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By Jeremy Hodges, Lauren Leatherby and Kartikay Mehrotra
May 24, 2018

In the global fight against climate change, one tool is proving increasingly popular: litigation. From California to the Philippines, activists, governments and concerned citizens are suing the biggest polluters and national governments over the effects of climate change at a break-neck pace. “The courts are our last, best hope at this moment of irreversible harm to our planet and life on it,” said Julia Olson, an attorney for Our Children’s Trust, a legal challenge center in the U.S. that is involved in climate change litigation across 13 countries, including the U.S., Pakistan and Uganda. Cases by San Francisco and Oakland face a motion to dismiss the lawsuit today in a California federal court, where Chevron Corp., BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhilips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc will argue that remedies and penalties for climate change are a matter for lawmakers, not a single judge.

FULL ARTICLE

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Climate Change Warriors’ Latest Weapon of Choice Is Litigation was first posted on May 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm.
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Investors turn up heat on Shell over climate targets http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/05/22/investors-turn-up-heat-on-shell-over-climate-targets/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/05/22/investors-turn-up-heat-on-shell-over-climate-targets/#respond Tue, 22 May 2018 12:41:40 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96859 Investors turn up heat on Shell over climate targets was first posted on May 22, 2018 at 1:41 pm.
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Ron Bousso: MAY 22, 2018

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Top investors in Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday stepped up pressure on the oil and gas giant to commit to hard targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to battle climate change.

Shell has set out “ambitions” to halve carbon emissions by 2050 and expand in renewables energy, which Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said were ground breaking for the oil industry.

To view a graphic on Shell emissions, click: reut.rs/2Iya7Hf

“Nobody else comes close, it is seriously ambitious,” van Beurden said of Shell’s plan at the company’s annual general meeting in The Hague.

While praising Shell for its plan, a growing number of major shareholders has urged the Anglo-Dutch company to commit to hard targets to reduce carbon emissions from its oil and gas production, as well as from fuels it sells around the world.

“We call for this ambition to be translated into firm medium and short term targets, aligned with the Paris Agreement,” a group of 27 investors managing $7.9 trillion in assets said in a statement read at the AGM.

Shell’s board has urged shareholders to vote against a resolution brought forward for a vote at the AGM by activist group Follow This calling on Shell to set hard targets to reduce emissions in order to meet the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement goal to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius.

Van Beurden warned that doing so would hamper Shell’s efforts to adapt to the transition going on in energy.

To view a graphic on Shell carbon reduction goals, click: reut.rs/2JOGJgZ

“The reputation of our company is irrevocably linked to targets… Nobody can see how the energy transition will play out over this period,” van Beurden said.

The previous two climate resolutions tabled by Follow This in 2016 and 2017 won the support of 2.8 percent and 6.3 percent of the votes, respectively.

Last week, a group of 60 global investors urged companies to do more to reduce emissions and become more transparent about their plans.

Producing and burning of oil and gas account for around 50 percent of global carbon emissions.

To view a graphic on Shell vs. Exxon, click: reut.rs/2Ez93SB

Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely

SOURCE

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Nigeria draft oil reforms seek to establish powerful industry regulator http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/05/10/nigeria-draft-oil-reforms-seek-to-establish-powerful-industry-regulator/ Thu, 10 May 2018 16:15:18 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96744 Nigeria draft oil reforms seek to establish powerful industry regulator was first posted on May 10, 2018 at 5:15 pm.
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FILE PHOTO: The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters are seen in Abuja, Nigeria December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

For decades, communities in the Niger Delta oil heartland have complained that spills and pollution have destroyed their land and killed off wildlife. Rights group Amnesty International accused international oil majors Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Eni SpA in March of negligence when addressing spills in Nigeria.

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Extra ‘Groningen’ Earthquake costs at the expense of Dutch national debt http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/05/10/extra-groningen-earthquake-costs-at-the-expense-of-dutch-national-debt/ Thu, 10 May 2018 14:15:49 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96738 Extra ‘Groningen’ Earthquake costs at the expense of Dutch national debt was first posted on May 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm.
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…other extra costs, such as repair and consolidation of houses, will soon be charged to the national debt to the extent that they are not paid by NAM. How high they are remains to be seen…
Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele DagbladRoyal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil each own a 50% share in NAM, the company responsible for the earthquake blighted Groningen Gas Field and consequential potential bill for untold billions in damages to effected residences.

Extra ‘Groningen’ costs at the expense of national debt

From our correspondent • Economy & Politics

The Spring Memorandum has yet to be ratified in the Cabinet, but is in broad terms ready, as sources in The Hague confirm. Education will receive €60 million on balance this year. A setback of €200 million, partly due to higher student numbers, could only be covered for €140 million within its own budget.

At the instigation of VVD and CDA, the Ministry of Justice also receives such an amount, but that is only from 2019, as agreed. As in previous years, the extra expenses can be easily absorbed from the windfalls that occur in social security and healthcare.

