荷兰皇家壳牌(Royal Dutch Shell)周三表示，已经放弃与卡塔尔石油公司(Qatar Petroleum)合作开展一个价值65亿美元的石化项目的计划，原因是“能源行业当前的经济气候”。
Royal Dutch Shell has scrapped plans for a $6.5bn petrochemicals project with Qatar Petroleum, citing “the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry”, the oil major said on Wednesday.
The Al Karaana project, an 80:20 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell, would have produced 2m tonnes a year of petrochemicals products, largely intended for Asian markets.
The decision not to proceed — a significant move following the halving of oil prices since last summer — was taken “after a careful and thorough evaluation of commercial quotations” from engineering, procurement and construction bidders, Shell said.
These showed “high capital costs rendering it commercially unfeasible, particularly in the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry.”
Crude oil prices have plunged by more than 50 per cent since mid-June, creating winners and losers.
Those who have suffered include producers and governments, whereas some companies stand to benefit from a fall in energy costs. This has encouraged analysts to liken the potential boost for the global economy to a huge programme of “quantitative easing”.
For oil companies, the falling price has triggered industry-wide scrutiny of capital spending, with the so-called majors — the biggest groups with upstream and downstream operations — expected to cut billions of dollars from exploration and development projects in the coming year, deferring and even axing programmes.
Under pressure to improve returns following the first profit warning in its history last year, Shell had already embarked on an intense round of cost-cutting before the slide in international crude prices to below $50 a barrel, from more than $110 last summer.
截止去年第三季度末，壳牌按照新任首席执行官范伯登(Ben van Beurden)提出的紧缩项目，宣布了140亿美元的资产处置措施。
By the end of the third quarter, the Anglo-Dutch major had announced asset disposals of $14bn under a belt-tightening programme initiated by new chief executive Ben van Beurden.
It has promised to pursue profits over production growth and aims to deliver $30bn to investors through dividends and share buybacks over 2014 and 2015. It said in October it was braced for a sustained price downturn and was now taking further action.
以卡塔尔古代的一个村庄命名的Al Karaana项目，就是壳牌即将削减此类计划支出的一个例子。壳牌与卡塔尔石油公司在2011年12月同意在卡塔尔拉斯拉凡(Ras Laffan)联合建设一座大型综合性工厂，每年生产200万吨的石化产品，其中大部分产品来自一个全球最大的单乙二醇工厂。
Al Karaana, which took its name from an ancient Qatari village, is an example of the kind of planned spending the oil majors will be paring back. The joint venture to develop a huge complex at Ras Laffan, agreed in December 2011, would have produced 2m tonnes a year of petrochemicals, the bulk of which would have come from a monoethylene glycol plant, the largest of its kind in the world.
In March 2013 Fluor of the US won the major front-end engineering and design contract for the project. Feedstock for the plant would have come from natural gas projects in Qatar.
Shell’s existing ventures with Qatar Petroleum, including Pearl GTL, the world’s biggest integrated gas-to-liquids plant, located at Ras Laffan, are unaffected.
Shares in Shell were down 2.3 per cent at £20.28 in afternoon London trading, following further falls in Brent crude to $46.