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Posts from ‘October, 2006’

Financial Times: Front Page: BP knew of safety problems, says report

By Sheila McNulty in Houston: Published: October 31 2006 02:00 | Last updated: October 31 2006 02:00

BP knew it had “significant safety problems” at its Texas City refinery and 34 other locations around the world well before last year’s deadly explosion at the Texas plant, US investigators said in a damning report yesterday.

The US Chemical Safety Board also said cost-cutting helped compromise safety at the Texas refinery, BP’s biggest, where a March 2005 blast killed 15 and injured 500 people in the worst US industrial accident in more than a decade.

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New Zealand Herald: Oil: Price keeps on falling

8.40am Wednesday November 1, 2006
Oil fell below US$58 a barrel on Tuesday, deepening sharp losses from the previous session on easing tensions in Nigeria, ample US fuel stocks and lingering doubts over Opec output cuts.
US light crude fell 78 cents to US$57.58 a barrel by 1812 GMT, after trading down to US$57.05 earlier, the lowest level since Oct. 20. The drop followed losses of US$2.39, nearly 4 per cent, on Monday. Brent crude traded 83 cents lower to US$57.85.
Traders waited to see if Opec producers will adhere to an agreement to cut 1.2 million barrels per day from Wednesday.
“The dominant speculative sentiment remains overwhelmingly bearish,” Barclays Capital said. “Those on the short side who are expecting global economic weakness … and weak Opec cohesion are unlikely to change those core views in a hurry.”
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, and the United Arab Emirates have told customers of supply cuts, but other Opec members such as Kuwait and Libya have yet to do so.
But Nigeria, which was the first to instigate the voluntary cuts, was expected to raise oil exports in December. Easing tensions in the Opec nation also added to bearish sentiment.
Western oil companies in Nigeria were free to resume production of 62,000 bpd at four oil pumping stations after striking a deal with protesters late on Monday. Villagers invaded the stations last Wednesday demanding contracts from the operators, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron .
But as one problem subsided, another dispute was brewing.
Nigerian unions threatened to shut all oil fields operated by Italian oil company Agip, which produces 200,000 bpd in the country, unless it paid staff a security bonus. Attacks have cut Nigerian output by 500,000 bpd since February.
Analysts also attributed oil’s decline to slowing US economic growth and swelling fuel stocks.
“The US macro picture is the big elephant in the room, and left to grow could single-handedly sink many of the commodity bull markets that are still in place,” Man Financial said.
Oil’s 26 per cent slide since mid-July’s peak of US$78.40 has prompted funds to shift their money into other commodities in search of better returns. Gold prices hit a seven-week high and zinc in London touched a record on Monday.
US crude supplies were expected to have risen 2.6 million barrels last week, analysts said in a preliminary Reuters poll ahead of Wednesday’s inventory data.
Domestic distillate stocks, which include heating oil, were seen falling 1.3 million barrels, while petrol fell 1 million barrels.

read more Niger Delta Impacted by 1.5 Million Tons of Oil Spill, Among Five Most Polluted Spots on Earth

Vanguard (Lagos)
October 31, 2006
Posted to the web October 31, 2006

By Hector Igbikiowubo With Agency Report

THE Niger Delta has been impacted by 1.5 million tons of crude oil spill over the last 50 years threatening rare species including primate fish, turtles, bird and damaging crops while destroying the livelihood of many of the 20 million people living there and fuelling the upsurge in violence.

Experts have also listed the Niger Delta among the five most polluted spots on the face of the earth with dire consequences for the health of inhabitants of the area.

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RIA Novosti: Russian Audit Chamber, UK ambassador discuss Sakhalin II

20:14 | 31/ 10/ 2006 

MOSCOW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s Audit Chamber and the British ambassador to Russia held talks Tuesday to discuss Sakhalin II, a huge oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East led by British-Dutch oil major Shell.

The multibillion-dollar Sakhalin II project has been accused of inflicting large-scale damage to the ecosystem on Sakhalin, including illegal deforestation, the dumping of toxic waste, and soil erosion.

