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Joint-venture partners in Browse open to new options

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BRIDGET CARTER, GRETCHEN FRIEMANN:

  • The Australian
  • 12:00AM August 30, 2016

The one thing that the Woodside Petroleum-led Browse project has never had much of is unity among the project partners. But that may quietly be changing.

DataRoom understands that the various joint-venture partners in Browse are open to new development options for the project, and that the pipeline option floated by Woodside last week is increasingly being seen by all the partners as the most sensible plan as it stands today.

Woodside chief Peter Coleman told journalists on Friday that the option of connecting Browse to the big but ageing North West Shelf liquefied natural gas plant via a massive 1000km subsea pipeline was back on the table.

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Shell’s North Sea assets draw eye of private equity-backed groups

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A significant downsizing…

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 08.09.54August 29, 2016

Investment companies backed by some of the world’s biggest private equity groups have expressed interest in North Sea assets being sold by Royal Dutch ShellShell insists it will not abandon the North Sea, where it has 33 platforms and interests in 65 fields. Further multibillion-dollar investment is planned in two big developments — Clair and Schiehallion — west of the Shetland Islands. However, Shell is looking to sell a range of older assets, as well as stakes in newer fields, in what would amount to a significant downsizing, according to people involved in the process.

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Is energy industry ready to join open source world?

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By David Hunn: August 26, 2016

Landmark, a technology unit of the energy services company Halliburton, is betting that it is, unveiling a cloud-computing platform last week that will allow companies to collaborate on developing software to process the massive volumes of data they collect on everything from geology to seismology to chemistry to drilling to flows of oil and gas. The idea is that easy and open access to the code on which the platform is based will lead to faster and better analysis of the data and ultimately to innovations that allow the industry to extract more oil and gas at lower costs.

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Can OPEC save BP plc and Royal Dutch Shell plc?

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By Ian Pierce – Thursday, 25 August, 2016

Oil majors must long for the halcyon days when a sustained period of low crude prices could be expected to send OPEC riding to the rescue with sweeping production cuts and a promise to boost global prices. Now, two years into a global supply glut that shows few signs of lifting, do oil majors need an OPEC to finally take action?

BP (LSE: BP) wouldn’t say no to the help. Interim results released last month saw underlying replacement cost profits, its preferred metric of profitability, slump 67% year-on-year. Add in a $2bn statutory loss for the period and net debt leaping to $30.9bn and worries have rightly begun to proliferate that dividends will be slashed sooner rather than later.

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Largest Oil Companies’ Debts Hit Record High

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By SELINA WILLIAMS and BRADLEY OLSON: Aug. 24, 2016 

Executives at BP, Shell, Exxon and Chevron have assured investors that they will generate enough cash in 2017 to pay for new investments and dividends, but some shareholders are skeptical. In the first half of 2015, the companies fell short of that goal by $40 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of their numbers.

“Eventually something will give,” said Michael Hulme, manager of the $550 million Carmignac Commodities Fund, which holds stakes in Shell and Exxon. “These companies won’t be able to maintain the current dividends at $50 to $60 oil—it’s unsustainable.”

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How sustainable is Royal Dutch Shell plc’s 6% yield?

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By Prabhat Sakya – Monday, 22 August, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSB) is a £75bn company listed on the FTSE 100. It explores for, produces and refines both oil and gas products and has a long and proud dividend history. In February 2016 it acquired gas firm BG, meaning it now produces more gas than oil. So far, so straightforward.

But it has been hit hard by falling commodity prices, as both the value of oil and gas have tumbled over the past year.

Shell was hugely profitable

Currently Shell pays out a 6.1% dividend yield. That’s a high income, and it gives the company strong appeal to dividend investors. The question is, how sustainable is that yield?

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‘Business as usual’ for Shell in New Zealand

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 08.11.41Written by Mark Lammey – 22/08/2016 7:47 am

Shell’s New Zealand boss has reportedly said business was proceeding “as usual” amid reports the company was planning to divest its entire $1billion-plus portfolio in the country.

Australian media reports said late last week that JP Morgan had been hired to offload Shell’s assets, which were placed under review by the oil giant in December.

But Rob Jager told New Zealand media outlets the company was still looking at a range of options and that it was “business as usual”.

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Shell looks to divest NZ assets

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22By Simon Hartley

Shell is preparing to sell all or some of its New Zealand operations, which carry an estimated value of more than $1 billion.break

Following inquiries by the ODT, Shell New Zealand country chairman Rob Jager confirmed speculation this week that investment bank giant JPMorgan had been appointed to support any sales process.

