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Russia’s Gazprom plans to launch third LNG train at Sakhalin-2 in 2021

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screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-44-04Russia’s Gazprom plans to launch third LNG train at Sakhalin-2 in 2021

By Katya Golubkova | YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK/PRIGORODNOYE, RUSSIA: Thu Sep 29, 2016 | 2:25am EDT

Gazprom said on Thursday it plans to launch a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) production train at the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant in 2021, possibly fed by a newly drilled field, as Russian companies seek to boost their share of the global LNG market.

Russia accounts for less than 5 percent of the global LNG market but new plants are being built or considered by Novatek, Gazprom and Rosneft.

Located at Prigorodnoye on Sakhalin island, Sakhalin-2, Russia’s sole LNG plant, operates two production lines with a combined capacity of 10 million tonnes of LNG per year. The third train should add another 5 million tonnes.

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Russia’s Sakhalin-2 partners agree on LNG marketing strategy for third train – Shell

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screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-44-04YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Partners at Russia’s Sakhalin-2, the sole liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in the country, have agreed on the strategy of marketing LNG from the planned third train, Olivier Lazare, head of Royal Dutch Shell in Russia, told a conference.

Sakhalin-2 is currently operating two LNG production trains with combined capacity of around 10 million tonnes of LNG per year. The planned third train should add another 5 million tonnes of annual capacity.

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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 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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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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Why I’m expecting Royal Dutch Shell plc and BP plc to plummet!

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By Royston WildThe Motley Fool: Friday, 2 September, 2016

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Investor appetite for the oil segment has taken a knock in recent weeks as fears of a prolonged supply glut have weighed.

British majors Royal Dutch Shell(LSE: RDSB) and BP(LSE: BP) have seen their share prices slip 10% and 7% respectively during the past six weeks, for example. And I believe a sharper retracement could be just around the corner.

Stocks keep surging

Broker predictions that the oil market is set to balance later this year are being put under increased scrutiny as already-plentiful stockpiles continue to build.

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Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

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Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 15.59.39Shell’s LNG Canada venture again delays export terminal decision

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L and its LNG Canada partners have once again pushed back the timing of a decision on building a British Columbia liquefied natural gas export (LNG) terminal, the latest setback for the Canadian province’s energy ambitions.

LNG Canada, whose participants also include PetroChina Co Ltd 601857.SS, Mitsubishi Corporation 8058.T and Kogas, cited global industry challenges, including capital constraints, for requiring more time prior to making a final investment decision.

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Shell CEO says interested in Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field – Vedomosti

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11 July 2016

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is interested to take part in developing Russia’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russia’s Vedomosti daily newspaper in an interview.

He added that expansion of the Sakhalin-2 LNG project in Russia’s Pacific Island of Sakhalin may need gas both from that field and from the Sakhalin-1 project.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov)

SOURCE

US oil reserves surpass those of Saudi Arabia and Russia

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Anjli Raval, Oil and Gas Correspondent: July 4, 2016

The US holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and Russia, the first time it has surpassed those held by the world’s biggest exporting nations, according to a new study.

The US shale boom was a factor behind the recent oil price collapse that toppled the Brent crude benchmark from a mid-2014 high of $115 a barrel to below $30 earlier this year.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Russia’s Gazprom eyes asset swap deals with Shell, OMV by year-end

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ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA | BY DENIS PINCHUK AND DMITRY ZHDANNIKOVMon Jun 20, 2016 8:29am EDT

Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) could gain control over some of the assets that Shell (RDSa.L) acquired earlier this year from BG group, a senior Gazprom executive said in an interview.

Gazprom’s Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said the BG holdings could be included in an asset swap deal between Gazprom and Shell that was announced last year. He did not say what the BG holdings were or where they were located.

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Gazprom and Shell committed to broader cooperation in LNG sector

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Gazprom and Shell committed to broader cooperation in LNG sector

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Greenpeace image relating to Shell/Russia Arctic Drilling Plans

June 16, 2016, 17:30

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Shell, took place today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016.

The parties discussed the progress of and prospects for strategic cooperation in the LNG sector, paying particular attention to the construction project for the third production train of the LNG plant on Sakhalin Island (Sakhalin II project). Design and FEED documentation are currently being prepared for the new production train.

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Western leaders, CEOs visit Russia amid sanctions fatigue

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin of Russia.

NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS: June 15, 2016 Updated: June 16, 2016 1:29pm

Following a meeting with Putin, Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden and state-owned gas giant Gazprom announced plans to build an LNG plant in Russia together. France’s Total is working with Russia’s largely private gas producer on a liquefied natural gas project.

The fact that the CEOs of top American companies have in a sense defied their government shows that they put their business interests before any political considerations, analysts say.

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Gazprom, Shell to invest $13 bln in projects in Russia – Russian Energy Minister

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to Russian President Putin at the Kremlin: April 2014

Thu Jun 16, 2016

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 16 (Reuters) – Energy major Shell and Russia’s gas major Gazprom will jointly invest $13 billion in three projects in Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

Novak said that Shell would take part in the development of Gazprom’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye gas field offshore Russia’s Sakhalin island in the Pacific.

The two companies will also jointly invest in the Baltic Sea Liquefied Natural Gas plant and in the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant expansion.

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Gazprom, Shell sign memo on Baltic LNG project

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin

Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:11am EDT

Gazprom and Shell signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding on construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Russian coast of the Baltic Sea.

The memorandum says the companies will look into possibilities of building the LNG plant in the port of Ust-Luga with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.

Gazprom and Shell are already partners in Russia’s only LNG plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin which has a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year.

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Shell & Gazprom agree Baltic LNG project

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.2816 June 2016 

Russia’s Gazprom and Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell have inked a letter of understanding to begin a liquefied natural gas project at the Russian port of Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea.

CEOs Aleksey Miller and Ben van Beurden signed the agreement at the 20th International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

The project aims to diversify Gazprom’s LNG sales operations and to boost its LNG portfolio.

The enterprise will reportedly include a two-train LNG plant as well as a pipeline connected to the Gazprom network. The Baltic LNG Plant will have a capacity of about 10 million tons of gas annually with an option to expand to 15 million tons. The new plant will start operating in December 2021.

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Russia’s Putin says Shell is long-term, reliable partner

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:29am GMT

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 16 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Royal Dutch Shell was a long-term and reliable partner for Russia.

Putin, who is attending the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum, made his remarks after Shell CEO Ben van Beurden asked the Russian leader to help support the company’s Russian business.

Van Beurden said Shell had made a lot of progress in its Sakhalin-2 LNG project with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

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Russia’s Gazprom, Shell to sign deal on Baltic LNG project – Kremlin

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Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 16.44.45Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:32pm GMT

MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) – Russian gas giant Gazprom and oil major Shell will sign a deal on a planned Baltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the sidelines of a forum in St. Petersburg later this week, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the deal will be signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will meet Shell’s Chief Executive Ben van Beurden at the forum.

Gazprom plans to build the plant, which may produce up to 20 million tonnes of LNG per year, by December 2021.

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Royal Dutch Shell Set to sink?

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By Royston Wild – Saturday, 11 June, 2016

The possibility of protracted earnings pain also makes Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) a gamble too far, in my opinion.

At face value, charging oil prices may be at odds with my bearish take on the state of the market. Indeed, the Brent index surged above the $52 per barrel marker for the first time since October this week, helped by supply disruptions in Nigeria and a weaker US dollar.

However, the long-term outlook for crude values remains on thin ice, in my opinion. Production from OPEC and Russia continues to blast higher, while patchy economic growth means that bloated inventory levels are likely to persist, a situation that could send black gold prices sinking again.

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Gazprom and Shell address ongoing and future cooperation

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Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 21.31.46Friday, Apr 29, 2016

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Shell, took place in St. Petersburg today.

The parties addressed the prospects for collaboration between the companies under the Agreement of Strategic Cooperation. An emphasis was placed on a potential asset swap.

The meeting also reviewed the ongoing front-end engineering design (FEED) process for the third production train of the LNG plant within the Sakhalin II project.

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The new oil order

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Apr 23rd 2016

FOR generations, oil and stability have gone hand in hand in Saudi Arabia. The puritanically conservative kingdom has used its oil wealth to buy loyalty at home and friends abroad. But since King Salman came to the throne last year, his 30-year-old son, Muhammad, has injected unpredictability into the Middle East.

Critics consider the deputy crown prince a hothead, whose dangerous obsession with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival, is feeding sectarianism and fraying relations with America. At home, though, the impetuousness of Muhammad bin Salman may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to start weaning itself off oil, the price of which has fallen sharply over the past 18 months. A big test comes on April 25th, when the prince is due to unveil the kingdom’s long-delayed “Vision” reform plan.

