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Energy companies slash another $19 billion as oil price remain near 20-year lows

Photo of Sergio Chapa March 24, 2020 Updated: March 24, 2020 7:02 a.m.

Eleven energy companies over the past several days said they would cut a combined $18.6 billion dollars from their budgets as oil prices remain near 20-year lows, setting the stage for tens of thousands additional layoffs.

West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $23.36 per barrel Monday, a price not seen since March 2002 as Russia and Saudi Arabia flood global markets and the coronavirus pandemic crushes demand.

Energy companies big and small — including Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil, Hess and Halliburton — have responded by slashing spending for new projects and operations, halting stock buy back programs, putting deals on hold and selling assets. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

OilPrice.com: Prepare For The Next Wave Of Oil Bankruptcies

Alex Kimani: Oilprice.com March 24, 2020

Last year, the energy industry was rocked by record bankruptcies and write-downs that did not spare even the oil majors. According to Energy and Restructuring law firm Hayes and Boone’s, a grand total of 50 energy companies filed for bankruptcy last year, including 33 oil and gas producers, 15 oilfield services companies and two midstream companies.

Meanwhile, Chevron Corp., Schlumberger, and Royal Dutch Shell announced multi-billion dollar asset impairments citing unfavorable macro outlook. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: Big Oil may have to break dividend taboo as debt spirals, investors say

PUBLISHED WED, MAR 25 20205:14 AM EDT

KEY POINTS
  • The world’s biggest oil and gas firms should break an industry taboo and consider cutting dividends as they weather the fallout from the pandemic, investors say.
  • Investors prefer the dividend cut to companies taking on any more debt to maintain payouts.
  • The top five so-called oil majors have avoided reducing dividends for years to keep investors sweet and added a combined $25 billion to debt levels in 2019 to maintain capital spending, while giving back billions to shareholders.

The world’s biggest oil and gas firms should break an industry taboo and consider cutting dividends, rather than taking on any more debt to maintain payouts as they weather the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, investors say.

The top five so-called oil majors have avoided reducing dividends for years to keep investors sweet and added a combined $25 billion to debt levels in 2019 to maintain capital spending, while giving back billions to shareholders. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Bloomberg: Big Oil’s Big Crisis: Saving Sacred Dividends From Collapse

Laura Hurst and Kevin Crowley: Bloomberg: March 18, 2020 (Bloomberg) — To understand the crisis engulfing the world’s largest oil companies, just look at their dividend yields. Exxon Mobil Corp., for decades considered one of the bluest of blue-chip stocks, is paying investors 10%. For Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the Anglo-Dutch giant that hasn’t cut payments to shareholders since the Second World War, its 12-month dividend is equivalent to 14% of its current share price. BP Plc offers a yield of 12.4%, and France’s Total SA 11%. Yields at those levels typically suggest one thing: a significant risk that shareholders may not get the money they’ve been promised.

No Big Oil executive would ever accept that’s true — at least for now. Even as management teams confront both the catastrophic demand destruction wrought by the spread of coronavirus and an oil-price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, they’re determined to keep paying.

“Nobody wants to be the CEO who cuts the dividend,” said Noah Barrett, a Denver-based energy analyst at Janus Henderson Group Plc, which manages about $375 billion. “They understand that any company that cuts, its shareholders will flow into competitors and be very, very hesitant to ever come back.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: Oil giants set work-at-home rules for offices, health checks for critical staff

by Reuters Sunday, 15 March 2020 13:40 GMT

By Erwin Seba and Gary McWilliams

HOUSTON, March 15 (Reuters) – Major energy companies in the United States imposed work-from-home rules for office staff and began health checks for remote or critical workers as coronavirus spread across the United States and threatened an industry reeling by falling demand and profits.

BP, Exxon Mobil, Kinder Morgan, Motiva Enterprises and Royal Dutch Shell told non-essential staff to work from home starting Monday, workers and officials said. Shell and Chevron have begun routine health checks of workers and visitors at some key U.S. facilities, spokesmen said. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The Washington Post: The Oil Crisis Is Even Worse News for Shell and BP

March 10, 2020 at 10:43 a.m. GMT

The collapse in crude prices has brought into relief the correlation between oil majors’ financial leverage and the valuation of their shares. It’s a relationship that looks like particularly bad news for the bigger European firms.

Investors’ knee-jerk reaction to the downward lurch in the oil price was, naturally, more severe toward the companies that were more indebted. So shares in BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Equinor ASA and Eni SpA suffered more than Total SA and the two big U.S. majors, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., when European markets closed on Monday. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: Big Oil faces ‘survival mode’ payout strategies as prices dive

By Ron Bousso and Shadia Nasralla: 09 March 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – An oil price plunge means the world’s top energy companies will have to review promises to return billions to investors, either by slowing down share buybacks or reintroducing non-cash dividends, analysts said on Monday.

Brent crude <LCOc1> was trading at around $36 a barrel, down around 20% by 1645 GMT on Monday, when analysts lowered share price forecasts for top oil and gas producers. [O/R]

The Brent benchmark has fallen by as much as a third since Thursday, just before Russia walked away from an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

OilPrice.com: Are Oil Majors Facing A Terminal Decline?

By Nick Cunningham – Mar 01, 2020, 4:00 PM CST

ExxonMobil saw its share price nosedive by roughly 15 percent in the past week, one in a series of oil companies that finds itself in a freefall.

