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Royal Dutch Shell CEO Blames Saudi Arabia For Slowed US Shale Growth

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Bidness Etc takes a look at how Saudi Arabia led to slowed growth of the US shale oil industry

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jul 2, 2015 at 9:37 am EST

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saud Arabia, usually monitors the crude oil supplies and prices prevailing in the market. The US energy companies have begun using hydraulic fracturing techniques, which allow US drillers to drill deeper into the surface, and extract more oil. Therefore, crude oil output has risen substantially.

On the other hand, the OPEC refused to play its role as a price regulator last year. On November 27, the cartel decided to maintain output at 30 million barrels of oil per day. Prices that once traded at $115 per barrel fell to $60 per barrel. The price decline was also due to reduced global crude oil demand.

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BP to pay £12bn for Gulf oil spill

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BP has reached an $18.7bn (£12bn) settlement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It comes as a US federal judge was expected to rule on how much BP owed in Clean Water Act penalties following the environmental disaster.

Over 125 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf after an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010.

The settlement is the largest paid by a single company in US history .

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was one of the worst environmental disasters in US history and claimed the lives of 11 people.

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BP Pays Record $18.7 Billion to Settle Claims in Gulf Oil Spill

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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 14.56.47By Margaret Cronin Fisk, Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Del Quentin Wilber: July 2, 2015 1:13 PM BST

BP Plc will pay a record $18.7 billion to resolve claims by the U.S. and five states along the Gulf of Mexico related to the 2010 oil spill.

The payments will be spaced out over as long as 18 years. A record $5.5 billion will cover federal penalties under the Clean Water Act, topping the previous high of $1 billion. Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas will also receive payouts for harm done in the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

“This agreement will resolve the largest liabilities remaining from the tragic accident,” BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in a statement today. “For the United States and the Gulf in particular, this agreement will deliver a significant income stream over many years for further restoration of natural resources and for losses related to the spill.”

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Shell Chief says U.S. shale producers under pressure from Saudi Arabia -FT

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OPEC’s decision, led by Saudi Arabia, to not cut oil production has put pressure on U.S. shale gas producers which in turn has put brakes on America’s energy boom, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc said in an interview with the Financial Times published on Wednesday.

Ben van Beurden said in an interview that OPEC’s decision in the face of soaring U.S. output and weaker-than-expected demand had sent a strong signal that Riyadh would not “underwrite the price” by utilizing its supplies to balance the market. (on.ft.com/1gbNJ8b)

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Arctic Drilling Future Now Rests On One Well

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By Charles KennedyWed, 01 July 2015

Royal Dutch Shell is nearing a start to drilling in the Arctic, but has run into some hiccups.

The U.S. government decided that Shell cannot actually drill both of its wells in the Chukchi Sea as planned. The Interior Department said that doing so would run afoul of its rules that protect marine life. According to those regulations, which were issued in 2013, exploration companies cannot drill two wells within 15 miles of each other. Shell had planned to drill two wells in the Burger prospect within a 9 mile range.

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Shell fined for leak on platform where workers died

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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 08.28.32Thursday 2nd July 2015

Oil giant Shell has been fined more than £6,000 after a diesel leak on board the same North Sea platform where two workers died 12 years ago.

Sean McCue, 22, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, lost their lives when they were overcome by gas while working on the energy firm’s Brent Bravo rig in 2003.

The oil company was previously fined nearly £1 million after admitting safety breaches which led to their deaths.

Yesterday Shell UK bosses returned to the court after approximately 13 to 15 tonnes of diesel spilled into the North Sea despite warnings over the transfer system going back over a decade. Senior management from the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary appeared in the public benches at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company pleaded guilty to an unlicensed release of fuel.

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Obama administration delivers big blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

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Obama administration delivers big blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration delivered a major blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans on Tuesday, by ruling that wildlife protections bar the company from simultaneously boring two wells into the Chukchi Sea this summer.

