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Posts from ‘September, 2004’

Showa Shell discrimination against 64 employees

Kyodo News Service: The Tokyo Local Labor Relations Commission on Wednesday ordered Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and one of its affiliates to pay wages due to 64 employees and give promotions to 59 of them, ruling that they were discriminated against because of their labor union

Posted Sep 30, 2004

The order, which came after a 14-year dispute, said Showa Shell Sekiyu and Shell Chemicals Japan provided the labor union members with far lower wages, bonuses and ability grades than for other employees.

It ordered the two firms to raise ability grades for the 59 employees retroactive to a period between 1988 and 1993 and pay the 59 and five other employees the differences between their wages and bonus income and the due levels.

The labor union said the differences for the period between 1985 and 2000 would total 940 million yen.

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Royal Dutch/Shell quits selling ‘green’ electricity, moves customers to Eneco

AFX Europe (Focus): Royal Dutch/Shell quits selling ‘green’ electricity, moves customers to Eneco

Posted 30 Sept 2004

THE HAGUE (AFX) – The Royal Dutch/Shell group is to stop selling ‘green’ electricity in the Netherlands and is transferring the service’s 60,000 customers to electricity distributor Eneco, according to a joint press release.

No financial details were disclosed.

A spokesman for Eneco said the customers, which include both residential clients and small and medium-sized enterprises, will not have to pay more as a result of the move and in most cases will pay less. The move will boost Eneco’s ‘green’ customer base by 15 pct to 450,000.

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Spiralling oil prices pumped up by marketplace ‘fear factor’

Lloyds List: Spiralling oil prices pumped up by marketplace ‘fear factor’

Nigerian unrest, Iraqi insurgency, Russian export problems and the effects of adverse weather conditions could lead to winter oil shortages, writes Martyn Wingrove

Sep 30, 2004

AS OIL prices shoot over the psychological barrier of $50 a barrel, many experts are wondering how the price of one of the worlds’ most important commodities became so high.

Even the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps more than a third of the world’s oil and controls half of all oil exports, cannot understand how the price ended up at this level.

Oil prices peaked above the $50 barrier earlier this week on the back of further fears of supply problems from Nigerian oil fields as local rebels warned of attacks to production facilities and oil companies evacuated staff.

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FTC Clears Magellan’s $492.4M Purchase Of Shell Assets

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: FTC Clears Magellan’s $492.4M Purchase Of Shell Assets

“In June, Shell Oil Products agreed to sell its pipeline and storage assets in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado to Magellan for $492.4 million.”

Posted 30 Sept 04

NEW YORK — The Federal Trade Commission approved Magellan Midstream Partners L.P.’s (MMP) proposed acquisition of certain Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD) assets, but required Magellan to divest Shell ‘s Oklahoma City terminal.

A Magellan spokeswoman said the company intends to comply with the FTC’s requirement. Magellan stores, transports and distributes refined petroleum products.

In June, Shell Oil Products agreed to sell its pipeline and storage assets in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado to Magellan for $492.4 million.

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Shell Receives Permits to Start $600 Mln Gas Plant in Mexico

Bloomberg: Shell Receives Permits to Start $600 Mln Gas Plant in Mexico

Posted 30 Sept 04

Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Sempra Energy received permits from Mexico for construction of a $600 million liquefied-natural gas terminal to process gas from Russia for sale locally and in California.

“I understand all the permits are in order,” Peter Kidd, president of Shell’s Mexican unit, said in an interview in Mexico City. The company will decide when to start construction “in a relatively near future,” Kidd said.

Mexico’s energy regulator granted the Shell-led group a permit to stock natural gas in Baja California, according to the website of the Regulatory Energy Commission. Permits are also required from agencies such as the Environment Protection ministry, said Martin Mora, the spokesman of the Energy Ministry.

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Shell Mulls Joining Shtokman Project

The Moscow Times: Shell Mulls Joining Shtokman Project

“Royal Dutch/Shell is considering developing a gas field in the Barents Sea in a joint liquefied natural gas project with Gazprom, Shell said Wednesday.”

Reuters

Bas Czerwinski / AP

Thursday, September 30, 2004. Page 5.

AMSTERDAM — Royal Dutch/Shell is considering developing a gas field in the Barents Sea in a joint liquefied natural gas project with Gazprom, Shell said Wednesday.

“We are currently looking at developing the Shtokman field in the Barents Sea in an LNG project with Gazprom,” a Shell spokesman in The Hague said.

He declined to give further details, but added the project was one of the issues discussed at a meeting between visiting Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Shell’s management on Wednesday.

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NZ Watchdog Says May Revoke Pohokura Gas Marketing Deal-2

Yahoo/Dow Jones Newswires: NZ Watchdog Says May Revoke Pohokura Gas Marketing Deal-2

“Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said that Shell Exploration New Zealand and OMV New Zealand have informed the commission in April this year that the parties have decided to market gas from the field separately.”

