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Oil giants hit amid fears of drop in demand

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PUBLISHED: 25/07/2016

The FTSE 100 index was off 20.4 points to 6710.13, as Brent crude sunk 1.9% to 44.83 US dollars (£37.50) a barrel after a report from Barclays warned global oil demand was down amid lacklustre growth from the global economy.

BP dropped 2.6%, or 11.8p, to 440.4p ahead of its interim results on Tuesday, while rival Royal Dutch Shell was also languishing in the red, slipping 2.5%, or 54.5p, to 2093.5p.

Sterling was also under pressure after a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said business optimism had deteriorated at its fastest pace since January 2009 following the Brexit vote.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell: Huge Dividend And Long-Term Growth Ahead

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Wayne Duggan: 20 July 2016

A number of British stocks have been hit hard since the referendum vote to leave the EU, but Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is not one of them. Shares are now up 0.3% since the Brexit vote after initially falling more than 8% during the knee-jerk market sell-off.

With the possibility that the Brexit could severely impact British GDP growth in coming years, RDS.B offers a unique opportunity to invest in a company within a sector that is in a global upswing, a company that has significant international exposure and a company that is committed to maintaining the single largest dividend payment in the MSCI World Index.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell Vs BP plc: Who’s Better Equipped to Tackle the Downturn?

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Jul 15, 2016 at 10:04 am EST

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) finally closed its $52 billion merger with BG group in February. The deal is considered as one of the largest mergers in the oil and gas sector and is expected to help Shell diversify its operations and benefit from cost synergies.

The Shell-BG merger comes at a time when oil prices have plummeted significantly. Oil prices that once traded over $110 per barrel have now tumbled to as low as $50 per barrel. Last year, when Shell approached BG for the first time, many criticized the deal especially because of the 50% premium Shell was willing to pay in a depressed crude environment.

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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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BP’s big bill for the world’s largest oil spill reaches $61.6 billion

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 15.57.32By Steven Mufson July 14 at 7:15 PM

What’s bigger than the value of Ford, Honda or General Motors? As big as the biggest U.S. electric utility? Eight times the size of Staples and Office Depot combined — if a judge hadn’t blocked their merger?

The answer: the $61.6 billion cost to BP of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

On Thursday, BP issued its final estimate of the cost of the spill, the largest in U.S. history. The company said that it would take a pre-tax charge of $5.2 billion in the second quarter of this year and added that would be enough to cover anything that hasn’t been resolved.

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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 Prices and the Brexit: What Just Happened

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IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

By Matthew Dilallo: 24 June 2016

What: Crude prices tumbled on Friday after Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union. By mid-afternoon, oil was down 4.5% and back below $50 a barrel. The sell-off washed over into oil stocks, with British giants BP (NYSE:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A)(NYSE:RDS-B) both following crude downward by more than 5% as of 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Those moves, however, were tame compared to the sell-offs of other European oil stocks, with Statoil (NYSE:STO) and Total (NYSE:TOT) down nearly 6% and 9%, respectively. Even large independent U.S. oil companies were taking it on the chin, with ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) just one among the many oil stocks sliding in parallel with the price of crude.

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Oil Explorers Embrace the Sharing Economy to Drill Cheaper Wells

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Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 23.34.38By Rakteem KatakeyJune 22, 2016 — 12:01 AM BST

The biggest oil-industry downturn in a generation has companies collaborating in ways they never thought possible.

In this global effort, one of the world’s most expensive oil regions intends to lead the way. Last month companies operating in the North Sea started pooling spare parts and tools, and they are even sharing plans on how to drill wells so they can work faster and cheaper, said Paul Goodfellow, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s vice president for the U.K. and Ireland.

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This is a big change from oil’s boom, when costs weren’t such an issue as long as $100-a-barrel crude kept flowing. As companies focus on adapting to prices closer to $50 by making their spending less wasteful, they also aim to boost profitability for years to come by keeping costs low as markets recover.

