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Posts on ‘October 1st, 2006’

Bloomberg: Russian Oil Output Is Little Changed on Price Drop, Shell Probe

By Garfield Reynolds

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) — Russian oil output was little changed in September, as world prices fell and the government threatened to halt work at a Royal Dutch Shell Plc project that’s the nation’s biggest foreign energy investment.

Average daily oil output during the month was at 9.751 million barrels a day, or 39.91 million tons, compared with 9.759 million barrels a day in August, according to the Energy and Industry Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. Exports rose 50,000 barrels a day to 5.45 million barrels a day, little changed from a year earlier.

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Agence France Presse: British energy project challenged in Russian wilderness

By Dario Thuburn

Sirens scream, jeeps fly past, helicopters prepare for take-off. Russia’s flamboyant environmental enforcer Oleg Mitvol is in town.

Mitvol’s mission this time may be his biggest yet: to halt a 20-billion-dollar (15.8-billion-euro) energy project led by British oil giant Shell on Russia’s eastern edge.

“Sakhalin Energy is treating us like a banana republic,” Mitvol said Friday on a helicopter tour to a section of oil and gas pipelines that run like a scar down 800 kilometres (500 miles) of the energy-rich island of Sakhalin.

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World Energy Source: Delivering Technology: The Key Role of International Energy Companies

World Energy Vol. 9 No. 1 2006

EXTRACT: Shell’s Sakhalin II project in Russia is an example, perhaps the most challenging oil and LNG project yet undertaken. Construction is proceeding apace, and we are learning a lot.

By Jeroen van der Veer
Chief Executive
Royal Dutch Shell p.l.c.

People are increasingly worried about energy: “Will I get the energy I need? And if I do, can I afford it, and what happens to the environment?”

People worry that they will face a future of growing energy shortages, rising prices and international conflict for supplies. They worry that they will have to choose between rising living standards and unacceptable climate change. And they are not sure that energy companies can or want to offer solutions.

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World Energy Source: The Future Is Gas? Article by Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

World Energy Vol. 9 No. 2: September 2006

By Jeroen van der Veer
Chief Executive
Royal Dutch Shell plc

Natural gas – with its economic, efficiency and environmental advantages, relative abundance and expanding infrastructure – has the potential to play a vital role in meeting the world’s expanding energy needs while helping to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Global gas consumption is expected to grow strongly.

Most countries will become increasingly dependent on imports, and inter-regional gas flows could expand nearly threefold. But significant economic, technological, commercial and political challenges need to be overcome if this potential is to be realised. Success will depend on harnessing knowledge – technologies, organisational capabilities, and individual skills and qualities – and building relationships.

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World Energy Source: Can BP Come Clean?

By Richard R. Loomis and Susan Salter
September 2006

“When trust is destroyed, the result is an uncertain world where the future is not just unknowable but frightening, and where people cling to what they have for fear that any change will be for the worse.”
– Lord Browne of Madingley, group chief executive of BP, writing in World Energy magazine, 2003

“Do we need any more examples of how corporate greed is going to cost Americans millions of dollars in higher gasoline prices because of BP’s failure to maintain the Alaskan pipeline? BP made billions of dollars and, apparently, didn’t spend one dime on maintaining a crucial link to the oil fields in Prudhoe. Shame.”
– Letter to the editor, Detroit Free Press, August 2006

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The Business Online: Market braced for glut of oil and price cuts

By Richard Orange
01 October 2006
A gush of oil, worth more than $9bn (E7bn, £4.8bn), could flood the crude market over the next six months, driving the oil price back down towards $50 a barrel, according to research from Sandford Bernstein.

Neil McMahon, senior oil analyst, said: “I think there could be more than 150m barrels of oil sitting in storage playing an arbitrage game. As the flows into the commodity funds slow, then this oil will come out of storage, hit the cash market and move oil prices lower.”

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New York Times: Venezuela and Nigeria, Both OPEC Members, Say They Will Cut Their Oil Production

Published: September 30, 2006

Some members of OPEC are getting really nervous about oil at $60 a barrel.

Two of the oil cartel’s 11 members, Nigeria and Venezuela, said yesterday that they would make voluntary cuts in their production in response to oil prices that have fallen nearly 20 percent from their peak two months ago.

