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Posts on ‘September 28th, 2006’

International Herald Tribune: Shell ordered to halt premium diesel fuel sales in Argentina

EXTRACT: Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.

THE ARTICLE

The Associated Press: Published: September 28, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina The Argentine unit of Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to stop selling a new premium diesel fuel, the latest incident in a dispute with the government over pricing.
 
Argentina’s Energy Secretariat published a resolution in Wednesday’s official bulletin requiring oil companies to obtain government approval for new products introduced since Sept. 1.
 
The Internal Commerce Secretariat, which brokers price agreements across the economy, informed Shell on Tuesday that due to the new regulation it had to stop selling its recently launched V-Power Diesel, which costs 10 percent more than regular diesel.
 
In a statement released Wednesday night, Shell said that “although the new resolution wasn’t in effect at the time of the (new diesel) launch, and its retroactive application is aggravating, Shell has decided to suspend sales until it obtains authorization.”
 
The new fuel apparently raised the ire of government officials intent on holding down the prices consumers pay at the pump.
 
Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.
 
The supply of diesel has become particularly touchy in recent weeks amid reports of shortages.
 
With domestic diesel refineries working at maximum capacity, the government has tried to persuade oil companies to import additional diesel to meet domestic demand. Oil companies say importing diesel at world prices forces them to sell it at a loss in Argentina.
 
Some oil companies operating in Argentina have agreed to import additional diesel, though Shell officials have said they have no plans to do so.
 
 BUENOS AIRES, Argentina The Argentine unit of Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to stop selling a new premium diesel fuel, the latest incident in a dispute with the government over pricing.
 
Argentina’s Energy Secretariat published a resolution in Wednesday’s official bulletin requiring oil companies to obtain government approval for new products introduced since Sept. 1.
 
The Internal Commerce Secretariat, which brokers price agreements across the economy, informed Shell on Tuesday that due to the new regulation it had to stop selling its recently launched V-Power Diesel, which costs 10 percent more than regular diesel.
 
In a statement released Wednesday night, Shell said that “although the new resolution wasn’t in effect at the time of the (new diesel) launch, and its retroactive application is aggravating, Shell has decided to suspend sales until it obtains authorization.”
 
The new fuel apparently raised the ire of government officials intent on holding down the prices consumers pay at the pump.
 
Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.
 
The supply of diesel has become particularly touchy in recent weeks amid reports of shortages.
 
With domestic diesel refineries working at maximum capacity, the government has tried to persuade oil companies to import additional diesel to meet domestic demand. Oil companies say importing diesel at world prices forces them to sell it at a loss in Argentina.
 
Some oil companies operating in Argentina have agreed to import additional diesel, though Shell officials have said they have no plans to do so.

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International Herald Tribune: Shell ordered to halt premium diesel fuel sales in Argentina

EXTRACT: Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.

THE ARTICLE

The Associated Press: Published: September 28, 2006

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina The Argentine unit of Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to stop selling a new premium diesel fuel, the latest incident in a dispute with the government over pricing.
 
Argentina’s Energy Secretariat published a resolution in Wednesday’s official bulletin requiring oil companies to obtain government approval for new products introduced since Sept. 1.
 
The Internal Commerce Secretariat, which brokers price agreements across the economy, informed Shell on Tuesday that due to the new regulation it had to stop selling its recently launched V-Power Diesel, which costs 10 percent more than regular diesel.
 
In a statement released Wednesday night, Shell said that “although the new resolution wasn’t in effect at the time of the (new diesel) launch, and its retroactive application is aggravating, Shell has decided to suspend sales until it obtains authorization.”
 
The new fuel apparently raised the ire of government officials intent on holding down the prices consumers pay at the pump.
 
Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.
 
The supply of diesel has become particularly touchy in recent weeks amid reports of shortages.
 
With domestic diesel refineries working at maximum capacity, the government has tried to persuade oil companies to import additional diesel to meet domestic demand. Oil companies say importing diesel at world prices forces them to sell it at a loss in Argentina.
 
Some oil companies operating in Argentina have agreed to import additional diesel, though Shell officials have said they have no plans to do so.
 
 BUENOS AIRES, Argentina The Argentine unit of Royal Dutch Shell has been ordered to stop selling a new premium diesel fuel, the latest incident in a dispute with the government over pricing.
 
