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Posts from ‘April, 2006’

The Observer: New oil shock ahead as $100 spike looms

New oil shock ahead as $100 spike looms

Oliver Morgan and Heather Stewart
Sunday April 30, 2006
The Observer

The growing international crisis over Iran's nuclear programme could trigger a catastrophic oil price spike, sending crude prices over $100 a barrel, senior Wall Street analysts are warning.

With prices already at around $72 a barrel, such an increase could mean drivers facing prices of 110p a litre on forecourts, according the the Petrol Retailers Association. Last week Lord Browne, chief executive of BP, warned that prices could rise to £1 as he unveiled bumper $5.27bn profits for the first quarter.

Shell is also expected to announce close to record numbers next week, with analysts expecting profits around $5.57bn, driven largely by the oil price.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Experts: Natural Gas Economy Losing Steam

Experts: Natural Gas Economy Losing Steam

 

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 30, 2006

Filed at 9:40 a.m. ET

BOSTON (AP) — On the brink of the 21st century, a group of energy experts peered into the future of natural gas, and what they saw was quite rosy — and quite wrong.

To satisfy growing demand, producers could crank out a third more natural gas over the next decade at ''competitive prices.'' It could ''power our economy'' for decades beyond. Or so said the National Petroleum Council in its 1999 report.

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Petroleum News: Shell: Mars repairs ahead of schedule

Shell: Mars repairs ahead of schedule

The Gulf of Mexico’s largest producing oil platform knocked off-line by Hurricane Katrina could be running again in May, just before the start of this year’s hurricane season.

Shell Exploration & Production Co., a unit of Britain’s Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said April 20 repairs to its Mars platform will be finished in April, with partial production restored in late May. Hurricane season starts June 1.

The platform represents about 5 percent of the Gulf’s daily oil and gas production, which before the hurricane stood at 140,000 barrels of oil and 150 million cubic feet of gas a day.

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Petroleum News: Agrium to decide on coal project in July

Agrium to decide on coal project in July

Company is close to finishing first phase of feasibility study that’s likely to decide the fate of huge Nikiski fertilizer plant

Allen Baker

For Petroleum News

This coming summer will provide a crucial “litmus test” on whether Agrium Inc. and other potential investors pony up well north of a billion dollars to convert coal into feedstock for the Canadian company’s giant Alaska fertilizer plant.

That’s what Bill Boycott, general manager of Agrium Kenai nitrogen operations, told Alaska legislators April 19.

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Petroleum News: BP sells Gulf of Mexico shelf properties

BP sells Gulf of Mexico shelf properties

Apache buys BP’s last producing GOM continental shelf properties; $1.3B purchase second it has made from British giant

Ray Tyson

For Petroleum News

BP says it decided to sell the last of its producing properties on the Gulf of Mexico’s continental shelf because they no longer muster up to BP’s investment standards, not because of an increasing threat of hurricanes, which is said to be causing some producers to rethink their future on the shelf following last year’s devastating storms.

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Petroleum News: Alberta aboriginals and Shell team up

Alberta aboriginals and Shell team up

Gary Park

For Petroleum News

From a whirlwind of events in the Alberta oil sands there was a ground-breaking deal between Shell Canada and a northern Alberta aboriginal community to jointly develop leases.

The pact significantly advances plans by the Fort McKay First Nation to enter the commercial oil sands world in a way that could spell untold riches for its 500 residents.

A complex exchange of options and a possible land swap culminates a decade of talks involving 8,200 acres and a possible 500 million barrels of recoverable bitumen worth US$35 billion at today’s prices.

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Petroleum News: All for one, one for all

All for one, one for all

Mackenzie explorers want gathering and main pipelines under one regulator

Gary Park

For Petroleum News

The pace of future natural gas development in the Mackenzie Delta-Beaufort Sea region may hang on whether Canada’s National Energy Board agrees in June to assume jurisdiction of both the gathering system and main line, submissions to the board have warned.

Having already missed a deadline to contract for firm capacity on the two systems, six members of the Mackenzie Explorer Group have told the federal regulator there is an “urgent need” to resolve an impasse in negotiations with Imperial Oil, the lead partner in the Mackenzie Gas Project.

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Petroleum News: Setting the stage for Arctic offshore oil, gas exploration

Setting the stage for Arctic offshore oil, gas exploration

Alan Bailey

Petroleum News

With oil prices at record levels and companies champing at the bit to find more oil reserves, plans to shoot seismic offshore Alaska’s Arctic are picking up speed. Shell, ConocoPhillips and Houston-based GX Technology Corp. all plan to shoot seismic this summer in the Chukchi Sea, ahead of a Chukchi lease sale planned for 2007 by the U.S. Minerals Management Service. And Shell also plans to shoot seismic on leases it purchased in MMS’ 2005 Beaufort Sea lease sale.

