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Posts from ‘August, 2006’

KBTV4: Motiva Refinery Back Up After Power Loss

( Air Date: 8/31/2006 )

Shell Oil Company said Thursday its 285,000 barrel-per-day joint-venture refinery in Port Arthur, was back up after losing power Wednesday.

The plant, owned by Motiva, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell`s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) Shell Oil and Saudi Refining, suffered a power outage for a short time after a lightning storm early Wednesday morning, a company spokesman wrote in an e-mail.

However, the units were restarted “promptly” and the refinery was “running well by midday,” the e-mail added. read more

By Alfred Donovan

Visitors may have wondered why service on our sister website is often interrupted for days at a time by a notice which states: –

“ERROR:  This blog is on hold because its bandwidth has been exceeded. Please contact your blog provider.”

If you want to know the reason why, please visit the following website which contains the full astonishing correspondence file with the website hosting company for  (part of Pipex Telecommunications Plc). read more

RIA Novosti: Russia’s environmental watchdog probes Sakhalin Energy violations

17:36 | 31/ 08/ 2006 

MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s environmental protection agency has completed the first part of a comprehensive audit of Sakhalin Energy activities under the massive Sakhalin-II energy project off the country’s Pacific coast, the agency said Thursday.

The Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources started the inspection of Sakhalin Energy’s alleged violations of ecological legislation and project specifications on July 25 on the orders of Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev. read more

Yahoo! News: Regulators approve Shell Canada upgrader expansion

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Alberta regulators have approved a 100,000 barrel-per-day expansion of Shell Canada Ltd.’s Scotford upgrading refinery, part of a planned oil sands project that could cost up to C$12.8 billion ($11.9 billion).

The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board gave Shell Canada the green light to proceed with construction at the upgrading refinery near Edmonton, Alberta. The upgrader converts tar-like bitumen from the oil sands into refinery-ready synthetic crude.

Construction isn’t expected to begin until next year but Randy Provencal, a spokesman for Shell Canada, said the firm may begin clearing land and preparing the site next month. read more

Bloomberg: Russia may open a criminal case against Shell Project

31 Aug 2006

Russia may open a criminal case against Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Sakhalin-2 project because of “numerous” environmental violations, the country’s Natural Resources Ministry said. Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of Russia’s environmental inspectorate, is ready to provide material from a recent inspection to the Prosecutor General’s office, the ministry said in an e-mail yesterday. Charges may be brought in relation to illegal logging by subcontractors, the statement said. read more

AFX Europe (Focus): Nigerian oil workers to begin ‘warning strike’ Sept 13 over unrest

AFX Europe (Focus)
Published: Aug 31, 2006

LAGOS (AFX) – Nigeria’s two main oil workers unions will begin a three-day warning strike on Sept 13 in protest against a wave of kidnappings and violence in the Niger Delta, a union official said.

The national executive committees of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) took the decision late yesterday in the southern town of Benin, the labour leader, who attended the meeting, told Agence France-Presse. read more

The Times: Former Shell chief is pleased but he may sue his accusers

August 31, 2006

SEC drops investigation of Watts
By David Robertson
THE world’s leading financial regulators have concluded that nobody is to blame for Shell’s overstatement of its oil reserves, after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dropped its investigation of Sir Philip Watts.

Sir Philip, the former executive chairman of Shell, is understood to be considering how to rebuild his reputation, including potential legal action against those who alleged wrongdoing on his part. 
The SEC, America’s market regulator, has decided not to take its investigation into Sir Philip any farther, a decision that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in Britain reached last November. Dutch authorities have also decided to take no action, even though Shell has restated its oil reserves five times since 2004. read more

The Hindu News: Shell technology to begin operations in Bangalore

Houston, Aug. 30 (PTI): Shell Technology India (STI) that will deliver high-end technical studies, project management and technical services to companies across the globe will become operational in Bangalore from September this year and plans to go on a massive recruitment drive in the country.

“By the end of 2006 we hope to have 200 engineers and scientists hired locally and envision the workforce growing to over 1,000 in the future,” Paul Hamilton, President, Shell Global Solutions said in his keynote address at the seventh annual Gala of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston. read more

The Times: nobody is to blame for Shell’s overstatement of its oil reserves…

Need to Know:

Financial regulators have concluded that nobody is to blame for Shell’s overstatement of its oil reserves after the US Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its investigation of Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chairman.