“Shell continues to explore a range of options for some or all of Shell’s assets in New Zealand. JP Morgan has been appointed to support this process,” Mr Jager said in a brief note, being unavailable for an interview.

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Shell advises JPMorgan to sell $1bn NZ oil portfolio

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BRIDGET CARTERMergers & Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

GRETCHEN FRIEMANNMergers & Acquisitions Editor, Sydney

19 August 2016

Shell has called on investment bank JPMorgan to offload its $1 billion-plus portfolio of oil exploration and production assets in New Zealand, with some analysts questioning whether Australian players will express interest in the offering.

It comes as part of a global selldown by the oil and gas giant, which signalled a retreat from various markets, amid a $US30bn ($39bn) global asset sale plan following its $US50bn takeover of BG Group.

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Cash flow problems at Shell?

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By Roland Head – Wednesday, 17 August, 2016

Oil and gas giants Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) and (LSE: BP) have been among the top performers in the FTSE 100 so far this year. Shell stock is worth 31% more than at the start of January, while BP is up 23%.

But these gains don’t seem to reflect the weak state of the oil market or both companies’ rapidly-growing debt piles. Are investors turning a blind eye to the risk of a dividend cut in pursuit of the 7% yields available on both stocks?

Cash flow problems at Shell?

Shell’s interim results showed that the firm’s net debt has rocketed from $25.9bn one year ago to $75.1bn today. Much of this is due to the BG acquisition. I expect Shell to be able to refinance a lot of BG’s debt at much lower interest rates than those paid by BG.

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The Panama Shortcut

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Jon Asmundsson: August 15, 2016

When the sun rose over the Caribbean Sea on July 25, the Maran Gas Apollonia was churning toward the new Panama Canal with a shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas that it had loaded at Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. Tugs guided the 90,434-ton tanker into the first of the Panama Canal’s new Agua Clara Locks. The gates closed, and water filled the first chamber. That night the vessel passed through Gatun Lake and the new Cocoli Locks and entered the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first LNG tanker to transit the expanded shipping lane that opened in June. Built in 2014, the Royal Dutch Shell-chartered tanker is about 13 meters (43 feet) wider than the largest ships the old locks could handle. The expansion opens the Panama Canal to about 90 percent of the world’s LNG fleet, up from less than 10 percent, allowing these football-field-size tankers to shave 11 days and one-third the cost of the typical round trip to Asia. In July the U.S. Department of Energy predicted 550 tankers could be crossing each year by 2021.

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Shell’s “ballooning” debt could put 7.5% dividend at risk, analyst says

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Aug 10 2016, 14:57 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) 7.5% dividend could be at risk because of its “ballooning” debt, says Raymond James analyst Jean-Pierre Dmirdjian, adding that the concerns outweigh the longer-term appeal of the company’s transformation story.

The analyst says his fair value of ~$27/share makes Shell seem like a potential buy, but it is “too soon to be charmed by the reshaping plan” announced in June.

James notes the “unsupportive oil price environment [which] puts a strain on cash flow” and makes debt reduction an increasing priority; the firm reiterates its Market Perform rating on the stock.

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Shell Calls Force Majeure on Nigeria Gas Supply After Leak

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Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 09.29.20By Paul Burkhardt and Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: August 10, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its local unit has declared force majeure on supplies to a liquefied natural gas plant in Nigeria because of a leak in a pipeline as the OPEC member suffers from militant attacks on energy infrastructure that are hurting exports.

“The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs,” Natasha Obank, a Shell spokeswoman, said in a statement. The leak occurred on the Eastern Gas Gathering System, or EGGS-1, pipeline which supplies the bulk of Shell’s gas to the Nigeria LNG plant on Bonny Island. Some supply continues through other pipelines, Shell said.

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Is Royal Dutch Shell plc’s dividend living on borrowed time?

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By Harvey Jones – Friday, 5 August, 2016

All good things come to an end, and I’m afraid this old saying is increasingly likely to apply to today’s sky-high dividend paid by Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB).

Unsure of Shell

The oil major has a proud record of raising its dividend every year since the Second World War, but that record surely can’t last much longer. Shell faces a different type of global threat these days as the after-effects of the financial crisis continue to rumble on (or even intensify), and the oil price plunges once again.

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Shell share price: Analysts flag concerns over group’s debt pile

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by Mary MorleyTuesday, 02 Aug 2016, 10:38 BST

The latest fall in oil prices has revived concerns about Royal Dutch Shell’s (LON:RDSA) debt pile, analysts at RBC have said. The comments follow the oil major’s second-quarter results last week when the Anglo-Dutch group posted a hefty drop in profits.

