News and information on Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Barely a month after world leaders signed a sweeping agreement to reduce carbon emissions, the global commitment to renewable energy sources faces its first big test as the price of oil collapses.
Buoyed by low gas prices, Americans are largely eschewing electric cars in favor of lower-mileage trucks and sport utility vehicles. Yet the Obama administration has shown no signs of backing off its requirement that automakers nearly double the fuel economy of their vehicles by 2025.
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.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A group of environmental activists filed a challenge to leases held by Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters, citing the need to act on behalf of the climate.
Earthjustice, working on behalf of eight conservation groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, filed to intervene in decisions before the Department of Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.
“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for climate change, and drilling in such a sensitive region threatens the whales, seals and countless other wildlife that call it home,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement.
By AMY LIEBERMAN AND SUSANNE RUST: DEC. 31, 2015
A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post.
“Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” the ad said. “Scientists cannot predict with certainty if temperatures will increase, by how much and where changes will occur.”
One year earlier, though, engineers at Mobil Oil were concerned enough about climate change to design and build a collection of exploration and production facilities along the Nova Scotia coast that made structural allowances for rising temperatures and sea levels.
Regulators hoping to avoid criticism and potential congressional backlash rushed an environmental review of offshore Arctic oil development to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell would be able to drill this year, said a report issued Monday by a federal watchdog agency.
The investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, was launched in response to complaints from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees who worked on a rewrite of the supplemental environmental impact statement for oil leasing in the remote Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.
By Ben van Beurden: 6 Dec 2015
One of today’s biggest challenges is to boost economic development, while protecting the environment at the same time. Energy is right at the heart of both matters. The world needs more energy, cleaner energy and affordable energy. The Middle East is no exception to this reality.
Today, as I attend the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Qatar, it is ever clearer to me that technology is pivotal to a sustainable energy future. This future cannot be created by single governments or stand-alone energy companies. Partnerships are needed to make it happen.
By STANLEY REED and SARA HAMDAN: A version of this article appears in print on December 5, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition
VIENNA — Even as United Nations climate-conference delegates met near Paris on Friday seeking ways to reduce the globe’s dependence on high-carbon fuels like oil, some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers vowed to keep pumping flat out.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Friday that it would keep producing oil at current levels, which are estimated to exceed 31 million barrels a day.
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.
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.
By Steve Birr: Daily Caller News Foundation
If world leaders agree on a 2 degree Celsius warming limit at the Paris climate summit, $2 trillion in new coal and petroleum projects risk being killed, according to a new report.
The London based Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) environmental think tank says that efforts by world governments will negatively impact the energy industry and warns investors that coal, oil and gas will be hit hardest. Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos and Royal Dutch Shell stand to lose roughly $77 billion in projects, while ExxonMobil would lose about $73 billion, according to Reuters.
By Jessica Morris: 25 November 2015
Energy companies risk wasting $2.2 trillion (£1.46 trillion) on uneconomic projects over the next 10 years, according to a new report.
Think tank the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s (CTI) report how fossil fuel firms risk destroying investor returns says energy companies’ focus on fossil fuels at the expense of emerging clean technologies could put them out of kilter with environmental regulation, which will eventually dampen demand.
It comes ahead of next week’s Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) which is expected to result in, or at least pave the way for, more climate change legislation.
Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor: November 7, 2015
Nov 6 2015, 16:59 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor
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.
By JOHN SCHWARTZ: NOV. 6, 2015
The New York attorney general’s decision to investigate Exxon Mobil over whether the company lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change has raised questions about possible similarities to the Justice Department’s successful suit against the tobacco industry in 1997.
The new case has reprised the famous question from Watergate — What did they know, and when did they know it? — which also was an important element of that tobacco lawsuit.
By CORAL DAVENPORT: NOV. 6, 2015
WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies.
Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.
Markets | Fri Nov 6, 2015 3:38pm EST
Nov 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was driven in part by protesters who are increasingly frustrated with inaction on climate change, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Friday.
