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Posts under ‘Oil Prices’

Do what I say

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By Ed Crooks: September 23, 2016

One of the most reliable features of negotiations over oil production is a divergence between what countries say and what they do.

Three weeks ago, Russia and Saudi Arabia were discussing co-operation to stabilise the oil market. This week there was talk of a year-long agreement between Russia and Opec to cap production. At the same time, however, Russia has been stepping up its drilling in the mature fields of western Siberia, taking its oil output to new record highs. Its production is forecast by Goldman Sachs to grow a further 590,000 barrels per day over the next three years.

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Shell’s 70-year dividend record at risk

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By Lee Wild | Thu, 22nd September 2016

Running an income fund has been fairly straightforward for the past few years. Drug giants like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN) have kept up shareholder returns and the telecoms sector has offered rich pickings. So have BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB). However, income plays are becoming more expensive, and now we’re hearing that Shell’s dividend record is in serious danger.

Shell has not cut the dividend since the Second World War; it’s a fact we love to repeat whenever the conversation turns to the oil sector and dividends. And, despite a 55% rally since late January, the shares still offers a prospective dividend yield of 7.3%.

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Low oil forces Shell Houston reshuffle

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Written by Rita Brown – 21/09/2016 7:00 am

screen-shot-2016-09-09-at-20-58-10Shell has made plans to move the bulk of its staff out of its historic Houston base.

The company informed staff that more than 3,400 workers would be relocated from its base in the Houston Central Business District to its facilities on the west side of the city.

Shell’s base, known as One Shell Plaza, was completed in 1971. At the time it was the tallest tower in the city. A spokesperson confirmed that only staff in trading will remain at site, which makes up part of the downtown Houston skyline.

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Namesake tenant departing One Shell Plaza

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-07-24-51The move will affect 3,400 employees when it takes place early next year as part of “an effort to meet the ever changing market conditions and optimize resources for future opportunities,” Shell said in a statement Tuesday. Employees will move to the company’s Woodcreek facility and Shell Technology Center on the west side of town.

Those who work for Shell’s downtown trading operations will stay put, although the company said it eventually plans to have all of its Houston-based staff in company-owned facilities on the west side.

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5 Oil Majors, One Big Nigeria Lawsuit

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September 20, 2016, 4:48 P.M. ET

By Dimitra DeFotis

Allegedly illegal Nigerian oil exports valued at $12.7 billion are at the heart of a lawsuit the country has filed against units of Chevron (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), Total (TOT) ENI (E) and Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR).

The case points to outsiders’ shipments to the United States between 2011 and 2014, but is likely to expose domestic corruption as well. Militants have crippled Nigeria’s oil production this year, a recurring theme over recent decades. Lagos hearings, which begin next week, come as the country struggles with the affects of policy stagnation, currency devaluation, inflation and low oil revenue.

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Shell and BP have lost billions – now the low price of crude is hurting other firms too

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL19 September 2016

Oil is slowly climbing back to $50 a barrel as a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia and an agreement on production in Venezuela helped to stabilise prices.

The production agreements could finally give some assurances to dozens of companies who have suffered since crude slumped from $114 a barrel in 2014 to $28 early this year.

Oil supermajors such as BP and Shell have been high-profile casualties, losing billions in profits.

They’ve written off billions of pounds and have had to slash tens of thousands of jobs as they change their businesses to cope with the reduced profits.

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What Is Really Pushing Oil Prices Down?

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Gaurav Agnihotri: 19 Sept 2016

Oil prices fell last week after the IEA and OPEC reported in their respective oil market reports that the supply-demand rebalancing of oil will take longer than market expectations. The WTI (WTI) and Brent were down by almost 2% and were trading at $43.3 and $45.77 at the time of writing this article. Even the U.S rig count increased for the 12th week in a row. Oil prices are going down as markets have realized that global oil supplies are only going to increase in the coming time. “It really looks similar to the period of the early 1990s, when we were at $20 oil. Is $45 to $50 the new $20? I am not ready to say we are in this new equilibrium environment, but it sure does feel like we’re moving in that direction,” said the head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Jeff Curie. It must be noted that investment firms such as Goldman Sachs have started lowering their 2017 forecast for oil prices. Let us look at those factors that are putting downward pressure on oil.

