Categotry Archives: Shell

Why Rex Tillerson Stands Out

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal about Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s departing CEO and the man who Trump has picked for the role of Secretary of State.  The whole article is worth reading, but this bit caught my eye: Mr. Sechin came to like Mr. Tillerson because he was transparent and forceful in his communications—and was one of the few Western executives strong enough to push back against Mr. Sechin, said people familiar with the matter. … Mr. Putin, who […]

Major Comparison 2015

Similarly to what I did last year, now all the 2015 annual reports are out I thought it would be interesting to create tables showing revenues, profits, number of employees, and profit per employee for each of the majors. Despite the prolonged downturn, ExxonMobil is still doing very well as a company.  True, revenues are down and profits halved but any company that can make north of $16bn clear profit in the biggest slump in a generation must be doing […]

Shell: the beta male of the oil industry

In August 2014 I wrote a post which started as follows: Ever since Shell acquiesced to the Kremlin’s demand to surrender majority ownership of Sakhalin Energy in 2007 I have thought that western oil companies have fundamentally misunderstood the Russian mentality.  The perception at the time was that Shell believed by caving in on this issue, they would gain favour with the Russians and hence be in a strong position to participate in future projects.  Whether this was true or […]

Another major comparison

Now that each of the supermajors has turned in their 2015 Q4 and preliminary full-year reports, it is time for some commentary. ExxonMobil: IRVING, Texas – February 2, 2016 – Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced estimated 2015 earnings of $16.2 billion compared with $32.5 billion a year earlier. … Exxon forecast capital spending at around $23.2 billion this year, a 25 percent drop from 2015. Summary: Their profits have halved last year so they’re cutting CAPEX further for 2016.  They don’t need to […]

Major comparison

Following on from this post, I thought it would be interesting to do a little digging and prepare charts for each supermajor showing their revenue, profit, staff headcount, and profit per employee for the past 3 years. Once again, I will state that this is a pretty crude method of judging a company’s performance.  One obvious shortcoming is the fact that as Upstream revenues have dropped, the profitability of Downstream sectors – which are more labor-intensive – has increased, and so one […]

Where the axe should fall

ExxonMobil bucks layoff trend reports Upstream Online. ExxonMobil will not make any major staffing cuts or reorganisations of its corporate structure, bucking a growing trend within the industry of operators slashing their headcounts in order to preserve cash amidst the steepest decline in oil prices in decades. I suspect the reason for this is that they were running a pretty lean operation to begin with.  Take a look at the table below (numbers taken from Wikipedia: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, […]

Going, going, BGone

Four days ago, on 7th April, BG CEO Helge Lund – who had joined the company only in February – outlined his strategy for the company: Lund acknowledged that BG had sustained “operational setbacks” over the past two years, having been hit by lower liquefied natural gas exports from Egypt and construction challenges and cost overruns on its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project in Australia. He said “we must take account of the lessons learned from these experiences as we […]