The Audit Chamber’s press service said that Sergei Stepashin had informed Anthony Brenton about the chamber’s inspections of the project.

read more University of Rochester won’t invest in Sudan

EXTRACT: UR’s board of trustees investment committee agreed earlier this month “to prohibit direct investments in companies identified as supporting the Sudanese government’s activities in Darfur,” according to its new policy. The policy comes with a list of 28 firms, such as Siemens AG, Royal Dutch Shell and Sudan Telecom, that UR no longer will invest in as part of the policy.


University, citing Darfur, to steer clear of firms working there

Matthew Daneman
Staff writer

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HindustanTimes: Deora invites Russians for oil projects in India

EXTRACT: Another project, Sakhalin-2, which is headed by Royal Dutch Shell, has run into ecological controversies that caused the Russian Natural Resources Ministry to suspend its environmental operating license in September… Russian Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev said on Sunday that an environmental probe of the Sakhalin-1 project has been delayed, while the ministry deals with the allegations of massive ecological violations on Sakhalin-2.


Fred Weir
Moscow, October 31, 2006
India will permit Russian companies take stakes in Indian refineries in exchange for greater opportunities to invest in Russia’s oil and gas sector, Indian Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told his counterpart in Moscow on October 30.

read more Protesting villagers leave Shell facilities in Nigeria

POSTED: 1417 GMT (2217 HKT), October 31, 2006

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) — Angry villagers who took over three Shell oil installations in Nigeria’s troubled southern delta region vacated the facilities Tuesday after a six-day occupation, a community spokesman said.

Elsewhere, however, a group of villagers who occupied a facility run by the Agip oil company on Saturday remained at the site for a third day.

Members of the Kula community living near Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Ekulama 1, Ekulama 2 and Belema oil pumping stations took over the facilities October 25, accusing the oil giant of failing to meet the terms of an agreement to give them preferential contracts to provide boats and some supplies used at installations.

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MarketWatch: Japan trading houses Mitsubishi, Mitsui benefit from commodities boom

Last Update: 5:34 AM ET Oct 31, 2006

(Updates with details of other trading companies’ earnings, possible problems for firms.)

TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Japanese trading companies Mitsubishi Corp. (8058.TO) and Mitsui & Co. (8031.TO) Tuesday posted sharp increases in fiscal first-half net profit and raised their outlooks amid booming commodities prices.

Mitsubishi Corp., Japan’s biggest trading company by revenue, posted group net profit of Y234.83 billion for the six months ended Sept. 30, up 37% from Y178.31 billion in the year-earlier period, on strong earnings from metals trading and its coal business in Australia.

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MarketWatch: Over C$110 Billion of New Oil Sands Developments Have Been Proposed In Northern Alberta Canada

Last Update: 10:30 AM ET Oct 31, 2006

DUBLIN, Ireland, Oct 31, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of Alberta Oil Sands: Projects, Production and Cost to their offering.

In one (large) page, we summarize over 70 projects at various stages of development for Canadian oil sands operators. Project cost, Capital expenditure per flowing barrel, production (heavy and upgraded), and (proposed) operation dates are included.

read more Stephanie Boyd or Stephanie Boyde?

By John Donovan

On 23 October we published a leaked email from a senior Shell manager, Stephanie Boyde. It therefore took my eye when a Shell insider brought the following article to my attention. It just goes to show what a difference an “e” can make. This article may have relevance to postings made today on our Live Chat facility.


New Internationalist magazine: Shell Game

by Stephanie Boyd
November 2000
Transnationals everywhere are attempting to recast themselves as eco-friendly. But, as Stephanie Boyd discovers, sometimes it’s not the way companies behave but the nature of the business itself which is at issue.

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New York Times: U.S. Drops Bid Over Royalties From Chevron

October 31, 2006

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — The Interior Department has dropped claims that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties.

The agency had ordered Chevron to pay $6 million in additional royalties but could have sought tens of millions more had it prevailed. The decision also sets a precedent that could make it easier for oil and gas companies to lower the value of what they pump each year from federal property and thus their payments to the government.

