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Posts under ‘Simon Henry’

Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden. 

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Is the BG-Shell deal offering value to investors? Why we must adopt new world thinking to navigate oil price peaks and troughs

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by Tony Manwaring – 2 February 2016 5:55am

Before the invention of the marine chronometer in the 1750s, choppy waters and treacherous currents prevented the calculation of longitude when at sea. Sailors charting a route were forced to rely upon dead reckoning to set their course.

Today’s captains of industry coping with similarly volatile conditions are often accused of taking a similar approach. Shell’s Ben Van Beurden has faced a welter of criticism as the oil prices has halved in the ten months it has taken to to complete the recent BG deal. Such decisions which shape the future successes—or failures—of their organisations, cannot be based upon gut-feel, they must be effectively evidenced.

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LIVELY POSTINGS ON SHELL BLOG 1 FEB 2016

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“TEXVETTE”

Looks like Marvin Odum was stripped of key responsibilities and placed in a lame Role. Ironically he will have to clean up the messes he left in Alaska and Unconventionals. A bit of Karma, but he should no longer be on the payroll after all his major mistakes.

“OUTSIDER”

The merger of Shell T&T and Royal Dutch in 2004 resulted in a major loss to the UK exchequer, as the taxes previously paid by Shell T&T went to the Dutch government instead. Presumably the taxes previously paid by BG will now go to the Dutch government too?

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Shell gets green light for merger with BG Group to create world’s biggest liquefied gas trader

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR DAILY MAIL: 28 JAN 2016

Royal Dutch Shell’s mega-merger with gas giant BG Group looked set to be approved yesterday, creating the world’s biggest liquefied gas trader and boosting bankers’ bonuses.

The £35billion deal got the go-ahead from Shell investors yesterday with 83 per cent of those voting backing the deal.

Today BG group will announce the result of its shareholder vote. For the deal to go ahead more than 75 per cent must approve it.

The completion of the deal – expected next month – will see a windfall of £106million of fees for various advisors on the deal including £76million to be shared by top investment banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Rothschild.

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Shell Needs to Repay Investors Who Backed Its Biggest Ever Wager

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Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 08.29.05By Rakteem Katakey: Bloomberg.com: 27 JAN 2016 – 5.06 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc is under pressure to reward the faith of the more than 80 percent of shareholders who shrugged off the risks from slumping oil prices to back its record acquisition of BG Group Plc. 

That won’t be easy: the rout in crude has cut the value of Europe’s biggest oil company to the lowest in more than 10 years and raised investor concerns that its dividend is unsustainable.

Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden, who expended a lot of political capital convincing investors that BG will help Shell ride the downturn, has to deliver promised benefits from liquefied natural gas to deepwater oil production as billions of dollars of cash flow is choked off.

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Shell shareholders approve $50 billion BG takeover

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45THE HAGUE | BY KAROLIN SCHAPSWed Jan 27, 2016 1:56pm GMT

Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) shareholders approved its $50 billion takeover of BG Group (BG.L) on Wednesday, clearing the last main hurdle to creating the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader in the world.

BG shareholders are also expected to approve one of the biggest deals in the energy sector in the past decade at a meeting on Thursday, a vote that would allow the two oil and gas companies to merge on Feb. 15.

Few investors have openly challenged the deal’s strategic benefits for Shell. But with oil languishing near $30 a barrel and only a slow recovery forecast, some had questioned the viability of a deal that would increase Shell’s debt burden.

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Royal Dutch Shell receives backing from influential shareholder group for £36bn BG deal

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By City & Finance Reporter for the Daily Mail: 8 JAN 2016

An influential shareholder group is expected to support oil giant Royal Dutch Shell’s £36billion bid for gas specialist BG Group.

Shell needs more than 50 per cent of its investors and 75 per cent of BG’s to give the thumbs up for the deal to go ahead, but the collapse in the price of oil – down more than 70 per cent since summer 2014 – has made the deal difficult.

Shareholders are due to cast their vote on January 27 and 28.

