Close menu

September 19th, 2023 | 09:00 CEST

ExxonMobil, First Phosphate, Shell - The fight against black gold

  • Mining
  • phosphate
  • Oil
  • Batteries
Photo credits:

In order to combat climate change, politicians and industry are focusing on moving away from coal, oil and gas as quickly as possible. Burning fossil fuels, whether for electricity or in car engines, releases enormous amounts of greenhouse gas and is the primary driver of global warming. But the reality is different. Oil prices continue to rise, and multinationals are reaping record profits. Now, however, a lawsuit from the US could reverse the trend.

time to read: 3 minutes | Author: Stefan Feulner

Table of contents:

    Lawsuit against oil giants - California takes action

    Do the oil multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil or Chevron downplay the dangers and risks resulting from using fossil fuels? According to the state of California, this is a fact, and they are accusing the producers of black gold of "deception of the public." So, the Golden State is suing leading oil companies for misleading the public about the dangers of their products. The suit, filed in San Francisco, alleges that the companies have known for decades about the potentially "catastrophic consequences" of fossil fuels.

    Other US states have filed similar lawsuits, but California's case is particularly sensitive because the state is a major oil producer, and prosecutors have had success in the past, according to the New York Times. The lawsuit targets companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and Shell. Some of these companies reject the allegations and stress that climate change should be addressed globally, not judicially. The American Petroleum Institute sees the lawsuit as a coordinated attack on the industry. California is demanding that the oil companies pay for the costs incurred and pay penalties. California Governor Newsom accuses the oil industry of lying for more than 50 years. Richard Wiles of the Center for Climate Integrity calls the case the "most significant climate lawsuit" against the oil industry in the United States.

    Investors are not yet taking the aftermath of the lawsuit very seriously. The largest oil producers all began trading in New York with positive gains.

    First Phosphate - The hope of green energy

    While the oil multinationals are likely to face more and more waves of lawsuits in the coming years, producers of raw materials for electromobility and battery storage, in particular, should get a tailwind. First Phosphate focuses on extracting and purifying phosphate to produce active cathode material for the lithium iron phosphate battery industry. Along with copper and lithium, phosphate plays a critical role in energy storage in contemporary vehicles. LFP batteries have recently become increasingly popular due to their outstanding fire safety characteristics, durability and economic advantages.

    Automotive giants such as Tesla, Volkswagen and Mercedes are increasingly favouring this technology over traditional lithium-ion batteries. Research from Fortune Business Insights shows that the global LFP battery market will grow from USD 10 billion in 2021 to an impressive USD 50 billion by 2028.

    First Phosphate is taking a strategic position in this rapidly expanding sector and has acquired all of the land in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec. This region, which covers more than 1,500 sq km, offers excellent infrastructure and rare anorthosite igneous phosphate rocks. Phosphate of the highest quality is extracted from these rocks without any harmful admixtures. After various processing steps, this raw material is supplied as the purest battery-grade phosphoric acid to renowned LFP battery producers in North America. First Phosphate places great emphasis on high purity and production with a low carbon footprint.

    The agreement with American Battery Factory Inc. to support production of up to 40,000 t per year of fully North American produced active lithium iron phosphate cathode material has set an important course for the future.

    "Stationary energy storage and telecommunications applications are already an established market for LFP batteries in North America, along with the rapidly growing electric vehicle sector," said John Passalacqua, CEO of First Phosphate. "Launching our LFP feedstock strategy with a focused partner like ABF, which has existing LFP product demand in North America, allows us to enter the market in a prudent and pragmatic manner."

    Shell sells battery manufacturer

    In addition to filing a lawsuit, Shell, one of the largest petroleum and natural gas companies, popped up on the news pages with the sale of battery maker Sonnen. The German solar subsidiary, which Shell acquired only about 4 years ago, was supposed to be a building block for its new strategy of becoming one of the largest electricity providers. However, as Handelsblatt reported, citing financial circles, the deal will likely be a significantly positive trading transaction. The Company paid about EUR 500 million in the takeover in 2019. Currently, the transaction could range between EUR 1.35 billion and EUR 1.8 billion.

