1. Shell Kicks Off Q4 Results With a Bang
- The second largest investor-owned oil and gas company in the world, Shell has kicked off this month’s Q4 earnings calls exceeding expectations and promising to maintain the pace of buybacks despite lower commodity prices.
- Shell posted a net profit of $28 billion for 2023, beating analyst expectations with Q4 readings of $7.3 billion thanks to improved LNG trading as well as higher production after Australia’s Prelude facility came back online.
- The UK-based energy major cut spending on its renewables and energy solutions divisions by 23% last year, at $2.7 billion accounting for 11% of the company’s total spending, down from 14% in 2022.
- Shell still needs to fend off pressure from activist investors as a group of 27 shareholders led by Follow This filed a resolution demanding tighter climate targets, after a similar initiative last year that only won the backing of 20% of shareholders.
2. Africa Becomes World’s Hottest Drilling Hotspot
- Seeking to bounce back from a disappointing year of 2023 that saw high drilling activity but very few large commercial discoveries, upstream operators are zooming in on Africa and Latin America to discover new crude frontiers.
- Rystad Energy has identified 36 high-impact wells to be drilled in 2024, the highest total since 2014, and Africa seems to be taking the lead amongst all continents, with 13 likely prospects.