Shell’s share price has fallen into negative territory in today’s session, tracking crude lower. As of 10:09 BST, the shares were changing hands 1.85 percent in the red at 1,853.50p, underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.77 percent lower at 6,642.68 points. The group’s shares have been little changed over the past year, and are up by more than a fifth in the year-to-date.

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How Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP Are Affected by Low Oil Prices

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Aug 1, 2016 at 7:57 am EST

Just when you thought oil prices will rebound they got even worse. The last few weeks have been quite eventful for the oil and gas industry, with companies releasing their second-quarter earnings. The quarter hasn’t been as rewarding for integrated oil and gas majors.

The decline in crude oil price has persisted for quite a while now. West Texas Intermediate was down 0.50% at $41.40 per barrel, while Brent Crude was down 0.32% at $43.39 per barrel, earlier today.

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Gorgon full output delayed until mid-2017

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 18.30.44Brian Robins: August 1 2016

A series of commissioning problems has delayed the timing of when Chevron Corp expects the giant Gorgon gas export project to be in full production, until well into 2017.

Since it began to bring the initial stage of the project on stream, it has encountered a series of problems that have forced it to halt processing from time to time, and it has now told analysts the first unit is operating at only a little over two-thirds of its rated capacity.

Production was halted for two months soon after the initial exports of gas, forcing Chevron to push back towards mid-2017 when it expects the project to be fully operational, from earlier this year.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell stake in Woodside Petroleum ‘held for sale’

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by Angela Macdonald-Smith: July 29 2016

Royal Dutch Shell looks to be heading for an exit from Woodside Petroleum sooner rather than later, after reclassifying its remaining $3 billion stake in the Australian oil and gas producer as an “asset for sale”.

The move appears to be driven by technical reasons because of Shell’s reduced representation on Woodside’s board. But at the same time it may signal a firmer intention to dispose of the circa 13 per cent stake, which Shell has for some time declared as a non-strategic holding.

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Shell’s Debt Nears Edge of Comfort Zone as Rout Boosts Borrowing

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Net debt increased to a record $75 billion at the end of June from $70 billion three months earlier, Shell said Thursday as it reported a slump in second-quarter earnings. Additional borrowing drove up the ratio of net debt to capital, or gearing, to 28.1 percent — more than double the year-earlier level.

“We’re close to the maximum level and it could go up still with the oil price where it is,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on a conference call. “Thirty percent is an upper limit to where we can describe our position as comfortable.”

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Royal Dutch Shell may have to slash its dividend – analysts Share

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17:00 28 Jul 2016

Investors in Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB) should be steeling themselves for an eventual cut in their dividend payouts, according to analysts.

In half-year results on Thursday, the Anglo-Dutch company held its interim dividend steady, at 47 cents, despite underlying earnings for the quarter falling 72% to US$1bn.

Its gas and downstream businesses fuelled earnings, more than outweighing a US$2bn loss in the upstream division, which faced one-off charges of US$649mln.

But shares in the group fell 53.5p, or 2.5%, to 2051.5p.

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Shell: Paradise Postponed

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PHOTOGRAPHER: ANDREY RUDAKOV

By Chris Hughes: July 28, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has delivered a shock.

Weeks after cheering investors with a big plan for living within its means, the oil major’s second-quarter earnings plummeted from $3.4 billion to $239 million. Paradise — a cash-generative company driven by February’s $64 billion acquisition of BG Group — has been postponed.

So much for the benefits of BG. This was the first set of numbers to include a full contribution for the acquisition, and so far the deal has pushed indebtedness higher while introducing a raft of one-off integration costs.

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Shell focusing on ‘lasting changes’

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 28 (UPI) — Lower crude oil prices continue to present problems for the industry and Shell is now focused on retooling efforts, the chief executive officer said.

“We are making significant and lasting changes to Shell’s working practices and cost structure,” CEO Ben van Buerden said in a statement.

Shell, moving through the year after a merger with British energy company BG Group, said net income during the second quarter fell more than 70 percent to $1.18 billion. The company attributed the decline in part to some of the fiscal pressures from its $7 billion tie-up with BG Group, weak industry conditions and tougher tax regimes.

