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September 6th, 2006:

The Moscow Times: Ministry Presses Exxon on Sakhalin-1

Thursday, September 7, 2006. Issue 3492. Page 5.

The Natural Resources Ministry has told ExxonMobil it will not automatically enlarge the license territory of Exxon’s Sakhalin-1 oil and gas block, despite the discovery of new reserves near or at existing deposits.

The ministry said its representatives had told the U.S. oil major, developing the field under a decade-old production-sharing agreement, that they would auction the newly discovered deposits.

The move follows weeks of unprecedented pressure by Moscow on the rival Sakhalin-2, led by Royal Dutch Shell, culminating Tuesday when the country’s environment watchdog said it had asked a court to recognize the agreement did not comply with ecological rules.

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Oil&Gas Journal: International group starts Saudi gas drilling

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Sept. 6 — A joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Total SA, and Saudi Aramco has begun exploratory drilling for nonassociated gas and condensate in the southern part of Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter.

The venture, South Rub al-Khali Co. Ltd. (SRAK), has spudded Isharat 1, the first of seven wells planned over the next 28 months. It has been shooting seismic surveys toward a commitment of acquiring at least 16,000 km of 2D data during a 5-year exploratory period.

SRAK moved components of the rig 2,000 km from Dubai to the location of Isharat 1, drilling of which is expected to take 4 months.

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Bloomberg: Oil Falls to 5-Month Low in New York as Supply Concern Eases

EXTRACT: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-largest publicly traded oil company, said its Mars platform in the Gulf was producing 20 percent more oil than before it was damaged and shut down by Katrina. The platform is currently producing 190,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the company said today in a statement. 


By Mark Shenk

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil in New York fell, heading for the lowest close in five months, as concern eased that shipments from Iran, the fourth-biggest oil producer, will be curbed because of a dispute about the country’s nuclear program.

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International Herald Tribune: Russian will not abrogate existing production-sharing agreements

The Associated Press

MOSCOW Russia will not abandon existing production sharing agreements with foreign oil and gas companies, but is unlikely to pursue further such deals in the future, the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted a senior official as saying Wednesday.

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov also said he had no information supporting speculation that gas giant OAO Gazprom might be seeking more than 25 percent of Sakhalin Energy, the operator of Sakhalin 2, a major oil project in the far east, the report said.

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TMCnet: Sakhalin-2 promoter denies Russian environment regulator’s claim

(Kyodo News International (Tokyo) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sep. 6–

MOSCOW — Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., an international consortium promoting an oil and natural gas development project off Russia’s Sakhalin island, on Wednesday denied a claim by the Russian environmental regulator that the exploration program could harm the environment, Interfax news agency said.

Sakhalin Energy, set up by Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Japanese trading houses Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. and other concerns, issued the denial following a lawsuit filed by the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources in Moscow on Tuesday in a bid to have the government withdraw its approval of the Sakhalin-2 project on the grounds of possible damage to the environment, Interfax said.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Russian Dep Min: Won’t Tear Up Sakhalin PSAs

Wednesday September 6th, 2006 / 17h51 
However, Androsov said Russia is unlikely to pursue further PSAs in the future.
Androsov’s comments echo similar comments by Kremlin aide Igor Shuvalov, who said Tusday that accusations by the Ministry of Natural Resources against Shalin Energy, the Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA)-led consortium developing Sakhalin-II, had nothing to do with any desire to renegotiate the terms of the PSA governing the project.

Shuvalov added, however, that in his “personal opinion” the best thing for Sakhalin Energy to do would be to pay taxes under the normal regime paid by other oil and gas companies. The PSAs for Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 are parliament-approved acts that guarantee specific tax treatment for those two projects.

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RIA Novosti (Moscow): Gazprom wants no more than 25% in Sakhalin II – dep. minister

20:35 | 06/ 09/ 2006 

ST. PETERSBURG, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom does not want more than a 25% stake in the Sakhalin II project in the Far East, a deputy economics minister said Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters from Japan on the sidelines of a Russian-Japanese investment forum, Kirill Androsov said: “We are not aware of Gazprom’s plans to raise [the negotiated] stake to more than 25%.”