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UpstreamOnline: Nigerian workers threaten to down tools

By Upstream staff

Nigerian unions today threatened to shut all oilfields operated by Italian oil company Agip unless it paid staff a security bonus reflecting the rising risks of working in the Niger Delta.

The strike threat came as protesters left two of the four oil pumping stations they were occupying in Rivers State, and news emerged of another oil facility invasion in neighbouring Bayelsa.

Unions threatened to close all 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil produced by Agip, a unit of Italy’s Eni, from tomorrow unless the company agreed to the extra pay.

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The Moscow Times: EU Seeks Clarity on Energy Projects

Tuesday, October 31, 2006. Issue 3530. Page 1.
By Miriam Elder
Staff Writer  
EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs urged Russia on Monday to improve its investment climate and cautioned that the country needed a lot of cash quickly if it hoped to meet the growing European demand for natural gas.

A senior U.S. official, meanwhile, criticized increasing energy cooperation between Europe and Russia.

Piebalgs’ remarks came during a Moscow conference aimed at bolstering energy dialogue between the European Union and Russia. In contrast, the United States has all but abandoned energy talks after the 2003 arrest of Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the leading proponent of cooperation between U.S. and Russian companies.

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The Times: Stern warning: The review on climate change marks a turning point

The Times

October 31, 2006

There is much talk, some of it vacuous, about a “tipping point” for the global climate. But the debate has certainly reached a tipping point. The Treasury has published Sir Nicholas Stern’s review when public concern is mounting and all three main political parties are scrambling to claim a green mantle.

Sir Nicholas acknowledges that no one can predict the consequences of climate change with complete certainty. There is no need, after all, to extrapolate into fantasy catastrophe, as far too many “forecasters” are wont to do. But Sir Nicholas believes that enough is now known to take a very sober and sobering view of the risks — and that these make action a necessity. His calculations are certainly compelling: he estimates that spending 1 per cent of GDP each year to tackle climate change would save potential costs of between 5 to 20 per cent of GDP by the end of the century. 
The report is absolutely right to take a rigorous look at the potential costs of adaptation and mitigation. Too often this part of the analysis has been missing from the breathless depictions of climate change in the style of The Day after Tomorrow (in which an icy tidal wave engulfs New York). Global warming clearly represents an enormous challenge to human ingenuity, and to some wasteful human habits. But we need as much objectivity as possible about the risks.

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The Times: BP had a “checkbook mentality” towards safety

Natural resources 
October 31, 2006
Need to Know

BP had a “checkbook mentality” towards safety and was aware of maintenance backlogs and unsafe equipment at Texas City years before the fire that killed 15 workers in 2005, said US safety officials. 

US crude oil futures fell more than $2, dropping under $59 a barrel, as concerns eased about a threat to Saudi Arabia infrastructure. Industry sources also pointed to a report of slower China demand growth and fund selling.

Shell said it returned to service the smaller of two crude units at its joint-venture refinery in Deer Park, Texas, as scheduled. The unit, which can process 70,000 barrels per day of crude oil, was shut down for 21 days of planned work.

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Daily Telegraph: BP ‘ignored safety risks over refinery disaster’

Lord Browne BP

(Lord Browne: facing demands to testify in a Texas court)

By Russell Hotten, Industry Editor Last Updated: 1:11am GMT 31/10/2006

An interim report into a fatal oil refinery explosion accuses BP of ignoring “catastrophic safety risks” and of knowing about “significant safety problems” at another 34 facilities around the world.
The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB), which publishes the damning findings today, believes that BP may have been aware for years of major problems at its Texas City refinery, which exploded in March last year killing 15 workers and injuring 180.

