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Posts under ‘Saudi Aramco’

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-16-34-00 By The Motley Fool  Dec 5, 2016

Today I’m looking at the critical reasons to sell out of Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB).

A drop in the ocean

The oil sector’s major players breathed a huge sigh of relief last week after OPEC — responsible for four-tenths of the world’s oil supply — confounded the expectations of many and agreed to cut its output.

Saudi Arabia brokered a deal that will see production fall by 1.2m barrels per day, to 32.5m barrels beginning in January. The news prompted Brent oil to top the $55 per barrel marker for the first time since the summer of 2016.

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Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war

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By Catherine Ngai and Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK/HOUSTON In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.

Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group’s ability to boost prices. OPEC ministers meet Wednesday to weigh output cuts to end a two-year glut that has pressured global oil prices.

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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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OPEC makes last-ditch bid to save oil deal as tensions grow

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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler | VIENNA

OPEC was trying on Monday to rescue a deal to limit oil output as tensions grew among the producer group and non-OPEC member Russia, with top exporter Saudi Arabia saying markets would rebalance even without an agreement.

OPEC experts started a meeting in Vienna at 0900 GMT and were due to make recommendations to their ministers on how exactly the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries should reduce production when it meets on Nov. 30.

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Not dead yet

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By Ed Crooks: November 19, 2016

The last rites have been read over the Age of Oil a few times recently, but this week the International Energy Agency suggested there was still plenty of life left in it yet.

In its 2016 World Energy Outlook, the IEA argued that even if the Paris climate agreement were fully implemented, demand for oil would keep rising until at least 2040.

The message was reassuring for oil producers worried that “peak demand” might condemn them to stagnation or decline, or even put them out of business. There was colder comfort, however, in a warning from Wood Mackenzie that big oil companies risked being left behind in the transition to low-carbon energy.

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This bad news should encourage you to avoid Royal Dutch Shell plc!

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By The Motley Fool  Nov 7, 2016

Deal in danger

My bearish view on Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) hasn’t improved over the weekend, either, following news of fresh bickering between OPEC members.

On Monday, OPEC’s Mohammed Barkindo was forced to deny that the wheels are not falling off its much-lauded supply freeze agreement, with the group’s secretary general announcing that all 14 member states remain committed to the deal.

But rumours that Saudi Arabia vowed late last week to raise its own production, should members fail to rubber-stamp the deal this month, negates any suggestion of cross-cartel unity. Some members like Iran have been exempted from cutting, or even holding, their own production, causing other group members to publicly call for similar exemptions. The political and economic ramifications of getting an agreement over the line are clearly colossal.

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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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Oil majors join forces in climate push with renewable energy fund

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By Ron Bousso | LONDON

Top oil companies including Saudi Aramco and Shell are joining forces to create an investment fund to develop technologies to promote renewable energy, as they seek an active role in the fight against global warming, sources said.

The chief executives of seven oil and gas companies — BP, Eni, Repsol, Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Total — will announce details of the fund and other steps to reduce greenhouse gases in London on Friday.

The sector faces mounting pressure to take an active role in the fight against global warming, and Friday’s event will coincide with the formal entry into force of the 2015 Paris Agreement to phase out man-made greenhouse gases in the second half of the century.

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Survival in the harsh conditions of the oil downturn

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By Ed Crooks: October 21, 2016

The mood at the Oil and Money conference in London, the big energy event of the week, was a case of mixed emotions: cheer over signs of a near-term pick-up in the market, and concern over longer-term threats to demand.

The headlines were made on Wednesday by a clash between two of the biggest names in energy: Khalid al-Falih, energy minister of Saudi Arabia, and Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil. In his keynote speech, Mr al-Falih warned of the risk of “a shortage of supply” in future years because of plunging investment in oil production. Speaking minutes later, Mr Tillerson suggested he did not expect a collapse in supplies, because US shale provided “enormous spare capacity” to meet rising demand.

