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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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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 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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Nigerian Federal Government slams oil firms, including Shell, with N2trn lawsuit over alleged oil fraud

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By Dimeji Akinloye: 4 March 2016

The federal government has reportedly filed lawsuits against multinational oil corporations – Shell, Chevron, Agip and other major oil companies for failing remit N2 trillion crude oil revenue.

The revenue not declared between 2011 and 2014, according to Ynaija, runs into over 57 million barrels of crude oil shipments.

As contained in the lawsuits, which were filed on Thursday, March 3, at a Federal High Court in Lagos, the decline in crude oil revenue recorded in 2014 “necessitated an intelligence based gathering of data, which showed that part of the reasons for the decline in the revenue from crude oil exploration was the refusal to declare and/or under-declaration of crude oil shipments”.

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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 Passes Chevron To Become No. 2 Oil Giant

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Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 08.12.50Tuesday 16 February 2016

London-listed Royal Dutch Shell has overtaken California-based Chevron to become the world’s second biggest non-state owned oil company.

The move comes after Shell completed the acquisition of BG Group which nudges its value to £133bn – now in excess of Chevron £112bn market capitalisation.

The £36bn acquisition of BG group by the Anglo dutch company was completed on February 15 having first been mooted in April 2015.

The deal – the industry’s biggest this decade – comes against a backdrop of falling oil prices.

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Shell pursues transition plan after sealing $53 billion BG deal

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LONDO | BY RON BOUSSO: Monday Feb 15, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) on Monday sealed the $53 billion (36 billion pounds) acquisition of British rival BG Group to form the world’s top liquefied natural gas company, even as slumping oil prices cast a shadow on the upcoming years of transition.

The success or otherwise of the complex merger will define the legacy of Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, seeking to transform Shell into a more specialized group focused on the rapidly growing LNG market and deepwater oil production.

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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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Will 2016 Be Royal Dutch Shell’s Worst Year Yet?

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There is a lot of pessimism regarding shares of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). Despite strong cash flow results behind its less-than-stellar earnings results, shares of Shell have been sinking faster than its Arctic drilling rigs (too soon?).

Over the past 18 months, the company has lost more than half of its market capitalization while its largest peers, ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), have seen more modest declines.

Unlike ExxonMobil and Chevron, which are continuing with business as usual with their development plans and slowing capital budgets, Shell is also in the middle of a transformative acquisition that could shape the company’s future for decades. With that added uncertainty of what Shell will look like post BG Group merger, and oil prices in the $30 per barrel range, some investors may be wondering if 2016 will be a rough one to be a shareholder.

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Does the Shell/BG Group Deal Make Sense With Oil at These Levels?

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On April 8, 2015, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-B) announced the terms of an agreement to buy BG Group for 383 pence in cash (or $5.51 per share) and 0.4454 Shell B Shares. If shareholders of both companies approve the deal when they vote on Jan. 28 and 29, the combined company will become the largest publicly traded LNG producers in the world, with more than double the reserves of ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). And it would catapult Shell into becoming the world’s second-largest non-state oil company in the world from a market cap perspective, ahead of Chevron (NYSE:CVX). 

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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 in bed with the President of Argentina?

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Dear John,

It has taken some time to send you my promised request for information, but I’m now fulfilling my commitment. 

I’m an Argentinian independent journalist. Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

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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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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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Shell Philippines says will exhaustively challenge 53.14 billion peso tax claim

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MANILA | BY NEIL JEROME MORALES: Fri Dec 18, 2015

The Philippine unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will exhaust all legal means, including international arbitration, to challenge a 53.14 billion peso (£751.8 million) tax claim against its Malampaya natural gas project, a company official said on Friday.

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V, is the operator of Malampaya in the southwestern Philippines, along with partners, Chevron Malampaya LLC, a unit of the U.S. energy firm (CVX.N) and the Philippines’ state-owned PNOC Exploration Corp.

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Shell Has Underperformed, But It Could Be The Only Oil Major That Emerges Bigger From The Downturn

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47…the company’s profits plummeted 70% from last year to $1.77 billion…

Sarfaraz A. Khan: Sunday, Dec 6, 2015

Summary

  • The oil major Royal Dutch Shell is closing in on its biggest-ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group.
  • Shell has been the worst performing stock in its peer group and now offers an above average yield of 7.8%.
  • But Shell is generating enough cash from operations and asset sales to cover its spending.
  • More importantly, Shell could be the only oil major that emerges even bigger from the downturn.

