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Posts from ‘May, 2006’

ShellNews.net: The Internet battleground for Shell’s reputation

1st June 2006

By Alfred Donovan

An article published on 22nd May by BrandRepubic.com (printed below) revealed Shell’s plans to appoint a digital agency to turn around the online reputation of Shell.

This represents a very considerable challenge as it is almost impossible to search for any online information relating to Shell without stumbling across websites containing negative content.

For example, if you Google “Royal Dutch Shell Plc”, the number 3 result (out of 867,000) happens to be a Wikipedia article about what is described as a “Domain name oversight”. The “oversight” was actually gross negligence on the part of Shell management which allowed me to obtain registration of the precise dotcom domain name for Royal Dutch Shell Plc (which adorns this website). Shell subsequently attempted to seize the domain name by issuing proceedings against an 88 year old war veteran, me. This act alone generated global adverse publicity for Shell in the news media and online.

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ShellNews.net: Reflections on the inaugural satellite AGM for second class Shell shareholders

31 May 2006
By John Donovan

On 16th May I attended the inaugural Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM located in West London. This was the downgraded (satellite) venue for what are evidently considered to be second class Shell shareholders. I refer to the former shareholders in Shell Transport and Trading Company Plc.

Not a single board member of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was present. Instead we watched the granite faced retiring Royal Dutch Shell Chairman, Aad Jacobs, on a giant video screen during a long-drawn-out AGM with shareholder questions alternating between the two AGM venues – one in Holland and the other in the UK.

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Business Times: Saag clinches US$50m Sakhalin Energy contract

By Zaidi Isham Ismail
[email protected]

May 31 2006

OIL and gas service provider Saag Consolidated (M) Bhd has clinched a US$50 million contract from Russia’s Sakhalin Energy Investment Co Ltd.

Under the contract, Saag will be part of an exploration team assisting Sakhalin Energy, with the aim of stepping up crude oil production.

Sakhalin Energy is a Royal Dutch Shell plc-led consortium, of which the Anglo-Dutch oil giant takes up a 50 per cent interest in the Western Siberian oil field off Japan.

Russia is the world’s fifth largest oil producer.

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RosBusinessConsulting (Russia): Gazprom to complete asset swap talks with Shell soon

RBC, 30.05.2006, St. Petersburg 19:14:02.Gazprom plans to complete asset swap talks with Shell within the terms of the Sakhalin-2 project by July 1, 2006, Gazpromexport’s (Gazprom’s fully owned subsidiary) Deputy General Director Sergei Yemelyanov said in St. Petersburg today.

As reported earlier, Gazprom and Royal Dutch/Shell signed a memorandum of understanding to swap assets within the terms of Zapolyarnoye-Neocomian field and Sakhalin-2 projects, according to which Gazprom would secure a 25-percent stake plus 1 share in the Sakhalin-2 project, and Shell would get a 50-percent stake in the Zapolyarnoye-Neocomian project.

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Vanguard (Nigeria): Militants issue fresh threat to Shell

By Emma Amaize
Posted to the Web: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 
 
Warri —  A militant group, the Iduwuni Volunteer Force (IVF) in Bayelsa State, has threatened to shut down all flow stations/oil wells in their area belonging to  Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) if no tenable explanation is offered by the company for its non-challant attitude to the people.

The militant group has been embroiled in a running battle in the past few weeks with Shell over a statement that about N800 million was expended by the Anglo-Dutch oil firm in the execution of development projects in some oil producing communities in Iduwini kingdom.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: May 31, 2006

The price of crude oil resumed its volatile trading Tuesday, jumping 66 cents a barrel to close at more than $72 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, driven in part by fresh evidence of China’s thirst for oil. Here is today’s news roundup on oil and energy.

* * *
STILL THIRSTY FOR OIL: China’s oil consumption rose 10.8% in April from a year ago, the biggest such gain since 2004, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Beijing recently lifted the cap on fuel prices in China, encouraging refiners to buy more oil to make more fuel, feeding the surge in demand. Strong oil consumption in China, the world’s No. 2 oil consumer after the U.S., has helped keep global energy prices high.