The decision will force Shell to scale back its hopes of completing two exploratory oil wells in waters north of Alaska this summer and is another setback for the firm that has spent seven years and $7 billion trying to find crude in the Arctic Ocean.

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Shell goes ahead with giant Gulf of Mexico field after cost cuts

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Markets | Wed Jul 1, 2015

* Appomattox project set to start production by end of decade

* Will be Shell’s largest platform in the region (Adds details, quotes, share price)

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has given the green light for the development of its largest platform in the Gulf of Mexico after making steep cost cuts which made the deep water project economical despite low oil prices.

The decision to pour billions of dollars into the Appomattox project comes as companies have scrapped around $200 billion of mega-projects in the wake of the sharp decline in oil prices over the past year.

Shell has operated in the Gulf of Mexico for over 60 years. The region contributes about 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production according to the Energy Information Administration and was the location in 2010 of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, involving BP’s Deepwater Horizon well.

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Oil giant Shell fined over Brent Bravo leak

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Oil giant Shell fined over Brent Bravo leak

Oil giant Shell has been fined thousands of pounds after a diesel leak on board a North Sea platform.

Between 13 and 15 tonnes spilled into the sea from the Brent Bravo, 116 miles north east of Lerwick, in May 2013.

Senior management from Shell were at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company admitted the release of fuel.

Sheriff Kenneth Stewart fined the company £6,650, reduced from the maximum possible due to the early stage of the guilty plea.

A Shell UK spokeswoman said: “We regret that the release occurred – no spill is acceptable.

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Shell to tap new Gulf of Mexico oil

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell to tap new Gulf of Mexico oil

HOUSTON, July 1 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it made a final investment decision to open up new oil developments in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Shell said it was moving forward with a decision to build what it says will be the largest floating platform in the Gulf of Mexico in order to tap into the deepwater Appomattox prospect. Average production is expected to be about 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

“Appomattox opens up more production growth for us in the Gulf of Mexico, where our production last year averaged about 225,000 boe per day, and this development will be profitable for decades to come,” Upstream Director Marvin Odum said in a statement. “With its competitive cost and design, Appomattox is next in our series of deep-water successes.”

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Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans hit by polar bears and walruses

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.08.46Shell’s Arctic oil drilling plans hit by polar bears and walruses

By Reuters: 12:32AM BST 01 July 2015

The Obama administration has dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil exploration plans, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range, as it had planned.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit which emphasized that under federal wildlife protections issued in 2013, companies must maintain a 15-mile buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously.

The rule is meant to protect populations of animals sensitive to the sounds and activities of drilling. Walruses have been known to plunge off rocks into the sea during drilling, putting their populations at risk. The animals are already at risk from reduced habitat areas due to global warming. Drilling with only one rig at a time could slash the amount of work Shell had hoped to accomplish.

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The lessons for all from the Corrib Gas project in North Mayo

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.01.13The lessons for all from the Corrib Gas project in North Mayo

Major infrastructure that is years behind schedule and massively over budget

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Corrib Gas project represents a cautionary example of how large industrial developments should not be handled by governments or multinational companies. A lack of consultation and sensitivity to local concerns in the initial stages led gradually to resistance and confrontation. Smouldering resentment over what objectors regarded as unqualified state support for the developer caught fire when five protesters, concerned about the safety of a gas pipeline and its proximity to their homes, were jailed on an application from Shell. From there, there was no going back.

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Shell Secures New Authorization in Pursuing Arctic Drilling

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Shell Secures New Authorization in Pursuing Arctic Drilling

JUNEAU, Alaska — Jun 30, 2015: By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press

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Royal Dutch Shell has secured another federal authorization as it pursues plans to drill exploration wells in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coast.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday issued a letter of authorization allowing for the possible harassment of polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to Shell’s drilling program work. Intentional harassment is not permitted.

The authorization includes measures that Shell must take to minimize the effect of its work on the animals, including a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all drill rigs or seismic survey vessels, something conservation groups had sought. Nonetheless, some of those groups still called on President Barack Obama’s administration to stop Arctic drilling.