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Shell sees BG deal working with oil at $50 for two years: sources

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO AND EMILIANO MELLINO: Deals | Thu Jan 7, 2016 1:58pm EST

Royal Dutch Shell has told investors its purchase of BG can work even if oil prices average $50 a barrel for two years, its lowest estimate to date as it seeks to secure shareholder support for the $51 billion deal amid plunging crude markets.

The Anglo-Dutch group is confident investors will back the deal at a Jan. 27 meeting, even though crude prices are languishing near 12 year lows around $32 a barrel and it faces a cut to its credit ratings due to higher debts, sources with knowledge of its meetings with analysts and investors said.

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At what point in the continuing collapse in oil prices will Shell be forced to pull out of the BG Group deal?

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45By John Donovan: 7 JAN 2016

The continuing collapse in the price of oil is turning into a nightmare for the board of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

Especially for CEO Ben van Beurden and CFO Simon Henry, who have staked their reputations on completing Shell’s takeover of the BG Group.

This would not be the first major crisis at Shell for either executive. Both had involvement in the 2004 oil and gas reserves scandal. Ben van Beurden was personal assistant to the Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts who was forced to resign. Simon Henry had a starring role

Both managed to survive but are unlikely to do so if the BG deal falls through, as is increasingly likely, because of the ill-fated miscalculation over oil prices. 

With hundreds of millions being paid to financial advisors, surely it was not beyond the ingenuity of those involved to have catered in the terms for the possibility of a severe fluctuation in the price of oil? 

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ALEX BRUMMER: Oil pressure surges at Shell as it determinedly presses ahead with its bid for BG Group

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By ALEX BRUMMER FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 7 JAN 2016

The price of Brent crude oil continues its relentless slide on global markets and is now at its lowest level for 12-years, and there is no reason at all to think that it has hit rock bottom.

This has serious implications for Shell as it determinedly presses ahead with its bid for BG Group, formerly the exploration arm of the ‘old’ British Gas.

With each fall in the oil price the value of Shell shares, down 2 per cent in latest trading, takes a hit and the shape of the offer for BG changes. When Shell set out to buy BG in April the oil price was $67-a-barrel and it is now near enough half that.

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Shell warns that oil could hit $20 a barrel – but defends £36bn takeover of BG as a long-term deal over 15-year period

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By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAIL: 5 JAN 2016

The finance boss of Shell has warned the price of oil could fall to $20 a barrel within weeks but has defended its £36billion takeover of BG Group as a long-term deal.

Simon Henry said Goldman Sachs’ prediction that Brent crude oil could fall to $20 a barrel ‘may actually happen in the next few weeks’ but argued the mega-deal is sound on a long-term basis over a 15-year period.

Oil fluctuated around $37 a barrel yesterday after traders acknowledged the panic in the Chinese stock markets and the growing dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the biggest rivals in the Opec oil cartel.

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Oil price slide unlikely to scuttle Shell’s takeover of BG

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…rejection of the takeover could entail losses all round, making it more painful for those with shares in both companies. BG shares would likely collapse…

LONDON | BY RON BOUSSO, KAROLIN SCHAPS AND SINEAD CRUISE: Thu Dec 17, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s takeover of BG Group may look less attractive after the slide in oil prices but the fact the same investors own nearly half of both firms means the deal is still likely to go through.

Investors holding about 43 percent of Shell’s shares also hold 53 percent of BG, according to Reuters data. For example, Blackrock, Franklin Mutual Advisers and Norges together hold more than 12 percent of Shell and nearly 7.5 percent of BG.

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

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Royal Dutch Shell’s Management Wants You to Know These 5 Key Things

Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Last quarter was a pretty rough one for Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS-A) (NYSE:RDS-B). The company was forced to take more than $7.9 billion in charges to the income statement to write down some abandoned development projects, and its oil and gas production in the Americas continues to be a bit of a headache. 

Management was well aware of how these results looked, and so on its most recent conference call its executives acknowledged these weaknesses but also had some things to say that any investor in Shell should be aware of. Here are five quotes from the most recent conference call that provide some juicy tidbits into how to view this company over the long term.

