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OCTOBER 2004 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS

OCTOBER 2004 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS

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Friday 1 October, 2004

ChannelNewsAsia.com: Shell rejects report Tokyo forced pullout of East China Sea gas project:  “Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell vigorously denied that its withdrawal from a politically sensitive gas project in the East China Sea was due to pressure from the Japanese government”

Financial Times: S&P calls for more oil data: “Nigeria was a large part of the shortfall when Royal/Dutch Shell was forced to cut its reserves by 23 per cent this year.”

Financial Times: FSA considers tougher penalties: “The FSA recently imposed a £17m fine on Royal Dutch/Shell, but the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US regulator, issued a $120m (£66.7m) penalty.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: China Gas Is Fuel for Doubts: Shell, Unocal Withdrawal From Project Highlights Sector Problems in China: “In August, a Shell-led consortium pulled out of China’s multibillion-dollar, west-to-east gas-pipeline project.”

The Guardian: Russia’s CO2 promise will kickstart carbon trade

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Norway Oil Min:Bids Show Strong Interest In Mature Fields

Saturday 2 October, 2004

Financial Times: Three cheers for bad news: “Sir Philip Watts, Royal Dutch/Shell’s chief executive, was nowhere to be seen when it cut its estimate of reserves in January.”: “Sir Philip’s display when faced with problems at Shell was an object lesson in how to flunk it…”: “He thus managed to make himself appear not only culpable but evasive.”

ShellNews.net: UPDATE, 2 October 04: BERNSTEIN LIEBHARD & LIFSHITZ LLP MULTIBILLION DOLLAR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, NAMED CURRENT & FORMER DIRECTORS, & SHELL AUDITORS/CONSULTANTS, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS & KPMG: CIVIL ACTION 04431 IN THE US DISTRICT COURT OF NEW JERSEY:

Financial Times: The ‘quasi-dividend’ of a buy-back programme: “So why has there been such commiseration when companies such as Royal Dutch/Shell… cast a veil of uncertainty over their share repurchase programmes?”: “This month, shareholders have been disappointed by the impact a $45bn (£25bn) capital spending programme over the next three years will have on Shell’s buy-back programme.”

The Times: The week that was: The world: Troubled waters: “Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil company, was forced to shut some flow stations and unrest helped to drive world oil prices above $50 (£27) a barrel.

The Guardian: Pay to play with pros: “Cornelia Dibua receives full funding and a graduate salary to take her accounting qualification while working as business analyst for Shell”

The Independent: Private Investor: “Last week, I noted that Shell looked a good idea and I am about to take the plunge and buy some more at just over 400p. There are three good reasons to do this…”

The Globe & Mail: Oil: Too much discipline at $50: “…Shell has now rejected this approach, in part because it has to. Its much-publicized scandal, in which it admitted to significantly overstating its oil and gas reserves, forced it to wipe the equivalent of 4.47 billion barrels of oil from its ledgers — a quarter of the total.”

The Independent: Brown slams ‘out of date’ IMF analysis of UK economy: “He called for action to improve the functioning of the oil market and blamed a “lack of transparency and poor quality information” for adding to the volatility.”: “..in an oblique reference to recent problems at Shell, he said: “If there have been problems with companies reporting their reserves then it is important to recognise that there will be greater stability if we know more about reserves and plans to develop reserves.”

Sunday 3 October, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Nigerian Rebels Withdraw Oil Delta Offensive Threat: “The deal was enough to avert an imminent explosion of violence in the oil-producing Niger Delta, a delegate said, but was a long way from resolving all the misgivings of its impoverished inhabitants.”

Stuff.co.nz: The new oil boom: “The benchmark price of crude oil hit more than $US50 a barrel for the first time last week as surging demand met rising anxiety over security of supply. This is bad for consumers, but oil companies are making hay while the sun shines.”

The Sunday Times: Business Digest: “FIVE private-equity firms are preparing to bid for Shell’s downstream global LPG business, according to Mergermarket, the mergers and acquisition news service.”

The Sunday Times: American Account: Irwin Stelzer: Who knows what $50 oil means? Nobody, it seems: “HURRICANES hit America’s offshore oil rigs, temporarily closing down about 10% of the nation’s production. Insurgents hit Iraq’s oil facilities. Rebels led by Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari hit Nigerian oilfields. Terrorists hit foreign oil workers in Saudi Arabia. President Putin hits Yukos.”

MetroWest Daily News: A Shell game? Former service station operator sues oil giants: “Court filings at the U.S. District Court in Boston outline a pattern of deception and abuse by Suttill’s former bosses that allegedly violates the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act, a federal law that protects gasoline retailers from heavy-handed practices of powerful, multibillion-dollar oil suppliers.”: “Motiva is co-owned by Houston-based Shell Oil Co. and the state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest oil producer”

Brand Republic: Shell appoints Proximity London to lubricants account: “Proximity London was appointed as Shell’s global agency for point of sale and promotions in December 2002.”

The Sunday Times: The wonder fuels that don’t deliver: “In February this year the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints against the claims Shell was making in its adverts, including that Optimax gives “an extra burst of power just when you need it”.

ShellNews.net: The Great Shell Pluspoints Swindle: “A deluge of feedback to a simple web page launched in February 2004, entitled “The Great Shell Pluspoints Swindle”, revealed that a badly flawed computer system, a disinterested customer service department, and the repeated failure by Shell’s managers to act on problems have left the Pluspoints scheme in tatters; wide open to fraud and misuse by dishonest and careless petrol station staff.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Full Serve, No Choice: “For instance, even if there is plenty of customer demand for a new Shell station with a full-service convenience mart, the bill would prohibit the refiner from building one if a franchised Shell station was nearby.”

Monday 4 October, 2004

LATEST NEWS FROM NIGERIA: Business Report: Nigeria faces further strikes over fuel prices: “A Shell official said the company has not ruled out fresh unrest in the delta region: “As long as the NLC threat still hangs unattended to, our installations and lives of our workers are not safe and this will have an impact on oil exports,” the Shell official told AFP.”

BLOOMBERG: BP Signals 3rd-Quarter Profit Rose on Higher Prices (Update2): “Oil companies including BP, Exxon and Royal Dutch/Shell Group as of Friday were pumping 29 percent below normal rates in the U.S. Gulf after the hurricane swept through the area, damaging rigs and forcing evacuations.”

CNN: Shell: $50 oil may spur alternatives: Oil company says that high oil prices may spur alternative energy, such as hydro and nuclear power.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Nigerian Security Improves After Deal: “Oil executives said many similar agreements between rival militia in the delta have been signed in the past, only to be torn up a day later. Time would tell how strong it was.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell: Niger Delta Calmer But Some Oil Still Shut In: “Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch/Shell Group said Monday it hasn’t fully resumed oil and gas operations in the Niger Delta despite diminishing violence; “We are continuing to monitor the situation.”: “Some analysts remain skeptical of the latest efforts to bring stability to the region because corruption, human rights abuses and poverty remain.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Hypermarkets Pump Up the Volume: Retailers’ Rock-Bottom Gasoline Prices Force Big Oil Companies to Shut Service Stations: “BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp. and Royal Dutch/Shell have almost given up the fight against hypermarkets here, retaining just enough stations to serve European motorists who drive across France.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Magellan Midstream Partners Completes Acquisition Of Strategic Pipeline Systems: “Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP) closed its acquisition of more than 2,000 miles of refined petroleum products pipelines from affiliates of Shell Oil Products U.S. for about $490 million…”

London Evening Standard: Oil price fuels peak BP profits: “At a price-earnings ratio of 13.5, it is trading at a 17% premium to Shell. Its Anglo-Dutch rival is still struggling to shake off the ill effects of the reserves overstatement scandal.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Extra Supply Won’t Come In Time to Tame Impact Of $50 Crude on Recovery

Financial Times: Whiff of scandal returns to haunt Total

Financial Times: Oil-gas distinctions blurred in combined estimates booked by the oil companies

Financial Times: Lubricating Russia’s oil wheels: “The days of companies such as Shell and Exxon taking direct control of huge Russian projects appear to be over.”

THE BUSINESS: Shell scandal prompts industry call for new test of reserve auditors: “Reports into the Shell scandal by the SEC and the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) “… also drew attention to the way the job of verification rested with a single, semi-retired Shell geologist, who was not given enough resources for the task. As a result, the committee is also setting up an ethics committee to devise professional standards similar to those used in the legal and accounting professions.”

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.”

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.”

The Business: Conoco leads race to buy Russian oil: “Prime minister Mikhail Fradkov said on Thursday during a trip to the Netherlands that Royal Dutch/Shell might also join the Shtokman project.

THE BUSINESS: FOCUS: OIL PRICES: $50: Is this the final frontier for Oil?: The margin between supply and consumption of oil is wafer thin. There has always been little room for error… there is even less now: “oil companies are scouring the globe in a desperate quest for new fields. Without major finds, the price of oil will surge further, damaging the global economy and share prices”

Tuesday 5 October, 2004

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.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Oil Firms Face U.K. Scrutiny Over High Natural-Gas Prices: “Britain’s energy watchdog said Tuesday that it doesn’t rule out market manipulation as a factor behind surging natural-gas prices and will investigate contracts involving a number of companies, including ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell Group, BP PLC and Centrica PLC.”: “A Shell spokesman declined to comment on the details of Ofgem’s analysis until the company has examined it more closely.

London Evening Standard: Gas firms cleared of price-fixing: “Ofgem said it has concerns over arrangements covering three North Sea fields and contracts entered into by Centrica, Shell and BP, US firms Exxon-Mobil and Amerada Hess and France’s TotalFinaElf and Perenco. While Ofgem says it has found no evidence of market manipulation, a charge if proven could lead to fines of up to 10% of producers’ global revenues under Britain’s new Competition Act.

TheStarOnline (Malaysia): Why is Shell Refining BHD’s share price rising?: “Just before Shell started rising over the past one week, the Government of Singapore Investment Corp Pte Ltd (GIC) bought more shares in Shell, adding to its ownership of 5% in the company. GIC bought 31,400 shares in Shell on Sept 16 and 21.”

ChinaView.com/Daily Daily: Shell expects Malaysian oil, gas production to increase: “Shell, which helped to turn Malaysia into the world’s third biggest liquefied natural gas producer, expects oil and gas output in Malaysia to equal 767,000 barrels a day of oil this year, said Jonathan Chadwick, chairman of Shell Refining Co, the group’s publicly traded Malaysian refining unit”

Financial Times: Investors cautious as index gains ground: “BP and Shell, for example, make up 14 per cent of the market’s total capitalisation and are expected to have made bumper profits from oil at more than $40 a barrel.”