The oil major Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) is closing in on its biggest ever merger with the UK based oil and gas producer BG Group (OTCQX:BRGYY). On Wednesday, the Anglo-Dutch oil producer revealed that it has received a green signal from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board following an approval from the country’s anti-trust regulator received last month. The BG Group is one of the major players in Australia’s rising LNG sector where the company has invested more than $20 billion on developing the Queensland Curtis LNG plant.

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BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell and Others up in Arms against Coal

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By Micheal Kaufman on Dec 2, 2015

Environmentalists are winning the race against energy companies, as the world tries to adopt environmental-friendlier ways of energy generation. World leaders from over 19 countries and prominent personalities such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are at the UN Climate Summit in Paris, which has been ongoing from November 30 and will continue until December 11.

Energy Companies Coming in Front

The growing concern over global warming and rising temperatures has lined up global energy companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) and Total SA (ADR) (NYSE:TOT). These companies have recently teamed up to support climate change and asked authorities to consider a carbon tax.

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Lorraine Mitchelmore is stepping down as the head of Shell Canada. But she’s not going quietly.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47NOVEMBER 18, 2015 10:20 AM

Extracts

Shell has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent per barrel from its oilsands business in the past five years, through many small efforts, including making more efficient use of its trucks.

Yet that hasn’t stopped Shell from being a target and paying a high price for the anti-oilsands campaign.

Last month it cancelled the 80,000-barrels-a-day Carmon Creek oilsands project in Peace River in mid-construction, taking a $2-billion impairment charge.

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Shell vessel heads to deep Gulf waters amid region’s uncertainty

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Posted on November 13, 2015 | By Collin Eaton

HOUSTON — Royal Dutch Shell’s newest oil-production vessel began a 15,000-mile journey this week from a Singapore shipyard to the world’s deepest underwater oil field, tasked with adding more crude to a worldwide oil glut that could upend industry plans to venture deeper offshore.

The $1 billion globe-trotting ship is bearing toward the Gulf of Mexico, and is set to become the fourth ultra deep-water production facility to extract hydrocarbons from a region called the Lower Tertiary, which for oil companies is at the edge of charted U.S. waters. Shell plans to begin filling barrels next year with oil from two wells drilled in about 9,500 feet of water — the deepest-ever depth.

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Oil giants ‘face cascade of claims’

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Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor: November 7, 2015

An investigation by New York’s attorney-general into ExxonMobil’s record on climate science could trigger a “cascade” of similar claims against other oil companies, including Britain’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell, legal experts have warned.

Prosecutors might seek to investigate other companies that helped to fund organisations that queried climate science, such as the Global Climate Coalition, of which BP and Shell were members during the 1990s, they said.

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Shell says $60-$80 carbon price needed to justify carbon storage

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Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 08.03.29Nov 6 2015, 16:59 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) unveils a $1.3B carbon capture storage project for Alberta, but says future efforts to curb greenhouse gases will continue to need financial support from governments.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says carbon capture and storage projects need a $60-$80 price for carbon dioxide to justify building them, more than 5x the current price of C$15/ton (US$11.27) in Alberta.

Shell’s Quest facility will extract 1M tons of the gas from its Scotford refinery each year, and the carbon dioxide will be injected into an underground saline formation ~50 miles from the plant – it is the first in North America to store CO2 in a deep saline formation.

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Shell Canada carbon capture likely last to get Alberta subsidies

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40CALGARY, ALBERTA | BY MIKE DE SOUZACommodities | Thu Nov 5, 2015 9:01pm GMT

Royal Dutch Shell’s launch on Friday of Canada’s first oil sands project to capture and bury carbon emissions – assisted by generous public subsidies – will likely be the last to get such funding, the Alberta government said this week.

The left-leaning New Democratic government of the energy-rich Western Canadian province, home to the country’s controversial oil sands, said it no longer plans to fund future efforts using the technology.

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Big Oil Gears Up For $60 Break-even Price As Profits Sink

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Gaurav SharmaOCT 31, 2015

The latest quarterly results season is receding into the accounting archives, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and the keenly anticipated numbers of Exxon Mobil now with us.

That lower oil prices continue to dent profits at the world’s biggest oil companies is no longer news. Figures on their often unloved downstream operations performing well bring a few smiles and keep detractors of the integrated model quieter than usual.