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Oil drops below $46

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By Ed Crooks: September 16, 2016

The more positive mood in crude prices last week always looked fragile, based as it was on nebulous talk about a possible Opec production freeze and volatile US data that were heavily influenced by storm Hermine at the beginning of the month.

That vulnerability was exposed this week. Brent crude, which briefly hit $50 per barrel on September 8, dropped below $46 on Friday.

As prices fell, analysts took differing views on the outlook. Bloomberg focused on the chance of a rebound, as markets started to focus on the growing risk of shortages. On the other hand, the FT’s Neil Hume pointed out that there was still more crude production capacity set to come on stream as a result of the investment binge of 2011-14 – not least the much delayed Kashagan field in Kazakhstan – meaning that prices could remain depressed in the short term.

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Royal Dutch Shell: An Unsustainable Dividend

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Jesse Moore: Sept 15, 2016

Summary

  • Shell is funding its dividend and capital expense programs through a combination of debt and asset sales.
  • Those assets are operating, economic assets that provide long-term value to the company under its assumptions.
  • Shell has one year of leeway at current prices to fund its dividend after that rising debt will put too much pressure on the companies balance sheet.
  • Since I have a negative outlook on prices till at least 2018, I expect a Shell dividend cut in the first half of 2017.
  • Adding to the long list of resource companies with debt-funded dividends, we have Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B). With a current yield of nearly 8%, and assuming you knew nothing about oil and gas, you could reasonably conclude this company is in peak operating condition. Unfortunately for investors, that story would be far from true.

Capital Expense – Free Cash Gap Growing

Many Shell investors focus on the stability of the dividend as a hallmark of the stock. Those investors are seemingly immune to what the balance sheet, cash flow statement tell us. As the company has pushed towards gas and is being pushed by its investors towards renewables, the capital expense bills have piled up. Throughout the oil downturn, Shell has hardly reduced capital expense in line with free cash flow – a result of long-term project planning that cannot be reined in.

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Shell leaves refinery business in Denmark

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By Daniel J. Graeber     |   Sept. 15, 2016 at 8:36 AM

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 15 (UPI) — For about $80 million in capital, Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it was keeping its upstream Danish interests in check, but unloading a refinery operation.

Shell said it reached an agreement with a Danish company to sell its refinery operations, which includes the Fredericia refinery that has the capacity to handle 70,000 barrels of product per day. The Dutch supermajor said its exploration and production interests in Denmark would not be impacted by the transaction.

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Will Saudi Aramco Be Able To Lay Its Hands On Houston Refinery?

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By Tsvetana Paraskova – Sep 14, 2016, 3:52 PM CDT

At a time when U.S. and Saudi relations are strained, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is reportedly leading in a race to buy a large refinery in Houston.

Certainly, politics and geopolitics cannot stay out of such move by the Saudi company, but it seems that Aramco has solid business reasons, as well as political ones, to bid for the Houston Refinery, which Dutch chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) is reportedly putting up for sale.

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FTSE 100 edges higher but BP and Shell slip on oil glut fears

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Nick FletcherTuesday 13 September 2016 11.18 BST

Oil shares are among the biggest fallers after crude prices slid further in the wake of a downbeat report from the International Energy Agency. The agency said the oil market would be oversupplied until at least the first six months of 2017, given a sharp slowdown in demand and rising stocks. A month ago it predicted suppy and demand would be broadly in balance for the rest of the year, and inventories would fall sharply.

Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, said:

The IEA has joined OPEC in pouring more cold water on the oil price this morning. After OPEC flipped its prediction of dwindling non-OPEC supply in 2017, instead warning that it was set to rise due to a major new oilfield in Kazakhstan coming online, the IEA has issued a stark warning that the pickup in demand seen in the first half of the year has completely evaporated. It has cut its demand forecasts for the second half and the whole of 2017 and is now predicting the glut will remain in the global market for the whole of next year. Oil prices are down this morning, although the real capitulation could come towards the end of the month if OPEC and Russia fail to agree a supply freeze

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Shell begins production at world’s deepest underwater oilfield

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Simon BowersSunday 11 September 2016 17.15 BST

Royal Dutch Shell has started production at the world’s deepest underwater oil and gas field, 1.8 miles beneath the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest costly addition to Shell’s production capacity comes despite Van Beurden’s repeated pledges on climate change. In May, he said: “We know our long-term success … depends on our ability to anticipate the types of energy that people will need in the future in a way that is both commercially competitive and environmentally sound.”

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No oil freeze yet

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Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 08.25.29By Ed Crooks: September 9, 2016

“Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet,” St Augustine wrote in his Confessions, remembering his prayer as an adolescent. Opec members are taking much the same attitude to restraining their oil production.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s two largest crude producers, said on Monday they would co-operate on ways to stabilise oil prices, but stopped short of agreeing to freeze production. There will be a working group to study ways to curb price volatility, and co-operation on production curbs was held out as a possibility. But Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, was clearly in no hurry to make any commitments.

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Oil Under Pressure As Shell Lifts Force Majeure On Nigerian Exports

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Charles Kennedy – Sep 07, 2016, 11:20 AM CDT

At least one source of Nigerian oil exports is set to come back online after Royal Dutch Shell lifted its force majeure on Bonny Light crude exports.

The Nembe Creek Trunk Line was repaired and reopened, allowing Shell to resume exports of its oil, nearly a month after declaring force majeure. Nembe Creek is one of a handful of key pipelines that helps Nigeria brings its oil to the coast for export. The cause of the August outage was not reported on – the pipeline’s operator, Aiteo, said it was from a leak but did not disclose the cause.

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Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell: Is the LNG Market Nearing Saturation?

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By Staff Writer on Sep 7, 2016 at 3:19 pm EST

In the past few years, the global energy market has undergone major changes. The usage of traditional energy resources has dropped significantly, while demand for cleaner, environmental-friendly energy sources has escalated. People are now increasingly becoming aware of the effects of greenhouse gases emissions from conventional energy sources, crude oil, and coal on our natural environment and most importantly, the ozone layer.

Last year, the Paris Agreement (COP21) was a major breakthrough for the renewable industry, as leaders from around 195 countries agreed to curb their carbon emissions. The energy producers aim to maintain the rise in global temperature to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels in the coming few years. The agreement has provided a positive momentum to the green-tech resources as a number of international energy companies have now started to increase their exposure in the segment.

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Royal Dutch Shell plc Ramps up Production Despite Crude at $50 per Barrel

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By Staff Writer on Sep 7, 2016 at 11:30 am EST

The oil majors continue to overlook the low crude environment, which is expected to persist for longer, so much so that they have resorted to increasing their production at record-breaking highs. According to estimates by analysts, overall output from the seven largest energy giants globally is set to surge 9% between 2015 and 2018.

Energy giants are grappling with deteriorating balance sheet positions, even as prices continue to hover near $50 per barrel, dropping from $115 per barrel in June 2014. However, they continue to pump crude from plants sanctioned earlier.

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Shell’s North Sea exit could generate $1bn, says UBS

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Jillian Ambrose7 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 1:27PM

Shell could be in line to make $1bn (£750m) in the next two years by selling off North Sea assets as part of a $30bn divestment drive, according to UBS.

The bank predicts that Shell’s North Sea retreat will begin with a “tidying up” of the oil major’s high-cost, legacy assets but that a sale of its attractive core projects could not be ruled out.

UBS oil analyst Jon Rigby said that sales of the oil giant’s older North Sea assets would only generate “a few hundred million dollars” unless the company opts for a more “radical” approach including ditching stakes in the core projects that make up its $7bn North Sea portfolio.

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Despite cuts, oil giants look to expand production

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Ben Chapman: 6 Sept 2016

Never mind the drop in crude prices, huge spending cuts and thousands of job losses, the world’s top oil and gas companies are set to produce more than ever for some time.