Thursday September 30

WELLINGTON (Dow Jones)–New Zealand’s Commerce Commission Thursday said it is considering revoking its decision to approve a joint marketing deal between four companies to sell gas produced from the North Island’s Pohokura gas field.

The Commission said that a material change in circumstances may have occurred since the approval was granted in September last year.

Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said that Shell Exploration New Zealand and OMV New Zealand have informed the commission in April this year that the parties have decided to market gas from the field separately.

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Shell and its jv partners PCSB and ConocoPhillips make significant discoveries at Malikai-1

New Straits Times (Malaysia): The question of overlapping claims on two new oil and gas blocks offshore east Sabah does not arise, as the areas are solely within Malaysia’s jurisdiction, Foreign Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman said today.: “On Sept 22, Shell and its joint venture partners PCSB and ConocoPhillips made significant discoveries at Malikai-1 in the Block G exploration well in Sabah.”

Sep 30, 2004

PUTRAJAYA, Wed. – The question of overlapping claims on two new oil and gas blocks offshore east Sabah does not arise, as the areas are solely within Malaysia’s jurisdiction, Foreign Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman said today.

Malaysia’s continental shelf and the Federal territorial parameters map issued in 1979 both showed the country held sovereignty over the ND6 and ND7 blocks.

“Malaysia’s rights over these areas have never been disputed by any country before, as they are clearly ours and there is definitely no overlapping.” The area also contains the Ligitan and Sipadan islands, ruled as belonging to Malaysia by the International Court of Justice after a legal tussle with Indonesia over sovereignty.

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Shell and Unocal pull out of a Chinese-led natural gas project

Kyodo News Service: Japan will continue exploring for natural gas resources despite Wednesday’s announcement by oil majors that they would pull out of a Chinese-led natural gas project in the East China Sea, the industry minister said Thursday. Shell and Unocal said their decision to withdraw was a result of a one-year period of appraisal. They did not say whether their decision was related to the row between the two Asian neighbors.

Sep 30, 2004

“Japan has remained unaffected by it,” Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa told a news conference in reference to the announcement by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and U.S.-based Unocal Corp.

“We will keep on implementing it,” he said in reference to the natural gas exploration activities Japan has conducted within its exclusive economic zones in the waters off western Japan.

The Chinese natural gas development project, which involves an area of about 22,000 square kilometers, includes the development of the Chunxiao gas field, which spreads over a 1,225-square-km area.

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Nigeria’s oil rebels fuel fears of global shortage

The Independent: Nigeria’s oil rebels fuel fears of global shortage

“…the oil world is in crisis. And Nigeria is no exception.”: “A Shell official, who asked not to be named, said essential supplies were being airlifted to staff still in the area.”: “The battle for oil has commenced in Nigeria. Many other countries are looking on nervously.”

A revolt in the African state is threatening to disrupt the country’s most important export. Christian Allen Purefoy reports from Lagos on the latest conflict driving up the price of crude

Posted 30 September 2004

Scattered across the wetland, massive chimneys burn the natural gas emitted as a by-product of the Niger Delta’s oil. Day and night since 1964 the black towers have spat bright orange flames 30m high.

They should be totems of prosperity; indicators that this chunk of Nigeria, by virtue of geographic good fortune, has tapped into a global industry that one might expect rewards producers of black gold with wealth and political stability.

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World economy held to ransom

Times Online: ANALYSIS: World economy held to ransom: What hope is there for global growth when political and economic developments have left power over the oil markets in the hands a few insurgents?

By Mike Verdin

Posted 30 Sept 04

Until now, the only stocks which bizarrely named rebel groups have been associated with have tended to be prefaced by the word “laughing”. The Tooting Popular Front formed the basis of the Citizen Smith comedy series while the People’s Front of Judea starred in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

The Niger People’s Volunteer Force, however, is quite a different concern. Local Government officials in Nigeria may dismiss the group’s leader, Mujahid Dukobo-Asari, as “a joker”, but few are laughing at the NGVF’s impact on crude oil prices.

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Oil prices to ’cause global recession’

Times OnLine: Oil prices to ’cause global recession’: “The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, accusing Shell and Agip, the oil giants, of “collaboration with the Nigerian state in acts of genocide against our people”, advised the withdrawal of foreign citizens from the area.”

By Steven Downes, Posted 30 September 2004

Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the president of Opec, the Organisation of Oil Producing Countries, today admitted that the cartel was powerless to halt spiralling oil costs, as the price per barrel broke through the $50 mark in New York overnight and in Asian deals earlier today.

The Indonesia official, reacting to the latest record oil prices, warned that constantly rising oil prices could bring about a global economic recession.

“Right now, Opec cannot do anything and the high oil price can cause a recession,” he was reported as saying by AFP in Jakarta.