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Shell update on BG takeover stokes fears for North Sea jobs

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The update fuelled fears about the implications for the North Sea, where Shell and BG have around 2,800 staff and contractors working in total. Both have big operations centres in Aberdeen. The company has shed 7,500 posts globally this year in response to the crude price plunge. It has cut 500 North Sea jobs since August last year.

MARK WILLIAMSON / Wednesday 4 November 2015 / Business

ROYAL Dutch Shell has highlighted the potential it sees to slash costs following the planned $70 (£45bn) billion takeover of BG in comments that stoked concern about the likely impact on jobs in the North Sea.

The deal will increase the size of Shell’s business in the North Sea where the oil and gas giant may then make significant cuts as directors try to achieve the returns they are targeting.

In an update on strategy, Shell said it has increased its estimate of the synergies it will be able to squeeze out of the enlarged business by $1bn since the deal was announced in April, to $3.5bn.

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Shell carves more savings from BG Group deal, expects further job cuts

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Posted on November 3, 2015 | By Collin Eaton

HOUSTON — Shell has found another $1 billion in costs it could shake free after it buys BG Group, company officials said Tuesday, partly in response to critics of the huge acquisition Shell announced when crude was more expensive in the spring.

The cuts would mean more job losses on top of the 7,500 in layoffs Shell has announced this year, but officials declined to say how many jobs would be affected or lost.

The value of Shell’s original $70 billion offer for the British gas producer, which is known for its prized Brazilian deep-water fields and its big liquefied natural gas business, fell to $56 billion a month ago and edged back up to about $60 billion as Shell’s share price and crude prices have fallen. Shell had proposed to pay for the deal mostly with shares.

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Royal Dutch Shell Is Now A 7.54% Dividend Yield Monster

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Aug. 24, 2015 6:45 PM ET

Summary

  • Stock market downturn takes Shell’s dividend yield to an astonishing 7.54%.
  • The dividend looks reasonably safe.
  • High initial yield but little growth expected in coming years.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) doesn’t need an introduction. This Anglo-Dutch multinational is one of the largest, integrated oil & gas majors in the world. Its share price has dropped nearly a quarter since the start of the year, pushing its dividend yield ever higher. While commonly regarded by many DGI investors as lesser quality than Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), I believe the current market situation highly favors including this stock in the energy component of your dividend portfolio.

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HSA refers Corrib tunnel death investigation to DPP

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09Lorna Siggins: Thu, Aug 6, 2015

Health and Safety Authority has referred the findings of its investigation into the death of a German national in the Corrib gas tunnel almost two years ago to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The authority confirmed to The Irish Times yesterday that it has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Lars Wagner (26) in the tunnel under construction in north Mayo on September 8th, 2013.

Mr Wagner, who was single and from Offenburg in southern Germany, sustained fatal head injuries when a compressed air pipe reportedly came free.

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Ross Hunter – a curious choice to count the beans at Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

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Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 13.36.51Strange article in the Prufrock column of The Sunday Times published 2nd August 2015

KEEPING the books for a £200bn behemoth is an endlessly taxing task. Just ask Simon Henry, Royal Dutch Spell’s finance director, who last week unveiled a plunge in profits of almost 40%.

Thankfully, he can call on exemplary advice to help keep track of Shell’s petrodollars. The company’s chief auditor is Ross Hunter at PwC – a man with an interesting past. According to the accounting firm’s website, Hunter helped Nat Rothschild’s Bumi in its “transition from a cash shell to a leading Indonesia-based thermal coal group”.

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Shell’s Dividend Pledge: Solid Or Empty Promise?

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One cannot but admire CEO Ben van Beurden for his courage…

August 4, 2015

Summary

  • Royal Dutch Shell is dead serious about protecting future dividend payments. CEO Van Beurden committed himself to paying attractive dividends in the next two years.
  • Although I am impressed by Shell’s massive cost reduction plans and the slash in investments, I believe the dividends are still not fully covered by future cash flows.
  • However, Shell’s strong balance sheet and the expected sale of non-core assets provide ample room for the company to keep distributing juicy dividends in the (near) future.

One cannot but admire CEO Ben van Beurden for his courage. Amidst the biggest oil crisis since the early seventies, the CEO is very clear about Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) dividend intentions.