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Oil washout

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 21.42.31Ed Crooks: 22 April 2016

They wanted a freeze, but all they got was a wash-out. The 18 oil-producing countries that met in Doha on Sunday were supposed to finalise an agreement to hold production at January’s levels, but instead the meeting broke up in acrimony and recriminations. John Kemp at Reuters suggested Saudi Arabia was turning the “oil weapon” on its rival Iran.

The FT’s Roula Khalaf wrote that the failure of the talks highlighted the rise of Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s 30 year-old deputy crown prince. His growing influence and the waning authority of veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi add a new element of unpredictability to Saudi policy.  Bloomberg Business Week had a long and fascinating interview with Prince Mohammed. As President Barack Obama visited Saudi Arabia, David Gardner wrote that the kingdom’s 70-year bargain with the US, promising security in return for a steady flow of oil, was becoming frayed.

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Major Oil Exporters Fail to Agree on Production Freeze

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By STANLEY REED and ANDREW E. KRAMERA version of this article appears in print on April 18, 2016, on page B1 of the New York edition

DOHA, Qatar — Officials from 18 oil-producing nations failed on Sunday to reach a deal to freeze oil production at current levels.

The meeting of officials, representing most of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as Russia, had been intended to calm the markets and convince them that the two leading oil exporters, Russia and Saudi Arabia, were cooperating. But with officials coming up short on Sunday, the meeting may end up being a blow to confidence that could send oil prices tumbling.

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Eyes on Doha

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By Ed Crooks: April 15, 2016

All eyes in the oil market this weekend will be on Sunday’s meeting in Doha, which will bring together leading producers including Russia and most – although perhaps not all – of the members of Opec. Expectations that the countries will agree to freeze production, encouraged this week by statements from Russian and Iraqi representatives, have helped drive Brent crude prices up more than 60 per cent from about $27 per barrel in January to around $44 today.  The heads of some of the world’s largest trading houses have concluded that for oil producers, the worst is probably now over.

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Gazprom Mulls Selling 49% of Baltic LNG Project’s Shares to Shell

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 12.14.5911 April 2016

Russian energy giant Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell are currently discussing the possibility of selling 49 percent of Gazprom’s shares of the Baltic LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant to Shell, the Dutch company said Monday.

The Baltic LNG is a proposed LNG plant construction in Russia’s Leningrad Region oriented at the European and Latin American markets. It is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

FULL ARTICLE

Why I Wouldn’t Touch Royal Dutch Shell Plc & Tullow Oil plc With A Bargepole!

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57By The Motley Fool  Apr 8, 2016

Investor appetite for the fossil fuel sector has died down in recent days amid a fresh dip in crude prices.

After moving back above the $40 per barrel marker last month, Brent values have subsequently run out of steam as enduring fears over supply/demand imbalances have come to the fore again.

Oil producers like Shell (LSE: RDSB) and Tullow Oil(LSE: TLW) have been carried higher following Brent’s surge from January’s multi-year lows of $27.67. But with ‘black gold’ back on the defensive, I reckon oil companies big and small are back in danger of a huge share price reversal.

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Shell is streamlining its operations in Malaysia and Norway following its merger with BG Group

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By Micheal Kaufman on Apr 6, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has shipped a cargo of Bintulu condensate from Malaysia to New Orleans, Louisiana, Reuters reported citing a trade source familiar with the matter. This is the first time that the US is importing this type of a condensate from Malaysia.

According to news sources, the Polaris, vessel containing 200,000 barrels of the offshore oil produced by the Malaysian state oil giant, Petronas, left the Malaysian terminal in February. The tanker stopped at Singaporean port, before heading towards Louisiana.

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Shell pulls out of Arctic-focused exploration oil licensing round in Norway

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Business | Mon Apr 4, 2016 3:01pm BST

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has pulled its application from Norway’s Arctic-focused oil licensing round, the firm said on Monday, in a blow to the Nordic country’s ambitions to explore for oil and gas in its northern offshore areas.

“The decision is part of an optimisation of Shell’s global portfolio following the acquisition of BG and a persistently low oil price,” the company’s Norwegian unit said in a statement. “Norway remains one of our core areas.”

