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Posts under ‘Shale Oil’

Inaccurate predictions of when oil production won’t meet demand

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 13.11.39By John Donovan

Retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister (right) will say practically anything to get quoted in the news media, presumably in the hope of raising his public profile. 

CNBC is today reporting his prediction that oil production won’t meet demand in 5 yearsFor some reason, he consistently tries to talk up the price of oil. 

Those of us with good memories may recall a similar reckless prediction made by his former Shell boss, Jeroen van der Veer. 

As reported in the Times newspaper article below (published in January 2008), Mr. van der Veer said that oil and gas demand would outstrip supply within 7 years. In other words, by 2015. 

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Goodbye Marvin Odum

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Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 17.16.30Marvin Odum, unconventional resources director and U.S. country chair for Royal Dutch Shell, left the company. He joined Shell as an engineer in 1982. Concurrent with his departure, and in a move that will simplify Shell’s structure, the Athabasca Oil Sands Project and the Scotford Upgrader in Canada will join the global Downstream organization under Downstream Director John Abbott.

In addition, the Shale Resources business will join the global Upstream organization under Upstream Director Andy Brown. As a result of these changes, the unconventional resources director position is eliminated.

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Royal Dutch Shell Limiting Investment in Chinese Shale Gas

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By Muhammad Ali Khawar on Apr 3, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) unlike BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) is looking less enthusiastic for the exploration and production of shale gas. As reported by Bloomberg, Shell has indicated that it is not pursuing with the development of the Fushun-Yongchuan shale gas block in the China’s Sichuan province.

The news comes following BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) latest deal for shale gas exploration in the country. Both the parties signed a production sharing contract (PSC) for shale gas exploration, development, and production in China’s Nejiang-Dazu block in the Sichuan basin.

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An oilman’s $7 billion refresher course in the economics of drilling and climate change

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To many analysts, it looked like Odum was pushed into leaving.

Steven Mufson March 11, 2016

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, was attending a meeting of the parent company’s executive committee in Singapore when word trickled in that an exploration well drilled in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — the crowning step in a multi-year $7 billion quest — was a dry hole.

Maybe not bone dry. In a recent interview, Odum wouldn’t say. But in the oil business glossary, a dry hole is one that can’t pay off commercially, and Shell’s hole definitely qualified. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, abruptly dropped any further drilling — a setback for the industry, though a relief for environmentalists.

For years, they had fought a vigorous, litigious and politically intense battle over the Chukchi. Meanwhile Shell, lured by potentially rich rewards, had overcome a couple of embarrassing rig mishaps at sea and patiently navigated the courts and the Obama administration’s permitting process. Now, geology had rendered its verdict.

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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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South Africa to start shale gas exploration in next year

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Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil & Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five companies which have applied for exploration licenses being reviewed by South Africa’s Petroleum Agency, the regulator said on Tuesday.

The Petroleum Agency will submit its recommendations to the government by early May. The ministry of mineral resources will make the final decision on granting licenses.

“One area of real opportunity for South Africa is the exploration of shale gas,” a statement from cabinet ministers responsible for the economy said.

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South Africa looks to shale gas future

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Shell one of the early examiners of gas potential in a country plagued by an electricity crisis

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By Daniel J. Graeber: March 8, 2016

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 8 (UPI) — The South African government said Tuesday it was expecting to reap the rewards of shale natural gas, with exploration slated as early as 2017.

Royal Dutch Shell is among the early entrants into the South African shale sector, reviewing the prospects for gas in the country’s Karoo basin.

South African Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti told government officials in Pretoria shale gas exploration presents a real opportunity for economic growth in the country.

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Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence

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Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence.

His presiding over the disasters in the Arctic and in the $40 billion shale misadventure finally caught up with him as all those who took the fall earlier had gone and BvB finally saw him as the liability he was.

That was why he was ‘moved’ into the departure lounge position in the first place.

I cannot think of a single executive offhand who willingly got off the gravy train before their time regardless of what Corporates press writers spin.

