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Posts from ‘October, 2004’

OCTOBER 2004 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS

All the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia

From our Shell News Archive Sunday 31 October, 2004

The fallout from the Shell reserves fraud continues…

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Business View: Shell’s real location problem is finding more black stuff: “The misreporting of reserves scandal showed all the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia.”: “So what’s the hurry? Was it because Shell had to admit that it had uncovered another 900 million barrels of doubtful crude in its reserves and was likely to uncover 600 million more?”

Sunday Express (UK): Shell boardroom changes backfire on reserves news: “ONE OF the world’s most influential financial firms has given the thumbs down to an announcement from Shell it is to end its 97-year-old dual board structure.”: “…financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it had adjusted Shell’s investment rating downwards to “creditwatch negative”, a status which implies there may be more bad news to come from the company.”

Mail on Sunday (UK): Shell bosses in a charm offensive: “The Board, headed by Jeroen van der Veer, will see thousands of staff to explain the proposed changes and shore up the mood of the employees damaged by scandals over Shell’s inflated oil reserves.”: “Last week, Shell was forced to downgrade its estimates of proven oil reserves for the fifth time this year. Reserves are now a third lower than originally thought”

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From our Shell News Archive: Saturday 30 October, 2004

From our Shell News Archive: Saturday 30 October, 2004

Financial Times: Look under the Shell: “One conspiracy theory doing the rounds yesterday was that those Dutch chaps now running Royal Dutch/Shell were more cunning than they first appear, in spite of the company’s inability to count reserves over several years.”

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell’s credit rating goes back under review: “Standard & Poor’s yesterday put Royal Dutch/Shell’s AA+ credit rating under “negative” review because it may have to restate its proved reserves yet again.”: “Concerns were also raised about whether Shell tried to bury the bad news on reserves yet again by announcing its restructuring at the same time. “The information was found on page three, line 15 in one of the longest paragraphs I have ever seen,” said one London-based broker.”

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DREADFUL DAY FOR SHELL SHAREHOLDERS, ESPECIALLY UK SHELL SHAREHOLDERS

FROM OUR OCTOBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

Friday 29 October, 2004 – A DREADFUL DAY FOR SHAREHOLDERS IN SHELL TRANSPORT AND TRADING COMPANY PLC

The Times (UK): The Hague for head office: “ALTHOUGH it maintains otherwise, Shell is effectively going Dutch…”: “From May, the big decisions will be taken by a new board in The Hague, which has seven Dutch members and only four Britons.”: “…from 2006 it will hold AGMs only in The Hague.”

The Times (UK): Fear of new Shell reserves downgrade: “ROYAL Dutch/Shell yesterday raised fears that it may have to write down its reserves by more than 1.5 billion barrels…”: “With less than 60 per cent of its reservoir audit completed, Shell was unable yesterday to put a ceiling on the potential downgrade of its reserves…”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Dutch chiefs take helm of merged Shell: “The radical move, which needs to be approved by shareholders, is likely to be seen as a Dutch takeover of the energy giant…”: “The news was overshadowed by yet more revelations about the company’s “proven” reserves…”

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Shell stuns City with revamp

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

London Evening Standard: Shell stuns City with revamp

“The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.”: “Buried deep in the results statement, Shell said it was considering yet another downgrade after a review of 8bn barrels of reserves for the year to December.”

Steve Hawkes,

28 October 2004

ANGLO-DUTCH giant Shell stunned the City today by unveiling plans to scrap its century old corporate structure and create ‘one company, one board and one chief executive.

The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

It will effectively take over the British and Dutch arms, which came together in a joint venture in 1907 with Royal Dutch owning 60%. The new group will be based in the Netherlands but listed in London.

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Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

Netherlands HQ ‘not a victory for the Dutch’: “Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.”

By Emily Church,

Oct. 28, 2004

LONDON (CBS.MW) — Oil major Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it plans to merge its Dutch and U.K. companies, breaking close to a hundred year tradition as a dual Anglo-Dutch group.

The move was expected and follows shareholder outrage after a shock downgrade of proven oil reserves in January. Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.

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Shell grant of $800,000 will fund informational materials on Louisiana wetlands

Press release from Shell Oil Company (USA)

Shell Partners With The America’s WETLAND Campaign And The State Of Louisiana To Support ‘Eco-Cultural’ Tourism Initiative: Grant of $800,000 will fund informational materials on Louisiana wetlands

27 Oct 04

(CSRwire) NEW ORLEANS – Shell Oil Company last week announced that it has partnered with the America’s WETLAND Campaign to Save Coastal Louisiana and the State of Louisiana to support a statewide initiative to promote the Louisiana wetlands as an attractive ‘eco-cultural’ tourist destination.

Shell has granted $800,000 to fund the production and distribution of informational materials for the initiative called “A Place Called America’s WETLAND.” The goals are to make residents and visitors more aware of the natural and cultural riches found in the wetlands region of Louisiana and to foster greater public awareness of the impacts of wetlands loss.

