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Posts under ‘Saudi Aramco’

The death of Opec?

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By Ed Crooks: 27 May 2016

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” That widely-misattributed line, first published by the novelist Rita Mae Brown, has apparently been taken to heart in the oil market at last.

After a succession of Opec meetings that were preceded by fevered speculation about action to support crude prices – mostly recently the much-discussed plan for a production “freeze” that fell apart in Doha in April – no-one has any great expectations for the ministerial gathering in Vienna next week. “The freeze is finished,” one Opec delegate said.

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Shell’s Saudi Aramco Option

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Cheap oil crimping your spending plans? Sitting on a bunch of valuable upstream oil assets that could be monetized? How about a mammoth IPO? No, not Saudi Arabia. I’m talking about Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell is Europe’s third-biggest company by market value. But after the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group, its net debt is by far the largest: an eye-watering $70 billion.

Big Borrowers

Shell’s net debt is the largest of any company in western Europe

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

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The Anglo-Dutch company says debt is likely “to go up before it goes down” and its reduction is “priority number one”. With credit-rating agencies on its case, Shell has to deliver on a pledge to divest $30 billion of non-core assets within three years.

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Oil rivals cooperate to slash equipment costs: Shell

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LONDON | BY RON BOUSSOThu May 5, 2016

Ten oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), Chevron (CVX.N) and BP (BP.L) are working together to develop standard production equipment, a rare cooperation among rivals to save money as low oil prices put pressure on budgets.

Bespoke valves, paints and underwater equipment are among the items that could be mass-produced at a cheaper cost, Harry Brekelmans, Shell’s Projects and Technology Director told Reuters.

The companies also want to set up institutions to find future savings after the past two years’ industry downturn led to a near standstill in new project approvals.

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FT Energy Source: Saudi Reform

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By Ed Crooks: April 29, 2016

When Saudi Arabia’s oil minister raises an eyebrow, the world pays attention. So when the kingdom launched a hugely ambitious economic reform programme this week, it naturally attracted enormous interest.

The FT in an editorial praised what it described as “a bold bid to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy”, but highlighted the challenges Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would face in making his vision a reality. Simeon Kerr and Anjli Raval described the plans as “highly ambitious – some would say unrealistic”.

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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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Botched Doha deal undermines OPEC credibility, oil prices tumble

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 18 April 2016

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, April 18 (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled on Monday after a meeting by major exporters in Qatar collapsed without an agreement to freeze output, leaving the credibility of the OPEC producer cartel in tatters and the world awash with unwanted fuel.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran were blamed for the failure, which revived industry fears that major government-controlled producers will increase their battle for market share by offering ever-steeper discounts.

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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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Largest U.S. refinery now belongs to Saudi Arabia

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Reuters reported that the relationship started to fray after Motiva announced a $10 billion expansion of the Port Arthur refinery, doubling its capacity to 603,000 barrels per day, making it America’s largest refinery. It produced gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. A leak shortly after the expansion was completed in 2012 led to ballooning costs, exacerbating tension between Shell and Aramco. A 2015 workers strike also sparked anger between the two companies.

The two companies signed a nonbinding letter of intent, a plan that would divide up Motiva’s refineries between them. The refineries have a combined capacity of 1.1 million barrels per day and are all located close to each other. The breakup will allow Saudi Aramco to take over the Port Arthur refinery and 26 distribution terminals, and Aramco will also hold onto the Motiva brand name. Shell will take over the other two refineries, Convent and Norco, both located in Louisiana. Shell said that it would operate the two refineries as one plant with a combined throughput of 500,000 barrels per day.

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Shell celebrates 75 years of partnership with Saudi Arabia

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Mar 20, 2016

RIYADH – Shell in Saudi Arabia commemorated its 75th anniversary at an event hosted on Wednesday in the presence of Prince Sultan Bin Salman, President and Chairman of the Board Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) as the guest of honor and Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden. In attendance were Prince Mohammed K.A. Al-Faisal, CEO of Faisaliah Group; Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco; Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, and Sheikh Mohammed Al Jomaih.