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The Sunday Telegraph:'Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense: the myths about high oil prices

Nonsense, nonsense, nonsense: the myths about high oil prices
By Niall Ferguson
(Filed: 30/04/2006)

The British call it petrol, Americans prefer gasoline. But whatever you call it, prices at the pump are soaring. Last week gas hit $3 a gallon in some parts of the United States. To which British motorists can only reply: Diddums.

Driving down the M40 on Friday, I passed petrol stations selling regular unleaded at 97.9 pence per litre. That works out at $6.62 a gallon. If a British outlet offered petrol at American prices – 44 pence a litre – there would be a queue from Beaconsfield to Birmingham.

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The Sunday Telegraph: 'We've got 2 trillion barrels of the stuff left'

'We've got 2 trillion barrels of the stuff left'(Filed: 30/04/2006)

Sylvia Pfeifer finds that the doomsayers who have been predicting that we'll soon be running out of oil are far too pessimistic

When Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, unveils a strategy update this Thursday, investors will want to know one thing: is Shell finding more oil?

With oil at $73 a barrel, nobody can pump the stuff fast enough. But in order to keep pumping it, oil companies also need to find new reserves. Unfortunately, most western oil majors aren't getting any better at finding oil, let alone at building their reserves. The last discovery of more than 5bn barrels was the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan in 2000.

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The Sunday Times: Shell’s pipes ‘rusting away’

The Sunday Times April 30, 2006

Shell’s pipes ‘rusting away’

Aine Ryan

AS if Shell did not have enough problems already with the Corrib gas field, it has now emerged that the pipes it plans to use to pump gas ashore in north Mayo are rusting away in Killybegs.

Work on the €900m Corrib gas project is suspended, and while Shell waits for a breakthrough in the stand-off with locals, more than 7,000 pipes that it bought four years ago are being battered by the Atlantic elements in Donegal. The oil company has already spent about €3m having them cleaned and preserved.

NI_MPU('middle');

Experts say that “shot-blasting” is the only way to ensure “the integrity and wall thickness of corroded pipes”, but it appears that Shell has not used this method so far.

Shell to Sea, a protest group campaigning for the gas to be refined offshore, claims a significant number of the pipes are now corroded by rust and are not protected by plastic caps.

The anti-Shell protesters were tipped off about the condition of the pipes recently in an anonymous letter from a Killybegs fisherman who says that he was employed to clean them last year.

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The Independent: Shell gas field protesters threaten to turn Ireland into a new Nigeria

The Independent: Shell gas field protesters threaten to turn Ireland into a new Nigeria

'Rossport Five' warn that more local people are ready to go to jail over plans to pipe raw gas across their land

 

By Tim Webb

Published: 30 April 2006

 

The Rossport Five, who went to jail last year for their protests against a planned Shell gas pipeline in Ireland, have warned that the company will need army protection if it does not change its plans.

 

Vincent McGrath spent 94 days in jail with four other County Mayo landowners over their campaign against the Corrib gas project. He told The Independent on Sunday that more protesters, including women and children, would be prepared to go to jail to try to stop the pipeline going ahead.

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Houston Chronicle: Ethanol switch cited for outages at some Houston-area gas stations

Ethanol switch cited for outages at some Houston-area gas stations

By PURVA PATELCopyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Scores of gas stations in Houston were out of at least one grade of gasoline today as the conversion to ethanol-blended gasoline presented logistical problems, fuel suppliers and station owners said.

Experts say the problem is not a general lack of supply, but bottlenecks in delivery as companies convert to a new gasoline formula. This could mean scattered outages through the weekend.

“It’s been a total nightmare,” said Mohammed Ali Dhanani, who distributes gasoline to retailers and owns dozens of gas stations in the Houston area. He noted that 60 percent of his locations were out of gasoline by late today. “Many terminals where we get our gas have been down because of the ethanol transition.” Valero reported problems at 80 Houston-area stations today, while Shell had about nine stations with outages.

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IrelandOn-Line: Shell refinery blamed for 'aluminium water pollution'

Shell refinery blamed for 'aluminium water pollution'28/04/2006 – 15:58:31

The local water supply in North Mayo is being polluted by aluminium run-offs from a Shell gas refinery, it was claimed today.

Around 100,000 tonnes of peat had been removed to create a site for the Corrib gas field in Bellanaboy and activists claimed it has led to the exposure of aluminium deposits.