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Shell chairman deeply ashamed about reserves fraud

London Evening Standard: Market Report: SPEAKING OUT

“All of us are deeply ashamed about what happened about the reserves, but we are determined to regain our position. — Shell chairman Jeroen van der Veer on the oil giant’s attempts to put its misdemeanours behind it”

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BLOOMBERG: BP Third-Quarter Profit Rises 53% on Higher Prices

BLOOMBERG: BP Third-Quarter Profit Rises 53% on Higher Prices

BP has overtaken Royal Dutch/Shell Group to become the second- largest oil company by market value, by making more than $100 billion of takeovers since 1999. Shell also lost its status after a January disclosure that it had overstated its oil and gas reserves for years.”

October 26, 2004

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc, the world’s second-largest publicly traded oil company, reported profit rose 53 percent in the third quarter because of record crude prices.

Net income increased to $3.46 billion, or 18 cents a share, from $2.26 billion, or 13 cents, a year ago, excluding costs of holding inventories, the London-based company said in a statement on the Regulatory News Service. Profit was $3.94 billion excluding amortization and other costs, compared with analyst estimates of $4.17 billion in a Bloomberg survey.

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Shell in PR push for Sakhalin 2

Financial Times: Shell in PR push for Sakhalin 2

“The publication mirrors efforts by the embattled Shell elsewhere to stress its role as a responsible corporate citizen…”: “”The more a company does, the more it’s in trouble,” said an executive for a rival western energy group based in Moscow, commenting on the Sakhalin Energy document”

By Andrew Jack in Moscow

October 25 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch petroleum group, and its Japanese partners are gearing up to launch a “charm offensive” to explain the benefits to Russia of their $12bn Sakhalin 2 project at a time of growing concern over attitudes to foreign investment in the country.

In a glossy 36-page booklet obtained by the FT and designed for widespread distribution, Sakhalin Energy, the partnership between Shell, Mitsubishi and Mitsui developing oil and gas in an offshore field off Sakhalin Island in Russia’s far east, argues that federal authorities will receive $45bn in direct income in the coming years from the project.

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Tarnished Shell seeks to be born again

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Tarnished Shell seeks to be born again

Tim Webb on the oil giant’s attempts to put scandal behind it and give itself a facelift: “Shell directors have spent the last year reading the newspapers about how bad they are,” he says. “The last thing they want to read is that they have failed again.”

24 October 2004

Shell is expected to outdo its rival, BP, when it announces higher third- quarter earnings this week. In fact, it has already earned more than BP this year, which isn’t bad for such a “troubled” company.

It underlines the fact that the Anglo-Dutch company has continued to perform financially despite spending most of the year mired in controversy. This is the same Shell which in the past six months has seen its chairman, exploration chief and finance director leave after a fifth of its proven oil and gas reserves were found to be wrongly booked. And it is the same company whose new chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, vowed last month at its annual strategy meeting: “Much more needs to be done. We are driving Shell to be a different company.”

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Ogoni is No Priority – Shell

allAfrica.com: Ogoni is No Priority – Shell

“Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said yesterday it is not in a hurry to resume oil production in Ogoniland”

This Day (Lagos)

Mike Oduniyi

Port Harcourt

Posted 23 October 2004

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said yesterday it is not in a hurry to resume oil production in Ogoniland, more than a decade after it pulled out of the area located in the heartland of Rivers State. The company stopped production in Ogoni in 1993 at the height of the crisis in the area based on agitations by the indigenes who were complaining of neglect and deprivation.

US oil major ChevronTexaco, however, said it had re-opened two of its oil fields in the swamp of Warri, in Delta State, which now cuts the company’s production losses down to 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 140,000 bpd.

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Shell apologises for bitumen meetings in Brussels probe

From Our October 2004 Shell News Archive

Financial Times: Shell apologises for bitumen meetings in Brussels probe

Royal Dutch/Shell said it regretted attending meetings with roadbuilders and bitumen suppliers. The apology came as it responded to charges from the European Commission of possible price-fixing in the Dutch bitumen market.”: Rein Willems, chairman of Shell in the Netherlands, said: “We are concerned about this matter. We should not have been in these meetings and we regret our involvement in this case.”

By James Boxell

Published: October 22 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell said it regretted attending meetings with roadbuilders and bitumen suppliers. The apology came as it responded to charges from the European Commission of possible price-fixing in the Dutch bitumen market.

Rein Willems, chairman of Shell in the Netherlands, said: “We are concerned about this matter. We should not have been in these meetings and we regret our involvement in this case.”

The Anglo-Dutch energy group, which is seeking to restore its reputation after overbooking 23 per cent of its oil reserves, said it had received a “statement of objections” from the Commission, along with 13 other bitumen market participants.

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Nigeria Grp Threatens Protest, Says Army Guards Shell Site

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Nigeria Grp Threatens Protest, Says Army Guards Shell Site

“LAGOS (AP)–Nigerian activists Thursday accused oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group of backing new military deployments in the Niger Delta, threatening protests and giving the company a seven-day ultimatum to “stop further acts of hostility.”: The hanging of nine Ogoni leaders by late dictator Gen. Sani Abacha in 1995 led to the isolation of his military government and worldwide protests against Shell.”

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Posted October 22, 2004

LAGOS (AP)–Nigerian activists Thursday accused oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD,SC) of backing new military deployments in the Niger Delta, threatening protests and giving the company a seven-day ultimatum to “stop further acts of hostility.”

