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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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Is Gas The Future? Shell Seems To Think So

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By Gregory Brew – Jul 20, 2016

The world’s second largest private oil company sees a new future, and it’s not in oil.

Shell has made a concerted effort to shift the bulk of its business from oil-related projects to natural gas, LNG and renewables. Coming on the heels of its February purchase of BG Group (a $54 billion acquisition), Shell has organized a division focused solely on renewable energy. It announced new investment for its LNG facility on Curtis Island in Australia, where natural gas has enjoyed $180 billion in new capital. It has emerged as a stronger voice on global climate change than its competitor ExxonMobil and the company’s website proposes a number of “Shell Scenarios” that could allow for a growing energy market while creating less CO2.

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Why Big Oil Is Still A Good Bet For Investors

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Michael McDonald – Jul 20, 2016, 2:23 PM CDT

Investors getting cold feet about the spiking price of Big Oil stocks over the last year may risk missing out on further gains, according to one top ranked analyst. Doug Terreson of Evercore, one of the top ranked oil analysts according to Institutional Investor magazine, is recommending that investors stick with integrated oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and Exxon despite the run up in their prices.

Terreson’s thesis is that many of the catalysts for positive price performance remain in place. In particular, integrated oil companies have effectively reduced operating capital costs permanently, which lowers their breakeven expense to produce oil. The retort to this point of course is that Big Oil stocks may have cut costs but frackers have been much more successful than integrated majors in cutting their costs as a percentage of pre-crash production cost.

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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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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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Shell chair Andrew Smith vows to rein in costs as downturn bites

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ANDREW BURRELL: July 15, 2016

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith says the downturn in the oil and gas industry has strengthened his resolve to rein in costs as he seeks to integrate the company — the nation’s biggest foreign investor — with the Queensland assets of BG Group.

“You have to treat every dollar like it’s your own,” Smith tells The Deal, published in The Australian today, as he reflects on his 30-year career and the massive changes that have hit Shell and the petroleum industry. His mantra even extends, Smith’s colleagues reveal, to their boss’s insistence a few years ago that newspaper subscriptions be pared back in the company’s Melbourne office.

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Chevron Halts Production At Gorgon Plant For Second Time This Year

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By Lincoln Brown – Jul 01, 2016, 3:18 PM CDT

For the second time this year, Chevron has stopped production at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas operation in Australia. The plant had to be evacuated after a gas leak was detected.

Chevron will make the necessary repairs to the plant before restarting production next week. The plant is a joint venture with ExxonMobil, Shell, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric Power. The terminal, which is also owned in part by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, will still load cargo during the interim.

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Shell, BP defy market-sell off on dollar income, dividends

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Business | Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:26pm IST

** Royal Dutch Shell and BP defy a broad market sell-off after Britain’s vote to leave the EU

** Investors cite oil majors’ dollar dividends and income as key attraction points

** A weaker pound makes Shell and BP a cheaper alternative to U.S. peers Exxon Mobil and Chevron

** With dollar-based dividends, which both companies chose due to the underlying oil price, the depreciation of the pound offered automatic gains

** “The oil sector has been the perfect hedge against Brexit,” says Richard Hulf, co-manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, which holds shares in Shell and BP

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Will Buhari’s Visit to Niger Delta Solve Shell and Chevron Problems?

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By Staff Writer on Jun 27, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Problems of international oil and gas companies, including Shell and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), in Nigeria might end in the near future as the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has asked the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to visit the southern region of the Niger Delta. The group has asked the President to hold a referendum in the country and to assess how the multinationals and the government are adversely impacting the locals. The talks between the two parties are expected to bring an end to the political turmoil in the country, which has been haunting Africa’s biggest economy for the past few months.

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Shell puts revamped shale arm at heart of growth drive

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Having turned round its North American shale business, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is putting so-called unconventional energy at the heart of its growth plans, and believes lessons from the revamp can be applied across the company.

Greg Guidry, head of the Anglo-Dutch group’s unconventionals business, told Reuters a drive to slash costs and streamline decision-making had put his division largely on a par with leading rivals in terms of productivity and efficiency.