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.”

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.”

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.

The Independent: Russia helps BP to increase output by 11%: “BP drove home its lead over the rival oil major Shell yesterday…”: “BP… reiterated guidance that production this year would rise by 10 per cent to more than four million barrels a day. The forecast is in stark contrast to Shell’s most recent estimates which assume that oil and gas output will remain flat for the next five years…”

The Guardian: Russian boom lifts BP profits: “Shell recently warned the City that its production growth would be flat until at least 2008, BP said it was on track for a 10% overall increase this year. And it rubbed salt in the wounds of its rival by predicting that output would increase at 5% per annum, excluding any contribution from Russia.”

Biz.Yahoo.com: Shell and PanOcean discover oil in their Awoun Permit Gabon, West Africa

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.”

Business Day: Shell SA in BEE talks on Sapref refinery: “Shell South Africa is at an advanced stage of discussions to sell 25% of its 50% holding in the Sapref refinery based in Durban…”

Oil & Gas Journal: Shell evaluates 3D seismic data for offshore Pakistan Block 2365-1

Lloyds List: Dana swap deals and link-ups raise North Sea profile: Oil independent targets a rise in production to 21,000 bpd by the end of this year and 28,000 bpd by the end of 2005, writes Martyn Wingrove

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

Wednesday 6 October, 2004

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…”

Financial Times: Gas companies probed for ‘market abuse’: “An inquiry has been launched into long term North Sea gas contracts involving BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total, Amerada Hess, Centrica and Perenco for possible market manipulation”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: British Watchdog Will Examine Why Price of Natural Gas Rose: “…will investigate contracts that involved companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell Group, BP PLC and Centrica PLC because it doesn’t rule out market manipulation.”: A Shell spokesman declined to comment on the detail of Ofgem’s analysis until the company has examined it more closely.”

Financial Times: Soaring prices raise concerns over operation of energy link: “”We need to know why supplies were physically available, but did not reach the market,” said Mr Buchanan. The contracts involving Centrica, Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Total, Amerada Hess and Perenco affect three North Sea gas fields: Sean, Indefatigable and Leman.

The Times: A Beautiful Mind: A slew of companies including Shell and Unocal are being sued in the US at the moment for a range of alleged human rights abuses in the developing world. And we are all familiar with stories of multinational companies subcontracting out operations to sweatshops, or in the course of their business activities despoiling the environment.

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.”

MoneyiWon.com/Dow Jones: U.K. energy watchdog Ofgem is to investigate the likes of Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD,SC), ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM), BP PLC (BP) and Centrica (CNA.LN) as part of an ongoing inquiry into unusual U.K. gas price movements.

Forbes: Digital Imaging: Finding Oil Under Salt: “Prompted by sky-high oil prices, soaring demand from gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, China’s growing economy and near maxed out production and political tensions in other oil-producing regions, big energy companies like BP, Royal Dutch/Shell, ChevronTexaco  and Anadarko Petroleum are seeking to find oil in new geographies.”

Thursday 7 October, 2004

Voice of America: Africa Nigerian Royal Dutch Shell Workers Stage 2-Day Strike: “Nigerian oil workers have begun a surprise two-day strike at oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Group to protest what they say are company plans to cut jobs.”

Houston Chronicle: Nigerian oil workers strike against Shell: “Traders said Shell had already activated a contingency plan to man terminals with skeleton staff.”

Reuters: Shell makes new oil find off Brunei: KUALA LUMPUR: “Royal Dutch/Shell says it has made an important oil discovery in Brunei, reviving hopes for the tiny Southeast Asian kingdom’s oldest oilfield.”

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.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Ivan Causes Oil Pipeline Leaks in Gulf: “In one spill at a Shell Oil Co. pipeline about 30 miles east of Venice, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, crews had gathered about 101,000 gallons of water polluted with oil.”

Financial Times: EU seeks one language of governance: “The Anglo-Dutch oil group has faced shareholder pressure to unify its dual board structure after a debacle over downgrading its oil reserves earlier this year.”

Financial Times: Sakhalin fills BP with eastern promise: “… yesterday, Royal Dutch/Shell said it had found oil at its Seria field in Brunei, which could indicate the presence of 100m barrels of recoverable reserves in the area.”

The Guardian: BP’s Russian find alarms campaigners: “Shell is already facing the wrath of Friends of the Earth after one of its vessels ran aground and caused an oil spill at Kholmsk on Sakhalin. Yesterday, environmental groups expressed anger that the Anglo-Dutch group was seeking to appoint an expert in crisis management and public relations for the area.”

The Times: Stop Press: Shell to resume Nigerian production

Bloomberg: European Stocks Rise, Led by Total, Shell as Oil Price Gains

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.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/Dow Jones: Shell: Some US Gulf Output To Remain Off Line Into 2005 : “ Some of Royal Dutch/Shell Group unit Shell Oil’s Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas production will remain off line into the first quarter of 2005, spokesman Fred Palmer said Wednesday”

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.“

YahooNews: Shell workers return to Nigeria oilfield

London Evening Standard: Market report: Wednesday close: “BP’s shares today put on 7 1/2p to reach a new high for the year…”: “Rival Shell is another big player that has been enjoying a good run, coming up from 385p in the past three months despite the continuing scandal over mis-stated oil reserves.”

CSNewsOnline: Shell Reaches Out to Minority Audiences

Friday 8 October, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Oil Holds Near $53 High: “Union officials said a two-day wildcat strike by Nigerian oil workers at Royal Dutch Shell Group would terminals would end later on Friday and that exports had not been hit.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Shell Workers Embark on Two – Day Strike: “…if workers’ demands are not met, the next strike will aim to shut down Shell’s entire operations…”: “Nigeria accounts for one-tenth of Shell’s global production.”

allAfrica.com: Shell Workers On Strike: “Unions said they were not trying to stop exports with the warning strike, but that the action could get more serious if management failed to respond to their demands.”

Bloomberg: Shell, Partners Win Permit to Tap Pohokura Gas Field (Update1): “Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe’s second-largest oil company, and its partners were awarded a permit to operate the Pohokura gas field off New Zealand’s Taranaki coast for 32 years, helping boost the country’s dwindling supplies.”

Houston Chronicle: Offshore still in catch-up mode: Gulf pipelines had more damage than was thought: “Shell Exploration & Production Co., the biggest operator… reported Thursday that three of the platforms it operates have yet to return to normal, with two of them not expected to return to levels they were at before Ivan until sometime in 2005.”

Sun Herald: Ivan leaves a mess in the Gulf for oil companies: “The Shell pipeline that broke was the most serious spill, with over 200,000 gallons of oil oozing out, said Eric Whipple, a senior chief with the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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.”

The Times: Need to Know: Global Business Briefing: “Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant…”

New Zealand Herald: Oil: New high on winter worries and Nigeria: “Where it ends, who knows?” said Jan Stuart, an analyst with Fimat USA. “What’s going to happen when the winter hits? I’d say we have a better than fifty-fifty chance of hitting US$60 by year end.”: “Nigerian oil unions began an unexpected two-day strike at Royal Dutch Shell Group facilities to protest feared job cuts.”

Energy Risk: Shell completes sale of refined products pipelines: “Houston, Texas: Shell Oil Products US has sold its major refined oil products pipeline systems to asset acquisition companies for $1 billion”

CJAD:800AM NEWS: Energy companies file regulatory applications for Mackenzie valley pipeline: “A proposed multibillion-dollar pipeline to ship Arctic natural gas from the Northwest Territories to the United States took a major step forward Thursday with the long-awaited filing of applications for regulatory approval.”: “The companies involved in the pipeline project include… Shell Canada controlled by Europe’s Royal Dutch/Shell Group.”

Saturday 9 October, 2004

The Independent: Surging oil price forces IMF to tear up growth forecasts: “Yesterday’s spike was triggered by Shell”: “Some analysts see prices breaching the $60 barrier, ever closer to the $80 a barrel level that oil hit in today’s money in the recessionary price spike of the 1970s. “A geopolitical disruption, stronger demand for diesel or a cold winter will send us to $60,” one said.”

Financial Times: Oil stocks are back in vogue: “BP shares are up 22.3 per cent this year, while Shell’s have climbed only 1.5 per cent. The former has outperformed the latter for a number of reasons. Shell is still recovering from the disclosure that forced it to cut 20 per cent from its proved reserves earlier this year. Its image as slow-moving, bureaucratic and conservative continues to haunt it.”

Philippine Daily Inquirer: Former top Shell official included in Chingkoe case: “OMBUDSMAN Simeon Marcelo has ordered the inclusion of Pacifico Cruz, former general manager of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., as respondent in the P5.3-billion tax credit scam involving the Chingkoe group of companies.”: “Cruz… is accused of allegedly making the decision for Shell to use the allegedly fake TCCs to pay its tax liabilities…”

AFX Europe (Focus): Oil – Brent higher on threat of nationwide strike in Nigeria, supply fears: “Crude oil prices pushed higher after the leader of Nigeria’s Labour Congress announced that a threatened nationwide general strike against rising fuel prices will begin Monday after talks with authorities collapsed.”: “The news offset an earlier announcement by union officials in Nigeria that a two-day strike by Shell workers is to end as planned, which had allowed oil prices something of a breather.”

Sunday 10 October, 2004

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…”

The Sunday Telegraph: Energy chiefs to face MPs over gas price rises: “The committee’s chairman, Martin O’Neill, told The Sunday Telegraph that he would start calling in senior players in the North Sea at the start of next month. “We can ask rather more rude questions than Ofgem. We shall be calling the likes of BP and Shell and holding them to account,” he said.”: “The market is not working as it should and there has to be a reason for that. Something is amiss. Hopefully O’Neill will be able to glean some answers.”

Daily Times: Nigerian oil strike ends, another begins Monday: “…world’s seventh largest crude exporter faces a much more damaging strike from Monday, unionists and analysts said.”

CBS MarketWatch: Storm halts oil unloading for 2nd day: Worries over U.S. supply with price sitting at all-time high: “Another factor affecting prices was a potential nationwide strike Monday by Nigerian oil workers. That strike was likely to fuel existing worries sparked by a job action by Royal Dutch/Shell workers on Thursday and Friday.”

