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This Billionaire Just Joined The Race For A Major Shell North Sea Oilfield

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By Irina Slav – Oct 17, 2016, 8:55 AM CDT

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Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of chemicals conglomerate Ineos, will bid for Shell’s Buzzard oilfield in the North Sea valued at around US$2.2 billion (GBP 1.8 billion). The sale is part of Shell’s debt reduction plans, following its multibillion acquisition of gas major BG Group earlier this year. Total proceeds from asset sales are seen at up to US$30 billion (GBP 24.6 billion).

For Ratcliffe, if his bid wins, the deal would represent a much sought-after expansion into the energy industry of the country. His bid for Buzzard is the latest in the North Sea, after last year, Ineos acquired all the gas fields operated by German DEA Group in the U.K. North Sea shelf. The Buzzard field became property of Shell after the acquisition of BG Group. Ineos is also the owner of the only oil refinery in Scotland. read more

Shell, Chevron Drop Off Platts Top 10 Energy Firm List

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screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-21-16-05By Irina Slav – Oct 03, 2016, 10:26 AM CDT

Shell and Chevron were among the international oil giants that fell off the top 10 companies of 2016 in the S&P Platts’ annual ranking of the 250 biggest companies by assets and revenues. The asset value and revenue figures are all for 201—the year when the oil price collapse really began to be felt.

The USA Today quotes Platts as saying the changes in the top 10 segment reflected the continuing depression on international oil markets. The price slump, Platts said, hit oil and gas majors’ earnings hard, and it also led to a serious devaluation of assets, meanwhile benefiting companies with stronger downstream operations, pure-play refiners, and power utilities. read more

Shell Shuts Down Bonny Light Pipeline

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cropped-Screen-Shot-2016-09-09-at-20.58.10.jpgBy Irina Slav – Sep 27, 2016, 10:05 AM CDT

Shell’s Nigerian division has shut down one of the two pipelines that carry Bonny light crude to its Forcados terminal in the Niger Delta, saying a fire was detected “on the right of way” of the pipeline. The shutdown will take 180,000 bpd off Shell’s Nigerian exports.

At the same time, the company continues to refuse to confirm or deny an announcement from the Niger Delta Avengers from Saturday that they’d blown up a Bonny Light pipeline. Shell has two pipelines bringing crude of this blend to Forcados, and the fire was detected at the Trans Niger Pipeline. It remains unclear whether the fire is a consequence of the NDA attack or if the attack was on the other pipeline. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

Shell Looking Beyond Petroleum

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There are many players looking to enter the oil markets thanks to the raft of deals available as the oil price crash appears to be over. For the oil majors, this will likely mean major opportunities to snap up unconventional producers and assets at low valuations. One “oil” major that may not be participating is Shell. The Anglo-Dutch oil giant is increasingly turning away from its roots in oil and moving towards natural gas as an alternative.

In the year 2000, 37 percent of Shell’s production was from natural gas. By 2015, that number had risen to 49 percent. For ExxonMobil, those figures were 40 percent in 2000 and 43 percent in 2015. For Chevron and BP, the 2000 figures were 27 percent and 40 percent respectively, and for 2015, it was 33 percent and 38 percent. Among oil majors, only ConocoPhillips has seen a comparable shift to gas going form 33 percent to 43 percent gas production between 2000 and 2015. read more

Unknown Militants Attack Shell Pipeline In Niger Delta

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Lincoln Brown – Aug 01, 2016, 1:30 PM CDT

No one has claimed responsibility for an attack on a Shell pipeline in the early morning hours in the Niger Delta region on Sunday.

The attack came at about 1:00 AM local time on the Trans Ramos Pipeline near Odimodi—a pipeline owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company.

According to resident Godspower Gbenekama, residents heard a loud explosion and found an oil spill. There have been no reports of any injuries in the incident.

Another resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that this was not the first time militants had hit the pipeline, stating: “Precisely on the 22nd of this month, there was a failed attempt to attack the same facility, hence we were expecting that security in the area would have been tightened, but we are really disappointed that they succeeded this time.” read more

Is Gas The Future? Shell Seems To Think So

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By Gregory Brew – Jul 20, 2016

The world’s second largest private oil company sees a new future, and it’s not in oil.

