Reading, United Kingdom
Reading, United Kingdom

BG Group plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Reading, United Kingdom. It has operations in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America and produces around 680,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It has a major Liquefied Natural Gas business and is the largest supplier of LNG to the United States. As at 31 December 2009 it had total proven commercial reserves of 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent.BG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012 it had a market capitalisation of £44.9 billion, the seventh-largest company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 2.46M | Year: 2012

The Gas-FACTS programme will provide important underpinning research for UK CCS development and deployment on natural gas power plants, particularly for gas turbine modifications and advanced post combustion capture technologies that are the principal candidates for deployment in a possible tens-of-£billions expansion of the CCS sector between 2020 and 2030, and then operation until 2050 or beyond, in order to meet UK CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission targets. Gas CCS R&D is an emerging field and many of the concepts and underlying scientific principles are still being invented. But on-going UK infrastructure investments and energy policy decisions are being made which would benefit from better information on relevant gas CCS technologies, making independent, fundamental studies by academic researchers a high priority. In addition, the results of this project will provide an essential basis for further work to extract the maximum research benefits from the UK CCS demonstration programme and help to develop more advanced gas CCS technologies for a second tranche of CCS deployment. The programme will also develop rigorous assessment methods and a framework to maximise pathways to impact that could support other RCUK research activities on gas CCS. Globally, there is already interest in gas CCS in Norway, California and the Middle East, and this is likely to become more widespread if cheaper gas leads to more widespread use. This work will be undertaken through work packages with the following aims: WP1: To quantify the scope of gas turbine modifications to improve the technical, environmental and economic performance of integrated CO2 capture on CCGT plants. Small gas turbines will be modified to run with steam or recycled flue gas replacing some of the normal air feed to increase back-end CO2 concentrations (which will help make the CO2 easier to capture). WP2: To quantify through modelling and experimental testing the scope for improving post-combustion capure system performance on CCGT plants through a combination of advanced liquid solvents, including novel amine mixtures, and improved transient performance. Solvents that are used to take up CO2 and then release it in a pure form that can be stored underground will be modified so that the amount of energy required to do this is reduced. The equipment the solvents are used in will also be designed to turn on and off quickly to allow CCS power plants to compensate for fluctuations in output from wind turbines. WP3: In close collaboration with an external Experts Group to undertake integration and whole systems performance assessments. This will include a Gas-FACTS Impact Handbook combining impact tables with state-of-the-art surveys to ensure that pathways to impact pursued by Gas-FACTS researchers are co-ordinated with other significant activities, including excellent science and stakeholder plans, to maximise their effectiveness. Gas-FACTS results will be implemented in the freely-available IECM package for access by any potential users. WP4: Impact delivery and expert interaction activities will be based on establishing an Experts Group including representatives of the UK CCS academic community, global academic community, UK policymakers, UK Regulators, NGOs, power utilities, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). WP4 will also run a programme of engagement activities to impact, including project meetings, specialist meetings on topical issues and results, web-based dissemination and document publication (reports, responses to Parliamentary inquiries, journal papers, articles etc.)


News Article | May 17, 2015
Site: www.theguardian.com

A man of Ben van Beurden’s power and reputation for blunt speaking is capable of silencing a ballroom packed with his boisterous peers. When the chief executive of Shell rose to address an industry gathering in a London hotel, a respectful hush descended. Van Beurden, 57, rose from a modest background in the Netherlands to the top of a cut-throat, politically fraught sector that rarely finds itself out of the public firing line. The annual black-tie dinner at International Petroleum Week in February, a typical nexus of senior executives and high-ranking government officials, was expecting a frank assessment of its response to its biggest challenge: global warming. Van Beurden did not disappoint. Warning the room that the industry had a credibility problem, that it was “aloof” when it came to issues like climate change, he said: “You cannot talk credibly about lowering emissions globally if, for example, you are slow to acknowledge climate change, if you undermine calls for an effective carbon price, and if you always descend into the ‘jobs versus environment’ argument in the public debate.” That speech was a far cry from the usual backslapping fare at the annual event and it put some noses out of joint. But