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The Guardian (UK): ‘Final piece in the jigsaw’

Tuesday October 31, 2006


“This should be a turning point in a debate which has pitted short term economic interests against long-term costs to the environment, society and the economy”.
Martin Rees, president, Royal Society

“The review closes a chasm that has existed for 15 years between the precautionary concerns of scientists and the cost-benefit views of many economists. It finds most economists’ methods have been inadequate for a problem of this scale”
Michael Grubb, Imperial College

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Lloyds List: BP turns Thunder Horse into positive learning experience

British oil major opts for positive spin as production delayed by subsea systems faults, writes Martyn Wingrove, Lloyds List: Published: Oct 31, 2006

BP WANTS to use the lessons it learns at the troubled Thunder Horse project in the Gulf of Mexico to help develop its next generation of projects, including the large Kaskida discovery.

But the British oil major will need contractors to develop subsea equipment that can be deployed in ultra-deepwater environments and cope with harsher reservoir conditions.

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Lloyds List: Shell set to break water depth records with Perdido development

Published: Oct 31, 2006

SHELL will be breaking several water depth records with its Perdido development project in the US Gulf of Mexico including taking subsea completions to new depths, writes Martyn Wingrove.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major will be working with California-based Chevron and British oil group BP to develop three fields in ultra deepwaters in the Alaminos Canyon area.

Shell will be operator of the Perdido regional development and will instal the world’s deepest production spar over the Great White oil field and then will tie back Tobago and Silvertip oil fields as satellites.

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The Wall Street Journal: Cost Cuts’ Role In BP Refinery Blast

Wsll Street Journal Chart

U.S. Cites Cost Cuts’ Role In BP Refinery Blast Safety Board Lays Blame With Top-Level Decisions, Raising Firm’s Legal Risks
October 31, 2006; Page A3

Cost-cutting efforts by senior management at BP PLC contributed to a deadly explosion at a refinery in Texas last year, federal investigators said, a finding that ratchets up the legal stakes for the London-based oil giant.

In a summary of its preliminary findings yesterday, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board didn’t name specific senior managers or members of BP’s executive suite in London. But the federal agency alleged for the first time that high-level decisions to defer overhauls, cut staff and rein in costs at the Texas City, Texas, plant helped cause the accident, which killed 15 people and injured 180.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 30, 2006 5:32 p.m.

October 30, 2006 5:32 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled nearly 4% to close at less than $59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, as traders again expressed skepticism about OPEC’s ability to keep a floor under prices in a world flush — for the moment, at least — with oil. Here’s Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
REPORT: BP CUTS CONTRIBUTED TO ACCIDENT: The good news for BP: The Prudhoe Bay oil field is back up to pre-shutdown speed. The bad news: Federal investigators said the oil giant’s cost cutting compromised safety at a Texas refinery and helped cause a deadly explosion at the plant in March 2005. The findings are the first allegations by outside investigators of a direct link between the company’s cost cutting and the accident and significantly raise the legal and financial stakes for BP. Read the text of the report and the transcript of last night’s 60 Minutes report on the refinery blast.

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AFX News Limited: Mitsubishi Corp H1 net profit hits record, hikes FY forecast

10.31.2006, 12:10 AM

TOKYO (XFN-ASIA) – Mitsubishi Corp reported record net profit for the fiscal first half, thanks to higher commodity prices, prompting the company to upgrade its full-year forecasts.

Japan’s largest trading house said net profit for the six months to September increased 32 pct from a year earlier to 234.83 bln yen.

Operating income jumped 25 pct to an all-time high of 204.96 bln yen as revenue rose 9.1 pct to 9.83 trln, the second best on record.

‘Thanks to metal and energy prices rising beyond our initial expectations, we managed to report

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andnetworkcom: Nigerian villagers extend protest at oil platforms

October 31, 2006
Villagers occupying four oil pumping stations in Nigeria extended their protest to a third day on Friday in the hope of extracting contracts from Western oil companies.

The protesters had agreed on Wednesday to vacate the facilities on condition that they were given contracts to supply food and speed boats to the oil platforms located deep in the swamps of Rivers state in the eastern Niger Delta.

But villagers said Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron had yet to agree to the new contracts, holding up a final resolution of the crisis.

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Indymedia: Shell’s Rossport Pipeline

Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at 9:32 PM

Detailed description of the issues surrounding the pipeline Shell wish to build through Rossport, a small village in the north west of Mayo.

