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Posts from ‘May, 2006’ The Internet battleground for Shell’s reputation

1st June 2006

By Alfred Donovan

An article published on 22nd May by (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. read more 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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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 read more

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. read more 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. read more

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 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. read more

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. read more

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