Sep 30, 2020

Shell confirms up to 9,000 job cuts

shell
Renewables
DigitalTransformation
Bizclik Editor
4 min
CEO Ben Ven Beurden says it has to be a simpler, more streamlined and nimble organisation
CEO Ben Ven Beurden says it has to be a simpler, more streamlined and nimble organisation...

Shell will cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022, it confirmed today. The figure includes around 1,500 people who have agreed to take voluntary redundancy this year.

The energy giant said "reduced organisational complexity", along with other measures, are expected to deliver sustainable annual cost savings of between $2 and $2.5 billion within two years.

Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, said: "We have to be a simpler, more streamlined, more competitive organisation that is more nimble and able to respond to customers."

He added the company faces a "big mission" with the energy transition to a low-carbon future, whether that's developing new types of biofuels and making them commercially viable, for example, or developing hydrogen for heavy-duty road transport in areas where nothing exists yet. Educating its customers will be key as about 85% of its carbon footprint comes from customers’ emissions when they use Shell products. 

While Shell has made in-roads with renewable energy, van Beurden acknowledged "it all needs to accelerate".

He said Upstream will be critical to it has financial strength to invest in low carbon, refining will be refocused so its "smaller but smarter" and integrated gas will focus more on unlocking markets and focusing on customers' needs. Sector updates are as follows:

Integrated Gas

  • Production is expected to be between 820 and 860 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day
  • LNG liquefaction volumes are expected to be between 7.9 and 8.3 million tonnes
  • Trading and optimisation results are expected to be below average
  • A one-off tax charge is expected to have a negative impact on Adjusted Earnings in the range of $100 to $200 million, no cash impact is expected in the third quarter
  • Approximately 80 percent of term sales of LNG in 2020 have been oil price linked with a price-lag of up to 6 months. Consequently, lower realised prices due to this price-lag are expected to have a significant impact on LNG margins in Q3
  • CFFO can be impacted by margining resulting from movements in the forward commodity curves up until the last day of the quarter. Margining inflows are expected to be in line with Q2 2020

Upstream

  • Production is expected to be between 2,150-2,250 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, which includes a production impact of 60 to 70 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day from hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico
  • Realised liquids prices in the first two months of this quarter reflected a 15 to 20 percent discount to Brent, similar to the discount in the second quarter 2020. Realised gas prices are trending in line with Henry Hub
  • Depreciation is expected to be at a similar level as in the second quarter 2020
  • Similar to the second quarter 2020, while Adjusted Earnings are expected to show a loss, CFFO is not expected to reflect equivalent cash tax effects due to the build-up of deferred tax positions in a number of countries

Oil Products

  • Refinery utilisation is expected to be between 64-68 percent
  • Realised gross Refining margins are expected to be significantly lower compared with Q2 2020
  • Sales volumes are expected to be between 4,000 and 5,000 thousand barrels per day
  • Trading and optimisation results are expected to be lower than the historical average and significantly lower compared with Q2 2020
  • Marketing margins are expected to be significantly higher compared with Q2 2020
  • Compared with Q2 2020, Adjusted Earnings are expected to be negatively impacted by $200 to $400 million due to higher volume driven activity, phasing of maintenance activities and provisions.
  • A one-off deferred tax benefit is expected to have a positive impact on Adjusted Earnings of around $100 million, no cash impact is expected in the third quarter.
  • Working capital movements are typically impacted by movements between the quarter opening and closing price of crude along with changes in inventory volume. Inventory volumes are expected to be lower compared with the end of Q2 2020, impacting working capital positively.

Chemicals

  • Chemicals manufacturing plant utilisation is expected to be between 79-83 percent
  • Chemicals sales volumes are expected to between 3,700 and 4,000 thousand tonnes
  • Compared with Q2 2020, Adjusted Earnings are expected to be negatively impacted by around $100 million due to increased activity, provisions and phasing of maintenance activities

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Jul 26, 2021

Form Energy receives funding power for iron-air batteries

Energy
batteries
grid
Renewables
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Startup Form Energy receives $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund to further develop iron-air batteries

Form Energy believes it has cracked the conundrum of commercialising grid storage through iron-air batteries - and some of the biggest names in industry are backing its potential.

The startup recently announced the battery chemistry of its first commercial product and a $200 million Series D financing round led by ArcelorMittal’s XCarb innovation fund. Founded in 2017, Form Energy is backed by investors Eni Next LLC, MIT’s The Engine, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Prelude Ventures, Capricorn Investment Group and Macquarie Capital.

While solar and wind resources are the lowest marginal cost sources of electricity, the grid faces a challenge: how to manage the multi-day variability of renewable energy, even in periods of multi-day weather events, without sacrificing energy reliability or affordability.

Moreover, while Lithium-ion batteries are well suited to fast bursts of energy production, they run out of energy after just a few hours. Iron-air batteries, however, are predicted to have theoretical energy densities of more than 1,200 Wh/kg according to Renaissance of the iron-air battery (phys.org)

The active components of Form Energy's iron-air battery system are some of the cheapest, and most abundant materials: iron, water, and air. Iron-air batteries are the best solution to balance the multi-day variability of renewable energy due to their extremely low cost, safety, durability, and global scalability.

It claims its first commercial product is a rechargeable iron-air battery capable of delivering electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with conventional power plants and at less than 1/10th the cost of lithium-ion and can be optimised to store electricity for 100 hours at system costs competitive with legacy power plants.

"This product is our first step to tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonisation: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather, grid outages, or periods of low renewable generation," it states.

Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and Co-founder of Form Energy, said it conducted a broad review of available technologies and has reinvented the iron-air battery to optimise it for multi-day energy storage for the electric grid. "With this technology, we are tackling the biggest barrier to deep decarbonization: making renewable energy available when and where it’s needed, even during multiple days of extreme weather or grid outages," he said.

Form Energy and ArcelorMittal are working jointly on the development of iron materials which ArcelorMittal would non-exclusively supply for Form’s battery systems. Form Energy intends to source the iron domestically and manufacture the battery systems near where they will be sited. Form Energy’s first project is with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy, located near the heart of the American Iron Range.

Greg Ludkovsky, Global Head of Research and Development at ArcelorMittal, believes Form Energy is at the leading edge of developments in the long-duration, grid-scale battery storage space. "The multi-day energy storage technology they have developed holds exciting potential to overcome the issue of intermittent supply of renewable energy."

Investors in Form Energy's November 2020 round included Energy Impact Partners, NGP Energy Technology Partners III, and Temasek.

In May 2020, it signed a contract with Minnesota-based utility Great River Energy to jointly deploy a 1MW / 150MWh pilot project to be located in Cambridge, MN. Great River Energy is Minnesota's second-largest electric utility and the fifth largest generation and transmission cooperative in the US.

Last week Helena and Energy Vault announced a strategic partnership to identify additional opportunities for Energy Vault’s waste remediation technologies as the company begins deployment of its energy storage system worldwide. It received new investment from Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV) in June.

Maoneng has revealed more details of its proposed 240MWp / 480MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia (click here).

The BESS represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment that will improve electricity grid reliability and network stability by drawing energy from the grid during off-peak periods for battery storage, and dispatching energy to the grid during peak periods. 

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