And now the rest of Shell could reap the benefits too.

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Report: Shell’s Martinez refinery could be sold

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By Sam Richards , [email protected]

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28MARTINEZ — Two published reports Friday say the Shell Martinez Refinery is up for sale, prompted by what are expected to be crude oil prices rising faster than gas prices at the pump.

The reports, one of them from the international news agency Reuters, say the Netherlands-based global energy company Royal Dutch Shell is looking to shed some of its smaller, less profitable refineries ahead of the anticipated price hike for crude.

The Reuters story said Shell and at least three other major oil companies, including San Ramon-based Chevron, have seen dropping profit margins from their refining operations since a peak in 2015 and want to shed some lower-profit operations before crude oil prices rise much further from recent low levels.

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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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Militants Claim Responsibility for Another Attack in Nigeria

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By Staff WriterJun 16, 2016

Oil majors including Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) heaved a sigh of relief when militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) agreed to hold peace talks with the Nigerian government. However, the relief was short-lived when on Thursday the militant group claimed to have blown up another pipeline owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The attack comes as a great setback for oil producers and the Nigerian government as the militant group had agreed to hold talks with them, provided certain conditions were met. The NDA tweeted from one of its unverified accounts:

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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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Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation: Niger Delta Avengers Agree to Peace Talks

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By Staff WriterJun 14, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Finally, Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), Chevron and other oil and gas companies can heave a sigh of relief as the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers has agreed to consider peace talks with the Nigerian government. The group has said that it does not have new demands, as it just wants foreign oil and gas companies to leave the southern region of the Niger Delta and stop oil pollution.

The group said it wants “genuine attitude” by the government and a “conducive atmosphere” to carry out dialogue. This is definitely good news for the Nigerian economy and international energy companies which have suffered badly in the past few months. The Avengers started to attack oil infrastructure in February, when they blew up Shell’s Forcados terminal and under-water pipeline.

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Shell, Total look to expand terminals and power plants in new markets

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Written by Reporter – 13/06/2016 6:00 am

Oil majors Shell and Total are said to be considering building terminals and power plants in new markets.

The move comes after companies have invested billions in plants to help produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in place such as the US and Australia.

Laurent Vivier, president for the gas division of Total, said the company was ready to go downstream “as much as it takes” to unlock gas demand.

He said: “We need to be present in downstream ourselves, to create demand and unlock bottlenecks along the chain including regasification, pipeline and power plants.”

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Coming wave of gas puts focus on finding new shores

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Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.26.15LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO AND OLEG VUKMANOVIC: Sun Jun 12, 2016

Energy giants such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total are looking to build terminals and power plants in new markets to soak up the industry’s rapidly burgeoning supply.

Companies have invested billions in plants to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in places such as Australia and the United States.

But gas demand growth is slowing, prices are down and the LNG volumes companies are set to produce will exceed those even major buyers such as China and Japan can absorb.

That has turned attention to the downstream market and opportunities to create new markets from Ivory Coast to remote Indonesian islands by building gas-fired power plants, pipelines, regasification and storage terminals.

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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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Can This Troubled LNG Project Still Deliver for Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell?

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By Jay Yao: Jun 4, 2016

Australia’s Gorgon LNG is one of the largest liquefied natural gas projects in the world. When complete, the Gorgon is expected to produce 15.6 million metric tons of LNG a year and last for 40 years. For Australia, the Gorgon was supposed to add hundreds of billions of dollars to Australia’s GDP and employ thousands of people. For the companies that invested, Gorgon was supposed to be one of the cornerstones of their LNG portfolios and deliver long-lasting shareholder value.

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Chevron, Shell: Will Nigerian Crude Production Come to a Halt?

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By Micheal KaufmanJun 4, 2016 at 10:50 am EST

The Nigerian government’s problems are only expected to worsen; the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has vowed again to bring the country’s crude oil production to “zero.” In the past few months, the group has attacked oil and gas facilities of foreign energy companies, including Chevron, Shell, and Eni, in a bid to force them to leave the southern region of the Niger Delta. The militants want international oil companies to end oil pollution in the country and give a higher share of crude sale revenue to the locals.