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Nigerian troops prepare for oil war after rebels threaten attacks

The Times: Nigerian troops prepare for oil war after rebels threaten attacks

“On Tuesday, Royal Dutch Shell, which produces half of Nigeria’s daily output, said that it had had to shut down one of its flow stations. It said that the decision had cost it 28,000 barrels a day of production.”

By Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg and Katharine Houreld

September 30, 2004

SEPARATIST rebels issued an ultimatum to multinational oil companies and foreign workers to quit Nigeria’s oil-rich southern Niger Delta by tomorrow and have threatened war against the State.

Nigeria’s Armed Forces vowed to crush the rebels and a special military task force (JTF) began round-the-clock patrols in the oil city of Port Harcourt and surrounding creeks, from where militia fighters often conduct acts of sabotage.

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ConocoPhillips to Buy Stake in Lukoil

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: ConocoPhillips to Buy Stake in Lukoil

“Meanwhile, the rush for a foot in the Russian door continued on other fronts yesterday as top executives at Royal Dutch/Shell Group met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov during his visit to The Hague.”

By RUSSELL GOLD and GREGORY L. WHITE

Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

September 30, 2004; Page A3

ConocoPhillips announced a $2.36 billion (€1.95 billion) strategic alliance with OAO Lukoil, under which Conoco will buy a 7.6% stake in the Russian oil titan and get a share in joint projects. The deal provides Conoco access to Russia’s enormous but largely undeveloped oil and natural-gas reserves and opens a possible avenue for it to become the first Western petroleum producer to return to Iraq.

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Shell, Unocal pull out of Chinese venture

Financial Times: Shell, Unocal pull out of Chinese venture

“Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, and Unocal of the US have withdrawn from a gas exploration and development scheme in the East China Sea, the second time in two months western energy companies have walked away from a Chinese-led project.”

By Mure Dickie in Beijing and James Boxell in London

Published: September 30 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, and Unocal of the US have withdrawn from a gas exploration and development scheme in the East China Sea, the second time in two months western energy companies have walked away from a Chinese-led project.

Shell and Unocal each held a 20 per cent interest in the Xihu Trough project, with the remainder divided between China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec), two of China’s three major oil groups.

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Nigerian Oil Delta Peace Talks to Resume After Truce

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Nigerian Oil Delta Peace Talks to Resume After Truce

“Nigeria’s top producer, Royal Dutch Shell Group, said it evacuated more than 200 workers from two oilfields located near fighting, and closed one flow station pumping 28,000 barrels per day.”

By REUTERS

Published: September 30, 2004

Filed at 5:03 a.m. ET

ABUJA (Reuters) – The leader of a Nigerian rebel militia, whose threats to the nation’s oil industry have lifted world oil prices, said peace talks would resume on Thursday following a truce agreed with the government.

Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who leads the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, had threatened to launch “all-out war on the Nigerian state” starting on Friday unless the government agreed to discuss autonomy and more revenue for the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

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SEPTEMBER 2004 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS

Oil Continues Upward March

The Washington Post: Oil Continues Upward March

“Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Cos… withdrew nonessential personnel from the Niger Delta, said Simon Buerk, a London-based spokesman for the company. Citing policy, Buerk would not say whether production in the country was reduced as a result of the personnel withdrawal.”

Justin Blum and Nell Henderson

Sep 29, 2004

Crude oil prices jumped beyond $50 a barrel yesterday, renewing concerns that sustained high energy costs will further weaken the U.S. economy.

The surge came after rebels in Nigeria threatened to interfere with oil production, upsetting a market already on edge over domestic supply disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Ivan. Lost production and a decline in imports because of the storm led to a reduction in U.S. crude oil inventories.

At the close, U.S. benchmark crude oil for November delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange stood at a record $49.90 per barrel. Adjusted for inflation, the price was still below its peak in 1981.

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Nigerian militia threatens full-scale armed struggle in oil region

AP Worldstream: Nigerian militia threatens “full-scale” armed struggle in oil region

“Donald Boham, a spokesman for Royal Dutch/Shell’s subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd., said “we’re not really worried about the threats. But we have to watch the situation as it develops.”

DULUE MBACHU

Sep 29, 2004

Militiamen trying to wrest control of the oil-rich Niger Delta threatened to launch a “full-scale armed struggle” on petroleum-pumping operations in Africa’s largest crude oil producing nation, urging foreign oil workers to leave the region.

A military spokesman, however, called Tuesday’s threats “empty.” Major oil companies played down the warnings, saying they won’t seriously affect exports and issuing no orders to staff to pull out.

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Bloomberg: CNOOC to Develop Gas Field Without Unocal, Shell (Update1)

Bloomberg: CNOOC to Develop Gas Field Without Unocal, Shell (Update1)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — CNOOC Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, said the withdrawal of Unocal Corp. and Royal Dutch/Shell Group from its East China Sea gas venture won’t prevent production from starting up on schedule by mid-2005.