Take big beast Exxon, which reported quarterly profits of $4.24bn, down 47% on an annualized basis from the same quarter last year. Its profits from refining doubled to about $2bn, but upstream takings fell 79% to $1.4bn. Prior to Exxon, smaller rivals (e.g. – BP, Shell and Chevron) had all posted declines in headline quarterly profits earlier in the week. Yet read between the lines of the profit declines, and a common message on how to cope seems to be emerging.

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Shell share price: Company’s problems extend beyond oil prices, analyst says

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Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.33.24Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets…the firm is far more likely to remain a laggard than become a leader among the oil majors for the rest of this decade…

by Veselin Valchev: Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) carries hefty baggage and even if oil prices were to recover back to $100 per barrel, it would not solve all the firm’s problems, argued senior Morningstar analyst Stephen Simko.

Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets, Simko said.

The notable exception is the potential addition of BG Group’s Brazilian operations, should the proposed merger complete successfully. BG’s interests in the Santos Basin are estimated to hold more than three billion barrels of recoverable oil resources and are projected to break even at only $30-35 per barrel.

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Shell had to write-down some of its shale assets in the U.S., after spending $24 billion on a bet that failed to pay off, with company executives regretting ever having made the investment.

By James Stafford: Wed, 14 October 2015

A new report finds that the largest oil companies are set to cut spending on exploration by at least half, potentially leading to very few new oil discoveries in the years ahead.

The report from investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Hold & Co., and reported by Fuel Fix, estimates that exploration budgets among the oil majors will drop to $25 billion in 2016, down from $50 billion from just a few years ago. Obviously, low oil prices are taking their toll, forcing deep spending cuts in a desperate attempt to shore up profitability. But the cuts have large implications for the energy sector, increasing the chances that some large oil fields remain undeveloped for years.

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Western oil groups warn Nigeria against overhaul of contracts

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Western oil executives are warning Nigeria against major changes to commercial contracts that could lead to the government taking a bigger share of revenues from the country’s deepwater fields, FT reports.

The decision – which the government says will affect Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), Eni (NYSE:E) and others “in the weeks and months ahead” – has sparked concern among execs who say they know nothing of the details are have not been contacted.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic Bucket Of Ice Has Melted, Yield Is Now North Of 8%

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Summary

* The Burger J well test results were a dud, no major reserves found.

* Shell puts Arctic drilling on hold indefinitely, which further reduces future capex.

* Dividend yield tops the 8% mark.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A / RDS.B) was always upbeat about the prospects of drilling in the Arctic, targeting resources that could be 10 times greater than the sum of oil and gas produced so far in the North Sea. Somewhat puzzling, the Anglo-Dutch multinational pressed on with its plans even though rivals Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), BP (NYSE:BP), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ConocoPhilips (NYSE:COP) had all suspended activity in the area.

Despite big concerns from environmentalists and shareholders, and earlier misadventures in the region, the company argued it was just too big a prize to avoid the Arctic.

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Cash-strapped Nigeria to renegotiate contracts with oil majors

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor: Sept 16, 2015

Nigeria’s state oil company says it plans to renegotiate production sharing agreements with oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Eni (NYSE:E), as the country has been hit hard by the plunge in global oil prices.

“Some of the contracts were negotiated over 20 years ago and they have since been overtaken by new realities in the industry,’’ says Ibe Kachikwu, the new head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.

Nigeria is Africa’s top producer of crude oil and gets 70% of its government revenues from oil.

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Yes, ExxonMobil Could Buy Chevron

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Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 18.40.05By Ben Levisohn: Sept 9, 2015

Oppenheimer’s Fadel Gheit and Luis Amadeo contend it’s just a matter of time before ExxonMobil (XOM) goes on a shopping spree–and argue that it’s theoretically possible Chevron (CVX) could be a target.

They explain:

Lower oil and gas prices for longer could accelerate industry consolidation, which could benefit large financially strong companies like ExxonMobil. The current market value of ExxonMobil’s 3.8 billion treasury shares is $278 billion, which is 72% above the market value of Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), and almost double the market value of Chevron. Theoretically, if government regulators approve, ExxonMobil can acquire any of its large rivals at a 40% premium. Such a merger could reduce combined CAPEX by more than 20% and operating costs by more than 40% while sharply reducing its net debt ratio. It would also significantly boost shareholder value for both companies.

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How to Invest in Arctic Developments After Obama’s Alaska Trip

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Arctic developments have great potential, but are they worth the risks?