'Shell to Sea' spokesman John Monaghan said the aluminium was running into the local river and on to Carrowmore Lake, which is the main source of water for the Erris region.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: 'Wake-Up Call': Gas-Price Uproar Is Likely To Shift U.S. Energy Policy

'Wake-Up Call'
Gas-Price Uproar Is Likely
To Shift U.S. Energy Policy

Anxious Congress WeighsTougher Fuel Standards,Ethanol and Hybrid Cars Little Short-Term Impact Seen By JOHN J. FIALKA and LAURA MECKLER in Washington, and STEVE LEVINE in Dallas Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNALApril 29, 2006; Page A1

The surging price of oil and gasoline has sparked a wave of jockeying in Washington that could presage the biggest change in federal energy policy since the 1970s.

Suddenly, ideas that have languished on various wish lists for years have a realistic chance of becoming policy, as motorists in many parts of the country face $3-a-gallon gasoline even before the summer driving season starts. Among those getting serious consideration for cutting gasoline costs and reducing foreign-oil dependence: higher fuel-economy standards for cars, new incentives to shift cars away from gasoline, a crackdown on energy-price manipulation and inducements to encourage more refining.

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The Guardian: From traders to tankers: who makes a mint out of $70-barrel oil

From traders to tankers: who makes a mint out of $70-barrel oil

This week petrol prices broke new records in Britain and the US, creating political fallout for President Bush and pushing UK fuel towards £1 a litre. But who is getting rich? We offer a dollar-by-dollar guide to a $2.4trillion global oil industry

Saturday April 29, 2006
The Guardian

Oil production Oil companies Companies such as make the bulk of their money from the “upstream” business: the exploration and production of oil. BP reported earlier this week that it had earned $6.8bn upstream out of a total profit of $8.5bn in the three months to March 31. Saudi Arabia is the biggest oil exporter in the world and rising oil prices have swollen government coffers. Exploiting oil is relatively cheap in Saudi – less than $3 for a $70 per barrel price, and it's all controlled by the state. Last year the country made $133.5bn out of oil and spent $74.8bn on things like education ($18.7bn) and health ($7.2bn), according to figures from the Centre for Global Energy Studies. It also spent on defence: $38.5bn, some of which goes to Britain to pay for BAE systems jets. Some of the $57.1bn surplus in 2005 went to pay off the enormous Gulf War One debt Saudi ran up. The rest? US Treasury bonds and other capital markets including shares of UK stock-listed companies. The princes take personal commissions on big trade deals and their money – estimated in total at $1trillion – is invested in all sorts of assets including London property. Dubai, like other members of the UAE, has put its money into becoming a centre of finance, trade and tourism. Dubai Ports World recently bought one of Britain's best-known companies, P&O. Nigeria has become the first African nation to pay off its outstanding debts using oil revenues: it paid $4.5bn to Paris Club creditors last week. In Nigeria, private oil companies such as Shell pay for the cost of finding oil and then pay a royalty tax to the government. Venezuela is using its newfound wealth in quite different ways. Hugo Chavez, the left-wing president of Venezuela, is promoting a massive new social reform programme. He is also selling oil at knock-down rates to Latin American neighbours in a bid to separate them from Washington's political orbit.$5.9 billion, Value of oil produced globally in a day

Transportation
Massive demand for oil around the world has helped fuel the biggest shipping boom in history. Noone has yet secured the recognition of the former maritime magnates such as Onassis and Niarchos but Greeks – and Norwegians – still control the bulk of the world's tankers. The new figures of Greek shipping are men such as Loucas Haji-Iaonnou (father of easyJet founder Stelios), plus the Angelicoussis and Livanos families. Norwegian shipowner John Fredriksen is probably the nearest thing nowadays to Aristotle Onassis but he favours a low profile and is not someone who likes to be seen at society gatherings. Fredriksen has been spending some of his millions in Britain – he did once own London's most expensive property in Chelsea. Shipowners like the usual millionaire baubles such as fast cars, yachts and Impressionist paintings.But many love shipping and historically pile much of their money into even more vessels, fuelling over-capacity and bringing boom cycles to the inevitable bust. Overordering is happening right now. Owners – including and the other oil companies – can make $6m on one cargo carried on a typical longhaul journey from Saudi Arabia to the US east coast. The price of vessels has shot up due to heavy demand and it can cost up to $140m now to build a new one. A typical supertanker can carry 2m barrels of oil and at $70 per barrel this means a ship is moving a cargo worth $140m. Big insurance premiums have to be paid to cover the ships and cargos meaning large revenues for Lloyd's of London.
$84 million, Daily cost of oil transportation

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Many Friends Help Open New Orleans Fest

Many Friends Help Open New Orleans Fest

 

Published: April 29, 2006

NEW ORLEANS, April 28 — Of course Bob Dylan had the appropriate songs when he headlined the first day of the 37th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, a celebration of New Orleans culture where Hurricane Katrina was on everyone's mind.

