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Posts under ‘Gulf of Alaska’

Obama administration bans Arctic offshore oil drilling through 2022. But will Trump reverse it?

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By William Yardley: 18 Nov 2016

The Obama administration said Friday it was banning offshore oil drilling in the Arctic through 2022, a move that prompted widespread praise from conservation groups but raised questions over how long the decision will stand just two months before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

A new five-year leasing program prohibits any drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas — an environmental battleground in recent years —and also blocks expansion in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, while allowing some new leasing in the Gulf of Mexico. read more

Lament for Royal Dutch Shell

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Kashagan AKA “Cash All Gone”

Forgot the initial cost estimate, probably around $8-10 billion. Now 10+ years too late and ballooned to $50 billionMost normal companies would have gone bust long ago.

Shell inherited some beauties from the boys of the roaring 90s. I hope someone will write a book one day on this era. 

Reserve crisis, Pearl, Sakhalin, Kashagan, Alaska, tarsands, and I must have forgotten a few. Repeated over-promise and under-delivery. All many billions over budget, extreme overruns in startup, loss in AAA status, removal of operational and technical expertise. I find the silence on Prelude ominous. Probably goes the same way as the others. read more

Large cruise ship voyage through Arctic ice rekindles rows

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Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 21.48.04Terry MacalisterSaturday 13 August 2016 07.00 BST

Arguments around the Arctic have more recently centred on oil company drilling such as Shell’s controversial and now abandoned attempts to explore off the coast of Alaska and new plans to open up the Norwegian far north.

But the increasing scope for industrialising the region as the ice melts has also triggered geopolitical tensions and talk of a new cold war because the legal status of who owns what up there is uncertain.

FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell seeks $2 billion from Aramco in Motiva joint venture breakup

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LONDON/HOUSTON | BY RON BOUSSO AND ERWIN SEBA: Mon Jul 4, 2016 3:25pm BST

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has asked Saudi Aramco for up to $2 billion (£1.5 billion) as part of the breakup of their giant Motiva Enterprises refining joint venture in the United States, the latest stumbling point in a partnership fraught with tension.

The payment would be compensation for the Saudi company retaining a larger share of the nearly two decade-old JV. Its split was announced in March and is expected to be completed in October but disagreements over the payment could postpone the final date, sources close to the talks told Reuters. read more

Shell Oil Spill Dumps Thousands Of Barrels Of Crude Into Gulf Of Mexico

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The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said a 2 mile by 13 mile (about 3 km by 21 km) sheen was visible in the sea about 97 miles off the Louisiana coast.

The sheen is near Shell’s Glider Field, a group of four subsea wells whose production flows through a subsea manifold to the Brutus platform, which sits in water with a depth of 2,900 feet (884 m).

In a statement, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said a company helicopter observed the sheen on Thursday, and that the wells were under control after it isolated the leak and shut in production. read more

Shell’s fleet of ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard

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By John Donovan

In June 2015, I published an article by a regular contributor about the notorious Noble Discoverer, one of two drill ships used by Shell in their notorious offshore Alaska drilling campaign.

The insider described Shell’s fleet of five vessels sent into Arctic waters as ancient rust buckets fit only for the scrapyard.  

Apparently an entirely appropriate assessment, as I understand from a different source that the Noble Discover may well be on her way now to the infamous Alang shipbreaker yards in India. read more

Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 08.42.36Shell gives up on all but one Chukchi Sea lease

Yereth Rosen: Alaska Dispatch News: May 9, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has decided to give up all but one of its federal offshore leases in the Chukchi Sea, bringing what appears to be an anticlimactic end to its multibillion-dollar effort to turn those icy Arctic waters off northwestern Alaska into a new oil-producing frontier.

“After extensive consideration and evaluation, we have made the decision to relinquish all but one of our federal offshore leases in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. This action is consistent with our earlier decision not to explore offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” company spokesman Curtis Smith said in an email on Monday. read more

Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.   read more

An oilman’s $7 billion refresher course in the economics of drilling and climate change

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To many analysts, it looked like Odum was pushed into leaving.