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Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 21.06.27Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest

Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:33pm EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.

The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days.

The activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations during the past two months against Royal Dutch Shell’s oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said 21 protesters in kayaks took to the waters just beyond the Port of Everett north of Seattle where the oil rig launched for sea.

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Shell oil rig leaves Everett, kayaking protesters detained

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By Jennifer SullivanSeattle Times staff reporter: 30 June 2015

An oil-drilling rig that was protested by activists in kayaks pulled out of Everett early Tuesday morning, and some of the kayakers were detained by the Coast Guard.

Shell’s Noble Discoverer will join the Polar Pioneer to sink holes in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The Polar Pioneer drew the ire of protesters when it was moored at Terminal 5, in Seattle, before heading north earlier this month.

Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said they detained five kayakers off Mukilteo Tuesday morning. Warr said the rig pulled out of Everett at 4 a.m.

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Polar Pioneer: An Economic Boon For Dutch Harbor

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Polar Pioneer: An Economic Boon For Dutch Harbor

By Emily Schwing, KUCB – Unalaska | June 29, 2015

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Billions of dollars worth of drilling equipment and support vessels operated by Royal Dutch Shell are sitting out in the Bay in front of Dutch Harbor this week. The company has plans to take most of that equipment north for exploratory drilling operations later this summer. Many of the local businesses benefit from the oil giant’s presence.

Dutch Harbor is a busy place this time of year.

“The flights are all full, the hotel is full, vehicles – trucks for rent – companies that rent vehicles – they’re all rented.”

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Irish Company Freely Admits Distributing Bribes On Behalf of Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15PHOTO CAPTION FROM RECENT IRISH TIMES ARTICLE: Bríd McGarry, a Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were jailed in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Printed below is a comment on the Irish Times article received from OSSL, the Irish firm currently the subject of an investigation by the Irish police (the Garda) for alleged harassment of parties who received bribes distributed by OSSL on behalf of their disreputable employer, Irish Shell. 

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U.S. activists to protest against Shell Arctic oil rig

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U.S. activists to protest against Shell Arctic oil rig

SEATTLE: 30 June 2015

U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The Washington state activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations over the last two months against Royal Dutch Shell’s oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said they expected the rig to leave a Seattle-area port in the early morning and were planning a water-borne protest.

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Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

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Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON | BY ERIC M. JOHNSON AND TIMOTHY GARDNER: Mon Jun 29, 2015

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Royal Dutch Shell could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July, when it expects sea ice to begin clearing, a spokesman said on Monday.

The Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrived in Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska, early on Saturday morning and will remain there until ice begins clearing over the area in the Chukchi Sea where the company plans to drill through late September, spokesman Curtis Smith said.

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Corrib gas cost overruns deprive State of €600m in tax

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Corrib gas cost overruns deprive State of €600m in tax

The €2.4 billion cost overrun is largely as a consequence of opposition to the project, which was stimulated in part by poor management of it at its outset.

Peter Murtagh: Tuesday 30 June 2015

The huge cost overrun on Corrib gas, the single most expensive energy infrastructure project in Ireland and the largest since the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric scheme on the Shannon in the 1920s, will deprive the Government of an estimated €600 million in tax revenue.

The €600 million represents 25 per cent of the project’s likely cost overrun of €2.4 billion, much of which was incurred because of changes made to the project since it began.

Had this additional €2.4 billion not been spent on development costs, an extra €600 million would have been paid to the exchequer as tax on profit, which for exploration companies is levied at 25 per cent. However, like all companies, Shell Exploration and Production Ireland, which is a partner with Statoil of Norway and Vermilion Energy of Canada, can write off capital development costs against taxation.

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Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

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Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

Posted on June 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Thick sea ice could clog the site of Shell’s planned oil wells in the Arctic Ocean until late July, potentially shaving a week off the company’s already narrow window for exploratory drilling in the region.

