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Posts on ‘October 3rd, 2006’

BBC News: Oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria

Nigeria
 
(A range of gangs and militant groups operate in southern Nigeria)

Five oil workers have been kidnapped in southern Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region, officials say.

The three Britons, one Indonesian and one Romanian were reportedly abducted near the Exxon Mobil oil company’s offices in Eket town in Rivers state.

Oil workers are regularly abducted in Nigeria by gangs saying they want a bigger share of oil revenues.

The BBC’s Alex Last says the line between criminal gangs and political militants is often blurred.

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The Guardian: Four British oil workers kidnapped in Delta

Alex Kumi
Wednesday October 4, 2006

At least six foreign oil workers were kidnapped last night during an attack on an oil industry compound in Nigeria’s Delta region.

The Foreign Office said initial reports suggested four Britons and two Malaysians, as well as another person whose nationality was unknown, were abducted.

The workers were taken from a compound in Eket, southern Nigeria. Two Nigerian security guards were thought to have been killed in the attack.

In a separate incident, about 25 Nigerian staff of a Royal Dutch Shell contractor were abducted during a raid in another part of the Delta on Monday.

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The Guardian: Kremlin attack dog vows to take on Shell in the battle of Sakhalin

The struggle to wrest control of resources from western companies is the backdrop to tension in Russia and Africa

Tom Parfitt in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Wednesday October 4, 2006

It was a face-off that seemed to encapsulate the growing conflict between a bullish Kremlin and the foreign oil companies working in Russia. On one side was Oleg Mitvol, 6ft 2in and dressed in a black coat, the Kremlin’s attack dog leading the charge against the vast Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development off Russia’s far east coast. Mr Mitvol has vowed to do “everything in his power” to stop the project and force an environmental clean-up. Against him: Mike D’Ardenne, 200lb bearded Australian oilman in a hard hat, representing the foreign consortium led by Shell which is running the $20bn (£11bn) project.

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Shell to Sea: WHATEVER YOU DO – DO SOMETHING!

03 October 2006

The might of the Irish political, police and media establishment have joined multinationals Shell and Statoil in attempting to force through this highly flawed gas project.

They are relying on force (one woman hospitalised this morning), restricting movement (protesters prevented from moving), media lies (about IRA involvement) and PR Spin (about a magical new pipeline route).

Should they succeed they will set a frightening precedent that will leave Ireland much poorer in terms of economy, environment, culture and democracy.  This is about what kind of country we live in.

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ThisIsNorthScotland.co.uk: UNIONS TELL LEADERS: NO GET OUT OF JAIL CARD FOR BOSSES OVER DEATHS AT WORK

DAVID PERRY
IN MANCHESTER

08:50 – 29 September 2006
 
Angry trade union delegates inflicted a third major defeat on Labour leaders yesterday, insisting company bosses must face jail if found personally responsible for deaths at work.

Oil company executives would have been in danger of being liable to imprisonment over the Piper Alpha disaster 18 years ago or the deaths of two workers on Brent Bravo in 2003 if the proposed law had been in force then.

A rebel union motion, opposed by the ruling National Executive Committee, was backed to cheers in a show of hands at the party conference.

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The Moscow Times: Shell, Other Investors to Meet Over Their Sakhalin Troubles

Wednesday, October 4, 2006. Issue 3511. Page 7.
Reuters

TOKYO — Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi will meet this week to discuss how to respond to Moscow after Russia ordered a halt to their $20 billion Sakhalin-2 oil project last month citing environmental concerns, Mitsubishi said Tuesday.

Top executives of the three companies will meet either in London or The Hague later this week, a Mitsubishi spokesman said, without elaborating.

Moscow revoked environmental approvals for the huge Shell-led oil drilling project in mid-September, clouding the future of the project, in which the two Japanese trading companies have so far invested an estimated $4.7 billion.

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TodayOnline.com: Crude oil prices slump under 59 dollars per barrel

Wednesday • October 4, 2006

World oil prices have sunk under 59 dollars, hitting the lowest points for seven and a half months as traders focused on healthy US stocks and a potential end to the Iranian nuclear crisis.

Crude futures, which lost about two dollars on Monday, shed 3.0 percent in value on Tuesday to strike their lowest levels since February 16.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, tumbled 2.19 dollars to 58.84 dollars per barrel in pit trading.

That was 25 percent lower than an all-time peak of 78.40 dollars in July. The contract later pushed back up to 59.25 dollars.

