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Posts on ‘September 15th, 2006’

Daily Mail: Black future lies ahead for big oil: take a look at Royal Dutch Shell

Sam Fleming,
15 September 2006

BP’S troubles with its leaky Alaskan pipes are small beer. For a real glimpse of big oil’s coming travails, take a look at Royal Dutch Shell and its huge project on Sakhalin Island. 

Costs at the north Pacific project have doubled to £10.6bn, as the consortium struggles in the harsh Arctic terrain, while state-owned monopoly Gazprom is pushing Shell to grant it a far bigger share of the action.

And Russia’s environment ministry has suddenly launched a court case against the project, which may be a prelude to government demands for fresh commercial concessions.

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RIA Novosti (Moscow): Sakhalin 2 is under a legal siege

court gavel

Sakhalin 2 may be stopped in its tracks – by the courts
16:11 | 15/ 09/ 2006

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti commentator Tatyana Sinitsyna) – Sakhalin 2 is under a legal siege.

The Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources has filed an action with Moscow’s Presnensky Court demanding the revocation of Order No. 600 of Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, dated July 15, 2003, approving feasibility studies for the Piltun-Astokhsky and Lunsky license areas. It concerns Phase 2 of the project.

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The Orange County Register: Shell Oil president speaks in Irvine

John Hofmeister Ivine CA

John Hofmeister (above) is on a 50-city tour to redress ‘a communication shortcoming with the American people.’
By ANDREW GALVIN
Friday, September 15, 2006

IRVINE – Shell Oil Co.President John Hofmeister brought his 50-city U.S. tour to Orange County on Wednesday night, part of an effort to address what he called “a communication shortcoming with the American people.”

After last year’s Gulf Coast hurricanes launched gasoline prices on a course to unprecedented highs, oil companies reported that their profits had also set records. The circumstances provoked outrage among some Americans and led to government investigations of the oil industry, which so far haven’t turned up evidence of wrongdoing.

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Financial Times: Investors seek BP safety assurances

By Kate Burgess and Rebecca Bream in London
Last Update: 4:05 PM ET Sep 14, 2006

Big shareholders in BP are seeking assurances from top executives and board members that recent mishaps and failings in the energy group’s safety record in the US are not symptoms of a systemic problem.

Morley Fund Management, its fifth biggest investor, is to meet members of BP’s board to assure itself that lessons have been learnt from last year’s fatal explosion at the Texas City refinery, and the oil leaks at Prudhoe Bay in Alaska that forced BP to shut production last month.

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The Wall Street Journal: Exxon, Shell Are Pressed To Review Russia Pacts

Sakhalin Russia

The Wall Street Journal: Exxon, Shell Are Pressed To Review Russia Pacts

Regulatory Scrutiny Mounts
As Oil Deals’ Special Terms
Irk Some Moscow Officials
By GREG WALTERS and GREGORY L. WHITE
September 15, 2006; Page A8

MOSCOW — A pair of multibillion-dollar energy projects in Russia led by Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have encountered unprecedented regulatory pressure in recent weeks, amid rising complaints by officials here that the deals are unfavorable to Russia.

The projects, off Sakhalin Island in Russia’s far east, are the biggest foreign investments in this country’s energy sector and some of the largest new oil-and-gas developments in the world. They are expected to provide important additional supplies to the global energy market starting in the next few years.

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The Wall Street Journal: Russian’s Slaying Jeopardizes Cleanup

By MICHAEL CONNOLLY
September 15, 2006

Last year, Andrei Kozlov shut down 14 dodgy Russian banks, this year 44. Thursday’s assassination of this tireless campaigner against money laundering could impair efforts he spearheaded as Russia’s deputy central-bank chairman to clean up Russia’s banking sector after a string of financial crises wiped out the savings of millions of people and destroyed public faith in the system.

In his most dramatic intervention, in May 2004, he used a newly adopted money-laundering law to revoke the license of Sodbiznesbank, an outfit that he said had handled ransom money, among other questionable transactions. The move, which led to an armed standoff, marked the start of a drive to close down some of the country’s most questionable banks. It is important that the Kremlin finds his killer and pursues even more vigorously the cleanup he began.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 14, 2006 5:18 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 14, 2006 5:18 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled for the eighth time in the past nine sessions on the New York Mercantile Exchange, settling at nearly $63 a barrel, as supply concerns continued to ebb. Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

* * *
ANADARKO SHEDS CANADA UNIT: Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which is seeking to pay down debt after a major acquisition spree, agreed to sell its Anadarko Canada Corp. unit to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for $4.1 billion. Anadarko put the unit up for sale in June to help pay down debt from its $21 billion acquisition of Kerr-McGee and Western Gas Resources.

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The New York Times: BP, Shell close on drilling changes

Administration says it’s not willing to force new deals

By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department, struggling to prevent the government from losing billions of dollars in royalties for oil and gas produced in publicly owned waters, said Thursday it was close to agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and BP, two of the 56 companies that hold lucrative drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

But even as Republican and Democratic lawmakers expressed outrage that the government could lose more than $10 billion over the next decade, the Bush administration said it flatly opposed House bills that would pressure oil companies into renegotiating flawed leases that the government signed in the late 1990s.

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Itar-Tass: Russia’s Lavrov to present energy diplomacy at conference

MOSCOW, September 14 (Itar-Tass) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will speak at the 10th international conference Oil and Gas of Sakhalin on September 27.

He will present in his report “priorities of Russia’s energy diplomacy on the Eastern track, including prospects for deliveries of fuels to countries of the Asia Pacific region”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

About 300 chiefs of major oil and gas companies of Europe, the US, China, Japan, other Asian courtiers, and of Africa and Latin America have confirmed the participation in the forum.

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