Monday 11 October, 2004

Financial Times: Top oil groups fail to recoup exploration costs: “Royal Dutch/Shell said last month it would lift yearly exploration spending to $1.5bn, up from a five-year average of $1.2bn, as it looks to boost stagnant oil production and recover from its reserves overboooking scandal.”

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…”

Russia Journal: Shell ready to work in Russia: “Shell is ready to invest in development of Russian hydrocarbon fields and to use Russian natural gas export system, according to Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.”

Financial Times: Eni ‘needs to double to shut out predators’: “Industry analysts have already suggested Royal Dutch/Shell or Total would be interested in the Italian company because of its portfolio of oil and gas projects in the Middle East, the Caspian, Latin America and west Africa.”

Financial Times: US developers see hope in abandoned oil wells

Planetark.com: EPA expects to wrap Shell Bakersfield talks this month: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expects to conclude an agreement this month to keep Shell Oil Co.’s 70,000 barrel per day refinery in Bakersfield, California, open past the end of the year…”

Tuesday 12 October, 2004

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.”

The Scotsman: Sabotage May Force Shell to Cut Nigerian Oil Production: “It was not known what caused the leak on Monday. While Shell officials tried to investigate, a group of saboteurs set the pipeline on fire.”

TurkishPress.com: Leak cuts Shell Nigerian production by 20,000 barrels per day: Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary will see oil production cut by 20,000 barrels per day for “a few days”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: BP Mulls Ways To Circumvent Damaged Pipelines In US Gulf: “The problem with Na Kika, a BP-operated platform, is that both BP- and Shell-owned pipelines leading to it were damaged by the hurricane.”: “…we can’t even begin until Shell does their part first.”

The Scotsman: The inexorable rise of oil prices may not be a long-term factor: “Phil Roberts, a technical analyst at Barclays Capital, said the longer US light crude topped $47, the stronger the signs that the market is building up to a “classic commodity spike”, with $70-75 suggested as a top level.”: “The world’s largest oil companies – among them BP and Shell – are under pressure to book new reserves, particularly at a time of high oil prices.”

London Evening Standard: Oil price soars on supply fears: “Oil prices have rocketed from $30 at the start of the year on burgeoning demand from China, supply disruptions in Nigeria and terrorism fears in Saudi Arabia and Iraq”: “Three UK power plants, including Coryton in Essex, are up for grabs after Shell kicked off the £1.7bn sale of its Intergen joint venture with Bechtel. Shell is also thought to have received a bid for its £1bn liquefied petroleum gas business from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Venezuela Oil Minister Defends Orinoco Oil Tax Hike: “Royal/Dutch Shell and Chevron Texaco have expressed interested in new heavy crude upgrading projects in the Orinoco, and companies such as Total and Statoil have said they are willing to expand existing projects there. But analysts have warned the tax hike will send these firms back to the drawing board.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: More Tax on Venezuela Oil Projects: “President Hugo Chávez announced on his weekly TV and radio broadcast that he would immediately raise royalties on the projects to 16.6 percent from 1 percent.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Nigerian Strike to Continue But Oil Exports Flow: “Unions vowed to extend a general strike over fuel prices in Nigeria to a second day on Tuesday, helping drive world oil prices to record highs even though shipments from Africa’s top producer were unaffected.”

Daily Telegraph: City briefs: Team eyes Shell arm: “Goldman Sachs Capital Partners has joined up with Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts, the US private equity firm, to bid for Royal Dutch/Shell’s liquefied petroleum gas business. The sale is part of a $10bn-$12bn (£5.5bn-£6.7bn) asset disposal programme that followed Shell’s reserves overbooking scandal.”

Financial Times: Consortium to bid for Shell unit: “The sale of the LPG unit is part of a $10bn-$12bn (£5.5bn-£6.7bn) asset disposal programme implemented by Shell in the wake of its reserves overbooking scandal.”

Daily Telegraph: What oil costs Nigeria: “Last week, oil workers staged a two-day walk-out in protest at job redundancies at Shell terminals. And yesterday a four-day general strike began over a steep rise in the price of fuel.”

The Guardian: Oil prices surge to new high: “Today’s rises came as unions in Nigeria, which accounts for around 3% of the world’s oil production, began a four-day general strike over fuel prices. The action follows a two-day oil unions strike at Shell last week, as well as threats from rebels to disrupt production.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell-Bechtel To Sell Pwr JV Intergen; 10 Plants Included: “The package includes plants in the U.K. the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, China and the Philippines, sources told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Times: North Sea oil soars to record as shortages fear grows: “Strikes in Nigeria and Norway also conspired to push the price of Brent in London trading to $50.62 a barrel, up 91 cents on the day.”: “Separately, the world’s biggest oil companies, including ExxonMobil and Total, were yesterday thrown by a surprise decision by Venezuela’s Government to raise oil exploitation taxes by 1,500 per cent.”

Financial Times: Italy’s Eni dilemma: “Total and Shell would readily gobble up Eni.”

The Guardian: Exxon’s emissions: “If Esso were really concerned with reducing emissions, it would follow BP and Shell and support the Kyoto protocol.”

Financial Times: Double profit from the first step in a career: “The success of work placement programmes such as the Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (Step), a scheme supported by Shell and the UK government, highlights the enduring appeal of work experience in helping young people launch their careers.”

Wednesday 13 October, 2004

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Nigerian Unions: Strike To Be Extended If Arrests Continue: “At least two people have been killed in clashes between police and pro-union protesters.”: “It wasn’t known what caused the leak 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, a Shell statement said.”

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.”

TheAge.com (Australia): Crude oil prices retreat in Asian trade: “oil prices are more than 80 per cent higher than a year ago”: “Adding to supply concerns, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group said its Nigerian output would be cut by 20,000 barrels a day due to a ruptured pipeline.

The Scotsman: Shell set to raise $5bn from sales: “Shell is quite stretched [for cash],” said Peter Nicol, an analyst at ABN Amro. “They are coming out of a few peripheral areas to concentrate on the core.”

Daily Telegraph: Reserves whistleblower quits Shell: “The Shell executive who wrote a hard-hitting internal report that exposed the practice of inflating the oil giant’s “proven” reserves has quit.”:  “Walter van der Vijver, the then head of exploration and production, replied to Mr Coopman in a now infamous e-mail: “This is absolute dynamite, not at all what I expected and needs to be destroyed.”

The Guardian: Oil hits record $54 a barrel: “Supply fears were again blamed for the upward pressure as Nigeria was beset by a national strike and the Russian justice department finally put the axe into Yukos, saying it would sell off part of the oil group’s business.”: “Oil firms are using their rising income to search for new supplies. Shell was also reported yesterday to have put its stake in the InterGen power business up for sale to raise cash for more exploration.”

Daily Telegraph: Oil prices slip back as supply fears ease: “…the price rocketed after saboteurs in Nigeria set fire to a major oil pipeline feeding the Bonny export terminal, which exports 500,000 barrels of oil a day. But Shell, which operates the pipeline, said it was diverting the flow to another pipeline, and that only 20,000 barrels of crude a day had been shut in.”

PRNEWSWIRE: MasterCard Cardholders Have Chance to Win Free Car and $1,000 in Gas: “Shell Oil Products US, marketer of the No. 1 selling gasoline brand in the United States, today announced a fourth quarter sweepstakes promotion with MasterCard International. The promotion is designed to drive traffic to Shell-branded gasoline stations and generate increased applications for the Shell MasterCard(R) from Citi(R) Cards.

Daily Mail: Oil surge prompts MPs to launch probe: “Shell refused to comment on reports that Goldman Sachs and Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts plan to bid for its liquefied petroleum gas business…”

The Guardian: Forties, Cromarty … where next?: “Oil firms such as BP and Shell have been retreating from the North Sea and plunging their billions into places such as Angola and Azerbaijan.”

The Times: Need to know: “Royal Dutch/Shell, the energy giant, is reducing its Nigerian oil production…”

Financial Times: BG poaches from Shell and BP

Financial Times: FSA threatens ‘light-touch’ regime for energy: “The Financial Services Authority has threatened to scrap the “light-touch” regulatory regime governing companies that trade in energy markets such as oil, gas and electricity”: “”We expect the chief executives, of oil market participants in particular, to ensure that their staff understand and comply with our rules…”

Thursday 14 October, 2004

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.”

SocialFunds.com: Shell and BP Top Innovest CSR Ratings of Integrated Oil and Gas Companies: “The scandal, which involved executive foreknowledge of the mistaken statements, resulted in a significant downgrading of Shell to a three on a scale of ten on the “Traditional Governance Score” assigned by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors in its recent Integrated Oil and Gas Industry Report.”

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”

AP Worldstream: Hospitals, banks shut in Lagos as nationwide strike continues: “A nation of over 130 million, Nigeria is the world’s seventh-largest oil exporter and the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.“

Daily Telegraph: City briefs: Oil loss

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell contains Nigerian pipeline blaze, production down 13,000 bpd: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group said engineers have brought a major Nigerian oil pipeline fire under control, but production from the Niger Delta region will be reduced by 13,000 barrels per day while repairs continue.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Nigeria Court Rejects Govt Bid To Halt Strike

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Removes Traders From Oil Price Reporting Chain: “Shell Trading, a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD,SC), will no longer allow its traders to report transactions done in the over the counter crude oil markets to publishers that produce indexes.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: UPDATE: Shell US Gulf Oil Pipelines Seen Up By Mid-Nov: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD,SC) unit Shell Oil has begun repairs on three of its Gulf of Mexico oil pipelines and expects them to return to service within a month…”

BBC Monitoring Service: Six Russia-based oil majors not keen on buying Yukos production arm: “The British-Dutch oil giant Shell… has a similar view. ’We cannot confirm whether we are likely to take part in the auction,’ a spokesman for Shell’s Moscow branch, Maksim Shub, has said.”

Friday 15 October, 2004

allAfrica.com: Shell Stops Ogoni Pipeline Fire: “The development came as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) fire fighters finally gained access to the scene of the fire and put it out, after an initial attempt was allegedly impeded by militant Ogoni youths.”

The Times: Need to Know: “A group led by Royal Dutch/Shell, the oil giant, is to export 37 million tonnes of Russian liquefied natural gas to North America in a $3.4 billion (£1.9 billion) agreement.

The Independent: Business Analysis: Counting the cost of a new US president: The outlook for some business sectors changes dramatically if John Kerry is elected: “He would also scrap the provision in Mr Bush’s energy bill to allow oil exploration in Alaska’s national wildlife refuge. UK companies affected include: BP; Shell; Scottish Power; National Grid Transco.”