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The Allure Of Shale Is Wearing Off

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Nick CunninghamThu, 25 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell revealed its plans to downgrade its emphasis on expensive shale operations, although it was not worded in those terms.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor says that it would fold its “unconventional” unit (i.e. shale) into its broader upstream business. Shell also announced that Mavin Odum, long-time top official from the North American arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will retire after more than three decades at the company.

The two announcements are consistent with Shell’s decision to takeover BG, which was a large bet on LNG and offshore oil plays, particularly in Brazil and Australia. It is also evidence that Shell is deemphasizing its attention and resources on North America, where it has placed several costly bets that have soured. In 2013, Shell cancelled plans to build a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana. In 2014, Shell sold off shale acreage in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, according to Reuters, while also divesting itself of Pennsylvania and Louisiana shale gas assets.

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Shell replaces U.S. chief, splits unconventionals unit

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HOUSTON | BY KRISTEN HAYS AND RON BOUSSO: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:42pm EST

Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. head Marvin Odum will step down after the company abandoned a troubled drilling project offshore Alaska, and the global oil company said on Wednesday it will split up its U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands unit.

Stung by a 70 percent slide in crude prices since mid-2014, Shell this month reported its lowest annual income in more than a decade and pledged further cost saving measures.

The Anglo-Dutch company said on Wednesday its shale resources unit would become part of the global upstream business led by Andy Brown, and its Athabasca Oil Sands Project and Scotford Upgrader in Canada would be folded into the global downstream unit, headed by John Abbott.

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Oil majors’ business model under increasing pressure

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Ed Crooks in New York and Chris Adams in London: 14 FEB 2016

Gorgon, a massive liquefied natural gas project off the north-west coast of Australia, is one of the wonders of the modern age. Its $54bn price tag makes it — in nominal terms at least — one of the most expensive engineering projects ever completed. It could also be a monument to a fading era, the last hurrah of Big Oil. In this view of the world, the price crash has been like an asteroid strike: agile shale producers can survive, but the lumbering dinosaurs of big oil are doomed.

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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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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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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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Shell in bed with the President of Argentina?

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Dear John,

It has taken some time to send you my promised request for information, but I’m now fulfilling my commitment. 

I’m an Argentinian independent journalist. Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

Usually, I write on international Politics, and in this job I regularly check your site. In recent times, however, I note the absence of references to the enormous political engagement of Shell in the new Argentinian government.

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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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Shell’s £40bn takeover of BG Group edges closer despite tumbling oil price and shareholder discontent

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By CITY & FINANCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 21:55, 21 December 2015

Tumbling oil prices and shareholder discontent have not prevented Royal Dutch Shell’s £40billion takeover of BG Group entering the final stages.

The deal could complete in February after BG applied to the High Court to hold the shareholder meetings to vote on it in the new year.

The tie-up has been unpopular with some investors and experts who argue it does not make sense when the oil price is so low. 

The price of Brent crude plummeted to an 11-year low yesterday as excess supply continued to flood the market. 

Oil production is running close to record highs and Brent futures fell by as much as 2 per cent to a low of just above $36 a barrel, their weakest since July 2004.

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Oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell spring a leak after Middle East oil cartel Opec fails to slash production

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By PHILIP WALLER FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 21:50, 4 December 2015

Oil majors sprang a leak but airlines flew higher after Middle East oil cartel Opec failed to slash production.

Shares in BP fell 8.85p to 359.7p and Royal Dutch Shell surrendered 29.5p to 1599.5p as the oil-producing club opted to keep pumping near-record volumes of crude.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude was 0.8 per cent down at $43.49 and the cost of US light crude dropped nearly 2 per cent to around $40 amid fears of a continued supply glut.

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Paralysed Opec pleads for allies as oil price crumbles

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By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: 04 Dec 2015

The Opec cartel is to continue flooding the world with crude oil despite a chronic glut and the desperate plight of its own members, demanding that Russia, Kazakhstan and other producers join forces before there can be output cuts.

Brent prices tumbled almost $2 a barrel to $42.90 as traders tried to make sense of the fractious Opec gathering in Vienna, which ended with no production target and no guidance on policy. It reeked of paralysis.

Prices are poised to test lows last seen at the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009. The shares of oil companies plummeted in London, and US shale drillers went into freefall on Wall Street.

