Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS.A)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

July 29, 2010 8:30 am ET

Executives

Peter Voser – CEO

Simon Henry – CFO

Analysts

Alejandro Demichelis – Merrill Lynch

Lucy Haskins – Barclays Capital

Robert Kessler – Simmons & Company

Irene Himona – Exane at BNP Paribas

Mark Gilman – Benchmark

Theepan Jothilingam – Morgan Stanley

Gordon Gray – Collins Stewart

Jon Rigby – UBS

Joseph Tovey – Tovey & Company

Paul Spedding – HSBC

Jason Kenney – ING

Mark Fletcher – Citigroup

Simon Hawkins – Ambrian

David Cline – Royal Bank of Scotland

Paul Andriessen – ABM Amro

Bertrand Hodée – Kepler

Presentation

Peter Voser

Thank you, operator, and welcome to the Royal Dutch Shell second quarter 2010 results presentation. First, we please take a moment to read the cautionary statement. Simon and I will take you through the results and update you on where we are with strategy, and there will be plenty of time for questions at the end. CCS earnings excluding identified items were $4.2 billion in the second quarter in earnings per share increase of some 33% from the second quarter of '09.

Our performance in the quarter underlines that we're delivering on our strategy. Upstream volumes are up by 5.5% and we have delivered underlying cost savings of over $3.5 billion.

We have finished the corporate restructuring phase that I announced a year ago, and exceeded our cost and head counts reduction targets. With corporate construction now completed, we're moving into a mode of continuous improvement and this includes a relentless focus on performance and more asset sales as we trim the portfolio and improve capitalizations.

Today, we are in gross window with new projects ramping up well. And we continue to make good progress on medium-term options with new tight gas streams announced in the second quarter. Let me give you some details.

Back in March when we had our strategy meeting, we outlined Shell's strategy for the next several years. We're improving our near-term performance, delivering a new wave of growth into 2012 and maturing the next generation of projects for growth for 2013 and beyond. It's a portfolio that can support growth to at least 2020. We have made progress on all of these items and themes so far this year. Let me give you an update.

First on the performance focus. The corporate restructuring program we announced a year ago, which was called Transition '09 is now complete. The three new businesses upstream America, upstream International and P+&T are great platform for faster delivery of strategy, clearer accountabilities and a more competitive focus. These reorganization plus our programs in downstream and support functions have taken out over $3.5 billion of underlying costs. This is about 15% ahead of the target we set and 6 months ahead of schedule.

We have safety and asset integrity from these cost programs and we continue to invest properly in those areas. These savings included the target head count reduction of some 7,000 for 2009 to 2011 mostly from non-technical errors. This head count adoption is about 18 months ahead of the target we have set.

We have closed a chapter on corporate restructuring, which was really a top-down approach and now, we move into what I call a continuous improvement mode. This is all about smaller, incremental initiatives to enhance our performance and a more commercial mindset in Shell. It thinks like simpler structures, standardisationing contracting, processing and procurement and lean processes.

In support areas like IT and science, for example, we're moving standardized functions to shared service centers in low-cost countries. We now have 8,000 staff and six shared service centers with more to come. I also want to put more focus on fine tuning the petroleum. Working on capital efficiency and concentrating on the most attractive growth positions.

We're increasing the pace of asset sales here with some 7 billion to $8 billion of disposals expected for 2010 and ‘011 in both upstream and downstream. Downstream we are aiming to make quite significant shifts, for example, in Europe and Africa. Upstream, I think of this as trimming the edges of the portfolio, rather than deep changes in ratings and exposures.

So those are some comments on performance focus. Now, turning to the second leg of the strategy, which is growth delivery. We are in a delivery window with a sequence of 13 new projects to come on stream in 2010 and ‘011. These projects underpin our cash flow and production growth targets and 11% increase in 2009 to 2012, production to 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalents per day. The 50% increase in 2009 to 2012 cash flow at $60 oil price. Last year startups are ramping up well. BC-10, for example, in deepwater Brazil is producing 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and initially expected 60,000 from this complex reservoir in the first phase. By the end of the second quarter, we had the startup up to 250,000-barrel of oil equivalents per day in Gbaran-Ubie project onshore Nigeria. This will be an important supplier for Nigeria LNG and also domestic gas costs.

Now, we have a series of further startups to the end of 2011. The next project to come online will be in Canada, where commissioning of the new mine at AOSP is well underway and startup is expected soon. With the Scotford upgrader expansion in 2011 major construction at Pearl in Canada 4 [ph] will be finished by the end of this year and with ramp up for both projects in 2011. These are exciting times on the growth side and we are firmly in the delivery mode window here.

Now, let me turn to the third strategic theme, generating new options for future growth, and this is really about 2013 and beyond. Shell Explorers have made five new discoveries this year in the United States and in Australia. We have also worked on a series of acquisitions and joint ventures this year both upstream and downstream. These ideas like North American tight gas acreage with potential for 16 TCF of new resources, the Australia coal bed methane potential for a 7 to 8 million ton per annum LNG project

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