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Posts on ‘September 8th, 2006’

MarketWatch: OIL MAJORS HIT BY DECLINE IN ENERGY PRICES

9/8/2006 3:19:00 PM
By Ciara Linnane
3:19 PM ET Sep 8, 2006 

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — European shares traded in the U.S. were slightly lower Friday as lower crude prices weighed on the oil majors after BP said lost production at its Prudhoe Bay facility may be restored sooner than expected.

The Bank of New York Europe ADR Index was last up 0.2% at 148.72. The Bank of New York Composite ADR Index was up 0.2% at 147.88.

European markets closed higher earlier, with the German DAX 30 index  ended up 0.4% at 5,795, the French CAC 40 index  advanced 0.3% at 5,073 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index  closed 0.4% higher at 5,879.

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Bloomberg: Shell Says Cost, Lack of Gas Are Slowing Saudi Plans (Update1)

By Oliver Klaus

Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc said a lack of natural gas and rising construction costs are slowing down the planned expansion of a chemicals plant in Saudi Arabia that it owns with Saudi Basic Industries Corp.

The plans call for expanding the Saudi Arabia Petrochemical Co., or Sadaf, petrochemicals complex in Jubail by adding a second plant for the production of ethylene, a gas derivative commonly used to make chemicals. The project is suffering from a shortage of natural gas in the country, said Robert Weener, the chairman of Shell Companies in Saudi Arabia, yesterday at a London conference.

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Bloomberg: Exxon says Sakhalin oil production peaks this year

08 Sep 2006

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s biggest oil company, said oil production from its $12.8 billion Sakhalin Island development offshore Russia will peak at 250,000 barrels a day by the end of this year. Crude exports from the DeKastri terminal connected by pipeline to Exxon’s Sakhalin 1 project will begin later this month, the Irving, Texas-based company said on Thursday in a statement. Exxon began pumping oil from Sakhalin’s subsea wells in October. Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry on Wednesday said it won’t allow the company to expand the boundaries of Chayvo, one of three fields at Sakhalin 1, to include new discoveries nearby. The prospects instead should be sold at auction, the ministry said. Exxon is the latest oil company targeted in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s campaign to strengthen his control of oil and natural-gas reserves.

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ExxonMobil announces start of Sakhalin-1 exports in its endeavour to increase world energy supplies

Irving, Texas : Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announced today that its subsidiary, Exxon Neftgas Limited, has commissioned the crude oil export system for the multiphase Sakhalin-1 project offshore Russia, bringing to eight the total of ExxonMobil-operated startups within the last 12 months. These significant projects, located in the North Sea, Malaysia, Qatar and in West Africa, are expected to deliver peak gross rates in excess of 1,000,000 barrels a day of oil and more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of daily gas to world energy markets. In addition, last month ExxonMobil and its partners announced the start of construction of a new LNG terminal on the Texas Gulf Coast that will help meet growing U.S. natural gas demand.

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Oil & Gas Journal: BP employee intimidation allegations arise in House Alaska oil line hearing

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 — Employees in BP Exploration Alaska Inc.’s corrosion and inspection chemicals group may not have reported potential problems in the company’s North Slope oil gathering lines because they felt harassed and intimidated, members of a US House subcommittee said Sept. 7.

“We are now learning that there were a number of troubling personnel problems in BP’s corrosion-management program on the North Slope over the past several years,” said Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chief minority member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

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The Wall Street Journal: BP’s Top U.S. Pipeline Inspector Refuses to Testify

By JOHN J. FIALKA
September 8, 2006

WASHINGTON — The chief pipeline-inspection expert for the U.S. subsidiary of BP PLC took the Fifth Amendment under oath before a House Energy and Commerce panel rather than explain what he knew about corrosion in the oil company’s Prudhoe Bay pipelines in 2002.

Richard Woollam, who managed corrosion-control and inspection teams, also refused to respond, on the advice of his lawyer, to the committee’s allegations that he reduced inspection personnel responsible for monitoring 22 miles of pipelines leading from the giant oil field by 25%, after an outside contractor suggested that accumulating sediment in the lines might be corroding them. A BP spokesman said Mr. Woollam remains with the company but no longer runs its Alaska inspection efforts and has been placed on leave.