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Short term strength

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By Ed Crooks: June 17, 2016

This week has brought evidence of contrasting short-term and long-term trends in the oil market. In the short term, demand and supply are both turning out to be stronger than many had expected. The IEA revised up its forecast for oil demand growth this year in its monthly oil market report, but added that rising production would mean global oversupply could persist into 2017.

There are early indications of an upturn in activity in the US shale industry, still faint so far, but ominous for anyone relying on a sharp rebound in crude. And Iran said its oil production had reached 3.8m barrels per day, confirming the strong growth following the lifting of sanctions that was already visible last month. Iran’s oil exports have tripled since late 2015.

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Global oil majors look to shed refineries as crude prices rebound

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NEW YORK | BY JESSICA RESNICK-AULTFri Jun 17, 2016

Global oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are putting small refineries on the auction block as they look to trim lower-margin assets in the face of headwinds from rising crude oil prices.

Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, is soliciting interest in its Burnaby, British Columbia, refinery and gasoline stations, the company told Reuters. Shell is looking for buyers for its Martinez, California, refinery, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters. Shell declined to comment.

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Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) to Increase Exposure to LNG Market

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By Staff WriterJun 15, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) plans to further strengthen its foothold in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, as according to Reuters, the company will sign the Baltic LNG project deal with Russian energy giant, Gazprom in the coming days. The multi-billion dollar deal with London-based BG Group has already increased the company’s exposure to the LNG segment.

According to news sources, Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, will sign the deal at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is also expected to attend the meeting.

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Shell CEO Faces Long Haul in Bid to Pass Exxon as Top Oil Major

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By Rakteem Katakey: June 15, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden spelled out his main goal last week — surpass Exxon Mobil Corp. to become the best-performing oil major. 

“I am determined to get us to that number one place,” he said after outlining the company’s long-term strategy in London. “I want to create a world class investment case for Shell and our shareholders.” 

There are signs Van Beurden is winning over some investors following his record $54 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc. Shell has closed the gap on Exxon for total shareholder returns, which accounts for share prices, dividend payouts and buybacks, after lagging behind for five years. Still, the Anglo-Dutch explorer trails its U.S. rival on a range of other metrics from return on capital and assets to cash flow.

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BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell: A Major Shift in Energy Industry on its Way

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By Gas By Staff WriterJun 13, 2016 at 11:34 am EST

As awareness about the hazardous effects of fossil fuels is increasing, and governments and environmentalist groups are encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, it seems as if a major change in global energy sector is on its way. Over the past few years, the global energy arena has witnessed a number of changes, as coal has lost its dominant position in the industry, while consumption of renewable energy sources has increased in power generation.

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Shell set to retreat from North Sea in global asset shakeup

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.39.18The company has already cut hundreds of jobs from its UK workforce. In the clearest sign yet that Britain’s biggest company will turn its back on the “super mature” North Sea, Shell told investors its planned $30bn sales drive to tackle its debt burden will focus on mature assets in established oil regions.

Shell’s chief executive, Ben Van Beurden, laid out the company’s strategic plan for the rest of the decade, telling shareholders the group plans to leave between five and 10 mature oil regions, which equity analysts have interpreted as a “heavy hint” that UK assets will be included.

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Waiting for Big Oil to clean up its act

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Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.29.07By Jillian Ambrose

11 JUNE 2016 • 7:22PM

“The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.” There’s little disguising the defiance in the words of Exxonmobil chief Rex Tillerson.

In a Dallas concert hall, less than six months after the historic global climate deal in Paris, the long-standing leader of the world’s largest listed oil company locked horns with shareholders in an increasingly familiar battle for Big Oil.

For years, placard-wielding green activists have raised warnings that echo the financial collapse: a “carbon bubble” could leave markets reeling as trillions of dollars’ worth of existing fossil fuel assets become worthless in a low-carbon world.