While top oil companies struggle with slumping revenues following a price rout after years of spectacular growth, their production has grown as projects sanctioned earlier in the decade come on line. Overall production at the world’s seven biggest oil and gas companies is set to rise by around 9 per cent between 2015 and 2018, according to analysts’ estimates.

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Saudi Aramco-Motiva in lead to buy Lyondell’s Houston refinery: sources

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By Erwin Seba and Jessica Resnick-Ault | HOUSTON/NEW YORK

Saudi Aramco and its U.S. refining joint-venture Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] lead the race to buy LyondellBasell Industries Houston refinery, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

An announcement of the sale by Lyondell is expected this week, the sources said.

Lyondell spokesman Michael Waldron declined on Monday to discuss a sale of the refinery.

Reuters reported on Aug. 25 that Dutch chemical company Lyondell had retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help with a sale of the refinery.

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Speculation rises over Opec output freeze

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By Ed Crooks: September 2, 2016

Over the past month, the big stories in the oil market have been speculation about a possible production freeze from Opec, and the reality of rising activity in the US shale industry.

The rumours of Opec action have followed the pattern that has become wearingly familiar over the past couple of years, since the landmark meeting in November 2014 confirming that Saudi Arabia was not prepared to cut production to try to stabilise prices.

As the meeting – in this case, a gathering on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algiers on September 26-28 – grows nearer, suggestions that a freeze will be discussed grow louder. Venezuela, which has the most urgent need for a higher oil price, sounds the most enthusiastic about curbing production. Other countries make supportive statements and agree to meet, without promising any action themselves.

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Shell Midstream Partners – Reliable Yield During The Downturn

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Shell Midstream Partners IPO – Bidness ECT

The Value Portfolio: Sept 2, 2016

Shell Midstream Partners (NYSE: SHLX) is a master-limited partnership formed by Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) (NYSE: RDS.B). The company was formed for the purpose of purchasing midstream assets and renting them out for reliable fee-based income. This fee-based income provides investors with a secure dividend which currently amounts to more than 3% and has a strong history of growth.

Shell Midstream Partners has had a difficult time recently, though not as a difficult of a time as all the other oil companies. Since mid-2015, when other midstream companies such as Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) began to take a big hit, Shell Midstream Partners has seen its stock price drop from almost $48 per unit to just over $30 per unit, a drop of almost 40%. This drop means that Shell Midstream Partners has seen its yield almost double to more than 3% per unit.

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Reopening of Forcados Terminal — Bad News for Crude Prices

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Staff Writer on Sep 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm EST

After militant attacks on its oil facilities in Nigeria, as well as numerous pipeline outages, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in the West African country is at last ready to start deliveries this month.

According to Bloomberg, Kola Karim, CEO of Shoreline Group, an energy company that uses the terminal, said operations were expected to resume in the middle of September. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on the matter.

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Slashing Dividends: The Only Option Left For Big Oil?

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By Nick Cunningham – Aug 31, 2016, 4:03 PM CDT

The oil majors will have an extraordinarily difficult time trying to maintain their hefty dividends in today’s oil market environment, and unless oil prices rebound substantially, companies may be forced to slash their payouts to shareholders.

The largest oil producers pay shareholders a combined $40 billion in dividends each year, a level that is not sustainable with oil prices at $50 per barrel, according to Chris Kettenmann of Macro Risk Advisors. “There’s massive risk to the dividend structure of these big oil companies over the next 12 months,” Kettenmann said on Bloomberg TV.

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Shell Becomes First Non-Bank to Join Mexico’s Oil Hedge

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Javier Blas and Nacha Cattan: Sept 1, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc participated in protecting Mexico against low crude prices in 2017, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, the first time an oil company has taken part in the world’s largest commodities hedging program.

The Mexican government spent $1 billion buying put options — contracts that give it the right to sell at a predetermined price — to lock in an average price for its export basket of $38 a barrel for next year. Shell’s trading unit was one of the seven counterparties to the Mexican government, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

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Shell’s Forcados Oil Pipeline Seen Restarting in September

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Paul BurkhardtAugust 31, 2016 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Forcados pipeline in Nigeria will resume deliveries in September, according to an oil company that uses the line.