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AFX News Limited: Shell says nine of the 25 missing contractors in Nigeria released

10.03.2006 
 
LONDON (AFX) – Nine of the 25 contractors of Royal Dutch Shell PLC who were abducted during an attack by armed separatist militants on Monday have been released, a Shell spokeswoman said.

‘We’ve learned that nine of the 25 contractors have just been released,’ she said.

The contractors were working on a supply boat yesterday when they were attacked by a number of armed men on high-speed motorboats.

Several Nigerian soldiers were killed in the confrontations, according to Nigerian press reports.

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London Evening Standard: Wholesale gas being ‘given away’

3 October 2006

Just days after Scottish & Southern Energy became the latest company to raise household gas and electricity bills, a shortterm supply glut has forced producers to dump gas back on the market.

Warm weather has meant demand for gas and electricity to heat homes is extremely low for the time of year. But supply levels are unusually high.

A huge new pipeline – capable of supplying up to 20% of Britain’s gas needs – came on stream from Norway on Sunday. A major shipment of liquefied natural gas docked at Kent’s Isle of Grain the same day.

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AFP: Japanese released by Russia, recants admission by Kyoko Hasegawa

EXTRACT: Aso pressed Russia over its cancellation last month of a key permit on the huge Sakhalin-2 energy project. Japanese firms hold a 45 percent stake in the mega-project. The halt in the work was widely seen as a Russian attempt to reassert control over its energy resources. “What is important is that the project is not stopped in a one-sided manner,” the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two countries have yet to sign a treaty formally ending World War II…

THE ARTICLE

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International Herald Tribune: Russian foreign minister defends environmental probes at Shell’s Sakhalin-2 project

The Associated Press: Published: October 3, 2006
 
MOSCOW Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday defended environmental probes of several major oil and gas developments, including a Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led project on Russia’s Far-Eastern Sakhalin Island.

 
Observers have said the investigations are aimed at securing a better role for state companies as the Kremlin increases its control of the sector.
 
The US$20 billion (€16 billion) Sakhalin-2 development, led by Shell, is being investigated for ecological violations and could be forced to stop. The Natural Resources Ministry’s sudden announcement that it was pulling a key environmental permit rattled investors and triggered criticism from Western governments.
 
At the same time, prosecutors have warned that they could seek to pull an agreement held by BP PLC’s local joint venture at another natural gas project in the Far East over environmental and licensing concerns.
 
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday insisted that Russia was keeping to its international obligations by conducting the checks. “You have surely noticed that recently in Russia, environmental control on the part of the state and society has been strengthening as regards a series of big energy projects, including Sakhalin,” he said at a news conference Tuesday.
 
The authorities’ attention at Sakhalin-2 and the BP project at the Kovykta natural gas field has been seen as an attempt to secure better conditions for Russia’s state natural gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, which is in talks to join the projects.
 
Last week Lavrov said he expected the situation at Sakhalin-2 would be resolved through dialogue. The Natural Resources Ministry has given the operating company Sakhalin Energy until Oct. 25 to agree how to tackle numerous allegations of environmental violations.
 
TNK-BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley said Tuesday that he expected to reach a “compromise” over environmental and licensing problems raised by prosecutors last week.
 

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Energy Tribune: Russian Energy Imperialism

By Michael J. Economides
September 2006

What Nikita Khrushchev tried to do with nuclear weapons during the Cold War almost half a century ago, Vladimir Putin is doing with oil and gas today.

Energy resources are giving Russia a sense of power – and that power may mean more for Russia than economic prosperity. This may explain Putin’s popularity in Russia despite the clear deterioration of democratic institutions, a retrogressing economy that’s almost totally dependent on oil, and international unease towards his policies.

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stuff.co.nz: 25 Nigerian Shell contractors missing after attack

Wednesday 04 October 2006 

PORT HARCOURT: About 25 Nigerians working for a contractor to Royal Dutch Shell were abducted during an attack on a convoy of boats supplying oilfields, Shell has said.

At least three soldiers protecting the convoy were killed when about 70 gunmen in speed boats attacked the barges carrying fuel and other supplies to Shell facilities in the remote Cawthorne Channel in the Rivers state of the Niger Delta.

“We cannot account for the whereabouts of 25 contract staff,” a Shell spokesman said.

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Bloomberg: Shell Wins Two Oil Exploration, Production Contracts in Syria

By Abdulla Fardan

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company by market value, won two contracts to search for and pump oil in Syria, according to the state-run Syrian News Agency.