Argentina’s Energy Secretariat published a resolution in Wednesday’s official bulletin requiring oil companies to obtain government approval for new products introduced since Sept. 1.
 
The Internal Commerce Secretariat, which brokers price agreements across the economy, informed Shell on Tuesday that due to the new regulation it had to stop selling its recently launched V-Power Diesel, which costs 10 percent more than regular diesel.
 
In a statement released Wednesday night, Shell said that “although the new resolution wasn’t in effect at the time of the (new diesel) launch, and its retroactive application is aggravating, Shell has decided to suspend sales until it obtains authorization.”
 
The new fuel apparently raised the ire of government officials intent on holding down the prices consumers pay at the pump.
 
Last year, President Nestor Kirchner called on Argentines to boycott Shell after it raised local prices amid rising oil costs. Shell quickly nudged pump prices back down after government-aligned protest groups marched on its stations and sales slumped.
 
The supply of diesel has become particularly touchy in recent weeks amid reports of shortages.
 
With domestic diesel refineries working at maximum capacity, the government has tried to persuade oil companies to import additional diesel to meet domestic demand. Oil companies say importing diesel at world prices forces them to sell it at a loss in Argentina.
 
Some oil companies operating in Argentina have agreed to import additional diesel, though Shell officials have said they have no plans to do so.

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The Washington Post: Warming trend is hatching a business

EXTRACT: No one is on the sidelines in Europe. Power generators now count greenhouse gases — measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide — as one of their costs. “It’s going to change the way you make decisions about deploying capital,” says Garth Edward, trading manager for environmental products at Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which has 25 installations in the E.U. system. Energy efficiency projects, he said, “are going to move up the ladder faster.”

THE ARTICLE

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Playfuls.com: Sakhalin 2 Oil And Gas Work Causing Great Damage Warns Ecologist

Oil and gas exploration by Royal Dutch Shell and Japanese partners has caused extensive environmental damage on Russia’s far eastern island of Sakhalin, a leading German ecologist said Thursday.

Species at risk from drilling and production include the rare grey whales in the Piltun Bay at the north end of Sakhalin, Ralf Sonntag, head of the German branch of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa by telephone from the island.

Pipelines being built 800 kilometres to a terminal at the southern end of Sakhalin had been built over about one thousand rivers and streams, in some cases blocking waterways with debris and endangering salmon populations, according to the ecologist.

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RTE News (Ireland) Shell to modify route of pipeline

28 September 2006 17:56

Shell Ireland says it intends to modify the route of the Corrib gas Pipline in Co Mayo.

Lawyers for the company told the High Court that Shell Ireland would do this in consultation with the local community. 

The High Court has given Shell Ireland permission to begin the process of discontinuing legal proceedings against local landowners.

The company has requested all defendants to withdraw their counterclaims against the company but lawyers representing four of the landowners said they would not be withdrawing.

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Houston Chronicle: Russia Watchdog Seeks to Halt Project

Sept. 28, 2006, 11:23AM
By ALEX NICHOLSON AP Business Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia’s environmental watchdog called Thursday for pipe-laying work to be halted at a Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led project on Russia’s Far Eastern Sakhalin island even as the country’s foreign minister said any problems could be resolved through dialogue.

“We want criminal cases for every destroyed tree or damaged river,” Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of Rosprirodnadzor said, according to the Interfax news agency. “If the criminal cases are opened for everything, the company will read the Criminal Code, come to its senses and stop the barbaric activity,”

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Daily Mail: Shelling out for takeovers: Shell will have to weigh into the takeover market or risk being gobbled up

EXTRACT: Nevertheless, it is seen as inevitable that at some point Shell will have to weigh into the takeover market or risk being gobbled up itself.

THE ARTICLE

28 September 2006

Oil prices may be falling now but the appetite for finding and building reserves is growing. The minor league takeover battle for Australia’s Hardman Resources, in which Tullow Oil is the first to put cash on the table, could be symptomatic of bigger deals to come.

The crown jewel at Hardman is drilling rights in Mauritania. Together with Uganda it looks like one of the better oil prospects in Africa.

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UpstreamOnline: Lavrov urges Sakhalin partners to talk

By Upstream staff

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today urged the Sakhalin 2 consortium to resolve a simmering crisis over the $20 billion Shell-led venture by talking with the Russian side.

Lavrov told a news conference on Sakhalin island that he had observed “from the management of Sakhalin Energy a sincere wish to resolve these problems”, Interfax agency reported.