Reporters had suggested Gazprom might seek to take over shares from Mitsui and Mitsubishi, the Japanese companies that hold 25% and 20% of shares respectively in the Sakhalin II project off Russia’s Pacific coast.

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MarketWatch: Platts Releases 2006 Top 250 Global Energy Companies List

Sep 6, 2006

SINGAPORE, Sept 06, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Platts today released its annual 2006 Top 250 Global Energy Companies rankings, recognizing the industry’s top-performing companies around the world. The list, led by Exxon Mobil Corporation, was unveiled at the Platts Top 250 Global Energy Companies Asia/Pacific Rim Region Awards Dinner, sponsored by Allegro, Energy City Qatar and LIM. Mr. Li Huaiqi, Secretary to the Board of Petrochina Co. Ltd, the Platts Top 250’s #1 energy company in Asia for five years running, presented the keynote address at the awards dinner.

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Volume 7, Issue 7- August 2, 2006

Fortune Magazine’s List of the Top 500 Companies

Who are at the top of the 500 most successful companies world-wide? How “little” can a company make and still be part of this exclusive club? These questions are answered in the July 24, 2006, issue of Fortune Magazine.

ExxonMobil wins the #1 Spot with annual revenues of $339.9 billion. Slightly down the list at #5 is General Motors at $192.6 billion. The #500 company, the last on this list but certainly still a star, is NIKE. This athletic footwear maker has annual revenues of $13.7 billion.

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RIA Novosti: Russian Ministry plans to finish probe into Sakhalin-II by end of year

14:35 | 06/ 09/ 2006 

ST. PETERSBURG, September 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s economics ministry is hoping to finalize a review of the feasibility study of the Sakhalin-II energy project off the country’s Pacific coast by the end of the year, the deputy economics minister said Wednesday.

Costs on Sakhalin II have reportedly doubled to about $20 billion, with rising commodity prices across the world, leading Gazprom to say it wants to reduce the stake on offer in Zapolyarnoye-Neocomian because the value of the Sakhalin asset has fallen.

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Kommersant: Russian Pres. Aide Suggests Foreigners Forego Product Sharing

Russian presidential aide Igor Shuvalov said at a briefing at the RIA Novosti news agency yesterday that it was desirable for participants in product-sharing agreements to convert to a “national procedure.” He suggested that the participants in the Sakhalin 2 project could thus solve their problems with Russian agencies.

Russian authorities have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction with the work of foreign companies within product-sharing agreements. This is the first time changes in the agreements have been suggested and it is connected with Russian authorities’ wish to monopolize Russian gas deliveries to the world market fully.

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Gulf Times – Doha, Qatar: Shell top officials discuss strategies at Doha meet

Published: Wednesday, 6 September, 2006, 11:41 AM Doha Time 
Top executives from Royal Dutch Shell’s global project community at the annual Shell Project Directors’ Conference at the Sheraton yesterday
Business Reporter

MORE than 40 top executives from Royal Dutch Shell’s global project community gathered at the Sheraton yesterday to share information on leading-edge strategies and practices in project delivery.

Delegates to the annual Shell Project Directors’ Conference represented Shell’s largest capital investment projects, including the recently launched world-scale integrated Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) project, which is being developed in partnership with Qatar Petroleum.

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Sakhalin II: The Russians play hard ball with Royal Dutch Shell

By John Donovan

As the second largest oil company in the world, Royal Dutch Shell is used to dealing from a position of overwhelming supremacy in terms of financial clout and influence.  And when it comes down to a no-holds-barred negotiation watch out, Shell management knows all the moves, legal and otherwise.

