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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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Royal Dutch Shell Limiting Investment in Chinese Shale Gas

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Apr 3, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) unlike BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) is looking less enthusiastic for the exploration and production of shale gas. As reported by Bloomberg, Shell has indicated that it is not pursuing with the development of the Fushun-Yongchuan shale gas block in the China’s Sichuan province.

The news comes following BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) latest deal for shale gas exploration in the country. Both the parties signed a production sharing contract (PSC) for shale gas exploration, development, and production in China’s Nejiang-Dazu block in the Sichuan basin.

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The downside of cheap oil

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By Ed Crooks: 25 March 2016

Probably the greatest puzzle of the oil crash is why it hasn’t done more to strengthen global growth. The shift in purchasing power from companies and governments of oil-producing countries to consumers puts money in the pockets of people who are more likely to spend it, and that should act as a stimulus. It hasn’t quite worked out like that.

This week the FT launched a series titled ‘Lower for Longer’ exploring some of the reasons why. Number One on the list of likely explanations is the mountain of debts the industry built up during the boom times. Oil and gas company debt almost tripled from $1.1tn to $3tn between 2006 and 2014, according to the Bank for International Settlements, which has done some important research on the issue.  The oil industry, energy markets and the world economy are all struggling with the burden of that debt: the hangover after the oil investment boom of the past decade. Investors have lost at least $150bn in oil and gas company bonds, and over $2tn in equity values.

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Australian Energy Giant Woodside Delays Large Offshore L.N.G. Project

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By STANLEY REED: A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

Woodside Petroleum and its partners, including the energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have decided to delay indefinitely the development of a huge liquefied natural gas project off Western Australia, the company said on Wednesday.

The decision to postpone the project, called Browse, comes as L.N.G. prices in Asia have fallen by around two-thirds since 2014. The slump is attributed to a supply glut set off largely by a building boom and by lower-than-expected demand from major customers like China.

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Time to End ‘Blood Oil’ Disaster in the Niger Delta

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By Richard SteinerProfessor and conservation biologist, Oasis Earth (www.oasis-earth.com): 10 MARCH 2016

The Niger Delta’s legendary “blood oil” disaster has persisted for decades, and is now deepening. Oil in the Delta fuels a dangerous mix of environmental devastation, a violent militancy that has killed thousands, human rights abuses, corporate greed and exploitation, epidemic corruption, massive oil theft, sabotage, repression, poverty, anger and despair. It is time to put an end to this ongoing atrocity, once and for all.

The 30,000 square mile Niger Delta — including rich coastal waters, islands, mangroves swamps, and rainforests — was once one of the most productive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth. But today, after 60 years of oil extraction, the region’s environment and society are devastated — a textbook example of the “oil curse.

The Delta is arguably the most severely oil-damaged environment anywhere in the world. A decade ago, our team of scientists conducting an oil damage assessment in the Delta estimated that each year, some 250,000 barrels (10 million gallons) of oil spill there, an amount comparable to that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska — each year for 50 years. Oil operations have also caused extensive habitat degradation from road building, forest clearing, dredging and filling, thousands miles of pipelines, and chronic pollution from gas flaring and drilling wastes.

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Shell boss takes £300k pay cut after plummeting oil price led to 10,000 job cuts

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By EMILY DAVIES FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 11 March 2016

Shell’s boss has taken an 8 per cent pay cut after a year in which the firm was hit by plummeting oil prices and cut 10,000 jobs.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden’s salary fell from £4.4m in 2014 to £4.02m in 2015.

His total pay and benefits for the past year was £4.3m, a whopping fall from £18.7m in 2014 – though this huge pay packet was largely due to a one-off contribution to his pension following promotion to the top job.

Van Beurden’s pay is in sharp contrast to BP boss Bob Dudley who saw his 2015 pay rise almost a fifth to £13.8m – despite overseeing the company’s worst ever results with losses of £3.6bn.

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Shell CEO van Beurden’s remuneration fell in 2015

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LONDON: Business | Thu Mar 10, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) Chief Executive Ben van Beurden’s total direct remuneration fell 8 percent last year to 5.135 million euros ($5.63 million), the company said in its annual report.

His total package, including pension and tax equalisation, was 5.576 million euros, down from 24.198 million euros in the previous year, mainly due to a significant fall in van Beurden’s pension which was positively affected in 2014 by promotion to chief executive.

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

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

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

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

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Are BP and Royal Dutch Shell Refinery Segments in Trouble?