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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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Idemitsu and Showa Shell postpone merger amid founding family reservations, Iran-Saudi tensions

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-10-14-31KYODO, STAFF REPORT: 13 October 2016:

Oil distributors Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. have decided to postpone their planned April merger as Idemitsu has yet to gain consent for the deal from the founding family, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

Idemitsu, the nation’s second largest wholesaler, and Showa Shell, the fifth biggest, were expected to announce the decision later in the day, according to the sources.

Idemitsu and Showa Shell originally revealed a plan to merge in 2015. But the progress of the merger has become increasingly uncertain after Idemitsu founding members, who hold a 34 percent stake, enough to veto the merger, announced their opposition to the plan in June.

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FT Energy Source Weekly Briefing

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By Ed Crooks: October 7, 2016

Two international agreements have dominated the week’s energy news. Both have futures that are still shrouded in uncertainty, but are important landmarks if only because countries with widely diverging interests were able to come together and sign up to a shared course of action.

One was the Paris climate accord, which this week secured support from enough countries to come into force formally next month. The UN said 73 countries and the EU, accounting for more than 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, had ratified the agreement, crossing the thresholds set when the accord was adopted last December. More of the 195 countries that agreed the deal then are expected to join it formally in the coming weeks, months and years.

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Now could be the perfect time to sell Royal Dutch Shell plc

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By Royston Wild – Friday, 7 October, 2016

Stakeholders in fossil fuel goliath Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) could be forgiven for breaking out the bubbly following the company’s recent share price detonation.

Shell saw its value gallop 28% higher during the third quarter, and the firm’s meteoric ascent may not be finished yet — indeed, the stock is within striking distance of July’s quarterly peak of £21.48 per share, the loftiest level since May 2015.

But while many momentum investors may be tempted to plough in, I reckon now could provide a terrific opportunity for investors to cash out.

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Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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Iraq’s OPEC revolt shows Saudi-Iran oil deal fragility

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By Rania El Gamal and Alex Lawler | ALGIERS

For years, debates in the OPEC conference room were dominated by clashes between top producer Saudi Arabia and arch-rival Iran.

But as the two managed to find a rare compromise on Wednesday – with Riyadh softening its stance towards Tehran – a third OPEC superpower emerged.

Iraq overtook Iran as the group’s second-largest producer several years ago but kept its OPEC agenda fairly low-profile. On Wednesday, Baghdad finally made its presence felt.

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Saudi Arabia Injects $5.3 Billion in Bank System Amid Crunch

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The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system…

By Alaa Shahine and Stefania Bianchi: 25 Sept 2016

Saudi Arabia’s central bank stepped up efforts to support lenders in the Arab world’s biggest economy as they grapple with the effects of low oil prices.

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, said it decided to give banks about 20 billion riyals ($5.3 billion) in the form of time deposits “on behalf of government entities.” It’s also introducing seven-day and 28-day repurchase agreements, as part of its “supportive monetary policy.”

The plunge in oil prices over the past two years forced the government to draw down on its deposits in the banking system, squeezing domestic liquidity. That’s pushed up the three-month Saudi Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark used for pricing loans, to the highest level since 2009. The central bank was said to have offered lenders 15 billion riyals in short-term loans in June to help ease liquidity constraints.

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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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SHELL: STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL?

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EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO SHELL: 15 SEPT 2016

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>

Subject: STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL?

Date: 15 September 2016 at 12:51:41 BST

To: [email protected]

Cc: Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>

To Mr. Gary P. Thomson SI-LSC/KCompany Secretarial Advisor 

Corporate Secretariat 

London 

Dear Mr. Thomson

Thank you for your email dated 26 July 2016 and your subsequent letter dated 30 August 2016, the content of both stated by you to be “Strictly private and confidential”.

An attachment was marked as being “Confidential”.

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Will Saudi Aramco Be Able To Lay Its Hands On Houston Refinery?