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Exclusive: After Motiva split, Saudi Aramco aims to buy more U.S. refineries – sources

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 21.04.31Ending an often rocky nearly 20-year relationship, Shell (RDSa.L) and Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL] announced on Wednesday plans to break up Motiva Enterprises LLC [MOTIV.UL] after almost two decades, dividing its assets and leaving Aramco with one plant, the nation’s largest crude oil refinery, in Port Arthur, Texas.

Officials from Saudi Refining, the downstream arm of Aramco, told employees following the announcement that the state-owned firm was intent on buying more assets once the Motiva break-up is finished, according to five people who attended the briefing and asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

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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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Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco unwind US joint venture

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Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 22.36.32Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco are unwinding their US refining and marketing joint venture as they pursue separate strategies for their operations. The deal will give the state-owned Saudi group full ownership of the largest refinery in North America.

The Motiva joint venture, which is owned 50/50 by the two companies and operates three refineries and a distribution and marketing business in the US, will be broken up and the assets distributed between them.

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FACTBOX-Motiva: How Saudi Aramco, Shell plan to divide up the assets

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 08.54.11Under the terms of a non-binding letter of intent, distribution terminals, retail assets, branded and commercial customer agreements will be divided by geography to ensure each partner has “an integrated and robust business,” a statement said.

Below are how the companies have split up the assets:

SHELL:

* 230,000 barrel-per-day Convent refinery located in St. James Parish, Louisiana;

* 235,000 bpd Norco refinery located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, where Shell already operates a chemicals plant;

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Saudi Aramco, Shell plan to break up Motiva, divide up assets

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“However, it is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals.”

Under the terms of a non-binding letter of intent, the Saudi state oil giant will take over the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the biggest in the United States, retain 26 distribution terminals as well as the Motiva name, according to a statement.

It will also have an exclusive license to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in Texas, the majority of the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets, it said.

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Saudi Refining, Inc. and Shell sign letter of intent to separate Motiva assets

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In the proposed division of assets, SRI will retain the Motiva name, assume sole ownership of the Port Arthur, Texas refinery, retain 26 distribution terminals, and have an exclusive license to use the Shell brand for gasoline and diesel sales in Texas, the majority of the Mississippi Valley, the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets.  Shell will assume sole ownership of the Norco, Louisiana refinery (where Shell operates a chemicals plant), the Convent, Louisiana refinery, nine distribution terminals, and Shell branded markets in Florida, Louisiana and the Northeastern region. 

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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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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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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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Opinion: Will oil be so cheap that it won’t pay to pump it out of the ground?

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By Paul Spedding: Published: Feb 9, 2016

The conventional wisdom regarding the recent plunge in the price of oil CLH6, -0.50%   is that we are seeing a repeat of the 1985-1986 collapse, when Saudi Arabia ramped up production as part of a dispute with other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel. This time, the thinking goes, Saudi Arabia is doing the same in response to its loss of market share to shale-oil production in the United States.

But there is another parallel that is even more relevant — with important implications for the long-term price of oil. The recent collapse is reminiscent of a similar dive in the price of coal — which crashed from a brief high of $140 a ton in 2008 to about $40 a ton today — which led some deposits to become “financially stranded,” meaning that the cost of developing them outweighs potential returns.

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Corporate earthquakes

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By Ed Crooks: February 5, 2016

Earnings reports from the largest listed oil companies have this week given a series of seismograph readings on the upheaval in the crude market. The implications for investors, employees and suppliers are grim. Worse, those earnings were all recorded in a period when oil and gas prices were significantly higher than they are now.

In a run of generally grim reports, BP’s was perhaps the worst: in 2015 it made a $5.2bn loss, the largest in its history. ConocoPhillips of the US, which after spinning off its refining business in 2012 became the world’s largest pure exploration and production company, was another standout, cutting its dividend by 66 per cent just two months after promising that the payout would be its “highest priority”.

