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Royal Dutch Shell PLC saddled with a mountain of debt


By John Donovan

The Wall Street Journal does not mince its words.

In an article published today, it says that Shell has saddled itself with a mountain of debt as a result of its takeover of the BG Group.

Article author Sarah Kent points out Shell’s  debt-to-equity ratio is far higher than its major rivals.

The same concern is expressed in a related Wall Street Journal article: Shell’s New Year Promise: Slimming Down

Although Shell promised to offload $30 billion of assets, it has thus far sold only $5 billion worth.

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No response from Shell to allegations of defective Pearl GTL gasifiers

Pearl GTL is the world’s largest plant to turn natural gas into cleaner-burning fuels and lubricants

By John Donovan

No response from Shell to my emails on 28 December concerning insider allegations that “Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

Since there is no confirmation or denial, I can only assume no one is available to deal with such trifling matters in the holiday period.

No doubt the Qatar authorities will press for an answer, as did the Russian government when we passed on insider allegations in respect of the Sakhalin2 project 10 years ago. That episode cost Shell its majority stake in Sakhalin Energy and ended with the resignation of Shell exec General David Greer OBE. 

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Alarm Bells – Shell Pearl GTL gasifiers crippled?

“Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

JOHN DONOVAN EMAILS TO SHELL 28 DECEMBER 2016

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>

Subject: Fwd: Pearl GTL gasifiers are crippled?

Date: 28 December 2016 at 18:25:12 GMT

To: Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>

Cc: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brandjes

I am contacting you as my designated contact point with Shell at least until this weekend when you retire. 

Please see my email correspondence with Neil Gilmour, Shell VP CP Integrated Gas & Projects.

Mr. Gilmour is on leave, hence my approach to you. 

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BP buys, while Shell sells: a recap of recent deal making by the majors

Written by Mark Lammey – 20/12/2016 6:00 am

While Shell has been selling assets to make good on its $30billion divestment plan for 2016-18, BP has flashed the cash with a number of big investments.

Shell said yesterday that it had raised $1.65billion (£1.33billion) in asset sales, while rival oil major BP has revealed plans to invest heavily on African licences.

Shell will make $1.4billion from the sale of a 31.2% stake in refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu to Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan, the firm said yesterday.

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Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

Shell to sell Australian aviation fuels unit to Viva Energy

by Angela Macdonald-Smith: 19 December 2016

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a $US250 million ($343 million) deal to sell its local aviation fuels division to Viva Energy in a further slimming down of its downstream operations in Australia.

The sale follows the oil giant’s $2.9 billion divestment of its other refining and fuels activities to Viva in 2014 and comes amid heightened speculation that Shell is getting set to offload its remaining stake in Woodside Petroleum.

The deal, expected to formally close by md-2017, will see the Shell brand still used for the aviation refuelling business under a licensing deal similar to the arrangement Viva has to use the logo for its petrol retailing business. Regulatory approvals still need to be secured.

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UK police spied on us, protesters tell inquiry

Shell to Sea, an environmental protest group, claims it was infiltrated by a British officer between 2004 and 2006: MARK STEDMAN/PHOTOCALL IRELAND

By:  Ellen Coyne – The Times

A Mayo protest group that claims it was spied on by a British police officer has asked to be included in a UK inquiry into undercover practices.

Shell to Sea, an environmental activist group that protested against the Corrib gas pipeline, believes it was infiltrated by Mark Kennedy when he was in the Republic.

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Shell to offload Dragon gas port

Danny Fortson: December 18 2016: The Sunday Times

Shell has begun quietly sounding out potential buyers for its share of a giant gas- import complex in west Wales.

The FTSE 100 company owns half of Dragon LNG, a terminal at Milford Haven that reheats super-chilled liquid natural gas after it is delivered by tankers. The site has the capacity to provide 10% of Britain’s gas needs.