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By Tsvetana Paraskova – Sep 14, 2016, 3:52 PM CDT

At a time when U.S. and Saudi relations are strained, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is reportedly leading in a race to buy a large refinery in Houston.

Certainly, politics and geopolitics cannot stay out of such move by the Saudi company, but it seems that Aramco has solid business reasons, as well as political ones, to bid for the Houston Refinery, which Dutch chemicals company LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE:LYB) is reportedly putting up for sale.

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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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Saudi Aramco-Motiva in lead to buy Lyondell’s Houston refinery: sources

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By Erwin Seba and Jessica Resnick-Ault | HOUSTON/NEW YORK

Saudi Aramco and its U.S. refining joint-venture Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] lead the race to buy LyondellBasell Industries Houston refinery, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

An announcement of the sale by Lyondell is expected this week, the sources said.

Lyondell spokesman Michael Waldron declined on Monday to discuss a sale of the refinery.

Reuters reported on Aug. 25 that Dutch chemical company Lyondell had retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help with a sale of the refinery.

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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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Speculation rises over Opec output freeze

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By Ed Crooks: September 2, 2016

Over the past month, the big stories in the oil market have been speculation about a possible production freeze from Opec, and the reality of rising activity in the US shale industry.

The rumours of Opec action have followed the pattern that has become wearingly familiar over the past couple of years, since the landmark meeting in November 2014 confirming that Saudi Arabia was not prepared to cut production to try to stabilise prices.

As the meeting – in this case, a gathering on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum in Algiers on September 26-28 – grows nearer, suggestions that a freeze will be discussed grow louder. Venezuela, which has the most urgent need for a higher oil price, sounds the most enthusiastic about curbing production. Other countries make supportive statements and agree to meet, without promising any action themselves.

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Motiva says Shell, Saudi Aramco to split assets on April 1, 2017

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By Erwin Seba | HOUSTON: Wed Aug 31, 2016

Motiva Enterprises LLC [MOTIV.UL] said on Tuesday the division of its U.S. refining assets between Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) and Saudi Aramco IPO-ARMO.SE would take place on April 1, 2017, months later than originally expected.

The two Motiva partners announced last March they would divide their 20-year-old joint venture. The split, according to sources, had been expected to take place this October after completion of negotiations between Shell and Saudi Aramco over the division of assets and compensation due the partners.

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Idemitsu founding family crosses a line with the Saudis

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HIROFUMI MATSUO, Nikkei senior staff writer

TOKYO — Idemitsu Kosan‘s founding family is treading on treacherous ground as it attempts to block a planned merger with Showa Shell Sekiyu.

The family’s opposition to the deal, struck last November, has baffled the rest of the Japanese oil industry and apparently riled Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. The future of Japan’s second-largest oil distributor hangs in the balance. 

Speculation about Saudi anger has swirled in the Japanese oil sector since the family’s stance came to light in late June. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, is Showa Shell’s No. 2 shareholder, after Royal Dutch Shell. The Saudi company intends to retain a stake in the new entity created through the Idemitsu-Showa Shell merger. Under the proposal, Idemitsu would buy Showa Shell shares held by Royal Dutch Shell.

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Reuters: Partial restart of Motiva Convent hydrocracker seen by year-end

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Aug 22 2016, 14:58 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Motiva Enterprises’ 235K bbl/day Convent, La., refinery plans a partial restart of the heavy oil hydrocracking unit by year-end, but full production is not expected to return before fall 2017 as repairs are made from the Aug. 11 fire, Reuters reports, citing Gulf Coast market sources.

In addition to extensive repairs required to return the 45K bbl/day hydrocracker, Motiva will revamp the unit during the shutdown for the planned linking of the Convent refinery with the company’s refinery in Norco, La., sometime next year, according to the report.

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Exxon, Motiva refineries continue reduced operations amid floods

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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:18pm EDT

Exxon Mobil Corp and Motiva Enterprises refineries continued to operate at reduced levels amidst flood waters in southern Louisiana, sources familiar with operations at each refinery said on Thursday.