Skip to next paragraph Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Henry and Katie Alpert, a newlywed couple, dance during Bob Dylan's set at the festival.

Readers’ Opinions

Forum: Popular Music

Ozier

As Li'l Walter Cook and the Creole Wild West perform onstage at Jazzfest, a band member, Vincent Carter, takes the show into the crowd.

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MarketWatch: Petrobras completes purchase of Shell Colombia assets

MarketWatch: Petrobras completes purchase of Shell Colombia assets

 

Apr 28, 2006

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (MarketWatch) — Brazil's state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, Friday said it has completed the acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's (RDSB.LN) fuel and distribution businesses in Colombia.

 

Petrobras is buying 39 gasoline stations and convenience stores in and around Bogota, a storage base, a lubricants plant in Puente Aranda and a terminal in Santa Marta, the company said in a filing to Brazil's stock-market regulator.

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BREITBART.COM: Shell unveils plans for 'biggest refinery in US'

Shell unveils plans for 'biggest refinery in US'Apr 28 11:03 AM US/Eastern  

Anglo-Dutch oil group Royal Dutch Shell has announced plans to make its jointly owned Motiva refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, the biggest in the United States.

Shell founded the Motiva refiniery in 1998 with Saudi Refining and is considering increasing the output at the facility by 325,000 barrels per day.

“The project would make the Port Arthur Refinery the largest in the country,” Shell said in a statement on Friday.

Output would rise to 610,000 barrels per day, higher than the 557,000 barrels per day produced by the ExxonMobil facility in Baytown, Texas, the current biggest in the country.

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Forbes/AFX News Limited: Shell jnv Motiva plans US refinery expansion

Forbes/AFX News Limited: Shell jnv Motiva plans US refinery expansion

 

04.28.2006

 

LONDON (AFX) – Motiva Enterprises LLC, jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Saudi Refining Inc, said it plans to increase its oil refining capacity at Port Arthur in Texas by 325,000 barrels per day.

 

The additional capacity will be on-stream by 2010. Construction work will start in 2007 once the required regulatory approvals have been secured. The project, once finished, will make the Port Arthur facility the largest in the US, it said.

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Unison.ie, Ireland: Corrib gas project 'has polluted Mayo drinking water'

Unison.ie, Ireland: Corrib gas project 'has polluted Mayo drinking water'

08:06 Friday April 28th 2006  

Opponents of the Corrib gas pipeline are claiming that drinking water from Carrowmore Lake in Co Mayo has been heavily contaminated as a result of the project.

The Shell to Sea campaign says the water has been polluted with aluminium as a result of the removal of peat from the site of the onshore gas terminal being built by Shell in Ballinaboy.

The group is due to offer samples of the water to officials from the Department of the Environment today in an effort to get an investigation into the concerns.

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Daily Telegraph: BP and Shell join oil majors facing Senate tax check

BP and Shell join oil majors facing Senate tax check
By David Litterick in New York  (Filed: 28/04/2006)

BP and Shell are about to be dragged into the latest row over high petrol prices after a US Senate committee demanded to see tax returns from the 15 largest oil companies as part of an inquiry into industry profits and soaring prices.

“I want to make sure the oil companies aren't taking a speedpass by the tax man,” said Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate finance committee, meaning that they were not dodging their taxes, as he asked the Internal Revenue Service to hand over records for the past five years.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil-News Roundup

Oil-News Roundup

The WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINEApril 28, 2006 12:40 a.m.

Oil fell to nearly $71 a barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But crude prices are still up 16% this year and analysts believe they will stay lofty, thanks to brisk global demand and seemingly endless supply worries. Here is today's well of news about oil and fuel prices.

* * *

EXXON's PAYDAY: Exxon Mobil reported blockbuster earnings — quarterly profit rose 7% to $8.4 billion. Revenue for the quarter climbed 8.4% to $88.98 billion. But the world's biggest oil company missed Wall Street's more-demanding forecasts, and investors sent Exxon's stock price down 1.1% by the close. The latest bulging profit from Exxon comes at a time when both Wall Street and Washington are criticizing Big Oil for amassing hefty cash piles. For its part, Exxon trumpeted two statistics to indicate it is trying to get more oil and natural gas out of the ground. The company said its capital and exploration spending totaled $4.8 billion in the quarter, 41% more than in the year-earlier period. And it said its fossil-fuel production averaged 4.6 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, up an unusually strong 5% from a year earlier.

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The Guardian: Putin's grand plan triggers governance backlash

Putin's grand plan triggers governance backlash

Investors harbour anxieties about standards of eastern bloc firms listing in London

Terry Macalister and Jill Treanor
Friday April 28, 2006
The Guardian

Vladimir Putin's ambitions for state-owned energy companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft to become global giants is triggering a backlash in western countries, including high-level complaints about the way foreign investors are being treated in Russia.

