Supertankers that once raced around the world to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for oil are now parked offshore, fully loaded, anchors down, their crews killing time. In the United States, vast storage farms for oil are almost out of room. As demand for crude has plummeted, the world suddenly finds itself awash in oil that has nowhere to go.
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Out of 541 multinationals surveyed, Royal Dutch Shell has an overall ranking of 510, alongside the likes of the tobacco companies and Halliburton.
Foreigners were prime targets in the years of bloodshed unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and videos of the beheading of kidnapped Westerners shocked the world.
Shares in other oil companies also declined over the last year amid concern the global recession will continue to weigh on oil prices. Shell last week posted its first quarterly loss in ten years while France's Total reported a 25 percent drop in revenue.
Shell gets tough on costs as oil prices bite
Royal Dutch Shell has intensified its cost-cutting efforts in response to the collapse in oil prices and also plans to step up efforts to improve what it said was a “mixed” safety record.
Shell’s head of Exploration and Production Malcolm Brinded told employees in an email seen by Reuters that staff had to make “tough choices.”
“We simply need much higher sustainable savings this year and I ask for real actions from all of you …. Shed contractor staff, challenge requirements, eliminate consultancy work, reduce travel massively, cut overheads everywhere,” he said.
The Associated Press
Published: January 29, 2009
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company, has reported a $2.81 billion net loss for the fourth quarter as the price of oil fell sharply and it wrote down the value of its inventory.
The company had $8.47 billion in net profit in the same period a year earlier.
The company said Thursday sales fell 24 percent to $81.1 billion. Crude production was down less than one percent to 3.42 million barrels per day, but Shell’s selling price fell 29 percent to $58.40 as the global economic slowdown hit demand.
...faced with the plunge in oil prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials here have quietly begun soliciting some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks, including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, in the hope of getting them to invest in Venezuela again.
In Europe, the Dutch pension fund of Royal Dutch Shell said it had a $45 million exposure.
International Herald Tribune: Royal Dutch Shell's Dutch pension fund has fallen into deficit as share market turmoil knocked 40 percent off the fund's value, forcing the oil major and employees to increase contributions
Oil prices hit four-year lows Friday as employers cut the highest number of jobs in 34 years. The continuing decline in prices is so dramatic and so sudden that it is raising the prospect that gas prices could soon fall below $1 a gallon.
Oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell and other companies are re-examining the viability of oil sands development in an area that could hold as much as 175 billion barrels of oil. Only Saudi Arabia has more than Alberta.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. and a division of Royal Dutch Shell say they have signed a deal to explore the possibility of developing deep natural gas fields off the emirate's coast.