it was welcomed by those who knew that Van Beurden was no fluffy liberal. “Follow the money,” was his mantra during a stint at Shell’s chemicals division, according to one colleague. Now, his message to the industry was: follow the overwhelming evidence on greenhouse gas emissions and join the debate on climate change, or risk the fossil fuel industry being sidelined. But Shell’s own business model, and in particular a career-defining takeover executed by Van Beurden within two months of that industry broadside, points to a different corporate philosophy. The powerful ranks of oil and gas industry executives had not witnessed a Damascene moment. Shell, under Van Beurden, is pursuing a strategy that seems to leave the €130bn (£94bn) Anglo-Dutch group firmly among the unconverted when it comes to stopping runaway climate change. An investigation into the Shell business shows that under its forecasts the Earth’s temperature will rise nearly twice as much as the 2C threshold for dangerous climate change, and that the firm’s own greenhouse gas emissions are still rising and will rocket further after the £47bn acquisition of rival BG Group. Further, Shell’s Canadian tar sands, Brazilian, Nigerian and US Gulf deep-water projects are the most likely to be rendered worthless by a global clampdown on high carbon-emitting exploration projects, analyses find. In addition, the company’s growth is becoming reliant on drilling wells (some deeper than the one that caused BP’s Gulf blowout) and it is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a political organisation that has opposed policies to address climate change. A stark counterpoint to Van Beurden’s speech comes from a 2013 Shell New Lens Scenario planning document which suggests industry talk of lowering global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is just that. Referring to the internationally agreed limit on a global temperature rise of 2C, the document states: “Both our scenarios and the IEA (International Energy Agency) New Policies scenario (and our base case energy demand and outlook) do not limit emissions to be consistent with the back-calculated 450 parts per million (CO2 in the atmosphere) 2C. We also do not see governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2C scenario.” According to one estimate, that Shell statement is tantamount to acknowledging that the world will disastrously vault over the 2C limit. Charlie Kronick, climate campaigner at Greenpeace, estimates that the IEA middle New Policies scenario cited by Shell leaves the Earth facing a temperature increase of 3.7C as fossil fuels continue to be burned. Work by international scientists has warned that a 4C rise in the planet’s temperature would bring severe droughts globally and millions of migrants seeking refuge as food supplies collapse. Desertification of parts of the globe would force agriculture on to untouched areas of the planet, while populations would have to adapt to rising sea levels, extreme weather and increasing levels of agricultural pests and diseases, according to a collection of papers published by the Royal Society in 2010. Meanwhile, a recent, seismic corporate event put even greater distance between Van Beurden’s words and reality. On 8 April Shell’s chief executive shocked the industry by announcing the acquisition of BG Group, the former exploration arm of British Gas, now one of the world’s biggest gas producers. Having warned industry colleagues about the discredited trade-off between jobs and the environment, Van Beurden put growth first in emphatic fashion. The BG deal is the biggest takeover in the company’s history and it clearly propels Shell deeper into fossil fuel extraction. Putting the two businesses together makes a growing carbon footprint even bigger. Shell’s direct greenhouse gas emissions from facilities were 76m tonnes on a CO2-equivalent basis in 2014, up 4% from 73m tonnes 12 months earlier. Operations directly under BG’s control in 2014 emitted 7.6m tonnes of greenhouse gases, an increase of about 600,000 tonnes, or 9%, on 2013. If regulators let the new partnership proceed, Shell will be increasing its oil and gas reserves by 25%, raising production by 20% and employing almost 100,000 staff. This would be a big boost given that Shell, which in its early incarnation nearly a century ago boasted of producing 11% of the world’s oil, has struggled to find its own oil and gas reserves through the drill bit. Fadel Gheit, the highly respectedindustry analyst, described the transaction as “one of the best deals the industry has ever seen”. But Pascal Menges, manager of the Lombard Odier Global Energy Fund, which invests in the energy sector, sees failure as the driving motive behind the deal. “This shows that big oil’s growth strategy over the last 10 years is bust,” he argued. “Having bet enormous sums on eye-wateringly expensive oil production from oil sands, ultra-deep water and Arctic fields, the super majors are now ill-placed to cope with a low oil price,” he said, although oil had recently recovered from a perilous low of less than $50 per barrel this year – a price which makes profitable oil and gas exploration very difficult – to around $65. Menges also highlighted a trend pushing Shell into exploring difficult parts of the world – such as the Canadian tar sands, Nigeria, and deep water off Brazil and the US Gulf (underlined by the US government’s controversial decision on 11 May to allow Shell to restart drilling in the Arctic, off the coast of Alaska). Shell has either taken most accessible oil and gas fields or had its path blocked by states engaged in resource