Shell and the military denied the accusation.

A spokesman for the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People said Nigerian soldiers and paramilitary forces had recently deployed around abandoned Shell pipeline facilities in Ogoni territory.

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Flexibility and diversity keep Shell LNG up to the challenge

Lloyds List: Flexibility and diversity keep Shell LNG up to the challenge

“Shell is a partner in, and advisor to, six export plants which account for almost 40% of world LNG production. The group is playing a similar role in several new export projects under development, not least Sakhalin in Russia, and with a number of existing liquefaction plants being expanded, notably those in Oman, Nigeria and Australia.”

Oct 21, 2004

The Shell LNG shipping pedigree is one of the most diversified and durable among oil and gas companies worldwide.

Methane Princess , the first LNG carrier to deliver a commercial cargo, some 40 years ago, was managed and operated by Shell. Today, the company holds an equity stake in 28 LNGCs in service and six on order, while a further 34 LNGCs are on charter, either directly or through Shell joint ventures.

The specialist shipping services provided by Shell International Trading and Shipping Co (Stasco) to Shell Gas and Power are an essential element in the many LNG supply chains the group maintains worldwide.

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Shell’s Nuclear Past

Corporate Watch: Shell’s Nuclear Past

“So close was their relationship with the nuclear establishment that the Division of Atomic Energy at the erstwhile Ministry of Supply was based at Shell-Mex House”: “Shell’s press department has been singularly reluctant to help us with this research.”: “They cannot tell us why they still own a share-holding in Ultracentrifuge Nederland BV, the holding company that owns 33% of the uranium enrichment company, Urenco.”

Posted 21 Oct 04

Corporate Watch has some new findings to report on Shell’s past involvement in the nuclear industry.

Documents from the Public Records Office at Kew filled in more of the early history. File AB16/1856 is a series of letters and documents concerning Shell’s early nuclear ambitions from the early to the late 1950s. It shows that Shell successfully negotiated deals to supply heavy water and nuclear grade graphite to the UK’s nuclear industry. It also reveals Shell’s ambitions to develop nuclear reactors for ship propulsion and that they sent at least one scientist to the UKAEA’s “Reactor School” at Harwell as part of that project. So close was their relationship with the nuclear establishment that the Division of Atomic Energy at the erstwhile Ministry of Supply was based at Shell-Mex House. AB 16/1856 details some of their activities from 1950 to 1959. The file is suggestive of ongoing programmes, but we have no information on activities between 1959 and 1973 (when they took a 50% share in reactor manufacturer General Atomic – see CW Newsletter 16).

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The Age (Australia): Shell told to clean up oil leaks

The Age (Australia): Shell told to clean up oil leaks

“The EPA has issued a soil and groundwater clean-up notice against Shell, warning that oil leaking from the company’s Corio refinery is threatening Corio Bay.”: “Compliance with the notice is expected to cost Shell “several millions of dollars a year…”

By Kenneth Nguyen

October 19, 2004

The EPA has issued a soil and groundwater clean-up notice against Shell, warning that oil leaking from the company’s Corio refinery is threatening Corio Bay.

Although the seepage is mainly under Shell’s refinery, of particular concern for the EPA is a plume of contaminated groundwater covering at least 100 square metres underneath the Corio foreshore.

Shell said yesterday that it was already working on cleaning up groundwater.

But EPA chairman Mick Bourke said the company had engaged in “insufficient actions and slow implementation of measures . . . to address (the EPA’s) environmental concerns”.

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Shell’s Jiffy Lube Nears Deal To Settle Consumer Lawsuits

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Jiffy Lube Nears Deal To Settle Consumer Lawsuits

“It was just a straight rip-off for $1.25 every time someone came in,” said Scott R. Shepherd, a Pennsylvania attorney who sued the company”: “Jiffy Lube, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Co…”: “Marc A. Wites, a Florida lawyer, said it would cover only 8 million of the 34 million people who paid the surcharge.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf6KY6rrqYU

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiCAJ8ULnaI

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

October 19, 2004 12:57 a.m.

DALLAS (AP)–An Oklahoma judge is poised to approve a settlement of class-action lawsuits by drivers who say they were cheated when Jiffy Lube International Inc. added surcharges to their oil-change bills over the past five years.

The settlement would close at least nine pending class-action cases from California to New Jersey -a similar accord has been reached in a New York case. Some customers would get $5 off their next oil change. The three law firms that negotiated with Houston-based Jiffy Lube would split $2.75 million.

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The new Untouchables

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

Daily Mail (UK): The new Untouchables

“Sir Philip Watts, former chairman of Shell, plainly hopes that the checks and balances of British corporate justice will save him from the hands of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”: “The quarrel has a hidden significance. Watts is personally under investigation on both sides of the Atlantic. The SEC apparently is interested in extraditing him to the United States to face allegations. Watts and his lawyers are proclaiming his innocence, but their tactics may also tie the British regulators in knots and keep the Americans at bay.”

Alex Brummer,

19 October 2004

BRITISH financial policing all too often looks dysfunctional. The time taken to conduct investigations and to bring charges more often than not runs to years not months. Cases frequently fall through the regulatory gaps.