Clara Furse, head of the London Stock Exchange, which could host a flotation in July by the Russian oil company Rosneft, has written in support of the institutional investor Hermitage Capital Management, whose boss has been barred from visiting Russia for the last four months.

F&C, a top City investor, cautioned yesterday that the Rosneft flotation raised serious questions of governance and legal risk, reflecting wider concerns in the investment community about governance standards of eastern bloc companies floating in Britain.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: G.O.P. Senators Hurry to Quell Furor Over Gas

G.O.P. Senators Hurry to Quell Furor Over Gas

Published: April 28, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 27 — Senate Republicans tried on Thursday to get the upper hand in the escalating political battle over high gasoline prices by proposing a $100 rebate for taxpayers and by suggesting that they might increase taxes on oil-industry profits.

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Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, took questions from reporters after announcing a legislative plan to combat high gasoline prices.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Feds propose $100 million hydrogen prize

Feds propose $100 million hydrogen prize

Anne Broache, for News.com
WASHINGTON–Rising gas prices have sparked a new proposal in Congress that would pony up millions of taxpayer dollars to reward hydrogen energy breakthroughs.

Backed primarily by Republicans, the H-Prize Act of 2006 would create three categories of prizes to be awarded over the next decade, including a $100 million berth for “transformational changes in technologies for the distribution or production of hydrogen that meet or exceed far-reaching objective criteria.” It would be up to the U.S. Department of Energy to designate an independent, non-governmental organization to set the contest's rules and pick its judges.

Smaller awards of up to $1 million would be distributed every other year to inventions in four categories: hydrogen production, storage, distribution, and utilization. In alternate years, one prize of up to $4 million would go to those who achieve prototypes of hydrogen-powered vehicles or other products that meet certain predetermined benchmarks.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Exxon Mobil 1Q Profit Up 7 Pct. to $8.4B

Exxon Mobil 1Q Profit Up 7 Pct. to $8.4B

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 28, 2006

Filed at 2:19 a.m. ET

DALLAS (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. posted the fifth-highest quarterly profit for any public company in history on Thursday, and with oil prices above $70 a barrel it could go down as the company's weakest quarter for the year.

Exxon Mobil's first-quarter was lower than its record fourth-quarter, when the world's largest oil company reported the highest profits ever for any publicly traded company. And the earnings, which rose 7 percent to more than $8 billion, still fell short of analysts' estimates.

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Reuters: WWF stresses oil spill dangers of Sakhalin project

WWF stresses oil spill dangers of Sakhalin project
28 Apr 2006 00:02:06 GMTSource: Reuters

GENEVA, April 28 (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should not make loans to Shell's giant energy project off Russia's Pacific coast without more measures to protect the environment, WWF said on Friday.
The conservation group said ice and poor weather around the proposed Sakhalin oil and gas operation would make it nearly impossible to clean up any spills for half of the year, placing marine life at risk in the case of an accident.
“This is the most difficult place on earth to have to respond to an oil spill,” Paul Steele, WWF International's chief operating officer said in a report.
“Wave heights in spring and winter are often five times higher than current recovery methods can cope with,” he said.
The EBRD's board is expected to vote in June on whether to approve a $300 million loan to support the Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led Sakhalin-2 project, which has drawn heavy criticism from green groups.
The massive oil and gas fields off the north coast of Sakhalin Island are located near the feeding grounds of the critically endangered Western Grey whale.
Shell and its partners Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi say they are working to safeguard the species.
Their Sakhalin Energy consortium spent about $7 million on whale research from 1997 to 2005 and agreed last year to reroute offshore pipelines.
WWF, formerly known as the World Wildlife Fund, urged the European development bank to be cautious in its involvement in the $20 billion project.
“The EBRD cannot agree to fund this project whilst remaining consistent with its environmental values and maintain its credibility,” Steele said. “If it goes ahead and funds Sakhalin, its environmental reputation will be heavily tarnished.”

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Reuters: Exxon Mobil profit rises on soaring prices

3-MONTH PROFIT: $8,400,000,000.00

($8.4 BILLION)  

Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:42am ET

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Thursday reported quarterly profit surged, driven by rising oil prices.

 

Net income in the first quarter was $8.4 billion, or $1.37 a share, up from $7.86 billion, or $1.22 a share, a year earlier.

 

Revenue jumped to $88.98 billion from $82.05 billion.

 

Crude oil prices have risen steadily from about $20 a barrel in 2002 to over $75 last week, handing oil and gas companies a long-running profit bonanza.

