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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


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.


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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