An Exxon spokeswoman said the Baton Rouge Complex, which includes a 502,500 bpd refinery, continued to operate on Thursday, but declined to discuss the level of production or the status of specific units. The Baton Rouge refinery is the fourth largest in the United States.

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Motiva Convent refinery fire out, HCU heavily damaged -sources

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Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 22.04.57By Erwin Seba and Liz Hampton | HOUSTON: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:41pm EDT

A blaze broke out on Thursday at Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Convent, Louisiana refinery, heavily damaging the structure of the heavy oil hydrocracker before being extinguished in the afternoon, sources familiar with plant operations said.

Motiva confirmed that the fire was extinguished and said there were no injuries.

Initial assessments by Motiva indicated that repairs to 45,000 bpd HCU, called the H-Oil unit, are expected to take between one and four months, the sources said. Little damage was seen to the unit’s reactors, they said.

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

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Exclusive: Iraq, oil companies agree to restart investment, boost output

BAGHDAD/BASRA – | BY AHMED RASHEED AND AREF MOHAMMED: Business | Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:05am EDT

Iraq has reached agreement with BP, Shell and Lukoil to restart stalled investment in oil fields the firms are developing, allowing projects that were halted this year to resume and crude production to increase in 2017, Iraqi oil officials said.

The agreements, reached in July and August, effectively delay to the second half of the year projects that the three companies had planned to carry out in the first half, which had been suspended because of low oil prices.

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European energy groups press on with multibillion-dollar disposals

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Andrew Ward, Energy Editor: August 7, 2016

Extracts relating to Shell…

Royal Dutch Shell says it is working on 17 potential disposals as it seeks to reassure investors that its target for $30bn of asset sales by 2018 is achievable.

This balancing act is especially tricky for Shell as disposals are crucial to reduce debts after its £35bn takeover of BG Group, completed in February.

“Shell is going to have to be flexible on price if it is to move forward with some of these deals,” said one energy banker. “They cannot just sit back and wait for oil prices to come back.”

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Idemitsu Family Buys Showa Shell Stake in Bid to Stop Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima, Stephen Stapczynski and Shigeru Sato: August 3, 2016 — 7:09 AM BST Updated on August 3, 2016 — 8:37 AM BST

Idemitsu Kosan Co. founding family descendant Shosuke Idemitsu has begun buying up shares in rival Japanese oil refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK in a bid to block a proposed merger between the two companies.

The Idemitsu founder’s son purchased 400,000 Showa Shell shares and may buy more until his namesake company gives up on the deal, according to a statement distributed to reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday. Showa Shell rose as much as 12 percent to 1,014 yen, the biggest intraday gain in more than a year, and closed 3.8 percent higher. Idemitsu fell 3.9 percent to 1,984 yen.

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Oil Is Facing The Perfect Storm

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By Cassandra Legacy – Jul 14, 2016, 3:27 PM CDT

Since at least the end of 2014 there has been increasing uncertainty over oil prices, from whether so-called “Peak Oil” has already happened, to matters of EROI (or EROEI) values for current energy sources and for alternatives, to climate change and the phantasmatic 2oC warming limit, and the feasibility of shifting rapidly to renewables or sustainable sources of energy supply. Overall, it matters a great deal whether a reasonable time horizon to act is say 50 years, i.e. in the main the troubles that we are contemplating are taking place way past 2050, or if we are already in deep trouble and the timeframe to try and extricate ourselves is some 10 years. Answering this kind of question requires close attention to system boundary definitions and scrutinizing carefully any assumptions.