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Sideways moves

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By Ed Crooks: April 1, 2016

Oil prices went sideways all week, with Brent crude edging up above $40 on Thursday.  Hedge funds have made record bets on rising crude prices, but everyone is still watching prospects for the scheduled meeting of Opec and non-Opec oil producers in Doha, Qatar on April 17. Qatar’s oil minister said 12 countries had so far agreed to attend, including most Opec members and Russia. Reuters provided a useful factbox on the countries that could be present at the meeting.  Ecuador is one of the Opec members trying to persuade non-member countries to join in a commitment to freeze production.

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Shell’s belligerent partner, Russia

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Extracts from an article by Kyle Mizokami published by THE WEEK: 29 MARCH 2016

Russia is staking its claim to the Arctic and is being more than a little unreasonable about it. In 2007 Russian robotic submarines planted the national flag under the North Pole. Russia claims the North Pole on the grounds that the Lomonosov Ridge, an extension of Russia’s continental shelf territory, passes underneath the pole.

Russia is preparing to back its claims up, too: As of 2015, it had established six new bases north of the Arctic Circle, including 16 deepwater ports and 13 airfields. Russia has deployed advanced S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles, as well as “Bastion” supersonic anti-ship missiles, to protect Arctic bases. The vastness of the Arctic means these weapons don’t threaten other countries, but they do create fortified bases that will allow Russia to springboard ships, planes, and Arctic-trained troops into contested territory.

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The downside of cheap oil

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By Ed Crooks: 25 March 2016

Probably the greatest puzzle of the oil crash is why it hasn’t done more to strengthen global growth. The shift in purchasing power from companies and governments of oil-producing countries to consumers puts money in the pockets of people who are more likely to spend it, and that should act as a stimulus. It hasn’t quite worked out like that.

This week the FT launched a series titled ‘Lower for Longer’ exploring some of the reasons why. Number One on the list of likely explanations is the mountain of debts the industry built up during the boom times. Oil and gas company debt almost tripled from $1.1tn to $3tn between 2006 and 2014, according to the Bank for International Settlements, which has done some important research on the issue.  The oil industry, energy markets and the world economy are all struggling with the burden of that debt: the hangover after the oil investment boom of the past decade. Investors have lost at least $150bn in oil and gas company bonds, and over $2tn in equity values.

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Is It Finally Time To Give Up On Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

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By Royston Wild – Thursday, 24 March, 2016

To suggest the game is up at Shell (LSE: RDSB) could be considered ludicrous given the investor stampede of recent weeks.

The fossil fuel giant has seen its share price explode 30% in the past two months, moving in lockstep with the Brent benchmark’s surge back above the $40 per barrel milestone.

But with data surrounding the oil sector still worsening, I see little reason for crude’s recent march higher, leaving Shell’s share price in danger of a massive reversal.

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Shell says no changes in plans to expand Russian Sakhalin-2 LNG plant

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MOSCOW, March 24 (Reuters) – There are no changes in plans to expand Russia’s Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas plant, operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Gazprom, Olivier Lazare, head of Shell’s operations in Russia, said on Thursday.

Gazprom and Shell plan to expand their plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, where Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi are also shareholders, to add a further 5.4 million tonnes of annual capacity in 2021.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Alexander Winning)

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Better news for oil

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Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 22.36.32By Ed Crooks: Friday 18 March 2016

Oil continued to creep up this week with Brent going past $42 per barrel, its highest level since early December. Crude was a beneficiary of the wider upturn in markets, which pushed the S&P 500 index briefly back up above its level at the start of the year. The positive correlation between share prices and oil prices seems to be alive and well.

Suggestions that the US Federal Reserve is in no hurry to raise interest rates gave a boost to crude and other markets. Oil was also helped by reports that Opec ministers had at last agreed to hold a meeting with leading non-Opec producers such as Russia, in an attempt to make some progress with their much-discussed, little-implemented production freeze.

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Is Royal Dutch Shell Plc In Danger Of A Colossal Correction?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Royston Wild – Thursday, 17 March, 2016

Shares across the mining and energy sectors have leapt broadly higher in recent weeks thanks to a robust recovery in commodity prices.

Fossil fuel leviathan Shell (LSE: RDSB) has been one of these beneficiaries. Since striking a 12-year trough of 1,277p per share back in January, the stock has leapt 33% to claw back above the 1,700p marker just this week.

Shell’s resurgence has been underpinned by a bounceback in the oil price. The Brent benchmark reclaimed the $40 per barrel marker earlier this month,  up from the multi-year lows of $27.67 hit at the start of 2016.