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What goes down

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By Ed Crooks: January 29, 2016

The week has been a reminder that oil prices can go up as well as down. By Thursday night, Brent crude was 25 per cent higher than its low point eight days earlier. At a little under $34 per barrel, though, oil is still at a level that makes the great majority of US shale developments uneconomic. As I wrote in the FT on Saturday, it is pointing towards a radical shake-out in the shale industry.

Concerns about the huge financial strain that $30 crude imposes on oil producers and oilfield services companies has driven the value of junk-rated US energy debt down to its lowest level for more than two decades, at an average of just 56 cents on the dollar.  Markets have also become increasingly concerned about the domino effect from weak oil prices hitting other sectors, such as manufacturing. On balance, however, David Sheppard and Neil Hume argued in the FT, cheap oil is still better for the world economy than expensive oil.

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Oil prices in reverse amid Opec call

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Oil prices tumbled again on Monday, eroding last week’s gains, as Opec called for co-operation from oil-producing nations outside the cartel.

Brent crude fell 4.1% to $30.86 a barrel following a 10% rise on Friday, while US oil shed 4.7% to $30.68.

The slide came as the head of Opec called for all oil-producing nations to work together.

Abdullah al-Badri said both Opec and non-Opec oil producers needed to tackle oversupply to help prices rise.

“It is vital the market addresses the issue of the stock overhang. As you can see from previous cycles, once this overhang starts falling then prices start to rise,” he told a conference in London.

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Did Shell Take On Too Much Risk In This Oil Price Environment?

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The $50 billion acquisition is a risky prospect indeed, even though Shell is adamant that after dumping assets and jobs, the acquisition will actually turn a profit at $50 per barrel of crude. According to Shell, this is the worst-case, short-term scenario.

Despite plenty of sentiments to the contrary, Shell is fervently lobbying for this deal to go through. Last week, an influential shareholder advisory group—Institutional Shareholder Services—even recommended that investors embrace the BG takeover, according to the Wall Street Journal. They cited “credible evidence” that Shell was paying a fair price, even in the current oil price slump.

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Motiva Ripe for IPO Under Aramco Plan

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January 14, 2016 [OPIS] – Motiva Enterprises is a juicy candidate to take to market for a U.S. flotation as 50% stakeholder Saudi Aramco pursues its putative goal of taking itself public, investment bank Cowen and Company said in a research note.

Cowen has pegged Motiva’s theoretical market capitalization at $8.7 billion, stating a possible public valuation could be $8.5 billion-$10 billion, numbers Cowen’s equity research team of Sam Margolin, Jason Gabelman and Tanner Strunk see as “conservative.”

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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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Shell upbeat on BG buyout even as oil price falls as shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis is said to be in favour of the deal

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But some investors are concerned over the plunging oil price and late last week Standard Life Investments said it would be voting against the deal.

By JON REES, FINANCIAL MAIL ON SUNDAY: 10 JAN 2016

Shell’s £36billion offer for rival BG Group has received a boost after shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis is understood to have come out in favour ahead of the investors’ vote later this month.

Glass Lewis is the leading adviser for US shareholders and nearly a third of Shell’s investors and a quarter of BG’s are US-based. The deal has also won the backing of the other leading shareholder advisory group ISS last week. 

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Saudi Arabia’s Giant & Secretive Oil Company, Saudi Aramco

By John Donovan

Interesting to read the news today that the repressive and barbaric Saudi regime is considering publicly listing the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco. 

The headline on one such article is: “Saudi Arabia’s Giant & Secretive Oil Company May Go For IPO

It is ironical under the circumstances that retired Royal Dutch Shell Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the long-time claimed champion of transparency and ethics, is a member of the Saudi Aramco board

His late brother George Moody-Stuart was the highly respected Chairman of Transparency International. 

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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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OPEC Won’t Cut Drilling, and Prices Plunge 5%

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on December 8, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Crude oil prices slid a further 5 percent on Monday to fall to their lowest levels since the 2009 global recession, pummeled by the fading chance that Saudi Arabia would cut production to halt the commodity’s yearlong slide.

