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Shell not abandoning its US shale ambitions

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden claims that despite a series of asset sales and costly write-downs, the oil giant is not abandoning the prospect of North American oil and gas shales.  

Shell’s recent reappraisal resulted in a $2bn write-down in book value and plans for Shell to sell hundreds of thousand of US acres. 

Related quotes from Ben van Beurden:

“Asset sales have helped the company narrow its focus on fewer projects where Shell can better compete with the smaller oil and gas companies that have dominated US shale development.” 

“It’s a different type of game but it’s not best left to the independents. We can play and win at it as well.”

Time will tell.

During a conference speech at Columbia University yesterday, Mr van Beurden also proposed that the US should resume exporting oil and embrace global markets.

Any such resumption would require lifting the longstanding US crude oil export ban in force since the Arab oil embargo in the 1970’s. 


Shell discoveries suggest a wider bounty in Utica Shale: Houston Chronicle


Shell Oil Co. announced two successful discovery wells in the north central part of Pennsylvania on Wednesday, a find that may suggest the sweet spot of the Utica formation extends farther east than previously thought.

Shell announces Utica gas discovery: FuelFix (blog)-Sep 3, 2014


In a pair of transactions announced last month, Shell gave up all of its Pinedale and Haynesville in assets in exchange for $2.1 billion cash and 155,000 net acres in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus and Utica shales, indicating Shell is betting heavy on Appalachia as part of the new strategy.

Shell Extends Gas Discovery In Utica Shale: Bidness Etc

After extracting activities started in February from Gee’s well, Shell did not disclose any news relating to the success of its exploration due to competitive reasons. Considering the potential that the Utica shale holds, the company is currently undergoing drilling activities in four more wells and is expected to start pumping gas by the end of 2014.

More details on Shell’s Utica wells in northern Pennsylvania: Bloomberg News

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