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Feb 26, 2016

The oil and gas companies have been severely hit by a more than 70% crash in crude oil prices over the past one and a half year. Their only saving grace, however, is the high refinery margin. In 2015, the falling revenue of oil giants from the upstream segment — the likes of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Shell, and BP — was offset by the high margins from the refinery segment.

Bidness Etc here discusses whether in 2016, the energy companies will continue to enjoy the oil refinery boom, or the glut in the downstream segment would weigh down the energy companies’ performance.

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

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

By Javier Blas: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

Despite their size, both companies suffering with cheap oil

Exxon and Shell cutting spending as fast as everyone else

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

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

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Shell’s credit rating cut from AA to AA- following £36bn takeover of gas giant BG Group

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By RUPERT STEINER FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has seen its credit rating slashed following its £36billion takeover of gas giant BG Group.

The credit score of the FTSE 100 oil company – a barometer of its financial strength – was lowered by Fitch from AA to AA-.

Ratings agency Fitch said its outlook on Shell was ‘negative’ in a sign a further cut could follow.

Shell used some of its cash reserves to fund the takeover of BG. Following the completion of the mega-deal on Monday, Shell plans to sell £20billion of assets in the next three years.

However, Fitch warned it downgraded its view on the company because Shell (down 26.5p to 1560.5p) had ‘materially missed the targeted level’ of sell-offs so far. 

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Prisoners draw corporate evil-doers who should be in jail but aren’t

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By Katie Herzog on 18 Feb 2016

Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider created Captured, a project that commissions illustrated portraits of CEOs who aren’t in prison but should be — drawn by actual prisoners.

“Corporations frequently commit crimes any average person would be imprisoned for,” write Greenspan and Tider. “These corporate crimes devastate our environment, economy, and society, yet the companies committing them often get away with only paying a settlement. These payouts do little damage to a corporation’s bottom line and are practically baked into their budgets.”

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Oil majors’ business model under increasing pressure

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Ed Crooks in New York and Chris Adams in London: 14 FEB 2016

Gorgon, a massive liquefied natural gas project off the north-west coast of Australia, is one of the wonders of the modern age. Its $54bn price tag makes it — in nominal terms at least — one of the most expensive engineering projects ever completed. It could also be a monument to a fading era, the last hurrah of Big Oil. In this view of the world, the price crash has been like an asteroid strike: agile shale producers can survive, but the lumbering dinosaurs of big oil are doomed.

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As Big Oil shrinks, boards plot different paths out of crisis

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Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 09.14.51* Companies seek to safeguard growth for when market recovers

* U.S. firms abandon deepwater projects for shale oil fields

* Britain’s BP bets on Egyptian gas, Shell on major acquisition

By Ron Bousso and Terry Wade

LONDON/HOUSTON, Feb 7 As oil and gas companies cut ever-deeper into the bone to weather their worst downturn in decades, boards have adopted contrasting strategies to lead them out of the crisis.

Crude prices have tumbled around 70 percent over the past 18 months to around $35 a barrel, leading to five of the world’s top oil companies reporting sharp declines in profits in recent days.

Executives at energy firms face a tough balancing act: they must cut spending to stay financially afloat while preserving the production infrastructure and capacity that will allow them to compete and grow when the market recovers.

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Corporate earthquakes

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By Ed Crooks: February 5, 2016

Earnings reports from the largest listed oil companies have this week given a series of seismograph readings on the upheaval in the crude market. The implications for investors, employees and suppliers are grim. Worse, those earnings were all recorded in a period when oil and gas prices were significantly higher than they are now.

In a run of generally grim reports, BP’s was perhaps the worst: in 2015 it made a $5.2bn loss, the largest in its history. ConocoPhillips of the US, which after spinning off its refining business in 2012 became the world’s largest pure exploration and production company, was another standout, cutting its dividend by 66 per cent just two months after promising that the payout would be its “highest priority”.

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

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

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

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

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

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S&P downgrades Shell to A+/A-1; keeps door open to further downgrade

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Commodities | Mon Feb 1, 2016 9:28pm GMT

Credit ratings agency Standard and Poors on Monday downgraded oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc to A+/A-1 from AA-/A-1+ and put its long-term credit rating on creditwatch negative citing sliding oil prices.

S&P said Shell’s one-notch downgrade, driven by weaker forecasts for its credit metrics over 2016-2018 and slower profit improvements, excluded the ratings impact of its BG Group Plc acquisition.

Shell had said it was prepared for a downgrade as a result of the BG deal.

