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Posts under ‘Iran’

The new oil order

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Apr 23rd 2016

FOR generations, oil and stability have gone hand in hand in Saudi Arabia. The puritanically conservative kingdom has used its oil wealth to buy loyalty at home and friends abroad. But since King Salman came to the throne last year, his 30-year-old son, Muhammad, has injected unpredictability into the Middle East.

Critics consider the deputy crown prince a hothead, whose dangerous obsession with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival, is feeding sectarianism and fraying relations with America. At home, though, the impetuousness of Muhammad bin Salman may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to start weaning itself off oil, the price of which has fallen sharply over the past 18 months. A big test comes on April 25th, when the prince is due to unveil the kingdom’s long-delayed “Vision” reform plan.

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Botched Doha deal undermines OPEC credibility, oil prices tumble

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 18 April 2016

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts.

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Iran launches talks with Shell

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Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) made the remarks saying “despite the initiation of negotiations, no final agreement has been reached yet.”

In response to a question about the amount of oil sales to Royal Dutch Shell Oil Industry Company in case of sealing a deal, the official estimated that grounds will be provided for selling oil in accordance with pre-sanctions period which amounted to 100 thousand barrels per day.

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Shell CEO says may sell some North Sea assets to improve portfolio

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PERTH | BY SONALI PAUL: Tue Apr 12, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell could sell some of its older, lower grade North Sea assets to improve the quality of its portfolio, CEO Ben van Beurden said on Tuesday, part of a two-year program to help finance its purchase of gas major BG Group.

After completing the $52 billion acquisition of BG in February, Shell said it would sell $30 billion in assets between 2016 and 2018 to help finance the deal and to maintain its dividend following a sharp drop in oil prices since mid-2014.

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Crude oil prices start Monday on a down note

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By Daniel J. Graeber: April 4, 2016

NEW YORK, April 4 (UPI) — Crude oil prices drifted marginally lower in early Monday trading after Iran said it was preparing to put more of its petroleum products on the global market.

Crude oil prices suffered one of the worst days of the year Friday after Saudi officials said they’d agree to trim production provided other major market players followed suit. Russia has said it would back a freeze on production alongside members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, though Iran said it would participate only after it gained a stronger market position.

Oil prices are lower in part because the market remains tilted toward the supply side. Adding to the pressure, the National Iranian Oil Co. said Monday it authorized sales of crude oil to Royal Dutch Shell now that the company has settled its debt obligations.

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How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself

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By ANDREW SCOTT COOPER: A version of this op-ed appears in print on March 13, 2016

FOR the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

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Shell repays Iran 1.77 bln euros debt for oil deliveries

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By Ron Bousso

LONDON, March 7 Royal Dutch Shell has paid 1.77 billion euros ($1.94 billion) it owed the National Iranian Oil Company, settling debts after sanctions against the country were lifted in January.

The outstanding debt to Iran was a result of Iranian oil deliveries which Shell had been unable to pay for due to sanctions that were imposed on the country over its nuclear programme.

The Anglo-Dutch company resumed talks with Tehran on the debt after most Western sanctions were lifted in January as part of a deal with world powers. The payments were made over the past three weeks in euros as dollar transactions are still under U.S. sanctions.

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OPEC’s Freeze Backfires

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The punchline? The joke’s on OPEC.

There are several glaring problems inherent to the freeze, whereby members of OPEC and other large producers such as Russia are supposed to not raise their oil output from current levels, not least that they are already producing too much oil for the market to absorb.

But there is a more subtle effect that actually works against the likes of Saudi Arabia: The freeze raises hope. In particular, it raises hope in the otherwise largely despondent world of energy financing.

Monday night, before those oil ministers iced the freeze, Cabot Oil & Gas, a U.S. exploration and production company, announced it had sold an upsized offering of new shares that should ultimately raise roughly $1 billion.

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Shell Begins Repaying Debts to Iran

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By BENOIT FAUCON: Feb. 17, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday it had started the process of repaying $2 billion in oil-related debts owed to Iran, easing a key hurdle to doing business there now that western sanctions have been lifted.

“Following the lifting of applicable EU and U.S. sanctions, we can confirm that the process for paying Shell’s outstanding debt to [state-run National Iranian Oil Co.] has started,” the Shell spokesman said.

