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Oil Giants Find There’s Nowhere to Hide From Doomsday Market

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By Joe CarrollJuly 29, 2016 — 1:02 PM BST: Updated on July 30, 2016 — 5:01 AM BST

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc this week reported their lowest quarterly profits since 1999 and 2005, respectively. Chevron Corp.’s third straight loss marked the longest slump in 27 years, and BP Plc lodged its lowest refining margins in six years.

Welcome to year two of a supply overhang so persistent it’s upsetting industry expectations that the market would return to a state of balance between production and demand. It’s left analysts befuddled and investors running to the doorways as the crude market threatened to tip into yet another bear market, dashing hopes that a slump that began in mid 2014 would show signs of abating.

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Oil price drops to three-month low on oversupply fears

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25 July 2016

Oil prices have fallen to a three-month low, hit by rising concerns that a global oversupply of both crude and natural gas will dampen prices.

US oil fell 2.4% to $43.11 (£32.72) a barrel, its lowest level since April, meaning it has now fallen by 12% so far this month.

Brent crude dropped 2.1% to $44.75, its lowest level since 10 May.

Shares in oil and firms also lost ground, with Exxon Mobil shares down 1.8% and Chevron down 2.6%.

“Crude oil markets have been under pressure as oil supplies have started growing with the resumption of output from the capacity lost due to wildfires in the Canadian oil sands,” said EY energy analyst Sanjeev Gupta.

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Next Week Is as Good as It Gets for Big Oil

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ByRakteem Katakey and Joe Carroll: 22 July 2016

Several majors expected to post highest earnings in 3 quarters

Strong performance may not last as oil seen easing back to $40

For oil companies, the second quarter might be as good as it gets.

Shares gained more than in any other industry, thanks to crude rising from a 12-year low. Profits were the best in at least three quarters for majors including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and BP Plc, helped by cost cuts, analysts say. The rest of the year might not be as rosy as supply holds near record levels.

The combined market value of the world’s oil companies shrank by $2 trillion in the past two years following crude’s collapse. While analysts agree the worst of the oversupply is over, BNP Paribas SA and JBC Energy GmbH are among those forecasting a slide back to $40 a barrel as output rebounds in Canada, Iran, Nigeria and the U.S., hurting producers whose investment cuts have put future growth in doubt.

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Is Gas The Future? Shell Seems To Think So

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By Gregory Brew – Jul 20, 2016

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

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

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Why Big Oil Is Still A Good Bet For Investors

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

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

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

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Royal Dutch Shell: Huge Dividend And Long-Term Growth Ahead

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Wayne Duggan: 20 July 2016

A number of British stocks have been hit hard since the referendum vote to leave the EU, but Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) is not one of them. Shares are now up 0.3% since the Brexit vote after initially falling more than 8% during the knee-jerk market sell-off.

With the possibility that the Brexit could severely impact British GDP growth in coming years, RDS.B offers a unique opportunity to invest in a company within a sector that is in a global upswing, a company that has significant international exposure and a company that is committed to maintaining the single largest dividend payment in the MSCI World Index.

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The Future of Big Oil? At Shell, It’s Not Oil

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Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 07.42.44The energy giant is shifting to gas as the industry adapts to climate change.

By Matthew CampbellRakteem Katakey and James Paton: 20 July 2016

At Australia’s Curtis Island, you can see Big Oil morphing into Big Gas. Just off the continent’s rugged northeastern coast lies a 667-acre liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal owned by Royal Dutch Shell, an engineering feat of staggering complexity. Gas from more than 2,500 wells travels hundreds of miles by pipeline to the island, where it’s chilled and pumped into 10-story-high tanks before being loaded onto massive ships. “We’re more a gas company than an oil company,” says Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive officer. “If you have to place bets, which we have to, I’d rather place them there.”

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Militants claim attack on Exxon as Shell shuts Nigerian pipeline

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Agence France-Presse : Jul 12, 2016 @ 12:05 PM

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) group said it had bombed an ExxonMobil facility in southern Nigeria just as Shell announced closure of a key oil pipeline, in the latest blow to output.

“At about 7:30 pm (1830 GMT) the Niger Delta Avengers blow up ExxonMobil Qua Iboe 48″ crude oil export pipeline,” the NDA, which has been blamed for a string of attacks on key oil and gas facilities since February, said in a statement late Monday.