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How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself

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By ANDREW SCOTT COOPER: A version of this op-ed appears in print on March 13, 2016

FOR the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

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Oil’s upwards rally

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By Ed Crooks: 11 March 2016

Oil this week continued its recent rally, with Brent crude clinging on above $40, but there was speculation that most of the gains of the past two months could be undone if Opec members and Russia failed to finalise their earlier conditional agreement to freeze production.

Reuters reported Opec sources as saying that a suggested meeting in Moscow on March 20 to confirm the deal was unlikely to take place. The critical factor is Iran; other countries say they will not meet to discuss joining the freeze unless Tehran agrees to sign up for it too. President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff told a conference in London that his country wanted to increase exports to regain its pre-sanctions market share before it would start talking about cuts. The same official, Mohammad Nahavandian, also sought to reassure international companies that the country would soon unveil new and improved contracts for investors in its oil and gas industry, even though the issue has raised concerns about attempts by foreign businesses to “loot Iran’s natural resources”.

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Scant hope of an imminent rebound in prices

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The Davos of energy

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By Ed Crooks: February 26, 2016

This week many of the biggest names in the worlds of oil, gas and power were gathered at IHS CeraWeek in Houston, the annual conference that is regularly  – and accurately – described as “the Davos of energy” or  – more questionably – as “the Burning Man of energy”. It should come as no surprise that it was this event that generated most of the week’s big stories.

The star of the show was Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s formidable oil minister, who was making his first appearance at the conference since 2009. It might have been expected to be a case of Daniel in the lions’ den. Saudi Arabia is seen by many in the industry as the architect of their troubles, because of Mr Naimi’s refusal to cut production to attempt to support prices. As it turned out, though, he won over the crowd very quickly, delivering a speech that included both a convincing explanation of his strategy, and a few pretty decent jokes.

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OPEC’s Freeze Backfires

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The punchline? The joke’s on OPEC.

There are several glaring problems inherent to the freeze, whereby members of OPEC and other large producers such as Russia are supposed to not raise their oil output from current levels, not least that they are already producing too much oil for the market to absorb.

But there is a more subtle effect that actually works against the likes of Saudi Arabia: The freeze raises hope. In particular, it raises hope in the otherwise largely despondent world of energy financing.

Monday night, before those oil ministers iced the freeze, Cabot Oil & Gas, a U.S. exploration and production company, announced it had sold an upsized offering of new shares that should ultimately raise roughly $1 billion.

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Bulgaria signs deal with Shell for deepwater oil and gas exploration

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Markets | Tuesday Feb 23, 2016 

Bulgaria sealed a deal with Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday to explore for oil and gas in an offshore block in the Black Sea in a bid to end its almost total dependence on Russian natural gas.

Shell won a tender for a five-year permit for deepwater exploration at the 1-14 Silistar block that covers 7,000 square km in September and pledged to invest 18.6 million euros ($20.5 million) in seismic surveys.

“The licence that we have been awarded today allows us to evaluate the potential for oil and gas in offshore Bulgaria. This process can be quite a long process and with much uncertainty,” said Eileen Wilkinson, regional director at Shell International Exploration and Production, after the signing.

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Russia Saudi pact

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By Ed Crooks: February 19, 2016

This week the story of the oil price crash took a genuinely unexpected turn with the conditional agreement from Saudi Arabia and Russia that they would not increase their production, provided other countries made the same commitment. It was the first real co-operation between Opec and non-Opec countries for 15 years, and although its true significance is probably rather less than that makes it sound, the pact nevertheless provided grist for extensive interpretation.

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Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS

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By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard6:33PM GMT 05 Feb 2016

The global oil industry is caught in a self-feeding downward spiral as falling prices cause producers to boost output even further in a scramble to service $3 trillion of dollar debt, the world’s top watchdog has warned.

The Bank for International Settlements fears that a perverse dynamic is at work where energy companies in Brazil, Russia, China and parts of the US shale belt are increasing production in defiance of normal market logic, leading to a bad “feedback-loop” that is sucking the whole sector into a destructive vortex.

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Oilmageddon

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Katy Barnato: 5 FEB 2016

The global economy seems trapped in a “death spiral” that could lead to further weakness in oil prices, recession and a serious equity bear market, Citi strategists have warned.

Some analysts — including those at Citi — have turned bearish on the world economy this year, following an equity rout in January and weaker economic data out of China and the U.S.

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

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Why Royal Dutch Shell Plc Shares Could Easily Topple Another 15%!