However, in Russia, Shell is up against an even more ruthless and aggressive opponent: President Vladimir Putin.  Russians are renowned for their chess playing skills.  We can only stand back and watch in awe the game being played out masterfully by the Russian government in respect of the Sakhalin II project, which we can all see slipping from Shell’s grasp.

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The Times: Oil firms pile into bidding for rights in India

September 06, 2006
By David Robertson
THE world’s big oil companies are “going crazy” bidding for the rights to explore in India for the first time. Companies have ten days to submit bids on fifty-five exploration blocs around India in one of the largest oil and gas auctions.

The Indian Government is hoping that these Western companies will invest about $7 billion (£3.7 billion) exploring for oil and gas in these areas, which cover a total area of 30,000 square kilometres. 
With oil prices near record highs and companies struggling to find new reserves, the interest in the Indian auction has been intense. All the world’s leading oil companies are understood to be bidding and, if they win, it will be the first time that ExxonMobil, BP and ChevronTexaco have undertaken exploration in India.

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Times Online: Russia tries to shut down Shell gas field

By Michael Herman and Agencies in Moscow
The Russian environmental watchdog today launched a legal challenge to halt construction at Sakhalin-2, a $20 billion (£10.6 billion) gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell. It came as the energy giant remained locked in an ownership dispute with Gazprom, the Russian state-owned energy company.
The Rosprirodnazor said in a statement that it asked a Moscow court to overturn the watchdog’s earlier decision that the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was environmentally safe.

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Daily Telegraph: Database: Energy: Wednesday 6 September 2006

• Iran set deadlines for Total and Royal Dutch Shell to decide on whether to go ahead with liquefied natural gas projects in the country.

• Natural gas for delivery in the UK in November declined on confidence that supply will be sufficient to cover demand during the peak winter season.

• John Wood posted a 37pc jump in first-half profit and forecast full-year earnings will beat expectations as demand for its oil drilling and exploration services grows. The stock climbed the most in more than six weeks.

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Daily Telegraph: Chevron strikes oil in ‘biggest US find’

EXTRACT: The news should boost the hopes of Shell and BP, which both own drilling leases in adjacent areas. Shares in Chevron, which owns 50pc of the well, and Statoil, which owns 25pc, rose around 3pc, while Devon, which owns the remainder, soared 12pc to an all-time high.


By David Litterick in New York

(Filed: 06/09/2006)

Chevron said it had successfully tapped what could prove the largest deposit of crude oil ever discovered in the US.

The oil major broke half a dozen records during construction of the test well, which sits about 175 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the deep-water regions of the Gulf of Mexico.

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The Independent: Major oil find could boost US reserves by half

By: Stephen Foley in New York, The Independent – United Kingdom
Published: Sep 06, 2006

One of the world’s biggest oil companies held out the prospect that the US could increase its domestic oil reserves by up to a half after unveiling positive results from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday.

Chevron said it had made significant progress in its exploration of a new oil field deep below the sea-bed, 270 miles south-west of New Orleans.

Industry analysts believe that the field could contain up to 15 billion barrels of oil and may overtake BP’s troubled Prudhoe Bay field in Alaska as the country’s largest.

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UPI: Kremlin ready to block Shell Sakhalin II project

MOSCOW, Russia (UPI) — Moscow appears ready to block a $20 billion natural gas project, led by the Royal Dutch Shell Group PLC, on the Pacific Ocean island of Sakhalin.

The formal reason is the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources, which says environmental recommendations of the project — the world`s largest integrated oil and natural gas venture — are ‘unfulfilled,’ the BBC reported Tuesday. The service wants the nation`s Natural Resources Ministry to repeal its approval of the project.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 5, 2006 4:18 p.m.

September 5, 2006 4:18 p.m.

Crude-oil prices tumbled to less than $69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as worries about hurricane season and tensions with Iran ebbed and Chevron announced a potentially significant new deepwater source of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

* * *
EXPLORATION DEAL: As the oil-exploration industry absorbed Chevron’s news, it also reacted to news that French oil and gas field surveyor Compagnie Generale de Geophysique agreed to buy U.S. rival Veritas DGC Inc. for $3.1 billion in cash and stock. The deal establishes a major new global player in the booming oil-exploration industry.

