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The BFD: Sandy bottom
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell most of its Canadian oil sands assets to Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ) for around $7.25 billion.
Why it's the BFD: When Exxon Mobil and Norway's Statoil either canceled or delayed Canadian oil sands projects over the past couple years, some industry execs wagged their blame fingers at President Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. But Shell is bailing after President Trump put Keystone back on track, because current oil prices no longer make it cost effective. There also is an environmental angle here for Shell, as oil sands are particularly filthy and the Dutch company just tied 10% of exec bonuses to progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions from its refineries, chemical plants and natural gas fields.
Bottom line: "Oil-company executives have worried about whether oil-sands projects will become an albatross. Production in some areas is so expensive that it can't be justified without oil prices much higher than the $50 to $55 a barrel that crude futures have traded at in recent weeks." ― Ian Walker