Oil Minister Sufian al-Allaw will sign the contracts with Shell’s representatives in Damascus, Syria’s capital, tomorrow, the agency said today. The two sides will hold a press conference after the signing ceremony to give details, the agency said.

Shell produces about 180,000 barrels a day of crude oil in Syria under existing agreements, or about 45 percent of the country’s oil output.

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Reuters: Talisman to buy Fulmar, Auk Fields in North Sea

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) is expanding its holdings in one of its main North Sea operating areas by acquiring interests in two oil fields from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), Canada’s No. 3 independent oil explorer said on Tuesday.

Talisman didn’t disclose the price of the deal, which will add about 8,000 barrels a day of production, boosting 2007 output by less than 2 percent.

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EnergyTribune.com: Sakhalin Projects Under Assault

3 October 2006

Given the recent actions of Vladimir Putin’s regime, it’s hardly surprising that it is now meddling with the production-sharing agreements that the government has with ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total on the massive Sakhalin project. The signs have been coming with increasing frequency in the form of edicts or statements from different agencies and ministries.

The official line was finally delineated by the Russian president himself in late September, when he warned that his government “would take appropriate measures against any oil firm breaching its license.” He went on to say, “I am counting on the [natural resources] ministry and the government as a whole making these decisions, including with regard to those companies that work in bad faith and don’t fulfill licensing agreements.”

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International Herald Tribune: Police clash with anti-Shell protesters as construction resumes on Irish pipeline

The Associated Press
Published: October 3, 2006
 
DUBLIN, Ireland Police clashed with environmentalist protesters Tuesday as construction resumed on a gas pipeline project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
 
Activists opposed to Shell’s pipeline project in County Mayo, western Ireland, had managed to block construction of the project for more than a year. But about 170 police deployed at dawn at the intended onshore terminus for the pipeline to push away protesters who have maintained a round-the-clock vigil at the site for weeks.
 
Officers removed about 80 protesters, two of whom reported they suffered injuries, to clear the way for several dozen construction workers to enter the site in a convoy of cars and trucks. On their first attempt last week, police struggled but failed to clear away the protesters.
 
A left-wing Mayo member of Ireland’s parliament, Jerry Cowley, who is also a medical doctor, treated one woman’s injuries. He accused police of heavy-handed tactics.
 
“She was lifted up by her chin and pushed back. She had a lot of abrasions on her neck. … She could hardly breathe,” said Cowley, who joined the protest.
 
The pipeline would deliver raw natural gas from the Corrib field, which was discovered in 1996 about 80 kilometers (50 miles) off the Mayo coast and has estimated reserves valued at €850 million (US$1.1 billion).
 
Shell and its junior development partners — Norway’s Statoil ASA with a 36.5 percent stake and U.S.-based Marathon Oil Corp.’s 18.5 percent — had hoped to launch production in 2007, but oil analysts say it probably won’t happen until the end of 2008.
 
Corrib gas could transform the Irish market, which depends on British imports to meet about 85 percent of its natural gas needs. Shell estimates Corrib gas could provide about 60 percent of Ireland’s needs for the next 15 to 20 years.
 
For two years, campaigners have demanded that Shell reroute the pipeline away from a rural hamlet called Rossport and build the processing facility offshore. Their effort captured national attention and much public sympathy last year, when five Rossport men spent 94 days in jail for refusing to observe a court order barring them from the construction site.
 
In August, Shell accepted a mediator’s recommendation to shift the route of the 9-kilometer (5.5-mile) onshore portion of the pipeline away from Rossport. The anti-Shell campaigners insist the entire operation should be kept off shore, an option that Shell and government engineers say would be impractical.
 
Police shut down public roads leading to the construction site Tuesday in hopes of preventing more protesters from rallying there. A police spokesman, Inspector Ray McHugh, said officers would guard the site “as long as we have to. We are not putting a time frame on it.”
 
On the Net:
 
Rossport 5 protest site,
http://www.corribsos.com
 
Shell,
http://www.shell.com
 

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Indymedia: The Corrib Gas Controversy: State Collaboration with Shell Exposed

Brian and Andrew | 03.10.2006 01:19

The following article is a position paper on the Irish Government’s attempt to placate growing opposition by the appointment of a so-called “independent mediator” to defuse the crisis over the outright handover of Irish energy resources to multinational corporations. It also includes an update on the present crisis at Corrib.

