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No response from Shell to allegations of defective Pearl GTL gasifiers

Pearl GTL is the world’s largest plant to turn natural gas into cleaner-burning fuels and lubricants

By John Donovan

No response from Shell to my emails on 28 December concerning insider allegations that “Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

Since there is no confirmation or denial, I can only assume no one is available to deal with such trifling matters in the holiday period.

No doubt the Qatar authorities will press for an answer, as did the Russian government when we passed on insider allegations in respect of the Sakhalin2 project 10 years ago. That episode cost Shell its majority stake in Sakhalin Energy and ended with the resignation of Shell exec General David Greer OBE. 

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Opec bends the markets

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-08-16-41By Ed Crooks, December 2, 2016

In 451 CE, the great Roman general Flavius Aetius rallied a motley army of imperial troops and barbarian allies, and halted the advance of Attila’s Huns at the Catalaunian Plains in Gaul, buying the empire some time and temporarily interrupting its long-term decline. This week’s Opec meeting in Vienna had something of the same feel about it.

Opec’s power peaked in the 1970s, and the US shale oil revolution of the past half-decade has threatened to consign the cartel’s influence to history. But by agreeing a deal to cut production on Wednesday, the Opec ministers showed that if they all acted together they could still bend the oil markets to their will, at least for a while.

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OPEC agrees first output cut since 2008, Saudis to take ‘big hit’

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By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Rania El Gamal | VIENNA

OPEC has agreed its first limit on oil output since 2008, sources in the producer group told Reuters, with Saudi Arabia accepting “a big hit” on its production and agreeing to arch-rival Iran freezing output at pre-sanctions levels.

Brent crude futures jumped 8 percent to more than $50 a barrel after Riyadh signaled it had finally reached a compromise with Iran after insisting in recent weeks that Tehran fully participate in any cut.

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Opec cuts neither dead nor alive

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By Ed Crooks November 28, 2016

Opec’s possible production cut is the oil market equivalent of Schrödinger’s cat: neither dead nor alive. When they met in Algiers in late September, Opec ministers agreed the need to reduce output, but left the allocation of the cuts between individual members to be finalised later. If they cannot agree on that, the deal will die. At their meeting in Vienna on Wednesday, the ministers will have to open the box, and we will find out whether or not the agreement is still breathing.

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Obama administration bans Arctic offshore oil drilling through 2022. But will Trump reverse it?

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By William Yardley: 18 Nov 2016

The Obama administration said Friday it was banning offshore oil drilling in the Arctic through 2022, a move that prompted widespread praise from conservation groups but raised questions over how long the decision will stand just two months before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

A new five-year leasing program prohibits any drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas — an environmental battleground in recent years —and also blocks expansion in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, while allowing some new leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.

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LIVING IN TRUMPWORLD

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Comment from Bill Campbell on the Energy Voice Article: Shell stresses importance of stable regulatory environment post-Trump victory

Under Trump, with the senate and congress to support him, we can look forward soon to significant deregulation in the US effecting positively onshore fracking, tar sands development, offshore Deepwater in the Gulf and a boost perhaps to Alaska drilling. One assumes the Keystone pipeline will go ahead and perhaps pipelines running from central US to East Coast for new LNG Plants to supply a Europe hedging its bets over Russian gas availability with Europe’s ongoing problems with Putin, sanctions etc. A significant increase in US output, leading to increase in global supply over demand could dampen oil price. Shell seems to have divested assets recently in the US in some of these areas to offset BG takeover costs so uncertain whether Trumpworld will be good or bad for Shell.

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Royal Dutch Shell: The Comeback Is Here

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Alpha Investor: Sunday Nov 6, 2016

Summary

  • Shell posted a massive turnaround in its bottom line last quarter on the back of an improved production profile, lower costs, and higher price realizations.
  • Shell’s financial improvement is set to continue going forward as upstream oil price realizations will continue to improve on the back of a positive demand-supply environment in the oil industry.
  • Oil demand has exceeded supply by 500,000 bpd this year and the trend will continue as the likes of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. continue to reduce output.
  • Shell’s focus on lowering both operating and capital costs will allow it to attain break-even point even if oil prices remain at $50/barrel, which will also improve cash flow.

On Tuesday last week, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) reported impressive results for the third quarter. In fact, Shell was able to achieve a major turnaround in its bottom line performance, posting a profit of $1.4 billion as compared to a huge loss of $6.1 billion in the same quarter last year. This impressive turnaround in Shell’s bottom line was a result of an increase in production as compared to the prior-year period, driven by the acquisition of BG that led to a favorable production mix in the upstream segment.

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Hold the champagne

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screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-14-50-16By Ed Crooks, November 4, 2016

If you are looking forward to the oil industry recovery, you shouldn’t break out the champagne just yet.

Over the past eight days, the world’s largest listed oil companies have released third quarter earnings reports. From all of them, the message was that while the worst might be over, they were still facing a long hard road ahead.

The snap reactions from the stock market were mixed: positive for  ChevronRoyal Dutch ShellTotal and ConocoPhillips; negative for ExxonMobilBPEniStatoilPetrochina and Cnooc.

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Oil stand-off threatens dividends at BP and Shell amid fears that a deal to prop up prices is about to collapse

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By SABAH MEDDINGS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 23:34, 1 November 2016 | UPDATED: 23:34, 1 November 2016

Dividends at BP and Shell are set to come under threat as fears grow that a deal to prop up oil prices is about to collapse.

The two oil giants yesterday reported better-than-expected results – and gave a boost to their millions of small shareholders by protecting payouts.

But they have only been able to keep their dividends after slashing billions of pounds in costs following a collapse in the oil price from $112 a barrel in 2014 to less than $30.

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Lament for Royal Dutch Shell

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Kashagan AKA “Cash All Gone”

Forgot the initial cost estimate, probably around $8-10 billion. Now 10+ years too late and ballooned to $50 billionMost normal companies would have gone bust long ago.

Shell inherited some beauties from the boys of the roaring 90s. I hope someone will write a book one day on this era. 

Reserve crisis, Pearl, Sakhalin, Kashagan, Alaska, tarsands, and I must have forgotten a few. Repeated over-promise and under-delivery. All many billions over budget, extreme overruns in startup, loss in AAA status, removal of operational and technical expertise. I find the silence on Prelude ominous. Probably goes the same way as the others.

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The global market is still awash with crude

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By Ed Crooks: 14 October 2016

As the new Nobel prize-winner for literature once put it, something is happening here. The successful IPO this week by a US exploration and production company, Extraction Oil & Gas, was the first in the sector since crude prices started to slide in the summer of 2014. Along with the slide in energy junk bond yields, and signs of a corresponding thaw in E&P junk bond issuance, which has been essentially frozen all year, it is clear evidence that investor confidence in the US oil industry is returning.

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Royal Dutch Shell: The Turnaround Will Continue

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screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-13-11-55Alpha Investor: 12 October 2016

Summary

Royal Dutch Shell shares have received a boost in the past month on the back of an improvement in oil prices, a trend that is likely to continue.

There was excess oil demand of 500,000 bpd in the third quarter as against supply due to production cuts across the globe and robust demand, leading to an inventory correction.

Oil prices will rise further as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the U.S. are all intent on reducing the industry oversupply, which will lead to further inventory declines.

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