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Shell misses expectations with 70 percent earnings plunge

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 08.37.58By REUTERS: PUBLISHED: 08:16, 28 July 2016

By Karolin Schaps and Dmitry Zhdannikov

LONDON, July 28 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell reported a more than 70 percent fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, well below analyst estimates, blaming weak oil prices, poor refining profits and higher charges resulting from its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group.

Shell’s current cost of supplies — its definition of net income — came to $1 billion in the second quarter, compared with analyst expectations of $2.2 billion and $3.8 billion achieved the same time last year.

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Shell profit falls 93% amid low oil prices

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The quarter was the first full one that included BG Group PLC, which Shell bought in a roughly $50 billion acquisition that completed in February.

“Downstream and integrated gas businesses contributed strongly to the results, alongside Shell’s self-help program. However, lower oil prices continue to be a significant challenge across the business, particularly in the upstream,” said Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden.

FULL ARTICLE

LNG takes another lurch toward financial oblivion

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Lachlan Barker: 27 July 2016

The future for gas companies is looking grim and this means market forces will effect what our governments should have done and force the industry’s closure, says Lachlan Barker.

THE FINANCIAL REPORTING news for Queensland’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies is disastrous – for yet another quarter.

Santos were the first out with their second quarterly production report and even I – a fairly close observer of the LNG market – couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing.

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2 Red Flags on Royal Dutch Shell’s Cash Flow Statement

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Reuben Gregg BrewerJul 22, 2016 at 1:16PM

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B) has been hit just as hard by the oil industry downturn as any other oil major. So far, though, it’s managed to keep its dividend intact. Still, the company’s cash flow statement bears watching, because keeping that dividend going is getting harder to pull off. Here are two red flags to watch on Royal Dutch Shell’s cash flow statement.   

Cash flow, not earnings

Shell’s earnings cratered following the mid-2014 oil price drop, going from around $3.00 a share in 2014 to just $0.60 or so last year. (Note that the U.S. traded ADRs represent two shares of Shell stock, so these figures and all of the other per share numbers in the text, which are based on one share of stock, may be half of what you expect to see if you own the ADR.) In the first quarter of this year, the integrated oil giant only earned about a dime a share. Clearly, things aren’t going well for Shell’s business right now. That’s understandable, since oil and natural gas prices play a big part in the company’s results, but there are implications to the bottom-line decline.  

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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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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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Royal Dutch Shell: Does Everything Come Down to Oil Price Recovery?

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By Staff Writer on Jul 19, 2016 at 9:07 am EST

World’s leading integrated oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), concluded a deal to acquire BG not too long ago. The move was widely perceived as an aggressive step to become a dominant supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the globe. The deal is expected to help Shell diversify its operations and enable it to benefit from cost synergies in the years to come.

The merger came at a time when oil prices were on a downward trajectory, with the step expected to drive the company out of the downturn. Oil prices that were once above $110 per barrel have now plunged below $50. Last year, when the Dutch company announced the deal, many mergers and acquisition pundits criticized Shell’s willingness to pay 50% premium in a depressed crude oil environment.

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How Lower Oil Prices, Brexit Are Impacting North Sea Operations

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Jul 19, 2016 at 7:35 am EST

Thanks to Brexit vote, the oil and gas markets are experiencing significant level of uncertainties. With UK now stepping out of the European Union, many oil and gas companies have reduced operations as they feel that demand may not be as robust as it used to be.

The North Sea is one of the highest cost regions in the world. With the recent development in the UK market, companies fear higher costs, which can derail operations in the region. As reported by Bloomberg, Wood Mackenzie, a consulting firm, has indicated that around 30% of the fields in the region are operating at a loss.

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American Gas Will Be First to Pass Through Expanded Panama Canal

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Naureen Malik: July 19, 2016

Shell set to send tanker carrying U.S. LNG through canal

BP scheduled to send second tanker through the following day

The first cargo of liquefied natural gas set to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal locks will be American.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Maran Gas Apollonia vessel is scheduled to pass through the canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on July 25 after loading LNG from the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the Panama Canal Authority, which oversees the locks’ operations. BP Plc’s British Merchant LNG tanker is expected to become the second to pass through the canal the following day and a third tanker is slated for early August, the agency said in a statement late Monday.

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Getting Ready for Another Round of Commodity Market Downturn

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By Staff Writer on Jul 18, 2016 at 7:30 am EST

Crude oil prices have dropped below the $50 per barrel mark yet again after hitting their highest level in 2016 last month. US crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is trading at $45.97 per barrel while Brent is trading at $47.69 per barrel in European Markets today. The global crude oil benchmark reached as high as $52.51 per barrel earlier in June.

