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Abandon ship in a world of sub-$50 oil?

By   Saturday 

At the end of last year, when it looked as if OPEC was making a concerted effort to rein-in oil market oversupply, shares in Royal Dutch Shell(LSE: RDSB) charged to a 52-week high of just under 2,400p. Unfortunately, this rally didn’t last long. By the end of the first quarter, the shares had fallen by nearly 10% and have continued to slide as worries about a new oil glut have continued to grow. The falling oil price has reignited the argument about the sustainability of Shell’s dividend payout. FULL ARTICLE

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Shell News Update 23 June 2017

Ben van Beurden bows to Putin at an earlier meeting (On 18 April 2014) See article below – Shell firmly integrated in Russia…

Shell’s $1 Billion New Zealand Sale Said to Draw OMV, Vermilion: Bloomberg: 23 June 2017

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s sale of its remaining New Zealand energy assets has drawn interest from companies including OMV AG and Vermilion Energy Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.

Shell ‘shells out’ $75 a foot for pipeline easements: 23 June 2017

Court records suggest that Shell’s latest pipeline easement agreements in Pennsylvania will cost $75 a foot to carry ethane to its new ethane cracker facility.

Shell Company Firmly Integrated in Russian Economy, PM Medvedev Says: Sputnik: 22 June 2017

Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden to discuss the plans regarding the company’s future work in Russia, including the construction and financing of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.

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Shell News Update 22 June 2017

India’s LNG-led gas market may grow over 6 times by 2030: Royal Dutch Shell: Business Standard: 22 June 2017

Global oil major says that India may see at least six times growth in by 2030 from the current levels. It adds that liquefied natural gas (LNG) may be the largest contributor to it.

Brains behind Shell’s iconic Brent bid final farewell: EnergyVoice.com: 22 June 2017

Shell gave some of its former employees the chance to bid farewell to the platform, which generated more than £35billion over its four decades.

Oil Majors Snatch Up Mexican Oil Blocks: OilPrice.com: 21 June 2017

Other top-tier oil companies won blocks as well – Russia’s Lukoil took one, and Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell joined hands to win another. It marked Shell’s first upstream entry into Mexico.

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Shell News Update 21 June 2017

Oil firms could waste trillions if climate targets reached: report: Reuters: 20 June 2017

Oil giants including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell risk spending more than a third of their budgets by 2025 on oil and gas projects that will not be feasible if international climate targets are to be met, a thinktank says.

Global oil price falls to nine-month low as oversupply fears mount: The Independent: 21 June 2017

A number of producers – notably Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Russia – have aggressively ramped up output…

Norway opens up record 93 blocks for Arctic oil exploration: Financial Times: 21 June 2017

Norway has infuriated environmental groups by opening up a record number of blocks in the Arctic for oil exploration. Environmental groups, emboldened by their success ending Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling off Alaska, are stepping up protests against Oslo.

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Shell News Update

Total and Shell win block in Mexico shallow water oil auction: Reuters: 19 June 2017

A consortium comprising France’s Total (TOTF.PA) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) won the 15th shallow water oil and gas block put up for auction on Monday, the Mexican oil regulator said.

Qatargas to deliver up to 1.1 mln tonnes of LNG per year to Shell: Reuters: 18 June 2017

Qatargas said on Saturday it had signed a sales and purchase agreement with Shell for the delivery of up to 1.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for five years.

European Commission approves Shell’s $3.8 billion North Sea sale: Reuters: 16 June 2017

The European Commission approved on Friday Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) $3.8 billion sale of North Sea oil and gas assets to private equity-backed Chrysaor.

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Shell Money Laundering

From a Shell Blog contributor

I commend you on your article Shell Money Laundering for Saudi Arabia

As the NGO Global Witness pointed out earlier this year in relation to the OPL 245 corruption scandal, nobody should be above the law, even the mighty Royal Dutch Shell enterprise. Global Witness and The Corner House have campaigned and exposed the corruption around the OPL 245 deal for several years. In 2011, Shell and Eni paid $1.1 billion to Malabu Oil and Gas, a front company secretly owned by a former Nigerian oil minister. Prosecutors have alleged that over US$500m went to “fronts for [former] President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria”. This crooked deal deprived Nigeria’s people of a sum worth 80% of its 2015 healthcare budget. Shell and Eni have always denied that they knew the money would go to Malabu, but documents seen by Global Witness show that the companies constructed the deal knowing that the money would flow ultimately to Etete’s company.