Shell Oil Co. is still waiting for four federal authorizations to launch any of the work, including drilling permits for two wells in its Burger prospect about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coastline. With all approvals in hand, the company could begin moving drilling rigs and other vessels through the Bering Strait and toward the Chukchi Sea as early as July 1 and begin boring a well as soon as July 15.

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Royal Dutch Shell Seeks Funding For Carbon Capture Project

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Jun 29, 2015 

Global warming concerns have been receiving more and more media attention, as major oil companies also plan to address the issue, considering its potentially adverse effect on the environment.

Goldeneye, an abandoned offshore natural gas production platform that is connected to the Scottish coast via a 100 kilometer long pipeline, could soon be used to deposit carbon dioxide well below the Earth’s surface. Once operated by Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), the project could become the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that uses a power station, fuelled by natural gas. The European energy major is looking to the UK government to release one billion GBP in funds for the company to develop the project, the Financial Times has reported.

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Activists deploy against Shell’s arctic plans

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Activists deploy against Shell’s arctic plans

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By Daniel J. Graeber: June 29, 2015

MUKILTEO, Wash., June 29 (UPI) — Activists said Monday they took to the water off the Washington state coast in kayaks to try to slow progress of a Shell drilling rig bound for arctic waters.

“We know we can’t stop them,” Carlo Voli, a campaigner from advocacy group 350 Seattle, said in an emailed statement. “But we can’t just watch them go; we have to do all we can to slow them down, and get people to focus on what a disaster Arctic drilling would be.”

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UK fracking application rejected

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An application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors.

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Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool.

Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of “unacceptable noise impact” and the “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”.

Cuadrilla said it was “surprised and disappointed” and would consider its “options” regarding an appeal.

A spokesman added: “We remain committed to the responsible exploration of the huge quantity of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep underneath Lancashire.”

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Shell’s Arctic oil drill platform Polar Pioneer heaves into Dutch Harbor Alaska

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Information and magnificent copyrighted photograph’s kindly provided by Gary Braasch, Photographer & Journalist from World View of Global Warming.org  Please see copyright notice at foot of article. Use your browser to enlarge images. 

Shell’s Arctic oil drill platform Polar Pioneer heaves into Dutch Harbor Alaska — its first port of call in the North for Shell’s plan to drill the Chukchi Sea this summer.

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.22.13The 300 foot high floating oil rig that Royal Dutch Shell intends to install in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea this summer arrived in Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Is, Alaska, early on June 27, 2015. Pulled by two ocean-going tugs, the huge machine appeared off Unalaska Island in the pre-dawn, 13 days after it left Seattle WA. In contrast to the active protests, “kayaktivist” flotillas and native American opposition in Puget Sound, there were no apparent protestors at the arrival in the Aleutian Islands. The Polar Pioneer now floats well off the Dutch Harbor airport in front of the steep mountains of Unalaska, the volcanoes like Mt Makushin that make up these islands. Strong winds formed lenticular clouds over the peaks in the dawn light.

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Corrib gas: Black starts, intelligent pigs and the mechanics of extraction

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Corrib gas: Black starts, intelligent pigs and the mechanics of extraction

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Peter Murtagh: Monday, 29 June 2015

The mechanics of extracting gas from the Corrib field appear simple enough. It is only when one gets into the detail of the engineering that the complexities emerge.

This is an environment in which a relatively small number of people can spend years – in remote places such as Sakhalin Island in the far east of Russia, in the Middle East, or on rigs in the North Sea – living intense lives in dangerous conditions and sometimes speaking a language alien to others.

They talk about “slug catchers” and “intelligent pigs”, about Christmas trees at the bottom of the sea, and about “black starts” – no one wants a black start, but if you are going to operate a terminal like the one now being tested at Bellanaboy in Mayo, someday for sure, you are going to have to do a black start.