“We are hearing Forcados is due to return at the middle of next month,” Kola Karim, chief executive officer of Shoreline Group, said Wednesday by phone from London. “It has been a tough situation for us these past couple of months.”

The Forcados pipeline system is among oil infrastructure targeted by Nigerian militants this year. In February, Shell declared force majeure — a legal clause that allows it to stop shipments without breaching contracts — after militants blew up a line feeding the Forcados terminal, which typically exports about 200,000 barrels a day. Of that, Shoreline sends about 52,000 barrels a day.

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Shell Sells Gulf Of Mexico Asset, But Faces A Tough Road Ahead

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 23.13.17Sarfaraz A. Khan: Aug. 31, 2016 3:20 PM ET

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. GoM to EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash.
  • The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves.
  • The company, however, has made little progress toward achieving its target of selling $6Bn to $8Bn assets this year and $30Bn by 2018.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) has recently agreed to sell its Brutus/Glider assets in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to Houston-based EnVen Energy for $425 million in cash. Shell was pumping 25,000 barrels of oil per day from these offshore properties, which was equivalent to 5.8% of the oil giant’s Gulf of Mexico production or less than 1% of its total production.

The asset sale is a small step in the right direction which will improve Shell’s cash reserves which stood at $15.2 billion at the end of June. Shell intends to sell $6 billion to $8 billion of assets this year. Overall, the company aims to dispose $30 billion of assets, spread in 5 to 10 countries and representing 10% of its production, by 2018. That will allow the company to reduce its debt which has ballooned following the $53 billion takeover of BG Group.

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Shell’s U.S deal to unlock global oil asset disposals

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* Shell lines up large North Sea asset sale

* In talks to sell out of Gabon, NZealand, Thailand, Tunisia

* Gulf of Mexico deal sets deal value at $60/bbl

* Shell seeks to sell $6-$8 bln of assets in 2016

By Ron Bousso: Wed Aug 31, 2016

LONDON, Royal Dutch Shell’s first oil field sale after its $54 billion BG Group acquisition bodes well for its disposal talks in the North Sea, Gabon and New Zealand, according to sources, signalling buyers will meet its expectations on value.

The $425 million deal in the Gulf of Mexico is welcome news for the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant which has struggled to kick off its plan to dispose of $30 billion of assets by 2018 or so in order to pay for the February deal and maintain a generous dividend policy amid soaring debt.

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Shell’s U.S. oilfield sale may bode well for disposal program

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…analysts also say further deals may prove harder to clinch

Aug 30 2016, 11:47 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Analysts say Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) first oilfield sale after its BG Group acquisition bodes well for its sale talks in the North Sea, Gabon and New Zealand, signaling that buyers will meet the company’s expectations on value.

The $425M sale of the Brutus/Glider fields has an implied oil price of ~$60/bbl, more than $10/bbl above current prices, according to UBS analysts who say “we may now be entering a period where both buyer and seller can see acceptable relative value, unlocking the A&D [acquisition and divestiture] market.”

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Shell share price: Private equity-backed firms eye group’s North Sea assets

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Anglo-Dutch oil major agrees to offload certain assets in Gulf of Mexico

by Tsveta ZikolovaTuesday, 30 Aug 2016, 09:00 BST

Investment companies backed by some of the world’s biggest private equity groups have expressed interest in Royal Dutch Shell’s (LON:RDSA) North Sea assets, the Financial Times has reported. The Anglo-Dutch oil major has unveiled plans to sell some $30 billion worth of assets across its global portfolio over the next three years or so is it looks to shore up its balance sheet in the wake of its acquisition of BG Group which completed earlier this year.