FULL ARTICLE

Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion: Update

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47By John Donovan

In June 2015, we published an article by a regular contributor under the headline: Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion

I was contacted recently by a gentleman who carried out work on the infamous Noble Discoverer drillship, which may currently be up for sale in Singapore.

He recently read the article and based on his insider knowledge, says that it would explain a lot.

He claims that a colleague working on the rig speculated, even before the publication of our article, that the Discoverer was part of a giant money laundering scheme. 

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Oil price falls again as Shell shareholders prepare to vote on mega-merger with BG Group

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The price tumbled as much as 3 per cent during trading yesterday when it emerged Iraq had produced a record high of oil and may even raise output further.

The news comes as the market is already braced for more supply from Iran after sanctions were lifted. 

Tankers have begun to leave Iran’s ports and it agreed its first deal with a European company last week with Greece’s refinery Hellenic Petroleum. 

Some analysts expect Iran to increase production to between 3million and 4million barrels a day. Iraq’s fields produced more than 4.1million barrels a day.

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Oil prices in reverse amid Opec call

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Oil prices tumbled again on Monday, eroding last week’s gains, as Opec called for co-operation from oil-producing nations outside the cartel.

Brent crude fell 4.1% to $30.86 a barrel following a 10% rise on Friday, while US oil shed 4.7% to $30.68.

The slide came as the head of Opec called for all oil-producing nations to work together.

Abdullah al-Badri said both Opec and non-Opec oil producers needed to tackle oversupply to help prices rise.

“It is vital the market addresses the issue of the stock overhang. As you can see from previous cycles, once this overhang starts falling then prices start to rise,” he told a conference in London.

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BG Group Plc: To Be Or Not To Be?

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By James Skinner – Tuesday, 19 January, 2016

All that remains for Shell’s (LSE: RDSB) takeover of BG Group (LSE: BG) to become a done deal is for shareholders to vote it through at the end of this month (AGM).

I’m now having second thoughts about this, partly as a result of last week’s news, which saw Standard Life announce that it will vote against the merger at the upcoming meeting.

This announcement has prompted me to stop for a moment and ask if the transaction still makes sense.  

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Oil price falls below $28 a barrel, or less than the cost of an actual barrel

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Hazel Sheffield: 18 JAN 2016

Not everyone agreed with the RAC when it said that petrol could become cheaper than bottled water.

RAC wagered that if the price of oil slid below $20 barrel, it could push petrol prices to 90p a litre – while a fall to $10 a barrel or less could see petrol sold at 86p a litre, or cheaper than a bottle of water.

But only if you are a water snob, according to the Hydration Council, who emailed us to say that the average price of a litre bottle of water, purchased in a multi-pack, is 38p. Take that, Perrier drinkers. 

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Shell’s Earnings to Show Depth of Rout as Oil Extends Losses

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.27.35Shell will on Wednesday become the first major oil producer to announce annual earnings as it enters the final stages of its plan to buy BG Group Plc in the industry’s biggest deal in years. Investors will scrutinize those preliminary numbers for signs Europe’s largest oil company is doing enough to justify the acquisition as crude drops below $30 a barrel. 

Shell has cut thousands of jobs and reduced spending as Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden prepares the company for a prolonged downturn while looking to BG to add production and cash flow. The 18-month slump in crude, the longest since the mid-1980s, has delayed $380 billion of investments in the industry, driven down profits and erased more than $2.7 trillion of oil companies’ market value.

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Shell denies Iranian report of Tehran visit

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Jan 16 2016

Royal Dutch Shell on Saturday denied a report in Iranian media that it had sent representatives to Iran ahead of the expected lifting of international sanctions.

Iran’s Mehr news agency had earlier reported that Shell and French oil major Total had sent executives to Tehran, and were due to meet officials from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) on Sunday.

International sanctions on Iran were expected to be lifted on Saturday under the terms of a nuclear deal agreed last year, and Iran freed four U.S. prisoners. Iran has pledged to ramp up its oil production shortly after sanctions are lifted.

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Shell, Total representatives arrive in Tehran

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Shell, Total representatives arrive in Tehran

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TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (MNA) – Representatives of several world’s oil giants have traveled to Iran on the verge of the removal of international sanctions.