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The Guardian: British nuclear renaissance faces threat of skills meltdown

· Staffing is biggest issue for industry, says union
· Firms already offering £10,000 signing-on fees

Terry Macalister
Wednesday May 31, 2006
The Guardian

A skills shortage threatens to derail Britain’s nuclear decommissioning and new building programme, the industry’s biggest trade union has warned.

Prospect, the engineering, science and management union, said the poaching of staff is already endemic among engineering and other companies ahead of a £50bn-plus dismantling bonanza and the final go-ahead for a second generation of nuclear power stations.

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Business Wire: Deep Well’s Valuation is Set in the Oil Sands Game…

Business Wire: Deep Well’s Valuation is Set in the Oil Sands Game after Shell’s/BlackRock Takeover Bid; Deep Well’s Reserves Value is Estimated, in Comparison at $16.60 Per Share, Says Investrend Affiliate SISM Research Analyst Ernest C. Schlotter

May 30, 2006
 
(Investrend Research Syndicate) Ernest C. Schlotter, a senior analyst with Investrend affiliate SISM Research and a Starmine four star analyst, has placed an estimated reserve value of $13.20 to $16.60 per share on Deep Well Oil & Gas (OTC: DWOG) reserves.

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Financial Times: Energy: Banks still have a role to play

By Thomas Catan
Published: May 30 2006 19:15 | Last updated: May 30 2006 19:15

With energy prices at record highs, oil and gas companies are hardly begging for money these days.
ExxonMobil has posted the largest annual profit in corporate history; BP, Royal Dutch Shell and other “supermajors” are struggling to find ways to use their huge infusions of cash.

Collectively, the largest oil companies have returned well over $120bn to shareholders through share buybacks and dividends over the past two years. ExxonMobil alone is returning $2bn to shareholders every month.

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Financial Times: Strength in special situations

By Ellen Kelleher in London
Published: May 31 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 31 2006 03:00

There are two types of companies in which Luke Newman, manager of F&C’s £50.5m Special Situations fund, likes to invest: those that are undergoing some sort of change and those with share prices that imply little to no growth.
 
Mr Newman’s thesis is that value tends to be found when companies are either in a position of recovery or a turnround. The fund is quite focused as there are just 30 to 50 stocks in the portfolio.It has a bias toward mid- to small-cap stocks.

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Reuters: Western Oil Sands casts eye on Iraq’s Kurdistan

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Western Oil Sands Inc. (WTO.TO: Quote), whose sole business is a stake in a Canadian oil sands project, said on Tuesday it will explore for oil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

The Calgary-based firm said its WesternZagros Ltd. unit has signed a exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) with the Kurdistan Regional Government, Sulamaniyah Administration.

“We believe this EPSA is an early-entry opportunity into a highly prospective area and, subject to exploration success, could provide Western with an additional world-class asset,” Jim Houck, chief executive of Western Oil Sands, said in a statement.

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EFF: Huge Win for Online Journalists’

A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) petition on behalf of three online journalists Friday, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters do.A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) petition on behalf of three online journalists Friday, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters do.”Today’s decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month. “The court has upheld the strong protections for the free flow of information to the press, and from the press to the public.”
Full story, For the full decision in the case [PDF], For more on Apple v. Does

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BBC News: US court backs online reporters

30 May 2006

Online journalists have the same rights as traditional reporters, a Californian court has ruled.

The decision was made in a case brought by Apple against a number of reporters who published information online about a future Apple product launch.

Apple filed the lawsuit to find out the source of the reporter’s information.

But judges said that online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline media.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large,” said Attorney Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital rights organisation who have been defending the journalists.

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vnunet.com: Apple loses web censorship case

Judge overturns AppleInsider and PowerPage rulings

Tom Sanders in California,
30 May 2006

California judge has ruled against Apple’s request to force several bloggers to reveal the sources of confidential information leaks. The ruling overturned an earlier verdict in Apple’s favour.

Apple had alleged that AppleInsider and PowerPage had violated its trade secrets.

Both websites published information in 2004 about a product codenamed Asteroid or Q97, a forthcoming application that would allow users to record analogue audio within Apple’s GarageBand software.

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Personal Computer World: Apple beaten by bloggers: Victory seen as a major win for journalists and bloggers

Martin Lynch,
30 May 2006

Apple’s attempts to force an online technology news site to reveal its source have been blocked by a US State appeals court.