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Bad news for fossil fuels

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By Ed Crooks: June 10. 2016

Two of the most widely respected energy analysts – BP’s economics team and the International Energy Agency – published reports this week, and both brought bad news for fossil fuel producers. They differed, however, in the focus of their gloomy perspectives. For BP, publishing its 65th annual Statistical Review of World Energy, it was coal that came off worst. As Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, put it in his presentation, “2015 was undoubtedly an annus horribilis for coal”. The shift to natural gas for power generation in the US gathered pace, and there was a second consecutive year of declining consumption in China.

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Britain to shed a quarter of its oil jobs since price fell – industry

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Friday 10 June 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28LONDON (Reuters) – As many as 120,000 oil workers will have lost their jobs in Britain by the end of the year compared to mid-2014 when oil prices started declining and unleashed sector-wide cost cuts, the industry’s lobby group said on Friday.

Britain’s oil industry and indirectly related jobs like supply chain and services are estimated to fall to 330,000 by the end of the year, down from 450,000 in 2014, Oil and Gas UK said in a report.

Major British oil industry employers like Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), BP (BP.L) and Chevron (CVX.N) have all announced substantial job cuts in order to rein in costs as revenues have been hit hard by weak oil prices.

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What Caused Royal Dutch Shell’s Shares To Soar

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Arie Goren: Jun. 9, 2016 6:14 AM ET

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Summary

  • In its Tuesday, June 7, investor meeting, Shell offered a very encouraging update on the company’s strategy, which sets a clear course for stronger returns and free cash flow.
  • Oil prices have shown a significant rebound in the last five months. As such, we can expect much better results for Shell’s upstream operations in the forward quarters.
  • Investing in a supermajor integrated oil & gas company like Royal Dutch Shell will give investors a significant price appreciation when oil prices recover along very generous dividend yielding 7.1%.
  • In my view, we can learn from the company’s new strategy that the dividend is sustainable.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) soared in the last two days after its Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden provided on Tuesday, June 7, an update on the company’s strategy, that according to the company, sets a clear course for stronger returns and free cash flow. Shares of RDS.A have increased 6.43% in the last two days and shares of RDS.B have risen 6.58%.

Since the beginning of the year, RDS.A’s stock is already up 15.7% while the S&P 500 Index has increased 3.7% and the NASDAQ Composite Index has lost 0.7%. However, since the beginning of 2012, RDS.A’s stock has lost 27.5%. In this period, the S&P 500 Index has increased 68.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 91%.

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Shell relinquishes Canadian Arctic drilling rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By Mike De Souza in News, Energy | June 8th 2016

One of the planet’s largest oil companies has just walked away from a large swath of oil and gas reserves in the Canadian Arctic. But it says it hasn’t given up altogether on the prospects of drilling for the fossil fuels in the pristine waters of the North.

Royal Dutch Shell announced it was relinquishing 30 of its oil and gas leases around Lancaster Sound – a region of the Arctic Ocean that the government and local Inuit groups have long tried to protect as a vital habitat for threatened mammals such as narwhals, beluga whales and polar bears.

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Shell Deepens Spending Cuts, Promises More Savings From BG

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By Rakteem Katakey and Ryan Chilcote: June 7, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc cut spending plans further and promised increased savings following its record purchase of BG Group Plc, as Europe’s largest oil company continues to adjust to the slump in energy prices.

Shell will spend $29 billion this year, it said Tuesday. That compares with a May forecast for capital expenditure “trending toward” $30 billion, which was itself down from an earlier projection of $33 billion. Synergies from the BG acquisition will provide $4.5 billion in savings in 2018, up from an earlier estimate of $3.5 billion.

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Even for BP and Shell, North Sea remains a hard sell

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Markets | Thu Jun 2, 2016 7:39am EDT

* High costs, decommissioning hamper deals

* Shell not selling upstream assets at $48/bbl -CFO

* BP fails to sell stake in Forties pipeline -sources

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, June 2 When it comes to the North Sea, there is no such thing as an easy sale, even for oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP.

More than any other region in the world, the North Sea has suffered greatly over the past two years as a 60 percent drop in oil prices, high operating costs, dwindling reserves and a tough tax regime has hit operators hard.