A few days before the cancellation of international sanctions against Iran, a number of the largest oil companies including the Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell company and France’s Total Corporation have sent representatives to Iran in order to negotiation with Iranian oil authorities.

Accordingly, the visiting representatives are scheduled to hold talks with the officials of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) as well as National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) on Sunday discussing venues for boosting bilateral ties.

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Oil prices will get worse before they get better: Analysts

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By Tom DiChristopher: 13 Jan 2016

After U.S. crude prices broke below $30 per barrel for the first time in 15 years, the market is asking how low oil futures can go? Most analyses see it rebounding in the back half of 2016, but crude faces significant headwinds in the coming months, experts told CNBC.

On Monday, Morgan Stanley joined Goldman Sachs in saying oil prices could dip to $20, and a number of major banks cut their crude cost outlook this week. Standard Chartered even raised the specter of $10 oil.

Oil as low as $20 — and perhaps even lower — is indeed possible, said Matt Smith, ClipperData’s director of commodity research.

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Oil Prices Decline More Than 5 Percent as Stockpiles Increase

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on January 7, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Oil prices plunged again on Wednesday by more than 5 percent as investors paid more attention to signs that global stockpiles are growing than to increasing instability in the Middle East and North Africa.

The decline in the global Brent oil benchmark price to below $35 a barrel, the lowest level since the depths of the 2008-9 economic downturn and a decline of nearly two-thirds since summer 2014, helped push stock markets lower.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the main benchmark for the United States stock market, declined 1.3 percent Wednesday and breached the psychologically important 2,000 level to close at 1,990.26.

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NIOC, Shell reach final agreement on debt settlement

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TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – Iran’s NIOC and Anglo-Dutch Shell have reached the final agreement on how to settle the outstanding 2.3-billion-dollar debt.

Upon conducting several negotiations between officials of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the Anglo–Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, the two sides eventually reached a consensus of how to pay off the unpaid debt worth 2.3 billion dollars.

Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company, confirmed the reaching of an accord with the Shell oil company adding “the resumption of Iran’s crude oil sales to the company remains subject to the payment of previous debts.”

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Shell’s flimsy payout promise: Oil prices would have to bounce back to about $60-a-barrel for BG merger to make any economic sense, says ALEX BRUMMER

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 09.11.22If one were Shell and BG directors clutching at straws, seeking to force through a £47billion merger forged in the midst of a dramatic correction in oil prices, you might breathe a sigh of relief at a 2 per cent rebound in Brent crude to $37 a barrel in latest trading.

The very idea, however, that the proponents of one of the UK’s biggest ever mergers is relying on the hope and the prayer of a recovery in crude prices to about $60 to make any economic sense of the combination is illustration of the flimsiness of this deal. 

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Oil Prices Could Collapse To $20

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By Tyler Durden

Extracts from extracts…

Could oil prices collapse to $20? 

The short answer is ‘yes.’

We believe that crude oil prices could fall further unless global oil production is reduced. As shown in Table 2, we estimate that the global oil market could be oversupplied by roughly 920,000 bpd in 2016. The key assumptions are year-over-year growth in global demand of 1.2 million bpd, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya hold production at current levels, Iran ramps up production at moderate pace over the course of the year and the U.S. rig count remains at current levels.

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Oil Majors Queue in Iran as $30 Billion of Projects in Play

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by Golnar MotevalliAnthony Dipaola and Hashem Kalantari: November 28, 2015: Bloomberg.com

  • Shell, Total, Lukoil interested in specific Iranian fields

  • Iran seeks to sign first oil development deal in March, April

Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Lukoil PJSC are among international companies that have selected oil and natural gas deposits to develop in Iran as the holder of the world’s fourth-largest crude reserves presents $30 billion worth of projects to investors.

Total is one of the companies that have been in the forefront of discussions and Eni SpA is also looking to invest, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Shell, Total and Lukoil all specified fields they would be interested in developing in Iran, Ali Kardor, deputy director of investment and financing at National Iranian Oil Co. said in an interview in Tehran.