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Forbes/AFX News Limited: India ONGC to pay Shell 170 mln usd for 15 pct stake in Brazil oilfield – PTI

04.27.2006

 

NEW DELHI (AFX) – India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to pay oil giant Royal Dutch Shell about 170 mln usd for a 15 pct stake in a Brazilian oil field, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported.

 

'The upfront payment for acquiring a 15 pct stake in block BC-10 is about 170 mln usd,' ONGC chairman and managing director Subir Raha told reporters, PTI said.

 

Another senior ONGC executive, R.S. Butola, said the company would spend another 234 mln usd as its share of the cost involved in bringing the field to production by the end of 2009.

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Money Control: ONGC joins Shell, Petrobras in Brazilian oil block

 

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Wednesday it was increasing its stake in a Brazilian oil block and, as part of the transaction, India's state-controlled ONGC Videsh Ltd would also take a stake.

 

Shell has exercised its pre-emption option to buy an additional 30 percent interest in the Shell operated BC-10 block offshore Brazil and will sell half this stake to ONGC.

 

Technical and commercial studies are underway for the development of BC-10, which has the potential for production of around 100,000 barrels of oil per day, Shell said.

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The Independent: The Big Question: Should we fear Kremlin control of Europe's energy supply?

The Independent: The Big Question: Should we fear Kremlin control of Europe's energy supply?

 

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

Published: 27 April 2006

 

What is Gazprom?

 

Gazprom is the world's biggest gas producer. It supplies 20 per cent of global demand and holds about 25 per cent of world gas reserves – some 18 trillion cubic metres of the stuff, worth $84bn (£47bn). That is more than North America, South America, Europe and Africa contain put together and is equivalent to about a third of Middle East gas reserves.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Key Lawmakers Demand Oil Co. Tax Records

Key Lawmakers Demand Oil Co. Tax Records

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 27, 2006

Filed at 1:51 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to an election-year spike in gasoline prices, Senate Republicans on Wednesday drafted legislation providing $100 rebates for taxpayers as key lawmakers sought access to Big Oil's income tax returns.

The rebate legislation also calls for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an intensely controversial proposal that will probably contribute to the defeat of the overall measure.

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Financial Times: Shell uses Nigerian companies linked to rebels

Financial Times: Shell uses Nigerian companies linked to rebels

 

By Dino Mahtani and Daniel Balint-Kurti in Lagos

Published: April 26 2006 22:09 | Last updated: April 26 2006 22:09

 

Royal Dutch Shell has admitted it has subcontracted work to companies run by Nigerian militant activists involved in a violent insurrection in 2003 that shut down 40 per cent of the country’s oil output.

The activists in question have links to a rebel group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), that attacked Shell oil facilities this year, closing down more than a fifth of the output of the world’s eighth largest exporter.

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Political Gateway: Shell rejects pleas to leave Sakhalin

Shell rejects pleas to leave Sakhalin

LONDON, April 2(UPI) — Environmentalists want the Royal Dutch Shell Group PLC to abandon a potentially lucrative oil and gas exploration venture in eastern Russia.

The World Wildlife Federation and similar groups are demanding the Anglo-Dutch company quit its $20 billion project in Sakhalin, the Independent reported Wednesday.

Activists say RDS failed to persuade an independent panel of scientists that its activities will not harm a critically-endangered population of western grey whales. The cetaceans are due to arrive shortly in their breeding grounds when work on the project's pipeline begins.

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ShellNews.net: EMAIL TO HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REGARDING SHELL'S PERSECUTION OF DR JOHN HUONG: SENT 27 APRIL 2006

26 April 2006

 

Mr Steve Crawshaw

London Director

Human Rights Watch

2nd Floor, 2-12 Pentonville Road

London N1 9HF, UK

Tel: 44 20 7713 1995, Fax: 44 20 7713 1800

[email protected]

 

 

Dear Mr Crawshaw

 

The text in italics below is the heading and opening paragraphs of a letter I sent to Mr James Ross at Human Rights Watch on 7th February. I received no response.

 

THE PERSECUTION OF DR JOHN HUONG BY A MULTINATIONAL GIANT

I note that your organizations focus is understandably directed mainly towards evil regimes that resort to repression and torture.

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Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility: NEWS RELEASE: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC AGM

NEWS RELEASE

from ECCR – the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility – www.eccr.org.uk

ECCR URGES SHELL SHAREHOLDERS TO VOTE YES

TO RESPONSIBLE RESOLUTION 

 

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), the faith-based organisation that has initiated a resolution for Royal Dutch Shell shareholders to consider at their AGM in The Hague and London on 16 May, has replied today to the company’s published statement about the resolution by urging responsible shareholders to vote yes to the motion.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

Bush Takes Steps to Expand Oil Supplies

Deposits to Strategic Reserve Are Suspended, Rules on Ethanol Changeover Relaxed By JOHN D. MCKINNON, JOHN FIALKA and JEFFREY BALLApril 26, 2006; Page A4

WASHINGTON — Under pressure to curb soaring gasoline prices, President Bush announced he would suspend deposits to the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to boost consumer supplies and also seek to relax some antipollution rules.