Apple had initially been granted permission to subpoena the email records of Apple insider and another site Powerpage.org in order to ferret out a mole that had leaked product information.

However, the three-judge State of California Court of Appeal was far less impressed with Apple’s tactics.

They overturned the earlier judgement claiming Apple failed to undermine the journalistic status of bloggers and chastised the company for bringing any of it to court before conducting a thorough internal search for the leak.

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Indianapolis Star: Clerks are bearing brunt of gas rage: Stations urging consumers to remain calm

By Tim Molloy
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Tempers are rising along with gas prices. Gas stations across the country report that drivers are taking out their gas rage against big oil by yelling at clerks and cashiers and sometimes driving off without paying.
 
“Everyone is suffering at the same time,” said Sam Shirazie, a clerk at a Chevron station east of downtown Los Angeles.

No detailed statistics are kept on incidents of gas rage. But the National Association of Convenience Stores said anecdotal evidence indicates they have increased since prices began climbing in February.

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AFX Europe (Focus): Anglo American/Shell alliance may develop 5 bln aud Australian project – report

May 30, 2006
 
SYDNEY (XFN-ASIA) – Royal Dutch Shell group and mining giant Anglo American Corp have formed an alliance that may result in the 5 bln aud Monash synthetic diesel and electricity project being developed in the Australian state of Victoria, the Age newspaper reported, citing the companies.

Shell and Anglo have formed the global alliance to pursue “clean”, coal-converting energy opportunities and have nominated the Monash project as their leading candidate, the daily said.

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Financial Times: Doubles partner goes solo

By Christopher Brown-Humesin Stockholm
Published: May 30 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 30 2006 03:00

Talk about a hard act tofollow. When Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo takes over as chief executive of Nokia on Thursday, he will be stepping into the shoes of Jorma Ollila, who over 14 years built the company into the world’s leading maker of mobile phones, a man repeatedly hailed as one of Europe’s top businessmen.

Not that 52-year-old Mr Kallasvuo appears daunted. “Mr Ollila is a hard act to follow. But I am not looking back, I am looking forward to the tasks and challenges ahead,” he tells the FT.

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Financial Times: Putin’s double vision

Published: May 30 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 30 2006 03:00

There are many reasons to express doubts about the move by Arcelor, the Luxembourg-based steel group, to buy Severstal of Russia in order to sidestep the hostile bid by Mittal Steel. One is the way the Arcelor board is presenting the takeover as a done deal, which only an absolute majority of all shareholders will be able to reject. A second is the opportunity for yet another oligarch’s fortune to leave Russia, with Alexei Mordashov picking up nearly one-third of Arcelor in return for his90 per cent of Severstal.
But the reason to welcome this deal, which will have been cleared in advance with the Kremlin, is that Vladimir Putin, the president, is evidently showing none of the neurosis about one of his country’s top two steelmakers coming under foreign control that he displays about foreign ownership in Russia’s energy sector. If only his evidently relaxed view on Severstal could become the template for a more general Russian openness to foreign investment. But only last week, at his summit with the European Union, Mr Putin was touchily describing the energy sector as “the holy of holies of our economy” and demanding reciprocity for any EU investment in it.

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Financial Times: China region feels weight of industrial revolution

By Tom Mitchell in Daya Bay
Published: May 30 2006 01:39 | Last updated: May 30 2006 01:39

South China’s first industrial revolution bypassed Donglian, a poor village on the picturesque shores of Daya Bay. The factory sprawl that raced through Guangdong province’s manufacturing heartland in the 1980s and 1990s never reached this corner of the Pearl River delta, 80km north-east of Hong Kong. Even as the 20th century gave way to the 21st, Donglian’s residents still used water buffalo to plough their rice paddies.
 
Then Guangdong’s second industrial revolution landed right on top of Donglian in the form of CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company (CSPC) – Royal Dutch Shell’s $4.3bn (€3.4bn, £2.3bn) petrochemical joint venture with offshore oil producer CNOOC. Donglian’s ramshackle concrete and brick dwellings were razed, its wooded hills flattened and ancestral graves transplanted.

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Reuters: Oil tops $71.50 on Iran concern, ahead of OPEC

By Neil Chatterjee

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose toward $72 on Tuesday, as a dispute between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear programme rumbled on and OPEC delegates said the cartel would keep pumping at near maximum rates to soothe market fears.