nationalism – governments giving licences to state-owned companies at the expense of foreign multinationals. Shell is upfront that its takeover of BG is about profit and capability. A spokeswoman said: “By combining BG’s portfolio and skills set with Shell’s capabilities we can deliver a step change in the growth priorities for both of our companies. This means more deep water and more LNG [liquefied natural gas] plays where we have strong profitability and capabilities.” This retreat to some of the most inaccessible and technically challenging oil and gas fields in the world poses, however, a further threat to Shell: the possibility of these projects being forcibly mothballed if there is global action to head off a rise of more than 2C. Research from Carbon Tracker, a climate change thinktank, highlights all these areas – the Canadian tar sands, the US Gulf and Alaska – as being at the highest risk from enforced mothballing and becoming “stranded assets” tying up billions of pounds worth of shareholder funds. This analysis was given further weight by a study for the Norwegian government by the industry consultancy Rystad Energy. It concluded that even if the world managed to remain within the 2C limit the “largest stranded areas are offshore North and South America, west Africa and in the Arctic”. The BG Group deal gives Shell a significant stake in one of the most technically challenging – not to mention potentially stranded – deep water projects in the world. In the previous decade Brazil made a mammoth oil discovery off its Atlantic coast and Shell inherited BG’s investments in those fields. The fields off Brazil are at depths of 2,100 metres (7,000 ft) compared with the 1,500 metres that BP was operating in when its Deepwater Horizon rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 during a drilling operation. Deep water is expensive to operate in and, as BP found out, an environment where the consequences of serious accidents are harder to manage. But Van Beurden rejects the stranded asset argument for Shell. In a speech to Columbia University, in New York, last September, he said: “In our opinion, the ‘stranded assets’ thesis underestimates the significance of rising energy demand. It underplays the role natural gas will perform in the global energy system, especially in replacing coal power plants. And it ignores the potential of innovations like carbon capture and storage.” With Shell’s involvement in such controversial areas there is also scrutiny of its lobbying efforts. The Union of Concerned Scientists in the US has started a campaign against Shell over its continued involvement in the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), a rightwing nonprofit organisation that has been criticised for drafting model legislation that denies any human contribution to climate change. While companies such as Occidental Petroleum and Google have left Alec – Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, alleged last year “they’re just literally lying” about climate change – Shell argues that it supports the organisation because it promotes job creation and the free market. In a statement, it said: “We are members of Alec and several other similar groups across the political spectrum that foster bipartisan exchanges between elected officials. In terms of Alec, we specifically support their pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda and generally find commonality on issues important to the oil and gas industry. “While there are some issues on which we have different views, we look at the totality of the organisation not a single issue. This is the case with other organisations as well.” Some critics say the “responsible image” of Shell moving into a cleaner gas sector via the BG deal masks a fossil fuel company struggling for survival in a world facing climate change. “This is not an evil guy leading the world to destruction. He is just leading a company that is trying to find a way of maintaining this [fossil fuels] system,” said Ike Teuling, energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Netherlands. Fittingly for a pragmatic Dutchman, There is considerable latitude in Van Beurden’s stance on climate change. He argues that global warming is a significant issue that needs tackling but not in a way that distracts attention away from the reality of growing population, increasing prosperity and growing energy demand. “Today, three billion people still lack access to the modern energy many of us take for granted,” he said. “This isn’t just about having a dustbuster or a TV set. Energy access often makes the difference between poverty and prosperity. At the same time, demand is growing. There will be more people on this planet, more people living in cities and more people rising from poverty. They will all need energy if they are to thrive. The issue is how to balance one moral obligation, energy access for all, against the other: fighting climate change.”. This allows Van Beurden to indicate that fossil fuel critics are largely based in the largely prosperous west and are denying prosperity to those developing countries such as China and India who need oil and gas energy to become more prosperous themselves. Included in Van Beurden’s industry speech in that hotel ballroom there were excerpts that endorsed the status quo. “Yes, climate change is real. And yes, renewables are an indispensable part of the future energy mix. But no, provoking a sudden death of fossil fuels isn’t a plausible plan,” he suggested. Nothing in Shell’s current strategy suggests Van Beurden is going to present a plausible alternative.