In a short clip on the company’s website, Van Beurden states that Shell is “committed to its dividend policy.” In an interview with Bloomberg, the CEO even calls dividends an “iconic aspect in Shell’s proposition to investors.”

Those are not just empty words. To my knowledge, the company did something that it has never done before: given a strong guidance for the next seven quarterly dividend payments. Despite the “challenging market conditions,” Shell intends to pay a total dividend of $1.88 per share this year ($3.76 per share for the ADR). The company even expects to distribute at least $1.88 per share next year.

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Shell toughens local project hurdles

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09Matt ChambersResources Reporter: Melbourne: 31 July 2015

Oil major Shell has laid down tougher hurdles for its Australian projects including Browse LNG off Western Australia and Arrow coal-seam gas in Queensland.

It has cut the oil price at which new projects need to go ahead and flagged a major LNG project ­pipeline overhaul if its planned $91 billion takeover of BG Group is successful.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company would require projects to be profitable near $US50 a barrel of oil, down from previous indications of ­between $US70 and $US90.

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Shell, Eni say look to return to Iran

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Fri Jul 31, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell and Italy’s largest oil producer Eni say they are looking to return to projects in Iran’s upstream oil and gas sectors. 

“For us, (Iran) is a huge gas province so it would be good to be there — in conventional gas — at the right terms,” Shell’s financial chief Simon Henry said in London.

The company has a history of activities in Iran’s upstream projects, including in South Pars, but the firm pulled out of the world’s largest gas field’s Phase 13 development in 2008.   

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Shareholders should demand that Shell’s activities in the Arctic be stopped

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 12.52.57By a Regular Contributor

Hopefully, Shell will soon accept that in the US Arctic their position is now untenable…

If RDS wants to cut capex (and exposure), FLNG is a good place to start, as Simon Henry suggested yesterday. The Arctic should be next. 

The Arctic is rapidly acquiring a similar profile to the Brent Spar fiasco. The issue is not whether Greenpeace is right or wrong, it is whether Shell can win the hearts and minds of the public to support their efforts. So far, Shell’s own incompetence has been the most significant issue in eliminating any public support they once enjoyed. 

The destruction of drilling vessels and criminal convictions for polluting the environment and failing to keep the required records support the view that Shell do not know what they are doing. Neither Shell’s army of lawyers nor the judges on whom they rely have ever worked offshore and have no idea of what it entails. However, the first time that there is any illegal discharge into the sea or the air (and it will happen), or a fatality, injury or  well control incident, the lawyers who are supporting Shell’s current efforts will have nothing constructive to say. 

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Royal Dutch Shell signals Browse FLNG go-ahead far from certain for 2016

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By Angela Macdonald-SmithJul 30 2015

Royal Dutch Shell has signalled that a final go-ahead next year for the Browse floating liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia is far from a certainty given the cost challenges of the venture in the depressed oil price environment.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry listed Browse among several large international projects that would be subject to “the dynamic nature of decision making as we take both the oil price environment but also the supply chain and the cost level into account.”

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Royal Dutch Shell expects to save “billions” through BG Group deal

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Royal Dutch Shell has told investors that the massive £55bn takeover of BG Group will produce “billions” in savings.

Projected savings from cost reductions verifiable under takeover rules, such as merging headquarters, come to about £1bn, but the company has said that savings are actually likely to be a “multiple” of this, because of “value synergies” that are difficult to quantify, the Financial Times reports.

Read more: Four things you need to know about the takeover deal

The merger, which makes history as the 14th biggest takeover ever, is likely to be just the beginning of takeovers in the industry, as oil producers have been hit hard by falling oil prices.

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Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks

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Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 13.24.59Explorers 2015: Shell pressing ahead in Chukchi after setbacks

Company is mobilizing fleet after three-year hiatus, still waiting for final approval of exploration plan

Eric Lidji For Petroleum News: 7 June 2015

After a tiny step forward and many large leaps backward, Royal Dutch Shell plc is once again planning to explore its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea this summer.

“We have retained a very significant capability to be ready this year to go ahead,” CEO Ben van Beurden said during a January earnings call. “And we’ve kept all our capability in place, tuned it, upgraded it just to be ready to drill this coming summer season.”