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Shell takes cash offer for Gulf of Mexico assets

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By Daniel J. Graeber: Aug 30, 2016

HOUSTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) — In a deal that included $425 million in cash, Royal Dutch Shell said it sold off its entire stake in assets held in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said the sale of the 100 percent stake of three blocks known collectively as the Brutus/Glider assets to EnVen Energy Corp. was in line with the company’s divestment strategy. In July, the company’s chief executive officer, Ben van Buerden, said “significant and lasting changes” were underway as lower crude oil prices continued to present problems for the industry.

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Shell Australia attacks Victoria’s ban on fracking, gas moratorium

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John Dagge, Herald Sun: August 30, 2016 

SHELL Australia has blasted the Victorian government’s move to permanently ban fracking and extend a moratorium on conventional onshore gas development, saying it will result in higher energy bills.

Chairman Andrew Smith has also warned the decision will cost the state investment dollars and jobs and make it more difficult for manufacturers, already under pressure, to stay in business.

“Every Victorian household and business will now pay higher energy prices moving forward,” Mr Smith said.

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Oil market rebalancing could take until end 2017: Shell

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Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:01pm EDT

By Karolin Schaps | STAVANGER, NORWAY

The huge global oil oversupply that has weighed on prices for the past two years may not clear until the second half of 2017, Shell’s chief energy adviser Wim Thomas told Reuters.

The potential return to the market of some 1.5 million barrels per day of supply from Libya and Nigeria and uncertainty about Iranian and Iraqi production levels could push a rebalancing further away than many in the oil industry are hoping.

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Shell’s Ben van Beurden calls on industry to be “contrarian in the room”

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 18.40.18Written by Rita Brown – 29/08/2016 12:27 pm

Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden called on the industry to be the “contrarian in the room” and speak the “undeniable truth” about energy’s future.

The company leader addressed the delegation at this year’s ONS, tackling climate change and the influence of the Paris climate agreement.

The chief executive opened by saying: “There is a classic story about one of the most famous Norwegians of all time, the playwright Henrik Ibsen. Lying on his sickbed, he overheard his nurse saying that he was a bit better that day.

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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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Why I’ve sold all of my Shell and BP shares, by manager of £543 million

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22Bailey concluded his comments with the remark that the Shell dividend is uncovered. That means the company is not generating enough cash to pay the dividend itself.

David Thorpe 25 Aug 2016

Stephen Bailey, who runs the Liontrust Macro Equity Income fund has revealed the reasons why he has sold all of his shares in Shell and BP.

He began selling his Shell shares about a year ago, and completed the sale, ‘during the month of August’ 2016.

Bailey commented, ‘A year ago we had 9 per cent of the fund in oil, now it’s zero. You have to look at the macro view on this, and be very concerned about the oil market. The big suppliers in the market can no longer be controlled by OPEC, the Saudis recently announced an initiative called project 2030 which is aimed at boosting other areas of the economy, and they are doing that because they expect to receive less revenue from fossil fuels in the future.’  

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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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Oil major debt climbs to record high as crude prices continue to wallow

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Billy Bambrough is City A.M.’s deputy news editor. Wednesday 24 August 2016

Some of the biggest global oil majors are being weighed down by record levels of debt.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron hold a combined net debt of $184bn (£138bn) — more than double their debt levels in 2014, according to analysis by the Wall Street Journal.

The drop in the oil price has been blamed for the soaring debt levels. The price of a barrel of oil remains less than half of what it was in the summer of 2014.

The enduring low oil price and soaring debt levels have caused some investors to question whether the majors will be able to fork out for new investments and dividends in coming quarters.

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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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Nigeria: Rethinking NNPC’s Oil Search in the North

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 11.21.47The Niger Delta, which largely dominates the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, did not join the league of other oil-producing regions in the United Kingdom’s North Sea, United States’ Gulf of Mexico and the Middle East’s Persian Gulf through the efforts of the federal government or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It was the private sector-led initiative that catapulted the Niger Delta to its current influential position in the global energy dynamics.

The NNPC, which started as the Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC), established by Decree No. 18 of 1971 before the NNPC Decree of 1977 was promulgated, did not initiate the search for crude oil in Nigeria.