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Shell joins queue of investors waiting on Iran oil contracts

Big Oil Gears Up For $60 Break-even Price As Profits Sink

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Gaurav SharmaOCT 31, 2015

The latest quarterly results season is receding into the accounting archives, with BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and the keenly anticipated numbers of Exxon Mobil now with us.

That lower oil prices continue to dent profits at the world’s biggest oil companies is no longer news. Figures on their often unloved downstream operations performing well bring a few smiles and keep detractors of the integrated model quieter than usual.

Take big beast Exxon, which reported quarterly profits of $4.24bn, down 47% on an annualized basis from the same quarter last year. Its profits from refining doubled to about $2bn, but upstream takings fell 79% to $1.4bn. Prior to Exxon, smaller rivals (e.g. – BP, Shell and Chevron) had all posted declines in headline quarterly profits earlier in the week. Yet read between the lines of the profit declines, and a common message on how to cope seems to be emerging.

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Shell and BP make new inroads in Iran

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Saeed Kamali Dehghan and Terry Macalister

Friday 2 October 2015 20.30 BST

The possibility of a major British oil company regaining access to one of the world’s great hydrocarbon markets rose on Friday with officials in Tehran saying Shell would be allowed to build 100 petrol stations in Iran.

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED

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TEHRAN, Oct. 3 (MNA) – A number of senior executives of the Anglo-Dutch Shell Oil Company have travelled to Iran to meet and talk with the officials at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Accordingly, the senior managers of Royal Dutch Shell Company, commonly known as Shell, are scheduled to stay in Tehran for four days to meet and talk with authorities of NIOC, Oil Ministry’s officials as well as some investors in the private sector.

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Iran to allow construction of 100 Total and Shell gas stations

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18 Sept 2015

Total and Shell have been given the green light to build 100 gas stations across Iran in the near future, after approval by government officials. This will be the first time foreign branded gas stations will operate in the country.

The 100 gas stations, which also received the approval from Bijan Haj Mohammad Reza, the chairman of the trade union of Iran’s filling station, will spread across different Iranian regions, according to Iranian news website Oilnews.

“For the first time Iran’s Petroleum Ministry will give permission for the construction of gasoline stations under any brand in the country,” he said.

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Analysts predict oil price plunge: Oversupply could drive Brent Crude to $20, warns Goldman Sachs

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Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 23.09.34By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 11 September 2015

The price of oil could fall as low as $20, Goldman Sachs warned last night.

As fears about China’s growth continued, the Wall Street giant’s stark analysis of the global crude market pummelled prices again yesterday.

The price of Brent Crude fell more than 2 per cent after analysts at Goldman and Commerzbank slashed their forecasts. Oil has more than halved since last summer as supply increased due to the surging production of the US shale industry.

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Shell CEO: The World Will Need More Oil

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By Julia LimitonePublished September 08, 2015

During an interview with FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A) CEO Ben van Beurden said the company is responding with “vigor and determination” to cope with lower oil prices.

“We started off the slide in oil prices with a low gearing 12.4%. Since then, we have been cutting our operating costs, our capital spent quit considerably — $4 billion OPEX, $7 billion capital costs — that’s about a year of dividends that we have saved in a year’s time,” he said.

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BG Group share price: Gap between market valuation and Shell offer widens

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…the growing gap between the offer value and the market value indicates increasing investor anxiety over the merger, thus markets are beginning to question the deal’s prospects of success…

by Veselin Valchev: 26 Aug 2015

BG Group Plc’s (LON:BG) share price is sliding further away from the proposed offer by larger London-listed energy peer Royal Dutch Shell, signalling fading investor confidence that the deal will complete as planned, the Financial Times reported earlier this week.

BG’s share price had slipped 1.38 percent to 947.30p as of 14:01 BST today, underperforming the FTSE 100 which was flat. This compares with Shell’s proposed price of about 1,106p (383p in cash plus 0.4454 Shell B shares per BG share), equating to a discount of about 14.4 percent. At one point on ‘Black Monday’, traders cited by FT said that the spread widened to as much as 17 percent.

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Opec powerless to halt oil price slide, warns former group president

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Opec veteran says that current oil prices slump has exceeded the worst expectations of the group

By Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor: 24 Aug 2015

Opec is powerless to arrest the slide in oil prices unless producers outside the group such as Russia match any cuts in output, according to a former president of the group.

