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Confidence in enlarged Shell-BG entity

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The week ahead in business and finance

By Tara Cunningham, business reporter: 30 OCTOBER 2016 • 11:41PM

Third Quarter Results: Tuesday, November 1

Confidence in enlarged Shell-BG entity was rattled after a very disappointing set of second quarter results, when it missed consensus forecasts by 52pc. Ahead of Tuesday’s interim results, analysts at UBS warned: “We don’t think it is reasonable to expect a significant uptick in earnings”.

Even though Royal Dutch Shell has a track-record of “volatile” quarters across the year, the bank highlighted that management have already been “quite explicit” in indicating that 2016 is likely to be “quite messy”. read more

‘We sold Shell as its dividend looks shaky’

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Shell’s acquisition of rival company BG is likely to hurt its finances, making its dividend look more uncertainCREDIT: ARND WIEGMANN

By Laura Suter28 OCTOBER 2016 • 8:59AM

Tom Walker, manager of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio, has 59pc of his fund’s assets in American companies. While he is concerned about the outcome of the election, he does not think a Trump win will necessarily be terrible for the American economy or for the companies he invests in.

Mr Walker, who has run the fund since its launch, tells Telegraph Money why he recently invested in one giant Chinese firm and why he cut Royal Dutch Shell from the portfolio. read more

It’s boring, but Shell’s fat yield will reward patience

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50There are clear risks: history suggests the Opec deal to cut oil production and support prices won’t stick; the company still has to prove it can make its huge BG acquisition work; and the dividend is not covered by earnings for this year and barely covered for next.

4 OCTOBER 2016 • 8:28AM

Royal Dutch Shell

This tip won’t win many prizes for originality but patient, longterm income seekers may find it hard to overlook the prospect of a soundly financed company that offers a 7pc dividend yield while interest rates and yields on the safest bonds remain at rock bottom.

There are clear risks: history suggests the Opec deal to cut oil production and support prices won’t stick; the company still has to prove it can make its huge BG acquisition work; and the dividend is not covered by earnings for this year and barely covered for next. read more

Shell’s North Sea exit could generate $1bn, says UBS

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Jillian Ambrose7 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 1:27PM

Shell could be in line to make $1bn (£750m) in the next two years by selling off North Sea assets as part of a $30bn divestment drive, according to UBS.

The bank predicts that Shell’s North Sea retreat will begin with a “tidying up” of the oil major’s high-cost, legacy assets but that a sale of its attractive core projects could not be ruled out.

UBS oil analyst Jon Rigby said that sales of the oil giant’s older North Sea assets would only generate “a few hundred million dollars” unless the company opts for a more “radical” approach including ditching stakes in the core projects that make up its $7bn North Sea portfolio. read more

Holy Grail of energy policy in sight as battery technology smashes the old order

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AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD10 AUGUST 2016 

The world’s next energy revolution is probably no more than five or ten years away. Cutting-edge research into cheap and clean forms of electricity storage is moving so fast that we may never again need to build 20th Century power plants in this country, let alone a nuclear white elephant such as Hinkley Point.

The US Energy Department is funding 75 projects developing electricity storage, mobilizing teams of scientists at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and the elite Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge labs in a bid for what it calls the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy policy. read more

Hundreds of North Sea workers down tools on Shell oil rigs

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Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 16.45.26Jillian Ambrose26 JULY 2016 • 1:26PM

Around 400 North Sea oil workers have downed tools on Shell oil rigs in the sector’s first spate of industrial action in 28 years.

The 24-hour strike began at 6.30am on Tuesday alongside an ongoing refusal to work overtime and will be followed by further stoppages in the weeks to come, trade union Unite warned.

Offshore oil workers employed by Wood Group to work on Shell’s giant Brent oilfield platforms voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action earlier this month, after talks over plans to bring in longer hours and lower pay broke down. read more

Shell braces for North Sea strike action

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Jillian Ambrose: 11 JULY 2016

Shell is bracing itself for major strike action on its North Sea platforms after talks between workers and oilfield services company Wood Group broke down ahead of a union ballot.

Wood Group’s oil workers will vote on whether to take action over tougher offshore working schedules and lower pay, in what could be the first wave of strikes for the North Sea in a generation.

Trade unions Unite and RMT are balloting 200 of around 450 oil workers working across Shell’s platforms in the Brent oilfield, and on Wednesday will decide whether almost half the workforce will down tools. read more

Shell Warns Of Further Job Cuts

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Irina Slav – Jul 05, 2016, 9:02 AM CDT

Shell may have to cut more jobs after laying off 12,500 people over the past year, CEO Ben van Beurden told The Telegraph. The new cuts would be prompted by a “continuous improvement drive,” he added.