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By Royston Wild | Fool.co.uk: Friday 29 JAN 2016

Shares in fossil fuel giant Shell (LSE: RDSB) have enjoyed a solid bump higher in recent days following a meaty bounce in the oil price.

Crude values have shot skywards following chatter that an accord could be struck between OPEC and Russia to curtail production. The Brent benchmark has gained $5 since Monday and is now back above $35 per barrel, reaching levels not seen since the start of January.

Shell has subsequently seen its stock price appreciate 7% during the course of the week, adding to chunky gains seen in the prior 7-day period.

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Corrib Gas: Was it worth it? Yes.

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Corrib Gas: Was it worth it? Yes.

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Brendan Cafferty: 27 JAN 2016

As the gas starts to flow a member of the pro gas lobby reflects on the controversy

Who is to blame for the delay?

The gas was due ashore in 2002 at a cost of €800 million. It finally arrives at the start of 2016 at a cost of €3.5 billion-€4 billion. Planning such a huge project was, of course, protracted, with EPA and An Bord Pleanála hearings. Kevin Moore, the board’s planning inspector, did at the outset recommend that planning not be granted for the terminal at Ballinaboy, but the board of An Bord Pleanála did not agree with him – something that is not unusual.

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Russians’ Anxiety Swells as Oil Prices Collapse

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By NEIL MacFARQUHARA version of this article appears in print on January 23, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

The global collapse in oil prices is reordering economic relations around the world, but the change is particularly daunting for Russia, which relies on energy exports for 50 percent of its federal budget.

In December, President Vladimir V. Putin told the nation that the worst of the recession — the economy shrank 3.9 percent and inflation hit 12.9 percent in 2015 — was over and that modest growth would return in 2016. He has been pushing the oil collapse as an “opportunity” that will wean Russia off energy imports and diversify the economy.

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Stock Prices Sink in a Rising Ocean of Oil

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It could get worse. The nuclear deal with Iran should allow the country to start exporting far more oil, once sanctions are lifted, potentially in a matter of days. Iran could add as much as 500,000 barrels a day to the global markets. Tentative progress in negotiations between warring factions in Libya, battling for control of oil and export terminals, could unleash another flood.

By CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — The world is awash in crude oil, with enough extra produced last year to fuel all of Britain or Thailand. And the price of oil will not stop falling until the glut shrinks.

The oil glut — the unsold crude that is piling up around the world — is a quandary and a source of investor anxiety that once again rattled global markets on Friday.

As prices have dropped, the amount of excess production has been cut in half over the last six months. About one million barrels of extra oil is now being dumped on the markets each day.

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Oil Prices Slide Again, and the Bottom Is Not Yet in Sight

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By JAD MOUAWAD: A version of this article appears in print on January 12, 2016, on page B1 of the New York edition

The continuing collapse in commodity prices pushed oil futures still lower Monday, and analysts predicted that the slide was far from over.

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in 12 years, with futures of West Texas intermediate crude for February delivery settling at $31.41 a barrel, down 5.3 percent. Oil futures, which lost 30 percent last year, have declined every day of 2016. Brent oil, the main international benchmark, lost 6.5 percent and closed at $31.55 a barrel.

Last year a broad reassessment occurred in commodities, as the global economy slowed and demand from emerging markets like China, India and Brazil waned. The slump in oil prices picked up momentum last week on renewed concerns about the health of China’s economy, which led to a rout in global markets.

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Major shareholder sheds BG stake as merger vote looms

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The fund management company cut its holding from 2.2 percent to 0.9 percent and continued offloading shares even after Shell published the deal prospectus, in which the Anglo-Dutch oil major revealed further capex and opex cuts that would boost the merger’s appeal.

Although the mega-merger was announced at a time when oil was pushing multi-year lows, prices have continued sliding since, eroding the immediate financial appeal of the combination.

Shell said last month that it expects the acquisition to break even with Brent crude prices in the low $60s in 2016, while the deal would add to operating cash flow per share at $50 a barrel.

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Oil Prices Could Collapse To $20

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By Tyler Durden

Extracts from extracts…

Could oil prices collapse to $20? 

The short answer is ‘yes.’

We believe that crude oil prices could fall further unless global oil production is reduced. As shown in Table 2, we estimate that the global oil market could be oversupplied by roughly 920,000 bpd in 2016. The key assumptions are year-over-year growth in global demand of 1.2 million bpd, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya hold production at current levels, Iran ramps up production at moderate pace over the course of the year and the U.S. rig count remains at current levels.

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