The modest move, which amounts to less than 200,000 barrels a day, comes after days of mixed signals from some OPEC officials who have been increasingly concerned about the rapid drop in prices.

read more Taranaki gas field begins commercial production

The operators of the Pohokura gas field in Taranaki say it is producing commercial quantities of gas for the first time.

Shell Exploration says the gas and condensate are now flowing from three completed onshore wells through a production station at Motunui near New Plymouth.

Spokesman Ajit Bansal says it is a significant milestone for the companies developing the field as a joint venture, and for their customers.

The companies are: Shell, Todd and OMV. OMV is an Austrian gas and oil company.

He says commissioning of the production station will continue over the coming weeks and the offshore platform installation is underway. Six offshore wells are expected to come on stream during the coming year.

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Newsweek International: Big Big Problem

EXTRACT: As Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer recently told NEWSWEEK, it’s important for oil executives to “stand with their hat in their hand” in front of developing-world politicians if they want to get even a small slice of the pie these days. He would know. Shell’s Sakhalin gas project in Siberia is emblematic of how big Western oil companies must push into ever more difficult areas to find reserves, taking on greater financial and political risks. Shell recently announced that its Sakhalin project would run some $10 billion over budget due to labor and materials costs as well as the difficult local terrain. That infuriated Russian politicians, who would have to wait longer to get their share of the profit if costs escalate. The result is that the government has revoked Shell’s environmental permit to operate in Sakhalin, which could halt operations, and has threatened to do the same to other companies in the area, including Exxon. “As big and as rich as they are, the independent oil companies are not rule makers, but rule takers,” says West.

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Gulf Times (Qatar): Statoil cutting output targets by 3% over deposit delays

EXTRACT:  Oil companies including Statoil and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are scrambling to find new reserves fast enough to replace a decline in output from oil fields in the North Sea. Surging demand for offshore rigs and services has led to a shortage of equipment, setting back the development of some deposits.


Published: Sunday, 1 October, 2006, 11:15 AM Doha Time
OSLO: Statoil ASA, Norway’s largest oil company, cut its oil and gas production targets for this year and next by 3%, the second time in two months the company has lowered goals because of delays in developing new deposits.

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The Observer: For once, the worry is that oil may be getting a little too cheap

But analysts are divided as to why – and what might happen next. Oliver Morgan reports

Sunday October 1, 2006

Nothing spooks the markets like the oil price. The fear of running out, the threat of terrorism, panic over US house prices, all of these are built into that most volatile of sums: the price of a barrel. Now, after years of fretting over rising prices, traders and economists are finding reasons to shiver over its fall, and what it tells us about the global economy.

So last week, instead of worrying about confrontation between the US and Iran – concern that helped drive oil to a $78 August peak – the fears were of a nasty US slowdown, thanks in part to a crumpling housing market, that will undercut demand for crude. The price fell to $60, a six-month low.

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Free Republic: Send our own message: Develop all oil reserves


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thoroughly condemned President Bush, the United States, Israel and everything Western during his speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19.

Well, almost everything Western — the notable exceptions being Royal Dutch Shell, France’s Total and a number of other European oil companies that have pledged to continue to develop Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves.

This despite the fact that Ahmadinejad has thumbed his nose at the world by vowing to continue his quest for nuclear weapons, providing huge amounts of cash and arms to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon and Shi’ite militia in southern Iraq, and publicly threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the map.

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The Observer: Stop investing in Sudan’s genocide, MPs tell firms

EXTRACT: Shell, one of a few western companies involved in Sudan’s fledgling oil industry, declined to comment on the call for disinvestment.


Conal Walsh
Sunday October 1, 2006

MPs from the influential House of Commons foreign affairs committee are urging British businesses with investments in Sudan to withdraw from the war-torn African country. The call for disinvestment is aimed at companies including Shell, Rolls-Royce and British Airways.

It is intended to put pressure on the government in Khartoum, which is accused of supporting a civil war that has led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Darfur.

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The Sunday Times: Letters to the Editor: Mob in charge

October 01, 2006
LAST Tuesday we saw the law being flouted by protesters at Bellanaboy. The Shell terminal there has been granted permission by Bord Pleanala, having gone through the process twice.
What was at issue last year, we are told, was a Shell pipeline through Rossport. But work at the terminal site was terminated due to protests, with workers going to the site having to get “permission” from objectors. Shell stopped work and did not force the issue, giving space to all concerned. 
The minister appointed a firm to examine the safety of the pipeline and it got a clean bill of health.

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