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BP, Shell among bidders to run Qatar oil field – sources

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DOHA | BY TOM FINNBusiness | Wed May 25, 2016 5:20pm BST

Six international oil firms including BP and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have bid to operate Qatar’s largest offshore oil field, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The other bidders are the field’s current operator Maersk, as well as Total SA, Chevron Corp and ConocoPhillips, said the people who spoke on condition of anonymity as the information was private.

The people said state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP) would award the contract for the oil field, which is 80 kilometres (50 miles) off Qatar’s coast and currently produces around 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), in the second half of the year.

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Questions raised over impartiality of Shell’s auditor as it emerges they also worked for takeover rival BG Group

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 22:53, 24 May 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is facing allegations that the firm which signs off its accounts is not impartial.

A leading investor yesterday raised concerns that EY, which has been appointed as auditor of the oil supermajor, had a conflict of interest because it had checked the books of BG Group ahead of its £36billion merger with Shell.

Standard Life, which raised the objection, said it had it had already voiced concerns about conflicts of interest at the Shell annual general meeting last year and said that it voted against the appointment this year and was ‘disappointed’ with Shell’s decision to select EY.

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Shell boss Ben Van Beurden spared shareholder pay revolt

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Jillian Ambrose24 MAY 2016 • 3:17PM

Shell shareholders have approved plans to pay boss Ben Van Beurden £4.3m despite calls from top proxy advisors to vote against his bonus ahead of the oil major’s AGM.

Investors voted 85.83pc in favour of the payout at the meeting in The Hague today.

Mr Van Beurden’s pay packet includes a salary of £1.4m, a bonus of £3.5m, and a pension of £441,000 for 2015, despite Shell reporting its steepest losses in 13 years and a planned job cull of 10,000. He has also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he meets key performance targets.

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NEW FILM EXPOSES SHELL OIL SPILL WORKERS AT SERIOUS RISK FOR CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

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May 21, 2016 (San Diego) — Mark Manning, director of The Road to Fallujah, has been covering the BP Oil Spill for six years. Being immersed in the communities suffering severe health circumstances following that spill and the risky ‘clean-up’ operations using chemical dispersants prompted him to act on the current response to the Shell spill off the Louisiana coast last Thursday.

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Manning released a short outtake from his documentary film on http://www.therisingfilm.tv/ and his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheRisingDocumentary/ highlighting the risks that all spill workers face and the risks that current Shell clean-up contractors are unknowingly facing today.

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Shell cutting back manpower sharply at Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield

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Anthony McAuleyMay 21, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is cutting its workforce sharply at the Majnoon oilfield near Basra in southern Iraq as the government’s financial woes deepen.

Majnoon is one of the five “supergiant” (containing more than 5 billion barrels) oilfields located in southern Iraq, with estimated recoverable reserves of nearly 13 billion barrels, and it has been a major provider of additional funds for the Iraqi government since it started exporting two years ago.

The field employed more than 3,000 at peak construction – three-quarters of whom were Iraqis. But the expatriate workforce had dwindled to 400 amid cutbacks as the government has struggled with both the collapse in oil prices over the past 18 months and the costs of the war with militants in the west of the country.

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Shareholders Outraged At BP, Shell CEO Pay Packages

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Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.17.55…investors will be left holding underperforming oil stocks, whereas oil company CEOs will continue to reward themselves with fat paychecks, disregarding shareholder’s sentiments.

By RAKESH UPADHYAY: May 19, 2016

The massive revolt against the pay of BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, where almost 60 percent of the shareholders rejected the £14m (US$20 million) pay package is a stern warning to oil companies that investors aren’t pleased with the gaping disconnect between performance and pay structure.

Similarly, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden’s 2015 pay package, including pension and tax equalization of 5.576 million euros (US$6.1 million), is likely to face resistance from shareholders as two shareholder-advisory firms have urged them to oppose the CEO’s pay.

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Could Royal Dutch Shell plc drop to 1,000p?

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By Prabhat Sakya – Thursday, 19 May, 2016

Change is an unavoidable part of business. Schlumpeter’s concept of “creative destruction” means that no company can afford to stand still.