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Shell Money Laundering for Saudi Arabia

Once again the conspiracy involved a shadowy man associated with Shell, said to be an MI6 agent. Not John Copleston or Guy Colgate of OPL 245 fame, but a spy from an earlier generation of British spooks – Stephan Kock – reportedly responsible for ordering assassinations.

By John Donovan

As has been widely reported, Shell and former/current senior managers up to executive director level face criminal charges in connection with the OPL 245 corruption scandal. Apart from other issues, Shell is accused of money laundering along with Eni. If found guilty, there is no prospect of Shell reducing any penalty by pleading it’s a first offence, because that is not the case. 

In the 1980’s, Shell and BP played a money-laundering role in the Al-Yamamah project generating slush funds associated with Saudi arms contracts which helped to fund terrorism and corruption, including massive bribes to Saudi royals by the main contractor, BAe Systems.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CORRUPTION

By John Donovan: Monday 19 June 2017

It is interesting, in view of subsequent events, to reflect back on an “Investigations Case Manager” job Shell advertised a decade ago.

Extract

The successful candidate for this role will provide specialist advice, awareness training, information and expert investigative resources to all Group companies worldwide on practices which conflict with Shell Group Business Principles. These include fraud, contract corruption (illegal information brokering), bribery, money-laundering and organised crime.

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Shell News Update 14 June 2017

Shell gets $142m tax refund in UK as decommissioning bills mount: The Herald: 14 June 2017

Around $116m of the refund appears to be due to the relief provided to Shell for the costs of decommissioning work completed on the giant Brent field north east of Shetland.

Shell’s report says it has ‘zero tolerance’ on bribery and corruption: The National: 13 June 2017

Shell’s code of conduct includes specific instructions to staff and mandatory training “especially with respect to potential conflicts of interest and the offer or acceptance of gifts and hospitality”. “Our anti-bribery commitment is an integral part of the Shell General Business
Principles, first published in 1976.

Gov. Tom Wolf tours Shell cracker plant site, impressed by speed and scale of work: The Times: 14 June 2017

POTTER TWP. — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is impressed by the speed and scale of the work being undertaken by the workforce building Shell Chemicals’ $6 billion ethane cracker plant.

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Shell News Update 14 June 2017

Shell to cash in $10bn from divestments in second half: EnergyVoice.com: 14 June 2017

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant’s net debt currently stands about $72billion and Shell wants to shave off about $20billion to reduce gearing − the level of a company’s debt related to its equity capital − to around 20%. Shell is in the midst of a push to sell $30billion worth of assets between 2016 and 2018 to rebalance its books following its takeover of BG Group.

UK Government pays Shell £112m tax rebate despite oil giant making billions in profits: Independent: 14June 2017

Most of the payment from HM Revenue and Customs is a contribution towards Shell’s costs for decommissioning its North Sea oil and gas fields. It follows a similar payment of £85m in 2016.

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Shell African News Stories

Malabu Deal: Court adjourns case against Adoke, Etete, Shell to October 26: TV360 Nigeria: 13 June 2017

The case against former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete; oil giants, Shell, Eni and four others has again been adjourned to October 26, 2017.

Court orders Shell to pay N122b damages for oil spill: TheGuardian Nigeria: 12 June 2017

The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt has ordered Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to pay N122 billon as damages to Ejama-Ebubu community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State for crude oil spillage.

Support integrity fund against state capture, says Shell boss: BusinessDay: 12 June 2017

Bonang Mohale, chairman of Shell SA and deputy chairman of Business Leadership SA, has called on business to invest in an integrity fund that would support activities to put the country on a different path.

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Shell Corporate Espionage?

Several years ago I corresponded with senior Royal Dutch Shell lawyers concerning allegations made by a former employee of Shell Oil Company, Mr Frank Joseph Trunk III., about alleged Shell sponsored industrial espionage.

The ingenious Mr Trunk filed for patents in the 1990’s and early 2000’s that define certain novel technologies with important dual use (military and civilian) applications.

It is quite likely that in a related move Shell tried to patent the use of spread spectrum signaling for controlling a BOP in a noisy environment, based on the number of other things they tried to patent disclosed to them under confidentiality agreements. Digital spread spectrum acoustic signaling is also used in a number of naval/military applications.

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