BP, the London-based energy giant, reported its highest profit in a decade on Tuesday. The company said its underlying replacement cost profits were $6.2 billion for the first quarter of 2022, more than double the $2.6 billion of a year earlier. BP attributed the results to higher oil and natural gas prices as well as “exceptional” performance in the buying and selling of those fuels. In a move that had been anticipated after BP announced its withdrawal from Russia in February because of the invasion of Ukraine, the company also wrote off about $25.5 billion on its nearly 20 percent holding in Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company, and other ventures in that country. That charge, though, is considered by analysts a paper loss with little relevance to continuing performance. BP without Russia “is a lower-risk investment, and the rest of the businesses are performing well,” Oswald Clint, an analyst at Bernstein, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. Although … [Read more...] about BP writes off $25.5 billion on its Russia pullout, but oil and gas profits soar.
Oil and gasoline
Vietnam, Yielding to Beijing, Backs Off South China Sea Drilling
HONG KONG — Vietnam appears to have retreated in a high-stakes maritime gambit against China, suspending a gas-drilling project that it had approved in the South China Sea but that was said to have irritated Beijing. The drilling, by a subsidiary of the Spanish energy company Repsol, had started in June off the southern Vietnamese coast, analysts said. The offshore block where the drilling was occurring straddles the border of Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone but is challenged by China, Vietnam’s hulking northern neighbor, which is building artificial islands in the sea for its military . Analysts say the project’s suspension, which Repsol confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday , appears to be another strategic victory for China at a time when the Trump administration is distracted by turmoil at home. They say it also highlights the difficulty that Vietnam faces as it mounts long-shot challenges to Beijing’s claims to the South China Sea — without much help from … [Read more...] about Vietnam, Yielding to Beijing, Backs Off South China Sea Drilling
The End of the (Pipe)line? Germany Scrambles to Wean Itself Off Russian Gas
LUBMIN, Germany — Past a nudist beach and a sleepy marina, a gigantic mesh of metallic pipes rises from the pine forest behind the tiny village of Lubmin on Germany’s Baltic coast. If few people have heard of Lubmin, from Berlin to Washington almost everyone seems to know the name of the two gas pipelines arriving here directly from Russia: Nord Stream 1, which carries almost 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to keep Europe’s biggest economy humming. And Nord Stream 2, built to increase that flow but abruptly shuttered in the run-up to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The pair of pipelines has become a twin symbol of Germany’s dangerous dependence on Russian gas — and the country’s belated and frenzied effort to wean itself off it — with calls growing for the European Union to hit Moscow with tougher sanctions as atrocities come to light in Ukraine. On Tuesday, the European Commission, the E.U.’s executive branch, proposed banning imports of Russian coal and soon, … [Read more...] about The End of the (Pipe)line? Germany Scrambles to Wean Itself Off Russian Gas
Shell’s Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden, to Step Down
Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, said on Thursday that Ben van Beurden, who has served as chief executive since 2014, would step down at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Wael Sawan, who currently heads a unit that includes the company’s lucrative liquefied natural gas business and its investments in clean energy, including wind and solar power. Mr. van Beurden, 64, whose departure was not a surprise, has steered Shell through a turbulent time and is leaving on a high note — at least for investors in oil and gas, who are seeing record profits and payouts. Consumers, on the other hand, are fuming about paying high prices at the pump and to heat their homes as energy costs have soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr. van Beurden has also been in the forefront among oil industry chief executives in acknowledging the role that burning fossil fuels plays in climate change. He has been criticized, though, for not moving fast enough to invest in clean … [Read more...] about Shell’s Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden, to Step Down
Putin moves to seize a large gas venture in Russia’s Far East.
Russia is moving to take over an important natural gas joint venture, putting the investments of Shell and two Japanese energy trading companies at risk in a seizure of a significant foreign investment. A decree issued by President Vladimir V. Putin on Thursday is directed toward Sakhalin-2, a project in Russia’s Far East that is a key exporter of liquefied natural gas to Japan. The Kremlin’s move raised concerns in Japan about the future of those shipments. Gazprom, Russia’s natural gas monopoly, has a controlling 50 percent stake in Sakhalin-2, followed by Shell, the European oil giant, with 27.5 percent, and Mitsui and Mitsubishi, two energy firms based in Japan with shares totaling 22.5 percent. The decree says that a new company will take over Sakhalin-2 and that the three foreign investors have one month to ask the Russian government to keep their stake in the new enterprise. Shell has previously said it plans to exit the venture as part of its efforts to pull out … [Read more...] about Putin moves to seize a large gas venture in Russia’s Far East.
Shell reports a record $9.1 billion profit.
Shell, Europe’s largest energy company, reported on Thursday its biggest-ever quarterly profit, reflecting high prices for oil and natural gas spurred by the war in Ukraine and tightness in world energy markets. The company’s adjusted earnings of $9.1 billion for the January-to-March period were almost triple the $3.2 billion it earned a year earlier. Shell also said it would increase the pace of share buybacks in the second quarter, to $4.5 billion from $4 billion in the first quarter, and raise the dividend by 4 percent, to 25 cents per share. Beyond high energy prices, Shell took advantage of the volatility in the markets to rake in trading profits. It also cut costs deeply during the pandemic, enhancing profit now that prices and sales volumes have risen. In a statement, Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, appeared to suggest that the disruption from the war in Ukraine had demonstrated that there was still a need for strong oil and gas businesses despite … [Read more...] about Shell reports a record $9.1 billion profit.