On 28th July 2006, Mr. Peter Cassels, the “independent mediator” appointed by Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey with the stated aim of negotiating a settlement between Royal Dutch Shell and the Rossport Five, published a report. The principal recommendation was that the contested pipeline should be moved to address the safety concerns of local residents. Other recommendations were that Bord Gáis, the Irish state gas agency, should become involved in the project, and that an “investment fund” be set up to increase the economic benefit of the project for the Erris area.

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The Associated Press: BP’s Russian joint venture chief plays down fears of license revocation

Published: October 3, 2006
 
MOSCOW The head of British oil giant BP PLC’s Russian joint venture expressed hope Tuesday that a compromise could be reached with authorities over a license to develop the giant Kovykta natural gas field in East Siberia.
 
Last week prosecutors said the company — TNK-BP — had not met production goals at the Kovykta field and had violated environmental regulations.
 
The announcement follows the decision by the Russian natural resources ministry to pull an environmental permit at a giant oil and gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the Russian Far East — a move that spooked western investors and could see work halted.
 
TNK-BP chief executive Robert Dudley said he doesn’t expect to lose the license.
 
“I think we’ll find a compromise,” Dudley said. The only environmental issues to be resolved are “sewage problems.”
 
According to the 14 year-old license TNK-BP committed to supply 9 billion cubic meters of gas to residents in the Irkutsk region in 2006 through its RUSIA-Petroleum subsidiary, which is developing the Kovykta site.
 
However, Dudley said that if the company were to produce that amount most of the gas would have to be flared because there isn’t the demand in the region. True demand is for about 3 billion cubic meters of gas this year.
 
Potential gas production at the Kovykta field, which holds reserves of 1.9 trillion cubic meters, could reach 40 billion cubic meters a year. TNK-BP plans to supply the domestic market and countries such as China and South Korea.
 
Analysts say authorities are turning up the pressure at both Kovykta and Shell PLC’s Sakhalin-2 to secure a better deal for state gas monopoly Gazprom in the projects.
 

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The Jamestown Foundation: SAKHALIN OIL AND GAS PROJECTS: WHAT IS BEHIND RUSSIA’S COERCIVE BEHAVIOR?

By Joseph Ferguson
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

On September 18 a Russian high court ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas development project due to environmental considerations (Asahi Shimbun, September 18). The order followed a complaint filed by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, which claims that the project is violating environmental regulations. The Russian government seems to have since relented and told Sakhalin Energy Investment, the consortium that runs the project, that they have one month to correct the problems, but the threat of suspension remains (Vremya novostei, September 27). The Sakhalin-2 energy consortium is 55% controlled by Royal Dutch-Shell. The Japanese trading firms Mitsui and Mitsubishi control 25% and 20%, respectively. Thus far the project is experiencing massive cost overruns, thus depriving the Russian government of profits at a time of soaring energy prices. At the same time, the state-controlled Russian energy giant Gazprom is hoping to become involved with this and other projects on Sakhalin.

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Ulster TV: Big test for Bertie Ahern (*more corruption in the Irish Government?)

TUESDAY 3 October 2006 

Irish premier Bertie Ahern faces the biggest test of his 30-year political career when he explains to the Dail parliament about controversial 1990s cash payments.
By:Press Association  

Leaked financial records triggered an unprecedented leadership crisis for Mr Ahern which has gripped the nation and hit the headlines across the world.

Pressure is building on the premier to admit that taking the €11,800 for a function in Manchester in 1994 while Finance Minister was wrong and regrettable.

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IrelandOnline: SF: ‘Why is Irish Govt so anxious to enforce wishes of Shell?’

03/10/2006 – 10:47:13 

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris has accused the Government of appearing “anxious to enforce the wishes of Shell” in relation to the Corrib gas development.

Deputy Ferris also condemned the decision by the Department of Justice to order gardaí to break up a picket at the proposed site of the oil refinery at Bellanaboy.

Deputy Ferris said: “It is ironic that on the day that the Dáil will question the Taoiseach on his personal finances, that a Fianna Fáil Government is seen to be clearly enforcing the wishes of a multi-national consortium against the will of the local people and against the best interests of the Irish people as a whole.

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Bloomberg: Shell Resumes Work at Irish Terminal as Protestors are Removed

By Dara Doyle

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc resumed work on a terminal in western Ireland after police cleared protestors blocking the site of a facility intended to process natural gas from the $1.1 billion offshore Corrib gas field.

About 170 police officers removed 60 campaigners from Bellanaboy, near Rossport in County Mayo, enabling 70 workers to begin work. The police also towed away cars and closed off approach roads to prevent the protest from growing.