‘Black Monday’: £91bn wiped off FTSE 100 as China fears spark global markets crash

With oil prices plummeting due to global oversupply, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) would be unable to stabilise the market on its own, Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah told The Telegraph on Monday. The group – which is mainly comprised of Middle Eastern and South American oil producers – would need agreement from other oil-producing nations.

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INTERVIEW-Shell eyes Iran, to pay debt when sanctions end

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TEHRAN | BY GUY FAULCONBRIDGE: Mon Aug, 2015

Aug 24 Royal Dutch Shell will repay a $2 billion debt to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) when sanctions on Iran are lifted and will consider investing in the country’s vast energy sector, Shell’s boss for new business said.

Much would depend on the terms offered by the Islamic Republic once sanctions were lifted, said Edward Daniels, Shell’s executive vice-president for commercial and new business development. He was speaking to Reuters while on a British government visit to reopen the country’s embassy in Tehran.

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Iran to Raise Oil Output ‘at Any Cost’ to Defend Market Share

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Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 22.49.59U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell to less than $40 a barrel for the first time in more than six years in New York trading on Friday.

Anthony Dipaola and Hashem Kalantari: BLOOMBERG.COM: 23 AUGUST 2015

Iran plans to raise oil production “at any cost” to defend the country’s market share and joins calls for an emergency OPEC meeting to help shore up crude prices.

“We will be raising our oil production at any cost and we have no other alternative,” said Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, according to his ministry’s news website Shana. “If Iran’s oil production hike is not done promptly, we will be losing our market share permanently.”

Iran had the second-biggest output in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries before U.S.-led sanctions banning the purchase, transport, finance and insuring of its crude began July 2012. Oil producers such as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have expressed interest in developing its reserves, the world’s fourth-biggest, once sanctions are removed.

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People will remember Shell Oil as a symbol of planet-destroying greed

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Bill McKibben: Thursday, August 6, 2015 

Shell Oil’s icebreaker Fennica is apparently on its way to the Arctic, ending a dramatic week-long siege that saw activists dangle from bridges and blockade the Portland harbor with kayaks, and a federal court threaten environmentalists with heavy fines.

Amid the drama of the action, and the drama of the courtroom, and the outpouring of thanks for activists from Greenpeace, Rising Tide, 350PDX and others, one more thing is worth remembering: There is no more contemptible company on earth than Shell Oil.

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Shell, Eni say look to return to Iran

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Fri Jul 31, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s largest oil producer Eni say they are looking to return to projects in Iran’s upstream oil and gas sectors. 

“For us, (Iran) is a huge gas province so it would be good to be there — in conventional gas — at the right terms,” Shell’s financial chief Simon Henry said in London.

The company has a history of activities in Iran’s upstream projects, including in South Pars, but the firm pulled out of the world’s largest gas field’s Phase 13 development in 2008.   

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Iran releases list of oil money debtors

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The oil major Royal Dutch Shell owes Tehran $2.8 billion while it made a net loss of $6 million trading Iranian oil in 2012.

TEHRAN, Jul. 26 (MNA) – Iran’s Central Bank and National Oil Company released the list of companies and refineries owing oil dues to Iran.

During the period US and European sanctions prevented international banks from transferring money to the Islamic Republic, billions of Iran’s oil revenues were frozen in banks overseas.

In a joint statement released by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) the oil giants and refineries owing to Iran were listed, in which some Greek refineries, British-Dutch-owned Shell refineries, BP, South Korean Petrochemical and Polymer Company, along with Indian refineries top the list of Iran’s oil debtors.

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Shell’s Positioning For Better Russia And Iran Relations Is Part Of Its Global Gas Strategy

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Zoltan Ban: 23 July 2015

Summary

  • Shell has been showing long-term interest in moving more towards natural gas for a while, with natural gas production surpassing its oil production in 2013.
  • Aside from its major acquisition of BG group, it is forming an alliance with Gazprom and is looking to be among the first in Iran.
  • The overall big picture suggests that Shell is giving up on North American shale gas and focusing on being a major player in conventional gas and LNG.