By “capability,” van Beurden was referring to the fleet required for conducting drilling operations in the remote Chukchi Sea off the northwest coast of the Alaska.

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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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Shell Names China Boss To Key BG Merger Post

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Huibert Vigeveno is to lead the integration of FTSE-100 giants Shell and BG after their mega-merger, Sky News learns.

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor: Thursday 28 May 2015

The head of Royal Dutch Shell’s operations in China is to spearhead the oil major’s integration with BG Group as the industry’s biggest-ever takeover inches forward.

Sky News understands that Shell informed senior managers this week that it was naming Huibert Vigeveno, its executive chairman for China, as executive vice-president for integration, with the appointment due to take effect at the beginning of August.

The role being handed to Mr Vigeveno, a long-serving Shell executive, will be a crucial one.

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Shell’s Alaska Return Shows Arctic Drilling Defying Slump in Oil

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Article by Rakteem Katakey and Mark Drajem published 12 May2015 by Bloomberg.com

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plan to return to the Arctic this year shows exploration in one of the world’s most remote regions is proving resilient against the slide in crude prices.

The U.S. Interior Department on Monday endorsed Shell’s plan to have two rigs drill as many as six exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Shell wants to resume work halted in 2012 when its main drilling rig ran aground and was lost. It also was fined for air pollution violations.

Shell, which has already committed $6 billion to the Arctic project, is seeking to unlock Arctic resources that may total 10 times the amount of oil and gas produced from the North Sea so far, according to its website. Arctic oil is also being chased by Russia, though drilling has been slowed by sanctions. While exploration drilling in Norway’s Arctic will slow in 2015 to half last year’s level, at least seven wells are planned in the Barents Sea.

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Shell Canada: Carmon Creek oilsands project faces two-year delay

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38DAN HEALING, CALGARY HERALDPublished on: May 8, 2015

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Royal Dutch Shell says first oil production from its 80,000-barrel-per-day Carmon Creek thermal oilsands project northeast of Peace River in northern Alberta will be delayed for two years until 2019.

The project was sanctioned by the company in October 2013 and estimated by analysts at the time to cost about $3 billion to build. Its delay was confirmed in a first-quarter update by chief financial officer Simon Henry on April 30, as he described how Shell would reduce capital spending by $2 billion in 2015 to $33 billion US or less.

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Shell, Total align trading and refining units to drive profit growth

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By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Ron Bousso: 1 May 2015

Shell, Total align trading and refining units to drive profit growth

* Shell, Total restructure to combat falling oil prices

* Refinery profits also under pressure from competition

* Oil firms fighting off challenge from trading houses

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) – Top oil firms Royal Dutch Shell and Total are bringing their refining and trading operations closer together, seeking alternative ways to drive profits as oil prices fall and independent trading houses expand into their territory.

The restructuring will enable the Anglo-Dutch and French companies’ in-house traders to capture profits faster from the fluctuating prices of the different crude oil sources and products coming through their refineries.

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Shell signals it will accelerate retreat from the North Sea

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Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Article by Mark Williamson published Friday 1 May 2015

Shell signals it will accelerate retreat from the North Sea

THE finance chief of Royal Dutch Shell has signalled the oil and gas giant will accelerate its retreat from the North Sea, saying the area faces a difficult future unless costs and uncertainties are reduced.

Simon Henry said: “Shell is not necessarily a natural owner of assets in the North Sea. Going forward there are other companies who may well have more expertise but also more incentive to squeeze the value from mature assets.”

He added: “The way Shell typically creates value is earlier in the maturity of the life cycle, we helped to develop the North Sea.”

Indicating that Shell will look to sell off more mature assets, Mr Henry said the company could still create value by transferring them to other operators.

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Nigeria: Shell Rules Out Divestment in Nigeria, Others This Year

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Article by Daniel Adugbo published 1 May 2015 by AllAfrica.com

Shell Rules Out Divestment in Nigeria, Others This Year

Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday it had reduced its expected 2015 capital expenditure (capex) to $33 billion from $35 billion as the company continues to adjust its business to the lower oil-price.