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.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell Plans Natural-Gas Exports From Russia to Mexico by 2008

Financial Times: Shell signs North America LNG deal

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: BIDS & OFFERS: Pricing Power: Don’t tempt the traders.: “…reduce opportunities for traders to manipulate U.S. natural gas and power markets following a rash of scandals that led to millions of dollars in fines”: “The new policy means Shell traders can’t discuss “spot”-market prices or details of their transactions with reporters, spokeswoman Lisa Givert says, but they are still free to discuss market sentiment.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Companies Try To Squeeze the Last Drop: “Shell’s total capital budget for exploration and production this year is about $10 billion.”

YahooNews: Crude oil Hugs $55 mark: “..the main reason traders have been captivated by recent events such as: The just-concluded oil workers’ strike and threats of rebel attacks in Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer.: Sporadic attacks by militants on Iraqi pipelines.: Unrest in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest producer, where extremists have vowed to clear out foreigners who run the production facilities there.: The on-again, off-again tax battle between the Russian government and oil giant Yukos.: Political tensions in key OPEC producer Venezuela.”

Daily Mail: Pension critics lift their game: “Sarin shake-up”: It seems extraordinary that years after the mobile phone giant went on its great international spending spree so much power was devolved to the regions. That can be a recipe for disaster in global companies – as we saw at Shell.

Saturday 16 October, 2004

Financial Times: Iraq contract for Royal Dutch/Shell: “Royal Dutch/Shell is to advise Iraq’s oil ministry on how it should rebuild the country’s gas infrastructure.”

The Times: Need to Know: “NPC, the Iranian petrochemicals group, as well as two consortia of financial investors have reportedly bid between €3 billion (£2 billion) and $4 billion for Basell, the petrochemicals venture of Royal Dutch Shell and BASF”

StraitsTimes.Asia: Clash of Asian titans over West African oil: “China and India, which use up millions of barrels of oil per day, are locked in fierce battle to secure stakes in new oil fields”: “Angola’s state-owned Sonangol reportedly blocked an Indian move to buy Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell’s 50 per cent share in an oil block for about US$620 million (S$1 billion).”

The Guardian: What happened next? “Martina was up against 13 other students – all carrying out projects on placements organised by Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP).”

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.”

Bloomberg: EU to Charge Exxon, Shell in Cartel Probe, People Say (Update1): “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.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Greenspan Says U.S Can Weather Record Oil: “Last week, the Bush administration rejected Shell Oil Co.’s request to swap sour crude oil for sweet grades from the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to industry sources.”

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.”

Boston Globe: Shell tapped to draw up Iraq gas blueprint: “In a breakthrough in its strategy to gain a meaningful role in Iraq’s oil and gas industry, Royal Dutch/Shell Group has been tapped by the government to help formulate a blueprint for developing the country’s moribund natural gas sector.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell To Bring Back US Gulf Na Kika Oil Pipeline Nov 1: “The pipeline, crucial to the resumption of production of highly valued Heavy Louisiana Sweet crude oil, was knocked out of service by Hurricane Ivan. Production of the sweet crude has been disrupted for almost a month, helping drive oil futures in New York to nearly $55 a barrel.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Ballast Nedam: No Formal Charges In EU Cartel Probe: “Later Friday, Royal Dutch Shell said it hasn’t received notification of any imminent charges. ‘We’ve been cooperating fully with the commission’s inquiry, but we haven’t received any notification of the decision it has made,’ a spokesman for the company told Dow Jones Newswires.”

Lloyds List: $6bn deal will bring Russian gas to America: “A pioneering $6bn liquefied natural gas supply deal has been signed between Sakhalin Energy Investment and Shell which will see Russian natural gas make its debut in North American markets.”

Geelong Advertiser (Australia) Shell is right on target: “HUNDREDS of apprentices have been employed around Geelong thanks to a partnership between Shell Refinery and G-Force Recruitment.”

Sunday 17 October, 2004

THE BUSINESS: World turns on the gas taps as oil prices soar: “ChevronTexaco and Shell are negotiating exploration and LNG export agreements with Gazprom, the Russian natural-gas giant.”: “Last year Shell and Total were given a concession to look for gas in an 80,000-square-mile region in Saudi’s southeast.”

New Zealand Herald: Iraq opens oil reserves to Western companies: “Thamer Ghadban, the country’s Oil Minister, said: “We believe that there is at least 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day of new oil production capacity that could, in the long term, be added to our production levels.” In an interview in a Shell newsletter that is distributed to its Middle Eastern clients, Mr Ghadban added that Iraq would open its doors to the oil giants early next year.”

The Providence Journal (New Zealand): Hot market in Asia consuming greater share of liquefied gas. Energy companies are scrambling to increase inventories as world demand for LNG soars. “However, on Thursday, a consortium led by Royal Dutch/Shell Group that is developing gas reserves off Russia’s Sakhalin Island said in Moscow that it had struck a $6-billion deal to supply LNG to North America.”: “Shell, which is building the Energia Costa Azul terminal near Ensenada in Baja California with Sempra Energy, is the buyer of the gas.”

The Independent On Sunday: Iraq says ‘come and get us’ to Western oil companies: “Shell has one consultant in Iraq and it is monitoring developments from its Dubai office. A spokeswoman refused to say if it was planning to send employees to the country. But she added: “Iraq does offer opportunities. We are following developments and working with the Iraqi Minister of Oil.”

The Observer: Where there’s smoke… …there’s money to be made in carbon trading, reports Conal Walsh: “…the likes of Shell and BP, are also involved.”

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.”

Monday 18 October, 2004

BLOOMBERG: U.K. FSA Asks for Ruling on Ex-Shell Boss’s Challenge (Update2): “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.

allAfrica.com: Chamber of Mines Briefs Shell Top Brass on Initiatives to Ensure Sustainable Development

PRNewswire/Shell Press Release: Shell Partners With the America’s WETLAND Campaign and the State of Louisiana to Support ‘Eco-Cultural’ Tourism Initiative

BLOOMBERG: U.K. FSA Asks for Ruling on Ex-Shell Boss’s Challenge (Update2): “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.

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.”

IrelandOnline: Shell/Esso gas field starts production: “A major gas field expected to provide around 3% of the UK’s supplies started production off the north east coast of Scotland today.”: “Shell said the £300m (€433.4m) project at Outer Moray Firth, 60 miles off the north east coast of Scotland, had begun on time and within budget.”

NewRatings.com: Royal Dutch / Shell “equal-weight”: “Royal Dutch/Shell’s share price is, however, unlikely to appreciate significantly in the near term due to the slow recovery in the company’s upstream businesses, Morgan Stanley adds.”

London Evening Standard: First Calgary plotting £1bn sale: “FIRST Calgary has appointed bankers to kick-start a £1bn sale likely to entice bids from Shell, Total and other heavyweights in the oil and gas industry.”

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.

The Times: Talbut’s key role at Royal London: “Mr Corporate Governance”: “He led British institutional investors in several high-profile lobbying actions, including an attempt to effect structural and managerial changes at Royal Dutch/Shell following its reserves overbooking scandal.”

Financial Times: Oil groups slow pace of exploration: “The combined exploration budgets of ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch/Shell fell from $5.35bn in 1998 to $3.25bn last year, according to Kenneth Chew, vice-president of industry performance and strategy at IHS Energy.”

Tuesday 19 October, 2004

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.”

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.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Norsk Hydro: Interested In BP’s 10% Ormen Lange Share: “Asked if Norske Shell would be bidding on the project, a spokesman said “we don’t comment on commercial matters.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL /DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: ABB Gets $100M Order To Modify Russian Oil Platform: “The platform is operated by Sakhalin Energy Investment, a joint venture of Shell Transport and Trading PLC and Japanese companies Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp.”

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.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Jiffy Lube Near Deal to Settle Lawsuits: “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 Jersey2: “Jiffy Lube, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., won’t say how much the settlement will cost.”

Financial Times: Brussels set to act over bitumen cartel: “The European Commission is set to formally charge a group of oil companies and construction businesses for running a cartel to keep prices for bitumen artificially high. The companies include energy giants ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell”

The Guardian: FSA attempts to halt review of Shell verdict:  “The FSA announced the penalty in August following a four-month investigation which concluded there had been “unprecedented misconduct” by Shell.”: “If the tribunal concludes that it does have jurisdiction over the case, it means the events surrounding the Shell crisis will be made public, because tribunal hearings are similar to an open court.” 

The Independent: FSA seeks to block Watts appeal over Shell reserves fiasco: “The Financial Services Authority tried yesterday to prevent the disgraced chairman of Shell, Sir Philip Watts, from taking it to an independent tribunal in an effort to clear his name.”: “Sir Philip, who was ousted from Shell in March following the scandal over the misreporting of reserves”: “The preliminary hearing is scheduled to take place towards the end of November and is expected to last two days.”: “Although the FSA’s inquiry into the company is now closed, it is still investigating the role of former and serving executives in the scandal, including Sir Philip.”

Daily Telegraph: Watchdog fights Shell complaint: “The Financial Services Authority is trying to persuade an independent tribunal to throw out an appeal against it by Sir Philip Watts, the former Shell chief who resigned over the company’s oil and gas reserves scandal.”

The Scotsman: Shell’s Goldeneye gives gas sector a welcome boost: “BRITAIN’S gas industry received a desperately needed boost yesterday as oil giant Shell announced the start of gas production from the Goldeneye field in the North Sea.”

Daily Telegraph: City briefs: “A major gas field expected to provide 3pc of the UK’s supplies started production off the north-east coast of Scotland. The Goldeneye field is owned by Shell, Esso, Palladin Resources and Centrica”

Daily Telegraph: First Calgary seeks partner but Cairn set to go it alone: “At these kinds of levels, only big players such as Shell or Total would be able to afford to buy First Calgary.”

The Times: KKR to invest $3.5bn in Europe: “KOHLBERG Kravis Roberts is planning to raise $3.5 billion (£2 billion) to invest in European companies, as the buyout firm looks to exploit the opportunities outside its “saturated” American home market.”: “KKR… has teamed up with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners to bid for Royal Dutch/Shell’s liquefield petroleum gas business, which is valued at £1 billion.”