A group led by CNOOC and including China Petrochemical Corp. started drilling in the area in October last year, prompting the Japanese government’s concern that its share of the gas may be siphoned off. The Chunxiao field, the first to be developed in the area known as the Xihu Trough, straddles the border between the nations.

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Unocal, Royal Dutch/Shell cancel East China Sea project

AFX Europe (Focus): Unocal, Royal Dutch/Shell cancel East China Sea project

Sep 29, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (AFX) — Unocal and Royal Dutch/Shell Group said late Tuesday that their subsidiaries have canceled five contracts to explore, develop and market natural gas resources in the Xihu Trough of the East China Sea. Unocal East China Sea, a subsidiary of Unocal and Pecten Orient, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch/Shell, each hold a 20 percent interest in the contracts. China National Offshore Oil and China Petrochemical holds the remaining interest.

The U.S. affiliates entered into the contracts in August 2003. Unocal said it expects to record a charge of roughly $10 million after-tax in the third quarter for relinquishment of lands and to settle remaining obligations.

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Violence in Nigeria forces Shell to cut output

Financial Times: Violence in Nigeria forces Shell to cut output

By Michael Peel in Lagos and James Boxell in London

Published: September 29 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell said yesterday it had suffered its first production loss as the result of violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich and troubled Niger Delta, where a militia leader has condemned oil multinationals and warned foreigners to leave the area.

The military taskforce set up in response to growing violence in the region called for calm but warned militia leaders to “stop stirring internal insurrection” and said “crack teams” of troops were ready to respond to trouble.

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Oil gushes through $50 level for the first time

Daily Telegraph: Oil gushes through $50 level for the first time

“Meanwhile, Shell staunchly refused to shut down production in Nigeria, despite threats from militants of an “all-time war” from Friday. Shell has evacuated 235 workers and has temporarily lost about 30,000-40,000 barrels of oil a day from the region.”

By Malcolm Moore, Economics Correspondent (Filed: 29/09/2004)

Oil shot through $50 a barrel for the first time yesterday as the President of Opec admitted the cartel “cannot do anything” to help and warned of a global recession.

Saudi Arabia tried to cool the market by announcing that it would increase its production from 9.5m barrels a day to 11m, but Purnomo Yusgiantoro, the president of the oil cartel, said increased output may not bring down prices. “Whatever we do, there is no sensitivity in the market,” he warned.

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Nigerian Oil Delta Rebel Says Meeting Obasanjo

THE NEW YORK TIMES/REUTERS: Nigerian Oil Delta Rebel Says Meeting Obasanjo

“A recent consultant report for Shell estimated that about 1,000 people die every year because of communal and political unrest in the delta, where the majority live in abject poverty despite the oil wealth under their soil”: “…his ideas are reminiscent of rebels such as… Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged by the late military dictator Sani Abacha in 1995.

By REUTERS

Published: September 29, 2004

LAGOS (Reuters) – A rebel fighting for autonomy in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta said he would meet President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday to discuss terms for ending the violence that has helped push crude prices to record highs.

Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who leads a militia called the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, told Reuters a rebel offensive, due to be launched on Friday, would be suspended if an agreement was reached on political autonomy and oil revenues for the impoverished delta region.

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Shell Says Chmn, E&P Head Met With Russian PM Wed

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Says Chmn, E&P Head Met With Russian PM Wed

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

September 29, 2004 7:52 a.m.

LONDON — Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD, SC) said Wednesday its senior management met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to discuss “growth opportunities” in the oil-rich nation.

A spokesman for Shell in London said the company’s chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, and its head of exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded, met with Fradkov during his visit to The Hague Wednesday.

The spokesman, Simon Buerk, declined to specify which projects were discussed.

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Russian PM To Talk To Shell About Shtokmanov – Interfax

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Russian PM To Talk To Shell About Shtokmanov – Interfax

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

September 29, 2004 2:35 a.m.

MOSCOW — Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Tuesday that he will talk to representatives of Royal Dutch/Shell (RD) about the possibility of its investing in the Barents sea gas field Shtokmanov, the news agency Interfax reported Wednesday.

“We will talk to Shell about the possibility of them increasing their presence in Russian assets. We will discuss the possibility of the company increasing its involvement in the Shtokmanov and Sakhalin projects,” the agency quoted Fradkov as saying on arrival in the Netherlands for an official visit.

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Nigerian violence pushes world oil prices to record

Daily Telegraph: Nigerian violence pushes world oil prices to record

“Violent clashes between soldiers and militants in Nigeria pushed the oil price to record highs yesterday as Shell airlifted out its workers.”: “Supertanker charges have risen by close to 80pc in the past two weeks, allowing owners to get four times what they need to break even.”

