We have a 39% interest in the Val d’Agri producing concession, operated by ENI.
We also have a 25% interest in the Tempa Rossa producing concession operated by Total.
Shell and ExxonMobil are 50:50 shareholders in Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. (NAM). An important part of NAM’s gas production comes from the onshore Groningen gas field, in which NAM holds a 60% interest. The remaining 40% interest is held by EBN, a Dutch government entity.
Production from the Groningen field induces earthquakes that cause damage to houses and other buildings and structures in the region. This has led to complaints and claims for compensation for damage from the local community. NAM is working with the Dutch government and other stakeholders to fulfil its obligations to the residents of the area, which include compensation for damage caused by above-mentioned earthquakes.
Since 2013, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate has set an annual production level for the Groningen field taking into account all interests, including safety of the residents, security of supply in the domestic gas market as well as supply commitments in EU member states. Production in the gas year 2018-2019 (ending October 1, 2019) was capped at 19.4 billion cubic metres; actual production in this period was 17.5 billion cubic metres.
In June 2018, NAM’s shareholders and the Dutch government signed a Heads of Agreement (HoA) to reduce production from Groningen and to ensure the financial robustness of NAM to fulfil its obligations. In the HoA, NAM’s shareholders have agreed not to declare dividends for 2018 and 2019. Dividend payments in 2020 and beyond will only be done if a solvency ratio of 25% is reached. In September 2018, detailed agreements were signed to further implement the HoA. As part of these agreements, Shell guarantees NAM’s payment obligations vis-à-vis the Dutch government in relation to earthquake-related damages and costs of strengthening houses, up to a maximum of 30%. This maximum equates to Shell’s indirect interest in the Groningen production system.
In September 2019, the government issued an update announcing that it was able to reduce Groningen production faster, stopping production in 2022, eight years earlier than initially planned. Negotiations are ongoing between the government and the NAM shareholders to discuss the compensation payable by the government to NAM in order to restore the balance of the package of arrangements laid down in the 2018 HoA.
NAM also has a 60% interest in the Schoonebeek oil field and operates 25 other hydrocarbon production licences onshore and offshore in the North Sea.
We are a partner in 34 production licences on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. We are the operator in 14 of these, of which two are producing: the Knarr field (Shell interest 45%), and the Ormen Lange gas field (Shell interest 17.8%). We have interests in the producing fields Troll, Kvitebjørn, Sindre and Valemon, where we are not the operator.
We operate a significant number of our interests on the UK Continental Shelf under a 50:50 joint venture agreement with ExxonMobil. In addition to our oil and gas production from North Sea fields, we have various interests in the Atlantic Margin area where we are not the operator, principally in the West of Shetland area (Clair, Shell interest 28%), and Schiehallion (Shell interest approximately 45%).
In June 2019 the “Pioneering Spirit” vessel safely completed the single-lift removal of the 25,000-tonne Brent Bravo topside from the North Sea. Brent Bravo is the second of four platforms, after Brent Delta, to be decommissioned and removed from the Brent oil and gas field. The UK government initiated consultation with the other signatories of the OSPAR Convention on whether to issue derogations for leaving in-situ the footings of the Brent Alpha steel jacket and each of the gravity-based concrete installations of Brent Bravo, Brent Charlie and Brent Delta.
In October 2019, we announced FID on a project to enable the export of gas and oil from the Pierce field, which lies 165 miles east of Aberdeen. It is a joint venture between Shell (92.52%) and Ithaca (7.48%). The project includes modifying the FPSO vessel, the Haewene Brim, owned and operated by Bluewater. Development is expected to take place between 2020 and 2021 and has Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) approval.
Rest of Europe
We also have interests in Albania, Bulgaria and Germany.