[George Bush]

The moves, combined with calls by Mr. Bush for an end to certain tax breaks for oil companies, reflect something of an about-face by the president and show the political risks for Republicans in the latest increases in gas prices. Those increases, which have pushed pump prices to more than $3 a gallon in some areas, come as voters' attitudes about the economy and pocketbook issues are beginning to take shape before the fall elections.

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A ‘gripe site’ is a type of website devoted to the critique and or mockery of a person, place, corporation or institution. They are also widely known as “sucks”, protest, or complaint sites. The Internet provides a low cost public platform for anyone, even of modest means, to reach a global audience via a “blog” or a “gripe” website. It is the high-tech equivalent of having a soap box at “Speakers Corner” in Hyde Park, London – that long-established bastion of free speech.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Minister Asserts Iran Won't Cut Exports Despite Nuclear Standoff

Oil Minister Asserts Iran Won't Cut
Exports Despite Nuclear Standoff

By BHUSHAN BAHREE, CARLA ANNE ROBBINS and CHIP CUMMINS Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNALApril 26, 2006; Page A1

With Iran facing a showdown with the West over its nuclear ambitions, its top oil official said yesterday that the country would not use its oil exports as a political weapon and that it already is struggling to meet its own domestic oil demand.

[Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh]

Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, said Iran has the capacity to disrupt world oil markets, but doesn't intend to do so. “The need of the world for energy is soaring, and if Iran is taken out of the equation, prices will shoot up and there will be big difficulties in the energy markets,” Mr. Vaziri said at a meeting of top officials from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and consuming nations in Doha, Qatar.

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Houston Chronicle: Shell: Joint Venture Won't Affect Jobs

Shell: Joint Venture Won’t Affect Jobs

© 2006 The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela — Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Tuesday that recent state-imposed contract changes that brought a Venezuelan oil field it operates under government control will likely impact its share of earnings but is not expected to lead to job cuts.

Venezuela recently required Shell and other private companies operating 32 fields to convert their oil-pumping contracts into joint ventures majority-owned by state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA. It seized two fields from companies that resisted the changes.

The new contract terms gave PDVSA a 60 percent stake in the Urdaneta West oil field and left Shell with the remaining 40 percent.

Sean Rooney, the head of Shell’s Venezuela operations, said the changes would not affect the overall revenues generated by the field but would impact the company’s share of profits.

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The Times: Don't rule out a gas cartel; it makes sense to Russia

The Times April 26, 2006

Don't rule out a gas cartel; it makes sense to Russia

By Carl Mortished

WHAT ARE the prospects for a gas cartel, an organisation of gas exporting countries or Ogec? The unpleasant truth is that they look better every day and not just because Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas exporter is being vocal about its ambition to dominate global gas markets.

With periodic gas shortages and thermal units selling at high prices in Britain and the US, you might think that a gas exporter, such as Gazprom or Algeria’s Sonatrach, has nothing to worry about. There is ample demand and constrained supply. Europe’s big reservoirs of gas in the North Sea are depleting quickly, power stations are hungry and Russia struggles in periods of peak demand to maintain the pressure in export pipes.

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Europe needs much more gas, so why should its potential suppliers — Russia, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and Qatar — risk political opprobrium among consuming nations by combining forces. The answer is fear. Many fear a glut of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and their fear is justified.

Oversupply is building in LNG, a market which is upsetting the old wisdom about gas being a local, disconnected market of rigid long-term contracts between suppliers and consumers linked by pipelines. To everyone’s surprise, a trading market in LNG has quickly emerged in the Atlantic basin where refrigerator ships loaded with frozen gas can alter course to Europe or America, in search of the best price.

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The Times: City Diary: Hard to swallow

The Times April 26, 2006

City Diary

Hard to swallow

By Caroline Merrell

ROYAL Dutch Shell, the oil giant that earlier this year announced record annual profits, has taken the opportunity of a little cost-cutting at its London headquarters. The free lunches enjoyed by staff at the canteen have been axed. An astonishing decision given that the soaring oil price looks set to bring in another year of record earnings at the group.

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POLITICAL correctness seems to have broken out at one of London’s top legal firms. Nearly all the City’s lawyers now have people in charge of “diversity” — to the uninitiated that means ensuring that recruitment programmes include enough women and people from different ethnic backgrounds. Herbert Smith, however, has gone one step further, and has hired its first inclusivity manager. What does it mean? And how does it differ from a diversity manager?