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Oil Price Crumbles

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By Ed Crooks
December 4, 2015

Late on Thursday afternoon, after a gathering that took longer than expected and left the markets on tenterhooks, the Opec meeting in Vienna came up with its decision: ministers agreed to do nothing at all, leaving production at current levels.

Before they gathered on Friday the FT team in Vienna wrote on the fundamental conflict inside the oil-exporting countries’ group: Saudi Arabia is prepared to cut output to help stabilise prices, but only if other producers, both inside and outside Opec, are prepared to do the same.

Explaining the reasons behind the plunge in crude prices last year, and the reasons why Opec meetings are now so fraught, Martin Wolf, the FT’s chief economics commentator, looked at the implications of the US shale boom. The FT warned in an editorial that, as remote as the prospect might seem today, an oil shock could still hurt the world economy. By cutting investment in oil production, low prices are choking back future supplies. The Lex column highlighted one example of that: the financial pressures on the US shale oil industry, which are intensifying. The column argues that seeing the signs of strain in the US, “Saudi may be feeling some vindication”.

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In defence of Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

By a regular contributor

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Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

Perhaps worth noting is that investment decisions on the scale of the recent Shell write-offs would have required approval by the entire EC in the Hague long before BvB was around. Few of the EC members who made those decisions are still present. 

It seems strange that so many of the huge projects which have been abandoned are in North America, and serious questions need to be asked about why approval was given by the EC for these huge projects. Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

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Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s share price tumbles as group posts dramatic loss as falling oil prices take toll

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 08.02.52by Catherine Neilan: 29 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s share price tumbled this morning after it revealed a third quarter loss of $7.4bn (£4.8bn) as the company gets to grips with the falling oil price. 

The figures

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant posted its dramatic loss on the back of nearly $8bn-worth of exceptional items. Adjusted net income fell to $1.77bn, missing expectations that had put the figure at $2.92bn. 

Shell posted a CCS earnings loss of $6.12bn, 216 per cent lower than the same time last year. 

Cash flow from operating activities for the third quarter 2015 was $11.2bn, down from $12.8bn for the same quarter last year.  Meanwhile gearing has increased to 12.7 per cent, up from 11.7 per cent at the same point in 2014.   

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Shell Makes Biggest Net Loss in at Least a Decade on Price Slump

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Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 08.02.52Rakteem Katakey: 29 October 2015

  • Company reports net loss after taking $7.9 billion charge
  • Third-quarter adjusted profit drops 70% to $1.8 billion

Royal Dutch Shell Plc reported its biggest net loss in at least a decade as it wrote down the value of assets and lowered its oil-price expectations.

The company, which is buying BG Group Plc in the industry’s largest deal this year, reported a third-quarter net loss of $7.42 billion, compared with a profit of $4.46 billion a year earlier. It took charges totaling $7.89 billion following its withdrawal from Alaskan offshore exploration and a Canadian oil-sands project.

Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes dropped 70 percent to $1.8 billion, The Hague-based Shell said Thursday in a statement. That missed the $2.92 billion average estimate of 17 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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Shell share price: Company’s problems extend beyond oil prices, analyst says

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Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 12.33.24Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets…the firm is far more likely to remain a laggard than become a leader among the oil majors for the rest of this decade…

by Veselin Valchev: Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) carries hefty baggage and even if oil prices were to recover back to $100 per barrel, it would not solve all the firm’s problems, argued senior Morningstar analyst Stephen Simko.

Big bets on shale “destroyed huge amounts of capital” and the company has few growth assets, Simko said.

The notable exception is the potential addition of BG Group’s Brazilian operations, should the proposed merger complete successfully. BG’s interests in the Santos Basin are estimated to hold more than three billion barrels of recoverable oil resources and are projected to break even at only $30-35 per barrel.

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BP and Shell slip up on Crude bottom

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ROYAL Dutch Shell and BP are set to blame the weak oil price for dramatic falls in third-quarter pre-tax profits and revenues, analysts say.

By GEOFF HO: Sun, Oct 25, 2015

The price of crude oil has nearly halved over the past 12 months because of a Saudi Arabia-led effort by the Opec cartel to crush competition from US shale oil operators. 