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The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

A rerouting of the pipeline and greater public awareness of how Ireland treats its natural resources were among the positive outcomes of the Shell to Sea, campaigners say

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Bríd McGarry, a Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were jailed in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lorna Siggins: Monday June 29, 2015

“You’ve gone very quiet up there.” North Mayo resident Mary Corduff reckons that if she had a euro for every time she heard this remark over the past few months, her purse could be pretty full. “People think because they don’t see us on protesting on the television that we have accepted this, but we haven’t,” Corduff says, looking out of her farmhouse window towards the Corrib gas refinery several miles away.

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EFCC quizzes former minister, Etete, over alleged oil deal

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 08.49.52EFCC quizzes former minister, Etete, over OPL 245 oil deal

By Abosede Musari, Abuja on June 29, 2015

FORMER Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, was yesterday quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in continuation of an investigation that had been stalled for several years.

A source told The Guardian that the former minister was granted administrative bail to provide more documents on the alleged $1.1 billion oil deal transfer that was made to Switzerland under his company, Malabu Oil and Gas.

It was reported in the media last week that the EFCC has revived investigations into the Malabu oil deal when Etete was questioned and released to report back last Monday.

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Polar Pioneer arrives in Dutch Harbor for Chukchi Sea drilling

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, [email protected]; June 28, 2015

The first of two drilling rigs, scheduled to conduct exploratory drilling for Shell in the Chukchi Sea this summer, has arrived in the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor this weekend.

The federal government has given Transocean’s Polar Pioneer, contracted by Shell, a green light to drill in the Chukchi this year along with the drillship Noble Discoverer. Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino said Sunday morning that the Polar Pioneer reached Dutch Harbor at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

“It arrived there safely,” Baldino said.

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The Shell Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

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The Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

As the gas is about to be brought onshore, Peter Murtagh takes a tour of the Corrib gas plant and speaks to people affected by its arrival.

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SAT, Jun 27, 2015

Gas is expected to come later this year to the Shell terminal in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, through the controversial pipeline that rises from the Atlantic seabed 83km offshore. The terminal is currently being commissioned and tested. As gas passes through the terminal, impurities will be removed and pressure adjusted before the gas is pumped into the Bord Gáis network.

Outside the terminal, at Glengad and Aghoose, the start and end points of the 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay, work to restore the landscape is under way.

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Malcolm Brinded still connected with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 12.55.27Brinded speaks out on sustainable and accessible energy

Written by  OE Staff: Friday 26 June 2015

Speaking this week as the 2015 recipient of the Energy Institute (EI)’s Cadman Award, Malcolm Brinded, chairman of Shell Foundation, has called for increased focus on breakthrough technology and business innovations to respond to the challenges of international development, climate change and urbanization – while meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.

“Today five billion people consume less than one third of the world’s energy, whilst two billion of us consume more than two thirds,” said Brinded, while addressing 180 energy professionals in London. “Two billion poor are completely without reliable and affordable energy. And 1.2 billion live entirely without electricity.”

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Shell Heads for Alaska While Awaiting Final Drilling Permits

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.26.53ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Jun 26, 2015, 3:42 PM ET

By DAN JOLING Associated Press

One Royal Dutch Shell offshore drill rig is headed to Alaska and a second is poised to leave, despite lacking final federal permits that would allow exploratory drilling and possible confirmation of rich oil reserves under the Chukchi Sea.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC said that’s routine. But an attorney for Oceana, one of dozens of groups objecting to Arctic offshore drilling, said seeing Shell’s flotilla sail north puts pressure on federal agencies to sign off on the permits.

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Shell’s Secret Sale of Oil, Gas Reserves In Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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Shell’s Secret Sale of Oil, Gas Reserves In Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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“We just woke up one morning and started reading in the newspapers and the electronic media that our oil fields have been sold by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) and acquired by an unknown company – Aiteo Eastern Exploration and production company limited…”

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: JUN 26, 2015

The Elders and Traditional Rulers of Nembe Kingdom, in Nembe Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State, have sent a protest letter to President Muhammad Buhari. The letter exposes secret sales of oil and gas reserves from the Area by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) without the involvement of the indigenes. The Nembe kingdom is one of the biggest on-shore oil producing communities in the Niger Delta, with the oil mining lease (OML) 29 producing over 150, 000 barrels of crude oil per day. The oil block covers an area of 983 square kilometres.

