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2018-01-08 19:05:00

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE

FTThe growth of Royal Dutch Shell's oil and gas operations in the next decade will depend on shale production, its chief executive has said, in the latest sign of western energy groups pinning their hopes for expansion on those "unconventional" resources.

Ben van Beurden told the Financial Times that he saw chemicals, electricity and biofuels as key sectors for Shell's long-term future, as he positioned the company to face tightening constraints on burning fossil fuels. But he was also planning for growth in Shell's traditional core oil and gas production business, focused on shale reserves in the US, Canada and Argentina.

Depending on how oil prices looked in the 2020s, he said, the company would probably want to keep investing in shale "because we will really want to grow this business quite quickly".

Shell has suffered prolonged difficulties in shale in the past, and in 2013 had to take a $2.1bn writedown on the value of unconventional oilfields in the US and Canada. But Mr van Beurden believes it has now improved the performance of the business enough to allow it to expand while making a profit.

The strategy aligns Shell with peers ExxonMobil and Chevron, the two largest US oil groups, which are looking to US shale reserves as a principal source of new production over the next few years.

Shell is stepping up investment in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico and the Duvernay shale in Alberta, and expects to double total production of unconventional oil and gas from about 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day last year to about 500,000 boe/d by the end of the decade.

Mr van Beurden said Shell had been working hard in the past few years to cut production costs in shale, and with "a little bit of help from the oil price going up, we now see that we can significantly accelerate investment into this opportunity".

The endemic problem of US shale development for all producers is that it has been hard to generate positive cash flow. Because production from each well declines very quickly in its first few years, companies need to keep drilling more to maintain output. But Shell says it has cut the cost to drill and complete each well in the Permian by 35 per cent over the past two years, and it expects to be generating free cash flow from its shale operations by 2019.

Lower costs and the recovery in oil prices meant "you will see a tremendous amount of growth" in cash generation from shale, Mr van Beurden said.

Over the next few years, Shell is expecting a boost to oil production from its deep water offshore assets in Brazil and the US Gulf of Mexico, and could invest in new liquefied natural gas production plants in the US and Canada. 

Into the 2020s, however, it plans a greater focus on revenue streams that will be less constrained by policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including petrochemicals and electricity. Shell has made a series of moves in recent months to strengthen its position in the power industry, with deals to buy Texas electricity group MP2, electric vehicle charging company NewMotion, and UK energy retailer First Utility.

"If you fast forward with another twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years, the power segment is going to be a very dominant part of the total energy system," Mr van Beurden said. "At the moment it's only 18 per cent but it will be more than 50 by the time this century is over. So we cannot pass up on that opportunity."

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Earlier:

 SHELL UPDATES STRATEGY
2017, November, 29, 09:50:00

SHELL UPDATES STRATEGY

SHELL - “Our next steps as we re-shape Shell into a world-class investment aim to ensure that our company can continue to thrive, not just in the short and medium term but for many decades to come,” said van Beurden. “These steps build on the foundations of Shell’s strong operational and financial performance, and my confidence in our strategy and our ability to deliver on the promises we make.”

 

 BP, SHELL, STATOIL COOPERATION
2017, November, 7, 12:10:00

BP, SHELL, STATOIL COOPERATION

Energy majors BP, Shell and Statoil are to co-develop a blockchain-based digital platform for energy trading.

 

 SHELL INCOME $9.2 BLN
2017, November, 3, 12:05:00

SHELL INCOME $9.2 BLN

Compared with the third quarter 2016, CCS earnings attributable to shareholders excluding identified items increased to $4.1 billion, reflecting higher contributions from Downstream, Upstream and Integrated Gas. Earnings benefited mainly from stronger refining and chemicals industry conditions, increased realised oil and gas prices and higher production from new fields, offsetting the impact of field declines and divestments.

 

 SHELL'S INVESTMENT RISKS
2017, October, 2, 14:40:00

SHELL'S INVESTMENT RISKS

“The point that you can be too early was proved by us,” he says. “We were among the first of the big international oil companies to get into solar and we found out we could not make any money out of it.”

 

 SHELL DIVESTS CANADA $8.2 BLN
2017, June, 1, 19:00:00

SHELL DIVESTS CANADA $8.2 BLN

Under the first agreement, Shell has completed the sale to a subsidiary of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (“Canadian Natural”) its entire 60% interest in AOSP, its 100% interest in the Peace River Complex in-situ assets, including Carmon Creek, and a number of undeveloped oil sands leases in Alberta, Canada. The consideration to Shell from Canadian Natural is approximately $8.2 billion (C$10.9 billion), comprised of $5.3 billion in cash plus around 98 million Canadian Natural shares currently valued at $2.9 billion. Shell’s share position in Canadian Natural will be managed for value realisation over time.

 

 SHELL INVESTS IN BRAZIL $10 BLN
2016, November, 11, 18:40:00

SHELL INVESTS IN BRAZIL $10 BLN

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will invest $10 billion in Brazil over five years now that the country has increased opportunities for foreign companies in its oil industry, its chief executive officer said on Thursday.

 

 GAZPROM & SHELL SWAP
2016, June, 21, 21:05:00

GAZPROM & SHELL SWAP

Gazprom's Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said the BG holdings could be included in an asset swap deal between Gazprom and Shell that was announced last year. He did not say what the BG holdings were or where they were located.

Tags: SHELL, SHALE, OIL

Chronicle:

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE
2018, April, 23, 14:25:00

U.S. SHALE OIL UP

FT - US shale oil companies have started to generate free cash thanks to the rise in crude prices, a landmark moment for an industry that has until now relied on an inflow of capital to support its growth.

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE
2018, April, 23, 14:20:00

WBG WANT COUNTRIES

WBG - Bank Group must strengthen its financial capacity to meet the aspirations of its shareholders, mobilize capital at scale, and respond to global development challenges.

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE
2018, April, 23, 14:15:00

IMF WANTS AFRICA

IMF - we agreed on the need to accelerate structural reforms and access to finance in order to raise overall investment and medium-term growth rates to support job creation. The Fund, through its policy advice, can assist countries to design and implement growth-friendly fiscal adjustment, when needed, that responds to the country-specific sources of debt vulnerabilities while preserving needed investments in infrastructure, human capital, and other priority expenditures

SHELL NEEDS THE SHALE
2018, April, 23, 14:10:00

IMF'S CORRUPTION

IMF - Directors also agreed that the Fund should continue to address governance issues and corruption in surveillance when the applicable standard of the Integrated Surveillance Decision has been met.

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