On Tuesday, BP is expected to say its third-quarter profits have slumped 57.5 per cent to $2.2billion (£1.4billion), with revenues down 47.6 per cent to $49.2billion (£31.9billion), even though analysts believe that its refining, processing and retail divisions have performed well. 

On Thursday, arch rival Shell is also likely to produce a weak set of results. 

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New Concern Over Quakes in Oklahoma Near a Hub of U.S. Oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.41.53By MICHAEL WINESOCT. 14, 2015

A sharp earthquake in central Oklahoma last weekend has raised fresh concern about the security of a vast crude oil storage complex, close to the quake’s center, that sits at the crossroads of the nation’s oil pipeline network.

The magnitude 4.5 quake struck Saturday afternoon about three miles northwest of Cushing, roughly midway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The town of about 8,000 people is home to the so-called Cushing Hub, a sprawling tank farm that is among the largest oil storage facilities in the world.

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Shell had to write-down some of its shale assets in the U.S., after spending $24 billion on a bet that failed to pay off, with company executives regretting ever having made the investment.

By James Stafford: Wed, 14 October 2015

A new report finds that the largest oil companies are set to cut spending on exploration by at least half, potentially leading to very few new oil discoveries in the years ahead.

The report from investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Hold & Co., and reported by Fuel Fix, estimates that exploration budgets among the oil majors will drop to $25 billion in 2016, down from $50 billion from just a few years ago. Obviously, low oil prices are taking their toll, forcing deep spending cuts in a desperate attempt to shore up profitability. But the cuts have large implications for the energy sector, increasing the chances that some large oil fields remain undeveloped for years.

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Russia abandons hope of oil price recovery and turns to the plough

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Russia has abandoned hopes for a lasting recovery in oil prices, bracing for a new era of abundant crude as US shale production transforms the global energy market.

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President Vladimir Putin answers questions during an interview for Russian television

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: 14 Oct 2015

The Kremlin has launched a radical shift in strategy, rationing funds for the once-sacrosanct oil and gas industry and relying instead on a revival of manufacturing and farming, driven by a much more competitive rouble.

“We have to have prudent forecasts. Our budget is based very conservative assumptions of oil at around $50 a barrel,” said Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

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Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

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By Matt McGrath: Environment correspondent, BBC News, Alaska: 12 Oct 2015

Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.

The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.

He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.

Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years.

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Melting Ice Isn’t Opening Arctic to Oil Bonanza

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25By STEVEN LEE MYERS and CLIFFORD KRAUSSSEPT. 7, 2015

TERIBERKA, Russia — The warming Arctic should already have transformed this impoverished fishing village on the coast of the Barents Sea.

The Kremlin spent billions in the last decade in hopes of turning it into a northern hub of its global energy powerhouse, Gazprom. It was once the most ambitious project planned in the Arctic Ocean, but now there is little to show for it aside from a shuttered headquarters and an enormous gravel road carved out of the windblown coastline like a scar.

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Shell’s Positioning For Better Russia And Iran Relations Is Part Of Its Global Gas Strategy

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Zoltan Ban: 23 July 2015

Summary

  • Shell has been showing long-term interest in moving more towards natural gas for a while, with natural gas production surpassing its oil production in 2013.
  • Aside from its major acquisition of BG group, it is forming an alliance with Gazprom and is looking to be among the first in Iran.
  • The overall big picture suggests that Shell is giving up on North American shale gas and focusing on being a major player in conventional gas and LNG.

Before Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) acquired BG Group, it was already a major player in the gas industry. Its upstream production has been more than half natural gas since 2013 already. It is constantly looking to expand its downstream presence, with plans such as the ethylene plant it wants to build in Pennsylvania, in order to take advantage of the cheap gas in the North-Eastern part of the United States. It also has a gas to liquids plant in Qatar, which is the world’s biggest. It should be no surprise then to see Shell actively involved in setting up a tighter partnership with both Russia and Iran.

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Shell expects oil price recovery to take several years

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Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 09.37.24Ron Bousso, Karolin Schaps and Dmitry Zhdannikov, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell expects oil prices to recover gradually over the next five years, with progress slowed by persistent global oversupply and receding Chinese demand growth.