For example, the photographic industry, which had always been based on film, made the move to electronic CCD technology, and people now take photos not just using digital cameras but also phones and tablets.

And the television was based on the clunky and expensive cathode ray tube (CRT) for around a century, but now LCD and LED flat screens have transformed this sector.

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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 shareholders advised to oppose CEO’s pay

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Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.17.55LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO: Tue May 17, 2016

Two investor advisory firms have recommended Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) shareholders oppose the CEO’s 2015 remuneration, in the latest sign of rising discontent over pay amid falling oil prices.

Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden’s 2015 remuneration fell 8 percent to 5.135 million euros (£4 million) last year, when the company’s revenue dropped sharply due to low oil prices.

Proxy adviser Glass Lewis said in a report it remains “concerned by the disconnect between bonus payouts and financial performance, and the bonus scheme structure more generally”.

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Royal Dutch Shell Faces Criticism From Glass Lewis on Payment Plans

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Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has faced huge criticism from Glass Lewis, a shareholder advisory firm to award its CEO Ben Van Beurden with a huge bonus in 2015. The shareholder advisory firm further persuaded the shareholders of the oil giant to cast their vote against the payment plans of the company.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Glass Lewis said in a report: “We remain concerned by the disconnect between bonus payouts and financial performance. We find it troubling that the CEO continues to receive payouts at just short of maximum while the company’s financials deteriorate.”

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Philippines investigates Shell and Exxon over climate change

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Emma Howard in Manila: Saturday 7 May 2016

Can Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP be held accountable for the vulnerable communities most affected by climate change?

It’s a question a legal case in the Philippines could answer.

Last month, lawyers for the petitioners met with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body tasked with investigating human rights violations. Their goal was to identify expert witnesses for a hearing into the liability of 50 of the biggest fossil fuel companies for violating the human rights of Filipinos as a result of catastrophic climate change.

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Not-so-Big Oil

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May 7th 2016

IT HAS been a grim decade for investors in international oil firms—among them, many of the world’s biggest pension funds. Even before oil prices started to fall in 2014, the supermajors threw money away on grandiose schemes: drilling in the Arctic and building giant gas terminals. Their returns have trailed those of other industry-leading firms by a huge margin since 2009.

In the past 18 months things have gone from bad to worse. The Boston Consulting Group, a consultancy, calls it the industry’s “worst peacetime crisis”. That is evident in first-quarter results released in the past week by Exxon Mobil and Chevron of America, and European rivals, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total, which bear the scars of a collapse in oil prices to below $30 a barrel in mid-February (see chart).

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Oil rivals cooperate to slash equipment costs: Shell

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSOThu May 5, 2016

Ten oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Chevron (CVX.N) and BP (BP.L) are working together to develop standard production equipment, a rare cooperation among rivals to save money as low oil prices put pressure on budgets.

Bespoke valves, paints and underwater equipment are among the items that could be mass-produced at a cheaper cost, Harry Brekelmans, Shell’s Projects and Technology Director told Reuters.

The companies also want to set up institutions to find future savings after the past two years’ industry downturn led to a near standstill in new project approvals.

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Oil giants should ditch high-cost projects, thinktank says

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Terry Macalister Energy editor: Thursday 5 May 2016

These leading energy companies including Exxon Mobil should ditch high-cost projects in deep water and Canadian tar sands to concentrate on cheaper schemes that make money at low crude prices, says the report, Sense and Sensitivity, by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The report follows shareholder resolutions calling on oil companies to undertake “stress tests” on operations in the face of stronger carbon regulation and weakening fossil fuel demand as countries move to lower-carbon economies.

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Museums face ethics investigation over influence of sponsor BP

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03In May last year Shell was accused of putting pressure on the Science Museum to influence a climate change exhibition it was sponsoring. The charge was denied by the company and the museum but within six months the partnership had been scrapped.

The Museums Association is investigating claims that some of Britain’s most revered cultural institutions have broken its code of ethics in the way they dealt with one of their commercial sponsors, BP.