U.S. crude for July delivery was trading 38 cents up at $71.75 a barrel by 0053 GMT. London Brent crude traded 32 cents up at $70.91, after both markets were closed on Monday for holidays.

“The gains are a little surprising but people are looking at Iran and waiting for the big OPEC meeting,” said Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo.

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Sydney Morning Herald: Anglo signs Shell to Latrobe brown coal project

By Barry FitzGerald
May 30, 2006

PROSPECTS for the vast brown coal resources in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley to host a $5 billion synthetic diesel and electricity project have soared.

Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell has thrown its money and technology behind the project, the Monash energy project near Traralgon, in a global alliance with the project promoter, South Africa’s Anglo American.

Shell and Anglo have formed the alliance to pursue “clean” coal conversion energy opportunities and have nominated the Monash project as their leading candidate.

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MarketWatch: Petrobras, Shell to lose Bolivia gas stations — report

Last Update: 10:49 AM ET May 29, 2006

RIO DE JANEIRO (MarketWatch) — Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB.LN), and other private firms within a month will have to turn over their Bolivian gas station network to state-energy firm Yacimientos Petroliferas Fiscales Bolivianos, or YPFB, the Estado newswire said Monday.

Petrobras owns about 25% of Bolivia’s gas stations.

The transfer of the fuel distribution business also hits the companies Copenac, Pisco, Refipet, and Pexim, the newswire said.

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The Guardian: China invites oil firms to join invasion of Tibet

Terry Macalister
Tuesday May 30, 2006

The Chinese government is to woo foreign companies such as BP and Shell to explore for oil in Tibet.

The controversial move follows a failure by the partly state-owned PetroChina to realise Beijing’s hopes that the disputed land could quickly become a major source of fuel for energy-starved China.

PetroChina is to oversee the opening up of 10 exploration blocks for foreign participation in the Qiantang basin, in the far north of Tibet. The company has asked its Daqing Oilfield subsidiary to prepare a package of data and bidding documents that it will present to foreign oil companies in the second half of this year.

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Financial Times: International companies: Big profits and big troubles

By Thomas Catan
Published: May 29 2006 13:34 | Last updated: May 29 2006 13:34

Amid soaring energy prices, international oil companies are making unprecedented profits.
 
ExxonMobil posted the largest annual profit in corporate history this year. BP, Royal Dutch Shell and the other “supermajors” are having a difficult time working out what to do with the money.

Over the past two years, the largest oil companies have returned well over $120bn to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. Exxon alone is returning more than $2bn to investors each month.

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The Guardian: Arcelor merges with Russian steel group in final snub to Mittal’s €25bn bid

David Gow in Brussels
Saturday May 27, 2006
The Guardian

Arcelor, the pan-European steel group, yesterday torpedoed Mittal’s latest hostile takeover bid by buying Russia’s Severstal in an agreed 13bn euro (£8.8bn) deal designed to create an “unrivalled global champion” out of reach of its Indian-owned predator. The friendly transaction will see Alexei Mordashov, who owns 89% of Severstal, take 32% of the new group and, potentially, become its chief executive and even owner within a few years.

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Monsters and Critics.com: Industry divided on energy from coal


ST. LOUIS, MO, United States (UPI) — U.S. energy industry leaders are divided on the best way to produce energy from coal — with some providers showing reluctance to adopt cleaner technology.

U.S. coal reserves could last at least 200 years at the current rate of energy consumption, but coal is largely responsible for increases in global warming, The New York Times reported.

A 500-megawatt coal-fired electricity plant that generates enough power for 500,000 homes annually produces roughly the same emissions as 750,000 cars, Royal Dutch Shell estimates.

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MarketWatch: Petrobras, Shell to lose Bolivia gas stations — report


  

May 29, 2006
 

RIO DE JANEIRO (MarketWatch) — Brazil’s state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB.LN), and other private firms within a month will have to turn over their Bolivian gas station network to state-energy firm Yacimientos Petroliferas Fiscales Bolivianos, or YPFB, the Estado newswire said Monday.
 

Petrobras owns about 25% of Bolivia’s gas stations.
 

The transfer of the fuel distribution business also hits the companies Copenac, Pisco, Refipet, and Pexim, the newswire said.
 