The Anglo-Dutch energy giant is betting on crude rising to $90 a barrel by 2020, a key assumption in its move to buy rival BG Group for $70 billion to help transform it into a leading player in the costly deepwater oil production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets.

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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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U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer

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Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 23.24.56Article by Rakteem Katakey published 10 June 2015 by Bloomberg.com

The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields.

U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined.

The data showing the U.S.’s emergence as the top driller confirms a trend that’s helped the world’s largest economy reduce imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted the country’s foreign policy priorities.

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BP sees ‘tectonic shift’ in world energy production

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BP sees ‘tectonic shift’ in world energy production

Oil giant’s chief economist says energy consumption slowed dramatically last year as China cutback and Opec battled US shale drillers for supremacy of world markets

By Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor:10:00AM BST 10 Jun 2015

Global energy consumption slowed to its slowest rate of growth since the late 1990s last year in what BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale has described as a “watershed” moment as production of oil outside the Opec cartel surged.

Total energy consumption growth slowed to just 0.9pc, while in China consumption growth slowed at the fastest rate since 1998, according to BP’s closely watched Statistical Review of World Energy.

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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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Shell CFO Expects Oil Rebound as Shale Fails to Fill Supply Gap

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Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Article by Firat Kayakiran and Jonathan Ferro published 3 June 2015 by Bloomberg.com

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sees oil prices increasing because supply from shale drilling in the U.S. won’t be enough to meet increasing global demand.

The industry needs to find an additional 4 million barrels to 5 million barrels a day of supply every year to meet rising demand and replace depleted fields, Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said in an interview on Tuesday.

“Lower oil prices increase demand and reduce investment, and it already has,” Henry said. Global demand of about 93 million barrels a day is increasing by 1 million every year, he said in London.

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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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No Shell Arctic Oil Until 2030’s

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: May 26, 2015 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) head of oil and gas production in Americas, Marvin Odum has told the Financial Times (FT) in an interview that the company’s Arctic drilling operations would take at least a decade to extract oil reserves, which would then be sent to production.

The leading executives dealing with this particular exploration project stated that there are enormous difficulties that the company is facing during the process of securing environmental approvals. Amid strong opposition from environmental groups, to obtain the needed approvals is taking longer than the expected time.

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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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Energy earnings run dry in Americas

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By Ed Crooks, Christopher Adams and David Crouch

ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips of the US on Thursday reported that they lost money on oil and gas production in their home country in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell disclosed a $1.1bn loss at its upstream exploration and production business in the Americas, and suggested that came mostly from its shale oil and gas operations.

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FULL FT ARTICLE

Fracking lobby calls the tune on commission shale-gas panel

An article by PASCOE SABIDO, PUBLISHED BRUSSELS, TODAY, BY EUOBSERVER.COM

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2015 is a big year for climate in Europe: the UN talks in Paris, this December; the implementation of the EU’s 2030 climate targets; mapping out the Energy Union.
Judging by the European Commission’s public statements, one would think the EU was firmly on its way to transforming our energy system towards efficient and renewable energy.

But in reality, its recently-established advisory group for the evaluation of shale gas development is opening the back door to this harmful and polluting technology across Europe, despite massive public opposition.

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Shell, Exxon set the scene for future oil-price shock after $US114 billion cuts

Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 23.58.26Article by Bradley Olson published 22 April 2015 by The Sydney Morning Herald

Shell, Exxon set the scene for future oil-price shock after $US114 billion cuts

As the oil patch grows accustomed to a new world of $US50 to $US60 crude, it’s now looking ahead to a different but equally daunting sort of cliff.

Oil companies are warning there will be a price to pay – a much higher price – for all the cost cutting being done today to cope with the collapse in the crude market. Big projects intended to start pumping oil and natural gas 5 to 10 years from now are being canceled or put on hold as the price crash forced $US114 billion in spending cuts on the industry.

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Chevron A Safer Bet Than Shell

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 17.26.47SeekingAlpha.com article published 13 April 2015

Chevron A Safer Bet Than Shell

Shell has lost a huge amount of money in its shale bets in North America to the tune of $900 million alone in 2014. As a result, Shell is cutting spending by 20% to lower its North American shale exposure to try and keep losses at a minimum.