Shell has made a concerted effort to shift the bulk of its business from oil-related projects to natural gas, LNG and renewables. Coming on the heels of its February purchase of BG Group (a $54 billion acquisition), Shell has organized a division focused solely on renewable energy. It announced new investment for its LNG facility on Curtis Island in Australia, where natural gas has enjoyed $180 billion in new capital. It has emerged as a stronger voice on global climate change than its competitor ExxonMobil and the company’s website proposes a number of “Shell Scenarios” that could allow for a growing energy market while creating less CO2. read more

Why Big Oil Is Still A Good Bet For Investors

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Michael McDonald – Jul 20, 2016, 2:23 PM CDT

Investors getting cold feet about the spiking price of Big Oil stocks over the last year may risk missing out on further gains, according to one top ranked analyst. Doug Terreson of Evercore, one of the top ranked oil analysts according to Institutional Investor magazine, is recommending that investors stick with integrated oil majors like Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, and Exxon despite the run up in their prices.

Terreson’s thesis is that many of the catalysts for positive price performance remain in place. In particular, integrated oil companies have effectively reduced operating capital costs permanently, which lowers their breakeven expense to produce oil. The retort to this point of course is that Big Oil stocks may have cut costs but frackers have been much more successful than integrated majors in cutting their costs as a percentage of pre-crash production cost. read more

Shell’s New Sensors Could Reduce Exploration Costs Dramatically

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By Irina Slav – Jul 12, 2016, 1:04 PM CDT

Searching for oil and gas is an activity with uncertain success—an activity with a bit less uncertainty were it not for 3D seismic surveying. And this uncertainty could be reduced even further, thanks to technological advancements that Shell is currently testing.

Seismic surveying is the first step in any oil and gas exploration project. It’s an expensive undertaking that requires scattering thousands of sensors on the ground and then analyzing the data they register about the subterranean rock makeup that may or may not include oil and gas-bearing formations. read more

Shell Warns Of Further Job Cuts

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Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43By Irina Slav – Jul 05, 2016, 9:02 AM CDT

Shell may have to cut more jobs after laying off 12,500 people over the past year, CEO Ben van Beurden told The Telegraph. The new cuts would be prompted by a “continuous improvement drive,” he added.

Elaborating on what this drive would imply, Van Beurden noted jobs are becoming unnecessary as business operations get shut down, or positions being moved to another part of the world, or becoming redundant because of the drive for enhanced business efficiency. read more

Chevron Halts Production At Gorgon Plant For Second Time This Year

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By Lincoln Brown – Jul 01, 2016, 3:18 PM CDT

For the second time this year, Chevron has stopped production at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas operation in Australia. The plant had to be evacuated after a gas leak was detected.

Chevron will make the necessary repairs to the plant before restarting production next week. The plant is a joint venture with ExxonMobil, Shell, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric Power. The terminal, which is also owned in part by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, will still load cargo during the interim. read more

Police Confirm Attack On Shell Facility In Nigeria

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Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 23.34.38By Lincoln Brown – Jun 24, 2016

Police in the area of Imo in Nigeria have confirmed that there has been an attack on a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) facility there. The attack, which was in the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government area took place early Thursday.

One source told the News Agency of Nigeria that the attack came at 5:30 in the morning and reported an explosion that created a great deal of flame. That source could not confirm if anyone was killed in the incident. read more

Goldman Sachs Says Oil Isn’t Recovering

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By James Burgess – Jun 15, 2016

Goldman Sachs has rejected analysts’ opinions that the global oil market is recovering, noting that while it expects a “modest” deficit in the coming months based on the slight rebound in oil prices, the market will again be in a state of surplus by early next year.

It may seem as if oil is recovering on the back of supply disruptions that have helped to chip away at the global glut and push prices close to $50, but Goldman says that in the best-case scenario this isn’t a rebound—it’s just the first signs of one. read more

Shell’s Ambitious Plan To Topple Exxon

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By Rakesh Upadhyay – Jun 22, 2016, 5:17 PM CDT

Ben Van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell has laid out an ambitious plan to overtake ExxonMobil as the number one oil company in the world.

Prior to the 1990s, Shell was the leader in total shareholder returns, however, its rivals went on a deal-making spree to gain the lead, while Shell shied away from making any acquisitions. Now, Mr. Beurden believes that Shell will be able to regain its lost glory post the acquisition of the BG group. read more

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