Speaking at the launch of Shell’s new carbon capture and storage project in Alberta, the first Canadian project of its kind in the oil sands industry, van Beurden said anti-fossil-fuel movements are growing because of anxiety and resentment about a failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.
According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.
The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.
CALGARY, ALBERTA | BY MIKE DE SOUZA: Commodities | 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.
Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015
LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.
Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil.
WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.
Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment,” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell to cease Alaska offshore exploration “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.
WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.
Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.
The US Interior Department announced on Friday that it will cancel the auction of 2016 and 2017 natural gas and offshore oil leases in the Arctic Ocean. The auction was scheduled under the Department’s current five-year Chukchi Sea leasing program for 2012–2017. The division cited low crude oil prices and lack of interest from oil companies as the main reason behind its decision.
This news comes a few weeks after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) withdrew its Arctic drilling plan. The oil giant had spent $7 billion for the Arctic campaign. It said last month that it has dropped its exploration and production (E&P) activities in the Burger prospect of the Chukchi Sea, as it found few traces of oil and natural gas in the region. The company was not satisfied with the drilling results; it had initially expected huge amount of oil traces in the Ocean. Shell has dropped all future plans of Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future.
The U.S. Interior Department effectively halted drilling off Alaska’s coast for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term by canceling two sales of Arctic oil and gas leases.
The decision comes less than a month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would indefinitely cease exploration in the region as the company didn’t find sufficient quantities of oil or gas in a Chukchi Sea drilling zone.
“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement on Friday.
The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.
It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.
The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.
The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.
Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”.
HOUSTON — The Obama administration shut the door Friday on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.
The decision by the Interior Department was not surprising because it came less than a month after Shell Oil canceled the most advanced exploration project in the region because of disappointing results from a test well and high costs at a time when oil prices are extremely low.
Still, the announcement is symbolically important as the administration steps back from its cautious support of drilling in the Arctic.
Big Oil is getting religion — sort of.
Ten major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Saudi Aramco declared on Friday that they totally get the climate change thing and would support measures aimed at preventing it.
Yet, without committing to the most obvious measure to encourage fundamental change — namely, widespread carbon pricing — you could say the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative has taken a leaf from St. Augustine: yearning to be pure, just not quite yet.
The announcement comes ahead of December’s UN climate conference in Paris and not long after a more modern cleric, Pope Francis, took his call for greater efforts to curb carbon emissions directly to Congress.
Global warming over the past few years has become a major issue. Companies around the world keep on pumping and burning record levels of conventional fossil fuels. Burning of fossil fuels leads to carbon emissions, which are highly detrimental for the environment. Activists have now have taken a stern hand regarding pollution and are urging companies to adopt safer cleaner fuels. President Barack Obama recently also stressed upon the importance of using alternatives, such as natural gas, which are safer for the environment.
Two drill vessels officially left Arctic waters after Royal Dutch Shell announced that the company would cease exploration in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas. After a $7 billion investment and a standoff with kayaktivists, Shell cited a “disappointing exploration outcome,” meaning there’s oil in the Arctic, but not enough where they drilled to justify the cost. It’s a classic industry gamble called wildcatting: oil companies invest in an unexplored area hoping to strike black gold in the hidden reservoirs thousands of feet below the surface.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.
The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.
The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington.
BY ANTONIA JUHASZ / OCTOBER 13, 2015
Earlier this month, Shell’s tumultuous Arctic drilling campaign came to an abrupt and costly end. In a written statement, the company announced the cessation of its offshore Alaska activities “for the foreseeable future”—at a loss of billions of dollars. This both stunned and thrilled critics, many of whom worried that the seven-year effort to stop Shell was dead in July, when the Obama administration approved the company’s permits to drill.
Laurel Andrews: October 12, 2015
Two weeks after announcing the end of its Arctic offshore oil exploration program, Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer drillship left Dutch Harbor Monday afternoon, the last planned stop in Alaska as it heads to the Pacific Northwest.
The company’s second drilling rig that had arrived in Alaska this summer, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, is close behind.