Although oil prices have recovered some momentum after touching 12-year lows of $27 per barrel earlier in 2016, it still has a lot of ground to gain before reaching summer-2014 levels. Oil market showed some positive gains in June when oil prices crossed the psychological barrier of $50 per barrel. However, it was short-lived as it is currently trading below $48 per barrel.

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Shell with a full tank of debt

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By JACK HOUGH: JULY 16, 2016

A dash of desperation is working wonders for module article chiclet Royal Dutch Shell. The price of Brent crude oil has fallen by half in two years, pulling Shell’s cash flow from operations well below what it typically needs to pay its dividend and fund exploration. Meanwhile, the purchase of United Kingdom gas specialist BG Group, completed in February, left Shell with a full tank of debt.

Something had to give. Investors braced for a dividend cut, which is why the American depositary receipts (ticker: RDS.B) started the year priced low enough to yield 8%. But rather than reduce its payout, Shell slashed spending on projects and sold low-return businesses. Last month, it announced a capital plan through 2020 that calls for more asset sales and a limit on capital spending.

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Royal Dutch Shell Vs BP plc: Who’s Better Equipped to Tackle the Downturn?

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Jul 15, 2016 at 10:04 am EST

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) finally closed its $52 billion merger with BG group in February. The deal is considered as one of the largest mergers in the oil and gas sector and is expected to help Shell diversify its operations and benefit from cost synergies.

The Shell-BG merger comes at a time when oil prices have plummeted significantly. Oil prices that once traded over $110 per barrel have now tumbled to as low as $50 per barrel. Last year, when Shell approached BG for the first time, many criticized the deal especially because of the 50% premium Shell was willing to pay in a depressed crude environment.

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Shell chair Andrew Smith vows to rein in costs as downturn bites

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ANDREW BURRELL: July 15, 2016

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith says the downturn in the oil and gas industry has strengthened his resolve to rein in costs as he seeks to integrate the company — the nation’s biggest foreign investor — with the Queensland assets of BG Group.

“You have to treat every dollar like it’s your own,” Smith tells The Deal, published in The Australian today, as he reflects on his 30-year career and the massive changes that have hit Shell and the petroleum industry. His mantra even extends, Smith’s colleagues reveal, to their boss’s insistence a few years ago that newspaper subscriptions be pared back in the company’s Melbourne office.

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S&P trims rating on oil major

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by Tsveta ZikolovaWednesday, 13 Jul 2016, 14:09 BST

Standard & Poor’s has trimmed its rating on Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA), the Financial Times has reported. The move has been prompted by the group’s £35-billion takeover of former smaller London-listed peer BG Group completed earlier this year.

Shell’s share price has been little changed in today’s session, having lost 0.07 percent to stand at 2,106.00p as of 13:25 BST. The shares are marginally underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having inched 0.12 percent higher to 6,688.62 points. Shell’s shares have gained nearly 16 percent over the past year, and are up just under 38 percent in the year-to-date.

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Corrib flaring before court

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LIKE THE SUN A still image taken from a recording shows the glow from the flaring at the Corrib Gas terminal on New Year’s Eve.

EPA confirms issuing of summons

Áine Ryan: 12 JULY 2016

SHELL E&P Ireland will appear before Dublin Metropolitan District Court on September 5 next over an intense flaring incident at the controversial Corrib refinery on December 31 last, The Mayo News can confirm. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has confirmed it issued a summons to Shell last week after a six-month investigation into what locals described as a ‘frightening’ event.  They said it lasted 30 to 40 minutes, lit up the sky and was seen from as far away as Achill and Foxford. The fire from the giant chimney stack was accompanied by a ‘low, loud rumble like a supersonic boom’, according to local witnesses

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Shell’s New Sensors Could Reduce Exploration Costs Dramatically

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By Irina Slav – Jul 12, 2016, 1:04 PM CDT

Searching for oil and gas is an activity with uncertain success—an activity with a bit less uncertainty were it not for 3D seismic surveying. And this uncertainty could be reduced even further, thanks to technological advancements that Shell is currently testing.

Seismic surveying is the first step in any oil and gas exploration project. It’s an expensive undertaking that requires scattering thousands of sensors on the ground and then analyzing the data they register about the subterranean rock makeup that may or may not include oil and gas-bearing formations.

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Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

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Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 15.59.39Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L and its LNG Canada partners have once again pushed back the timing of a decision on building a British Columbia liquefied natural gas export (LNG) terminal, the latest setback for the Canadian province’s energy ambitions.

