News

Oil & Gas

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The French central bank said on Monday it would exit from coal and limit exposure to gas and oil in its investment portfolio by 2024 as part of a shift towards more environmentally friendly assets.

Many central banks have committed to green up their investment portfolios as part of a push to encourage the financial system to support a less environmentally damaging economy.

The Bank of France manages 22 billion euros ($26.6 billion) of its own portfolio investments separately from asset purchases related to its monetary policy operations.


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Major HSBC shareholders are calling on Europe’s biggest bank to toughen its commitment to cut lending linked to fossil fuels and to turn its climate “ambitions” into targets.

Investors collectively managing some $2.4 trillion in assets have filed the resolution to be voted on at HSBC’s annual general meeting, after HSBC in October stated its ambition to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

That pledge was criticised by campaigners for not directly addressing HSBC’s lending to fossil fuel firms, including a relatively large share of clients involved in the coal sector.


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Exxon Mobil Corp, under increasing pressure from investors and climate change activists, reported for the first time the emissions that result when customers use its products such as gasoline and jet fuel.

The largest U.S. oil producer said the emissions from its product sales in 2019 were equivalent to 730 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, higher than rival oil majors. The data comes as the company has drawn the ire of an activist investor focused on its climate performance.


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A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt an oil and gas lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that was pushed by the Trump administration in its final days.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason’s decision came after conservationists and Indigenous groups argued that the lease sale scheduled for Wednesday and a survey program were based on inadequate environmental reviews or outdated information.

The ruling involves a region valued by conservationists for its beauty and wildlife and seen as sacred to some Indigenous people but viewed by others as a way to boost oil production and create jobs.


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Exxon Mobil Corp signaled in a regulatory filing that higher oil and gas prices and improved chemicals margins would aid fourth quarter results, but the gains would be overshadowed by an up to $20 billion asset write down.

The largest U.S. oil producer has posted losses in the first three quarters of 2020 on an ill-timed spending increase that collided with a downturn in fuel demand and prices. It faces a proxy fight next year by an activist investor calling for deeper cuts, new directors and a refocusing on cleaner fuels.


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The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday extended a measure barring transactions related to Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela’s (PDVSA) 2020 bond until July 2021, amid heavy U.S. sanctions on the South American country.

The move effectively bars PDVSA creditors from seizing shares in the parent company of U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp, a PDVSA subsidiary, which were used as collateral for the bond - for the next seven months.

A previous measure was set to expire on Jan. 19, the day before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn in.


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Royal Dutch Shell on Monday said it will write down the value of oil and gas assets by $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion following a string of impairments this year as it adjusts to a weaker outlook.

In an update ahead of its fourth quarter results on February 4, Shell said the post-tax charge was due in part to impairments on its Appomattox field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the closure of refineries and liquefied natural gas (LNG) contracts.

It said some charges involved in its restructuring would be recognized in 2021.


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Shell said on Monday it has agreed to sell a 26.25% stake in its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for $2.5 billion, helping the oil major meet its annual target for divestments.

Shell, advised by Rothschild & Co, put a minority stake in the asset up for sale earlier this year, after infrastructure investors expressed interest in the asset which has a guaranteed earnings stream for 15 years.

The sale price was in line with analysts’ expectations.


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Oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, under increasing pressure from investors and climate change campaigners, said on Monday it planned to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years.

Last Thursday, the Church Commissioners for England joined growing investor campaigns to demand changes at Exxon and backed calls for a board refresh and development of a strategy for the largest U.S. oil company’s transition to cleaner fuels.

Several of Exxon’s rivals this year have set longer-term climate ambitions, including Royal Dutch Shell and BP Plc, which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.


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U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 on Monday set its 2021 capital budget at $1.7 billion, around 43% lower than forecast for the previous year, as the energy industry struggles to recover from the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus crisis and resulting lockdowns upended global travel and fuel demand, creating a supply glut that pushed U.S. crude oil prices briefly into negative territory in April.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures have recovered much of those losses on the back of COVID-19 vaccine progress, although they have shed about 23% of their value so far this year.