And when the authorities seek to demonstrate the firm hand of regulation they find themselves pinned back by appeals tribunals. This is before European human rights law is brought into play.

The disclosure that Malcolm Walker, the founder and former chairman of Iceland, will not be prosecuted after four years of probes into allegations of insider trading is a case in point.

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FSA urges tribunal to reject Shell boss appeal

Daily Express (UK): FSA urges tribunal to reject Shell boss appeal

“The reserves crisis is being investigated by criminal authorities in the US, where Shell is facing civil actions for millions of pounds.”

19 Oct 2004

CITY watchdog the Financial Services Authority is urging an independent tribunal to dismiss an appeal by former Shell boss Sir Philip Watts.

It believes the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal should reject Watts’s claims that it identified him, in contravention of its own rules, when explaining the reasons for fining the oil giant £17 million over its reserves fiasco this year.

In a statement yesterday, the regulator said the tribunal should first decide whether Watts was “identified and prejudiced” when the fine was issued.

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The powers in the boardroom: Maarten van den Bergh

The Times: The powers in the boardroom

“Van den Bergh was appointed group managing director of Royal Dutch/Shell in 1992. He left suddenly in 2000, saying he had grown tired of the endless travelling. His views on this year’s furore over Shell’s oil reserves are not known. It is not a subject that goes down well with Shell alumni.

Oilman who made slick transition to bank boss

By Jon Ashworth

October 18, 2004

The world-travelled chairman of Lloyds TSB who made the switch from energy to high finance

THERE are some corners of the world where cynicism has yet to take root. Or perhaps it is simply that the locals do as they are told. Either could explain the spectacle that greeted Maarten van den Bergh during a visit to South Africa in the late 1990s.

Nelson Mandela had persuaded Shell to build a new school near his birthplace in the Eastern Cape. As one of Shell’s most senior executives, Van den Bergh had been flown in for the inauguration.

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FSA bids to sink Shell man’s appeal

London Evening Standard: FSA bids to sink Shell man’s appeal

“THE Financial Services Authority has sensationally asked an independent tribunal to block an appeal case launched by former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts.”: “Watts’ outburst last month was the first time the oil executive had commented on the reserves scandal that has crippled Shell this year.”

Steve Hawkes,

18 October 2004

THE Financial Services Authority has sensationally asked an independent tribunal to block an appeal case launched by former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts.

The City watchdog has urged the Financial Services and Markets Tribunal to throw out claims by Watts that it broke its own rules by identifying him when finding Shell guilty earlier this year of stock market abuse in overstating oil and gas reserves.

It wants a preliminary decision to be made on the prejudice claim in the hope the rest of the case will then have to be shelved.

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U.K. FSA Asks for Ruling on Ex-Shell Boss’s Challenge

BLOOMBERG: U.K. FSA Asks for Ruling on Ex-Shell Boss’s Challenge

“Class-Action Ammunition: While Watts wasn’t identified by name in the FSA’s notice, it may provide ammunition in the class-action suits filed against him.”: “Watts, 59, asked for the tribunal to challenge the notice the FSA published when Shell agreed to pay fines of $150 million in Britain and the U.S.

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) — The U.K.’s financial regulator will ask a tribunal to decide whether former Royal Dutch/Shell Group chairman Philip Watts was “identified and prejudiced” by the regulator’s penalty against Shell for overstating oil reserves.

“We are confident that he was not and that the tribunal will agree with us,” the Financial Services Authority said in an e- mailed statement. “This would mean that the tribunal will have no jurisdiction to consider the other matters which Sir Philip has referred to the tribunal.”

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Oil giants face price-fix charges

The Scotsman: Oil giants face price-fix charges

“Shell, which is being investigated in relation to its Dutch operations, said that the firm had been co-operating fully with the investigation, but has yet to be informed of any decision.”

Alastair Reed

Posted Oct 17, 2004

EUROPEAN Union regulators are set to charge two global oil giants and a Dutch road builder with fixing the price of a petroleum product used to pave streets.

Oil giants Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch/Shell have both been under investigation by the European Commission as part of inquiries stretching back to 2002, along with road builders such as Ballast Nedam NV of the Netherlands. The investigation focused on the market for bitumen, a by-product from the crude oil refining process, which is primarily used in the construction industry for surfacing roads and waterproofing.

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Shell team effort raises over $2.9 million for United Way

CNW Telbeck (Canada): Shell team effort raises over $2.9 million for United Way

“- Shell Canada, its employees and retirees announced a donation of $2,969,795 to United Way of Calgary and area today, the single largest United Way contribution in Alberta history.”

16 Oct 2004

CALGARY, CNW/ – Shell Canada, its employees and retirees announced a donation of $2,969,795 to United Way of Calgary and area today, the single largest United Way contribution in Alberta history. This exceeds last year’s record-breaking $2.1 million donation which was the largest ever United Way contribution from an organization headquartered in Western Canada.

“Shell’s partnership with United Way directly reflects our commitment to sustainable development,” said Clive Mather, Shell Canada President and Chief Executive Officer. “While this is a significant donation, we cannot underestimate the number of people and the amount of hours that contributed to the success of this year’s campaign,” he said. “Together, we can build an extraordinary community.”