By Malcolm Moore, Economics Correspondent (Filed: 28/09/2004)

Violent clashes between soldiers and militants in Nigeria pushed the oil price to record highs yesterday as Shell airlifted out its workers.

During trading in London, the price of benchmark Brent crude for November delivery closed up 60 cents at $45.93 a barrel. In New York, the price of light crude was just below $50 as it gained 62 cents to $49.50.

Shell has lost around 30,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil a day from Nigeria as rebels in the Niger Delta fought soldiers. A spokesman for Shell said around 235 non-essential workers had been moved out of the area.

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Days of cheap oil over as prices reach record levels

The Scotsman: Days of cheap oil over as prices reach record levels

“An industry source said that Shell has lost up to 40,000 barrels of daily oil production as violence swept across Nigeria’s Delta region.”

CATRINA STEWART

28 Sept 04

GLOBAL oil prices neared $50 a barrel yesterday, as they climbed to their highest levels on the back of an outbreak of violence in Nigeria.

US light crude oil, the American benchmark, peaked at $49.75 a barrel, its highest level in 21 years of trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent, Europe’s benchmark crude, also set new records, at $46.28 a barrel.

Prices eased in afternoon trading, but analysts warned that the era of cheap oil was over and predicted that futures would hit $50 a barrel later this week.

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Crude hits new highs on Nigerian fears

Financial Times: Crude hits new highs on Nigerian fears: “Crude oil hit $50 a barrel in after-hours trading in New York on Monday evening…”: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it had shut up to 40,000 barrels per day of oil production for security reasons. Shell last week evacuated 235 staff from two oilfields as government troops launched raids on nearby communities to track down militants.”

By Kevin Morrison

Posted 28 Sept 04

Crude oil hit $50 a barrel in after-hours trading in New York on Monday evening on concern about supply disruptions in Nigeria, where rebels are threatening an uprising in the oil-producing region.

The latest unrest in Nigeria comes when oil markets are already concerned about supply issues in Iraq and Russia.

“While such periodic unrest has become somewhat common, the disturbance comes atop already heightened concerns about supply availability headed towards the northern hemisphere winter,” said Michael Rothman, chief energy strategist at Merrill Lynch.

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Technology: Wanted: toolkit for global job ads

Financial Times: Technology: Wanted: toolkit for global job ads: “Shell, the multinational oil giant, had a multilateral problem.”

Published: September 28 2004

Shell, the multinational oil giant, had a multilateral problem.

It recruits across 145 markets worldwide and was having difficulty in creating a consistent global brand strategy. The scenario will be familiar to anybody in recruitment advertising. The company briefs the agency, which creates the ad, which goes back to the client for modification and approval and then back to the agency… and so on. It used to take 10 days and each market did its own thing.

Why, thought Navjot Singh, Shell’s global marketing manager, can’t we create an internally consistent advertisement in a few minutes? The answer was a website, created by Shell in conjunction with the web consultancy Adtool and the agency JWT, which hosts an ad creation toolkit accessible by every Shell office worldwide.

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Nigerian fighting pushes oil price to record high

The Guardian: Nigerian fighting pushes oil price to record high

“”Once again the security situation in Nigeria is proving to be a real concern,” said Simon Wardell, oil analyst at World Markets Research Centre in London.”

Ashley Seager

Tuesday September 28, 2004

World oil prices set record highs of almost $50 a barrel yesterday as fears of disruption to Nigerian supplies spooked an already tight market and threatened to have a knock-on effect at garage forecourts.

The highest demand for oil in 25 years means global production is stretched to the limit, so news of fresh fighting between government troops and rebels in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta pushed up prices.

US light crude futures rose 86 cents a barrel to $49.74, breaking the previous record of $49.40 set over a month ago. Brent crude surged 87 cents to a new high of $46.25.

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Shell unit purchase fuels DCC expansion

Financial Times: Shell unit purchase fuels DCC expansion: “DCC, the Irish sales and marketing group, has agreed to buy Shell Direct UK for €20.1m (£13.7m).”

By Tim Digby

Published: September 28 2004

DCC, the Irish sales and marketing group, has agreed to buy Shell Direct UK for €20.1m (£13.7m). The company said the business, which distributes heating oils and transport fuels in the UK, had annual turnover of about €300m and was expected to be “modestly profitable” in the first full year of ownership.

With an estimated working capital requirement of €3m, the total investment cost will be €23.1m.

Shell Direct UK has annual sales volume of about 600m litres and employs 500 people.

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Nigerian rebels: ‘All-out war’ to start Friday

MSNBC: Nigerian rebels: ‘All-out war’ to start Friday

The rebel group’s leader, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, accused Royal Dutch Shell, Nigeria’s largest oil producer… …of “collaboration with the Nigerian state in acts of genocide against our people.”