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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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Anger in the Delta keeps oil majors quiet – and Nigeria’s crude offline

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By Libby George and Ulf Laessing | LONDON/LAGOS

Oil companies and even Nigerian officials are losing faith in a deal anytime soon with militants who have slashed the nation’s oil output, casting doubt on a production recovery in what is typically Africa’s largest oil exporter.

In the six months since the first major attack on Nigeria’s oil – a sophisticated bombing of the subsea Forcados pipeline – dozens of attacks have pushed outages to more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the highest in seven years.

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Can we still be sure of Shell?

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 09.42.13By Kevin Godbold – Friday, 19 August, 2016

Our investing forefathers used to trot out the maxim ‘never sell Shell’. Years ago, Shell was a fast-growing business in a fast-growing market, so holding on to Shell shares indefinitely made more sense back then than it does now.   

Today, Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) is a mature business in a mature market and its fortunes tend to ebb and flow with the undulations of wider macroeconomic cycles. Adopting a long-term buy-and-hold strategy for Shell now seems inappropriate.

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Nigeria recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism in eight months – Kachikwu

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By Daily Post Staff on August 18, 2016

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, says Nigeria has recorded 1,600 cases of pipeline vandalism since January.

Kachikwu made the disclosure at the 2016 Annual Conference of National Association of Energy Correspondents with the theme, “Low Oil Price: Impact and the Way Forward”, in Lagos on Thursday.

The minister also said that the country recorded over 3,000 pipeline vandalism cases from 2010 to 2015.

He said that the impact of attacks on oil and gas pipelines was that there was no money to fund the 2016 budget.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A): Declaration of Force Majeure; Crude Price Rally Underway?

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 11.56.06With the recent shutdown of pipeline owned by the energy giant in Nigeria coupled with the pipeline outages and militants attacks, we forecast a crude price rally

By Staff Writer on Aug 14, 2016 at 6:34 am EST

Following a string of attacks on its oil facilities combined with pipeline outages in Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has finally declared a force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil. Citing statement by the company on Friday, Reuters reported that the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) was shut down after a leakage by Aiteo, the pipeline’s operator. Aiteo was unavailable to comment on the matter.

Natasha Obank, spokesperson for the company stated: “The pipeline has been shut down for a joint investigation visit into the cause of the leak and repairs.”

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Motiva Convent refinery fire out, HCU heavily damaged -sources

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Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 22.04.57By Erwin Seba and Liz Hampton | HOUSTON: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:41pm EDT

A blaze broke out on Thursday at Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana refinery, heavily damaging the structure of the heavy oil hydrocracker before being extinguished in the afternoon, sources familiar with plant operations said.

Motiva confirmed that the fire was extinguished and said there were no injuries.

Initial assessments by Motiva indicated that repairs to 45,000 bpd HCU, called the H-Oil unit, are expected to take between one and four months, the sources said. Little damage was seen to the unit’s reactors, they said.

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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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European energy groups press on with multibillion-dollar disposals

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Andrew Ward, Energy Editor: August 7, 2016

Extracts relating to Shell…

Royal Dutch Shell says it is working on 17 potential disposals as it seeks to reassure investors that its target for $30bn of asset sales by 2018 is achievable.

This balancing act is especially tricky for Shell as disposals are crucial to reduce debts after its £35bn takeover of BG Group, completed in February.

“Shell is going to have to be flexible on price if it is to move forward with some of these deals,” said one energy banker. “They cannot just sit back and wait for oil prices to come back.”

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Crude Slump Sees Oil Majors’ Debt Burden Double to $138 Billion

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Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 16.46.22“On the debt, it may go up before it comes back down,” Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry told investors last week. “And the major factor is the oil price.”

By Javier Blas: August 5, 2016

When commodity prices crashed in late 2014, oil executives could look at their mining counterparts with a sense of superiority.

Back then, the world’s biggest oil companies enjoyed relatively strong balance sheets, with little borrowing relative to the value of their assets. Miners entered the slump in a very different state and some of the world’s largest — Rio Tinto Plc, Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc — had to reduce dividends and employ draconian spending cuts to bring their debt under control.

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