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Shell Canada reopens first oilsands mine shut down by Fort McMurray fires

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By DAN HEALING: The Canadian Press: Tues., May 10, 2016

CALGARY—The first oilsands mine shut down by wildfires in the Fort McMurray region a week ago has been restarted.

Shell Canada said Tuesday that it had resumed production at its Albian Sands mining operations about 95 kilometres north of Fort McMurray after a seven-day closure.

The operations, which include the Muskeg River and Jackpine oilsands mines, have the capacity to produce 255,000 barrels of oil a day, but Shell would say only that they were operating at a reduced rate.

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Shell restarts some production at Alberta oil sands project

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc has restarted production at a reduced rate at its Albian oil sands mining operation in Alberta, it said on Monday, even as many energy companies remain offline after a major wildfire ravaged the area.

The company said it will fly in and fly out staff to help resume operations over the coming days and weeks. Locally based employees may choose to support operations only if they are willing and available, it said.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Sandra Maler)

SOURCE

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Fort McMurray reflections by Ed Crooks of the FT

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By Ed Crooks: May 6, 2016

The thoughts of everyone in the energy industry were with Fort McMurray, the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry, which was devastated by wildfires this week. The town was evacuated, and more than a fifth of the region’s oil production was halted. There was a lot of great reporting from the local and national press. The National Post particularly stood out with features such as this live map of the areas affected by fire. Maclean’s brought the scale of the fires to people outside Alberta using comparisons with other cities in Canada, the US and Britain. NBC News carried some powerful photographs of the disaster.

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Canadian Crude Prices Surge as Fire Hits Shell, Suncor Output

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  • Oil-sands output may be down by 1 million barrels a day: RBC

  • Suncor, Shell, Husky, ConocoPhillips cut production amid blaze

By Robert Tuttle and Rebecca Penty: May 6, 2016

The worst wildfire in Alberta history is boosting Canadian crude prices as oil companies evacuate workers and shut in as much as 1 million barrels a day of output.

Western Canadian Select, the benchmark for oil sands production, strengthened $1 to an $11.85-a-barrel discount to U.S. West Texas Intermediate on Thursday, the narrowest spread since July, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The absolute price rose $1.54 to $32.47 a barrel.

Suncor Energy Inc., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Husky Energy Inc. are among companies that shut plants or reduced production. Cnooc Ltd.’s Nexen, ConocoPhillips, Imperial Oil Ltd. and Statoil ASA were also affected. The shutdowns follow supply disruptions in places like Nigeria and Iraq earlier this year that have helped global prices rebound from a 12-year low.

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Royal Dutch Shell closes some Canadian ops as wildfire consumes 1600 buildings

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by Topher Seguin

A massive wildfire that has forced the evacuation of all 88,000 residents of the western Canadian city of Fort McMurray and burned down 1,600 structures has the potential to destroy much of the town, authorities said.

Fort McMurray had been largely emptied of its residents by Wednesday afternoon, officials said, despite fuel shortages, snarled traffic and a highway closed by the flames in the northeastern part of the province of Alberta, the heart of Canada’s oil sands region.

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Oil giants should ditch high-cost projects, thinktank says

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Terry Macalister Energy editor: Thursday 5 May 2016

These leading energy companies including Exxon Mobil should ditch high-cost projects in deep water and Canadian tar sands to concentrate on cheaper schemes that make money at low crude prices, says the report, Sense and Sensitivity, by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

The report follows shareholder resolutions calling on oil companies to undertake “stress tests” on operations in the face of stronger carbon regulation and weakening fossil fuel demand as countries move to lower-carbon economies.

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Fort McMurray Fire: Shell Turns Oilsands Camp Into Shelter For Evacuees

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CP  |  By The Canadian Press: 05/04/2016 1:02 pm EDT

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03CALGARY — The wildfire raging through the heart of Canada’s oilsands capital dealt a blow Wednesday to crude perations, with Shell Canada closing a major mining facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The company temporarily shut down production at its Albian Sands mining operations located about 70 kilometres north of the city.

Shell said it made the decision to focus on getting employees and their families out of the region while also freeing up room at its 2,000-person work camp for some of the 80,000 people who were ordered evacuated Tuesday from Fort McMurray.

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Shell finance chief refuses to rule out further North Sea job losses

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Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 15.56.32Written by Phil Allan – 04/05/2016 12:34 pm

Shell’s finance chief has refused to rule out further job losses in the North Sea as the oil giant announced its earnings had dropped by $4billion dollars in the first quarter of 2016.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry said the voluntary redundancy packaged announced recently announced as a result of Shell’s acquisition of BG Group, may not be the last to affect the North Sea as the company continues to look at cut costs from its global operation.

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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.

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Shell boss Ben van Beurden bags a bigger bonus despite falling oil price

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RUSSELL LYNCH: 10 MARCH 2016

Royal Dutch Shell boss Ben van Beurden got a bigger bonus in 2015 — up 6% to €3.5 million (£2.7 million) — even though a tumbling oil price sank the shares by 30% last year.

The chief executive landed an overall pay deal of £5.6 million — although this was lower than 2014, when his package was swollen to €24.2 million by tax handouts and pension payments on taking the helm at the oil major.

Shell’s latest annual report showed his 2015 basic pay up to €1.47 million, but his annual bonus rising from €3.3 million to €3.5 million for a year in which van Beurden masterminded the oil giant’s mega-merger with rival BG.

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The Allure Of Shale Is Wearing Off

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Nick CunninghamThu, 25 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell revealed its plans to downgrade its emphasis on expensive shale operations, although it was not worded in those terms.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor says that it would fold its “unconventional” unit (i.e. shale) into its broader upstream business. Shell also announced that Mavin Odum, long-time top official from the North American arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will retire after more than three decades at the company.

The two announcements are consistent with Shell’s decision to takeover BG, which was a large bet on LNG and offshore oil plays, particularly in Brazil and Australia. It is also evidence that Shell is deemphasizing its attention and resources on North America, where it has placed several costly bets that have soured. In 2013, Shell cancelled plans to build a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana. In 2014, Shell sold off shale acreage in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, according to Reuters, while also divesting itself of Pennsylvania and Louisiana shale gas assets.

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Alaska failure not behind exit – Shell’s outgoing U.S. chief

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Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) costly flameout in Alaska last year was “a huge disappointment,” but did not push top North American executive Marvin Odum to exit the company, he said.

Odum made the comments hours after the company announced he would leave next month after 34 years.

“This should not be interpreted as, ‘Alaska didn’t work, so Marvin’s leaving,” Odum, 57, said in an interview.

Instead, he said he decided it was time to move on after heading Shell Oil Co, the Anglo-Dutch company’s U.S arm, since 2008. He later became head of exploration and production operations in the Americas as well.

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