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Shell Says To Help Iraq Oil Min Develop Gas Master Plan

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Says To Help Iraq Oil Min Develop Gas Master Plan

“Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell won approval from the Iraqi Oil Ministry to help develop a gas master plan, the Iraq project manager for Shell Exploration and Production said Friday.”

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Posted 16 Oct 04

LONDON — Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell won approval from the Iraqi Oil Ministry to help develop a gas master plan, the Iraq project manager for Shell Exploration and Production said Friday.

The plan for dealing with Iraq’s associated and non-associated gas, is expected to take around a year to formulate, depending on how detailed it will be Piet Ruijtenberg told Dow Jones Newswires in a telephone interview.

“They’ve just given us the go-ahead and we will be setting up the team by the first quarter of next year,” Ruijtenberg said.

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EU to Charge Exxon, Shell in Cartel Probe, People Say

Bloomberg: EU to Charge Exxon, Shell in Cartel Probe, People Say

“The European Commission, the EU’s Brussels-based regulatory arm, will charge the producers and consumers with colluding to fix prices for bitumen in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Spain, said people who declined to be identified.”

Posted 16 Oct. (Bloomberg) — European Union regulators will charge oil companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and road builders such as Ballast Nedam NV with fixing the price of a petroleum product used to pave streets, people familiar with the matter said.

The European Commission, the EU’s Brussels-based regulatory arm, will charge the producers and consumers with colluding to fix prices for bitumen in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Spain, said people who declined to be identified.

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Shell signs North America LNG deal

Financial Times: Shell signs North America LNG deal

By James Boxell

Published: October 15 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell has signed a deal to supply 37m tonnes of liquefied natural gas to Mexico and the US west coast, in what it claims will be the first export of Russian gas to North America. The gas, which will be supplied over a 20-year period, will come from Shell’s huge Sakhalin 2 project in Russia’s far east. As part of the deal, Shell is buying 50 per cent of the capacity of a Mexican LNG plant, which will be used to convert the liquid back into gas for distribution in Mexico and California.

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Perils that lie in risk management

London Evening Standard: Perils that lie in risk management

“…it is less than 10 years since Shell was vilified for its environmentally sensible proposal to sink the Brent Spar oil platform in the Atlantic, and thereby introduced the world to reputational risk.”: “Regulators, auditors, ratings agencies and even businessmen speak of little else these days. A whole new science has grown up to meet the need.”

Anthony Hilton,

15 October 2004

IT hardly bears thinking about but it is still less than 10 years since Nick Leeson brought down Barings bank and introduced the world to the concept of operational risk.

Similarly, it is less than 10 years since Shell was vilified for its environmentally sensible proposal to sink the Brent Spar oil platform in the Atlantic, and thereby introduced the world to reputational risk. In that age of innocence, no one talked about risk control.

Regulators, auditors, ratings agencies and even businessmen speak of little else these days. A whole new science has grown up to meet the need.

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Shell strikes US$6B deal to ship Russian liquefied gas to North America

Canadian Press: Shell strikes US$6B deal to ship Russian liquefied gas to North America

“The deal is the first that would funnel Russian LNG to the United States, whose demand for natural gas is surging as domestic supply dwindles.”

Thursday, October 14, 2004

MOSCOW (CP) – A consortium led by Royal Dutch/Shell Group that is developing gas reserves off Russia’s Sakhalin Island said Thursday it has struck a $6-billion-US deal to supply liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to energy-hungry North America.

Sakhalin Energy Investment Ltd., operator of the Sakhalin-2 project, said it signed an agreement to ship 37 million tonnes of LNG to a regasification terminal in Mexico.

Shell, which is building the Energia Costa Azul terminal in Baja California with California’s Sempra Energy, is the buyer of the gas.

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Strike threatens Nigeria’s oil production

The Guardian: Strike threatens Nigeria’s oil production

“Trade unions in Nigeria yesterday threatened to extend a three-day general strike which has shut down much of the country and driven world oil prices to a record high.”: Union in world’s seventh-biggest exporter says it will shut down supplies if police harass protesters

Rory Carroll, Africa correspondent

Thursday October 14, 2004

Trade unions in Nigeria yesterday threatened to extend a three-day general strike which has shut down much of the country and driven world oil prices to a record high.

The stoppage was due to end today but labour leaders said it would continue if the government used heavy-handed tactics against strikers.

At least two people have been killed in clashes between protesters and police, a modest toll compared with previous strikes, but the unions signalled that they would maintain their momentum.

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Nigerian union leaders threaten to extend strike over fuel prices

AP Worldstream: Nigerian union leaders threaten to extend strike over fuel prices

“The general strike, which began Monday, was supposed to last four days and resume again in two weeks if fuel prices don’t come down. The move has already shut down businesses across the country and helped push world oil prices to record highs.”: “It was not known what caused the leak on Monday at Moghor in the Ogoni district of the oil-rich delta. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of unidentified saboteurs set the pipeline on fire, Shell said in a statement.”

DULUE MBACHU

Oct 13, 2004

A union leader who called a nationwide strike to protest rising fuel prices in Nigeria warned that the strike could be extended if serious violence breaks out or the government refuses to consider its demands.