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Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion

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FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

The former owners of the Frontier drilling company sold their rigs to Noble for $2.16 billion in 2010. Given that their fleet of five vessels consisted of ancient rust buckets which were fit only for the scrapyard, this has always seemed like an inordinately large sum. The five vessels had been acquired by Frontier for about $100 million. The only client of Frontier was Shell. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/28/us-noblecorp-idUSTRE65R2C520100628 . (See below)

Noble operated two rigs for Shell in Alaska (Discoverer and Kulluk) during the disastrous 2012 drilling campaign. In spite of their performance in 2012, Noble will once again be operating the Discoverer (now over 50 years old) during the upcoming drilling campaign. Discoverer is one of the rust buckets that Noble acquired from Frontier.  

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Shell Executives Visit Tehran for Projects If Sanctions End

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by Javier Blas 24 June 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives have visited Tehran to discuss possible partnerships, the latest sign that the largest oil companies are serious about returning to Iran once a deal on the country’s nuclear program is done.

The meeting with Iranian officials covered its outstanding debt to National Iranian Oil Co. and possible areas of business cooperation, the company said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Shell owed $2.16 billion as of the end of 2014 for oil it wasn’t able to pay Iran for because of sanctions, according to its annual report.

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Shell flotilla begins assembling in Dutch Harbor

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BY TIM BRADNER, ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE: 24 June 2015

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“Once again, Shell is up to their old tricks, deliberately ignoring federal regulations. We urge President Obama to cancel Shell’s lease and prevent them from drilling in the Chukchi Sea,”

Dutch Harbor will be busy in the next couple of weeks as Shell’s Arctic drill fleet converges on the Aleutians port, prior to heading north for the Chukchi Sea.

Shell’s spill containment barge Arctic Challenger is already in Dutch Harbor, having arrived June 14, and the semi-submersible mobile drill rig Polar Pioneer is now en route from Seattle, Shell spokeswoman Meg Baldino said June 23.

A second drilling vessel, Noble Discoverer, is meanwhile still in port at Everett, Wash., making preparations to sail to Dutch Harbor.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.03.05Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

The Dutch government has decided to cut production from its Groningen gas field after a series of earthquakes led to heightened safety concerns

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 24, 2015

Responding to a series of earthquakes in the northern parts of Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to slash the gas production at the gas field in Groningen, according to Reuters.

Production at Holland’s Groningen oil field, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will be restricted to 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) for the calendar year 2015, according to the country’s Economy Minister, Henk Kamp. The government had previously planned production of 39.4 bcm during the current year.

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

By Carl Surran: 23 June 2015

  • The Dutch government has ordered a further tightening of production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, in response to earthquakes that have caused extensive property damage in the Netherlands’ northernmost province.
  • Production at the field will be capped at 13.5B cm in H2 of this year and at 30B cm for all of 2015, after output was cut to 16.B cm for H1 which made for an annualized rate of 33B cm, down from 39.4B cm previously.
  • The Groningen field is operated by a joint venture including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and the Dutch government.

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Shell’s Arctic drilling plans may hit permitting snag

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June 23, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell’s plans to bore two wells in the Arctic Ocean this summer may be jeopardized by an obscure permitting requirement that effectively bars drilling operations close to each other in waters off Alaska.

The restriction highlighted by environmentalists opposed to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign could be a major stumbling block for the company, which has spent $7 billion and seven years pursuing oil in the region.

The provision is embedded in the government’s rules for obtaining a “letter of authorization” allowing companies to disturb walruses, seals and other animals in the region — among the last permits Shell needs to launch activities in the Chukchi Sea next month. Under a 2013 Fish and Wildlife Service regulation, those authorizations are precluded for drilling activities happening within 15 miles of each other.

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Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

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“There does not appear to be any way that the federal government can allow Shell to proceed as the company has planned…”

23 June 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

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