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Exclusive – Shell CEO warns Brexit could slow $30 billion asset sale plan

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Ron Bousso and Freya Berry: 08/07 11:41 CET

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, has told investors that Britain’s decision to exit the European Union could slow its $30 billion (23 billion pounds) asset sale plan, especially in the North Sea which had struggled to attract buyers for years.

The comment, made during an investor and analyst event at the Wimbledon tennis tournament this week, came as Shell mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch to find buyers for several key assets in the North Sea, including its stake in the lucrative Buzzard oilfield, hoping the sale would raise at least $2 billion.

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How the Breakup of Motiva Will Help Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) and Saudi Aramco

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By Staff Writer on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:04 am EST

Earlier in March, Saudi Aramco’s subsidiary, Saudi Refining, Inc (SRI) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), announced to dissolve their fuel partnership, Motiva Enterprise. Due to contradictory interests, both the entities signed a letter of intent (LOI), showing the division of assets held under joint venture (JV).

However, the disbanded venture has stuck another blow as Shell is seeking up to $2 billion as a part of breakup from its giant refining enterprise. The hefty compensation is due to Saudi Aramco’s retention of a larger stake in the venture for almost two decades.

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Chevron Halts Production At Gorgon Plant For Second Time This Year

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

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

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

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Brexit impact fades

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Gary Shilling for Bloomberg View suggested oil could drop to $10.

By Ed Crooks: Friday, July 1, 2016

Oil was one of the markets where the initial shock of the UK’s Brexit vote quickly faded. Brent crude was about $51 per barrel as the voters went to the polls last week, and today was trading at about $49.50. 

The 34 per cent rise in oil so far in 2016 has been its best start to a year since 2009, and helped commodities outperform other asset classes over the past six months.

The rise in prices has brightened the mood in Texas, according to a new survey carried out by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. It looks like being a good data source to watch in future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dutch government lowers Groningen gas output cap to 24 bcm

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Reuters: Friday, June 24, 2016

THE HAGUE, June 24 The Dutch government said on Friday it would lower the cap on production at the Groningen gas field, which has supplied up to 10 percent of European demand, to 24 billion cubic metres a year for the next five years.

The decision to lower the ceiling from 27 bcm, beginning on Oct. 1, follows a recommendation by the Dutch National Mines Inspectorate.

The Dutch government has been steadily reducing output at Groningen, prompted by a spate of earthquakes linked to production that caused extensive property damage in the northern province.

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Shell’s Ambitious Plan To Topple Exxon

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By Rakesh Upadhyay – Jun 22, 2016, 5:17 PM CDT

Ben Van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell has laid out an ambitious plan to overtake ExxonMobil as the number one oil company in the world.

Prior to the 1990s, Shell was the leader in total shareholder returns, however, its rivals went on a deal-making spree to gain the lead, while Shell shied away from making any acquisitions. Now, Mr. Beurden believes that Shell will be able to regain its lost glory post the acquisition of the BG group.

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Dutch Winter Gas Rises to Six-Month High Before Output Decision

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Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.28.33Netherlands may decide on Groningen field production on Friday

By Rob VerdonckFred Pals: June 22, 2016 – 11:17 AM BST

Dutch natural gas advanced to the highest since December before a government decision on production from Europe’s biggest field expected on Friday.

The winter contract, for the six months from October, gained as much as 5.1 percent, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. Dutch Economy Minister Henk Kamp expects the government to decide on output from the Groningen field on Friday, the ANP news agency reported late Tuesday after De Telegraaf newspaper said gas extraction linked to earthquakes would be curbed by another 11 percent.

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Dutch agency calls for further cut in Groningen gas production

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.29.52The agency declined to comment.

The Cabinet is expected to announce its production plans for the field for the period after Oct. 1, 2016 on Friday, after several cuts in the past year have left it at the rate of 27 bcm on an annualized basis.

The final decision will be based on the recommendations from the agency, Groningen’s operator NAM, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon, and six other parties.

A majority of lawmakers Dutch parliament have called for production to be cut as far as possible to reduce earthquakes in the northern province caused by the gas extraction.

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Shell puts revamped shale arm at heart of growth drive

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

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

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

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Global oil majors look to shed refineries as crude prices rebound

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NEW YORK | BY JESSICA RESNICK-AULTFri Jun 17, 2016

Global oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are putting small refineries on the auction block as they look to trim lower-margin assets in the face of headwinds from rising crude oil prices.

Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, is soliciting interest in its Burnaby, British Columbia, refinery and gasoline stations, the company told Reuters. Shell is looking for buyers for its Martinez, California, refinery, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters. Shell declined to comment.

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Militants Claim Responsibility for Another Attack in Nigeria

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By Staff WriterJun 16, 2016

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

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

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Shell CEO Faces Long Haul in Bid to Pass Exxon as Top Oil Major

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By Rakteem Katakey: June 15, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden spelled out his main goal last week — surpass Exxon Mobil Corp. to become the best-performing oil major. 

“I am determined to get us to that number one place,” he said after outlining the company’s long-term strategy in London. “I want to create a world class investment case for Shell and our shareholders.” 

There are signs Van Beurden is winning over some investors following his record $54 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc. Shell has closed the gap on Exxon for total shareholder returns, which accounts for share prices, dividend payouts and buybacks, after lagging behind for five years. Still, the Anglo-Dutch explorer trails its U.S. rival on a range of other metrics from return on capital and assets to cash flow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coming wave of gas puts focus on finding new shores

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

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

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

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

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

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What Caused Royal Dutch Shell’s Shares To Soar

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Arie Goren: Jun. 9, 2016 6:14 AM ET

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Summary

  • In its Tuesday, June 7, investor meeting, Shell offered a very encouraging update on the company’s strategy, which sets a clear course for stronger returns and free cash flow.
  • Oil prices have shown a significant rebound in the last five months. As such, we can expect much better results for Shell’s upstream operations in the forward quarters.
  • Investing in a supermajor integrated oil & gas company like Royal Dutch Shell will give investors a significant price appreciation when oil prices recover along very generous dividend yielding 7.1%.
  • In my view, we can learn from the company’s new strategy that the dividend is sustainable.

Shares of Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) soared in the last two days after its Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden provided on Tuesday, June 7, an update on the company’s strategy, that according to the company, sets a clear course for stronger returns and free cash flow. Shares of RDS.A have increased 6.43% in the last two days and shares of RDS.B have risen 6.58%.

Since the beginning of the year, RDS.A’s stock is already up 15.7% while the S&P 500 Index has increased 3.7% and the NASDAQ Composite Index has lost 0.7%. However, since the beginning of 2012, RDS.A’s stock has lost 27.5%. In this period, the S&P 500 Index has increased 68.5% and the Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 91%.

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Shell relinquishes Canadian Arctic drilling rights

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By Mike De Souza in News, Energy | June 8th 2016

One of the planet’s largest oil companies has just walked away from a large swath of oil and gas reserves in the Canadian Arctic. But it says it hasn’t given up altogether on the prospects of drilling for the fossil fuels in the pristine waters of the North.

Royal Dutch Shell announced it was relinquishing 30 of its oil and gas leases around Lancaster Sound – a region of the Arctic Ocean that the government and local Inuit groups have long tried to protect as a vital habitat for threatened mammals such as narwhals, beluga whales and polar bears.

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Shell to exit up to 10 countries after BG deal

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO AND KAROLIN SCHAPS: Tue Jun 7, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will exit oil and gas operations in up to 10 countries in a drive to deepen cost cuts and narrow its focus following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group.

Presenting its strategy following the close of that deal in February, the Anglo-Dutch company outlined plans to target annual spending of $25 billion to $30 billion until the end of the decade.

It lowered its planned 2016 capex to $29 billion in a third cut from an initial $35 billion.

Shell also raised its target for savings from the integration of BG to $4.5 billion, up $1 billion from previous guidance.

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden hopes the new cuts will help boost Shell’s shares, which have underperformed rivals since the BG deal was announced in April 2015.

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

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By Jay Yao: Jun 4, 2016

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

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The death of Opec?

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By Ed Crooks: 27 May 2016

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

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

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ExxonMobil CEO: ending oil production ‘not acceptable for humanity’

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Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 09.54.10Rupert Neate in Dallas: Wednesday 25 May 2016 20.25 BST

Rex Tillerson, the boss of oil giant ExxonMobil, said cutting oil production was “not acceptable for humanity” as he fought off shareholders’ and activists’ attempts to force the company to fully acknowledge the impact of climate change on the environment and Exxon’s future profits.