The move follows the release of internal documents seen by the Guardian that appear to show the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and other institutions bending to accommodate the demands of the oil company.

In May last year Shell was accused of putting pressure on the Science Museum to influence a climate change exhibition it was sponsoring. The charge was denied by the company and the museum but within six months the partnership had been scrapped.

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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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Investors look beyond Big Oil’s worst quarter yet

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LONDON | BY KAROLIN SCHAPS AND RON BOUSSO: Sun Apr 24, 2016

The world’s top oil companies are set to report their worst quarterly results yet in the current downturn but a recent recovery in crude prices is raising hopes the market has bottomed out.

An ever intensifying oil supply glut took global prices to a near 13-year low of $27.10 a barrel on Jan. 20, exacerbating pressure on oil producers already grappling with a more than 70 percent slide in prices since mid-2014.

“The 1Q16 reporting period looks set to be even worse than what we thought was already an especially ugly 4Q15,” said Jason Gammel, equity analyst at Jefferies.

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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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Shell’s divi dominance underlines yield conundrum

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By Taha Lokhandwala: 18 April 2016

According to Capita UK Dividend Monitor, Shell will account for £1 in every £7.50 paid out in UK dividends this year, up from £1 in every £10 last year.

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FULL FT ARTICLE

Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation: Oil Slump Persists, Compensation Packages Take a Nosedive

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By Micheal Kaufman on Apr 14, 2016

The oil slump has persisted for over 18 months now and it’s not surprising that several small and mid-sized companies have yielded to bankruptcy and debt pressures. Previously, the Street analysts were optimistic about the future outlook and the profitability of the oil giants; however, those expectations were reversed when the market situation took a turn for the worse in January.

The oil majors undertook several measures to tackle the slump. For starters, they lowered their capital and operating expenditures, went forth with mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity financing. They have taken the decision to reduce top executives’ pay amid one of the worst commodity downturns in the industry.

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BP shareholders reject chief Bob Dudley’s £14m pay deal

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14 April 2016

BP shareholders have rejected a pay package of almost £14m for chief executive Bob Dudley at the oil company’s annual general meeting.

Just over 59% of investors rejected Mr Dudley’s 20% increase, one of the largest rejections to date of a corporate pay deal in the UK.

The vote is non-binding on BP, but earlier, chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg promised to review future pay terms.

Mr Dudley received the rise despite BP’s falling profits and job cuts.

The final voting figures will be released later, with some major investors abstaining.

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Iran launches talks with Shell

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Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) made the remarks saying “despite the initiation of negotiations, no final agreement has been reached yet.”

In response to a question about the amount of oil sales to Royal Dutch Shell Oil Industry Company in case of sealing a deal, the official estimated that grounds will be provided for selling oil in accordance with pre-sanctions period which amounted to 100 thousand barrels per day.

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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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Lower oil without higher growth

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Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 11.17.16By Ed Crooks: April 8, 2016

The failure of falling oil prices to give much of a boost to global growth has been one of the big issues in the world economy this year. The FT’s Chris Giles gave a magisterial overview of why oil has been the shot in the arm that missed its target, although he raised the more cheerful possibility that the stimulus may simply be deferred until next year.

The correlation between oil prices and share prices has remained in full effect, even though an unexpected drop in US crude inventories boosted oil for a while. Brent crude began Friday at about $40 per barrel, up 48 per cent from its low point in January, but still down 65 per cent from its peak in June 2014.

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Top Shell Oil Trader Stany Schrans Said to Leave Company

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57By Laura Hurst and Javier BlasApril 7, 2016. Bloomberg.com

The head of European oil trading at Royal Dutch Shell Plc will leave the company later this year, a significant departure as the company is one of the biggest traders in benchmark Brent crude.

Stany Schrans has worked for more than 15 years at the company, mostly focused on trading North Sea oil, according to four people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Tarek al Hassan, a senior Shell trader based in Singapore, is relocating to London to replace him, two of the people said. Shell spokesman Jonathan French declined to comment.

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