Summary

  • Shell’s shale bets has been disastrous in North America. The company lost $900 million alone in 2014 and continues to hemorrhage profits.
  • Shell’s refining operations need to be restructured, as its current operations will likely affect profitability negatively over the next few years.
  • Chevron has a lower debt-to-equity ratio than Shell. If oil drops to $30 a barrel, Chevron has more resources to keep rewarding shareholders vs. Shell.

Income investors are attracted to Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) because of the very attractive yield of 6%+. Nevertheless, as income investors we need to do more fundamental work on our underlyings instead of just looking at dividend payouts. In my opinion, Shell’s yield is not backed up by the fundamentals presently. We don’t necessarily need huge capital gains in our underlyings (as we manage an income portfolio), but protecting the downside is always our priority.

Let’s take a look at Shell and I’ll explain why, in my opinion, there are better opportunities in the energy space — such as Chevron (NYSE:CVX) — at the moment, irrespective of the high yield Shell is currently paying out. To start, we have to look at Shell’s track record. Why? Because the company is promising a $15 billion all cash dividend in addition to the repurchase of $25 billion of stock between 2017 and 2020.

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Shell Betting Its Future On LNG

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04Article By Nick Cunningham published Sun, 12 April 2015 by OilPrice.com

Shell Betting Its Future On LNG

Could the largest energy deal in over a decade begin a new wave of mergers and acquisitions? Is LNG really the future? How Will ExxonMobil Respond? And perhaps more importantly, does the mega-deal between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) and BG Group (LON: BG) portend the end of the bear market for oil?

Shell announced on April 8 that it agreed to buy BG Group for an eye-popping $70 billion.

The move was surprising, in the sense that a lot of companies in recent years have reined in their spending on high-cost projects outside of North America. Shell, in the midst of its own two-year $15 billion divestment campaign to shed unwanted assets, was thought to be trying to make itself leaner and meaner. Having passed on the U.S. shale revolution, it is interesting that Shell’s big splash once again avoided North America.

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Shell paid too much to buy BG Group

ARTICLE BY STEPHEN SIMKO, MORNINGSTAR PUBLISHED APR. 11, 2015 BY BUSINESS INSIDER

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On April 8, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) (RDS.B) (RDSA) (RDSB) announced its intention to acquire BG Group (BRGYY) (BG.) in a $70 billion cash-and-stock deal that values BG’s equity at GBX 1,350 per share, or 11% above our GBX 1,200 fair value estimate for BG at the time the deal was announced.

The deal will be roughly 70% stock and 30% cash, and it’s expected to close in early 2016. Our BG thesis has been that near-term execution problems and political issues in Brazil and Egypt were creating an attractive entry point for long-term investors.

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Shell’s Huge Gas Bet Underscores Big Oil’s Push to Replace Coal

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Article by Javier Blas and Rakteem Katakey published 10 April 2015 by Bloomberg.com

BP Plc coined the slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” The new industry mantra might be “Beyond Oil and Into Gas.” Oh, and while we’re at it, “Down With Coal.”

Consider Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s recent $70 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc — clearly a huge bet that natural gas will prove to be its cash cow of the future.

The petroleum industry’s move toward gas is hardly new — the hydraulic fracturing shale revolution is in its second decade, after all. Still, Shell’s move is an emphatic confirmation that some among the Big Oil family firmly believe gas will play a growing role in meeting the energy demand of emerging countries such as China and India that are trying to move away from dirtier coal.

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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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New Federal Rules Are Set for Fracking

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 09.12.24FROM AN ARTICLE BY CORAL DAVENPORT PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK EDITION OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ON 21 MARCH 2015

New Federal Rules Are Set for Fracking

Extracts

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday unveiled the nation’s first major federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, a technique for oil and gas drilling that has led to a significant increase in American energy production but has also raised concerns about health and safety risks.

The Interior Department began drafting the rules, focused on drilling safety, in Mr. Obama’s first term after breakthroughs in the technology, also known as fracking, led to a surge in the production of oil and gas.

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