The general strike, which began Monday, was supposed to last four days and resume again in two weeks if fuel prices don’t come down. The move has already shut down businesses across the country and helped push world oil prices to record highs.

Little violence has been reported so far, but at least two people have been killed in clashes between police and pro-union protesters.

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Shell kicks off multi-billion dollar asset sales

Reuters: Shell kicks off multi-billion dollar asset sales

“Royal Dutch/Shell has kicked off auctions for two units worth several billion dollars, to move forward with its plans to sell non-core assets to help fund more upstream oil exploration.”: “Last month, Shell, the world’s third-largest oil company, unveiled plans for major disposals and new production in its bid to put behind it a reserves scandal that rocked the group.”

Tue 12 October, 2004

By Charlie Zhu and Tom Bergin

SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch/Shell has kicked off auctions for two units worth several billion dollars, to move forward with its plans to sell non-core assets to help fund more upstream oil exploration.

The company on Tuesday confirmed it and its partner, U.S. building firm Bechtel, were investigating the possible sale of their InterGen power joint venture.

Sources familiar with the situation said Shell’s advisor Citigroup had already sent offer documents to potential buyers for InterGen, while other sources said Citigroup was also preparing a sales memorandum for Shell’s global liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution and marketing unit.

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Gazprom holding talks with Shell

Financial Times: Gazprom holding talks with Shell

“Other than providing cash, strategic support, or a commitment to future capital investment, Gazprom could offer Shell access to other projects in Russia…”

By Andrew Jack in Moscow

Published: October 11 2004

Gazprom, the Russian state-backed gas monopoly, might take a significant equity stake in the Sakhalin 2 oil and gas project managed by Royal Dutch/ Shell by the end of the year.

John Barry, president of Shell Exploration and Production Services for Russia told the Financial Times there had been “intense discussions” in recent months with Gazprom and put the chances of a deal by the end of 2004 at 50:50.

The deal would bring to an end a period during which some of Russia’s most significant energy projects were controlled by foreign groups.

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Nigerian oil union strike threat grows

THE BUSINESS: Nigerian oil union strike threat grows

“Nigeria’s oil unions will repeat last week’s two-day strike against Royal Dutch/Shell and extend it to the US firms Chevron/Texaco and ExxonMobil if talks with the company on Tuesday breakdown. Lumumba Okugba, deputy general secretary of white-collar oil union Pengassan said: The next one will be have to be bigger…”

By Richard Orange

10 October 04

Nigeria’s oil unions will repeat last week’s two-day strike against Royal Dutch/Shell and extend it to the US firms Chevron/Texaco and ExxonMobil if talks with the company on Tuesday breakdown.

Lumumba Okugba, deputy general secretary of white-collar oil union Pengassan said: The next one will be have to be bigger and we will have to take it holistically, not just Shell. We have the same problem with Chevron and Mobil. “We could go the whole hog.”

Pengassan is protesting against Shell’s plans to restructure its African operations, a move that will involve job losses. It is also protesting against the hiring of non-union casual staff.

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Surging oil price forces IMF to tear up growth forecasts

The Independent: Surging oil price forces IMF to tear up growth forecasts

“Yesterday’s spike was triggered by Shell when it said Nigerian oil unions had begun an unexpected two-day strike at its facilities to protest against a reorganisation plan, but the company said output had not been affected.”

By Philip Thornton Economics Correspondent

Posted 9 October 2004

Record oil prices have forced the International Monetary Fund to scrap its forecasts for global economic growth next year, just a week after it published them.

As crude prices struck fresh all-time highs for a third day yesterday, the fund said it was worried about the medium-term outlook. The cost of oil surged on both sides of the Atlantic, breaching $53 a barrel in New York and jumping more than a dollar to a record $49.07 a barrel in London on news that a strike in Nigeria had put exports on hold.

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Oil prices touch high as Shell workers strike

Daily Telegraph: Oil prices touch high as Shell workers strike

“Strikes by oil workers in Nigeria sent the price of crude above $49 a barrel in London for the first time yesterday. The members of two oil unions unexpectedly downed tools at Shell’s production facilities in a two-day protest against job cuts.”

By Malcolm Moore, Economics Correspondent (Filed: 08/10/2004)

Strikes by oil workers in Nigeria sent the price of crude above $49 a barrel in London for the first time yesterday.

The members of two oil unions unexpectedly downed tools at Shell’s production facilities in a two-day protest against job cuts.

Traders bargain in the oil pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange

The strikes came a day after the country’s main oil workers’ union said its members would cease work on Sunday if fuel prices were not cut. Shell said its production had not yet been affected.

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Clean Up Sakhalin Oil Spill, Not Your Image, Campaigners tell Shell

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2004

Friends of the Earth: Clean Up Sakhalin Oil Spill, Not Your Image, Campaigners tell Shell

“The spill stretched along five kilometres of coast and left local residents ill. Environmentalists had previously criticised Shell for not having an effective spill response plan and were furious when their fears proved well founded.“

Posted 7 Oct 2004

Environmental groups expressed outrage today as oil giant Shell moved to appoint a “crisis management” public relations officer for its troubled multi-billion dollar Sakhalin project in Russia’s Far East.

