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Posts on ‘September 29th, 2006’

Daily Yomiuri: Russia’s economic roulette: Gazprom wants more than 50% of Sakhalin II

Saturday 30 September 2006
Yoshikuni Sugiyama

The government compiled in May an energy policy outline titled “New National Energy Strategy,” with the aim of increasing its ratio of independent oil development. However, its plan has already taken a battering thanks to a unilateral Russian ruling.

The Russian Natural Resources Ministry has decided to cancel the permit for the Sakhalin-2 natural gas development project off the coast of Sakhalin Island, citing problems with environmental conservation.

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Banking Business Review: French loyalty cards: S’Miles better for Shell

28th September 2006
By Anne Marie Davis

Groupe Caisse d’Epargne has joined Shell in S’Miles, a major syndicated retail loyalty card scheme in France. The French retail bank will represent a welcome addition to the scheme for Shell, increasing the number of card touch points for its customers in a market where an independent loyalty card may not be the best route for the fuel retailer.

Groupe Caisse d’Epargne bank serves 26 million customers in France and has one of the largest distribution networks, with around 4,300 branches and 5,900 ATMs across the country. Now that it has joined the S’Miles scheme, members of the bank’s Satellis service will be offered free membership to the scheme.

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Inter Press Service: Sakhalin II brings prostitution, human trafficking, poverty, HIV/AIDS…

Headline: Social Setbacks as Big Oil Expands Pipelines

Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON, Sep 29 (IPS) – Predominantly foreign male workers who relocated to build massive oil and gas projects, combined with feeble gender policies, have brought  and greater burdens for local communities around those projects, new research finds.

This array of problems was found at two of the world’s largest pipeline projects, the 3.2-billion-dollar Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Russia’s 20-billion-dollar Sakhalin II.

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The Idaho Observer: Ruthless Exploiters, Inc.: A little poverty never hurt anybody


EXTRACT: According to an article written for Amnesty International: “It’s 10 years since the Nigerian Government executed the well-known Ogoni writer and human rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa. But little has changed for the people of the Niger Delta, reports Seth Jordan…

“…Oil was discovered in the Ogoni region in the late 1950s by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group….by the 1990s an estimated US $30 billion worth of oil had already been extracted, and oil revenues accounted for over 98 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings; the 550,000 local farmers and fishermen who inhabited the coastal land had received little except a ravaged environment. Once fertile farmland had been destroyed by uncontrolled pollution, and virtually all fish and wildlife had vanished. Only a handful of local people were employed by the oil companies or benefited economically in any way….

read more hardly surprising Putin is questioning the viability of Sakhalin II

29 September 2006

Expert comments on the Sakhalin II situation by a Shell Insider…

The costs of Sakhalin have doubled, so the payback time is approximately doubled. If 2013 is the new estimate for breakeven, based on a start up in 2008 and $22bn costs, then it is fair to assume that the date should have been 2009, based on $10bn costs and start-up in 2007 – as per the PSA.

(1) Apart from the $12bn in extra costs to be paid by the Russians (how much of this is Shell “overhead”?) an NPV calculation shows that the value of the future income stream due to the four year delay, and assuming a discount rate of 12% (typical for upstream E&P projects) is reduced by 60%.

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The Russia Journal: Sakhalin Energy violated pipeline route plan – ecology watchdog

Posted By Newsroom On 29th September 2006 @ 10:15 In Home, Economy, Companies,

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK – A stretch of a pipeline in the Sakhalin II energy project has been illegally laid through the territory of a national preserve, Russia’s environmental watchdog said Friday.

Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources, who is currently leading a probe into the project on the island of Sakhalin, said part of the Sakhalin II pipeline near the village of Sovetskoye passed through the Zubrovy nature preserve in violation with the original route plan.

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Bloomberg: Chevron’s Gorgon Venture Design Work to Finish in `Few’ Months

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. said design work on the $10.4 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas venture, which has been delayed, is due for completion in the “next few months” in advance of an investment decision in 2007.

The number of contractors working on the project is set to fall over the next few weeks as the initial engineering and design work nears completion, Chevron said today in an e-mail from the San Ramon, California-based company’s Perth office in Western Australia. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have stakes in the venture.

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RosBusinessConsulting: Sakhalin Energy may face criminal charges

RBC, 29.09.2006, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk 13:35:26.

Sakhalin Energy illegally changed the route of its oil and gas pipelines to pass through a state wildlife reserve, Oleg Mitvol, the deputy chief of the Russian environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, told journalists following his trip to inspect Sakhalin-2 project construction sites. He said that according to the project’s plan, the pipelines were supposed to bypass the Zubrovy reserve near Sovetskoye village.

As the pipeline has now been laid straight through the environmentally protected site, the change of route can be deemed a criminal offense. After additional inspections at the disputed site, materials will be submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office to launch criminal proceedings.

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Expansion Management: Shell To Make Major Expansion Project in Singapore

SINGAPORE (September 29, 2006) — World-scale petrochemical facility will be a major provider of raw materials in Asia.  

Singapore’s petrochemicals industry has attracted one of its biggest construction projects to date from international chemicals and energy giant, Royal Dutch Shell plc.

In late July, Shell, which enjoys a local presence dating back to the 19th century, announced its biggest investment yet in the Republic. Named Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex (SEPC), the new integrated refinery and petrochemicals project will be threefold, and upon completion by 2010, will serve as a crucial raw materials provider to the Asian region.