Four other oil majors – Chevron, BP, Shell and Total – also declined sharply, dragged down by the worst weekly loss for oil prices in more than four years.

But the problems for the oil majors run much deeper than the coronavirus, and their share price declines have been underway for quite some time. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: Jesuit order to ditch fossil fuels from $500 mln equity portfolio

…it is more than halfway through the process of selling out of its holdings in oil majors BP, Shell and Total.

by Reuters: Wednesday, 26 February 2020 00:01 GMT

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Catholic religious order Jesuits in Britain will ditch fossil fuel companies from its $500 million equity portfolio by the end of the year, it said on Wednesday, citing corporate failure to respond quickly to the threat of climate change.

Asset managers responsible for more than $14 trillion have divested from the sector in recent years, though many more prefer to remain invested and engage with companies to change their business strategies.

Some companies have sought to address investor concern, including BP’s pledge this month to reduce its carbon emissions, though critics have said that such measures have not gone far enough. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

WSJ: Shell Aims to Enroll Thousands in Online Artificial-Intelligence Training

By Sara Castellanos: Updated Feb. 13, 2020 3:57 pm ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is expanding an online program that teaches its employees artificial-intelligence skills, part of an effort to cut costs, improve business processes and generate revenue.

The Anglo-Dutch oil company, which has about 82,000 employees, said about 2,000 have expressed interest in or have been approached by management about taking AI courses through online-education company Udacity Inc. They include petroleum engineers, chemists and geophysicists, among others.

The courses are voluntary, not required, and employees can complete them at their own pace during work hours, Shell said. The oil company covers the cost of the training. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: No reform, no cash: majors hold out for new Nigerian oil law

* Draft law circulating, split into two bills

* Expected to be presented next week

* “Operators in Nigeria are waiting” – Total

By Libby George

ABUJA, Nigeria Feb 14 (Reuters) – A Nigerian oil reform two decades in the making is urgently needed to get money into its energy sector, industry executives say, as tax increases and regulatory uncertainty scupper investments.

Africa’s largest oil exporting nation has not carried out a full revamp of the law underpinning its oil and gas sector since the 1960s. Piecemeal tax hikes, and a growing lack of certainty around terms, have made companies wary. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Bloomberg: BP’s bold goal: Eliminate or offset its carbon emissions

BLOOMBERG: FEB. 12, 2020 2:50 PM

BP’s new boss set out the boldest climate goal of any major oil company, pledging Wednesday to eliminate almost all of the carbon emissions from BP operations and the fuel it sells to customers.

Bernard Looney, who has been the company’s chief executive for just a week, set an ambitious agenda for what’s becoming an existential challenge for the oil industry. While peers such as Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Equinor have responded to investor pressure by adopting targets for emissions curbs, none has promised to zero out all emissions from the fossil fuels they pump from the ground. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Bloomberg: All eyes on Exxon and Chevron after BP pledges to go carbon neutral

KEVIN CROWLEY: FEB. 12, 2020: 2:31 PM

BP’s pledge to zero out all its carbon emissions by 2050 deepens the divide between major European and American oil producers on climate change, increasing the pressure for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to do more.

The U.S. giants have committed only to reducing greenhouse gases from their own operations. On Wednesday, BP followed Royal Dutch Shell and Equinor in pledging to offset the carbon emissions from the fuels they sell. Known as Scope 3, the emissions from cars, homes and factories are responsible for 90% of fossil fuel pollution. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Reuters: BP Boss Looney Sets Out to ‘Reinvent’ Oil Giant With Zero Carbon Goal

BP Boss Looney Sets Out to ‘Reinvent’ Oil Giant With Zero Carbon Goal

Reuters: Feb. 12, 2020

LONDON — BP set one of the oil sector’s most ambitious targets for curbing carbon emissions on Wednesday as new chief executive Bernard Looney began the biggest revamp in its 111-year history.

While investor groups welcomed the 2050 targets set out by Looney, which put BP ahead of rivals Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Equinor and all of the U.S. oil majors, environmental campaigners criticized a lack of detail.

“We have got to change and change profoundly because the world is changing fast and so are society’s expectations of us,” Looney said in his first major speech as CEO, after earlier highlighting a need to “reinvent BP”. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Oil sector is unloved, but holding up under pressure – HSBC

Oil sector is unloved, but holding up under pressure – HSBC

** HSBC says the global integrated oil sector is holding up well despite combined pressure of price and margin weakness

** Brokerage upgrades Royal Dutch Shell to “buy” from “hold”, saying its financial framework is not at a significant risk

** However, says Shell’s current free cash flow breakeven is above average for the sector

** BP Plc and Total SA remain at low risk, and BP is HSBC’s preferred stock with best company-specific catalysts this year read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

EnergyVoice.com: With Big Oil’s future in doubt, new BP boss gets ready to set out vision

As BP Plc’s new chief delivers his vision to transform the company on Wednesday, investors and activists want to know just how much appetite he has to take on the existential crisis facing the oil industry.

12 February 2020

Bernard Looney’s big challenge will be to navigate BP through an energy transition with the world falling out of love with oil, and louder demands from investors to pivot toward clean energy. When climate protesters forced the company to shut its London headquarters last week, the 49-year-old Irishman promised them he would address their concerns.

BP is already taking some modest steps to address climate change, including investment in renewables and selling some of its most carbon-intensive assets. But it remains an oil major through and through, still very much the company that tapped the first fields in Iran early in the last century and drilled wildcat wells on the Alaskan frontier more than 60 years ago. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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