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The Independent: Shell and Statoil seek partner for new ‘clean energy’ project

By Tim Webb

Published: 28 May 2006

Shell and Norwegian oil company Statoil are seeking a partner for their revolutionary $1.5bn (£800m) project to take millions of tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from a new power station and pump it under the sea.

The two companies, which announced plans for the carbon sequestration project in March, want a third company to build and operate the power station.

They are expected to approach Norwegian energy giant Norsk Hydro, Danish firm Elsam and US chemicals group DuPont, among others, about joining the venture. Informal discussions with some companies have already taken place.

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The Independent: Russia seeks to seize control of Sakhalin

By Andrew Osborn in Moscow

Published: 26 May 2006
Royal Dutch Shell’s flagship investment in Russia was facing uncertainty last night after the Natural Resources Ministry threatened to scale back the company’s stake in a huge liquefied natural gas project to allow the Kremlin greater control.
The threat concerns the Sakhalin-2 project, the largest direct foreign investment in Russia, and a venture that will result in the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas plant in the far east of Russia. Shell has a 55 per cent stake in the $10bn (£5.3bn) project while two Japanese firms own the other two stakes. The Russian government has a revenue-sharing arrangement with the consortium but is known to be keen to get a direct stake in the project as Moscow seeks to bring more strategic energy reserves under the Kremlin’s control.
President Vladimir Putin has already urged Shell to honour a promise it apparently made to surrender a 25 per cent stake in the project in exchange for a share of a Siberian gas field.
Yesterday the pressure intensified when the Natural Resources Minister said it supported radical advice it had received from the country’s Academy of Natural Science urging it to take a 51 per cent stake in three different revenue-sharing projects including Sakhalin-2.
“The Academy suggests boosting the presence of Russian companies in these consortiums to 51 per cent as one of the measures to boost efficiency,” it said.
The other two projects were the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas venture, in which Exxon has a 30 per cent stake, and a large oil extraction operation in Russia’s far north in which Total is involved.
The ministry said it intended to act on the academics’ recommendation and to write to other government ministries to “correct the situation”.
Shell declined to comment but is known to have incurred the Kremlin’s wrath due to massive cost overruns on Sakhalin-2, which have prompted the Anglo-Dutch firm to ask the government to allow it to double its investment to $20bn.
There were also reports that the Natural Resources Ministry intended to take legal action against Total, a company the authorities believe is mismanaging its Russian investments, and to initiate detailed investigations into the efficiency of Shell and Exxon.
When revenue-sharing projects such as Sakhalin-2 were launched in the 1990s, Russia was relaxed about giving foreign firms large stakes in big oil and gas projects, but under Vladimir Putin that policy has changed and Russian, often state-controlled, firms usually take a 51 per cent stake.
The Natural Resource Ministry’s threat came on a day when Mr Putin told a summit of EU leaders the West could count on Russia as a reliable energy partner.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: 2 Industry Leaders Bet on Coal but Split on Cleaner Approach

Published: May 28, 2006
WRIGHT, Wyo. — More than a century ago a blustery Wyoming politician named Fenimore Chatterton boasted that his state alone had enough coal to “weld every tie that binds, drive every wheel, change the North Pole into a tropical region, or smelt all hell!”

Skip to next paragraph Peabody Energy, left; Brendan McDermid/Reuters, right

Gregory Boyce, of Peabody Energy, left, and Michael Morris of American Electric Power disagree on a new technology.

Multimedia

Audio Slide Show: The Return of King Coal

Audio Slide Show: The Return of King Coal

A Closer Look at Coal

Interactive Graphic: A Closer Look at Coal

The Energy Challenge

Green, at a Cost

Articles in this series will periodically examine the ways in which the world is, and is not, moving toward a more energy-efficient, environmentally benign future.

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Financial Times: Russia calls for review of two foreign oil projects

By Financial Times reporters
Published: May 26 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 26 2006 03:00

Russia’s natural resources ministry yesterday called for a review of the two largest foreign oil projects in the country, even as senior officials sought to assure EU leaders that Russia was a reliable energy partner.

The ministry said the legal agreements underpinning oil and gas developments on Sakhalin island, on Russia’s eastern flank, were ineffective and should be reviewed.