Shell’s pipeline through Rossport is extraordinarily dangerous:

As acknowledged by Minister Dempsey in a written Dail reply to Deputy Michael Ring, it is unparalleled not only within Ireland but within Europe or elsewhere.

It will have a rated pressure of 345 Bar (5,000 lb/sq/in) and a normal working pressure of 150 Bar in contrast to Bord Gais Eireann maximum norms of 70 Bar (1,000 lb/sq/in).

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Reuters: Shell Canada Staffing Will Be Reviewed After Buyout

30 October 2006

Calgary (Reuters) – Shell Canada Limited looks headed for big staffing changes after its Anglo-Dutch parent buys out minority shares, but that may not mean across-the-board layoffs, industry watchers said Friday.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, is offering $40 a share, or $7.7 billion to buy out the 22% of Shell Canada it does not already own.

After the buyout, some Shell Canada departments, such as investor and public relations, will likely be cut or drastically reduced in size. After all, the company, which employs about 5,000 people, will no longer have its own shareholders to report to. For the rest of the company, which includes profitable oil sands, natural gas, refining and marketing businesses, things are not so easy to predict.

read more Nigeria: FNDIC and Others Charge Shell to Stop Pollution and Gas Flaring

Vanguard (Lagos)
October 30, 2006
Emma Amaize

FEDERATED Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC) and other militant groups in the region, weekend, rolled out four conditions under which the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) will be allowed by the Ijaw to resume operations in the creeks of Delta State.

Leader of the group, Chief Bello Oboko, in a document said, “They must stop further devastating oil pollution of the Niger Delta environment, extinguish forthwith all gas flaring in the region, no longer operate behind the terror of soldiers, work toward the disbandment of Joint Security Task Force in the Niger Delta and demilitarise the Ijaw land, work to see to the immediate release of all Niger Delta activists from prisons, and also guarantee peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, which tension is identifiably caused by its practice of double standards/divide and rule”.

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Itar-Tass: Russia Audit Chamber reveals violations in Sakhalin-2 project


30.10.2006, 16.20
MOSCOW, October 30 (Itar-Tass) – Checks of the Sakhalin-2 project carried out by the Russian Audit Chamber have revealed numerous violations, mostly on the part the operator of the project, the Chamber’s auditor Sergei Abramov said.

He said that the “chamber as a top financial control authority also has checked bodies of executive power that must accomplish within their competence the control of the implementation of production sharing agreements”.

He said that apart from numerous irregularities revealed in earlier checks by the Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) of the Sakhalin Energy, which is the project’s operator, “we also have stated substantial violations by the operator of environmental legislation”.

read more (Nigeria): We’re in Ogoni to put out fire – Shell

Monday, Oct 30, 2006

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has said that, its presence in Ogoniland at the moment is not for oil exploration but to put out the fire on Yorla well 13.

The Emergency Response Team Commander of the Company, Mr. Ikechukwu Charles Okoro disclosed this Friday in a press briefing in Port Harcourt.

Mr. Okoro said that, the clarification had become necessary in view of the attempt by some persons to misinterpret the presence of the company in the area.

According to him, “we are aware that some people have misinterpreted the efforts to fight the fire to mean that SPDC has secretly begun operations in Ogoniland.

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Bytestart (UK): Shell Springboard offering £40,000 awards to UK SME’s tackling climate change

Posted October 30, 2006

To encourage smaller businesses who are leading the fight against climate change, Shell Springboard will make at least nine awards of up to £40,000 to UK small and medium sized businesses.

The awards will be given to the companies that convince business and environmental experts that their ideas are both environmentally sound and commercially viable businesses.

Research released by Shell Springboard shows that the challenge of tackling climate change could create a market of up to £30bn for British business over the next ten years – a massive potential market for businesses that develop technologies, products and services that help combat climate change.

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Reuters: Shell’s Deer Park, TX crude unit returns to service-company

Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:06am ET

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Shell said Monday it returned to service the smaller of two crude units at its joint-venture refinery in Deer Park, Texas, as scheduled.