During a long and fractious annual meeting in Dallas on Wednesday, Tillerson, who serves as Exxon’s chairman and chief executive, beat back several proposals to force the company to take more action on climate change.

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Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

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

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

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

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Green really is the new black as Big Oil gets a taste for renewables

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Terry MacalisterSaturday 21 May 2016

The world’s largest oil companies have in recent weeks announced a series of “green” investments – in wind farms, electric battery storage systems and carbon capture and storage (CCS). These unexpected moves come hot on the heels of revelations by Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, that it plans to sell off parts of its national oil company and diversify its economy away from petroleum.

They also come in the aftermath of a United Nations climate change agreement and before annual general meetings for Shell and Exxon Mobil this week, meetings at which shareholders will demand that more be done to tackle climate change.

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Shell cutting back manpower sharply at Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield

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Anthony McAuleyMay 21, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is cutting its workforce sharply at the Majnoon oilfield near Basra in southern Iraq as the government’s financial woes deepen.

Majnoon is one of the five “supergiant” (containing more than 5 billion barrels) oilfields located in southern Iraq, with estimated recoverable reserves of nearly 13 billion barrels, and it has been a major provider of additional funds for the Iraqi government since it started exporting two years ago.

The field employed more than 3,000 at peak construction – three-quarters of whom were Iraqis. But the expatriate workforce had dwindled to 400 amid cutbacks as the government has struggled with both the collapse in oil prices over the past 18 months and the costs of the war with militants in the west of the country.

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Shell, Exxon Seen as Oil Majors Most Exposed to Nigeria Violence

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Shell may be losing almost 50,000 barrels of oil a day: Rystad

Exxon fields linked to Qua Iboe terminal also vulnerable

By Angelina Rascouet: May 20, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are the international oil companies most exposed to the explosion of violence in the Niger River delta that has cut Nigeria’s output and fueled a rally in global crude prices, according to Rystad Energy.

Shell and Exxon have the most production in vulnerable parts of the oil-rich region — onshore or near the coast, according to Per Magnus Nysveen, senior partner and head of analysis at the Oslo-based consultant. Shell is losing almost all of the 50,000 barrels a day it pumped in the delta last year, he said. That’s about a quarter of its output in the country. Exxon pumped 145,000 barrels a day last year — about half its Nigeria total — from shallow-water fields that could also be targeted, Nysveen said.

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Royal Dutch Shell Clings To Its Dividend

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Casey Hoerth: May 18, 2016 

Summary

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

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

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

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Dutch Take On Gazprom in Battle Over Europe’s Oil-Linked Gas

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Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.52.28The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands…

By Kelly Gilblom: May 18, 2016

In its new role as a natural gas importer, the Netherlands wants to make sure it doesn’t overpay.

GasTerra BV, the nation’s biggest buyer and seller of gas, initiated arbitration against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit, the Russian company said Monday. It is seeking a price review for fuel purchased from Europe’s largest supplier under a long-term contract linked to oil, which has rallied this year as the price on gas hubs extended declines.

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The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands, home to the European Union’s largest gas field, which turned it into a net importer of the fuel. Utilities from Germany’s RWE AG to Turkey’s Botas Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS filed arbitration claims against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit after market prices fell below contract rates, with EON SE and Engie SA settling cases with Europe’s biggest gas supplier this year.

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Shell Looks for a Hedge Against Climate Change

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03BGeoffrey Smith: MAY 16, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is creating a new unit specially for renewables and alternative energy, but it continues to insist that its current business of burning hydrocarbons is under no threat from global policies to mitigate climate change.

The company told investors last week that it will combine its modest operations in green energy—biofuels, wind and solar technologies—into a business unit called “new energies” under its natural gas business. It will go public with the idea in June, according to The Guardian.

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Shell and Exxon secured ‘secret deal’ on Groningen gas production

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Friday 13 May 2016

Oil companies Shell and Exxon held secret talks with the economic affairs ministry in 2005 to set levels of production in the Groningen gas field up to and beyond 2020, according to documents obtained by NOS.

The documents show that the two companies exerted pressure on the ministry not to scale back gas extraction despite increasing concern over the increased frequency of earthquakes in the region.