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Globe & Mail: Halt urged for Shell project in Russia

Minister denies environmental complaints are a ruse to obtain a stake in Sakhalin

Associated Press

MOSCOW — Russia’s environmental watchdog has called for pipe-laying work to be halted at a Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led liquefied natural gas project on Russia’s far eastern Sakhalin Island, even as the country’s Foreign Minister says problems could be resolved through dialogue.

“We want criminal cases for every destroyed tree or damaged river,” Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s state environmental agency Rosprirodnadzor, said, according to 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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The Russia Journal: Battle continues over Sakhalin-2

September 29, 2006

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK – Using oil pipelines within the framework of the Sakhalin-2 project could lead to an environmental disaster, Oleg Mitvol, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Service for Environmental Supervision (Rosprirodnadzor), said on Thursday after inspecting the construction of gas and oil pipelines near the Sovetskoye village. He said Rosprirodnadzor would send the results of its examination to the Prosecutor’s Office. He did not elaborate on the nature of the possible damage.

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St Petersburg Times: Shelling Out For the Environment

Issue #1208(74), Friday, September 29, 2006

Bloomberg: YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK — Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project should stop building pipelines and resolve the environmental damage it has caused, said Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s environmental inspectorate.”We will do everything to make the company stop work and pay for the environmental damage,” Mitvol, sitting at a table flanked by local and international environmentalists, said Thursday in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the capital of Sakhalin Island. Mitvol yesterday said his inspectorate may assess that damage at more than $50 billion.

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RIA Novosti: Sakhalin Energy violated pipeline route plan – ecology watchdog

11:36 | 29/ 09/ 2006 

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – A stretch of a pipeline in the Sakhalin II energy project has been illegally laid through the territory of a national preserve, Russia’s environmental watchdog said Friday.

Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources, who is currently leading a probe into the project on the island of Sakhalin, said part of the Sakhalin II pipeline near the village of Sovetskoye passed through the Zubrovy nature preserve in violation with the original route plan.

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Lloyds List: Shell Marine sets out to syphon away fuel supply and quality risks

By: Concern over security issues, writes Jamie Dale in Singapore, Lloyds List
Published: Sep 29, 2006

SHELL Marine Products is paving the way to ease shipowners’ risk in a market thought to have an overcapacity of vessels in trade today, raising concerns over fuel supply security.

With financing made easier, thanks to low interest rates and a continuing growth from China and India, shipbuilders have enjoyed a surge in orders for newbuilds.

Loh Wai Kiew, chief executive officer and vice president of Shell, estimates the market has an overcapacity of 200 vessels in today’s trade, with little scrapping planned and a greater focus on the Asian market.

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The Scotsman: Russia targets Shell over environmental damage

Friday 29 September 2006

A RUSSIAN official stepped up attacks on Shell’s vast $20 billion Sakhalin energy project in Russia’s far east, saying Moscow wanted damages for every destroyed tree or damaged river.

The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 28, 2006 5:05 p.m.

September 28, 2006 5:05 p.m.

Crude-oil futures continued their recent volatile trade, rising as high as $64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange before falling below $63 after OPEC officials quashed speculation the group was cutting production to tighten supply. Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

* * *
IRAQ OUT $16B: Iraq’s most important moneymaker — its oil industry — lost $16 billion in potential foreign sales over two years to insurgent attacks, criminals and bad equipment, a secret U.S. audit says. Iraq has the world’s third-highest proven reserves. But oil production slipped after the 2003 invasion, and the country has struggled to resume production to prewar levels. It is estimated that, in 2005, oil exports earned the country about $26 billion.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Shell Exec Outlines Hope, Barriers In Enhanced Oil Methods

Shell Exec Outlines Hope, Barriers In Enhanced Oil Methods

HOUSTON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) is experimenting with techniques to boost recovery from older reserves by 10%, but the campaign poses new technological challenges for producers, Shell Vice President John Barry said Thursday. 

Barry, speaking on a conference call with reporters, described three methods that Shell hopes will enable it to boost recoveries. At present, Shell recovers about 35% of the oil in a given field, but hopes to raise that amount by 10% with these techniques. 

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Western People (Ireland): Poll shows strong support for Rossport Five

THE NUACHT RTE/TNS mrbi poll indicates strong support for the Rossport Five and for locating the Corrib Gas terminal at sea.

Six in ten people felt the gas terminal should be located offshore with just one quarter supporting the existing Bellanaboy option, RTE Nuacht reveals this morning (Tue).

The offshore alternative has strongest support among those aged under 49 years, and those residing in the Castlebar/ Ballinrobe/ Claremorris and West-port/Belmullet areas.

A breakdown by percentages show, 61 per cent for offshore; 23 per cent for Bellanaboy; 7 per cent don’t mind either way; 4 per cent, shouldn’t go ahead at all, and 5 per cent with no opinion.

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The Independent: Russia says Shell facing $50bn Sakhalin bill

By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
Published: 29 September 2006

Shell is facing growing uncertainty over the future of its Russian Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project after a senior official yesterday called for construction work to be halted over “barbaric” damage to the environment which he claimed it would cost $50bn (£27bn) to put right.

The Kremlin has also set its sights on BP’s Russian venture, TNK-BP, with a director of the state-controlled Gazprom saying the energy giant was interested in buying BP’s local partners out.

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The Charleston Gazette: Pensions: Tainted investments

September 29, 2006 

EARLIER this year, West Virginia’s Investment Management Board rebuffed questions about its holdings in regions linked to terror and genocide. The state’s pension investment fund is legally bound to make money and nothing else, board members said. But if California can stop investing in companies that deal with nations that sponsor terrorism and “ethnic cleansing,” why not West Virginia?

This week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that bars California pension managers from investing in companies in Sudan. Another protects the University of California from liability as it divests of its holdings there.

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