LNG Canada, whose participants also include PetroChina Co Ltd 601857.SS, Mitsubishi Corporation 8058.T and Kogas, cited global industry challenges, including capital constraints, for requiring more time prior to making a final investment decision.

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Shell-Led Group Delays Decision on Canada Gas Export Plan

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By Natalie Obiko Pearson and Rebecca Penty: July 11, 2016

LNG Canada cites industry challenges, capital constraints

Project says it can’t confirm when it plans final decision

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners delayed for the second time this year a final investment decision on a terminal to export liquefied natural gas from Canada’s Pacific Coast to Asian markets.

LNG Canada, which is also backed by Mitsubishi Corp., PetroChina Co. and Korea Gas Corp., cited “global industry challenges, including capital constraints” in announcing the postponement in a statement on Monday.

“Participants have determined they need more time prior to taking a final investment decision,” the joint venture said. “At this time, we cannot confirm when this decision will be made.”

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BG Houston Office to Close; Lay Off 154 Workers

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According to a letter sent to the Texas Workforce Commission, BG, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell February 15, 2016, will permanently close its Houston office and lay off 154 employees. The majority of employees, 118, will be laid off August 31 and the remaining 36 employees will be let go September 30.

Employees do not have bumping rights and BG will offer severance benefits and outplacement services to laid-off employees.

In January, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said the acquisition would result in a total workforce reduction of 10,000 workers across both companies. Shell has also stated the company will close BG’s head office located near London by the end of the year, Reuters reported. In addition, Shell will close BG’s Aberdeen office and its Brabazon House office in Manchester by the end of 2017.  

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Shell CEO says interested in Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field – Vedomosti

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11 July 2016

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is interested to take part in developing Russia’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russia’s Vedomosti daily newspaper in an interview.

He added that expansion of the Sakhalin-2 LNG project in Russia’s Pacific Island of Sakhalin may need gas both from that field and from the Sakhalin-1 project.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)

SOURCE

Only 25% of Nigeria’s gas reserves is utilised, says Shell chief

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Only 25 per cent of the country’s gas reserves is being utilised, the Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, has said.

He spoke at the Nigerian Gas Association’s Business Forum in Lagos.

Okunbor, who represented Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) Chairman, Clay Neff listed some of the problems of the sector’s development to include gas producers debts, poor gas infrastructure, insufficient funding and lack of a conducive business environment.

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Small fire at Prelude LNG construction site in South Korea -Shell

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SYDNEY/SEOUL, July 8 (Reuters) – Shell said a small fire occurred at the construction site in South Korea for its huge floating Prelude liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, with work resuming immediately and an investigation underway.

The incident would not have an impact on the delivery schedule, according to a source in South Korea.

Shell has declined to reveal the timetable or the budget for Prelude, based on a giant processing vessel being built in Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard that will be towed to a gas field off the west Australia coast.

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Einstein Never Knew He’d Help Shell Discover Oil

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By Eric Roston: July 7, 2016

Albert Einstein suggested a century ago that large-scale cosmic violence—two black holes colliding, for example—might send gravitational ripples through the universe like a stone disturbing the surface of a pond. In September physicists in the U.S. conclusively detected gravitational waves for the first time, again proving Einstein right. While it’s a safe assumption he wasn’t thinking about how building a wave observatory might lead to finding oil and gas, two physicists in Amsterdam have started a company betting they can.

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Greedy Shell Takes Redundant Employees Tax Breaks

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By John Donovan

Shell has resorted to taking tax breaks intended for redundant employees in order to help maintain its dividend and ensure that senior managers involved in the BG merger vanity project keep THEIR jobs.

Employees in the UK are taxed on redundancy payments over £30k.  However, HMRC provides an exemption for employees who have worked abroad allowing them to reclaim some or all of the tax.  Despite the fact that Shell UK redundancy terms have deteriorated over recent years and are now significantly less generous than their Dutch colleagues receive, Shell UK has decided that it is entitled to the overseas employment tax breaks not the employee.

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Shell is being prosecuted over emissions at Corrib gas refinery

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6 July 2016

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Agency has begun a prosecution against Shell for emissions at its Corrib gas refinery in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo.

The EPA has confirmed to TheJournal.ie that a summons was issued late last week, the culmination of an investigation into a flaring incident at the gas refinery on New Year’s Eve last.

The test flaring lasted 30 to 40 minutes from around 8.15pm that evening, two days after Alex White, the then minister for energy, gave final operating consent for the project.

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