News Article | January 26, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A bedrock belief among oil forecasters has been that China’s voracious appetite for fossil fuels would stoke global energy demand for decades to come. That assumption now appears increasingly shaky. A highly anticipated new energy-demand projection from Exxon Mobil Corp. released Monday cuts the company’s expectations for China. And a slew of data is emerging that points to the toll a weakened economy has taken on Chinese energy demand, which is among the most important factors in determining the price of crude oil. Exxon cut its forecast for annual energy-demand growth in China by almost a 10th to 2.2% a year through 2025. Over a decade, the revision amounts to more than Brazil’s current annual oil consumption. Exxon also predicts that China’s thirst for energy will peak by 2030. The company played down the change to its figures based on its previously held view that China’s working population is reaching its apex, said Bill Colton, vice president of corporate strategic planning. “Countries sometimes have to go through transitions,” he said. “One thing about economics, it’s never a straight line.” Oil prices fell 7.4% to $29.80 a barrel after Chinese data released Monday showed that diesel fuel use fell in 2015 from a year earlier. A study issued last week by consultancy ESAI Energy said China’s oil-demand growth rate between now and 2030 would be less than half that of the previous 15-year period. “If demand won’t come from China, who will step in to fill China’s shoes?” said Erica Downs, a senior analyst for the Eurasia Group who focuses on the country’s energy sector. Some energy companies have already taken concrete steps to pivot from oil because China’s economic transformation and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions make its future less certain. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and others have pursued multibillion-dollar projects that hinge on natural gas, which emits less carbon than oil and is cheaper or more lucrative to use in power generation. Some analysts believe gas will eventually overtake oil as the world’s most dominant source of fuel. Shell is in the finishing stages of acquiring global gas powerhouse BG Group PLC for $50 billion, while Chevron and partners are spending more than $80 billion to build two massive plants in Australia that will liquefy natural gas so it can be shipped overseas to Asia and beyond. But those steps may prove problematic if energy demand doesn’t pick up in emerging economies. Chinese energy consumption rose just 0.9% last year, according to government estimates, as gross domestic product increased 6.9%, the weakest annual rate in a quarter century. The unexpected short-term drop casts a shadow over the prospect of an oil-price rally this year. U.S. and global benchmark crude prices fell below $27 a barrel last week for the first time since 2003. The current oil glut was initially spurred by technology breakthroughs that unlocked more fuel reserves from the ground. But the oversupply is being prolonged and deepened by weaker-than-expected demand. That confluence of factors has made this oil downturn particularly difficult to resolve. If tepid Chinese energy consumption continues, it could raise profound questions about the stability of oil and gas producers around the world, analysts say. Expectations of robust energy demand have always been about more than just China. India, Asian tiger countries and other emerging economies with vast populations eager to move into the middle class were supposed to follow China’s lead economically and on the energy-demand front. Once-prominent fears that the world would soon run out of oil have been upended by plentiful supplies unleashed in recent years. Now emerging concerns about peak demand are starting to percolate. From 2000 to 2010, China’s rapid industrialization created soaring demand for oil to power an economy tied to manufacturing and exports. Over that decade, China accounted for more than 40% of the growth in global demand for crude oil. The seemingly insatiable need caught the market by surprise, helping push oil prices to a record $147 a barrel in 2008. But since 2010, China’s energy demand growth has slowed faster than its GDP. In 2012, for instance, China’s GDP rose at nearly double the rate of energy-consumption growth. Last year, China’s GDP grew six times faster than energy-demand growth, according to figures from China and the World Bank. Some analysts believe the numbers reflect uncertainty around the accuracy of data coming out of China. Yet even accounting for the possibility that GDP data is inflated, the decoupling of economic and energy growth suggests that China’s transformation simply may not require as much fossil fuels as many have predicted. Just as energy companies underestimated Chinese demand in the first decade of this century, they may be overestimating it now, said Anthony Barone, senior vice president for deals and restructuring at Argo, a Chicago-based consulting firm. “Their growth has slowed, and the belief that they are going to be the top country providing stable long-term demand for energy is looking optimistic,” he said. BP PLC’s 2015 energy outlook forecast 3.9% energy demand growth for China through 2020, more than four times higher than last year’s actual increase in the country’s consumption. The International Energy Agency’s 2015 energy-growth forecast was nearly double the actual demand figure. Predictions of a tremendous wave of energy growth from China, India and other fast-expanding countries are based on a very real trend. As those economies mature, hundreds of millions of people will enter the middle class and use more energy, driving cars or using air conditioning. That is why Exxon still believes that from 2014 to 2040, global energy demand will grow by 25%, according to the company’s Energy Outlook, released Monday. No doubt middle-class Chinese are using more gasoline and electricity to power their homes and cars, but so far it isn’t enough to make up for stagnating industrial activity. All forecasts that seek to predict the supply and demand of oil or other commodities decades into the future make use of history and emerging trends, as well as informed “guesswork,” said Citigroup commodities analyst Eric Lee. “China isn’t going to keep sucking up oil voraciously,” he said. “No matter what, China will have its own unique development.” Write to Bradley Olson at Bradley.Olson@wsj.com and Brian Spegele at brian.spegele@wsj.com


News Article | October 25, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