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Washington Post: Kuwait eyes Dow, BP, Shell, for possible China plant

Dow Chemical Co. and either British Petroleum or Shell may be partners in a joint-venture refinery project in China that Kuwait is considering to help build, a Kuwaiti official said on Saturday.

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Reuters: Anglo American, Shell form clean coal alliance

Anglo American, Shell form clean coal alliance

Thu May 25, 2006 5:31 PM GMT

LONDON (Reuters) – Global miner Anglo American Plc said on Thursday it had formed an alliance with Shell Gas & Power International in converting coal to clean energy.

Anglo said in a statement that the aim was “to maximise the benefits from the emerging field of clean coal energy by taking selective equity positions in coal conversion projects”.

The projects would make use of Anglo's coal reserves and combine its mining capabilities with Royal Dutch Shell's technologies, with the object to extract, gasify and convert coal into chemicals, hydrogen, power, liquid hydrocarbons and other uses.

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Financial Times: Russia calls for review of two foreign oil projects

Financial Times: Russia calls for review of two foreign oil projects

By Financial Times reporters

Published: May 26 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 26 2006 03:00

Russia's natural resources ministry yesterday called for a review of the two largest foreign oil projects in the country, even as senior officials sought to assure EU leaders that Russia was a reliable energy partner.

The ministry said the legal agreements underpinning oil and gas developments on Sakhalin island, on Russia's eastern flank, were ineffective and should be reviewed.

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The Times: Internships… via Shell

The Times May 25, 2006

Internships… via Shell

THE Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (Step) gives 1,000 ambitious students a chance to boost their CV with business skills earned on eight-week placements at selected small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This is not about working for Shell, the oil company.Interns collaborate on projects in R&D, business processes and systems, marketing and manufacturing. Completed projects are outlined in a 1,000-word report and entered into a competition to find the Step “most enterprising student” of the year. Previous winners of the title and £1,000 prize include a University of Warwick student who patented a cellophane bag that automatically cleans water for the firm with which he was placed.

NI_MPU(‘middle’);

Students must be in the second or penultimate year of a full-time degree in any discipline at a UK university. Interns are placed regionally and earn £185 a week (tax exempt). There is no travel allowance.

Apply by June 16 at www.step.org.uk.

The Independent: Shell's Technology Enterprise Programme: One big Step for studentkind

The Independent: Shell's Technology Enterprise Programme: One big Step for studentkind

 

Shell's Technology Enterprise Programme offers the best-paid holiday jobs ever.

By James Morrison

Published: 25 May 2006

 

For many undergraduates, holiday jobs are spent surgically attached to headsets in sweaty call-centres, or stifling yawns through night shifts at service stations. The idea of being paid £185 a week, tax free, to enhance your career prospects by putting your degree subject to practical use in the workplace simply doesn't compute.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil-News Roundup 25 May 2006

Oil News Roundup

The WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE May 25, 2006Volatile crude-oil futures plunged by nearly $2 to settle at less than $70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, battered by speculators and a U.S. government report of rising inventories of gasoline and other distillates. Here is today’s roundup of news about oil and energy.

* * *

UNREST IN INDIA: Protests by hundreds of contract workers for Oil India Limited, India’s state-owned oil company, disrupted production in oil-rich Assam State. The workers, agitating for higher pay and benefits, set three oil pits ablaze after battling with police earlier in the week. Assam accounts for about 5 million tons of India’s 30-million-ton annual crude-oil production.

AIMING HIGHER: Morgan Stanley analyst Douglas Terreson raised his forecast for the average price of WTI crude oil in 2006 to $65 a barrel from $57.50. He raised his projected 2007 price to $60 a barrel from $55. He also boosted his estimate of U.S. refining margins, lifting profit forecasts for major oil companies in the quarters to come. “We are buyers of the integrated oil stocks,” he wrote.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil-News Roundup 25 May 2006

Oil News Roundup

The WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE May 25, 2006Volatile crude-oil futures plunged by nearly $2 to settle at less than $70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, battered by speculators and a U.S. government report of rising inventories of gasoline and other distillates. Here is today’s roundup of news about oil and energy.

* * *

UNREST IN INDIA: Protests by hundreds of contract workers for Oil India Limited, India’s state-owned oil company, disrupted production in oil-rich Assam State. The workers, agitating for higher pay and benefits, set three oil pits ablaze after battling with police earlier in the week. Assam accounts for about 5 million tons of India’s 30-million-ton annual crude-oil production.