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Chevron Corporation: Another Day, Another Attack In Nigeria

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Shell, ConocoPhillips and Total are also considering to divest their assets in the Niger Delta.

By Micheal Kaufman: Jun 1, 2016

Operations of international oil & gas companies seem to be in a lot of trouble in Nigeria as militant activities have accelerated in the past few weeks. The militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has again targeted a Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) facility today, pressurizing it to leave the impoverished area. This is the fourth attack on a Chevron facility in Africa’s biggest economy.

The militant group said on Twitter that it blew up the energy company’s RMP 23 and RMP 24 crude oil wells in the Niger Delta at 3:44 AM. According to the Niger Delta Avengers, these two wells are Chevron’s largest oil producing wells.

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The death of Opec?

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By Ed Crooks: 27 May 2016

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” That widely-misattributed line, first published by the novelist Rita Mae Brown, has apparently been taken to heart in the oil market at last.

After a succession of Opec meetings that were preceded by fevered speculation about action to support crude prices – mostly recently the much-discussed plan for a production “freeze” that fell apart in Doha in April – no-one has any great expectations for the ministerial gathering in Vienna next week. “The freeze is finished,” one Opec delegate said.

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Militants Blow up Shell, Agip Pipelines in Nigeria

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By HILARY UGURU, ASSOCIATED PRESS: WARRI, Nigeria — May 28, 2016, 10:32 PM ET

Militants blew up strategic gas and crude pipelines belonging to Shell and Agip on Saturday in an increasingly fierce campaign that has chopped Nigeria’s oil production in half, militants and residents said.

A new militant group, calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, reported in social media that they had dynamited the trunkline linking the Dutch-British Shell company’s Bonny terminal and the Brass export terminal of the Italian company Agip. A local community leader Eke-Spiff Erempagamo confirmed the attack.

Nigeria’s oil production had already fallen from a projected 2.2 million barrels a day to 1.4 million barrels before the latest attacks on the oil industry in southern Nigeria, including three within the past week on facilities of the U.S. oil major Chevron. Several companies have evacuated some of their workers.

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Shell Bans External Movement Of Niger Delta Staff Following Attack On Chevron

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28SaharaReporters has learned that the corporate management of Shell Petroleum in the Niger Delta region have ordered that their employees refrain from any external movements between today and 8am on Monday, May 30th. An employee with Shell told SaharaReporters that an email was sent to staff following the latest bombing of the Chevron tank farm in Escravos, Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta State by the Niger Delta Avengers.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: MAY 26, 2016

SaharaReporters has learned that the corporate management of Shell Petroleum in the Niger Delta region have ordered that their employees refrain from any external movements between today and 8am on Monday, May 30th.

An employee with Shell told SaharaReporters that an email was sent to staff following the latest bombing of the Chevron tank farm in Escravos, Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta State by the Niger Delta Avengers.

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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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Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and JOHN SCHWARTZA version of this article appears in print on May 24, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil has been under pressure for over a year to explain its handling of climate change issues in the past. Now the company faces new pressure to explain its future, particularly how it will change in response to a warming world.

At the company’s planned annual meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, shareholders will vote on a resolution to prod Exxon Mobil to disclose the risks of climate change to its business.

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Royal Dutch Shell Clings To Its Dividend

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Casey Hoerth: May 18, 2016 

Summary

  • Management decreased operating expenses 20% year on year in the first quarter.
  • However, record low oil and gas prices have caused a large cash flow gap in Q1.
  • Results should improve in coming quarters, but I still do not expect Shell to become cash flow neutral.
  • I believe the dividend’s days are numbered, even with crude at $49 per barrel.

Upstream energy companies have taken quite a beating over the first quarter of 2016, thanks to record low crude oil prices. Brent Crude hit its $31 low back in January, and as earnings results came in over the last couple weeks, it became readily obvious to me that the carnage was widespread. Even the big integrated names took it on the chin, financially.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) is no exception. Shell has adamantly clung to its dividend since the downturn started, and the company’s balance sheet has suffered as a result. On April 15th Moody’s downgraded Shell from Aa1 to Aa2, and outlook remains negative. It’s not too hard to see why that is.