The unit, which can process 70,000 barrels per day of crude oil, was shut down on Oct. 9 for 21 days of planned work.

The refinery, which is a joint venture between Petroleos Mexicano and Shell Oil, has a second crude unit rates at 240,000 bpd.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved. Cravath scores key Royal Dutch Shell role

30 October 2006

Cravath Swaine & Moore and Canadian firms Stikeman Elliott and Ogilvy Renault have scooped lead roles on Royal Dutch Shell’s acquisition of Shell Canada’s minority interests that it didn’t already own for CAD7.7bn (£3.64bn).

London-based corporate partner William Rogers, with employment partner Patricia Geoghegan and litigation partner Rory Millson led the team at Cravath, a panel firm of Royal Dutch Shell. The Wall Street firm is advising the oil giant on US aspects of the deal.

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Reuters: Britain’s Royal Navy Deploying Forces to Counter Possible Threat to Oil Export Terminal in Saudi Arabia

Oil firms toward $61; eyes Saudi ports, OPEC cuts

SINGAPORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Oil nudged higher on Monday, extending last week’s gains while traders awaited further signs of OPEC’s compliance with output curbs and kept a close eye on Saudi oil facilities amid heightened security activity.

U.S. light, sweet crude for December delivery was up 13 cents a barrel at $60.88 in Globex electronic trading by 2343 GMT after gaining 39 cents on Friday, when news of a possible threat against a key Saudi export terminal spooked traders.

read more the ‘wholly unfounded shockingly abusive allegations’ against Shell managers made by Dr John Huong

By John Donovan
Monday 30 October 2006

The comment below was posted on our Live Chat facility today.

“Guest 7262: I have heard enough of the spin you publish on your website on behalf of your friend “Dr” Huong. You are exploiting him to suit your own agenda. The rabid Huong left us with no option other than to use the courts. He was circulating wholly unfounded shockingly abusive allegations against named Shell managerial staff. It was our duty to protect the individuals he defamed. We had no other choice.”

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Independent Online (Africa): Nigerians take over Agip pumping station

October 30 2006 at 01:28AM  
By William Nsoyoh

Yenagoa, Nigeria – Protesters angry over a lack of jobs and aid took over an oil-pumping station run by Italian oil firm Agip in Nigeria’s volatile southern delta region, forcing the company to shut the flow of oil there, a Nigerian security official said on Sunday.

Scores of protesters from the Egbema-Ngalabiri community invaded Agip’s nearby Clough Creek facility just before midnight on Saturday and forced workers there to shut operations, Joshua Benamesia, a security aide of the Bayelsa state government in charge of the area, said. Agip is a subsidiary of Italian energy company, ENI SpA.

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Summit Daily (Colorado): Evicted by war, restored by peace

EXTRACT: On the land, the government produced bombs, mustard gas, nerve gas and chlorine gas. Shell Oil manufactured pesticides there. The arsenal became one of the nation’s most polluted sites.


October 29, 2006

COMMERCE CITY – The home where Lucille Egli McIntyre grew up looks nothing like it did in 1942 – when the federal government seized the farm for the war effort.

The red brick laid by her father is covered with chicken wire and white stucco.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Santorum charges Casey with abetting terrorism (*Shell linked with aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide)

EXTRACT: The a list of investments of the two major pensions funds in companies that it said did business in Iran. They included firms such as China Petroleum and Chemical and Royal Dutch/Shell. Citing those links, the Republican campaign charged in a statement distributed to reporters: “Bob Casey is aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide.”


Monday, October 30, 2006

By James O’Toole,

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum charged yesterday that state Treasurer Bob Casey has “been AWOL in the war on terrorism” by failing to ensure that state funds are not invested in firms with ties to nations linked to terrorism.

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Lloyds List: Oil activity back in the picture

By: Drilling of the Brugden prospect has revived the region’s exploration efforts, Lloyds List
Published: Oct 30, 2006

AFTER a flurry of activity in the 1990s, offshore drilling around the Faroe Islands had been all but dormant until this summer when Norway’s Statoil group spudded an exploration well on its licence 006 on the Brugden prospect.