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Financial Express (India): Russia won’t let Exxon get anywhere near Sakhalin

Russia’s government said it won’t allow Exxon Mobil Corp to expand the boundaries of its $12.8 billion offshore oil project near Sakhalin Island in the Pacific Ocean, adding that nearby discoveries should be auctioned off. Russia is opposed to Exxon’s proposal to include new prospects adjacent to the Chayvo and Odupto fields in the 1996 contract that governs Exxon’s Sakhalin 1 development, the natural resources ministry said on Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. Instead, the discoveries should be classified as separate fields and sold at auction, the ministry said.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 7, 2006 8:10 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 7, 2006 8:10 p.m.

Crude-oil prices fell again, approaching $67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their lowest level in nearly five months, after U.S. government data showed gasoline and distillate stockpiles were higher than analysts had expected. Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

* * *
BP GETS GRILLING: The former head of pipeline-corrosion monitoring for BP PLC in Alaska refused to testify under oath as outraged lawmakers grilled company officials over the causes of a massive oil spill earlier this year. Other BP executives apologized and pledged to fix operational lapses on the North Slope that led to the region’s biggest ever oil spill in March and the partial shutdown last month of the country’s largest oil field. Lawmakers said BP’s mistakes in Alaska — as well as its responsibility for a deadly refinery fire last spring — were particularly unacceptable given the industry’s record profits and the relatively inexpensive measures that might have prevented the oil spill.

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The Wall Street Journal: Detectives Often Take the Heat If Things Sour

(This article is posted in view of (1) the admittance by Royal Dutch Shell and its lawyers of its use of undercover agents against perceived enemies including Greenpeace, The Body Shop and the owners of this website, Alfred and John Donovan; (2) the fact that senior Shell directors were until recently also directors and major shareholders in a sinister private intelligence agency which has acted for Shell in respect of the above activities; (3) Shell titled directors were the ultimate spymasters of the private spy firm which has close links with MI6, holding positions as Chairman and President.)

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International Herald Tribune: Shell Oil chief: U.S. needs policy on greenhouse gas emissions

The Associated Press
Published: September 7, 2006
 
ST. LOUIS Touting the importance of a “culture of conservation” and investment in alternative fuels, John Hofmeister sounded less the leader of the world’s third-largest oil company as much as a speaker at an Earth Day celebration.
 
The Shell Oil Co. president, addressing a group in St. Louis Thursday, said as far as the company was concerned, the debate over the science of global climate change is over.

 
“It’s a waste of time to debate it,” he said. “Policy-makers have a responsibility to address it. The nation needs a public policy. We’ll adjust.”
 
He said it is a perfect time for policy makers to keep fuel prices high and force market changes. In Europe, where fuel prices are higher, less fuel is used, he said.
 
Hofmeister shared his thoughts on U.S. energy security with a group at Washington University’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. As early as the 1920s, St. Louis was North American headquarters for Shell Oil, which is now based in Houston.
 
He said conventional oil and gas resources are no longer enough for the nation’s energy security. The energy future, he said, will include fuel derived from oil shale, gasified coal and other unconventional sources; biofuels such as ethanol from grasses, straw, corn stalks and other plant matter; wind and solar energy; hydrogen fuel cells; and conservation.
 
He offered an anecdote illustrating how far we have to go.
 
“This morning at the Hilton, a gas fire was heating an air-conditioned lobby,” he said. “It looks and feels great, but is that an efficient use of energy?
 
“We need to change the hearts, minds, values and behavior of Americans toward a culture of conservation,” Hofmeister said. But adjusting the thermostat and driving more slowly isn’t enough. He said the U.S. needs different designs of homes, factories and vehicles.
 
He also said the U.S. represents 8 percent of the world’s population that is using 25 percent of the energy supply. “It’s not a sustainable formula,” he said, noting that the rest of the world wants its “fair share,” too.
 
“The world produces 85 million barrels of oil a day and consumes 84 million barrels, with no available extra supply anywhere,” Hofmeister said.
 
Hofmeister said world oil selling for as little as $10 a barrel in 1998 made investment in alternative fuels not economical. But he said with oil prices upward of $60 a barrel, solar, wind and unconventional fuel projects are doable.
 