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The Wall Street Journal: MarketBeat: Striking Oil

September 5, 2006 4:19 p.m.

Send suggestions and tips to [email protected]. Find this feature every day at

The oil sector struck gold, after news that Chevron and two partners made a significant discovery that could boost the nation’s oil reserves by as much as 50%. The yield from the test wells in the Gulf of Mexico is undeterminable at this point, but Chevron still gained 3% on the day, and other oil stocks rose as well, boosting the Oil Service Holdrs exchange-traded fund by 1.9% on the day. Crude oil finished down 59 cents to $68.60 on the news.

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The Wall Street Journal: Russian Energy

September 6, 2006

RUSSIAN ENERGY: While OAO Gazprom’s decision to pay Turkmenistan more for natural gas will likely improve the reliability of supplies to Europe this winter, reducing prospects for a repetition of last winter’s disruption reductions with Ukraine, the deal further tightens Moscow’s grip on supplies from Central Asia.

Continuing the theme, efforts further east by Russia’s environmental regulator to revoke approval for a $20 billion international oil-and-gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC on the Pacific island of Sakhalin could pressure Shell to offer Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled gas monopoly, better terms as it jostles to join what will be the world’s biggest liquefied natural-gas development.

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The Wall Street Journal: Russia Sues Over Sakhalin II Project

September 5, 2006 4:00 p.m.; Page A10

Russia’s environmental regulator said it had filed suit seeking to revoke approval for a $20 billion international oil and gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

The Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources had signaled for several weeks that it planned to ask the Natural Resources Ministry to withdraw its approval for the Sakhalin II project in Russia’s Far East. The service said the suit was filed due to “unfulfilled recommendations, details of which are included in the state ecological review, and multiple digressions,” along with project operators’ failure to take necessary measures against erosion.

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CBS News: Mining Black Gold Off The Gulf Coast

CBS News: Oil Companies Look For Homegrown Reserves At The Bottom Of The Sea

Sept. 5, 2006

(CBS) Chevron announced on Tuesday a record-breaking strike in the Gulf of Mexico. But it’s not the only oil company looking for oil closer to home.

“If the technology can keep up with it, there’s more reserves to be had there,” said Marvin Odom, Shell Oil’s VP for exploration and production.

Last week, Shell flew CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason and crew to the Ram-Powell, a 46-story structure floating 80 miles out in the Gulf to see the newest well the company is drilling.

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Convenience Store Decisions: Credit Card Break for Shell Dealers

Oil company has secured a permanent MasterCard merchant service fee reduction for its branded operators.

Shell Oil Products said it recognizes that the rising cost of gasoline is crushing fuel margins and it is offering its branded marketers a break.

To ease costs for its branded marketers, the Houston-based refiner-marketer has negotiated a permanent MasterCard merchant service fee reduction for its branded operators, effective immediately. The permanent fee is being reduced from 2.10% plus 10 cents to 2% plus 10 cents.

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The Independent: Market Report: Premier leads list of Shell takeover candidates

By Andrew Dewson
Published: 06 September 2006

It looks like traders are taking the scattergun approach in attempting to predict Shell’s corporate strategy. The oil giant was linked to no fewer than three takeover targets yesterday – Centrica, BG Group and Premier Oil.

So far, Shell has only confirmed it is “taking advice” on a possible bid for Premier Oil, the FTSE 250-listed oil exploration and production group with assets in Europe, Africa and south Asia. Traders said Shell bidding for Centrica would make a more palatable deal for British regulators after the Russian group Gazprom signalled its interest in Centrica six months ago. BG would be, by a considerable distance, the biggest deal of the three, with a market capitalisation approximately 2.5 times larger than that of Centrica and more than 20 times greater than Premier’s.

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