Dutch, Italian oil companies accused of ‘genocide’

Posted Sept. 28, 2004

LAGOS, Nigeria – The Nigerian rebel group fighting government troops in the oil-rich Niger delta said Monday it will launch “all-out war on the Nigerian state” beginning Friday and advised all oil companies to shut production by then.

The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, in a communiqué issued after a meeting of its central command, also advised all foreigners to leave the delta, which pumps all of Nigeria’s production of 2.3 million barrels per day.

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Oil price soars over $50 a barrel

London Evening Standard: Oil price soars over $50 a barrel

“The rebel group accused Royal Dutch Shell, Nigeria’s largest oil producer, and Italy’s Agip of ‘collaboration with the Nigerian state in acts of genocide against our people’.”: ‘We now think that crude oil could reach $61,’ warned investment bank Morgan Stanley.

This Is Money

28 September 2004,

THE price of oil pushed past the psychologically important $50 a barrel this morning to an all-time high of $50.01 as the market stayed bullish on a slow post-Hurricane Ivan recovery in the Gulf of Mexico.

In Britain, motorists were warned to expect a 10p a gallon rise in petrol prices this week. Diesel is also expected to increase by more than 2p a gallon, say fuel retailers.

The record oil price was set in after-hours Asian trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange as continuing unrest in key producers Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Nigeria took effect.

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Low Oil Inventories in U.S. Signal High Prices May Stay a While

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Low Oil Inventories in U.S. Signal High Prices May Stay a While

“Royal Dutch/Shell Group, the largest operator in Nigeria, has withdrawn nonessential personnel from Nigeria’s southern petroleum regions. Nigeria produces about 2.4 million barrels a day of highly desirable, light, low-sulfur oil.”

By BHUSHAN BAHREE

Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

September 28, 2004; Page A1

As oil prices headed toward $50 a barrel Monday, one of the world’s most important fuel gauges — U.S. commercial inventories of crude oil — signaled that the surge in prices may well continue.

Inventories in the U.S. have plunged substantially below last year’s level, confounding predictions by many analysts that stocks were building.

That may portend bigger jumps in the price as the Northern Hemisphere approaches winter, the season of peak oil use due to consumption of heating oil. To rebuild stocks and keep refineries humming, the actual users of oil — rather than speculators — are likely to snap up petroleum, keeping up the pressure on prices.

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Nigeria violence pushes oil price to new record

The Times: Nigeria violence pushes oil price to new record

“Shell said it had removed some 200 non-essential workers from an area close to Soku, where the oil company has a hub facility that collects gas from oil wells across the region for delivery to Nigeria LNG, one of the world’s biggest gas liquefaction plants, located on Bonny Island.”

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

September 28, 2004

THE price of crude oil made new records yesterday, flirting close to $50 per barrel in New York as traders reacted to continuing violence in oil- producing states, including Nigeria.

Rising tension in the Niger Delta renewed concerns about attacks on oil infrastructure in one of the larger Opec producer states. Anxiety about the repeat of last year’s production shutdowns in Nigeria and the killing of a French national in Saudi Arabia over the weekend sent the crude price climbing to $49.74 a barrel in New York, a record high for the Nymex light, sweet crude forward contract.

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Shell could quit Niger Delta

London Evening Standard: Shell could quit Niger Delta

“…“the latest outbreak of violence in Nigeria is simply the beginning of a civil war that could force Shell into a huge shake-up of its activities in the oil-rich country.”: “Shell’s links with Nigeria reached a low point nine years ago when Greenpeace said the giant had blood on its hands after the government executed activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.”

Steve Hawkes, Evening Standard

28 September 2004

ENVIRONMENTAL activists claim the latest outbreak of violence in Nigeria is simply the beginning of a civil war that could force Shell into a huge shake-up of its activities in the oil-rich country.

Shell has evacuated 235 staff from two oilfields as militants in the Niger Delta fight government troops. However, it claims to have managed to keep production at almost a million barrels a day.

But an escalation in violence would be likely to lead to a shutdown at a number of facilities, and would cast a shadow over the efforts of chairman Jeroen van der Veer to revive the business.

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Oil Nears $50 as Gulf Storms Curtail Output

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Oil Nears $50 as Gulf Storms Curtail Output

“A spokesman for Royal Dutch/Shell, Andy Corrigan, said in London that Shell had evacuated 235 nonessential workers from the Port Harcourt region of Nigeria on Friday because of a “tense security situation.”

By JAD MOUAWAD

Published: September 28, 2004

Oil prices rose to another record yesterday but remained just below the $50-a-barrel mark, as traders expressed concern that recent hurricanes had hurt output in the United States at a time commercial supplies remained low.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil for November delivery settled at $49.64 a barrel, up 76 cents, after touching $49.74 earlier in the session, the highest level since crude oil began trading on the exchange in 1983. The price rose above $50 a barrel in electronic trading after hours.