By Debbie CarlsonSept. 7, 2015

As climate change melts some of the Arctic’s permafrost, natural resource companies and shippers are eyeing the potential to develop a region that is receiving renewed public attention from President Barack Obama’s trip to Alaska.

According to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, worldwide investment in the region could reach $100 billion over the next decade. The Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route could potentially decrease travel times between the U.S., Europe and Asia by 40 percent, while the value of hydrocarbon deposits – crude oil and natural gas – located in the U.S. Arctic alone could exceed $1 trillion. The region is also home to rich metal deposits.

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Court Says Chevron Can Be Pursued in Canada Over Ecuadorean Damage

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Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 07.12.20By IAN AUSTEN and CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on September 5, 2015, on page B2 of the New York edition

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday that a group of Ecuadoreans can use an Ontario court in an attempt to collect billions of dollars from Chevron for environmental damage.

The ruling is the latest step in a 13-year legal battle over the contamination of a rain forest in Ecuador, where Texaco had oil operations. The lawsuit has pitted Ecuadorean villagers in the region of Lago Agrio against Chevron, which bought Texaco.

While a trial court in Ecuador initially awarded the villagers $17.2 billion, an appeals court reduced the damages to $9.5 billion. It was one of the largest judgments imposed by a court for environmental contamination.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, BP And Royal Dutch Shell Face Challenging Dividend Environment

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Bidness Etc sheds light on the challenges for companies like Exxon, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total SA in sustaining dividend payouts amidst depressed crude oil prices

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANSep 1, 2015 

Crude prices have dropped more than 50% since the highs of June last year, following weak Chinese demand and a global supply glut. Oil companies are already feeling the heat and it will be a challenge for them to maintain dividends in the current scenario.

What is more, the past week saw further deterioration in the market, and the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) plunged into the high 30s following the devaluation of the Chinese yuan. Monday, August 24 saw a global market sell-off and almost all major indexes declined.

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Market Rout

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Oil’s slump has been brutal. More than half a trillion dollars of value has been wiped from the five biggest international oil companies — Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Total and BP — since mid-June last year.

Rakteem Katakey: August 26, 2015: BLOOMBERG.COM

Shares of the largest oil companies have slumped so low it suggests investors expect the crash in crude prices to force cuts in dividends. History tells a different story.

Oil’s collapse has driven the annual dividend yield at Royal Dutch Shell Plc to at least a 20-year high of 7.7 percent this week, compared with 4.4 percent for the benchmark FTSE 100 Index. The yield — the annual return divided by the share price — is also at a two-decade high at Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.

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Royal Dutch Shell Is Now A 7.54% Dividend Yield Monster

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Summary

  • Stock market downturn takes Shell’s dividend yield to an astonishing 7.54%.
  • The dividend looks reasonably safe.
  • High initial yield but little growth expected in coming years.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) doesn’t need an introduction. This Anglo-Dutch multinational is one of the largest, integrated oil & gas majors in the world. Its share price has dropped nearly a quarter since the start of the year, pushing its dividend yield ever higher. While commonly regarded by many DGI investors as lesser quality than Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), I believe the current market situation highly favors including this stock in the energy component of your dividend portfolio.

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Oil Companies Sit on Hands at Auction for Leases

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSAUG. 20, 2015 PAGE B1 IN NEW YORK EDITION

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 22.49.59HOUSTON — With oil prices collapsing and companies in retrenchment, a federal auction in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday attracted the lowest interest from producers since 1986.

It was the clearest sign yet that the fortunes of oil companies are skidding so fast that they now need to cut back on plans for production well into the future.

The auction, for drilling leases, attracted a scant $22.7 million in sales from five companies, but energy analysts said that came as no surprise on a day when the American oil benchmark price plummeted by more than 4 percent. For the first time since the recession, it is approaching the symbolic $40-a-barrel level. Last summer, it was above $100 a barrel.

A glut on American and world markets is to blame for the depressed prices, but the unusually large daily decline occurred after the Energy Department, in a report, lowered its oil price projections and showed a considerable increase in inventories.

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How Chevron, Exxon and Shell Will Be Impacted By Australian Tax Legislation

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Aug 17, 2015

In the past, Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) have managed to charge high interest rates from their Australian subsidiaries for the funding of their $54 billion Gorgon project. The high interest payments allowed the oil majors to enjoy massive tax-free profits. However, the Australian Senate is now working on ways to reform the corporate structure and prevent the massive flight of capital from Australia to other countries.

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