Before Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) acquired BG Group, it was already a major player in the gas industry. Its upstream production has been more than half natural gas since 2013 already. It is constantly looking to expand its downstream presence, with plans such as the ethylene plant it wants to build in Pennsylvania, in order to take advantage of the cheap gas in the North-Eastern part of the United States. It also has a gas to liquids plant in Qatar, which is the world’s biggest. It should be no surprise then to see Shell actively involved in setting up a tighter partnership with both Russia and Iran.

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We are engaged, Shell says after Iranian deal

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“Shell continues to comply with all relevant international sanctions”

By Daniel J. Graeber

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 14 (UPI) — With a nuclear deal in hand, Royal Dutch Shell said Tuesday it’s exploring the “immediate and long-term” implication of an opening Iranian oil door.

Representatives from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Iran announced the signing of a breakthrough agreement that pulls Iran back from the brink of developing a nuclear weapons program in exchange for sweeping and staged relief from economic sanctions.

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Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion

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FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

The former owners of the Frontier drilling company sold their rigs to Noble for $2.16 billion in 2010. Given that their fleet of five vessels consisted of ancient rust buckets which were fit only for the scrapyard, this has always seemed like an inordinately large sum. The five vessels had been acquired by Frontier for about $100 million. The only client of Frontier was Shell. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/28/us-noblecorp-idUSTRE65R2C520100628 . (See below)

Noble operated two rigs for Shell in Alaska (Discoverer and Kulluk) during the disastrous 2012 drilling campaign. In spite of their performance in 2012, Noble will once again be operating the Discoverer (now over 50 years old) during the upcoming drilling campaign. Discoverer is one of the rust buckets that Noble acquired from Frontier.  

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Shell Executives Visit Tehran for Projects If Sanctions End

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by Javier Blas 24 June 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives have visited Tehran to discuss possible partnerships, the latest sign that the largest oil companies are serious about returning to Iran once a deal on the country’s nuclear program is done.

The meeting with Iranian officials covered its outstanding debt to National Iranian Oil Co. and possible areas of business cooperation, the company said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Shell owed $2.16 billion as of the end of 2014 for oil it wasn’t able to pay Iran for because of sanctions, according to its annual report.

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Gazprom lays bare West’s vulnerability

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Royal-Dutch Shell is teaming up with Gazprom on several projects despite Western sanctions on Russia.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48The expanded partnerships fly in the face of European and American sanctions which ban joint ventures with Russian energy companies.

23 June 2015

Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on the Russian energy have been dealt a new blow after reports that the Anglo-Dutch energy behemoth Shell was teaming up with Gazprom on several projects. 

Shell as well as Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum with Gazprom last week to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany. They hope to ship 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe each year.

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Iran Welcomes Shell, BP, Total and American Oil Companies

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Iran Welcomes Shell, BP, Total and American Oil Companies

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh Become a fanPresident of the International American Council: 14 June 2015

“Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which owes the Islamic Republic an outstanding debt of more than $2 billion, has been talking about repaying Iran after the nuclear deal is signed, and consequently the related sanctions are lifted.”

In an unprecedented move, Iranian leaders have welcomed American oil companies to enter Iran, upon the condition that sanctions are lifted. This move suggests that the Islamic Republic is putting its economic interests ahead of its revolutionary ideological interests. In return, the economic profits will definitely help Iran spread its revolutionary ideologies and principles in the region.

Recently, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh stated to Iran’s media “We welcome the presence of American oil companies in Iran,” adding, “we will definitely prepare the grounds for the presence of American oil companies in Iran.”

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Shell CEO Discusses $2 Billion Debt Payment With Iran Oil Minister

Shell, BP Openly Admit Iran Interest on Possible Atomic Deal

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Article by Javier Blas and Angelina Rascouet published 3 June 2015  by Bloomberg.com

European oil majors are for the first time openly declaring interest in Iran in anticipation of a possible end to sanctions against the country over its nuclear program.

Leaders of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA all said Wednesday they were ready to return to the nation with the world’s second-largest natural-gas reserves and fourth-biggest oil cache, after similar comments by Italy’s Eni SpA last month.

U.S. oil companies, constrained by the history of American sanctions against Iran dating from the 1979 Islamic revolution, are more cautious in their statements on a return. The current curbs have prevented investment in Iran for a decade.

