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September 11th, 2006:

Rigzone: Japan Stays Optimistic Over Sakahlin-2 Project

By Kyodo News Service
BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific           
Monday, September 11, 2006 

An international oil and gas development off Russia’s Sakhalin island, involving Japanese companies, will move ahead despite the Russian environmental regulator’s lawsuit to revoke government approval, a senior trade ministry official said Monday [September 11th].

“There can be many problems in the process of construction,” Takao Kitabata, vice-minister of economy, trade and industry, said at a press conference. The project will “move towards realization in the long run.”

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MosNews: Putin Dismisses Cold War Rhetoric About Russia’s “Energy Superpower” Status

President Putin 

Created: 11.09.2006 10:49 MSK

Over the weekend Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a pool of foreign journalists and academics. Answering the question about Russia’s “energy superpower” status, he dismissed the possibility that the country would throw its weight around and hold other nations to ransom.

“The world,” he said, quoted by the British Independent, “has an interest in stability of supplies and in the development of a stable Russia. That’s our goal, too, and reflects our own interests as well.”

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Reuters: Gaffes prompt re-examination of BP CEO’s record

Lord Browne BPBy Tom Bergin: A series of scandals at oil giant BP Plc’s U.S. operations, has shaken investors’ faith in its head John Browne and prompted some to re-examine the record of a man often rated among the world’s most respected CEOs. Revelations of sloppy maintenance at key oil pipelines in Alaska, investigations into alleged manipulation of fuel markets and a string of fatal accidents at a Texas refinery have acutely embarrassed a company which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars cultivating a green, ethical image.

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo): Business tactic: investment in Russia is a risky business

A lawsuit filed recently shows that investment in Russia is a risky business.

The Russian Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources filed the action with a Moscow court, claiming that a natural resource development project off Sakhalin Island should be suspended because it has failed to take proper measures to preserve the environment.

Suspicions cannot be erased that the lawsuit was not filed out of a desire to protect the environment but is instead maneuvering on the part of the Kremlin to realize the participation of Gazprom, the state-controlled gas company, in the project under favorable conditions.

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MosNews: Russian Environmental Watchdog Begins Sweeping Check of All Sakhalin Projects

Oil Platform 

EXTRACT: Some analysts view RosPrirodNadzor’s moves as part of a move by the Kremlin to tighten its grip on the strategic energy sector and a deliberate clampdown on Exxon and Shell’s production sharing agreements, the only energy projects exempt from Russia’s sky-high oil taxes.

THE ARTICLE

Created: 11.09.2006 15:25 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 15:25 MSK
 
Russian environmental watchdog RosPrirodNadzor has begun checking oil projects on Sakhalin Island run by U.S. major ExxonMobil and Russia’s Gazpromneft, subsidiary of gas giant Gazprom, it was reported on Monday, Sept. 11.

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Today Online: ExxonMobil’s Sakhalin-1 ready to ship oil to Asia

EXTRACTS: Shell is facing a lawsuit from the Russia state service for natural resources use to halt work on Sakhalin-2 over alleged environmental violations. A report by the ministry of natural resources in May attacked both Shell and ExxonMobil for cost overruns at the Sakhalin sites and said Russian companies should be given majority control of both projects. — AFP

THE ARTICLE 

Monday • September 11, 2006

ExxonMobil-led Sakhalin-1, a vast oil and gas project in Russia’s far east, will begin shipping oil to energy-hungry Asian markets later this month, ExxonMobil’s Russian subsidiary said in a statement.

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Pipeline Magazine: SRAK begins drilling for gas

Posted: 11 September 2006

After exploring for two and a half years in the Empty Quarter , the South Rub’ al-Khali Company Ltd. (SRAK) has begun drilling for non-associated gas and gas condensates.

SRAK is an incorporated joint venture operating on behalf of its three shareholders: Royal Dutch Shell with 40 percent, and France ‘s Total and Saudi Aramco each holding 30 percent.

In November 2003, the company was awarded a two-block concession area that comprises 210,000 square kilometers. Contract Area 1 is a 50,000 square kilometer area near the Shaybah field. The other location, Contract Area 2, is nearly 160,000 sq km and is next to the Yemen border.

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Irish Times: Petition opposing new Shell pipeline route wins support

By: Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Published: Sep 11, 2006

Residents of the north Mayo community of Glengad have expressed support for their Rossport neighbours with a new petition expressing opposition to the onshore gas pipeline. However, Shell E&P Ireland has said the petition may be based on “misinformation”.

Shell is due to unveil plans for its public consultation on finding a modified pipeline route in the coming days, but intends to resume work at the Bellanaboy terminal site in advance of any final agreement.

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Bangkok Post: Shell and Petronas vie for Jet stations as Conoco pulls out

SOONRUTH BUNYAMANEE

Shell and Petronas are interested in acquiring the Jet petrol stations operated by Conoco (Thailand) Co.

The US-based oil company has decided to withdraw from Thailand after failing to break even after 15 years.

The firm has quietly approached several oil companies operating locally, including PTT Plc, about selling its 147 petrol stations nationwide. Industry executives now believe Conoco will call for public bids for the Thai operations in the near future.

“We’re interested in participating in the bids once Conoco begins the process,” said Tiraphot Vajrabhaya, the chairman of Shell Company of Thailand.

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The Moscow Times: Exxon Warns Russia Over Sakhalin Spat

EXTRACT: Weeks of pressure by Moscow on the rival Sakhalin-2, led by Royal Dutch Shell, culminated Tuesday with the country’s environmental watchdog saying it had asked a court to recognize that the scheme did not comply with ecological rules. Work will have to stop at that project if the suit is successful.

THE ARTICLE

Monday, September 11, 2006. Page 5.
By Deepa Babington
Reuters

NEW YORK — ExxonMobil on Thursday warned Russia to honor a decade-old production-sharing agreement to develop the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas block or risk spooking other foreign investors in the country.

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