“Workers have a right to work,” Susan Shannon, a spokeswoman for Shell, Europe’s second-largest oil company, said by phone from Dublin. “We believe it’s only a small group of people within the local community who oppose this development.”

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Reuters: 20 Shell contractors missing after Delta attack

Tue Oct 3, 2006 10:34 AM BST
By Austin Ekeinde

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Reuters) – About 20 Nigerians working for a contractor to Royal Dutch Shell were abducted during a Monday attack on a convoy of boats supplying oilfields, Shell sources said on Tuesday.

At least five soldiers protecting the convoy were killed when about 70 gunmen in speed boats attacked the barges carrying fuel and other supplies to Shell facilities in the remote Cawthorne Channel in the Rivers state of the Niger Delta.

“There is still confusion over what has happened. About 20 Nigerian oil workers who work for a Shell contractor were abducted. As of now they are still missing,” said one Shell source in the Rivers state capital, Port Harcourt.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Russia’s Energy Titans Prepare for Acquisitions

By  Gregory L. White   

MOSCOW Oct 2, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires from the Wall Street Journal)

Russia’s state-controlled energy giants are gearing up for a new round of acquisitions that could give the Kremlin ownership of nearly half the country’s oil production, the highest level since privatization of the Soviet industry began more than a decade ago.

Industry executives and others close to the situation say state oil company OAO Rosneft is seeking at least several billion dollars of financing to buy many of the remaining assets of OAO Yukos at state-mandated bankruptcy auctions in coming months. OAO Gazprom, the majority state-owned natural-gas giant, this week said it would be interested in buying out the Russian partners who now hold half of TNK-BP Ltd., a joint venture with BP PLC that is the third-largest oil producer in Russia.

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Dow Jones Newswires: TNK-BP Unit Executive Ziganshin Shot Dead

By  Greg Walters
MOSCOW Oct 2, 2006

The chief engineer for Anglo-Russian oil producer TNK-BP Holding’s (TNBP.RS) unit Rusia Petroleum, Enver Ziganshin, was found shot dead in Siberia Saturday, a spokesman for the local police said, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Monday.

Ziganshin’s wife found him in a sauna around midnight Saturday. He had been shot three times, including once in the head.

TNK-BP confirmed Ziganshin had been killed, but said it had no further comment for the time being.  “We have been informed that this tragedy has occurred,” said spokeswoman Marina Dracheva. “We don’t know any particulars.”

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URGENT: www.ShelltoSea.com bulletin: Gardai and Shell using force to proceed with refinery

*** Gardai and Shell using force to proceed with refinery ***
– Gardai/Shell PR offensive under way.

– Solidarity / support needed asap.

=======================================================
Shell to Sea Press Release: October. 3, 2006

Overnight a large force of Gardai numbering in the hundreds and acting in support of Shell have sealed of the Bellanaboy site. The movement of local people has been restricted. One local woman has been removed to hospital by ambulance after been injured. At present over two hundred local people are gathered at the site with others prevented by Gardai from getting near the site. The Irish government are now actively engaged since early morning on the side of Shell against the local people who will not risk the safety of their families for a project that has little if any financial benefit for the Irish people. This is serious escalation of the dispute.

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The Wall Street Journal: Top Engineer at BP Oil Venture Is Found Shot Dead in Siberia

By GREG WALTERS
October 3, 2006; Page A6

MOSCOW — A top technician at an affiliate of BP PLC’s Russian joint venture was found shot dead in Siberia during the weekend, the second high-profile murder in less than a month to shake Russia’s business community.

The death comes two weeks after the killing of Russia’s top banking regulator, Andrei Kozlov. That murder sent shock waves through Russia’s business and political elite.

Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported Enver Ziganshin, the chief engineer for oil company Rusia Petroleum, was found by his wife in a sauna at his dacha, or country home, at about midnight Saturday. He had been shot three times, including once in the head, the agency reported, citing local police.

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New York Times: Oil Drops Below $61 on Healthier US Supply Picture

EXTRACT: A fresh episode of militant attacks in Nigeria, which killed five soldiers, has also reminded dealers of potential supply cuts in Africa’s top oil producing country. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) already has 495,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day shut down at fields it operates in Nigeria, mostly because of militant attacks.

