Royal Dutch Shell Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 9:30 am ET


Peter R. Voser - Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Simon Henry - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director


Irene Himona - Societe Generale Cross Asset Research

Theepan Jothilingam - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Iain Reid - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Jon Rigby - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division

Robert A. Kessler - Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. Securities, Inc., Research Division

Lucas Herrmann - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division

Alastair Roderick Syme - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Jason Kenney - Grupo Santander, Research Division

Hootan Yazhari - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Neill Morton - Berenberg Bank, Research Division

Martijn Rats - Morgan Stanley, Research Division

Ken Ménager

Richard Ivor Griffith - Oriel Securities Ltd., Research Division

Rahim Karim - Barclays Capital, Research Division


Unknown Executive

Good afternoon, ladies and gents. I'm the Security Manager for the [indiscernible]. I just want to have a quick brief on fire regulations over here. Just to let you know that we do not have any fire drills on for today. Also to let you know that should you hear the alarm, we have a 2-stage alarm, that we have to go and investigate the alarm first. And then when you hear the second alarm and if it's a continuous alarm, then we have members of our team who will be escorting you out accordingly. Okay. Thank you very much.

Peter R. Voser

Thank you very much. Great. Welcome to the Royal Dutch Shell Second Quarter 2012 Results Presentation. So Simon and I will take you through the results and update you on where we are with our strategy. And then there will be plenty of time for questions at the end. We'll take questions here from the room, but also from the web.

Obviously, you know the drill in this one. Let me start with the overview, the global economy. Again the energy markets are likely to see continued high volatility. This is really an interplay between structural growth in energy demand and on the other side, some unprecedented geopolitical events, such as we see playing out in the Eurozone at the moment, Arab Spring comes to mind and the others.

Now this is a very complex landscape for us in the energy industry and in a highly interconnected world, therefore, we see a lot of opportunities for a global integrated company like Shell. We are on track for our cash flow targets of up to $200 billion for 2012 to '15, which as you know, is some 50% higher than the previous 4 years. And we're also on track for oil and gas production of some 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2017 and '18, the outcome of our investment decisions and financial targets.

Now this is an ambitious program and we have got lots to do. So let me, over the next few minutes, update on where we are with our progress on all of this. Our Q2 2012 CCS earnings, including -- excluding identified items, were $5.7 billion or $13 billion for the first half. Now in the second quarter, we had a lot of planned maintenance, actually, as some of it we have indicated, and we also had some timing issues on dividend payments, that together was roughly $500 million, which you need to take into account when you look at our clean earnings.

Now we are seeing the impact of the weaker economy in our results. We sold $4 billion of assets in the first 6 months of the year, as we improve Shell's capital efficiency from -- and we form strategic partnerships and upgrade the portfolio.

The underlying Upstream volumes were good. They were up 4%. We have new projects under construction for medium-term growth, making deliberate top down choices with our investments, where we can add value with technology, with integration and the scale of Shell.

Now we're also working hard to get choice into our portfolio with new exploration acreage and new integrated gas opportunities crystallizing in 2012, and I'll come back to that with a slide later on. So it has been a busy time and still is a busy time in 2012, and I will give you now some more details on the issues which we're working on.

First let me start with continuous improvement. We are working on these programs across the company and the opportunities, they run actually into the billions of the dollars from a potential point of view. In Downstream, for example, where industry returns are likely to remain under pressure for some time, we have put a lot of work into reducing our unplanned downtime in our refineries and chemical plants. There's clearly more to come here, but I'm -- what we have seen so far are very positive trends. This is actually the first half unplanned downtime at historically low levels and the top quartile industry performance.

The Port Arthur refinery expansion project on the Gulf Coast, which had crude distillation unit damage shortly after startup, is not yet in the figures on this chart. The Motiva joint venture, which runs this plant, expects the crude units restarts to be delayed into 2013. Now let me just be clear, we are not happy with this. And we are investigating and we're working hard to turn this around and actually learn out of the incident.

On the Upstream side, we are coming to the end of the ramp-up of the 3 large projects we have been working for the last 6 years or so. Qatar LNG and GTL and Canada Oil Sands, and I think many of you have been visit -- have had the chance to visit these assets. Large scale, taking low Upstream volumes into end-user products markets major investments as infrastructure and technology.

These are all the seams [ph] where Shell adds a lot of value. Now Qatargas 4 energy achieved full production in 2011 and it has already delivered 9.8 million tonnes of LNG in 11 countries.

AOSP expansion one in oil sands Canada has been operating at all quality adjusted design rates in the second quarter. Pearl Gas-to-Liquids has already produced 4.5 million tonnes of NGLs and GTL products, and both trains have run at 90% to 100% of design rates. This is a great achievement and Pearl is one of a kind of an asset. And some of you, or most of you, have seen it as well.

Now we have already learned a lot about this facility, which gives us new opportunities for continuous improvements. Maintenance, started in the second quarter, will continue during the third quarter, impacting production with minor modifications as we get both GTL trains and the utilities running as a single integrated asset. This is all building up to the final slate and marketing the higher-value products of what I call the Downstream side of the project, essentially a gas-based refinery.

Now I want to change the emphasis here. The last 6 years have been all about the construction and ramp-up phase of these exciting projects. Going forward on these 3, it's all about safe and reliable production operations, getting more out of the assets from things like debottlenecking of oil sands for example, catalyst improvements, more product placed in high-value specialty markets and petrochemicals opportunities in Qatar and maximizing commercial returns in the integrated value chains on all of these projects.

So you might hear less about them in our presentations, but they are going to be important drivers of the results. First half 2012 production from these 3 was 360,000 BOE per day, compared to 184 per day in the first half of '11. They generated $2.7 billion or 12% of the first half of our CFFO, cash flow from operations, and $1.8 billion or 14% of first-half earnings.

I think if you look at Shell's growth profile in the last few years, the investment profile was really dominated by Qatar and by Canada. Now there is an important shift in our project flow here because these 3 are now onstream, with a large number of projects driving the next wave of growth. This, of course, diversifies shareholder risk compared to the position in the last few years.

Some 60% of our Upstream spending this year, for example, is in North America and in Australia. We have around 8 billion barrels of resources under construction, over 20 projects underway, and more than 30 more on the drawing board to sustain our growth profile. Now all of this built into the cash flow and production targets that we have set for the company, which I mentioned earlier.

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