Steven Mufson March 11, 2016

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, was attending a meeting of the parent company’s executive committee in Singapore when word trickled in that an exploration well drilled in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — the crowning step in a multi-year $7 billion quest — was a dry hole.

Maybe not bone dry. In a recent interview, Odum wouldn’t say. But in the oil business glossary, a dry hole is one that can’t pay off commercially, and Shell’s hole definitely qualified. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, abruptly dropped any further drilling — a setback for the industry, though a relief for environmentalists.

For years, they had fought a vigorous, litigious and politically intense battle over the Chukchi. Meanwhile Shell, lured by potentially rich rewards, had overcome a couple of embarrassing rig mishaps at sea and patiently navigated the courts and the Obama administration’s permitting process. Now, geology had rendered its verdict. read more

Shell the company most criticised by campaigners

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Sunday 17 JAN 2016

German carmaker Volkswagen was one of the “most disliked” companies for pressure groups last year following its emissions scandal, a survey has found.

Shell was the most criticised by campaigners, followed by Monsanto, which makes genetically modified food.

Half of the top-10 most criticised companies on Sigwatch’s list were energy firms, because of “the elephant in the room – climate change,” Mr Blood said.

Top was Shell, but TransCanada, ExxonMobil, EDF and BP also featured. read more

Economics, not just regulation, sidelined Shell’s offshore Alaska drilling plans

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Dermot ColeDecember 8, 2015

Fresh assertions that the Obama administration smothered Shell’s Arctic dreams followed the news that Statoil gave up on its leases, the second company to abandon plans to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

Citing market conditions and noting the leases “are no longer considered competitive within Statoil’s global portfolio,” the Norwegian company announced its withdrawal plans Nov. 17. The company had long taken a cautious approach in the region, using Shell as a bellwether. Earlier this year it had scaled back its plans to drill in the Barents Sea because of low oil prices. read more

The Inside Story of Shell’s Arctic Assault

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45A months-long investigation shows how the energy giant pressured the Interior Department during the company’s gung-ho Arctic push—and got most of what it wanted (except oil).

By Barry YeomanDecember 08, 2015

Last May, four months before the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell suspended exploration in offshore Alaska, Christopher Putnam needed to get something off his chest.

Putnam is 44, originally from Texas, a trained wildlife biologist who also served as an Army infantry sergeant during the Iraq War. For almost six years he has worked in Alaska for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protecting marine mammals. It has been his job to ensure that Shell’s plans to drill more than 60 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea—the wild Arctic water between Alaska and Siberia—wouldn’t harm Pacific walruses, particularly the juveniles, calves, and nursing mothers that dominate the Chukchi during the drilling season. read more

Report: Political pressure prompted hasty environmental review of Shell’s Arctic play

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Yereth RosenBen AndersonDecember 7, 2015

Regulators hoping to avoid criticism and potential congressional backlash rushed an environmental review of offshore Arctic oil development to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell would be able to drill this year, said a report issued Monday by a federal watchdog agency.

The investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, was launched in response to complaints from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees who worked on a rewrite of the supplemental environmental impact statement for oil leasing in the remote Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast. read more

Shell Forced to Scale Back Ambitions

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By James StaffordThu, 26 November 2015

As with most oil companies, 2015 has been a rough year for Royal Dutch Shell. The Anglo-Dutch company reported a third quarter loss of $6 billion, which included $7.9 billion in impairment charges.

During its third quarter earnings call, Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden summed up the company’s strategy, emphasizing restraint. “Grow to simplify” is how he put it. What that means in practice is scrapping the Arctic campaign; pulling out of the expensive Carmon Creek oil sands project in Canada; shedding assets in the less desirable parts of North American shale; selling assets elsewhere around the world, including Nigeria; and focusing on its merger with BG, which is a big bet on LNG. read more

Shell describes Arctic drilling project as a good prospect that just didn’t work out

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.

Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil. read more

Shell leaves door open for future exploration in Alaska’s Arctic

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Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle: November 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment,” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell to cease Alaska offshore exploration “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday. read more

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