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S&P cuts Shell’s credit rating amid oil rout

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1 FEBRUARY 2016

Standard & Poor’s sliced Royal Dutch Shell’s credit rating on Monday…

The New York-based ratings company lowered Shell’s rating by one notch to “A+” from “AA-” and said it may make more cuts in the future.

FULL ARTICLE

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

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1 February 2016

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

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

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Six British multinationals ‘did not pay any UK corporation tax in 2014’

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CHLOE FARAND: 31 JAN 2016

Lloyds, brewer SABMiller and drugs company AstraZeneca were also among the six multinationals not to have paid any corporation tax in 2014, reports the Sunday Times

The same year, the six British companies made a combined global profit of £30bn. 

Shell used a complex corporate structure, a company branch in Switzerland, with hardly any tax rates, and tax havens such as Bermuda to reduced its tax payments. 

In 2014, it paid no UK corporation tax but made a global profit of £19.87bn writes the Sunday paper. 

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Shell and BP brace for profit massacre

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THE carnage unleashed by the crash in crude prices will be laid bare this week when Britain’s biggest energy companies unveil plunging profits, billions in write-downs and confirm thousands of job losses.

FULL ARTICLE

Pension funds at risk as BP and Shell’s near £10bn profits slump sparks dividend payouts fears

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By JON REES FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY31 January 2016

Britain’s biggest oil groups will this week report a near £10billion slump in profits as the calamitous effect of the low oil price takes its toll on the blue chip giants.

Both BP and Shell are expected to see their full-year profits for 2015 slashed by about 40 per cent leading to fears that they will struggle to maintain their dividend payouts to shareholders.

BP is predicted to report profit for the year of $6.8billion (£4.8billion) down from $12.1billion previously, while Shell is set to report profit down to $10.7billion (£7.5billion) from $19billion.

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How Far Will BP plc And Royal Dutch Shell plc Fall If The Oil Price Reaches $20 A Barrel?

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The share prices of these giants could halve… My investment advice for both companies is unequivocal. STEER. WELL. CLEAR.

By Prabhat Sakya – Monday, 25 January, 2016

Isn’t it interesting how, whenever there’s any news, we tend to jump on the negative side rather than the positive? As a commuter, I drive many thousands of miles every year. That’s why it’s great for me that the oil price is falling. And alongside the hundreds of pounds I’m saving on my daily commute, I’ll save a pretty penny on my heating bills over the next few years. Cheap fuel allows the global economy to run more cheaply, and that benefits consumers around the world.

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Shareholder green light expected for Shell BG merger

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MARTIN FLANAGAN: Monday 25 January 2016

Major investors are expected to back Shell’s troubled £36 billion takeover of rival BG Group this week despite reservations that the plunging oil price has made the deal less attractive than when first unveiled last year.

David Cumming, head of equities at Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments, has been one of the most high-profile opponents of the merger, calling it “value destructive for Shell shareholders”.

Some other institutional investors also have concerns about the terms of the deal in the current depressed climate for the oil industry, and it is thought the Shell shareholder vote on Wednesday and BG vote on Thursday could be close.

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Oil Giants Start Losing Safety Net as Refining Margins Squeezed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shell the company most criticised by campaigners

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Sunday 17 JAN 2016

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

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

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

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

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Why Buying BP plc & Royal Dutch Shell Plc Is Utter Madness!

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By Royston Wild – Friday, 15 January 2016

Another day, another chance for further harrowing weakness across stock markets and commodity classes. And so it has come to pass.

Brent values fell even further below the $30 per barrel marker during Friday trade, marking fresh nadirs not seen since 2004. The benchmark has dropped more than 10% since the start of the week, and levels of $60 per barrel seen just six months ago seem a very, very long way away.

While fossil fuel plays (LSE: BP) and Shell (LSE: RDSB) have suffered fresh weakness as a result — the operators’ share prices are down 5% and 12% respectively since 2016 kicked off — I believe investors should resist attempting to pick up a bargain.

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Will Royal Dutch Shell Eliminate Its Dividend This Year?

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Extracts from an article by Lior Cohen: JAN 14, 2016

Shell’s stock shed 10% off its value over the last month, as the price of oil dwindled.

Following this fall, the dividend yield is currently at 9.4% – a historic level.

Some investors think that because the company paid and raised its dividend since WW2, it means it won’t deviate at this stage. But let’s not forget that times are changing. And if Shell were to face say a Gulf of Mexico oil spill as BP (NYSE:BP) encountered back in 2010, you can bet the dividend will be eliminated in a heartbeat – especially in times of low oil prices. But even without a major oil spill, the current oil price environment stresses Shell’s cash reserves.