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Why Jim Chanos is Shorting the Oil Majors

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Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 15.37.54By RAKESH UPADHYAY: May 16, 2016

Famous short seller Jim Chanos is shorting oil majors Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp, according to Bloomberg. He is operating under the belief that the negative cash flows and dividend payments using borrowed money by both the companies is an unsustainable move in the long-term.

He also believes that a preference for electric cars and trucks can seriously dent the demand for crude oil in the near future.

Shell’s current cost of supplies earnings tanked in the latest quarter from $4.8 billion to $0.8 billion. The worrying point was the $4.6 billion in cash flow against an expenditure of $6.1 billion in Capex. $3.7 billion of dividends were distributed to the shareholders, of which the company managed to settle $1.5 billion in payouts by issuing 65.7 million A shares under the scrip dividend program.

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Niger Delta militants kill five people and oil companies evacuate

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Nigerian trade unions called for oil companies to evacuate workers on Tuesday, following two attacks in the Niger Delta which left five people dead. Armed men killed two police officers and three soldiers in separate attacks in a region that has seen a resurgence of militancy.

After coming under fire from militants, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron have evacuated some of their workforce in high-risk areas. Last week, a group known as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) attacked a Chevron oil facility in the Delta and succeeding in blowing up the platform. The NDA went on to claim responsibility for bombing an underwater Royal Dutch Shell pipeline in February. Consequently, Nigeria’s crude output has fallen to its lowest point in 22 years.In a country whose economy and foreign currency reserves are largely dependant on oil and gas, the destruction of its pipelines by such armed groups could be absolutely catastrophic,” strategic consultant Leke Adebayo told The World Weekly. “Bad enough in boom times but in the middle of a crippling recession, the results would be devastating. This provides yet another reason as to why Nigeria needs to diversify its economy as soon as is reasonably practicable.”

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Nigeria: Shell to Continue Operations, Denies Plan to Evacuate Workers

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By Ejiofor Alike: 10 May 2016

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Shell Companies in Nigeria have restated their long-term commitment to the Niger Delta, saying they would continue operations in the oil-rich region despite the spate of militant attacks in recent days.

Shell has also denied evacuating its personnel from the region, saying that it was monitoring the security situation in the region very closely.

A militant group, which has identified itself as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), had attacked Chevron’s facilities in the Escravos area of Delta State last Wednesday and Thursday.

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Shell workers evacuated from Bonga field after militant threat: union

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Mon May 9, 2016 10:57am EDT

Shell workers at Nigeria’s Bonga oil field in the southern Niger Delta are being evacuated following a militant threat, a senior labor union official said on Monday.

“We are aware of the development and the evacuation is being done in categories of workers and cadres,” Cogent Ojobor, chairman of the Warri branch of the Nupeng oil labor union, said. “My members are yet to be evacuated.”

He gave no numbers.

Shell said earlier on Monday that oil output was continuing at its oil fields in Nigeria despite local media reports of a militant attack near its Bonga facilities.

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Shell Evacuates Non-Essential Staff From Nigeria Field

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By SARAH KENT: May 9, 2016

LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC has evacuated nonessential staff from one of its Nigerian oil fields amid mounting militancy in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The company has reduced staff levels at its Eja oil field about 15 kilometers (10 miles) off the coast of Nigeria, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The move follows an attack on one of Chevron Corp.’s offshore facilities last week…

FULL ARTICLE

Chevron Shuts Platform Off Nigeria After Attack

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By SARAH KENT and BRADLEY OLSON: May 6, 2016 

LONDON—Unidentified attackers struck a Chevron Corp. platform off the Nigerian coast this past week, causing an oil spill and forcing the company to shut the facility.