Releasing its first-quarter results yesterday, Shell’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Simon Henry said the capex this year would be $33 billion, or “potentially less,” a reduction of at least $2 billion compared with guidance given by Shell three months ago.

Henry said that it had highlighted a number of projects where it could reduce its financial exposure, including the Majnoon project in Iraq and Carmon Creek in Canada.

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Shell’s Simon Henry won’t rule out write-down on Arrow LNG in Queensland

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Simon Henry, CFO, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Article by Angela Macdonald-SmithEnergy Reporter, The Sydney Morning Herald: 1 May 2015

Royal Dutch Shell has declined to rule out a write-down of its multibillion-dollar investment in its Arrow Energy natural gas venture in Queensland, depending on decisions taken to develop the gas after the oil major’s $US92 billion ($116.62 billion) takeover of BG Group.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry told investors in London that the Arrow venture, owned equally by Shell and PetroChina, needed to think about “the best way forward to monetise” Arrow gas and create value from its position. 

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Shell defends BG takeover as oil trading helps it overcome slump in crude price

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Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 19.54.26BY MARCUS LEROUX: FRIDAY 1 MAY 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s main investors have questioned the oil company’s £45 billion takeover of BG Group, the company conceded yesterday.

As it announced first-quarter results that beat even the most optimistic of City forecasts, Shell said that it had visited most of its main shareholders to explain the deal’s rationale.

Simon Henry, chief financial officer, said that some institutional shareholders had expressed concerns over the scale of the deal and its valuation but added that there was unanimous support for its underlying logic. 

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Shell Prepares Armada to Begin Arctic Exploration

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Royal Dutch Shell is pushing ahead with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska this summer despite opposition from environmental groups.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major is preparing “an armada of 25 vessels” to begin a two-year program to explore two to three wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on Thursday.

“We are currently on track. Some of the permits are issued at the last moment,” he told reporters.

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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

Shell cuts 2015 capex, sees downstream downturn

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 09.37.24Shell cuts 2015 capex, sees downstream downturn

London (Platts)–30 Apr 2015

* Capex reduced by more than $2 billion
* Decision on Majnoon development pushed back to 2017
* CFO says refining margins already worsening

Shell said Thursday it had reduced its expected 2015 capital expenditure to $33 billion from previous guidance of a little more than $35 billion as the company continues to adjust its business to the lower oil-price environment.

Shell, releasing its first-quarter results, also said it continued to reduce its operating costs and capital spending, with Q1 operating expenditure down by $1.1 billion year on year.

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Shell pushes on with Arctic exploration as it awaits U.S. permit

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Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 19.49.45Business | Thursday Apr 30, 2015 

Shell pushes on with Arctic exploration as it awaits U.S. permit

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is pushing ahead with plans to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean near Alaska this summer despite opposition from environmental groups.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major is preparing “an armada of 25 vessels” to begin a two-year program to explore two to three wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on Thursday.

“We are currently on track. Some of the permits are issued at the last moment,” he told reporters.

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BG Deal to Test Shell’s Integration Skills

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04Article by JUSTIN SCHECK And SARAH KENT published April 26, 2015 by The Wall Street Journal

BG Deal to Test Shell’s Integration Skills

LONDON—With its $70 billion deal to buy BG Group PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC will attempt something altogether new for the 108-year-old energy giant: absorbing a huge company.

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FULL ARTICLE

Shell Will Buy BG for $70 Billion in Push for Gas Dominance

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04by Javier BlasRakteem Katakey for Bloomberg.com

Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to buy BG Group Plc for about 47 billion pounds ($70 billion), making Europe’s largest oil company the pre-eminent player in global natural gas and adding fields in Brazil.

The deal, the industry’s biggest in at least a decade, will push Shell further into producing, shipping and selling gas as the company bets China and other emerging economies switch from coal and oil to cut pollution.

Investors were skeptical of the stock and cash acquisition, which isn’t expected to boost earnings per share until 2017. The price of the class of share being used to buy BG fell the most since 2008 on concern the company is overpaying.