The Noble Discoverer arrived in Dutch Harbor Sunday, said Shell Alaska spokesperson Megan Baldino. During the stop, both rigs had a crew change and resupply of fuel and groceries.
Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.
The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.
Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.
He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.
Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years.
Environmental organizations celebrated when Royal Dutch Shell announced it was halting oil and gas explorations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea “for the foreseeable future.” Activists heralded the move as an unprecedented victory for their campaign to stop drilling: They managed to shut down a fossil fuels project, they claimed.
However, the oil giant is adamant that environmental groups played no role in its decision to leave the Arctic. A spokesperson confirmed to DW that the company withdrew for economic and legislative reasons, stating that the Burger J well didn’t contain enough oil to develop a viable commercial project.
Shell’s decision to end its program to drill for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska is being cheered by one international organization.
Shell’s drilling in the Chukchi Sea threatened Russia’s Wrangel Island Reserve, an ecologically rich site that is the only designated World Heritage site in the Arctic, said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO.
“This Arctic jewel, and the wealth of wildlife it supports, were threatened by Shell’s Chukchi Sea operations,” UNESCO said in a statement released Wednesday.
By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Washington Bureau: Oct 8, 2015
WASHINGTON — Environmentalists who battled Arctic oil drilling by paddling kayaks, dangling from bridges and climbing onto rigs at sea have claimed a high-profile success against Shell and aim to funnel the resulting enthusiasm into other fights against fossil fuels.
Shell is abandoning its long crusade to find crude in the waters north of Alaska after disappointing results at a critical test well in the Chukchi Sea. While the company cited financial reasons for the pullout, the move nonetheless represents a tangible victory for environmental activists.
WASHINGTON — Shell’s dreams of an Arctic oil bonanza were dashed with disappointing results from a critical exploratory well this summer, but they were in full force seven years ago, when the company aggressively outbid competitors to nab drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea.
Reeling from a scandal involving overstated reserves and desperate to replenish its portfolio, Royal Dutch Shell spent $2.1 billion buying up those Chukchi Sea leases, vastly outspending the competitors who plunked down just $800 million combined in the same government auction.
When Royal Dutch Shell announced that it had lost its big-money bet in the Chukchi Sea and would end its entire program in the offshore U.S. Arctic, the hyperbole and finger-pointing began in earnest.
Rep. Don Young accused President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell of deliberately sabotaging Alaska’s economy. “I’m sure somewhere Sally Jewell and President Obama are smiling and celebrating Shell’s decision to cease operations off the coast of Alaska,” Young said in a statement issued just after Shell’s announcement.
Shell is set to reveal that quitting the Arctic cost it up to $4.1billion (£2.7billion) in its third-quarter results when it unveils them later this month – in a move that could push the oil giant into reporting a loss.
The firm took investors and its environmental opponents by surprise when it announced last week that it would end its drilling programme in the Chukchi Sea, 150 miles off the north-west coast of Alaska.
It said it had found indications of oil and gas but not enough to justify further exploration.
By Scott L. Montgomery OCTOBER 1, 2015
The company’s departure is certainly a pause in a new era of Arctic exploration, but it’s not the end.
After seven years of preparation and several billion dollars spent, Shell has decided to abandon its exploration program in the U.S. Arctic “for the foreseeable future.” This follows barely two months’ drilling in the Chukchi Sea at the company’s Burger J well, located 150 miles northwest of Barrow, Alaska. Evaluation of all data revealed “indications” of oil and gas but not enough to justify further activity in today’s low price environment.
To the Editor:
Re “Shell Pulls Plug on Exploration in Alaska Arctic” (front page, Sept. 29):
While the news that Shell has decided to pull out of its controversial Arctic oil exploration effort is cause for celebration for many environmentalists, I am hesitant to pop open the Champagne quite yet.
I find it hard to celebrate knowing that Shell’s withdrawal is the result of an oversaturated oil market fattened on shale oil from the Bakken formation and an OPEC overproduction of 1 million barrels above the cartel’s target output. Shell’s Arctic exit is a business decision in response to low oil prices due to a slowing economy and a glut of supply, both temporary conditions that do nothing to preclude a return to Arctic exploration once these conditions expire.