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BP to Cut 4,000 Jobs as Oil Prices Continue to Fall

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By STANLEY REEDA version of this article appears in print on January 13, 2016, on page B3 of the New York edition

LONDON — The persistent plunge in oil prices has translated into a new round of industry job cuts.

The British oil giant BP said on Tuesday it would eliminate 4,000 of the approximately 24,000 positions in its exploration and production units this year. That would be in addition to about 4,000 jobs that the company cut last year, when it trimmed its work force to about 80,000.

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Is Royal Dutch Shell A Buy At 52-Week Lows?

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Extracts from an article by Mihir Mehta: 11 Jan 2016

Summary

Shell has had a bad start to 2016 and is trading close to its 52-week low, but investors should not consider this as an opportunity despite a strong balance sheet.

Shell’s strong balance sheet is overshadowed by the fact that its gross margin has declined and leverage has increased as compared to big oil players such as Exxon and Chevron.

Shell’s leverage growth of 32% is almost four times higher than BP’s leverage growth, indicating that its interest burden has increased at a faster pace than rivals.

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Oil Prices Decline More Than 5 Percent as Stockpiles Increase

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on January 7, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Oil prices plunged again on Wednesday by more than 5 percent as investors paid more attention to signs that global stockpiles are growing than to increasing instability in the Middle East and North Africa.

The decline in the global Brent oil benchmark price to below $35 a barrel, the lowest level since the depths of the 2008-9 economic downturn and a decline of nearly two-thirds since summer 2014, helped push stock markets lower.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the main benchmark for the United States stock market, declined 1.3 percent Wednesday and breached the psychologically important 2,000 level to close at 1,990.26.

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

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Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 20.08.32Saturday 2 Jan 2016

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

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

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

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

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Royal Dutch Shell Looks To Curtail Capital Spending On Current Down Cycle In Global Oil Prices

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Trefis Team Contributor: DEC 30, 2015 

Oil & Gas companies across the globe are choosing to curtail capital expenditures even though it might mean the loss of growth in future production. Royal Dutch Shell Plc. is also adopting this strategy and recently announced that it is revising its capital spending estimates for 2016. This announcement is the latest in a spate of cost cutting decisions the company has taken in the wake of the extended period of low crude oil prices. We believe that this is the right way forward for Royal Dutch Shell in the near term, and these measures will be beneficial in maintaining the company’s cash profit margins till oil prices begin to recover in the long run.

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Is BP plc Set To Outperform Royal Dutch Shell Plc In 2016?

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If you’re looking to invest in the oil sector next year, Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) and BP (LSE: BP) should be on your hit list.

The two oil giants have many advantages over their smaller peers, such as strong balance sheets, integrated operations and some of the lowest production costs in the business. Indeed, it doesn’t make sense to buy into the smaller producers such as Tullow Oil, Premier or Enquest when shares in Shell and BP are both on offer. 

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Will Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Dividend Be Slashed In 2016?

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By Alan Oscroft – Thursday, 24 December, 2015

When the oil price slumped, the saving grace for BP and Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) was dividends – both had the ability to keep paying dividends from other sources should earnings fall for a few years.

Royal Dutch Shell shares have fallen by 42% since their recent peak in May 2014, but that’s been offset to some extent by a 5.7% dividend yield last year and there’s a massive 7.7% expected for 2015. It’s still not a great overall performance, but compared to the way some smaller non-dividend oil stocks have fared, it’s almost heavenly.

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The many reasons why Shell’s deal with BG will happen in 2016

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How idiotic would its board look if it ditched its current bride at the altar, only to see her hook up with a rival in a few months’ time?

Jim Armitage: Wednesday 23 Dec 2015

It will be the first big test of 2016: will Shell press on with its takeover of BG when the oil price is stubbornly below $40 a barrel? Today, it gave a clear “yes” by publishing its full merger documentation and posting the paperwork out to shareholders. If it was not planning to press on with the deal, it would have found some excuse why not to do so.

The documents rap out a series of reasons why the current bombed-out oil price is not relevant to the logic of integrating these two vast companies. The deal will bring so many efficiencies, Shell promises, that its hallowed dividend will be safer, bringing in more cashflow to pay into the divi pot at as low as $50 a barrel. Few people really think crude is likely to stay below that for decades to come. And, as far as the value of the combined assets goes, it can breakeven at the low $60s, Shell adds.

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