David Hamilton, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy division, said he’s glad Hofmeister “is not saying global warming is a hoax and their job is to make money.”
 
But, he added, “I’m not bowled over by the fact they’re aware we’ve got problems. Shell has been in the image-making business for some time.”
 
He said Shell saw what BP has done to position itself as a greener company to deflect criticism.
 
Hamilton said to Shell’s credit, the company is investing in solar and wind energy, but “let them come forward and say we need to improve fuel-efficiency standards.”
 
In June, Shell announced plans to build a $200 million (€157 million) wind farm on the island of Maui. Hofmeister said it would help meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals and eliminate the need for a coal-generating plant there.
 
Shell and General Motors operate five hydrogen fuel cell passenger vans in Washington as a demonstration project. Shell provides a refueling station near the Capitol. But Hofmeister said a technology breakthrough is needed to bring down the cost.
 
Shell also is investing in producing ethanol from straw and has signed contracts with Idaho farmers willing to produce it. It is involved with a German company producing ethanol from grass, tree limbs and other wood waste. And it plans to launch an experimental project with an unnamed Northeastern city to create ethanol from paper and cardboard.
 
 ST. LOUIS Touting the importance of a “culture of conservation” and investment in alternative fuels, John Hofmeister sounded less the leader of the world’s third-largest oil company as much as a speaker at an Earth Day celebration.
 
The Shell Oil Co. president, addressing a group in St. Louis Thursday, said as far as the company was concerned, the debate over the science of global climate change is over.
 
“It’s a waste of time to debate it,” he said. “Policy-makers have a responsibility to address it. The nation needs a public policy. We’ll adjust.”
 
He said it is a perfect time for policy makers to keep fuel prices high and force market changes. In Europe, where fuel prices are higher, less fuel is used, he said.
 
Hofmeister shared his thoughts on U.S. energy security with a group at Washington University’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. As early as the 1920s, St. Louis was North American headquarters for Shell Oil, which is now based in Houston.
 
He said conventional oil and gas resources are no longer enough for the nation’s energy security. The energy future, he said, will include fuel derived from oil shale, gasified coal and other unconventional sources; biofuels such as ethanol from grasses, straw, corn stalks and other plant matter; wind and solar energy; hydrogen fuel cells; and conservation.
 
He offered an anecdote illustrating how far we have to go.
 
“This morning at the Hilton, a gas fire was heating an air-conditioned lobby,” he said. “It looks and feels great, but is that an efficient use of energy?
 
“We need to change the hearts, minds, values and behavior of Americans toward a culture of conservation,” Hofmeister said. But adjusting the thermostat and driving more slowly isn’t enough. He said the U.S. needs different designs of homes, factories and vehicles.
 
He also said the U.S. represents 8 percent of the world’s population that is using 25 percent of the energy supply. “It’s not a sustainable formula,” he said, noting that the rest of the world wants its “fair share,” too.
 
“The world produces 85 million barrels of oil a day and consumes 84 million barrels, with no available extra supply anywhere,” Hofmeister said.
 
Hofmeister said world oil selling for as little as $10 a barrel in 1998 made investment in alternative fuels not economical. But he said with oil prices upward of $60 a barrel, solar, wind and unconventional fuel projects are doable.
 
David Hamilton, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy division, said he’s glad Hofmeister “is not saying global warming is a hoax and their job is to make money.”
 
But, he added, “I’m not bowled over by the fact they’re aware we’ve got problems. Shell has been in the image-making business for some time.”
 
He said Shell saw what BP has done to position itself as a greener company to deflect criticism.
 
Hamilton said to Shell’s credit, the company is investing in solar and wind energy, but “let them come forward and say we need to improve fuel-efficiency standards.”
 
In June, Shell announced plans to build a $200 million (€157 million) wind farm on the island of Maui. Hofmeister said it would help meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals and eliminate the need for a coal-generating plant there.
 
Shell and General Motors operate five hydrogen fuel cell passenger vans in Washington as a demonstration project. Shell provides a refueling station near the Capitol. But Hofmeister said a technology breakthrough is needed to bring down the cost.
 