On balance, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra is still heading for a comfortable budget surplus of almost 1% of GDP for this year, as will be apparent from his interim balance sheet. This is well above the balance of 0.5% that was foreseen in the calculation of the coalition agreement.

Hoekstra (CDA) did not want to say anything on Wednesday after the Council of Ministers, but the coalition also seems to have agreed relatively easily on the cover for any additional costs arising from gas extraction in Groningen, and the approaching end of it.

If there are fewer gas revenues flowing to the State – which is probably not the case for this year – they must be accommodated within the existing expenditure framework as already agreed in the coalition agreement. For this year, €2 billion in gas revenues is still in the budget, by no means all from Groningen. Gas production will also only go to zero in 2030, making the coverage problem clear.

But other extra costs, such as repair and consolidation of houses, will soon be charged to the national debt to the extent that they are not paid by NAM. How high they are remains to be seen.

This year, the national debt, according to the latest findings of the Central Planning Board, is already significantly lower at 52.1% of GDP than was foreseen in the coalition agreement (53.5%).

SOURCE

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Extra ‘Groningen’ Earthquake costs at the expense of Dutch national debt was first posted on May 10, 2018 at 3:15 pm.
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Exxon Shell Earthquake Fallout http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/05/08/exxon-shell-earthquake-fallout/ Tue, 08 May 2018 09:02:04 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96717 Exxon Shell Earthquake Fallout was first posted on May 8, 2018 at 10:02 am.
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Incidentally, the cancellation of Shell’s investment in the Groninger gas field to zero does not mean that there can not be any more burdens. The company expects to have to write off part of the gas reserves in Groningen at the end of this year as well.

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele DagbladRoyal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil each own a 50% share in NAM, the company responsible for the earthquake blighted Groningen Gas Field and consequential potential bill for untold billions in damages to effected residences.

NAM and Shell write ‘Groningen’ to zero, ExxonMobil not yet

Bert van Dijk • Entrepreneurship

Oil companies Shell and ExxonMobil differ from each other about the value of the large gas field in Groningen. Shell and ExxonMobil are the shareholders of the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM), which operates the Groninger gas field.

The British-Dutch Shell has written off its investment in the NAM’s Groningen gas field in the past quarter, whereas the American ExxonMobil has not adjusted the value of its investment in ‘Groningen’. This is evident from the first quarter results that both companies recently announced.

In the first three months of this year, Shell took a one-off depreciation charge of $ 244 million on its investment in the Groninger gas field. Financial director Jessica Uhl of Shell stated this last week as follows: ‘The NAM is a separate entity. The company itself completed its investment in the Groningen field completely. NAM is an investment from us and is processed in the accounting according to the share method. That is why we are also obliged to write it off. ‘

NAM completed the investment entirely after the Cabinet decision in March to close the gas tap in Groningen by 2030 at the latest.

Space for postponement

ExxonMobil, just like Shell 50% shareholder in NAM, did not make any adjustments in the past quarter to the valuation of its investment in the Groningen field. The group follows US accounting standards. These differ from the IFRS method that Shell follows. ‘Based on our estimate, a write-down is not necessary now’, according to a spokesperson for ExxonMobil.

American accounting rules give a company more room to postpone or prevent a write-down than the European rules. This has to do with a difference in the way of valuing. Another difference between US accounting rules and IFRS for write-downs is the assessment of whether a decrease in value will be temporary or permanent. According to US accounting rules, it must first be determined whether it concerns a temporary impairment. In that case, it would be possible to wait with an impairment.

In the specific case of NAM it is according to auditors consulted, however, that it is a permanent decline in value, because shutting down the gas tap is a government decision and it is not expected that the gas tap will remain open longer than until 2030.

A difference in expectation about possible compensation or compensation for the government decision to close the gas tap, could therefore also play a role in the difference in depreciation between Shell and Exxon, according to a number of consulted auditors.

New gas structure

Negotiations are currently taking place between the Dutch State, NAM, Shell and ExxonMobil on a new future gas structure. It is possible that ExxonMobil will, for example, take account of tax concessions in the outcome of that consultation, which still attribute value to its investment in NAM. American accounting rules give the company more room to wait for it.

A spokesperson for ExxonMobil said that a possible compensation for shutting down the gas valve does not play a role in the estimation of ExxonMobil of the value of NAM.

Incidentally, the cancellation of Shell’s investment in the Groninger gas field to zero does not mean that there can not be any more burdens. The company expects to have to write off part of the gas reserves in Groningen at the end of this year as well. The extent of this depends, among other things, on the outcome of negotiations between Shell, ExxonMobil, NAM and the government on a new production production structure up to 2030.

SOURCE

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Exxon Shell Earthquake Fallout was first posted on May 8, 2018 at 10:02 am.
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