A view shows the Total Tower, French oil giant Total headquarters, at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo LONDON/OSLO (Reuters) - Oil majors including Statoil, Shell and Chevron are experimenting with various technologies, from drones and drill design to data management, to drive down costs and weather a deep downturn. Crude prices have more than halved since mid-2014, forcing companies to cut billions of dollars in costs. Determined to shield dividends and preserve the infrastructure that will allow them to compete and grow if the market recovers, they are increasingly looking to smarter tech and design to make savings. French oil and gas major Total said it was now using drones to carry out detailed inspections on some of its oil fields following a trial at one of its Elgin/Franklin platforms in the North Sea. Cyberhawk, the drone company that led the trial, said this kind of work was previously carried out by engineers who suspended themselves from ropes at dizzying heights. It said the manned inspection used to take seven separate two-week trips with a 12-man team that had to be flown in and accommodated on site. The drones do the work in two days and at about a tenth of the cost, according to the Britain-based firm's founder Malcolm Connolly, who said it had also worked with ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips and BP. Total declined to comment on how long the manned or drone inspections took, or specify how much money was saved. Statoil's giant Johan Sverdrup field, the largest North Sea oil find in three decades which is due to start production in 2019, is a leading industry case study for cutting costs in the era of cheap oil. The Norwegian company has cut its development costs for the first stage of the project by a fifth compared with estimates given in early 2015, to 99 billion crowns ($12.2 billion). The savings have largely been made by focusing on the most efficient technology and designs from the beginning, Statoil's head of technology Margareth Oevrum told Reuters in an interview. Executives say the growing attention on technologies that have been around for some time shows how wasteful the global industry had been in the years before the downturn when - with crude at above $100 a barrel delivering bumper profits - oil companies' had little incentive to develop fields efficiently. For example, simply finding a more efficient route for the oil pipeline that would carry the crude from the Sverdrup field to the onshore refinery cut 1 billion crowns, Statoil said. Statoil has also developed a drilling "template" that is acting as a guide for the first eight wells to be drilled at the field. It said it had reduced the overall drilling time by more than 50 days, saving about 150 million crowns per production well compared with what it would have cost with 2013 techniques. "By far the biggest driver (of savings) has been simplification," said Oevrum. "To think much simpler and start from the bottom, or the bare bone, and then rather add to that, instead of starting very big." The company could not give a figure for its group savings made from improved technology and design. But it said that, partly because of such innovations, projects set to start production by 2022 would be able to make a profit with an oil price at $41 a barrel, down from $70 in 2013. Global upstream - exploration and production - oil and gas spending has fallen by more than $300 billion across the industry in 2015-16, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), roughly equivalent to the annual GDP of South Africa. Around two-thirds comes from cost cuts, rather than cancelling or shelving projects, it said. Shell, for example, has developed a new type of pipe, called a steel lazy wave riser, to carry oil and gas from its deepwater Stones field in the Gulf of Mexico for processing. It bends to absorb the motion of the sea and the floating platform, which the company says boosts production at extreme depths. The Anglo-Dutch major could not say how much the pipes contributed to increased efficiency, but said innovations at Stones had played a significant part in cost savings of $1.8 billion in its projects and technology division last year - equivalent to the 2015 core profits in its upstream division. The fall in oil prices has led to the introduction of other new engineering and maintenance techniques. Chevron is using a robotic device to clean and check the inside of pipelines on their Erskine field in the North Sea more quickly. The improvement has helped raise the field's daily production rate to the highest in two years. Oil services firm Amec Foster Wheeler, working for BG Group which is now part of Shell, has applied a new technique to remove the pillars of an old platform, a procedure that is often dangerous because corroded elements can slip off. It pumped in expanding foam to hold the pillar's elements together, allowing workers to safely cut the metal away. This work took just over seven weeks instead of the 22 weeks typically needed using traditional methods. Alex Brooks, oil and gas equity analyst at Canaccord Genuity, said tech innovation in the industry was about "100 tiny things", adding: "The bottom line is you end up with a much lower cost." The downturn has presented opportunities for some services firms that can offer cost-saving innovations. Inspection drone firm Cyberhawk, for instance, said its revenue from oil and gas had doubled from mid-2014 to mid-2016, while the wider inspection market had shrunk. Another way oil companies are looking to cut costs is by using their vast amounts of data to better predict their needs. Since the price slump, companies including Shell, ExxonMobil and Statoil have started using software that can better manage their data to cut wastage in the ordering of construction materials. Stuck with excess material, some companies suffered huge losses because the resale value was much lower and in some cases they even took to burying unwanted material, according to Intergraph, a unit of Swedish tech firm Hexagon that develops such systems for oil industry clients. "Previously, it was industry standard to order 3-5 percent more materials than needed, which in a billion-dollar project is a lot of money," said Patrick Holcomb, executive vice president at Intergraph. Better managing data has helped oil firms understand exactly how much material is needed and when it will be delivered, cutting excess to one or two tenths of a percent, he added. Gunnar Presthus, Nordic energy lead at consultancy Accenture, who advises oil majors and national oil companies, said the downturn had led to the industry waking up to the potential of the data they store. "The oil industry, to some extent, is one of the most digitalized industries," he said. "Companies are now able to use this wealth of data to make changes that will save money."