AIMING HIGHER: Morgan Stanley analyst Douglas Terreson raised his forecast for the average price of WTI crude oil in 2006 to $65 a barrel from $57.50. He raised his projected 2007 price to $60 a barrel from $55. He also boosted his estimate of U.S. refining margins, lifting profit forecasts for major oil companies in the quarters to come. “We are buyers of the integrated oil stocks,” he wrote.

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Fortune Magazine: The Oil Market: SLICK OPERATORS How hedge funds, traders, and Big Oil are really driving gas prices.

Fortune: The Oil Market: SLICK OPERATORS How hedge funds, traders, and Big Oil are really driving gas prices.

NELSON D. SCHWARTZ; JON BIRGERREPORTER ASSOCIATE Doris Burke

3921 words

29 May 2006

U.S. Edition

72

English

© 2006 Time Incorporated. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All Rights Reserved.

On a sunny May day in an office park in the Surrey countryside outside London, a Ferrari-driving hedge fund manager named Aref Karim is scooping up contracts to buy oil in July for $75 a barrel, $3 more than it's currently selling for. His company, QCM, has garnered more than $125 million in fresh cash since the beginning of the year, and he's itching to keep it at work. A few hundred miles to the south in Paris, on the trading floor of Societe Generale Asset Management, Arnaud Chretien's team of Ph.D.s and engineers operates in near silence, with powerful computers buying and selling commodities according to preset algorithms, taking advantage of swift movements in everything from heating oil and gasoline to zinc and copper. “It's quiet because we try to think,” says Chretien, a dapper 41-year-old who sports an Hermes watch and resembles a younger, Gallic Kurt Russell.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil-News Roundup 24 May 2006

Oil News Roundup

The WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE May 24, 2006Crude-oil futures surged by more than $1 to settle north of $71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, driven partly by worries about another robust hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is today’s roundup of news about oil and energy.

* * *

BIG OIL UNDER ATTACK: Even longtime supporters of the oil industry are turning more critical of giant firms’ record profits. Amid these attacks, Big Oil is launching its most vigorous political offensive since the 1970s, but its current political woes go deeper than the recent surge in pump prices.

CHINA LETS GAS PRICES RISE: Just as it is starting to let its yuan trade with the slightest bit of extra freedom against the dollar, China is also loosening up its price controls on gasoline and diesel fuel. Beijing’s second price increase in two months will allow a 10% gain in the price of gas and an 11% gain in diesel, effective tomorrow. But those won’t likely be enough to quell demand or inspire the adoption of conservation measures, experts say, meaning China will probably keep putting upward pressure on global fuel prices for some time to come. On the bright side, China’s refiners will get a little more money for their efforts.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Under Attack, Big Oil Finds Reserves of Clout Running Low

Creaky Machinery
Under Attack, Big Oil Finds
Reserves of Clout Running Low

Giants Cut Back U.S. Lobbying As Action Shifted Abroad; New Bid to Play Catch-Up How Rep. Barton Turned Critic By BRODY MULLINS and RUSSELL GOLD May 24, 2006; Page A1Rep. Joe Barton should be Big Oil’s biggest friend in Congress. The Republican chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee hails from a booming corner of the Texas energy patch. An engineer by training, he spent years working for a large integrated oil company, Atlantic Richfield Co. Since 2000, no House lawmaker has received more campaign contributions from oil and gas companies than Mr. Barton.

But in recent months, Mr. Barton has become a vocal industry critic. He struck from last summer’s energy bill a measure that would have relieved the companies of liability for pollution caused by a gasoline additive. He started an investigation into record profits. Earlier this month, he sent a letter to the top U.S.-based executive of BP PLC, which now owns the company that once employed him, demanding that the company spend more of its profits to expand refining capacity in the U.S. The same day he sent another letter to Exxon Mobil Corp. blasting the compensation and pension package for recently departed CEO Lee Raymond. Mr. Raymond received a lump-sum pension payment of nearly $100 million.