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…”

Financial Times: FSA and former Shell chief seek tribunal ruling: “While Shell paid the £17m fine, the FSA has always made clear that inquiries into executives remained open.”: “The FSA denies that the final ruling on Shell identified Sir Philip or anyone else, and insists that individuals will be given their “full rights” if it decides to bring cases against specific Shell directors.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: UK Fincl Watchdog Seeks Tribunal Ruling On Ex-Shell Chmn: “The U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, or FSA, said Monday that it has asked a commercial court to rule on whether the ex-head of Royal Dutch/Shell (RD, SC) was prejudiced by the watchdog’s final notice sent to his former company.”: “The internal review, and the subsequent regulatory notices, identified numerous instances where top executives, including Sir Philip, were warned internally of significant reserve-booking problems. The reports also cited severe flaws in Shell’s internal reserve-auditing controls.”

The Times: FSA seeks to quash Shell boss’s ‘unfairness’ claim: “Shell was judged by the FSA to be guilty of market abuse in announcing false or misleading proven oil and gas reserve figures between 1998 and 2003.”: “A substantive hearing on the fairness of the allegations is something the FSA is likely to be keen to avoid before it has completed its enquiries into the role of individuals involved in the reserves scandal.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Gains Platform For Possible Growth in Iraq: “The initiative is a prize for Shell, which is in a long queue of oil companies anxiously waiting to secure production contracts in a country that houses the world’s second-largest oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and big potential for gas.”

Financial Times: Foreign direct investment: Shaken but still tempted: “Russia has become an increasingly strange place in recent months and the importance of currying government favour is not to be under-estimated”: “Above all, the energy sector dominates investment, with continued significant spending on a handful of high-profile multi-billion dollar projects, notably in two offshore oil and gas projects in Russia’s Far East: Sakhalin 1, managed by ExxonMobil, and Sakhalin 2, led by Shell.”

The Times: Cairn wins approval to develop Indian oilfield

Wednesday 20 October, 2004

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Kazakh Parliament Approves Amendments To Oil, Gas Laws: “Kashagan is the world’s biggest oil discovery in 30 years.”: “The first meeting, held on June 30, ended inconclusively, with some partners digging in their heels against allowing the government a slice of what’s believed to be the biggest oil find in 30 years.”: “But other members, possibly not wishing to jeopardize future business in oil- and gas-rich Kazakhstan, have said they won’t stand in the way of the government’s 11th-hour equity grab. These include Shell and Eni.”

The Times: BP puts its stake in Ormen Lange up for sale: “BP IS selling its interest in Ormen Lange, the giant Norwegian gasfield that achieved notoriety this year over the proven gas reserves booked by investors in the project.

Financial Times: BP to sell Ormen Lange gas stake: “Questions were raised about BP’s optimism in booking oil and gas reserves earlier this year when the company stuck with guidance that it expected to extract 80 per cent of its share of reserves from Ormen Lange. This compared with figures of 20 per cent from Shell, which revised its estimates down sharply in the wake of its overbooking scandal.”

ChinaView.cn: BEIJING: China has inked an oil cooperation deal with Angola, beating the rival India almost at the last minute. Angola state-owned Sonangol reportedly blocked an Indian move to buy Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell’s 50 percent share in Block 18 for about 620 million dollars, reported China Radio International.

The Times of India: Diplomacy at work to save Angola oil deal: “Sonangol exercised its first right of refusal with Shell, pre-empting its bid to sell its 50 per cent of the 10-million-tonne per annum offshore Block 18 to ONGC.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Inactive oil firms ‘should be taxed’: “The union claimed in a report yesterday that Shell, BP, Total and ExxonMobil, which control 50pc of the reserves under the North Sea, had presided over a production slowdown as they concentrated resources elsewhere.”: “BP hopes to raise $600m to $800m with the sale of its 10.2pc in the Ormen Lange field, which featured in the reserves scandal that engulfed Shell this year.”

OilOnline.com: Union Calls on Tax for Oil Operators: “The global focus of the four main operators (Shell, BP, Total and ExxonMobil) who own 50% of North Sea reserves means new drilling is taking place in other parts of the world instead of Scotland. The large operators, however, continue to hold the drilling rights which prevents new smaller operators from investing in exploration.”

The Guardian (UK): In brief: BP to sell stake in Ormen Lange: “Ormen Lange was the focus of one of Shell’s reserve cuts this year.”

Thursday 21 October, 2004

ThisDayOnline (Nigeria): Shell Gets 7 Days to Withdraw from Ogoni: “Shell had suspended operations in Ogoni land in the last 10 years owing to the agitation by MOSOP for better environmental management and provision of basic facilities. The agitation led to the trial on murder charges, conviction and execution of nine Ogoni activists including writer Ken Saro Wiwa in 1994.”

Financial Times: Financial buyers circle as Shell puts up ‘for sale’ signs on businesses: “Shell has put two main businesses on the block besides Basell: InterGen, its US power generating business, and its Liquefied Petroleum Gas business.”

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.”

The Guardian: Storm over gas prices and blackouts: Consumer watchdog accuses North Sea operators of enjoying £5bn windfall every year: “A report from the UK Offshore Operators Association, a trade body for companies such as Shell and BP, stoked up tension by warning that gas prices would remain linked to oil prices and could stay high until 2010. Energywatch, the consumer watchdog, immediately accused the North Sea operators of “voting themselves a £5bn windfall every year” and questioned whether the market was being manipulated.”

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.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Chmn Sees World Oil Demand Up Near 3% In 2004: “During his speech, van der Veer made no reference to the possibility that the company will restructure itself in the aftermath of a damaging reserves scandal earlier this year”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell May Delay Repairs To Mars Platform

Oil & Gas Journal: Top Indian shipowners propose JV to ship LNG for Shell

Friday 22 October, 2004

Canadian Press: Imperial Oil and Shell Canada pump out record third-quarter profits

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.”: “The families of the nine have sued Shell in a New York court, accusing the company of recruiting police and the military to attack villages and suppress organized opposition.”

Daily Express (Malaysia): Oil leak not from pipelines: Shell: “Kota Kinabalu: Shell Malaysia and Sabah Shell Petroleum Company said the oil slick off Labuan was not caused by any leak in the pipelines of Sabah Shell Petroleum Company.”

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.”:” Separately yesterday, Nigeria’s Ogoni tribe threatened mass action against a local Royal Dutch/Shell unit unless the company failed to withdraw troops from the Ogoniland area, where it abandoned oilfields in 1993. Shell has denied deploying troops.”

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell admits role in EU bitumen investigation: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it is involved in the European Commission’s investigation into alleged cartel-forming in the bitumen market. In late 2002 the commission raided the offices of a number of oil companies including Shell…”: “We are concerned about this issue,” said Rein Williams, president of Shell Nederland BV. “We should not have been present at these meetings and we regret our connection to this case.”

Financial Times: BASF boost for Chinese pipeline: The company also failed to find foreign investors – talks with Royal Dutch/ Shell, ExxonMobil and Russia’s Gazprom failed”

Financial Times: Further Kazakh twist in BG move: “The Kazakh intervention has caused tension between the various groups with a stake in the project – Royal Dutch/Shell, Italy’s Eni, Total, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Japan’s Inpex.”

The Guardian: The wealth service: A new documentary says businesses are like psychopaths. The “oppressive giants sent by evil enchanters” – according to the film: What does corporate champion Ruth Lea make of it?: “If these sovereign countries decide that they do not want them within their national boundaries, they can tell them to leave. This applies to Shell in Nigeria as well as to the many manufacturing companies that have set up in China and Indonesia.”

London Free Press (Canada): Imperial, Shell profits soaring: “Two of Canada’s biggest energy producers and gasoline retailers reported record third-quarter profits yesterday due to soaring oil prices, higher refining margins and increasing production.”

The Times: Shell accused of taking part in tar cartel

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Exxon, Shell in Price-Fixing Probe: “The European Commission placed the Dutch units of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch/Shell Group under suspicion of violating competition rules”

Jamaica Observer: Nigerian activists accuse Shell of backing military: Nigerian activists accused oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group yesterday 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.”

Process & Control Today: Sakhalin Energy Signs Deal with Shell: “The landmark deal marks the beginning of Sakhalin Island as a strategic new source of natural gas for both Mexico and the US West Coast markets. It confirms Sakhalin Energy as a world-class player in the LNG market, and firmly places Russia in a new strategic position as a global supplier of natural gas”

Saturday 23 October, 2004

ThisIsLondon.co.uk: Companies reporting next week: “On Thursday, Shell is expected to turn in net income of $4.3bn (£2.35bn) against $2.9bn (£1.6bn) last time. In a results announcement that analysts say is likely to be a sideshow to the group’s reserves crisis and its corporate governance review in November, Shell will say it benefited from well-performing downstream operations and higher oil prices.”

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”

Big News Network.com: Exxon, Shell named in pricefixing inquiry: “The Dutch units of Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch/Shell were reported Friday to be under suspicion in a price fixing inquiry by the European Commission.”

The Independent (UK): Across the Middle East, autocratic regimes are being reinforced by rising oil prices: “The Iraq war was, in the end, a war about oil: for without its oil Iraq would have been much less important to the Americans. It was not a war instigated by the oil companies, as many left-wing critics have assumed. The two chief British oil companies, BP and Shell, both warned the British government that it would threaten the security of oil supplies – which it did.

The Times (London): Beginner’s guide to stockpicking: “…even professional investors cannot always predict events that dent corporate reputations and thus share prices. Overstated oil reserves have dealt a hefty blow to Shell”: “All four companies were admired and perceived to be among the best. Now all four must rebuild — not their businesses, but their reputations.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell Extends Bid Date For N Sea Gas Fields 2 Wks-Source: “LONDON — Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD, SC) has delayed its deadline to receive final bids on the Schooner and Ketch natural gas fields in the North Sea to Nov. 5, people familiar with the situation said Friday”

RTE (IRELAND): Mayo gas terminal gets green light: “The terminal is to be built to bring gas from Shell’s Corrib field ashore. Shell E&P Ireland said it was ‘delighted’ by the decision”

Sunday 24 October, 2004

The Observer (UK): Profits bonanza for BP and Shell: “Shell is also challenged as it failed to invest adequately in exploration and development in the Nineties. Earlier this year the company was rocked by revelations that it had improperly booked up to 20 per cent of its reserves. The disclosures led to the departure of chief executive Phil Watts and other managers.”

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.”

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Windfall tax warning to North Sea oil and gas: “North Sea oil and gas companies could be hit with a windfall tax on profits if evidence is found of manipulation of the gas market, the chairman of an influential committee of MPs has warned.”