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Oil Charges Over $50 on Nigeria Threat

THE NEW YORK TIMES/REUTERS: Oil Charges Over $50 on Nigeria Threat

“Oil prices raced to new record highs above $50 on Tuesday as rebel threats against Nigerian oil facilities threatened to inflict further strain on global supplies.”: “Shell has already cut 30,000 to 40,000 bpd due to security curbs.: “U.S. crude stocks have fallen for the last eight weeks and are running at a 13 million barrel deficit compared with a year ago, at a time when they should be building ahead of winter.”

By REUTERS

Published: September 28, 2004

Filed at 8:08 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices raced to new record highs above $50 on Tuesday as rebel threats against Nigerian oil facilities threatened to inflict further strain on global supplies.

U.S. light crude touched a high of $50.47 a barrel and at 1120 GMT, the contract was trading at $50.03, up 39 cents. London’s Brent crude set a new peak at $46.80 a barrel, before easing to $46.43, up 50 cents.

Oil has grabbed the financial market spotlight this year, surging 55 percent as rising consumption and the fallout from years of underinvestment in supply infrastructure tempts heavy buying from big-money funds.

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Shell Shuts Some Nigerian Oil Output as Tension Rises

Bloomberg: Shell Shuts Some Nigerian Oil Output as Tension Rises (Update1): “Violence in the Niger River delta, where Nigeria’s oil is produced, kills about 1,000 people a year, according to a confidential report funded by Shell.”

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s Nigerian venture, which pumps almost half the oil in Africa’s biggest oil producer, closed an oil-pumping station and reduced the movement of staff after rebels threatened to attack oil installations.

The pumping station usually produces 28,000 barrels a day of oil, said Simon Buerk, a Shell spokesman in London, a small part of Shell’s daily output of more than 1 million barrels. Eni SpA and Total SA said their Nigerian oil output is unaffected.

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Nigerian Oil Wells Marked Part of $15b Shell Investment

AllAfrica.com: Nigerian Oil Wells Marked Part of $15b Shell Investment

“Several top brass including chairman Philip Watts were ousted in the wake of Shell’s restatement of reserves. It later emerged that several senior executives had been aware of problems long before they were made public. The oil giant was fined a total of 150 million dollars by US and British regulators last month.”

Hector Igbikiowubo, With Agency Report

Vanguard (Lagos)

September 28, 2004

MAJOR Nigerian oil wells operated by Royal Dutch/Shell are to benefit from the company’s plan to increase it’s global annual capital investment to $15billion (about N2.04trillion)to boost spending on exploration and production, and make the replacement of its missing reserves a priority.

The company also served notice that it will, in addition, sell non-core assets and this is all aimed at restoring traumatised investor confidence.

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BP seeks go-ahead for European oil mergers

THE BUSINESS: BP seeks go-ahead for European oil mergers

“British oil giant BP, is lobbying the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to relax its competition rules to allow mega-mergers…”: “references to competition policy will stir speculation that it has Royal Dutch/Shell in its sights.

By Fraser Nelson

Political Editor

26/27 Sept 04

British oil giant BP, is lobbying the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to relax its competition rules to allow mega-mergers between French, British, Italian and Scandinavian oil companies.

Nick Butler, BP’s head of strategy, will warn the EC in a forthcoming article that Europe’s demand for energy is being increasingly matched by fuel-hungry countries such as India and China. He will say that European consumers’ interests lies in having oil firms large enough to cope with this challenge. For that to happen, he says, the rules must be relaxed.

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SHELL’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2004

Daily Express (UK): SHELL’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS

Published 23 Sept 2004

Jan 9, 2004: Reserves downgraded; shares slump

Mar 7: Chairman Sir Philip Watts ousted

Apr 19: E-mails about ‘lying’ revealed

Apr 24: FSA launches probe

Jun 6: Shell forced to speed up structural reform

Jul 29: Fined £84m by US and UK watchdogs

Sep 22: New investment strategy

Shell buy expands DCC UK business

Rte: Shell buy expands DCC UK business

“DCC’s energy division is to acquire the business and assets of Shell Direct UK for a total of €23m. Shell Direct supplies heating oils and transport fuels to domestic and commercial customers in Britain.”

September 27, 2004

DCC’s energy division is to acquire the business and assets of Shell Direct UK for a total of €23m. Shell Direct supplies heating oils and transport fuels to domestic and commercial customers in Britain.

The business will operate as a Shell branded distributor trading as Emo Oil. It has 36 depots across Britain and employs around 500 people.

DCC says the business has sales of around 600 million litres a year, which would give a turnover of around €300m at current energy prices.

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Financial regulator doubles total fines

The Times: Financial regulator doubles total fines

“The recent fines record was dominated by the £17 million penalty meted out in August to Shell for repeatedly misleading shareholders over its oil and gas reserves.”