The well was drilled by the Stena Don drilling rig, a semi-submersible capable of drilling in harsh waters up to 1,640 ft in depth. The well results were mixed as it did not find new reserves, but did give indications of future drilling potential.

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Published: Oct 30, 2006

DUBAI, Oct 30 Asia Pulse – All of a sudden, Canada has turned into the new frontier in non-OPEC oil and gas developments.

Russia has rumbled about taking over the huge Sakhalin II field whereas OPEC itself cut back production over 1.2 million barrels a day, due to which the demands on non-OPEC producing countries have increased even more.

New emphasis on have been put on friendlier non-OPEC countries due to this step. It has been agreed by Shell Canada and Western Oil Sands that they would invest billions into the planned expansion of its Athabasca oil sands project in order to bring production up to 100,000 barrels per day.

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Financial Times: Investors issue challenge to SEC over access to proxy

By Jeremy Grant and Kate Burgess: Published: October 30 2006 02:00 | Last updated: October 30 2006 02:00

In the world of US corporate governance, a gigantic tug-of-war has played out for decades between company boards and shareholders in the companies they run.

At issue is the ability of shareholders to get access to the proxy, which would give them a say in who is elected to company boards. Frustration has been mounting among large institutional shareholder groups over a Securities and Exchange rule – known as 14a-8 – blocking their access.

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Reuters: Canadian Natural could become a target -Barron’s

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:19pm ET

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNQ.TO: Quote, Profile, Research), one of North America’s largest independent oil and gas companies, could become a takeover target of a major oil company because of its large presence in the Alberta oil sands, one of the world’s most promising energy regions, according to Barron’s.

But John Langille, a Canadian Natural vice chairman, said selling isn’t on the horizon.

“We want to continue to grow our company into a very strong independent,” he told Barron’s in the newspaper’s Oct. 30 edition. “Selling to someone else is not part of our game plan.”

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The Moscow Times: Trutnev Offers Hope to Shell’s Sakhalin-2

Monday, October 30, 2006. Issue 3529. Page 7.
By Miriam Elder
Staff Writer

Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev struck a conciliatory note with Shell’s Sakhalin-2 project Friday, saying he was not seeking to shut it down and acknowledging that the operator had made some progress in cleaning up environmental damage.

“Our job isn’t to punish the company, but to see that they continue working properly,” Trutnev told foreign news media at a briefing in Moscow after a three-day tour that took him to Sakhalin.

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The Mail on Sunday: Double Dutch, but he controls your future

Oil baron… Europe’s future supplies of oil and gas rely on the negotiating skills of Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell

Sunday 29 October 2006

By William Rees-Mogg

What are the greatest problems facing the world? Perhaps one should put global warming first; that is largely being caused by mankind’s unquenchable appetite for carbon energy, particularly the hydrocarbons of oil and gas. Perhaps the second great anxiety should be the threat of war, or the actual war in the Middle East.
That has tribal, religious and economic causes, but the economic issue is oil.

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Authenticity of sensational leaked Hans Bouman email to Jeroen van der Veer

29 October 2006
By John Donovan

A posting on our Live Chat facility on Saturday (28 October) questioned the authenticity of an outspoken email that former senior Shell manager Hans Bouman sent to Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer. The posting said that the email is “very worrying if its genuine”.

In fact its authenticity has been verified by more than one source including a Shell insider who has direct contact with Mr Bouman. To say that the email is “very worrying” is a massive understatement bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation that Van der Veer is surrounded by “sycophants, bullies and those without personal integrity”. Some are even described by Bouman as “megalomaniacs”.

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TheBusinessOnline: Putin’s superpower play

Sakhalin II


Russia has a new weapon with which to bully the West: its vast energy reserves. As the world’s biggest supplier of oil and gas, the Kremlin is determined that industrial muscle will succeed where Marxism failed. When a 32-year-old KGB agent called Vladimir Putin was invited to attend the Red Banner Institute in Moscow, one of the Soviet Union’s elite spy colleges, he couldn’t believe his luck.