Shell also is investing in producing ethanol from straw and has signed contracts with Idaho farmers willing to produce it. It is involved with a German company producing ethanol from grass, tree limbs and other wood waste. And it plans to launch an experimental project with an unnamed Northeastern city to create ethanol from paper and cardboard.
 
 ST. LOUIS Touting the importance of a “culture of conservation” and investment in alternative fuels, John Hofmeister sounded less the leader of the world’s third-largest oil company as much as a speaker at an Earth Day celebration.
 
The Shell Oil Co. president, addressing a group in St. Louis Thursday, said as far as the company was concerned, the debate over the science of global climate change is over.
 
“It’s a waste of time to debate it,” he said. “Policy-makers have a responsibility to address it. The nation needs a public policy. We’ll adjust.”
 
He said it is a perfect time for policy makers to keep fuel prices high and force market changes. In Europe, where fuel prices are higher, less fuel is used, he said.
 
Hofmeister shared his thoughts on U.S. energy security with a group at Washington University’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. As early as the 1920s, St. Louis was North American headquarters for Shell Oil, which is now based in Houston.
 
He said conventional oil and gas resources are no longer enough for the nation’s energy security. The energy future, he said, will include fuel derived from oil shale, gasified coal and other unconventional sources; biofuels such as ethanol from grasses, straw, corn stalks and other plant matter; wind and solar energy; hydrogen fuel cells; and conservation.
 
He offered an anecdote illustrating how far we have to go.
 
“This morning at the Hilton, a gas fire was heating an air-conditioned lobby,” he said. “It looks and feels great, but is that an efficient use of energy?
 
“We need to change the hearts, minds, values and behavior of Americans toward a culture of conservation,” Hofmeister said. But adjusting the thermostat and driving more slowly isn’t enough. He said the U.S. needs different designs of homes, factories and vehicles.
 
He also said the U.S. represents 8 percent of the world’s population that is using 25 percent of the energy supply. “It’s not a sustainable formula,” he said, noting that the rest of the world wants its “fair share,” too.
 
“The world produces 85 million barrels of oil a day and consumes 84 million barrels, with no available extra supply anywhere,” Hofmeister said.
 
Hofmeister said world oil selling for as little as $10 a barrel in 1998 made investment in alternative fuels not economical. But he said with oil prices upward of $60 a barrel, solar, wind and unconventional fuel projects are doable.
 
David Hamilton, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy division, said he’s glad Hofmeister “is not saying global warming is a hoax and their job is to make money.”
 
But, he added, “I’m not bowled over by the fact they’re aware we’ve got problems. Shell has been in the image-making business for some time.”
 
He said Shell saw what BP has done to position itself as a greener company to deflect criticism.
 
Hamilton said to Shell’s credit, the company is investing in solar and wind energy, but “let them come forward and say we need to improve fuel-efficiency standards.”
 
In June, Shell announced plans to build a $200 million (€157 million) wind farm on the island of Maui. Hofmeister said it would help meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals and eliminate the need for a coal-generating plant there.
 
Shell and General Motors operate five hydrogen fuel cell passenger vans in Washington as a demonstration project. Shell provides a refueling station near the Capitol. But Hofmeister said a technology breakthrough is needed to bring down the cost.
 
Shell also is investing in producing ethanol from straw and has signed contracts with Idaho farmers willing to produce it. It is involved with a German company producing ethanol from grass, tree limbs and other wood waste. And it plans to launch an experimental project with an unnamed Northeastern city to create ethanol from paper and cardboard.
 
 ST. LOUIS Touting the importance of a “culture of conservation” and investment in alternative fuels, John Hofmeister sounded less the leader of the world’s third-largest oil company as much as a speaker at an Earth Day celebration.
 
The Shell Oil Co. president, addressing a group in St. Louis Thursday, said as far as the company was concerned, the debate over the science of global climate change is over.
 
“It’s a waste of time to debate it,” he said. “Policy-makers have a responsibility to address it. The nation needs a public policy. We’ll adjust.”
 
He said it is a perfect time for policy makers to keep fuel prices high and force market changes. In Europe, where fuel prices are higher, less fuel is used, he said.
 
Hofmeister shared his thoughts on U.S. energy security with a group at Washington University’s Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. As early as the 1920s, St. Louis was North American headquarters for Shell Oil, which is now based in Houston.
 