By Patrick Hosking, Investment Editor

September 27, 2004

THE duo running the Financial Services Authority have been accused of a “slash and burn” approach to punishing wrongdoers as it emerged that FSA fines have doubled in their first year in the job.

Callum McCarthy and John Tiner, who last week celebrated their first 12 months as chairman and chief executive respectively, have administered 25 fines totalling £27.3 million.

Sir Howard Davies, who was both chairman and chief executive, administered 13 fines totalling £12.5 million in his final year.

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Oil Jumps to Record, Nearing $50, on Threat to Nigerian Supply

Bloomberg: Oil Jumps to Record, Nearing $50, on Threat to Nigerian Supply

“Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s venture in Nigeria evacuated 235 employees from the Niger River delta Friday amid clashes between government troops and armed militants.”

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil rose to a record $49.74 a barrel in New York, its eighth straight gain, on concern rebels may target output in Nigeria as U.S. refiners struggle to meet their needs after Hurricane Ivan cut Gulf of Mexico supplies.

Oil is up 53 percent this year. Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s venture in Nigeria evacuated 235 employees from the Niger River delta Friday amid clashes between government troops and armed militants. In the U.S., declining oil inventories, now close to a 29-year low, led the government to agree to loan oil from its emergency stockpile so refiners can make gasoline.

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Oil nears $50 as storms, global tension drive prices

USA TODAY: Oil nears $50 as storms, global tension drive prices

“In Nigeria, rebels seeking political reforms in the impoverished oil-producing Niger delta scored a success with the closure by Royal Dutch/Shell of a small 30,000 barrels a day. Shell evacuated some staff as a security precaution as government troops battle militia, threatening deliveries from the country that pumps 2.5 million barrels daily.”

27 Sept 04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Oil prices approached $50 a barrel Monday as domestic and foreign supply concerns persist amid strong global demand.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 52 cents, or 1.1%, at $49.40 in late afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices reached $49.74, the highest since futures began trading in 1983. Oil futures were up 75% from a year earlier.

Crude futures settled Friday at a record $48.88 a barrel. Adjusting for inflation, today’s prices are still more than $30 below the level reached in 1981 after the Iranian revolution.

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399 Ex-Employees Of Shell Win Suit For Refund Estimated At RM100 Million

Sarawak News: 399 Ex-Employees Of Shell Win Suit For Refund Estimated At RM100 Million: “The Miri High Court has ordered Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB), Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd (SSPC), the Trustees of Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Fund (SSSRBF) and Shell Sarawak and Sabah Provident Fund (SSSPF), to pay nearly RM100 million to 399 former employees”

(Webmasters note: Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd is a UK company)

Posted 26 Sept 04

MIRI, Sept 23 (Bernama) — The Miri High Court has ordered Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB), Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd (SSPC), the Trustees of Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Fund (SSSRBF) and Shell Sarawak and Sabah Provident Fund (SSSPF), to pay nearly RM100 million to 399 former employees.

Judicial Commissioner, Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim, last Monday ruled in favour of the ex-employees, named Project Team A, who filed their suit on Nov 29, 2002 through their counsel, Eric Khoo and Gabriel Kok.

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Oil Prices Rise Again As Production Lags

The New York Times: Oil Prices Rise Again As Production Lags

“…one factor that may have contributed to Friday’s rise in prices was violence in Nigeria that forced Royal Dutch/Shell Group, which accounts for roughly half the country’s daily exports of 2.5 million barrels, to evacuate two oil facilities.”

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted 26 September 2004

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices neared $49 a barrel Friday, capping a rise of 7 percent for the week, as Gulf of Mexico crude production rebounded at a slower-than-expected rate in the wake of Hurricane Ivan.

Light crude for November delivery rose 42 cents to settle at a new high of $48.88 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price of oil is up 73 percent from a year ago.

The federal Minerals Management Service reported Friday that daily oil production in the Gulf remains 27 percent below normal at about 1.2 million barrels per day — the same level as Thursday. The agency said 10 million barrels of oil, the equivalent of 1.7 percent of annual production in the region, have been lost since last Monday, when offshore producers began evacuating crews.

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Rebels fight government to control Nigerian oil

Sunday Telegraph: Rebels fight government to control Nigerian oil

“on Thursday, the oil giant Shell evacuated more than 250 non-essential members of staff from two facilities in the Niger Delta.”

By Katharine Houreld in Port Harcourt

(Filed: 26/09/2004)

On the widescreen television in front of me, Sylvester Stallone is fondling a semi-naked blonde. Sitting to my left on a sofa, staring at the screen, is Alhaji Dobuko Asari – a rebel leader and oil robber baron whose gang violence has turned Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil-producing capital, into a war zone.

Asari, an Islamic convert who admires Osama bin Laden, has been denouncing the decadence of Western society but in truth his rhetoric is as passionless as Stallone’s performance. Only the subject of oil rouses him.

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