Shell’s global chief executive says an effective carbon price is needed to tackle climate change, whether through a trading or tax system.
Speaking exclusively to ABC TV’s The Business, Ben van Beurden said a price on carbon was necessary to discourage pollution.
“Putting, in one form or another, a real, clear price on carbon that compels people to act with rational economic actions, I think is something that we need,” he told presenter Ticky Fullerton.
When pressed over the Government’s current Direct Action plan, which provides funding for programs to cut emissions rather than charging heavy emitters, Mr van Beurden said the design of the system was a matter for politicians in each country.
ANALYSIS: By The Business presenter Ticky Fullerton: 2 Oct 2015
Rarely have energy companies faced greater challenges, and global giant Shell has moved to tackle some of them head on.
Of all weeks to be in London to catch up with global Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden, this was it.
On Monday, the oil and gas giant gritted its teeth and pulled out of one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial exploration forays on the planet – Alaska.
A project that could have delivered tens of billions of dollars instead delivered a dry well and, on Sunday, van Beurden and his team called it quits.
OIL companies have a proud history of digging holes in inaccessible places and producing gushers of money. But in the Chukchi Sea, in the Alaskan Arctic, Shell has poured $7 billion into a single 6,800-foot exploratory well, making it possibly the most expensive hole yet drilled, only to admit this week that it had not found enough oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile.
That was a big climbdown for a company that had spent seven years since acquiring the Chukchi licenses in 2008 in a highly public, drawn-out battle to drill in the Arctic. The decision boiled down to costs, financial and reputational. Most big oil firms face similar pressures. Some will take a lesson from Shell and put their Arctic plans on hold, though Eni, a big Italian oil firm, is vowing to press ahead with its efforts to drill in the Norwegian Arctic.
By Charlotte Krol, and PA, video source YouTube / Greenpeace: 29 Sep 2015
Actress Emma Thompson has joined activists outside the headquarters of Shell to celebrate news that the oil giant is pulling out of drilling in the Arctic.
Greenpeace has been protesting against the company’s attempts to explore for fossil fuels off the coast of Alaska, including parking a double-decker bus-sized polar bear puppet outside the company’s London HQ for the last month.
The company said it would cease exploration in the region for the foreseeable future after failing to find sufficient signs of oil and gas to make further exploration worthwhile, blaming high costs and a “challenging and unpredictable regulatory environment”.
Sep. 29, 2015
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.
Royal Dutch Shell’s abrupt announcement today that it would cease all offshore drilling in the Arctic is surprising for several reasons. One is the unusual degree of confidence the company expressed as recently as mid-August that it had identified 15 billion barrels of oil beneath the well known as Burger J it’s now abandoning.
What on earth happened?
After spending $7 billion over several years to explore a single well this summer, Shell said in a statement that it “found indications of oil and gas … but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration.” This contrasts sharply with Shell officials’ statements as recently as July and August that based on 3D and 4D seismic analysis of core samples, its petroleum geologists were “very confident” drillers would find plentiful oil.
As oil prices have continued their steady decline this year, rig after rig has been shut down, costing thousands of jobs in the United States. Yet major oil producers have been loath to pull the plug on their most ambitious projects — the multibillion-dollar investments that form the backbone of their operations.
Until now. On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell ended its expensive and fruitless nine-year effort to explore for oil in the Alaskan Arctic — a $7 billion investment — in another sign that the entire industry is trimming its ambitions in the wake of collapsing oil prices.
BY ZOË SCHLANGER 9/28/15
After a season spent drilling an exploratory oil well in one of the harshest environments on Earth, Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday morning it was abandoning its attempt to develop the Alaskan Arctic “for the foreseeable future.”
The exploratory well 150 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea did not turn up enough oil to warrant the expensive and “unpredictable” enterprise, Shell said in a statement. It will be sealed and abandoned “in accordance with U.S. regulations,” the company said.