Shell has posted the recruitment ad just three weeks after one of its dredging vessels ran aground causing a Category 2 oil spill at Kholmsk on Sakhalin. The spill stretched along five kilometres of coast and left local residents ill. Environmentalists had previously criticised Shell for not having an effective spill response plan and were furious when their fears proved well founded.

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Shell finds more oil in Brunei

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell finds more oil in Brunei

“”We regard this as a very important discovery because there are up to 20 similar structures in this area. If this success is replicated we estimate total recoverable oil of up to 100 mln barrels from the whole of the Seria North Flank,” said Mark Carne, managing director Brunei Shell Petroleum Co.

Posted 7 Oct 2004

LONDON (AFX) – The Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it discovered more oil in the Seria North Flank field in Brunei.

It found “approximately 400 metres of net gas and oil bearing sands of better reservoir quality than expected” in the well it drilled on the field.

“We regard this as a very important discovery because there are up to 20 similar structures in this area. If this success is replicated we estimate total recoverable oil of up to 100 mln barrels from the whole of the Seria North Flank,” said Mark Carne, managing director Brunei Shell Petroleum Co.

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Ageing and sickly, ex-Shell staff wait on court

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2004

New Straits Times: Ageing and sickly, ex-Shell staff wait on court

“Some have died. Others are losing their memory and many are ailing.”: “399 former employees of Sarawak Shell Bhd and Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd engaged in a protracted legal battle with their ex-employers…” “claiming that they unlawfully deducted money from their internal retirement funds…”: “They won their case at the Miri High Court on Sept 20 but their employers filed an appeal.”: “For now, all they can do is hope their time doesn’t run out.”

By Johannes Ridu & Sharifah Arfah

MIRI, 6 October 2004

Some have died. Others are losing their memory and many are ailing. They are among a group of 399 former employees of Sarawak Shell Bhd and Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd engaged in a protracted legal battle with their ex-employers over an estimated RM50 million they claim is rightfully theirs.

In November 2002 they sued their ex-employers, claiming that they unlawfully deducted money from their internal retirement funds, Shell Sarawak & Sabah Retirement Benefit Fund (RBF) and Shell Sarawak & Sabah Provident Fund (SSF).

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Woodside checks out early signs of African oil finds

Lloyds List: Woodside checks out early signs of African oil finds

“Shell and Pan-Ocean Energy have found oil with the Awokou onshore well in Gabon.”

Martyn Wingrove

Oct 06, 2004

WOODSIDE is evaluating signs that it has struck oil with its latest deepwater exploration wells in Mauritania, increasing its reserves in two key oilfield developments in the African country.

The Australian oil company is drilling a 21-well programme offshore Mauritania with two drilling units and has already gained encouraging indications of finding new oil reserves.

Semi-submersible Stena Tay, drilling on the Tevet prospect 10 km north east of the Chinguetti field, has encountered oil-bearing zones. It has started a logging programme on the well to provide more details of the potential reserves in the prospect.

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We need Dutch courage to compete with the US

The Times: We need Dutch courage to compete with the US

“Even the great Dutch firms are looking a bit sickly: Royal Dutch Petroleum, the senior Shell partner, is low in oil and embroiled in scandal…”

European Briefing

By Carl Mortished

October 06, 2004

WHO will be the great Dutch traders of the 21st century? A small and exceedingly wealthy country, the Netherlands has always been about trade, more about buying and selling things than making them. From the early 17th century the Dutch have been roaming the world, finding inexpensive goods and shipping them out or exploiting cheap labour in remote places for a quick profit.

What has happened to the flair, the ruthless eye for commercial advantage? Today, the Netherlands looks rich but tired, its economy is going gently nowhere and unemployment is on the rise. Even the great Dutch firms are looking a bit sickly: Royal Dutch Petroleum, the senior Shell partner, is low in oil and embroiled in scandal, Unilever has been mugged by American competitors while Philips is treading water in a sea of Asian electronics. And KLM? It has been devoured by the French.

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Shell gets $1 billion US dollars from US pipeline sale

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell gets $1 billion US dollars from US pipeline sale

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Shell and Unocal quit Xihu Trough gas project

Lloyds List: Shell and Unocal quit Xihu Trough gas project

ROYAL Dutch/Shell and US oil independent Unocal have pulled out of the Xihu Trough offshore natural gas project in the East China Sea because of failure to renegotiate commercial issues, writes Martyn Wingrove.”

Oct 05, 2004

ROYAL Dutch/Shell and US oil independent Unocal have pulled out of the Xihu Trough offshore natural gas project in the East China Sea because of failure to renegotiate commercial issues, writes Martyn Wingrove.

The two companies each held a 20% stake in the exploration and gas development project, but have terminated their involvement, leaving it in the hands of China National Offshore Oil Corp.

The two companies agreed to assume all the financial risks during the 12-month exploration phase, but were unable to move the project forward into a commercial project.

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Lucrative oilfield in India that Shell decided to abandon

The Times: Business Editor’s Commentary: Entrepreneurs need vision, determination and bravery as do large companies if they are to prosper. Bill Gammell has all those qualities. He also has a very lucrative oilfield in India, which Shell decided to abandon. Sir Philip Watts would not have qualified for the first round of the Entrepreneur of the Year contest but Shell’s structure did not nurture genuine entrepreneurs.