In only 16 months global oil prices have collapsed from over $110 a barrel to less than half that, and the oil industry in the United States and around the world is reeling from its worst crisis since the late 1990s. On Monday, the American benchmark broke the $38-a-barrel mark, a price that makes drilling and completing wells a losing proposition in almost all oil fields around the country.

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Despite Climate Concerns, OPEC Plans to Keep Pumping Oil While It Can

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By STANLEY REED and SARA HAMDANA version of this article appears in print on December 5, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition

VIENNA — Even as United Nations climate-conference delegates met near Paris on Friday seeking ways to reduce the globe’s dependence on high-carbon fuels like oil, some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers vowed to keep pumping flat out.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Friday that it would keep producing oil at current levels, which are estimated to exceed 31 million barrels a day.

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Saudi Arabia will not stop pumping to boost oil prices

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Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 21.10.55November 8, 2015

Saudi Arabia is determined to stick to its policy of pumping enough oil to protect its global market share, despite the financial pain inflicted on the kingdom’s economy.

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FULL FT ARTICLE

Saudi Arabia’s Oil War With Russia

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By Leonid Bershidsky: Oct 16, 2015

As President Vladimir Putin tries to restore Russia as a major player in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is starting to attack on Russia’s traditional stomping ground by supplying lower-priced crude oil to Poland.

At a recent investment forum, Igor Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil company, complained about the Saudis’ entry into the Polish market. “They’re dumping actively,” he said. Other Russian oil executives are worried, too. “Isn’t this move a first step toward a redivision of Western markets?” Nikolai Rubchenkov, an executive at Tatneft, said at an oil roundtable Thursday. “Shouldn’t the government’s energy strategy contain some measures to safeguard Russia’s interests in its existing Western markets?”

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Big Oil’s Murky Climate

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Big Oil truly is facing a conundrum of biblical proportions

Liam Denning: Bloomberg.com: October 16, 2015

Big Oil is getting religion — sort of.

Ten major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Saudi Aramco declared on Friday that they totally get the climate change thing and would support measures aimed at preventing it. 

Yet, without committing to the most obvious measure to encourage fundamental change — namely, widespread carbon pricing — you could say the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative has taken a leaf from St. Augustine: yearning to be pure, just not quite yet.

The announcement comes ahead of December’s UN climate conference in Paris and not long after a more modern cleric, Pope Francis, took his call for greater efforts to curb carbon emissions directly to Congress.

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Work to begin on Motiva’s $500M Maurepas Pipeline by end of this year

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Anna Thibodeaux: October 3, 2015

Construction will begin on Motiva’s $500 million Maurepas Pipeline in the fourth quarter of this year.

“The Maurepas Pipeline is the initial step for Motiva to interconnect and optimize its Gulf Coast refinery operations,” said Kiley Roberson, company spokesman for Tulsa, Okla.-based SemGroup Corp., which will build and own the pipeline.

SemGroup has partnered with Rose Rock Midstream, which will serve as the pipeline operator.

“The Maurepas Pipeline project is a critical first step for Motiva to connect its two refineries in Louisiana to create what Motiva calls its Louisiana Refining System,” Roberson said. “With an integrated crude capacity over 500,000 barrels per day, Motiva’s Louisiana Refining System will rank in the top five of North American refineries in terms of total capacity, creating significant value for Motiva.”

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Royal Dutch Shell CEO Blames Saudi Arabia For Slowed US Shale Growth

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Bidness Etc takes a look at how Saudi Arabia led to slowed growth of the US shale oil industry

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jul 2, 2015 at 9:37 am EST

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saud Arabia, usually monitors the crude oil supplies and prices prevailing in the market. The US energy companies have begun using hydraulic fracturing techniques, which allow US drillers to drill deeper into the surface, and extract more oil. Therefore, crude oil output has risen substantially.