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Interior approves updated OCS Lease Sale analysis, clears one hurdle for Shell

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55Article by Tim Bradner published 31 March 2015 by The Alaska Journal of Commerce:

Interior approves updated OCS Lease Sale analysis, clears one hurdle for Shell

The U.S. Interior Department published a long-awaited Record of Decision Tuesday on a contested 2008 Arctic offshore lease sale that had blocked Shell Oil’s exploration plans on leases it purchased.

The decision, or ROD, gave formal approval to a Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement published in February by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The revised environmental document corrected a defect in the environmental study for the 2008 lease sale over which environmental groups sued.

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Shell CEO’s total pay soars to $25.7 mln

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Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 21.14.49Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:09am EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden will earn a total 24.2 million euros ($26 million) for 2014, making him one of the highest-earning FTSE 100 bosses despite last year’s sharp fall in oil prices.

Van Beurden’s total pay includes 5.6 million euros in salary, bonus and shares plus pension and other items, the company said on Thursday.

His 2014 compensation, when calculated in British pounds, places him as the second-highest-paid senior executive on the FTSE 100 share index after WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell, whose 2013 pay package reached 29.8 million pounds, according to think tank High Pay Centre.

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Port of Seattle hosts Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55From an article by Joe Connelly published 11Feb 2015 by Seattlepi.com under the headline:

Port of Seattle quietly signs homeport lease for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet

Extracts

The Port of Seattle has quietly inked a two-year lease under which Shell Oil will use Terminal 5 on the Seattle waterfront as the base for its efforts to drill in Arctic waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

With rapid authorization, negotiation and signing of the lease — reminiscent of how decisions on the waterfront used to be greased — the port has secured a $13.17 million deal and forestalled efforts by the region’s environmental groups to stop it.

“This year we are planning on drilling in Alaska,” Simon Henry, chief financial officer at Royal Dutch Shell, told a stockholder briefing two weeks ago.

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SEC continuing to scrutinise Shell’s claimed oil reserves

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 15.06.08By John Donovan

A letter emailed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, on 23 Oct 2014, from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, asked why Shell had omitted to supply in a Form 20-F filing, figures for Shell’s share of Kashagan proved undeveloped reserves.

Shell’s partners in the much troubled Kashagan oil field consortium – years behind schedule and billions over budget – include Eni, KazMunayGas, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation and Inpex. The project is known in the oil industry as “Cash All Gone”.

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Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55From an article by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media: February 2, 2015

“Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return”

After Shell’s troubled 2012 drilling season in the far north, the Interior Department began working on Arctic-specific standards for offshore drilling.

But those new standards aren’t done yet. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says they won’t be in place to guide Shell’s planned return to the Chukchi Sea this year.

“As Shell indicated just recently that they were going to go forward with their exploration plan this summer, we’ll be holding them to the standards that we’ve held them to before, with upgrades and proof that they can do what they say they do before they’re allowed to go up there,” Jewell told reporters in a press call today, primarily talking about the president’s budget for her department.

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BIG OIL: Who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 08.53.48With more than $110 billion of oil and gas assets on the block as companies big and small count the cost of the collapse in oil prices, it is now a question of who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion.

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Article published by Reuters 30 Jan 2015 under the headline:

Buyers bide their time in $110 bln oil asset sell-off

* Half of the assets on sale are in North America

* North Sea could prove a hard sell

* Potential buyers holding out for further price falls

* Wave of deals expected within three to six months

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – With more than $110 billion of oil and gas assets on the block as companies big and small count the cost of the collapse in oil prices, it is now a question of who will blink first to set the M&A scramble in motion.

Energy groups with spare cash, venture capital funds and multinational and state oil companies are eyeing assets with valuations that have largely tracked the halving of the oil price to less than $50 a barrel since last June.

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Shell BP Mega Merger: Fact, or extremely well informed conjecture?

It was this article, followed by the oil price crash, which led to the growing speculation about a Shell BP Mega Merger.

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By a confidential contributor.

Shell BP Mega Merger: Fact, or extremely well informed conjecture?