Nigeria’s rich oil fields have a long history of violence and pollution, with oil thieves and industry protesters regularly puncturing pipelines and blowing up installations. In the 1990s, protests over oil spills forced Royal Dutch Shell PLC out of part of the Delta region. Shell later settled litigation accusing it of being complicit in the government’s execution of protesters. The company says the allegations were false.

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

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By Rakteem Katakey: May 4, 2016

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

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

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Multinationals already working the angles on ‘Google Tax’

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“We are aware of taxpayers seeking to use artificial and contrived interim arrangements with the sole aim of avoiding a potential MAAL liability from January 1, 2016,” the ATO said in a taxpayer alert.

In 2014 Shell Australia paid $534 million in finance costs on $12.7 billion of debt owed to offshore Shell companies. But its submission to the Senate tax inquiry showed that while it paid that $169 million interest to a Bermuda associate, the biggest cost was $260.7 million paid to a Shell company in Luxembourg for cross-currency interest rate swap costs.

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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, Agip, Chevron tax evaders, Gov Dickson writes Buhari

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Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt: 21 April 2016

The face-off between Bayelsa State government and multinational oil companies deepened on Thursday with Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, seeking the intervention of the Presidency over tax evasion, flagrant disregard of laws and non-compliance with the rules and regulations of the country.

A press statement from Bayelsa Govt House named the companies that evade tax as Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC); Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC); Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL); Consolidated Oil (CL); Conoil Producing; Brass LNG and Aiteo Energy.

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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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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 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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Royal Dutch Shell plc: Reasons Behind Moody’s Downgrade

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By Micheal Kaufman on Apr 11, 2016

Moody’s Investor Service reduced Shell’s issuer rating and rating of its guaranteed debt from “Aa1” to “Aa2”, and affirmed company’s Prime-1 commercial paper. Both ratings were under review for a potential downgrade, which was initiated on January, 22, 2016. Since January, the firm expected that the global oil prices will remain weak over the medium term and hinted several downgrades in the upcoming few months.

Shell Finance Netherlands Bv, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell – formed for the sole purpose of issuing debt – also had its issuer rating cut from “Aa1” to “Aa2”. Moreover, Shell’s US-based subsidiary, Shell Oil Company, also got its issuer rating cut from “Aa2” to “Aa3” and has been assigned a Negative outlook.

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Shell is streamlining its operations in Malaysia and Norway following its merger with BG Group

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By Micheal Kaufman on Apr 6, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has shipped a cargo of Bintulu condensate from Malaysia to New Orleans, Louisiana, Reuters reported citing a trade source familiar with the matter. This is the first time that the US is importing this type of a condensate from Malaysia.

According to news sources, the Polaris, vessel containing 200,000 barrels of the offshore oil produced by the Malaysian state oil giant, Petronas, left the Malaysian terminal in February. The tanker stopped at Singaporean port, before heading towards Louisiana.

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Maersk Oil considers abandoning Tyra East and Tyra West fields in the Danish North Sea

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Monday, Apr 04, 2016

Maersk Oil has today issued a notification to the Danish gas market. The notification announces that production from Tyra East and Tyra West in the Danish North Sea will cease on 1 October 2018, if an economically viable solution for continued operations is not identified during 2016. Under EU regulatory requirements, a decision to end production must be notified to the market in a timely manner.

The Tyra facilities are approaching the end of their operational life due to a combination of more than 30 years of production and subsidence of the underground chalk reservoir, reducing the gap between the facilities and the sea.

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Shell Ukraine head moves on after challenging tour of duty in Ukraine

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Shell Ukraine head moves on after challenging tour of duty in Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Apr. 02, 2016

After four years in Kyiv, Graham Tiley, Shell’s country chairman in Ukraine, is moving on to a new post in London.

Peter Kerekgyarto, Shell’s operations manager for Central and Eastern Europe, will assume the post of Ukraine country head as well as general manager of the retail business as of April 1.

Tiley was also the chairman of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce, and was replaced by Steven Fisher, CEO of Citibank Ukraine, on March 31.

Before the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2013, Ukraine was poised to become the world’s next exploration success story. Some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Shell, Chevron, Eni and ExxonMobil, entered the market, committing to invest millions of dollars into the industry.

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