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ShellNews.net: An Email about Shell from Ogoni Author, Ben Wuloo Ikari.

The following is an email received from Ben Wuloo Ikari, the author of a recently published book entitled *“Ken Saro-Wiwa And Mosop-The Story and Revelation”.

 

 

Dear Mr. Donovan,

 

I write to show my appreciation for all your efforts at making Shell Oil accountable and responsible. You've been one of the very few who keep the deadly company on its toes. Dr. John Houng, is another. Thanks so very much for the tested information you continue to provide your audience. My regard also to your son for his high spirit and zeal to uphold the truth against a company that believe in killing for profit making.

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Persian Journal (Iran): Oil firms willing to bend-over for mullahs of Iran

Oil firms willing to bend-over for mullahs of Iran

As the clock ticks toward possible economic sanctions on Iran, foreign oil companies keen to gain a foothold in the country's massive hydrocarbon industry are as eager as ever to do business with the Islamic republic of mullahs.

Attracting foreign investment into the Iranian oil and gas industry appears to be a priority for both the country's firebrand president and his powerful oil minister. The close ties between Iran and global energy companies suggests U.S. efforts to use sanctions as a way to stop development of the country's nuclear program may not prove successful. “One has to realize that with Iran, when you look at both the oil and gas reserves, they have a very strong position as a country,” said Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which has a long history of involvement in Iran.
For Iran, as well as for large energy companies and big consumers such as China and Japan, the stakes are high. Iran straddles 12% of global oil reserves and holds the world's second-largest gas reserves after Russia, but the country needs an estimated $50 billion of foreign investment over the next 10 years to reach future energy production targets. For Iran to maintain its number two slot in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, it needs to tap into its oil reserves and quickly.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Oil, Gas Prices Drop on Bush Supply Move

Oil, Gas Prices Drop on Bush Supply Move

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: April 25, 2006

Filed at 4:20 p.m. ET

Crude oil and gasoline futures fell Tuesday after President Bush gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to relax regional clean-fuel standards to attract more imports of gasoline to the United States and to make it easier for supplies to be moved from one state to another.

President Bush also said he would halt deposits of oil to the nation's strategic petroleum reserve until the fall, but analysts said that measure would have next to no impact on crude prices and certainly would not help make gasoline any cheaper. Even the fuel-specification waivers will have a marginal impact, analysts said, given that the main force behind today's soaring pump prices is the near-record price of crude oil.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Gazprom Wants All of Exxon's Sakhalin Gas: Report

Gazprom Wants All of Exxon's Sakhalin Gas: Report

 

By REUTERS
Published: April 25, 2006

Filed at 5:50 a.m. ET

Skip to next paragraph Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia's gas monopoly Gazpromwants to buy all gas from ExxonMobil's (XOM.N) Sakhalin-1 project on the remote eastern island for re-exports to China and Korea, a business daily reported on Tuesday.

Vedomosti said Gazprom had raised the idea in its Sakhalin development strategy, which is due to be reviewed by the firm's state-controlled board on April 27.

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BBC NEWS: Local protestors delay gas development on the west coast of Ireland

Eòrpa, BBC TWO Scotland, 28 April 6.30pm

 
 
Local protestors delay gas development on the west coast of Ireland
 
ShellLarge scale energy projects often provoke strong feelings within communities. Shell E. & P. Ltd is presently involved in a multi-million pound scheme developing a gas field of the west coast of Ireland.

In County Mayo a number of locals were imprisoned as a result of their opposition to an onshore pipeline Shell wishes to build as part of this project. The group have now been freed, but are still trying to prevent the work from going ahead.

Daily Telegraph: Why we should love high oil prices

Why we should love high oil prices
Martin Vander Weyer
(Filed: 25/04/2006)

Oil is seven times more expensive today than it was in 1998 and, according to the doomsters, the rise is far from over. As the price hit $75 a barrel last Friday, there were plenty of experts willing to predict that a conflict with Iran could drive it higher yet – to $120, or $150, or think of a number and double it.

This extreme change in the cost of the basic fuel that drives the world economy ought, on the basis of experience in the 1970s and 1980s, to be causing mayhem in financial markets and panic in treasuries the world over.

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Financial Post (Canada): Fuel prices push Q1 Shell profit up 7.2%: $447-million net income

Fuel prices push Q1 Shell profit up 7.2%: $447-million net income: Athabasca output reduced by torn conveyor belt
Financial Post – Canada; Apr 25, 2006


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Shell Canada Ltd., the oil company controlled by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said first-quarter profit rose 7.2% as fuel prices rose. Gains were blunted by equipment failures that cut output at an oilsands project.

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