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

There’s a new way for investors to bet on the miracle of American natural gas and the genius of Charif Souki. As of last week Souki’s Tellurian Investments completed a reverse takeover of publicly traded Magellan Petroleum. The company has been renamed Tellurian, has a new ticker symbol (TELL), and big plans to build a new liquefied natural gas export facility in Calcasieu Parish, La. The project, called Driftwood LNG, will cost around $12 billion, and have the capacity to export 26 million tons of LNG per year, the equivalent of about 3.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Construction hasn’t started yet, but Souki expects Driftwood to be operational in late 2022. To get through engineering and permitting, Souki has already raised about $200 million from French oil giant Total, and another $25 million from General Electric. He doesn’t expect any problems in raising the the rest, thanks to his track record at LNG trailblazer Cheniere Energy. “The cost of equity is significantly cheaper,” says Souki. “We’ve proved the concept.” Souki, 64, is the closest thing to a rock star in the world of American liquefied natural gas. The founder of Cheniere Energy was the first, a decade ago, to figure out how to secure the approvals and billions in financing to build new LNG import terminal. Back then the conventional wisdom was that the U.S. was running short on domestic natural gas — to meet demand we’d have to import the stuff, chilled to -260 degrees, from gas giants like Qatar. (That landed him a Forbes Magazine story “First Mover” in 2005.) And yet by the time Cheniere had completed the first of its giant thermos–bottle-like tanks at Sabine Pass, Texas, the need for them had evaporated. The American shale gas boom unlocked more domestic gas than anyone had ever dreamed of, and Cheniere’s tanks (big enough to fit a Boeing 747) were white elephants memorializing an expensive wrong way bet. But Souki, a Lebanese immigrant, former restauranteur and investment banker, managed to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Cheniere borrowed another $10 billion to rework Sabine Pass to take that newly plentiful shale gas and export it. (We did a second Forbes Magazine story in 2013.) The plan was so unlikely that when Cheniere’s stock was languishing around $1.50 in 2010, its board agreed to incentivize the heck out of Souki. “They gave me a compensation package subject to a lot of milestones they thought would never materialize,” he says. Even though he pulled off the turnaround that sent Cheniere shares surging to $80, Souki’s nearly $150 million pay package shocked the industry. (I maintained in 2014 that he deserved every penny.) By then Carl Icahn had gotten on board the Cheniere train. He wanted Cheniere to complete its projects and transition into a cash cow. Souki wanted to keep building, and borrowing. Icahn won, and in late 2015 he pushed Souki out of the company. “I think they were not so much second guessing me as they were tired of me,” Souki smiles. “What I love is creating new projects. They wanted to slow down and absorb what  Cheniere was doing; they didn’t want to accelerate at the pace that I wanted.” It was an ignominious dismissal — a few months later Sabine Pass christened its equipment with an inaugural export. Souki didn’t seem to mind that much; he decamped to Aspen while plotting his comeback. He and former BG Group macher Martin Houston launched Tellurian nearly a year ago. Souki says investors have lined up to back them; a nice change from those early days at Cheniere. And yet they have a lot more competition, first from the big wave of new American LNG export capacity coming on line in the next few years. Adding up Cheniere’s projects under construction in Sabine Pass and Corpus Christi, plus rivals Freeport LNG, Sempra’s Cameron LNG, and Dominion Energy’s Cove Point, and by the end of the decade the U.S. will be exporting about 10% of domestic gas supply, or roughly 9 billion cubic feet per day. On top of that will come the next wave of projects, like Magnolia LNG, Texas LNG and another plant at Port Arthur. Exxon Mobil could even get around to adding liquefaction capacity at its Golden Pass site. And then there’s the international projects, like Chevron’s $60 billion Gorgon in Australia, and Exxon’s planned expansion in Papua New Guinea. All told, more than 100 billion cubic feet per day of new LNG supply is set to hit the market in the next 5 years — a roughly 50% increase and enough to fill about 15 giant tankers, each day. Souki sees enough LNG sloshing around the world market for gas will become as fungible as it is for oil — with every cargo potentially a spot cargo, able to be redirected wherever prices are highest. And he has no doubt at all that U.S. exports will compete head-to-head with supply from the likes of Qatar and Australia. “The U.S. is the low-cost gas provider in the world,” he says. The Haynesville shale can produce for about $1.50 per million BTU, while costs are less than $1 out of the Marcellus and