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Posts on ‘September 25th, 2006’

The Guardian: Russia gives out mixed messages to Shell and BP

Terry Macalister and Tom Parfitt
Tuesday September 26, 2006

Western oil companies were in confusion about the investment climate in Russia last night after the government appeared to soften its position with Shell but opened a new line of attack against BP.

Yuri Trutnev, natural resources minister, said there would be a full inquiry into environmental problems at Shell’s $20bn Sakhalin-2 scheme but insisted the operating permit was safe – for now.

“There is no question of removing the licence because of the result of the investigations. The inspection should only examine whether the operator is abiding by the environmental protection legislation,” said Mr Trutnev.

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Financial Times: Moscow reassures Shell over Sakhalin

By Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow
Published: September 26 2006 01:38 | Last updated: September 26 2006 01:38

Russia had no intention of removing an operating licence from Royal Dutch Shell for Sakhalin 2, the world’s largest energy project, its minister of natural resources said yesterday.

Yuri Trutnev confirmed his ministry was planning to conduct a fresh investigation of Shell’s compliance with environmental regulations, but had no power over the project’s economic aspects.

Shell, the operator of Sakhalin 2, came under fire from Russian authorities after more than doubling the projected cost of the oil and gas project. Such a move would affect Russia’s profit from the venture.

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The Moscow Times: The Time Has Come to Renegotiate PSAs

Tuesday, September 26, 2006. Page 10.
By Konstantin Sonin
 
Two leading financial newspapers, the Financial Times and The Economist, wrote last week that the “environmental attack” on Shell, the main stakeholder in the Sakhalin-2 project, had been brought about by Russia’s desire to bring foreigners to the negotiating table. This was a logical conclusion.

Both newspapers also wrote that the government’s response was misguided, but here they missed the mark. Of course, both the method of initiating negotiations — using the Prosecutor General’s Office — and the decision to have Gazprom manage the state’s (future) share in the project are bad news. But the government’s intention is correct. The time has come to renegotiate its production sharing agreements.

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RIA Novosti: Prosecutors threaten BP venture with Siberia license revocation – 1

25/09/2006 21:11 (Recasts paragraph 2, adds paragraphs 4-9)

MOSCOW, September 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian prosecutors issued a warning Monday that a BP joint venture operating in East Siberia could have its license revoked if it fails to address environmental protection and other problems.

The Prosecutor General’s Office said Rusia Petroleum [RTS: PTRL], majority owned by Russian-British joint venture TNK-BP, had failed to comply with legislation on the use of natural resources and environmental protection, as well as with the terms of its license agreement on the development of the Kovykta gas field, in the Irkutsk Region.

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Reuters: Shell JV Deer Park refinery slows de-coking ops -state

Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:58am ET

HOUSTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) Shell Oil Co.’s 334,000 barrel per day joint-venture refinery in Deer Park, Texas, slowed de-coking operations on Sunday, according to a notice filed Monday with the state pollution regulation agency.

During de-coking operations, the coker released coke dust into the air, according to the notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

A coker processes the gunky residue at the bottom of barrel of crude into refinable material or solid carbon chunks called petroleum coke that are sold as a replacement for coal. Periodically, cokers have to be cleared of carbon powder, which is called de-coking.

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ShelltoSea.com: Corrib gas pipeline protest

Shell are threatening to start work at the Bellinaboy site, where they intend to build a giant refinery to process Corrib gas onshore. There are daily pickets at the entrance to the site, and local people are adamant that the work can not be started without their consent.

In recent days there has been a noticeable increase in Garda activity in the vicinity. From before dawn this morning (Monday 25th) Gardaí have been filming the protesters and the area. A large number of crowd control barriers have been brought to Belmullet Garda station, and the garda barracks has recently taken delivery of FIVE police vans.

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The Voice of Russia: RUSSIA SAYS THERE’S NO NEED TO POLITICIZE THE SITUATION

09/25/2006

Russia is strongly opposed to any politicization of economic issues that emerged during the implementation by foreign companies of the oil-and-gas project on Sakhalin Island, as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. He confirmed that Russia remained committed to its obligations and urged his country’s foreign partners to strictly observe the earlier reached agreements.

He said as much ahead of his participation in the international conference, “Oil and Gas from Sakhalin”, that will take place on Sakhalin Island from September 27th to 28th.

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Itar-Tass: Japan companies concerned over problems with Sakhalin-2 project

25.09.2006, 16.16 
 
TOKYO, September 25 – The Japan Gas Association’s chief Akio Nomura has expressed concern over the situation around the oil and gas project Sakhalin-2 that has been suspended because of incompliance with ecological standards.

A stop to the project would have serious consequences for Japan’s energy security, he told a news conference on Monday.

Nomura, who is also the head of Osaka Gas Corporation, said that four Japanese gas companies had signed contracts for buying liquefied natural gas under the Sakhalin-2 project beginning from 2008.

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Itar-Tass: WWF questions official version of mass death of fish off Sakhalin

25.09.2006, 15.30

MOSCOW, September 25 (Itar-Tass) — The World Wildlife Fund has dismissed as “not convincing” speculations the mass death of fish and animals washed ashore in the Sakhalin Island’s Aniva Bay late last week was due to a storm.

“According to the Ecological Watch of Sakhalin there was no storm in the area on that day,” said WWF Director Igor Chestin. “Moreover, as hurricanes approach, fish and crabs usually move to greater depths. Monday’ s explanation by the Sakhalin Region natural resources committee to the effect the south wind, not typical of the region, caused massive death of sea animals looks not plausible.”

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MarketWatch: Shell Launches Website Designed to Educate Students About the World of Energy

Last Update: 11:39 AM ET Sep 25, 2006

HOUSTON, Sept 25, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — To encourage middle and high school students’ interest in math and science, while introducing them to the world of energy, Shell Oil Company is launching a new educational website, “Energizing Your Future with Shell” at http://www.shell.com/us/energizeyourfuture.

In the energy industry, there is an anticipated shortage of technical workers due to the pending retirement of the baby boomers and the declining number of students pursuing technical careers. As part of a Workforce Development Initiative to increase the number of individuals in engineering, the geosciences and process technology, Shell created this online tool for teachers and students.

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Bloomberg: Chevron, Los Alamos to Study U.S. Oil Shale Deposits (Update1)

By Stephen Voss

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. oil company, said it started a joint research project with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to study hydrocarbon reserves trapped in rock formations known as oil shales.

Oil shales are sedimentary rocks that contain a high proportion of organic matter that can be converted into crude oil or natural gas. The research will be based on formations in the Piceance Basin in Colorado and experiment with underground processing techniques that might mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, Chevron said in a statement.

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CNNMoney: Royal Dutch Shell ranks No. 3 on FORTUNE’s 2006 Global 500

September 25 2006

(Fortune) — Royal Dutch Shell (Charts) ranks no. 3 on FORTUNE’s Global 500 this year, with $306.7 billion in revenues, up 14.2% from the previous year.

The Hague, Netherlands-based company was ranked no. 4 on the 2005 list. Its 2005 profits were $25.3 billion, up 39.2% from a year earlier. 2005 was a banner year for most Global 500 companies.

It took $13.7 billion in revenue just to make this year’s list – up from $12.4 billion last year. And profits for the 500 companies jumped 30%. Total revenues for the Global 500 in 2006 add up to $18.9 trillion, a third of the world’s GDP. In the Petroleum Refining industry, profits were up 44% from the previous year.

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