    In addition to Sonnen, Shell has already sold its complete residential electricity business in Germany and the UK to British competitor Octopus Energy, as well as various projects in the wind and biopower sectors. It is assumed that the profit margins in the residential customer business are too low. The new management team under CEO Wael Sawan, therefore, intends to focus more on key accounts.

    The lawsuit from California against several oil multinationals could weigh on the base price in the long term. Shell is also selling its stake in Germany's Sonnen GmbH and increasingly withdrawing from the private customer business. First Phosphate achieved an important milestone with the agreement with ABF to produce lithium iron phosphate cathode material.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

    Risk notice

    Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and the like on These contents are exclusively for the information of the readers and do not represent any call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price developments. The contents do not replace individual expert investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the discussed share(s) or other financial instruments, nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

    The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but a journalistic or advertising text. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis of the information provided here do so entirely at their own risk. No contractual relationship is established between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the investment decision of the reader or user.

    The acquisition of financial instruments involves high risks, which can lead to the total loss of the invested capital. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors is based on careful research. Nevertheless, no liability is assumed for financial losses or a content-related guarantee for the topicality, correctness, appropriateness and completeness of the content provided here. Please also note our Terms of use.

    Der Autor

    Stefan Feulner

    The native Franconian has more than 20 years of stock exchange experience and a broadly diversified network.
    He is passionate about analyzing a wide variety of business models and investigating new trends.

    About the author

    Related comments:

    Commented by Stefan Feulner on March 4th, 2024 | 07:30 CET, Altech Advanced Materials, BYD - Ready for the rebound

    • Technology
    • AI
    • Electromobility
    • Batteries

    The major stock market barometers, the DAX and Dow Jones, continue to surge and rush to new highs almost daily. Currently, one of the hottest sectors is the semiconductor industry, which is reporting record figures due to the emergence of artificial intelligence. In contrast, another future topic, electromobility, is currently in correction mode. Market leaders such as Tesla and BYD have seen their stock market value fall dramatically. Currently, it appears that these stocks have found a bottom from which the next upward movement could begin.


    Commented by Armin Schulz on March 4th, 2024 | 07:15 CET

    Kraken Energy, RWE, Plug Power - Is Germany reconsidering its nuclear phase-out?

    • Mining
    • Energy
    • renewableenergies
    • nuclear
    • Uranium

    Calls for a U-turn on the nuclear energy issue are getting louder in Germany. Above all, the AfD, the CDU/CSU, and the FDP, as members of the traffic light government, are calling for a resumption of nuclear power generation. In Europe, Germany's energy policy has already caused considerable head-shaking. Nuclear power can shoulder the base load, does not produce CO2 emissions and is cheaper and less volatile than renewable energies. Many countries agree on one thing: we need to move away from fossil fuels. In the Czech Republic, plans are underway to build 4 new nuclear power plants, and in Poland, the Netherlands and Sweden, there is no longer interest in phasing out nuclear power. It will be interesting to see how Germany's struggle for energy develops.


    Commented by André Will-Laudien on March 4th, 2024 | 07:00 CET

    1200% with artificial intelligence, 100% with Bitcoin, and now comes Gold! Barrick, Desert Gold, Aixtron and Super Micro

    • Mining
    • Gold
    • AI
    • Bitcoin

    The stock market keeps rising - this is indicated by the ever-new highs of prominent indices such as the NASDAQ 100 or the DAX 40 index. However, a closer look reveals some inconsistencies. For example, only 7% of all traded stocks are currently reaching new highs, while over 60% of all listed stocks are falling. In short, global liquidity is aggregated in just a few blockbuster stocks worldwide, while the rest are being left behind. Such bubbles occurred in 1999, 2007, and 2015, followed by a 25% to 50% correction. No one knows when it will happen again, but the party will likely last a little longer. Gold and Silver have been trending sideways at a high level for the past 3 years, but the yellow metal showed the first signs of life last week. What should investors look out for now?