“Any nascent issues should be settled through dialogue. I am convinced that dialogue with competent Russian structures will help settle these issues,” said Lavrov.

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RIA Novosti: Sakhalin II pipeline must be closed – ecology official

16:34 | 28/ 09/ 2006 

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, September 28 (RIA Novosti) – A deputy head of Russia’s environmental watchdog said Thursday that pipeline construction under the massive Sakhalin II oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East must be stopped.

“Further work to build the Sakhalin II pipeline as it has been done to date is inadmissible,” Oleg Mitvol said, adding he did not demand the closure of the project in general.

Russian officials accuse project operator Sakhalin Energy of major environmental breaches, and the Ministry of Natural Resources last Monday annulled the 2003 environmental expert review for the $20 billion project, which is led by Royal Dutch Shell (55%).

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KAZINFORM (Japan): Tokyo hopes Moscow is law-guided in handling Sakhalin-2 problems

TOKYO, September 28, 2006. KAZINFORM. – Japan’s government hopes that Moscow will handle the ecological problems confronting the oil and gas project Sakhalin-2 in keeping with Russian laws, First Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Takao Kitabata said.

He told a news conference on Thursday that Tokyo would watch the developments over the project, whose shareholders include Japan’s major trade and investment corporations Mitsui Bussan and Mitsubishi Shoji.

Kitabata pointed to the fact that Russia’s leaders attach much importance to the implementation of the Sakhalin-2 project.

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Reuters: FACTBOX-Russia’s environmental worries on Sakhalin

28 Sep 2006 13:39:50 GMT
Source: Reuters

MOSCOW, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Russia has ordered a full environmental probe of Royal Dutch Shell’s $20 billion Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development in the Russia’s Far East.

Russia’s environment watchdog RosPrirodNadzor says that Sakhalin Energy, the project operator, persistently violates environmental legislation.

In 2003, Russia’s State Environmental Expert Review (SEER) of Sakhalin-2 made 60 substantial recommendations aimed at reducing environmental and safety risks.

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Reuters: Update 1: Russia watchdog accuses Shell of barbaric activity

By Elif Kaban and Michael Stott

MOSCOW, Sept 28 (Reuters) – A top Russian environment official stepped up his attacks on the Royal Dutch Shell-led $20 billion Sakhalin energy project on Thursday, saying Moscow wanted damages for every destroyed tree or damaged river.

“If criminal cases are opened for everything, the company will read the Criminal Code, come to its senses, and stop the barbarian activity,” Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s environmental agency, told reporters in Sakhalin.

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Irish Independent: Shell denies trying to avoid disclosure of Corrib documents

13:13 Thursday September 28th 2006 

Lawyers for Shell Ireland have refuted suggestions that their bid to withdraw their case against six landowners in north Mayo is so the company can avoid an order made for discovery of documents.

They have told the High Court that instead this move arises directly out of its decision to reroute the Corrib Gas pipeline in August.

Lawyers for Shell said the company had decided to reroute the pipeline to achieve an agreed route with the local community.

They said the whole process in relation to the gas line would have to be started again and therefore their case against six local landowners, three of them members of the Rossport Five, was redundant.

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Dow Jones Newswires: PSAs Still Shield Oil Companies from Cost Overruns

By Matthew Allen     
Dow Jones Newswires     

LONDON Sep 27, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires) Production-sharing agreements like those in place at Russia’s Sakhalin liquefied natural gas project offer higher levels of protection from project cost overruns than royalty and taxation mechanisms, despite hyper-inflation in the oil industry, a report by consultants Wood Mackenzie said Wednesday.

Such contracts may also mean, however, that companies are less exposed to the potential upside of oil-price increases, author Graham Kellas said.

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MosNews: Russia Watchdog Values Environmental Damage from Sakhalin-2 at $50Bln

Sakhalin II

Photo from www.greenpeace.org

Created: 28.09.2006 11:26 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 11:26 MSK

The deputy head of Russia’s environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor Oleg Mitvol told reporters on Thursday, Sept. 28, that Shell’s Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project has brought about more than $50 billion in environmental damages.

According to Mitvol, this figure is composed of the cost of recultivation activities in the vicinity of Aniva Bay of Okhotsk Sea and restoration of forests around the trunk pipelines, which are being built within the framework of Sakhalin-2 project.