Elaborating on what this drive would imply, Van Beurden noted jobs are becoming unnecessary as business operations get shut down, or positions being moved to another part of the world, or becoming redundant because of the drive for enhanced business efficiency. read more

Shell chief Ben van Beurden: ‘You cannot expect us to act against our economic interest’

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By Emily Gosden, energy editor: 2 JULY 2016 • 2:30PM

On the last Thursday in January, the day Royal Dutch Shell’s £35bn takeover of BG Group got the final seal of approval from BG shareholders, Ben van Beurden was not planning a celebration.

Shell’s chief executive was instead preparing to get on with the detailed work of integrating the two companies: some 200 senior staff from Shell and BG had been assembled in The Hague, ready to spend Friday and the weekend working out what would happen when one of the biggest deals in history finally completed. read more

Shell urges continued free trade and free movement of people post-Brexit

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Emily Gosden, energy editor: 30 JUNE 2016 • 7:02PM

Royal Dutch Shell has urged the UK to retain free trade and free movement of people with the EU in the wake of Brexit.

Ben van Beurden, the oil giant’s chief executive, said it was not yet clear how Shell would be affected by Britain leaving the EU and he was concerned by the prospect of a period of change and uncertainty. 

“It’s crucial that European governments will keep now a steady hand on the tiller of the economy in what will be probably unprecedented, unpredictable circumstances for some time to come,” he said. read more

What the future of the petrol station looks like, from renewable energies to driverless cars

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Lauren Davidson12 JUNE 2016 • 11:44PM

It’s a wonder Istvan Kapitany, executive vice-president of retail at Royal Dutch Shell, gets any work done. The view from his office on the 22nd floor of Shell’s headquarters on the South Bank looks out over some of the most impressive landmarks in the capital, including the London Eye and the Palace of Westminster.

Though not at the top level just yet – the Shell Centre has 26 floors – Kapitany has certainly climbed his way through the ranks since joining Shell in 1987 as a petrol station manager in Hungary, his home country. read more

Shell set to retreat from North Sea in global asset shakeup

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.39.18The company has already cut hundreds of jobs from its UK workforce. In the clearest sign yet that Britain’s biggest company will turn its back on the “super mature” North Sea, Shell told investors its planned $30bn sales drive to tackle its debt burden will focus on mature assets in established oil regions.

Shell’s chief executive, Ben Van Beurden, laid out the company’s strategic plan for the rest of the decade, telling shareholders the group plans to leave between five and 10 mature oil regions, which equity analysts have interpreted as a “heavy hint” that UK assets will be included. read more

Waiting for Big Oil to clean up its act

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Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 22.29.07By Jillian Ambrose

11 JUNE 2016 • 7:22PM

“The world is going to have to continue using fossil fuels, whether they like it or not.” There’s little disguising the defiance in the words of Exxonmobil chief Rex Tillerson.

In a Dallas concert hall, less than six months after the historic global climate deal in Paris, the long-standing leader of the world’s largest listed oil company locked horns with shareholders in an increasingly familiar battle for Big Oil.

For years, placard-wielding green activists have raised warnings that echo the financial collapse: a “carbon bubble” could leave markets reeling as trillions of dollars’ worth of existing fossil fuel assets become worthless in a low-carbon world. read more

Companies charged with workplace breaches following Corrib gas death

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Edwin McGreal: Belmullet: 08 JUNE 2016

Two companies have been sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar on charges following a workplace accident which resulted in the death of a man working on the Corrib gas tunnel in 2013.

Twenty-six year old Lars Wagner was killed, in September 2013, while he was working on the construction of a tunnel for the Corrib gas project.

Mr Wagner, a German native, was working on boring a tunnel to carry the project’s gas pipeline under Sruwaddacon Bay to the Corrib gas refinery at Bellenaboy. read more

Shell caps spending for rest of the decade as belt tightening continues

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By Jon Yeomans7 JUNE 2016 • 9:33AM

Oil giant Shell is targeting yet more cost savings as it looks to pay down debt and protect its dividend in an era of lower oil prices.

The Anglo Dutch giant said today capital spending would be in the range of $25-$30bn a year to 2020. For 2016 it will be $29bn, down from a forecast “trending toward” $30bn, which was itself down from an earlier projection of $33bn.

The company said this spending could go even lower if oil prices sink below their current levels, but crucially would not go higher if oil surges. Crude has stabilised at around $50 a barrel, after hitting a 12-year low of $28 a barrel in January. It was trading at more than $100 two years ago.  read more

Shell boss Ben Van Beurden spared shareholder pay revolt

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Jillian Ambrose24 MAY 2016 • 3:17PM

Shell shareholders have approved plans to pay boss Ben Van Beurden £4.3m despite calls from top proxy advisors to vote against his bonus ahead of the oil major’s AGM.

Investors voted 85.83pc in favour of the payout at the meeting in The Hague today.

Mr Van Beurden’s pay packet includes a salary of £1.4m, a bonus of £3.5m, and a pension of £441,000 for 2015, despite Shell reporting its steepest losses in 13 years and a planned job cull of 10,000. He has also received shares worth £9.7m, which vest in three years if he meets key performance targets. read more

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