Shell/BG vote is a bet on oil prices bouncing back

January 27, 2016

More than 80 percent of Shell shareholders approved the tie-up with gas group BG on Jan. 27. That implies they think oil will recover to $60 a barrel, twice its current level. Cost savings help support the deal, but it still requires an optimistic frame of mind.

Exxon pumps up position in world of cheap oil

October 30, 2015

The $340 bln energy giant is standing firm despite $50-a-barrel crude, avoiding the kind of writedowns and job cuts that tarnished results at Shell and Chevron. An iron-clad balance sheet and strong cash flow leave Exxon primed to acquire assets as weaker producers falter.

Shell could win from bold $70 bln swoop on BG

April 8, 2015

The oil major is offering a fat 50 pct premium for its UK rival. But the share price was depressed and the synergies are attractive. The deal could prove a smart and opportunistic way to boost growth via deepwater assets and liquid natural gas – provided Shell keeps costs down.

Shell shows the flip side of shale nirvana

January 31, 2013

Full-year results show the oil major broadly on track to meet medium-term production targets and grow cash flows. But its North American business remains a drag, as the lack of export capacity holds down prices. Shell is a relative loser from the much-hyped shale revolution.

BP’s Gulf fiasco makes it vulnerable to a takeover

By Rob Cox
May 27, 2010

Eventually, BP will definitively stop the flow of oil from its deepwater mishap in the Gulf of Mexico. That's when the autopsy will begin in earnest. But if the information dribbling into the public domain proves correct, the British energy giant will be a weakened creature -- so weak it will be vulnerable to a takeover.

Shell faces reality: it’s not about the barrels

August 1, 2013

Disappointing results at the Anglo-Dutch energy giant partly reflect an outdated way of thinking. Oil majors have long obsessed simultaneously over reserve replacement, production growth and profit. Shell’s decision to ditch medium-term production targets shows it’s wising up.

Big Oil’s growth addiction is counterproductive

September 11, 2013

The industry pours billions into projects with marginal returns to keep production rising. Yet the oil majors’ huge size means big new finds barely move the needle. Oil bosses should ditch their fixation with growing output. The sector’s best option may be to shrink.