Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor: November 7, 2015
News and information on Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
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.
It’s all about oil prices.
Royal Dutch Shell said Monday it will stop drilling for oil off Alaska’s coast. The move comes after Shell failed to discover a noteworthy amount of undersea oil in a well off northern Alaska despite spending $7 billion on exploration efforts.
The decision will undoubtedly please the many environmentalists who were against the project from the start. But their protests aren’t the reason Shell is calling it quits in Alaska. Instead, Shell’s decision was economic: The price of oil has dropped precipitously over the past year, meaning it’s getting much harder to make a profit on the stuff.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its long quest to become the first company to produce oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters, darkening the nation’s long-term oil prospects and delighting environmental groups that tried to block the project.
After years of effort, Shell is leaving the region “for the foreseeable future” because it failed to find enough oil to make further drilling worthwhile.
The company has spent more than $7 billion on the effort, slogged through a regulatory gauntlet and fought environmental groups that feared a spill in the harsh climate would be difficult to clean up and devastating to polar bears, walruses, seals and other wildlife.
To the delight of eco-warriors worldwide, Shell pulled the plug on its Arctic drilling campaign, taking a £2.7billion hit on the controversial venture that was persistently undermined by the prolonged oil price weakness and fierce opposition from ecological activists.
Although an exploratory well showed indications of oil and gas in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, Shell blamed high costs associated with the project as well as the ‘challenging and unpredictable’ regulatory environment as it shelved its drilling plans for the foreseeable future.
It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it.
Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site.
“The Arctic is a unique treasure,” Mrs Clinton said on Twitter. “Given what we know now, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”
Which seemed to ignore the fact that drilling has been taking place in the Arctic for decades – for example oil was first discovered in one of the main basins, Prudhoe Bay, in 1968.
(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude, a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky.
The withdrawal came six weeks after the final U.S. clearance and three months after Shell was still defending the project, a rapid change of heart for such a large company that showed it is preparing for a prolonged period of low oil prices while trying to close its $70 billion takeover of rival BG.
FoxNews.com: Sept 28, 2015
A statement from the company’s headquarters in The Hague said Shell was ending exploration off Alaska “for the forseeable future” after what it called “a clearly disappointing exploration outcome.”
Shell said it had found indications of oil and gas in the well in the Chukchi Sea, about 80 miles off Alaska’s northwest coast. However, the petroleum was not in quantities sufficient to warrant additional exploration in that portion of the basin, the company added.
Associated Press: Monday 28 September 2015 07.04 BST
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has said it is ceasing exploration in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future, saying an exploratory well drilled to 6,800ft (2,100m) found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.
Shell USA’s president, Marvin Odum, said in an announcement early on Monday in the Netherlands that it was a disappointing outcome for that part of the Chukchi sea basin.
Shell drilled in 150ft (45m) of water about 80 miles (130km) off Alaska’s north-west coast. The exploratory well was the first in the Chukchi in 24 years.
By Jessica Shankleman | 25 Sep 2015
Will Shell-funded Energy Transitions Commission help or hinder the low carbon economy?
Oil giant Shell is backing a new organisation that is being set up to lobby governments to step up their investments in low carbon technologies, with the twin aims of boosting economic growth and tackling climate change.
But the new Energy Transitions Commission, which is due to launch on Monday with €5m to €7m of funding, has already come under fire from some green groups who fear Shell may be using the initiative to further its own aims, particularly its controversial Arctic drilling programme.
Representatives from energy companies including oil heavyweights Shell and Statoil have joined forces to advise on making cleaner energy decisions, the latest push by energy firms to become more pro-active on climate issues.
Shell Chairman Chad Holliday, Statoil Vice-President Bjorn Otto Sverdrup and RWE Chief Executive Peter Terium are among a list of commissioners acting in a personal capacity to advise governments on how to change their energy markets without damaging the environment.
Sep 24 2015, 11:59 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and GE are teaming up with the McKinsey consultancy and other large companies to advise governments on how to combat global warming without weakening their economies, Financial Times reports.
The companies also are backing a $6M “energy transitions commission” to create a blueprint for a greener global economy in the next 15 years.
But the commission, due to be formally unveiled at a conference in Texas on Monday, already is under fire from some environmental groups who ask if a body supported by fossil fuel companies can offer objective guidance on global warming.
A giant dying polar bear has been placed outside the headquarters of oil and gas company Shell in a bid to stop their Arctic drilling programme.
British actress Emma Thompson was among the protesters who manoeuvred the three-tone puppet into place, locking six people inside so the bear cannot be moved.
The bear, which is the size of a double decker bus, and is named Aurora (after the Northern Lights) is intended to sit outside the company’s headquarter in South Bank, London, until they cease their drilling.