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Voice of America: Shell Declines to Pay Nigeria Damages Pending Appeal

Shell Declines to Pay Nigeria Damages Pending Appeal
By Gilbert da Costa
Abuja
An oil installation belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company in Odidi, Niger Delta area of Nigeria, Feb. 2006

Multinational oil company Shell, is set to defy a Nigerian court-ordered deadline to pay $1.5 billion in compensation damages to local communities in the Niger Delta. Shell’s decision not to pay the damages pending an appeal is likely to incense militants who have attacked oil-and-gas facilities in the past six months.

Shell says it will wait for a decision on its appeal before considering a court order to pay $1.5 billion in compensation damages to ethnic-Ijaw communities in the Niger Delta.

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Gulf Daily News (Bahrain): Shell seeks to invest in $2.4bn China refinery

Shell seeks to invest in $2.4bn China refinery

Published: Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, 10:23 AM Doha Time

BEIJING: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said it’s in talks about investing in a 19.3bn-yuan ($2.4bn) oil refinery being built by China National Offshore Oil Corp in southern China.

Shell wants to invest in the refinery to integrate the facility with an adjacent $4.3bn chemical joint venture with China National Offshore, Lim Haw Kuang, chairman of Shell’s companies in China, said at Daya Bay in Nanhai, an area in the southern province of Guangdong.

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Expansion (Spain): Shell appointed technological partner for Extremadura refinery (La refineria de Extremadura 'ficha' a Shell como aliado tecnologico del proyecto)

Shell appointed technological partner for Extremadura refinery (La refineria de Extremadura 'ficha' a Shell como aliado tecnologico del proyecto)
Expansion; May 23, 2006

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In Spain, shareholders in an oil refinery in the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura approve a rights issue and formed the board of directors of the company responsible for the project, Refineria Balboa. Spanish entrepreneur Alfonso Gallardo has a 47 per cent stake in the firm, while Sociedad de Fomento Industrial de Extremadura has a 20 per cent stake. The remaining 33 per cent is owned by leading Spanish electricity group Iberdrola and leading Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and savings bank Caja Madrid (10 per cent each) and Corporacion Empresarial de Caja Extremadura (3 per cent).

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Irish Times: Shell to Sea says poll findings support its campaign

Shell to Sea says poll findings support its campaign
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Irish Times; May 23, 200

Political and business interests advocating progress on the current plans for Corrib Shell gas project are in the “minority” as a result of yesterday’s Irish Times /tns mrbi opinion poll findings, the Shell to Sea campaign has said.

The poll’s findings on the Corrib gas onshore pipeline give “the lie” to the claim that opponents of the high pressure onshore pipeline are in the minority, Dr Mark Garavan, Shell to Sea campaign spokesman, said yesterday. Shell E&P Ireland said it was “pleased that the majority of those surveyed want the Corrib project to go ahead”.

The poll conducted by The Irish Times / tns mrbi nationally early last week focused on the pipeline, rather than the entire project. It asked if the pipeline should go ahead on its current planned route, should be re-routed or should be scrapped. Only 20 per cent felt it should proceed on its planned route through Rossport to the onshore terminal at Bellanaboy in north Mayo; 44 per cent said it should take a different route, while 17 per cent said it should be scrapped. Dr Garavan said that in Connacht, “63 per cent support a reconfiguring of the project”.

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell pledges to cooperate with Nigeria efforts to end row with Ogoniland

Shell pledges to cooperate with Nigeria efforts to end row with Ogoniland
AFX Europe (Focus); May 23, 2006

LAGOS (AFX) – Royal Dutch Shell has pledged to cooperate with a government’s peace initiative to resolve its age-long row with Nigeria’s troubled Ogoniland.

Community unrest forced Shell to quit Ogoniland, where it had many oil wells, in 1993. Shell is Nigeria’s major operator, accounting for around half of the west African country’s daily output of 2.6 mln barrels.

President Olusegun Obasanjo last year set up a panel to reconcile Shell and the community.

“As a party to the reconciliation process, we commit to play our part to ensure the success of the peace initiative and as Mr President put it, ‘lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation in Ogoniland’,” Shell said in a statement here.

The Ogoni people, through the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), have been seeking local control of Nigeria’s oil wealth as well as compensation for exploration activities in their region.

Ogoniland is at the heart of the Niger Delta, home to Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry. The region is also the centre of ethnic and militant unrest as a result of environmental neglect and degradation.

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