The Dutch parliament was informed of the talks, which took place in 2005, but only knew of an agreement to set production levels for the next 10 years. The documents obtained under freedom of information legislation show that the deal also covered the years up to 2020, when the gas field is expected to go into decline, and afterwards.

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Philippines investigates Shell and Exxon over climate change

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Emma Howard in Manila: Saturday 7 May 2016

Can Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP be held accountable for the vulnerable communities most affected by climate change?

It’s a question a legal case in the Philippines could answer.

Last month, lawyers for the petitioners met with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body tasked with investigating human rights violations. Their goal was to identify expert witnesses for a hearing into the liability of 50 of the biggest fossil fuel companies for violating the human rights of Filipinos as a result of catastrophic climate change.

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Fort McMurray reflections by Ed Crooks of the FT

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By Ed Crooks: May 6, 2016

The thoughts of everyone in the energy industry were with Fort McMurray, the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry, which was devastated by wildfires this week. The town was evacuated, and more than a fifth of the region’s oil production was halted. There was a lot of great reporting from the local and national press. The National Post particularly stood out with features such as this live map of the areas affected by fire. Maclean’s brought the scale of the fires to people outside Alberta using comparisons with other cities in Canada, the US and Britain. NBC News carried some powerful photographs of the disaster.

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Not-so-Big Oil

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May 7th 2016

IT HAS been a grim decade for investors in international oil firms—among them, many of the world’s biggest pension funds. Even before oil prices started to fall in 2014, the supermajors threw money away on grandiose schemes: drilling in the Arctic and building giant gas terminals. Their returns have trailed those of other industry-leading firms by a huge margin since 2009.

In the past 18 months things have gone from bad to worse. The Boston Consulting Group, a consultancy, calls it the industry’s “worst peacetime crisis”. That is evident in first-quarter results released in the past week by Exxon Mobil and Chevron of America, and European rivals, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Total, which bear the scars of a collapse in oil prices to below $30 a barrel in mid-February (see chart).

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Oil giants should ditch high-cost projects, thinktank says

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Terry Macalister Energy editor: Thursday 5 May 2016

These leading energy companies including Exxon Mobil should ditch high-cost projects in deep water and Canadian tar sands to concentrate on cheaper schemes that make money at low crude prices, says the report, Sense and Sensitivity, by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The report follows shareholder resolutions calling on oil companies to undertake “stress tests” on operations in the face of stronger carbon regulation and weakening fossil fuel demand as countries move to lower-carbon economies.

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

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By Rakteem Katakey: May 4, 2016

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

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

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FT Energy Source: Saudi Reform

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By Ed Crooks: April 29, 2016

When Saudi Arabia’s oil minister raises an eyebrow, the world pays attention. So when the kingdom launched a hugely ambitious economic reform programme this week, it naturally attracted enormous interest.

The FT in an editorial praised what it described as “a bold bid to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy”, but highlighted the challenges Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would face in making his vision a reality. Simeon Kerr and Anjli Raval described the plans as “highly ambitious – some would say unrealistic”.

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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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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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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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Exxon and Shell Double Down to Defeat Climate Change Legislation

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Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 15.55.29Nika Knight, Common Dreams: April 8, 2016

The dark channels through which corporations influence legislation are notoriously hard to trace, but a new detailed report estimates that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are spending upwards of $500 million per year to obstruct climate laws.

Published Thursday by the UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap, the report looked at two fossil fuel giants (ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell) and three trade lobbying groups, discovering that all together the five companies spend $114 million dollars a year to defeat climate change legislation.

More significantly, InfluenceMap says, “Extrapolated over the entire fossil fuel and other industrial sectors beyond, it is not hard to consider that this obstructive climate policy lobbying spending may be in the order of $500m annually.”

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Shell under pressure to reduce spending

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Markets | Fri Apr 8, 2016 3:05am EDT

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, April 8 Royal Dutch Shell is under pressure from shareholders to cut annual spending below $30 billion after buying BG Group to ensure it can maintain its dividend given the slow oil price recovery.

Shell and other large oil companies slashed budgets, scrapped huge projects and cut tens of thousands of jobs last year in the face of a slump in oil prices from a June 2014 peak of nearly $116 a barrel to below $40.

Shell reduced spending by $8.4 billion to $28.9 billion last year and for the first time in more than three decades global capital spending in the oil and gas industry, known as capex, is set to fall for a second year in a row.

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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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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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