It was 1984 and the young but deeply ambitious Putin was soon being groomed as a specialist in economic and technological espionage. His teachers were still revelling in a now long-forgotten victory over America: gas was flowing from a brand new Russian pipeline to Western Germany, earning much needed hard cash, despite a lengthy campaign by President Ronald Reagan to block its construction with sanctions.

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The Sunday Times: Drilled down

Sunday 29 October 2006

AFTER a difficult few years, there were finally reasons for smiles at Shell last week. Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive, unveiled a record set of results with a flourish — it seems difficult to conceive of a company having net income of $7 billion in a single quarter, but that’s what Shell announced.

But it’s never that easy in the oil business. Just as Van der Veer was setting hearts a-flutter with his big numbers, there were worrying noises coming out of Russia.

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The Sunday Times: Carbon offset deals are trading in guilt

Sunday October 29, 2006

Schemes that calculate your CO2 emissions so you can pay into green projects may not always do what they claim, writes Jessica Bown 
COMPANIES are capitalising on consumers’ guilt about climate change with schemes that offer to offset your carbon emissions, but experts say there are better ways to go green — and save money in the process.

Carbon offsetting, where you put a small amount of money towards environmental projects to offset your carbon emissions, has become big business, worth an estimated £60m a year, compared with £20m in 2005. 
Firms such as BP, Shell, British Airways and Land Rover all offer websites that calculate how much carbon your activities emit and then tell you how much you should contribute to green-energy projects. However, these schemes are unregulated, so consumers have little comeback if the money is not used in the way they hoped and a sizeable chunk of any donation goes towards their overheads.

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The Observer: Big oil may have to get even bigger to survive: *Shell BP mega-merger?

Sunday October 29, 2006

The international giants are in trouble, with reserves shrinking, taxes and costs rising, and producing nations reneging on deals or nationalising their assets. The answer to their problems could be massive mergers, writes Oliver Morgan

Multinational oil companies are having a tough time. Crude prices are falling, maintaining production is a struggle, yet taxes set by the world’s resource-rich nations are rising – as are costs. Topping it all is a rising trend of energy nationalism stretching round the globe.

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Business Week: Moscow’s Eco-Crusader Aims at Big Oil

By Jason Bush

Oleg Mitvol, head of Russia’s EPA, is targeting the Sakhalin II oilfield and making enemies—possibly even in the Kremlin.

He’s fast becoming one of Russia’s best-known public figures. His face is regularly on television, the pages of newspapers, and the covers of magazines. Now, his activities are making waves internationally, causing one of the biggest stirs to affect foreign investors in Russia for years. Not bad going for the deputy head of a small government agency that, until a few months ago, very few people had heard of, even in Russia.

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Petroleum News: Shell to head joint development of three Lower Tertiary fields in Gulf

By Ray Tyson
Week of October 29, 2006

Shell Offshore and its partners in three Lower Tertiary discoveries in “ultra-deepwater” Gulf of Mexico have decided to combine the fields — Great White, Tobago and Slivertip — into a single hub development located in Alaminos Canyon, with first production “around the turn of the decade,” Shell said Oct. 26.

The project is called the Perdido Regional Development and will be designed to process daily 100,000 barrels of oil and 200 million cubic feet of natural gas, Shell said, noting that the hub or “spar” installation would be moored in about 8,000 feet of water.

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Petroleum News: Shell plans 4 Beaufort wells in ‘07

Two wells at Siv Ullig and two at another location north of Camden Bay; seismic planned for the Chukchi and Beaufort

Alan Bailey
Petroleum News
Week of October 29, 2006

Shell is moving ahead with its exploration plans for the northern Alaska outer continental shelf.

At the National Marine Fisheries Service’s annual Arctic Open Water Peer Review Meeting on Oct. 24 Shell Operations Manager Paul Smith said that Shell plans to drill four wells in the U.S. Beaufort Sea during the 2007 open water season.

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