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The Russia Journal: scandal surrounding Sakhalin-2…

September 28, 2006

Headline: Russian officials calculate damage from Sakhalin-2

MOSCOW – Environmental damage from Sakhalin-2 project could top $50 billion, Oleg Mitvol, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Environmental Supervision (Rosprirodnadzor) told reporters on Wednesday. He was commenting on remarks his company could suffer direct losses of $10 billion if the project is blocked by the Russian authorities.

Mitvol said Rosprirodnadzor had launched the comprehensive examination of Sakhalin-2, which would continue until 25 October, after which the environmental service will announce its estimate of the environmental damage.

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Regnum.ru: Russian Natural Resources Ministry may halt Sakhalin 2 Project

28 Sep 2006 05:56 GMT

Russian natural resources ministry will halt implementation of Shell Company’s Sakhalin 2 oil and gas Project, if its participants do not guarantee environmental safety of the pipeline, on September 26, the ministry’s head Yuri Trutnev stated. He is quoted by NTV-Channel as saying that the final decision concerning the matter will be made as a result of the check, which is planned to start in the near future and last for a month.

“Even today we may quite exactly say, scaled violation of environmental legislation is taking place during the Sakhalin 2 project implementation,” Yuri Trutnev stated. “We will not prepare documentation by ourselves; it should be done by the Sakhalin Energy Company. If Sakhalin Energy proposes a plan, which will convince that the Sakhalin 2 project realization will not have destructive consequences for the environment, they can expect the project will not be halted,” the minister added. 

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Daily Telegraph: Database: Energy; Thursday 28 September 2006

• Royal Dutch Shell’s Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project may have caused ecological damage exceeding $50bn, Prime-Tass reported, citing Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of the Natural Resources Ministry’s environmental inspectorate.

• Russia is stepping up environmental checks on Royal Dutch Shell and other overseas oil producers because of public demands for compliance, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, denying any plan to force the companies out.

• Centrica, Britain’s largest energy supplier, said withdrawals from the country’s biggest natural-gas storage site can resume as scheduled on Oct 1 after being halted in February, when a fire shut the facility.

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AP Worldstream: Report: Nigerian politicians allied with hostage-taking militants

By: KATHARINE HOURELD
Published: Sep 27, 2006

Nigerian politicians have started allying themselves with militant groups that have kidnapped foreign oil workers as elections approach, says a report released Thursday by an international think tank.

The report by Brussels-based International Crisis Group says that while militant groups have exploited frustration with government corruption to ensure the sympathy of local communities, these same groups frequently receive money and arms from the politicians they claim to be fighting against.

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Lloyds List: Sakhalin II project sells 98% of its LNG cargoes

By: Martyn Wingrove, Lloyds List
Published: Sep 28, 2006

SAKHALIN Energy has sold 98% of its liquefied natural gas forward cargoes for Russia’s first LNG project and will consider building a third train.

The Shell-led consortium has to formally approve one more LNG contract and then will have almost all of its gas production booked with international buyers.

But the Sakhalin II project in eastern Russia is still under threat from the state, despite assurances from foreign minister Sergei Lavrov that the production sharing contracts will not be scrapped.

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Lloyds List: Shell joins Samsun Ceyhan pipe build

Published: Sep 28, 2006

ROYAL Dutch Shell has joined Italian oil firm Eni to build an oil pipeline across Turkey to take Black Sea oil to the Mediterranean, writes Martyn Wingrove.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major is looking to pump its future Kazakhstan oil production from the Black Sea port of Samsun to the tanker terminal at Ceyhan along the $1.5bn line.

‘We have signed an agreement with Eni and Calik Enerji to investigate the possibility of participating in the development of a pipeline between Samsun and Ceyhan,’ said a Shell spokeswoman.

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Lloyds List: Broadwater survey stokes local anger

By: Opponents claim proposed floating LNG terminal has security and safety shortcomings, writes Rajesh Joshi in New York, Lloyds List
Published: Sep 28, 2006

A US Coast Guard assessment of the proposed Broadwater liquefied natural gas terminal in New York’s Long Island Sound has set off a renewed round of opposition to the controversial project.

Opponents hitching their wagons to the anti-Broadwater cause include several regional Democratic candidates for Congressional elections in November, as well as Connecticut state attorney general Richard Blumenthal.