On the other hand, the OPEC refused to play its role as a price regulator last year. On November 27, the cartel decided to maintain output at 30 million barrels of oil per day. Prices that once traded at $115 per barrel fell to $60 per barrel. The price decline was also due to reduced global crude oil demand.

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Shell Chief says U.S. shale producers under pressure from Saudi Arabia -FT

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OPEC’s decision, led by Saudi Arabia, to not cut oil production has put pressure on U.S. shale gas producers which in turn has put brakes on America’s energy boom, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday.

Ben van Beurden said in an interview that OPEC’s decision in the face of soaring U.S. output and weaker-than-expected demand had sent a strong signal that Riyadh would not “underwrite the price” by utilizing its supplies to balance the market. (on.ft.com/1gbNJ8b)

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Motiva to trade refined products apart from co-owner Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Motiva to trade refined products apart from co-owner Shell

HOUSTON, JUNE 11 | BY KRISTEN HAYS AND ERWIN SEBA

Motiva Enterprises said on Thursday it aims to trade its own gasoline, diesel and the components needed to make them in a new organization separate from its co-owner, Royal Dutch Shell.

Motiva, a 50/50 joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco , said in a statement that the move will more closely connect the company with fuels markets, customers and trading partners.

But Motiva said it will still rely on Shell to trade crude oil.

“With this change, we hope to provide greater value to them through more active participation in the market,” Motiva Chief Executive Dan Romasko said in the statement.

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Motiva plans in-house trading organization for refined products

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.31.03Motiva plans in-house trading organization for refined products

Markets | Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:13pm EDT

(Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises said on Thursday that it was planning to form its own products trading organization for transport fuels and refinery intermediates to enhance its market participation through direct dealings with customers.

The company said it started negotiating term contracts for its gasoline and diesel products in late 2014. It now intends to expand its focus to include all trading activities for refined products starting on Jan. 1.

Motiva said there would be several job opportunities within the new trading organization.

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Saudi Arabia Lets The World Drown In Oil

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Article by Nathan Vardi: Forbes Staff: Friday 5 June 2015

To the surprise of nobody, Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC member states decided in Vienna on Friday to maintain production targets of 30 million barrels a day, making sure the world remains flooded with oil. The fact that OPEC—particularly the core countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates—have refused to play their traditional stabilizing role and cut oil production makes it less likely that oil prices will rebound to the $115 a barrel level that was reached about one year ago.

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Prices Are Down, but Saudis Keep Oil Flowing

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 15.02.26Article by CLIFFORD KRAUSS and STANLEY REED published 1 June 2015 in the New York edition of The New York Times under the headline

Prices Are Down, but Saudis Keep Oil Flowing

HOUSTON — The international cartel of oil producers has long followed the same basic strategy. When the market was soft, the group slashed production to raise prices.

But Saudi Arabia, the heavyweight of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has a new agenda. It is now less concerned about the price of crude oil in the global markets and more concerned about delivering fuel to its growing economy.

The shift is upending the traditional market dynamics that have influenced the direction of oil prices for decades.

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OPEC Seen Backing Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Keep Supplies Elevated

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by Grant Smith and Maher Chmaytelli: Bloomberg.com: 27 May 2015

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When Saudi Arabia argues next week that OPEC should keep up production to fight the rise in U.S. shale oil, prices will be on its side.

Crude plunged for eight of nine weeks prior to the group’s November gathering, when the kingdom faced down opposition from the majority of fellow members, who advocated output reductions to tackle a global glut. With oil companies around the world cutting investment, U.S. output peaking and prices up, Saudi Arabia’s strategy will be extended at OPEC’s semiannual meeting on June 5, say Societe Generale SA and Bank of America Corp.

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AramcoShell.com: one of the most valuable domain names in the world?

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Aramco Shell .com

By John Donovan

I own and operate many Shell related domain names including, for example, RoyalDutchShellPlc.com and RoyalDutchShellGroup.com, both of which Shell International unsuccessfully attempted to seize 10 years ago in proceedings via The World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Depending on reaction to this article, I may put one of my domain names – aramcoshell.com up for sale, probably by auction.