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Shell and BP make profits of $50m a day: “BP and Shell, the giant oil companies, are this week both expected to announce record profits of around $4.5 billion (£2.5 billion) each for the three months to September as they reap the benefits of the soaring oil price.”

THE SUNDAY TIMES (UK): Shell revives unquenched desire to sell Ireland’s oldest company: “IRELAND’S oldest company — and the world’s oldest candlemaker — has been put up for sale. Rathborne Candles, founded in Dublin in 1488, is to be sold as part of the oil giant Shell’s disposal of global non-core assets.”

Monday 25 October, 2004

The Times: Need to Know: Global Business Briefing: “Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil major, which recently outlined its strategy plan, is due to report its third-quarter figures on Thursday. Analysts expect adjusted net income of about $4.33 billion, 42 per cent above last time.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Personal view: Good company owners are hard to find. Here’s how to spot the fakes: “An example of… Shell… resembles a government and has no owners. It is hard to imagine that if Shell had been significantly owned by the chairman’s family, anyone would have got away with inflating its oil reserves.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): The week ahead: Soaring oil price to power BP and Shell: “Shell is planning to spend $15billion a year between now and 2006 on capital expenditure, with a significant share on exploration. But it said in its new strategy last month production growth is likely to be flat until 2009.”

Bloomberg: Exxon, BP, Shell to Report 3rd-Quarter Profit Gain on Oil Price: “Van der Veer said at an Energy Institute luncheon in London last week that the peak of the oil and gas industry lies beyond the year 2030, adding that Shell views oil price of $20 a barrel as “conservative,” and that in years to come average prices will be “a lot lower than the $50 we see today.”

The Scotsman: BP and Shell share in bumper profits: “OIL majors BP and Shell, the former thriving and the latter struggling in terms of market perceptions recently…”: “In a results announcement that analysts say is likely to be a sideshow to the group’s reserves crisis and its corporate governance review in November, Shell will say it benefited from well-performing downstream operations and higher oil prices.”

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”

Financial Times: Investors to scrutinise oil giants’ earnings: “Shell has worried investors because it is committed to spending its way back to production growth through a $45bn three-year capex spree, rather than promising share buybacks. It also broke away from peers by saying it will assess whether to invest in projects based on a $25 oil price. The others have stuck at $20.”

THE BUSINESS: Going well with Shell as it edges ahead of rival BP: “ROYAL Dutch/Shell is expected to edge ahead of arch-rival BP when both companies announce quarterly profits this week, reminding investors that there is still value in the Anglo-Dutch group, despite a year of crisis.”: “Its shares have lagged behind BP and Exxon Mobil since it wrote down more than a fifth of its proven oil reserves in January.”

ananova.com: Shell And BP Set For Big Profits: “…both tipped to have made record third quarter profits.”: “The recent soaring price of oil is behind the huge increase in earnings…”:

BBC NEWS: Oil firms ‘set for profits boost’: “The projected jump in profits at BP and Shell reflects an 80% surge in crude oil prices in the past year, triggered by fears that world supplies are struggling to keep pace with soaring demand.”: “Strong results from Shell would help the firm draw a line under shock revelations in January that it had overestimated its oil reserves by 20%. The announcement shook investor confidence in the firm, forcing its share price sharply lower, and eventually led to the resignation of its chairman, Sir Phillip Watts.”

The Scotsman: Burning a hole in our pockets: “WHEN Shell’s new chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, unveils a near 60% jump in third quarter profits on Thursday, City traders will barely bat an eyelid. With oil prices sitting above $50 a barrel, it’s not difficult for an oil company to make money – even if it has had the most traumatic year in its history.”

Tuesday 26 October, 2004

Reuters: Shell hard-pressed to emulate Edison: “A plan by Royal Dutch/Shell to sell its global electricity assets may be slowed by revenue risks that make it hard to match the success of the $5.4 billion (2.9 billion pounds) sale by U.S. utility Edison Mission, banking sources say.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Oil Spending Balloons Nearly $300 Billion: “Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell Group and the rest of the private petroleum giants are also flush with cash as profits and stock prices soar.”: “A transfer of wealth of historic proportions is taking place as worldwide spending on oil is expected to grow this year by about $295 billion, or 27 percent, compared with 2003, according to government data.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: BP’s Net Profit Nearly Doubles Amid Soaring Oil Prices: “Shell , which reports earnings on Thursday, has said it plans to modestly increase spending, in part to restore investor confidence in its exploration and production unit — hobbled by this year’s energy-accounting scandal.”

Duluth News Tribune, MN: Who is in pain, and who stands to gain?

FinanceGates.com: Largest oil firms under investors control: “Six major oil companies are expected to answer the questions on possible political risks and emerging markets development programmes. The six oil giants include ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch/Shell, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips.”

London Evening Standard: BP earns £24m every day: “While drivers face rising prices at the pumps, the world’s big five oil firms combined – BP, Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch/ Shell, ChevronTexaco, and Conoco-Phillips – should see profits of almost £11bn in the last three months.”

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.”

Business-Standard.com: Investors to scrutinise oil giants` earnings: 5 top companies expected to report near-record quarterly earnings of $20 bn: “Shell has worried investors because it is committed to spending its way back to production growth through a $45 billion three-year capex spree, rather than promising share buybacks.”

The Times (UK): Tokyo and Beijing at odds over oil-rich islands: “Two months ago Royal Dutch Shell and Unocal pulled out of the project but the Chinese insist it is going ahead as planned.”

The Times (UK): Need to Know: Global Business Briefing: “Royal Dutch/Shell, the oil giant, has received the green light to build a terminal needed to develop a one trillion cubic feet natural gasfield off the west coast of Ireland.”

Financial Times: BP bolstered by record oil prices: “Results from BP will be followed later in the week by Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhilips and ChevronTexaco.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell, BP Restart Oil Production At Na Kika Pipeline After Repairs: “DALLAS — Oil production from the giant Na Kika platform in the Gulf of Mexico resumed Monday morning after a pipeline damaged by Hurricane Ivan was fixed.”

Wednesday 27 October, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Investors Recoil From Oil Terms in Kazakhstan: “”The terms offered by the government are not enough to justify the risk,” said Dr. Martin Ferstl, chairman of Shell Kazakhstan, in an interview this month at the annual Kazakhstan International Oil and Gas Exhibition in Almaty, the country’s commercial capital.

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”

Daily Telegraph: Oil giants jostle for slice of Iraq: “Jeroen van der Veer, chairman of Shell’s committee of managing directors, said: “We made several offers [to the interim government] and they have accepted our offer of helping them draw up a gas master plan.”

DAILY MAIL (UK): £1m an hour: Soaring oil prices help boost profits at BP… and Shell is making even more: “Its rival Shell, meanwhile, is expected to announce a quarterly profit of £2.6billion – which equates to £1.2million an hour.”

WILLS & CO STOCKBROKERS LTD: ANALYSTS REPORT ON SHELL TRANSPORT & TRADING: “Shell admitted back in January that it had overstated its oil & gas reserves by 20%, leading to the ousting of 3 senior executives, including Chairman Sir Philip Watts, and to $150m in fines from U.S. and U.K. regulators. The company’s bloated board structure, with 16 non-executives between Royal Dutch and Shell, has to be addressed and an update following a review of its corporate governance is due in November.”: “We feel that a turn around in the company’s fortunes may not begin to show through until 2006”: “Our recommendation is to sell your holding, and switch to BP – which has much stronger growth potential -or something more exciting.”: “SELL”

Daily Telegraph: BP proves slippery when it comes to dividend: BP profit £1m per hour as oil price soars: “It is an unfortunate consequence of BP behaving like a true multinational, where the interests of real shareholders in Britain come a long way down the list. Still, it could be worse. They could be shareholders in Shell.”

Western People (Ireland): It’s going ahead… Shell gets approval for Bellanaboy gas terminal: “THE largest and most contentious construction project ever proposed for County Mayo has been given the go-ahead.”: “Shell has been warned that it will have to cease work if it fails to uphold the guidelines that have been laid down.”

Financial Times: Not clammed shut: “Jeroen van der Veer remains refreshingly candid even after all Royal Dutch/Shell has been through this year.”: “We are like the schoolboy standing in the corridor outside the classroom. I don’t think it is for us to lead the charge of new rules on reserve accounting, we shall leave that to others. But whatever the rules are, we will comply with them.”

Arizona Republic: Energy: Oil futures close higher amid production woes: Crude-oil futures settled higher Tuesday after Royal Dutch/Shell Group confirmed continuing production problems in the Gulf of Mexico.

allAfrica.com: Shell’s EA Field Resumes Gas Supply to LNG Plant: “THE Shell operated EA field has resumed gas supplies to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plant on Bonny Island in Rivers state five months after it discontinued owing to power supply problems.”

Oil & Gas Journal: Shell completes gas to liquids fuel trial in California: “Shell International Gas Ltd. said the results of a gas to liquids (GTL) fuel trial in California affirm that GTL fuel has a role to play in the long-term transition to renewable fuels”

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

TimesofOman.com: Shell Oman net up, declares 40pc interim dividend

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/ DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Shell: Bulk Of US Gulf Oil, Gas Output Back Up Within A Wk: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group should have the bulk of the oil and natural gas output shut down by Hurricane Ivan back in production within a week, a company official said Tuesday.”

Thursday 28 October, 2004

CBS.MarketWatch.com: 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.”

BBC NEWS: Profits rise as Shell unites board

The Guardian: Shell to scrap twin board structure: “The overhaul will see more than 200 management jobs transferred across the North Sea, representing 7% of the 3,000 staff who currently work at Shell’s London headquarters.”: “…some investors were concerned by news that Shell was reviewing a further 900m barrels of oil and gas reserves following an extensive audit.”

The Scotsman: Shell merger plan as profits hit £2.4bn: Owners of energy giant to join up after investor criticism: “However, Shell today revealed it was reviewing a further 900 million barrels of oil and gas reserves following an extensive audit, raising fears of a further possible downgrade.”