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The Japan Times: Russia’s halt of Sakhalin-2 oil project decried

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006
 
YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia (Kyodo) Ambassador to Russia Yasuo Saito on Wednesday criticized the order by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources to suspend part of the Sakhalin-2 oil and natural gas development project as “lacking transparency.”

But Valery Garipov, chairman of the Subcommittee for Development of Oil Industry at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, spoke on behalf of Russian interests, saying Russia’s state-owned Gazprom should be allowed to take part in the project, which is currently being conducted by non-Russian firms.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 27, 2006 5:56 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 27, 2006 5:56 p.m.

After falling in early trading, crude-oil futures soared nearly $2 a barrel to settle at about $63 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, in what may have been a technical bounce. Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

* * *
7-ELEVEN DROPS CITGO: 7-Eleven is dropping Venezuela-backed Citgo as its gasoline supplier after more than 20 years, as part of a previously announced plan by the convenience store operator to launch its own brand of fuel. And 7-Eleven is worried that anti-American comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might prompt motorists to fill-up elsewhere. Mr. Chavez has called President Bush the devil and an alcoholic. The U.S. government has warned that Mr. Chavez is a destabilizing force in Latin America.

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The Wall Street Journal: Russia Doesn’t Plan to Scrap Shell’s Oil-and-Gas Venture

A WALL STREET JOURNAL NEWS ROUNDUP
September 28, 2006

Russia’s foreign minister said the Kremlin didn’t want to scrap the contract for a $20 billion Royal Dutch Shell PLC oil-and-gas venture and wasn’t seeking to push foreigners out of its energy sector.

But as Sergei Lavrov sought to soothe fears over the energy projects, Russia’s environmental watchdog issued another harsh statement, saying Shell’s project might have caused ecological damage of $50 billion. Sakhalin Energy — the consortium led by Shell — has suggested environmental groups are exaggerating the extent of the damage, and insists it is keeping to ecological-safety standards.

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The Times: Putin takes hard line on Shell Sakhalin dispute… ominious twist last night

September 28, 2006
From Tony Halpin in Moscow
 
RUSSIA’S dispute with Shell over the future of the Sakhalin-2 project took an ominous twist last night when President Putin demanded government action against companies that break licensing agreements.

Mr Putin, in a televised meeting with Yuri Trutnev, the Natural Resources Minister, said: “I am counting on the Ministry and the Government as a whole making these decisions, including with regard to those companies that work in bad faith and don’t fulfil licensing agreements.” 
 
The President’s statement appeared to undermine an earlier attempt by Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister, to soothe Western concerns about investigations into the operations of foreign oil companies in Russia.

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The Times: Pitlane formula for track success

September 28, 2006
Profile

Lisa Lilley tells Sarah Campbell what it’s like being a member of Shell’s support crew to the Ferrari Formula One team 
 
“SINCE the end of January I haven’t eaten any chocolate,” Lisa Lilley says proudly. This is not something that seems immediately relevant to her role as technology manager in Shell’s Formula One team, but it is indicative of the way she works. “The guys” — her team-mates — challenged her to give up one of her two true passions (the other is shopping), and she rose to it.

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The Guardian: Campaigners attack Shell’s charity arm over Sakhalin talks

· Foundation chief spoke up for firm at Benn meeting
· Green group says body is ‘a charade and a con’

Rob Evans and Terry Macalister
Thursday September 28, 2006

An attempt by Shell to portray itself as a model of corporate social responsibility was undermined last night after Whitehall documents showed its charitable arm discussing a key commercial project with a British government minister.

The multinational oil company says the charity it funds – the Shell Foundation – is completely independent and contributes nothing towards its profits. But documents released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act show the director of the charity, Kurt Hoffman, and the chairman of Shell UK, James Smith, lobbied the secretary of state for international development, Hilary Benn, in January at a meeting they had asked for.

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Seeking Alpha: With Royal Dutch Shell, Size Really Matters

Sep 27th, 2006 with stocks: RDS.A

Hilary Kramer (AOL.com) submits: In 2004, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) suffered some bad news when it had to revise its reserves downwards to a significant degree. Since then the company has been reorganizing to streamline decisions and improve accountability, and it has been working hard to improve its reserves situation.

In a different industry such bad news might have had more of an effect, but size really matters in the oil and gas business, and as the third largest oil company in the world, RDS benefited from its enormous size.

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