Utica. Same with the Eagle Ford and Permian. Natural gas on the Gulf Coast now sells at $3 per mmBTU. Chilling the gas down to a liquid costs about $2.50 per mmBTU, and then there’s another $1.50 or so in shipping costs. Considering that LNG into Japan and Korea is fetching about $8, that leaves a decent profit margin. For now anyway. Souki figures that America’s shale fields have 100 years worth of cheap gas to enjoy. Plus, construction costs on the Gulf Coast, already the world’s biggest petrochemical center, have proven to be cheap — about $600 per ton of liquefaction capacity — less than half that of frontier regions like Australia’s Barrow Island. He should be able to compete with anyone. “My first focus at Tellurian is to make sure we’re the low-cost provider of natural gas on a global basis. Everything else comes from there. It’s not just liquefaction. I want to source it as cheap as possible, pipe it as cheap as possible and liquefy it as cheap as possible. So if I’m leaving the Gulf Coast at the lowest cost, it gives me tremendous optionality.” Souki and Martin Houston will be the power behind the scenes of the new public company; day-to-day management will be handled by CEO Meg Gentile, Souki’s long-time lieutenant at Cheniere. He relishes the freedom to “sit and think and come up with ideas and imagine where the world of natural gas is going.” He expects the Trump Administration “is going to be a little bit better, but not significantly” for the American oil and gas industry. “Even under 8 years of Democratic administration we increased our production dramatically; we became a net exporter of natural gas. We decreased our demand on global oil to a large extent. We allowed uncounted new wells to be drilled and created thousands of new jobs.” The American oil and gas industry has never looked stronger. “I’m of a view that America is already great. I’m an immigrant from Lebanon, what do you want me to compare it to? Thanks for coming in the last inning.” Shares of the new Tellurian closed Monday at $11.61, down 17% on the day, but up 130% in 3 months. Market cap is about $2.3 billion. Souki and his family own about 65 million shares, or a third of the company, while Martin Houston has 24.1 million, 12.3%. Oil company Total has 23.5%. Senior Editor Chris Helman is based in Houston, Texas. Contact him on Twitter @chrishelman.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Bagsværd, Denmark, 24 February 2017 - The Annual General Meeting of Novo Nordisk A/S will be held on: The notice for the Annual General Meeting, including Appendix 1: Candidates for the Board of Directors and Appendix 2: Revised Remuneration Principles, is enclosed. BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PROPOSED CHANGES IN COMPOSITION All board members elected by the Annual General Meeting are up for election. Bruno Angelici does not seek re-election as member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors proposes re-election of the following board members elected by the Annual General Meeting: Göran Ando (chairman), Jeppe Christiansen (vice chairman), Brian Daniels, Sylvie Grégoire, Liz Hewitt and Mary Szela. The Board of Directors proposes election of Kasim Kutay and Helge Lund as new members of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. Mr Kutay is chief executive officer of Novo A/S, Denmark. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Kutay primarily because of his extensive experience as financial advisor to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Furthermore, Mr Kutay has advised healthcare companies on an international basis including companies based in Europe, the USA, Japan and India. Mr Lund is former chief executive officer of the integrated gas company, BG Group plc. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Lund primarily because of his extensive executive and board experience in large multinational companies headquartered in Scandinavia within regulated markets and significant financial knowledge.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Bagsværd, Denmark, 24 February 2017 - The Annual General Meeting of Novo Nordisk A/S will be held on: The notice for the Annual General Meeting, including Appendix 1: Candidates for the Board of Directors and Appendix 2: Revised Remuneration Principles, is enclosed. BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PROPOSED CHANGES IN COMPOSITION All board members elected by the Annual General Meeting are up for election. Bruno Angelici does not seek re-election as member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors proposes re-election of the following board members elected by the Annual General Meeting: Göran Ando (chairman), Jeppe Christiansen (vice chairman), Brian Daniels, Sylvie Grégoire, Liz Hewitt and Mary Szela. The Board of Directors proposes election of Kasim Kutay and Helge Lund as new members of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. Mr Kutay is chief executive officer of Novo A/S, Denmark. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Kutay primarily because of his extensive experience as financial advisor to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Furthermore, Mr Kutay has advised healthcare companies on an international basis including companies based in Europe, the USA, Japan and India. Mr Lund is former chief executive officer of the integrated gas company, BG Group plc. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Lund primarily because of his extensive executive and board experience in large multinational companies headquartered in Scandinavia within regulated markets and significant financial knowledge.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Bagsværd, Denmark, 24 February 2017 - The Annual General Meeting of Novo Nordisk A/S will be held on: The notice for the Annual General Meeting, including Appendix 1: Candidates for the Board of Directors and Appendix 2: Revised Remuneration Principles, is enclosed. BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PROPOSED CHANGES IN COMPOSITION All board members elected by the Annual General Meeting are up for election. Bruno Angelici does not seek re-election as member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors proposes re-election of the following board members elected by the Annual General Meeting: Göran Ando (chairman), Jeppe Christiansen (vice chairman), Brian Daniels, Sylvie Grégoire, Liz Hewitt and Mary Szela. The Board of Directors proposes election of Kasim Kutay and Helge Lund as new members of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. Mr Kutay is chief executive officer of Novo A/S, Denmark. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Kutay primarily because of his extensive experience as financial advisor to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Furthermore, Mr Kutay has advised healthcare companies on an international basis including companies based in Europe, the USA, Japan and India. Mr Lund is former chief executive officer of the integrated gas company, BG Group plc. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Lund primarily because of his extensive executive and board experience in large multinational companies headquartered in Scandinavia within regulated markets and significant financial knowledge.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Bagsværd, Denmark, 24 February 2017 - The Annual General Meeting of Novo Nordisk A/S will be held on: The notice for the Annual General Meeting, including Appendix 1: Candidates for the Board of Directors and Appendix 2: Revised Remuneration Principles, is enclosed. BOARD OF DIRECTORS - PROPOSED CHANGES IN COMPOSITION All board members elected by the Annual General Meeting are up for election. Bruno Angelici does not seek re-election as member of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors proposes re-election of the following board members elected by the Annual General Meeting: Göran Ando (chairman), Jeppe Christiansen (vice chairman), Brian Daniels, Sylvie Grégoire, Liz Hewitt and Mary Szela. The Board of Directors proposes election of Kasim Kutay and Helge Lund as new members of the Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. Mr Kutay is chief executive officer of Novo A/S, Denmark. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Kutay primarily because of his extensive experience as financial advisor to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Furthermore, Mr Kutay has advised healthcare companies on an international basis including companies based in Europe, the USA, Japan and India. Mr Lund is former chief executive officer of the integrated gas company, BG Group plc. The Board of Directors recommends election of Mr Lund primarily because of his extensive executive and board experience in large multinational companies headquartered in Scandinavia within regulated markets and significant financial knowledge.


The relatively simplistic facies models for lacustrine carbonates do not currently incorporate either the diversity of microbialite carbonate development or the influence of volcanicrelated processes found in rift settings. The basic nature of the carbonate factories in these systems, whether microbial, macrophytic, skeletal or abiogenic, is not resolved. Lacustrine microbialites can develop in shallow lakes as concentrations of microbialite mounds covering many hundreds of square kilometres, or as bathymetrically controlled facies belts, but in many rift settings vent-related thermal and non-thermal carbonates (travertines and tufas) are a major component. Subaqueous vent-related carbonates, with evidence of microbial activity, can produce seismicscale carbonate build-ups in deeper lakes or apparently more stratiform accumulations in shallow lakes. In lakes with only volcanic catchments, Mg and silica activity, coupled with high carbonate alkalinity and microbial influences, can potentially generate a complex set of mineral-microbe interactions and products, creating a unique set of challenges for predicting and understanding reservoirs in such settings. © The Geological Society of London 2012.

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