The UK’s Financial Services Authority reached the same conclusion last November.

The Dutch authorities also decided to take no action despite Shell restating its oil reserves five times since 2004. 

Financial Times: Shell investors can lay the reserves scandal to rest US watchdog takes no action on Watts

By Andrew Hill

Published: August 31 2006 03:00 | Last updated: August 31 2006 03:00

In the midst of Shell’s investigation into its reserves crisis, in April 2004, Lord Oxburgh, then chairman of Shell Transport and Trading, said “human failings, not structural deficiencies” were to blame for the problems.

At the time, it seemed more likely to be a combination of both.

But the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision this week not to take action against Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chief executive, means that regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have now decided to punish the company rather than any individuals. The Financial Services Authority’s decision to close its investigation into Sir Philip was announced last November. read more

Financial Times: Ousted Shell chairman off SEC’s hook

By Carola Hoyos

Published: August 31 2006 03:00 | Last updated: August 31 2006 03:00

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has decided not to take action against Sir Philip Watts, the ousted chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, the energy group.

The decision ends the regulator’s two-year investigation into the role Sir Philip played in the reserves scandal that cost the Anglo-Dutch energy group its three most senior executives and £8bn of its market value.

Adriaen Morse, counsel at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, which represented Sir Philip, said: “Sir Philip’s integrity is beyond reproach. The closing of the investigation lays to rest any doubt as to whether Sir Philip acted properly while chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell.” read more

Daily Telegraph: Browne’s annus miserabilis at BP is not over

By Christopher Hope
(Filed: 31/08/2006)

The Texas explosion investigation, allegations of market rigging and huge oil leaks are making life tough, says Christopher Hope

Some time in the next few months, a clutch of lawyers from Texas are due to arrive at BP’s plush headquarters in London’s St James’s Square looking for the company’s chief executive Lord Browne of Madingley.
Lord Browne: to face oil refinery blast questions
The lawyers will be armed with tape recorders and a list of questions for Lord Browne about the catastrophic blast at BP’s Texas City oil refinery last year, which killed 15 people and left another 180 injured, resulting in a record $21.3m fine for safety violations. read more

Daily Telegraph: Big oil in big trouble as BP faces working over by US

EXTRACT: He was able to show that he relied on Shell’s reserves reporting process which was transparent and involved experts who believed it to comply with SEC rules; that he relied on Shell’s external auditors who followed procedure, reviewed relevant reserves and did not object to Shell’s proved reserves submissions to the SEC; and finally Shell’s reserves booking was discussed openly with other management including the group audit committee. Case dismissed.


Business comment
By Damian Reece read more

Daily Telegraph: US regulator clears ex-Shell boss

By Alistair Osborne, Business Editor

(Filed: 31/08/2006)

After a two-year investigation, SEC tells Sir Philip Watts it won’t take any action regarding oil reserves overbooking scandal.

America’s financial regulator has decided not to take any action against former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts over the oil and gas reserves overbooking scandal in 2004, which cost him his job and plunged the group into crisis.
Former Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts
The Securities and Exchange Commission told Sir Philip’s lawyers yesterday that it had closed its two-year investigation into his role in the debacle, which saw Shell overstate its proven oil and gas by 23pc, or 4.47bn barrels. read more

The New York Times: S.E.C. Will Take No Action Against Former Chief of Shell

Published: August 31, 2006
By Dow Jones/AP

The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to take no action against Sir Philip Watts, the former chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, over the 2004 scandal involving the overbooking of oil reserves, the law firm representing him said yesterday.

The S.E.C., which conducted a two-year joint investigation with the British Financial Services Authority, concluded that no action should be taken against Sir Philip, former chairman of Shell’s committee of managing directors, according to a news release by the firm, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw. read more

The Independent: SEC clears Watts over Shell reserves scandal

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor
Published: 31 August 2006

Sir Philip Watts’ two-year battle to clear his name ended in victory for the former Shell chairman yesterday after the US Securities and Exchange Commission decided not to take any action against him over the oil giant’s reserves reporting scandal.

The decision marks the end of all regulatory investigations into Sir Philip’s role in the affair, which led to the biggest corporate shake-up at Shell in the company’s 100-year history. read more