDT

Iraq has reached agreement with BP, Shell and Lukoil to restart stalled investment in oil fields the firms are developing, allowing projects that were halted this year to resume and crude production to increase in 2017, Iraqi oil officials said.

The agreements, reached in July and August, effectively delay to the second half of the year projects that the three companies had planned to carry out in the first half, which had been suspended because of low oil prices.

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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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Is this the beginning of the end for Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc?

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By Rupert HargreavesThe Motley Fool  Aug 4, 2016

Over the past 10 years, the oil industry has changed dramatically. Technological advances have helped reduce the cost of extracting oil from unconventional sources significantly, and as oil prices have plunged over the past two years, shale oil producers have ploughed more time and resources into pushing costs even lower.

As a result of this unrelenting drive to reduce costs and improve efficiency, it’s estimated that the majority of US shale fields can break even with oil at $60 a barrel. Scott Sheffield, the outgoing chief of Pioneer Natural Resources claims that Pioneer’s pre-tax production costs have fallen to $2.25 a barrel.

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How Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP Are Affected by Low Oil Prices

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:57 am EST

Just when you thought oil prices will rebound they got even worse. The last few weeks have been quite eventful for the oil and gas industry, with companies releasing their second-quarter earnings. The quarter hasn’t been as rewarding for integrated oil and gas majors.

The decline in crude oil price has persisted for quite a while now. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.50% at $41.40 per barrel, while Brent Crude was down 0.32% at $43.39 per barrel, earlier today.

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