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Shell in talks with Iran oil company

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Shell in talks with Iran oil company

Managing Director of Iran’s Pars Oil Company says oil giant Shell has voiced interest to resume activities in the country’s energy sector.

Hossein Vafaee said indirect talks have already started with Shell. The Iranian official also forecast “tough conditions” for Iran once after sanctions against the country are removed.

“If sanctions are removed, many rivals will enter the Iranian market and this will make tough conditions for us,” Forsat Emrooz Newspaper quoted Vafaee as saying.

He reiterated that Iran is after regaining its share of regional and global energy markets when sanctions imposed against the country over its nuclear program are lifted.

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Kashagan to Start Production in 2017, Says Royal Dutch Shell Report

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BY MICHELLE WITTE in BUSINESS on 13 APRIL

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ASTANA – Production at Kazakhstan’s giant Kashagan offshore oil field is expected to restart in 2017, Royal Dutch Shell stated in its 2014 annual report.

“After the start of production from the Kashagan field in September 2013, operations had to be stopped in October 2013 due to gas leaks from the sour gas pipeline. Following investigations, it has been decided that both the oil and the gas pipeline will be replaced. Replacement activities are ongoing, with production expected to restart in 2017,” page 27 of the annual report, released on March 12, said.

After sour gas leaks forced production to halt soon after it began in late 2013 – already years behind the original schedule – predictions as to when the project would actually produce have been repeatedly made and then pushed back, and even in late January of this year, Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik was announcing that Kashagain would come online in late 2016.

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Royal Dutch Shell And Others Interested In Iran Following Nuclear Deal Agreement

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN

Published: Apr 7, 2015 at 8:20 am EST

Iran’s oil exports are set for a boost after a framework nuclear agreement was reached between the country and world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. The deal also paves the way for international energy groups to make a comeback to the country after a five year pause.

Western sanctions against Iran have badly hurt its oil and gas industry. The Iranian government now wants foreign investment to return and it’s expected that Tehran will start preparations for new contracts with western companies.

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Can Iran Attract Foreign Investments By Oil Majors Such As BP And Shell plc?

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Apr 1, 2015 at 8:34 am EST

Recently, Iran has been exposed to numerous sanctions by the West over concerns that the country was developing a nuclear project. However, talks between the US and Iran have started over a new nuclear deal. If the deal is successful, then sanctions are expected to ease off and Western energy companies are expected to return to the country.

According to Bloomberg, the discovery of oil in 1908 in the country laid the foundations for the development of the British oil major, BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP). An oil consultant in Iran, Nader Sultan said: “You look at the history of the oil companies, and that history is Iran.”

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Iran riches coveted by big oil after decades of conflict

Extracts from a Bloomberg article published 31 March 2015

Iran riches coveted by big oil after decades of conflict

Now, as Iran and the US enter 11th hour negotiations to reach a nuclear deal and ease sanctions, the West Asian country is emerging again as a potential prize for western oil companies such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Eni SpA and Total SA.

The restoration of Western oil investment appears to be a priority for Iran in its nuclear talks with the U.S., U.K, France, Germany, Russia and China. A year ago, the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used a speech during the World Economic Forum in Davos to court the European oil majors.

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Who Will Rule the Oil Market?

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 09.23.28OPINION ARTICLE BY DANIEL YERGIN PUBLISHED IN PRINT BY THE NEW YORK TIMES ON SATURDAY 25 JAN 2015

WASHINGTON — A HISTORIC change of roles is at the heart of the clamor and turmoil over the collapse of oil prices, which have plummeted by 50 percent since September. For decades, Saudi Arabia, backed by the Persian Gulf emirates, was described as the “swing producer.” With its immense production capacity, it could raise or lower its output to help the global market adjust to shortages or surpluses.

But on Nov. 27, at the OPEC meeting in Vienna, Saudi Arabia effectively resigned from that role and OPEC handed over all responsibility for oil prices to the market, which the Saudi oil minister, Ali Al-Naimi, predicted would “stabilize itself eventually.” OPEC’s decision was hardly unanimous. Venezuela and Iran, their economies in deep trouble, lobbied hard for production cutbacks, to no avail. Afterward, Iran accused Saudi Arabia of waging an “oil war” and being part of a “plot” against it.

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