He said conventional oil and gas resources are no longer enough for the nation’s energy security. The energy future, he said, will include fuel derived from oil shale, gasified coal and other unconventional sources; biofuels such as ethanol from grasses, straw, corn stalks and other plant matter; wind and solar energy; hydrogen fuel cells; and conservation.
 
He offered an anecdote illustrating how far we have to go.
 
“This morning at the Hilton, a gas fire was heating an air-conditioned lobby,” he said. “It looks and feels great, but is that an efficient use of energy?
 
“We need to change the hearts, minds, values and behavior of Americans toward a culture of conservation,” Hofmeister said. But adjusting the thermostat and driving more slowly isn’t enough. He said the U.S. needs different designs of homes, factories and vehicles.
 
He also said the U.S. represents 8 percent of the world’s population that is using 25 percent of the energy supply. “It’s not a sustainable formula,” he said, noting that the rest of the world wants its “fair share,” too.
 
“The world produces 85 million barrels of oil a day and consumes 84 million barrels, with no available extra supply anywhere,” Hofmeister said.
 
Hofmeister said world oil selling for as little as $10 a barrel in 1998 made investment in alternative fuels not economical. But he said with oil prices upward of $60 a barrel, solar, wind and unconventional fuel projects are doable.
 
David Hamilton, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy division, said he’s glad Hofmeister “is not saying global warming is a hoax and their job is to make money.”
 
But, he added, “I’m not bowled over by the fact they’re aware we’ve got problems. Shell has been in the image-making business for some time.”
 
He said Shell saw what BP has done to position itself as a greener company to deflect criticism.
 
Hamilton said to Shell’s credit, the company is investing in solar and wind energy, but “let them come forward and say we need to improve fuel-efficiency standards.”
 
In June, Shell announced plans to build a $200 million (€157 million) wind farm on the island of Maui. Hofmeister said it would help meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals and eliminate the need for a coal-generating plant there.
 
Shell and General Motors operate five hydrogen fuel cell passenger vans in Washington as a demonstration project. Shell provides a refueling station near the Capitol. But Hofmeister said a technology breakthrough is needed to bring down the cost.
 
Shell also is investing in producing ethanol from straw and has signed contracts with Idaho farmers willing to produce it. It is involved with a German company producing ethanol from grass, tree limbs and other wood waste. And it plans to launch an experimental project with an unnamed Northeastern city to create ethanol from paper and cardboard.

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Globe and Mail (Canada): New truck stops planned by Shell Canada and Flying J

Canadian Press

Calgary — Shell Canada and truck-stop specialist Flying J Canada Inc. are combining forces on road-transport services and plan to invest over $220 million in 15 new plazas for commercial travellers.

The new joint venture will include Shell Canada’s commercial fuel-card network and Flying J’s Canadian travel plazas.

As well, the companies will build new facilities that will include the new travel plazas, which will sell Shell gasoline, and remodel existing ones into a comprehensive network for Canadian road travel customers — with showers, food and seating areas, banking services and freight matching.

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MarketWatch: Shell Exploration & Production Company Provides Mars TLP Production Update

Last Update: 9:09 PM ET Sep 7, 2006

NEW ORLEANS: Shell Exploration & Production Company announced today that the Mars Tension Leg Platform (TLP), which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is currently producing 190,000 barrels (gross) of oil equivalent per day, which is a 20 percent increase over pre-Katrina rates. As announced on May 22, the Mars TLP resumed production ahead of schedule and was producing slightly above its pre-Katrina rates in July.

Estimates placed the Mars platform in Katrina’s eye for about four hours, absorbing 80-foot waves and wind gusts exceeding 200 mph. The Mars TLP floating structure and wells survived the extreme Katrina weather conditions, but the platform drilling rig and some major elements of the topsides production equipment were heavily damaged.

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Reuters: Exxon warns Russia to honor Sakhalin deal terms

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday issued a sharp warning to Russia to honor a decade-old production-sharing agreement to develop the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas block or risk undermining the confidence of foreign investors.

The statement came after Russia’s resources ministry told Exxon it would not automatically enlarge the license territory of Exxon’s Sakhalin-1 block, despite the discovery of new reserves near or at existing deposits.

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