Petronas, Malaysia’s state oil producer, owns the other half and is likely to have first right of refusal. Dragon is yet another asset that has been put up for sale by Shell, which has pledged to raise $30bn (£24bn) through a global disposal programme to offset the cost of its takeover of rival BG.

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Corruption of Police by Shell

Corruption of Police by Shell

Printed below is an extract from a current submission to The Pitchford Inquiry by the Shell to Sea organisation in Ireland. As can be seen, it very much involves Shell.

The Pitchford Inquiry is investigating undercover policing activities in England and Wales. Pressure is mounting to also cover the activities of undercover British police in Ireland.

EXTRACT FROM THE SUBMISSION

Corruption of Police by Shell

In March 2013 Shell to Sea  contacted a reporter in the London-based Observer newspaper regarding a series of allegations which had appeared consistently since September 2012 on a website co-founded by John Donovan and his late father Alfred, available at www.royaldutchshellplc.com. It took from March until publication on 11 August to research and legal-proof the article written by award-winning journalist Ed Vuillamy                            (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/may/18/ed-vulliamy-ryszard-kapuscinski-award) under the heading ‘Strange tale of Shell’s pipeline battle, the Gardaí and £30,000 of booze’. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/10/shell-pipeline-protests-county-mayo  While the reportage of alcohol provision to the police came as no surprise, we find the claim made by Mr Neil Rooney of OSSL as quoted below to be, indeed, sinister:

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Fitzgerald should seek answers on undercover British police in Ireland

By:  Shell to Sea

Open Letter to the Irish Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald

Shell to Sea are calling for the Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald to seek that the inquiry into the behaviour of undercover British police (entitled the Pitchford Inquiry) be extended to include the activities of undercover police in Ireland.

The Pitchford Inquiry is so far only investigating undercover policing activities in England and Wales, however the German Government, the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister, Claire Sugden have all called for the remit of the inquiry to be widen to include the activities of the undercover British police in their jurisdictions.

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Shell finance boss tipped to take over the top job cashed in stock worth £1m days before he suddenly quit

By Rachel Millard For The Daily Mail: 21:58, 15 December 2016 

A finance boss at Royal Dutch Shell who was tipped to take over the top job has suddenly left – just days after he sold stock worth £1million.

Credited with leading the firm’s £41billion takeover of oil and gas group BG last year, Simon Henry was a key lieutenant of chief executive Ben van Beurden.

But the 55-year-old’s departure was announced yesterday to the shock of the markets. Relatively unknown internal finance executive Jessica Uhl has been appointed in his place.

It emerged Henry sold more than £1million of shares on December 1, within 24 hours of the historic Opec deal to cut production that then sent the price of oil soaring.

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Shell’s CFO Pick Leaves Most Analysts Asking Simply ‘Who?’

by Rakteem Katakey: 15 December 2016, 16:47 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s appointment of Jessica Uhl as finance chief on Thursday posed one simple question for many of the analysts who follow Europe’s largest oil company: “Who?”

The 48-year-old U.S. citizen, currently head of finance for Shell’s Integrated Gas unit — a key cash cow since this year’s acquisition of BG Group Plc — will take over from Simon Henry in March. Having been at the oil major for 12 years, exclusively in finance, she has “in-depth knowledge” to execute its cash-generation plans, according to Shell.

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Royal Dutch Shell – Income Investors Should Look Elsewhere

Casey Hoerth: Dec. 14, 2016 11:09 AM ET

Summary

Shell plans on between $25 billion and $30 billion in capex next year, with flexibility to the downside.

I do not expect Shell to achieve cash flow balance in 2016, even with asset sales.

I continue to recommend other energy companies over Royal Dutch Shell, until either oil prices recover more or until Shell does something else to achieve balance.

Over the course of 2016 I haven’t recommended much when it comes buying to upstream or integrated oil companies. The reason was that I felt many still weren’t doing enough to balance their money coming in versus money going out. The CEO of one of my favorite companies, in their latest analyst day, recently quipped that energy companies couldn’t afford to wait to be ‘bailed out’ by higher oil prices.

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