The Scotsman: Shell Quitting London – and Downgrading Reserves Further: “Mr van der Veer told investors he was “disappointed” further potential reductions in oil and gas reserves had been identified. Auditors have assessed more than half of the 14.35 billion barrels of oil equivalent that Shell reported as its reserves at the end of 2003. In a statement, Shell said: “Preliminary reports from the field and audit teams suggest that reductions to … reserves are likely to be appropriate.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Royal Dutch/Shell to Unify: “Separately on Thursday, the group also released third quarter results that were overshadowed by the admission that it was once again reviewing the equivalent of “approximately 900m” barrels of oil reserves following an extensive audit.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: MORNING BRIEF: Shell, Finally, Goes Ahead With Corporate Unification: “While questions linger about what Messrs. van der Veer and Jacobs knew about the reserves issue, Shell may now finally be able to move on.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Royal Dutch and Shell Agree To Merge Holding Companies: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it will consolidate its Dutch and British parents under a single board and a U.S.-style chief executive, in a sweeping restructuring meant to right the oil giant following this year’s energy-accounting scandal, even as it said it may have to further cut its tally of its reported energy reserves.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: NEWS SNAP: Shell To Revamp Into One Co, Warns On Reserves: “While investors appeared to greet the news warmly, the company also issued another warning on its precarious hydrocarbon reserves – its fifth this year – saying it may have to writedown a further 900 million barrels based on estimated reserves of 14.35 billion barrels.”

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.”

Reuters: Investors set to lift Shell holdings: “LONDON (Reuters) – Shares in Royal Dutch/Shell have risen in Amsterdam and London, lifted by the prospect that investors will increase their holdings in the stock to reflect its unified structure.”

The Independent (UK):Jeremy Warner’s Outlook: Unilever blues: “Unlike Shell, the other great Anglo-Dutch behemoth, Unilever does at least have a unified board despite the dual domiciled nature of the beast. Yet it also has two chairmen – chief executives in essence – of equal stature, who are meant to operate as a partnership. This provides the necessary checks and balances to prevent reckless or negligent behaviour…“

BLOOMBERG: Shell to Combine Parent Companies as Reserves Worsen (Update3): “Oct. 28: Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe’s second-largest oil company, abandoned its century-old dual boards and plans to combine its parent company, seeking to regain credibility after misleading investors on its oil and gas reserves.”: “The combined company will be named Royal Dutch Shell Plc”: “Chairman Jeroen van der Veer wants to rebuild the credibility of Shell, after the reserves scandal…”: “…announced the fifth writedown in reserves this year. Shell said another 900 million barrels of reserves may have to be removed from its 2003 accounts”

The Guardian: Strategic thinking boosts Shell: “In response to the reserves scandal in January, Shell, which is made up of two companies – Shell Transport & Trading and Royal Dutch Shell – launched an in-depth review of its byzantine corporate structure and complex decision-making processes.

Financial Times: Shell poised for restructuring: “Investors blamed the reserves scandal on the complicated governance structure at Shell…”

The Times (UK): Lawyer of the week: Martyn Hopper: “MARTYN HOPPER, a Herbert Smith partner, is acting for the former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts, who is alleging that the Financial Services Authority has produced a “fundamentally flawed” report into the oil company’s overbooking of reserves…”

The Times: Look ahead: “Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, reports its interim results today with record profits expected on the back of soaring oil prices. However, exceptional results may do little to redress the damage done to investor confidence by the oil reserves scandal.”

Friday 29 October, 2004

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…”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Search for leaks is not over as the Shell supertanker docks in Holland: “Since Shell slipped up so badly under an Englishman, it was always likely that the Dutch would press their advantage and wrestle control of the world’s third-biggest oil company. So it has proved.”: “…an arrogant and introverted organisation, there is little to celebrate in yesterday’s news. Downgrades in proven reserves may be fast becoming routine, but they have not lost their ability to shock, especially during one of our periodic panics about the world running out of oil…”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Empire that grew from a modest London shop: “The shake-up at Royal Dutch/Shell is the biggest upheaval in the history of the business, whose roots go back to 1833.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Dutch return at the double: “Apparently, the oil giant took 20 minutes to decide to merge its joint boards on Wednesday night.”

The Guardian (UK): Things won’t be so vague after move to The Hague: “Change happened for two reasons. First, the scandal of overstated reserves did not just require an apology but a full corporate grovel. The story is the biggest scandal of the post-bubble era and only the sky-high oil price prevented Shell’s crisis descending into corporate breakdown. After yesterday’s nasty little shocker -a fresh downgrade of 900m barrels of reserves – the investors could have asked the directors to perform public somersaults and expect to see them in gym kit by lunchtime.

The Guardian (UK): City hails Shell Anglo-Dutch merger: Headquarters shifts from London to the Netherlands; Investors braced for further downgrades in oil reserves: “Malcolm Brinded, the director in charge of exploration and production admitted: “I’m disappointed to have to flag the issues of reserves.” He said the information had only come to light in recent days and though the audit process was not complete Shell had thought it right to inform the market.”

The Scotsman (UK): Shell’s touch of arrogance as UK arm is sidelined: AT SHELL, it looks a case of the Flying Dutchmen.: “…it looks suspiciously like the Amsterdam end of the near-100-year-old joint venture enterprise have decided the Brits messed up on the reserves fiasco…”: “…the shots are going to be called in Holland as far as the new business is concerned…”

The Independent: OUTLOOK: Why we can’t be totally sure of the New Shell: “So New Shell it is but yesterday it came with a nasty reminder of Old Shell. With a grunt of disappointment but not the merest hint of a blush, the directors calmly told the market that they were probably going to have to unbook another 900 million barrels of reserves, having told everyone five weeks ago that they had capped the problem. In case you have stopped counting, this is the fifth time since January that the company has cut its proven reserves. Shell now has a third less oil under the ground than it said it had a year ago.”

Financial Times: Shell becomes a normal company: “Shell needed a catalytic crisis over phoney oil reserve accounting – which is far from finished – to shock it into changing a century-old structure that resembled a kind of Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy run by a Soviet-style central committee.”

Financial Times: Lex Column: Royal Dutch Shell: “Royal Dutch/Shell’s dual-country structure has been blamed for sins ranging from dodgy reserve accounting through to strategic paralysis.”: “Yesterday’s announcement of the creation of a conventional unitary UK structure was received warmly – and rightly so.”: “But the outlook beyond this year looks grim.”

Financial Times: Company lifer hopes for a new beginning: “Jeroen van der Veer is hoping that his appointment as chief executive of the new Royal Dutch Shell will mark a new beginning for the bruised and battered oil group.”: “investors will be hoping that Mr Van der Veer is not one of the as yet unnamed “individuals” who still face investigation over the group’s mis-stating of its oil reserves.”

Financial Times: A triumph of form, now for the content: Shell’s unitary answer to several questions: “Mr Van der Veer portrayed the latest revelation on the overbooking of proved reserves as evidence that the company was now prepared to come clean as soon as it had bad news. But sceptics accused it of burying the announcement under the exciting stuff about its governance revolution.”: “A lack of rigorous follow-through on the changes made by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart in the late 1990s may have sown some of the seeds of the oil-reserving disaster. Sir Mark has quietly and rightly retired from the board as part of this process.”: “For too long Shell has relied on its “culture”, which it assumed was morally superior, to ensure good behaviour. The test of its reforms – both internally and in its dealings with the outside – will be whether its new systems pick up human failings before they infect the whole company.”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): Too many bonuses can be a big minus: “BURYING bad news is not a technique restricted to government departments. Yesterday Shell needed to alert the market to the embarrassing fact that there were new question marks over just how well proven 900 million barrels of its reserves might be.”:  “The evidence that has emerged from Shell is of an organisation in which the bonus structure contributed to a creative approach to valuing reserves and a culture of cover-up. This was a business in which a paper could be produced at a high level under the title: Creating Value through Entrepreneurial Management of Hydrocarbon Resource Values. To judge by yesterday’s news about another 900 million barrels being in some doubt, that entrepreneurial approach was widely used.”

The Times (UK): Need to Know: “Royal Dutch/Shell raised fears that it may have to write down its reserves by more than 1.5 billion barrels, or 10 per cent, after the Anglo-Dutch oil company admitted that it was considering its fifth “volume adjustment” this year.”

Financial Times: Shell begins corporate restructuring: “Royal Dutch/Shell on Thursday embarked on the historic dismantling of its 97-year-old corporate structure. But the news was overshadowed by a warning that it may have overstated its proved oil reserves by even more than previously admitted.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Shell Warns of New Cuts in Reserves of Oil and Gas: “The Royal Dutch/Shell Group warned Thursday that additional reductions in its proven reserves were possible, saying that about 900 million barrels of oil and gas, or about 6 percent of the total, were under review and could be reclassified”

Daily Mail (UK): Disquiet as Shell goes Dutch: “The new mantra is one Shell, one board, one chairman, one headquarters, one share quote and – one hopes – more than one barrel of oil. But at the rate that Shell, under its Dutch leadership of Jeroen van der Veer, is downgrading the proven reserves he inherited from his predecessor, the luckless Sir Philip Watts, even that is not certain.”: “We are now beginning to see the full extent of the legacy at Shell of the Watts and – before that – the Sir Mark Moody-Stuart era. Profits are fine, thanks to the oil price. But with the latest downgrade Shell now has less proven reserves than any of the oil majors.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell Shakes Up Corporate Structure: “But in a sign the controversy isn’t over, Shell also warned it may have to further slash its oil and natural-gas reserves.”: “…a reduction of about 6%. This came after previous assurances it had finished cleaning up its reserves accounts. The additional “debookings” would mean Shell has reduced its tally of reserves 28% from what it said it had December 2002.”: Mr. van der Veer and Aad Jacobs, currently nonexecutive chairman of Royal Dutch Petroleum and slated to become the new company’s independent chairman, also received warnings about reserve issues ahead of the January disclosure, raising questions about their roles in the scandal.”: ”Regulators continue to investigate the role of individuals in the controversy, and the U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Giants Splurge for Investors: “With oil at nearly $51 a barrel, even after two straight days of declines, the oil giants have a problem lots of companies only dream about: What to do with all the cash?”: “After questions about its accounting for reserves earlier this year, Royal Dutch/Shell Group resisted share buybacks.”: “Mr. van der Veer then reversed himself, promising to buy back some $2 billion in shares this year.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Holders Should Welcome Shell’s Simpler Structure (ShellNews.net)

The Independent (UK): Shell shock as oil giant merges to become one company: “Although investors welcomed the long-awaited restructuring, the announcement was marred by Shell’s disclosure that it may have to reclassify a further 900 million barrels of proven reserves, bringing the amount of overbooked oil to 5.4 billion barrels or almost one-third of reserves.”