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US oil leadership questioned

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By Ed Crooks: 8 July 2016

The most eye-catching story of the week was the estimate from Rystad Energy that the US holds the world’s largest oil reserves. As the table in Rystad’s press release shows, that calculation relies heavily on “undiscovered fields” in the US that have yet be found. In terms of proved reserves in existing fields, Saudi Arabia still has more than twice as much oil as the US, according to Rystad’s estimates. John Kemp of Reuters discussed the meaning of the varying figures for Saudi Arabia’s reserves, concluding: “No-one really knows how much more oil can be recovered from beneath the Saudi desert and adjoining areas in the Gulf.”

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How the Breakup of Motiva Will Help Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) and Saudi Aramco

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By Staff Writer on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:04 am EST

Earlier in March, Saudi Aramco’s subsidiary, Saudi Refining, Inc (SRI) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), announced to dissolve their fuel partnership, Motiva Enterprise. Due to contradictory interests, both the entities signed a letter of intent (LOI), showing the division of assets held under joint venture (JV).

However, the disbanded venture has stuck another blow as Shell is seeking up to $2 billion as a part of breakup from its giant refining enterprise. The hefty compensation is due to Saudi Aramco’s retention of a larger stake in the venture for almost two decades.

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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

Shell seeks $2 billion from Aramco in Motiva joint venture breakup

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LONDON/HOUSTON | BY RON BOUSSO AND ERWIN SEBA: Mon Jul 4, 2016 3:25pm BST

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has asked Saudi Aramco for up to $2 billion (£1.5 billion) as part of the breakup of their giant Motiva Enterprises refining joint venture in the United States, the latest stumbling point in a partnership fraught with tension.

The payment would be compensation for the Saudi company retaining a larger share of the nearly two decade-old JV. Its split was announced in March and is expected to be completed in October but disagreements over the payment could postpone the final date, sources close to the talks told Reuters.

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Oil Is Still Heading to $10 a Barrel

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By A. Gary Shilling:JUNE 28, 2016 12:00 PM EDT

Back in February 2015, the price of West Texas Intermediate stood at about $52 per barrel, half of its 2014 peak. I argued then that a renewed decline was coming that could drive it below $20, a scenario regarded by oil bulls as unthinkable. But prices did fall further, dropping all the way to a low of $26 in February. Since then, crude rallied to spend several weeks flirting with $50 per barrel, a level not seen since last year. But it won’t last; I’m sticking to my call for prices to decline anew to $10 to $20 per barrel.

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Saudi-Iran Conflict ‘Minefield’ for Japan Oil Refiner Merger

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By Tsuyoshi Inajima,  Emi Urabe and Shigeru Sato: Updated on July 1, 2016 

  • Idemitsu founding family says shouldn’t hold stake in rival

  • Co. agreed to buy share of Japanese refiner Showa Shell

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 18.15.43The conflict between Middle East oil suppliers Iran and Saudi Arabia is playing out between the founding family of one of Japan’s largest refiners and its board.

Idemitsu Kosan Co. agreed last July to buy a stake with 33.3 percent voting rights in Showa Shell Sekiyu KK from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for 169 billion yen ($1.64 billion). Idemitsu has close ties with Iran and shouldn’t be associated with Showa Shell, in which state-run Saudi Arabian Oil Co. owns a stake, said a lawyer for Idemitsu’s founding family, which “wants the company to let go of the stake.”

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Saudi-Iran tensions threaten $5.4bn Japanese refinery merger

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  • MAYUMI NEGISHI
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • 12:00AM July 1, 2016

The battle for hegemony in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran threatens to up-end a $US4 billion ($5.4bn) merger in Japan.

The family of the late founder of Idemitsu Kosan is opposing a planned merger between the oil refiner — Japan’s second-largest behind JX — and Showa Shell Sekiyu, its smaller rival. Idemitsu has maintained close ties with Iran since the 1950s while Showa Shell is 15 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co, known as Aramco.

The Idemitsu family said a merger would be “inappropriate” given the growing tensions between the two countries. The two Persian Gulf nations, which belong to rival sects of Islam, are jockeying for political influence in the region and have recently clashed over the question of a cap on crude output.

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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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