It is potentially one of the most valuable domain names in the world.

Here is my logic for such an assertion: 

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Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era

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Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.29.47Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era

Anglo-Dutch company’s search for resources in the Arctic is a sign that the world is running out of options for new oil reserves

By Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor

In his critically acclaimed 2005 book ‘Twilight in the Desert’, the prominent oil economist Matthew R. Simmons predicted that Saudi Arabia’s oil wells would soon run dry.

His argument was based on the age of the seven main fields, which the kingdom still to this day depends upon to pump the bulk of its 10m barrels per day (bpd) of crude. These fields in the main have been producing for over a generation and, despite official figures placing Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves at over 260bn barrels, Mr Simmons argued that the kingdom would struggle to increase its output to keep pace with the projected increases in the demand over the next half century marking the beginning of a period known as “peak oil”.

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Shell seeking to buy BG in first oil super-merger in over a decade

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04The collapse in global oil prices has sparked much speculation about mergers in the industry and BG has often been cited as a potential target.

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is in advanced talks to buy BG Group (BG.L) in the first oil super-merger in more than a decade, seeking to extend its lead in gas production and close the gap with the world’s biggest oil major, U.S. ExxonMobil (XOM.N).

BG, which has a market value of $46 billion, said in a statement on Tuesday it was in advanced discussions regarding a possible offer by Shell, whose market capitalisation is $202 billion. Exxon is worth $360 billion.

A successful deal would give Shell access to BG’s multi-billion dollar projects in Brazil, East Africa, Australia, Kazakhstan and Egypt, including some of the world’s most ambitious liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

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Motiva to integrate Norco, Convent refineries in Louisiana

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(Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises said on Thursday that operations at its Convent and Norco, Louisiana, refineries will be integrated to take advantage of increased production of lower-cost U.S. shale oil.

Motiva, which is co-owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco, said the first step in the integration project is the construction of the Maurepas pipeline system that will bring advantaged crude to the Norco refinery and connect the production systems at the two plants.

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Prices Fall to a Six-Year Low for U.S. Oil

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 23.38.17Article by Stanley Reed published 17 March 2015 in the New York edition of the New York Times

Prices Fall to a Six-Year Low for U.S. Oil

Oil prices fell to six-year lows on Monday in the face of concerns that a glut in the United States was outpacing already-brimming storage facilities.

Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries published a report suggesting that the cartel remained reluctant to intervene to prop up prices.

The direction of oil prices, which had risen sharply from January lows, has fallen back in recent days. Traders are now focused on the second quarter of the year, when demand for oil is traditionally weak because of the end of winter and scheduled refinery shutdowns for maintenance.

On Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the main United States benchmark, fell about 2 percent to about $44 a barrel, a six-year low, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell by about 2 percent to about $53 a barrel.

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Price of crude oil resumes its descent

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Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 09.07.31Article by Stanley Reed published New York Times New York Edition 14 March 2015under the headline:

Oil Prices Drop as Production Hums Along Despite a Brimming Supply

LONDON — Just as the oil market appeared to be stabilizing, the price of crude resumed its descent on Friday.

The drop, of about 4 percent, came after a report from the International Energy Agency warning that oil pouring into tank farms in the United States might “soon test storage capacity limits.”

The agency, whose reports are closely monitored by oil traders, said that overflowing storage “would inevitably lead to renewed price weakness.” American production of oil continues to increase despite recently announced cutbacks in new drilling by producers.

The price of West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark, fell to around $45 a barrel on Friday, while Brent, the international benchmark, fell below $55 a barrel.

The Department of Energy has proposed adding five million barrels of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The purchase, which requires congressional approval, would be added in June and July. But 9.4 million barrels of oil a day are being produced in the United States. Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners, said that the proposed purchase was not an attempt to support falling prices but instead “appears to derive from a statutory obligation.”

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