By Patience Wheatcroft

October 05, 2004

BUSINESSES need to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit from which they sprang.

Last night, t a glitteirng dinner, the individual named Entrepreneur of the Year in the Ernst & Young search which is sponsored by The Times was the chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, Cairn Energy.

Entrepreneurs need vision, determination and bravery as do large companies if they are to prosper. Bill Gammell has all those qualities. He also has a very lucrative oilfield in India, which Shell decided to abandon.

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Bit player steals show by striking black gold

The Times: Entrepreneur of the year: Bit player steals show by striking black gold

“Gammell had bought the oilfield from Shell, the oil giant, after it had decided there was little there of worth. He paid about £10 million for assets now valued by the stock market at £1.5 billion.”: “The fortunes of the oil giant — shaken by its reserves downgrade crisis — are in stark contrast to the start-up rival thrown into the big City spotlight.”

By Elizabeth Judge

5 Oct 04

BILL GAMMELL is the proof that it can happen. Just as every spear-carrier might one day take centre stage, so every unexceptional, small company owner can enjoy their big break.

Gammell was last night crowned Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. His tale begins with a “company changing” moment.

A 5am phone call from the deserts of Rajasthan, north- west India, in January brought good news. Cairn Energy, the company that the 51-year-old athletic Scotsman launched 24 years ago and named after the mounds of stones commonly used as memorials, had finally struck black gold.

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Royal Dutch/Shell finds ‘light’ oil in Gabon, West Africa

AFX Europe (Focus): Royal Dutch/Shell finds ‘light’ oil in Gabon, West Africa

“Shell, the operator, and partner PanOcean Energy Corp are now considering further appraisal and development work on the field.”

Oct 05, 2004

LONDON (AFX) – The Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it found “light” oil at an exploration well it drilled in Gabon, West Africa.

Analysis of the well, known as Awokou-1, had indicated a “29-metre oil column in the Gamba sandstone with no gas cap in the drilled formation,” it said.

Shell, the operator, and partner PanOcean Energy Corp are now considering further appraisal and development work on the field.

A second well is to be drilled this month, Shell said.

Awokou-1 is located on the Koula prospect which is close to two oil producing fields — Total/Shell’s Avocette and PanOcean’s Obangue.

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Shell : Nigerian Govt, Rebel Deal Calms Region For Oil Ops

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell : Nigerian Govt, Rebel Deal Calms Region For Oil Ops

“The recently appointed managing director of Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s (RD, SC) Nigerian unit, Basil Omiyi, said last week’s peace deal between the government and rebels in the Niger Delta will allow for stable oil operations.”

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

October 5, 2004 6:34 a.m.

LAGOS — The recently appointed managing director of Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s (RD, SC) Nigerian unit, Basil Omiyi, said last week’s peace deal between the government and rebels in the Niger Delta will allow for stable oil operations.

“There will be a stable atmosphere for oil companies to carry out their activities,” Basil Omiyi said late Monday.

The Nigerian government and militant leader Moujahid Dokubo-Asari signed a peace deal last week, the fighting between government troops and Dokubo-Asari’s Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force.

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Shell mulls Sakhalin 2 output boost

Financial Times: Shell mulls Sakhalin 2 output boost

“Royal Dutch/Shell is considering plans to expand production capacity at its key Sakhalin 2 project in Russia’s far east two years ahead of schedule after unexpectedly high demand for its liquefied natural gas.”: “The news could provide a welcome boost for the Anglo-Dutch energy group as it looks to recover from the scandal caused by the overbooking of 23 per cent of its oil and gas reserves.”

By Andrew Jack and Stefan Wagstyl in Moscow

4 Oct 04

Royal Dutch/Shell is considering plans to expand production capacity at its key Sakhalin 2 project in Russia’s far east two years ahead of schedule after unexpectedly high demand for its liquefied natural gas.

The news could provide a welcome boost for the Anglo-Dutch energy group as it looks to recover from the scandal caused by the overbooking of 23 per cent of its oil and gas reserves.

The company has been struggling with stagnant production and is planning to spend $45bn in the next three years as it looks to catch up with rivals.

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Shell ordered to pay RM50 million to former employees

ShellNews.net: Shell ordered to pay RM50 million to former employees: “The High Court here yesterday ordered Sarawak Shell Berhad (SSB), Sabah Shell Petroleum Company (SSPC) and Trustees of the Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Benefit Fund (RFB) to pay RM50 million, including eight percent interest, to 399 former employees.”

Posted 4 October 04

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2004: MIRI: The High Court here yesterday ordered Sarawak Shell Berhad (SSB), Sabah Shell Petroleum Company (SSPC) and Trustees of the Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Benefit Fund (RFB) to pay RM50 million, including eight percent interest, to 399 former employees.

Prior to that, the High Court had ruled that it was illegal for SSB and SSPC to deduct their contributions to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) and Retirement Benefit Fund (RFB). On Nov 29, 2002, the 390 former employees filed a civil suit against SSB and SSPC and Trustees of the Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Benefit Fund (RFB).

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