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.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Moody’s Affirms The Aa1 Sr Unsecured And P-1 Commercial Paper Rtgs Of Shell Fin (NETHERLANDS) B.V. And Shell Fin (U.K.) P.L.C.; Maintains Outlook-Neg: “Moody’s is maintaining a negative rating outlook rather than downgrading the rating. The rating agency will monitor Shell’s progress on re-positioning the upstream over the next year or two. A material deterioration in Shell’s reserve replacement or production growth in the medium-term could pressure the long-term rating”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: S&P Places Shell Canada On CW Neg On Parent Actions: “The CreditWatch placements of both Royal Dutch/Shell and Shell Canada follow the Royal Dutch/Shell’s announcement that it is considering an additional downward adjustment of 900 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to its 14.35 billion boe of proven reserves. The overall revision would represent a 6.3% reduction in Royal Dutch/Shell’s current proved reserves base and would be in addition to the 23% aggregate recategorizations already implemented in the first half of 2004.”

arabiestrends.com: Archive Article: The crisis at Shell: Decline and fall: “The Royal Dutch/Shell scandal broke as the United States and Europe grappled with a plague of corporate corruption: Enron and Tyco International of the United States; Parmalat of Italy; France’s oil giant Elf; Norway’s Statoil; Halliburton, the US oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney; and the $11 billion accounting fraud by WorldCom.”: “But the Shell scandal was notable because it broke new ground and has reverberated internationally in the strategic field of energy.”: “Now there are allegations that van der Veer, a chemical engineer with such a modest public profile he is known in some quarters as “the low-flying Dutchman”… “had known about the huge shortfalls in proven oil and gas reserves since February 2002, two years before they were publicly disclosed.”

Financial Times: M&A in spotlight over Shell move

Financial Times: Distrust in the land of psychos and soya milk: By Mark Moody-Stuart

The Times (UK): Shell threatened with AA rating downgrade: “S&P said it had put the oil group’s long-term debt “on credit watch with negative implications” and hinted strongly that it could lose its AA+ rating. The trigger was Shell’s announcement on Thursday that it might have overstated its oil and gas reserves again, this time by 900 million barrels.”

The Times (UK): Need to Know: “Royal Dutch/Shell was threatened with a credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s after Shell’s announcement on Thursday that it might have to overstate its oil and gas reserves, this time by 900 million barrels.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell scandal ‘could happen again’: “Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool, the UK chairman of Shell, yesterday warned that another reserves scandal could still strike the oil and gas giant despite the changes to the company’s structure.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Why oil is such a sticky business: “Mr Van der Veer spoke of Athabasca as if it was a fantastic new opportunity, but this Canadian sand pit has been in on-off development since 1883. It’s a filthy process to produce an inferior crude oil, and the gains are marginal.”: “…Shell is reportedly already $2billion over its $10billion budget for the second phase of its gas project at Sakhalin Island.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Why they decided to move their headquarters to Holland: “Shell maintained this week that “the choice of the Netherlands as the headquarters is natural given the group’s history and the businesses already based there”. However, it is a little more complicated than that.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Wildcatter who came in from the cold: “Cairn bought out Shell’s half for £4 million and increased the drilling. By Christmas of last year, the Rajasthan field still wasn’t looking good. Cairn had spent £56 million – a fifth of the then value of the company – and still not found major strikes. Then in January, Cairn struck black gold – a billion-barrel oil lagoon.”: “If you’re searching for the glue that sticks Tony Blair to George W Bush, look no further than the Prime Minister’s old Fettes classmate and school debating partner William Gammell, the man who shared a childhood with the Prime Minister and the President.”

The Times (UK): Tempest: How trackers can lose out with the lopsided FTSE: “SHELL may be moving its headquarters away from London’s South Bank to the Netherlands, but the most significant decision taken by the oil major this week was to shift its primary listing to London.”

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): Shell goes Dutch as reserves cut again: “the news was overshadowed by a further downgrade by Shell of its “proven” reserves of oil and gas”

Houston Chronicle: Royal Dutch-Shell to become one: Market cheers cleaner structure, but reserves loom: Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co. said…. “They’re still trickling down on shareholders bad news about reserve revisions.”: “Bennett, too, thinks a merged company could clean up its act, but he worries about lingering board members who were around during the days of overstating oil reserves.”

AccountancyAge.com: Shell to become one giant company: “The overhaul was forced on Shell by pressure from investors after the reserves scandal which broke in January. The merger will create a unified business with a stock market value of £105bn – making it the second-biggest company on the London market.”

THE TIMES (UK): SHELL GOES DUTCH: Two Shell businesses to unite: DUTCH TAKE OVER – THE NEW SHELL; THE NEW BOARD; Job cuts at Shell — how the UK has taken the brunt again; The reserves crisis

ChannelNewsAsia: S and P watching Shell for possible debt downgrade: “LONDON : Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services said it had its eye on Royal Dutch/Shell for a possible downgrade of the oil company’s debt rating in case of a further restatement of its reserves.”: “This latest warning about Shell’s reserves represents the fifth such announcement about the company’s reserves base this year, S and P said.”

Reuters: S&P may cut ratings on Royal Dutch/Shell: “S&P said it may also cut its ratings on Shell units Shell Oil Co., Shell Petroleum NV and Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd.”: “New downward revisions in reserves represent the fifth such adjustment this year, S&P said in a statement. The latest revision could reduce Shell’s proven reserves life to less than 10 years, it said.”

Legal Week: Slaughters leads adviser trio on Shell shake-up: UK head of legal Richard Wiseman told Legal Week: “We looked at a number of options, which we worked out first internally then with a number of outside advisers and banks.” He added: “It is obviously friendly, but it is one of the biggest [transactions] ever affected.”

Daily Express (UK): Shell quits London HQ to go Dutch: “But managers’ credibility was further eroded yesterday by the revelation they had been premature by saying last month reserves were all accounted for. Malcolm Brinded, British head of exploration and production who will stay on the combined board, said Shell might have to write off a further 900 million barrels or 11 per cent of the reserves it has audited. Half the total reserves have yet to be checked.”

Sunday 31 October, 2004

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”

Scotland On Sunday: Shell is doing things by halves in going Dutch: “…it has to be said, Shell’s British management had done a pretty lousy job in recent years.”: “…those of a suspicious mind quickly spotted the reason. Although rescued by the booming world price of oil, the third-quarter figures were accompanied with the disclosure that there are still some 900 million barrels worth around $450m of questionable reserves sloshing around in Shell books. On its own that would have been enough to knock the shares of both companies for six.”

Sunday Herald (Scotland): Shell rallies to shake off its false reserves: “IT IS an ill wind that blows up nobody’s kilt, as Scandalmonger is fond of remarking, so at least some good has come out of the Shell reserves debacle.”: “But what will not be so welcome is the fact that the British arm of the company is to suffer by the headquarters moving to the Hague. And insult is added to this injury by the news that a further 6% downgrade to reserves is expected.”

THE BUSINESS (UK): It may be too early to celebrate Shell going Dutch: “Although rescued by the booming world price of oil, the third-quarter figures were accompanied with the disclosure that there are still some 900m barrels worth around $450m (£24.3m, €351m) of questionable reserves sloshing around in Shell books.”

Bakersfield Californian: Another view: Californian’s Prop. 64 stand called ‘wrong’: “The case over the closure of the Shell refinery was simply about deception in the marketplace.”: “Documents from whistle-blowers showed Shell was misleading the public…”

The Observer (UK): Unsure of Shell – still: “Shell’s presentation was marred by the admission that on top of the three announcements of reserve downgrades this year – totalling 4.47 billion barrels – there could be more to come.”: “Brinded was clearly embarrassed. The fiasco has dragged Shell’s name through the mud, and led to the departure of his and van der Veer’s predecessors amid allegations of cover-up and lying.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Anglo-Dutch oil giant casts off its old Shell: The recent reserves scandal and the subsequent pressure from shareholders have forced Shell finally to change its dual format.: “At the same time as it made the restructuring announcement, Shell warned yet again that it might have overstated the size of its oil reserves. Having already marked them down by about 4.5 billion barrels this year, the company admitted it was reviewing the status of another 900m barrels, with perhaps more to come as it continued an internal probe.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Agenda: Paul Durman: Reserves woes are still not over at united Shell: “Amid the euphoria over the creation of the new company last week, most people missed a worrying statement from Malcolm Brinded, head of exploration and development. The continuing uncertainty over the true level of the company’s reserves”

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?”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): New Shell may be radical, but can it cure its culture?: “While Jeroen van der Veer, the first ever chief executive, was unveiling New Shell last week, there was a painful reminder of Old Shell. The directors calmly revealed yet again – the fifth time – that the company’s “proven” reserves were questionable. Around 900m barrels may have to be reclassified, potentially bringing the amount overbooked to 5.4bn or almost one third of reserves.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): The day Shell bit the bullet: “Shell revealed that it may have to reclassify a further 900m barrels of proven reserves, bringing the amount of overbooked oil to a massive 5.4bn barrels, or almost one third of its reserves. Shell has just 10 years of reserves, compared with 14 years for both BP and ExxonMobil. Worryingly, Shell’s production is expected to be flat between now and 2009.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): Van der Veer and Shell bosses set for huge pay rises: “The shock revision to the company’s proven reserves – it has potentially overbooked almost one-third of reserves – means that Shell will have to find more oil. In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, van der Veer said he would consider acquisitions and that Shell’s new plc structure would allow it to use its shares as an acquisition currency.”

The Observer (UK): Shell shock

The Observer (UK): In the companies of wolves: ‘The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power’: “…the likeable Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former chairman of Shell. Sir Mark’s home (as shown in some TV footage) was besieged by ecological commandos, who ended up being entertained to a picnic-cum-seminar on the family lawn.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): Centrica tipped for BP stake in £400m gas field: “…Shell, which had revised its estimates down sharply in the wake of its overbooking of its proven oil and gas reserves earlier in the year.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Business Focus: Is the tide turning?: “In somewhat of an understatement Andy Pyle, the managing director of Shell Ireland, the operator with a 45% share of the field, described it as “a very difficult process”.: “The government is to advertise further licences for the Rockall basin — the so-called Dooish field — off the Donegal coast. Shell is already prospecting there and has declared some initial success.”

DallasNews.com: Revamped Shell to widen drilling: Once internal merger is done, oil giant must gain reserves, CEO says: “After uniting its parent companies and boards, Royal Dutch/Shell Group must find the next generation of oil fields to rebuild reserves and gain investor trust, chief executive Jeroen van der Veer said Friday”

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