…its a typical dark, smoke-filled room where two teams of senior people – top echelon, Board level types, not the operational guys who run organizations these days – are discussing a thorny problem. The structure of the industry is changing: the mega-mergers of the 1990s, which brought BP to scale, saw ExxonMobil become the world’s biggest company and made Chevron and Texaco join hands are almost forgotten and a new world order has emerged. The state oil companies from the resurgent Russian and nascent Chinese super-powers now sit at the head of the negotiating table and the rules of the game are changing. Some of the world’s oldest and largest IOCs are no longer big enough to compete and its time, according to the bankers and consultants, for a ‘game changer’. Unless there a bold move is made, the under-funded pension pots and comfy Board appointments – not to mention more than one Royal family investment portfolio – are all at considerable risk. People are worried.

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Shell’s spectacular belly flop into the Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55Even more troubling than Shell’s “Arctic-ready” armada problems is Shell’s spectacular failure of good judgment. To avoid an Alaska tax bill, company managers ordered its secondary drill rig towed south through the winter storm-lashed Gulf of Alaska despite the tug master’s prescient warning that: “the length of tow, at this time of the year, in this location, with our current routing, guarantees an ass-kicking.” The tug master was right.

Extracts from a letter dated 11 Dec 2014 by Kim Elton, who served four years as senior adviser to former US Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar. 

Here are some lowlights from Shell’s pratfall-ridden 2012 effort to drill exploration wells: A Coast Guard inspection of Shell’s 47-year-old primary drilling ship found 23 “deficiencies” (including engine problems) days before it was set to sail for the Arctic; that rig nearly beached dragging anchor in a calm Aleutian port en route to the Arctic; Shell’s required spill response barge initially flunked minimum seaworthiness tests after it was rescued from a barge boneyard in Southern California; Shell’s spill containment dome was “crushed like a beer can” in placid Puget Sound sea trials, never making it to the Arctic; the lead drilling rig finally punched its first drill bit into the Arctic Ocean floor in mid-September and, the next day, an ice floe the size of Manhattan forced it off; that same rig then suffered an explosion and fire leaving the Arctic; it later was detained by the Coast Guard in Alaska for major safety, propulsion and pollution “discrepancies” (CBS reported when Coast Guard criminal investigators arrived, the crew had been provided with lawyers and declined to be interviewed); Shell’s secondary drilling rig had 19 deficiencies in electrical and maintenance systems discovered when it arrived back in Dutch Harbor from the Arctic; and Shell incurred more than $1 million in fines for air-quality violations in the Arctic.

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U.S. Justice Department Chilling Verdict on Shell Arctic Drilling Company

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Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Monday, December 8, 2014

Drilling Company Charged with Environmental and Maritime Crimes in Alaska

Noble Drilling (U.S.) LLC was charged with environmental and maritime crimes for operating the drill ship Noble Discoverer and the drilling unit Kulluk in violation of federal law in Alaska in 2012, the Department of Justice announced.

Under the terms of a plea agreement filed in federal court today, Noble will plead guilty to eight felony offenses, pay $12.2 million dollars in fines and community service payments, implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan, and will be placed on probation for four years. In addition, Noble’s parent corporation, Noble Corporation plc, headquartered in London, England, will implement an Environmental Management System for all Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) owned or operated by Noble Corporation plc and its direct and indirect subsidiaries worldwide.

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Shell contractor faces $12.2M in environmental crime fines

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55The drilling operator of Shell’s ill-fated drill rig that ran aground south of Kodiak Island will plead guilty to eight felony offenses and has agreed to pay $12.2 million in fines and community service payments stemming from environmental and safety violations aboard its vessels, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.

Alaska Dispatch News article published 8 Dec 2014

The drilling operator of Shell’s ill-fated drill rig that ran aground south of Kodiak Island will plead guilty to eight felony offenses and has agreed to pay $12.2 million in fines and community service payments stemming from environmental and safety violations aboard its vessels, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.

Noble Drilling LLC, operator of the drill ship Noble Discoverer and drilling operator of the Kulluk — which broke free from a tow during bad weather and ran aground on Dec. 31, 2012 — also will receive four years of probation and must implement a Comprehensive Environmental Compliance plan for violating federal environmental and maritime law in 2012, according to a release from Karen Loeffler, U.S. Attorney for Alaska.

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