THE ARTICLE
 
By REUTERS
Published: October 3, 2006
Filed at 2:21 a.m. ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil fell below $61 a barrel on Tuesday, extending a 3 percent drop in the previous session, as forecasts for a further build in fuel stocks in the United States offset slight cuts in OPEC output.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Shell CEO: Unclear How Much To Be Paid Under Royalty Deal

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The head of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) US operations John Hofmeister confirmed Monday his company was near to inking a deal with the federal government to re-negotiate 1998-1999 oil lease contracts, but said it was unclear how much Shell would pay in royalties.

Johnnie Burton, the head of the U.S. Minerals and Mining Service, or MMS, said last month her company was close to signing contracts with Shell and BP PLC (BP) to re-negotiate 1998-1999 offshore oil and gas leases, in which the MMS “mistakenly” omitted a clause requiring royalties to be paid to the U.S. government.

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The Times: Shell HQ might be redeveloped (*GazpromShell high-rise tower?)

October 03, 2006
 
Shell has appointed Foster & Partners, the leading architect, to consider an ambitious redevelopment of its headquarters, the Shell Centre, on London’s South Bank next to the London Eye.

The oil giant, which is keen to make the best use of any surplus space on the 5.5-acre site, does not want to demolish the building but it is thought that one option could be the construction of an iconic high-rise tower. Any design, however, would need to be acceptable to London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone, and local planners.

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International Herald Tribune: 5 soldiers killed in Nigeria’s oil-rich south; Shell convoy attacked

The Associated Press: Published: October 2, 2006
 
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria Dozens of militants sank two military patrol boats in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta in an attack that killed five soldiers and left nine others missing, an army spokesman said.
 
Maj. Sagir Musa said 15 soldiers were on a routine boat patrol in a delta outlet in Nigeria’s Rivers state when 70 militants attacked on Monday, sinking two military boats. One of the soldiers managed to escape and raise the alarm, he said.
 
A convoy of workers for Royal Dutch Shell PLC was attacked while being accompanied by a military escort in the same area, said Bisi Ojediran, a company spokesman in Lagos. It was not immediately clear if the Shell convoy was attacked in the same incident.
 
Ojediran said he could not confirm any casualties, or if anyone was taken captive. Oil company convoys usually travel with a military escort in the dangerous delta region.
 
A group that says it represents a coalition of militant groups claimed responsibility for attacking the Nigerian soldiers. An e-mail from the Joint Revolutionary Council said the attack was in revenge for attacks on local communities and demanded the release of imprisoned militant leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari.
 
However, an e-mail from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the groups the coalition claims to represent, said it was not involved in Monday’s violence.
 
Militant attacks and kidnappings have cut oil production in Africa’s largest crude producer by over a quarter so far this year. Groups have sabotaged pipelines and oil installations in what they say are protests against the international oil companies and the federal government, which controls the petroleum revenue and divvies it up among Nigeria’s 36 states.
 
Despite the Niger delta’s massive energy resources, the vast majority of the region’s people are mired in extreme poverty and many say kidnappings and attacks that grab international attention are some of the only tools available to them.
 
Nigeria is the fifth-largest supplier of crude oil to the United States.
 
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria Dozens of militants sank two military patrol boats in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta in an attack that killed five soldiers and left nine others missing, an army spokesman said.
 
Maj. Sagir Musa said 15 soldiers were on a routine boat patrol in a delta outlet in Nigeria’s Rivers state when 70 militants attacked on Monday, sinking two military boats. One of the soldiers managed to escape and raise the alarm, he said.
 
A convoy of workers for Royal Dutch Shell PLC was attacked while being accompanied by a military escort in the same area, said Bisi Ojediran, a company spokesman in Lagos. It was not immediately clear if the Shell convoy was attacked in the same incident.
 
Ojediran said he could not confirm any casualties, or if anyone was taken captive. Oil company convoys usually travel with a military escort in the dangerous delta region.
 
A group that says it represents a coalition of militant groups claimed responsibility for attacking the Nigerian soldiers. An e-mail from the Joint Revolutionary Council said the attack was in revenge for attacks on local communities and demanded the release of imprisoned militant leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari.
 
However, an e-mail from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, one of the groups the coalition claims to represent, said it was not involved in Monday’s violence.
 
Militant attacks and kidnappings have cut oil production in Africa’s largest crude producer by over a quarter so far this year. Groups have sabotaged pipelines and oil installations in what they say are protests against the international oil companies and the federal government, which controls the petroleum revenue and divvies it up among Nigeria’s 36 states.
 
Despite the Niger delta’s massive energy resources, the vast majority of the region’s people are mired in extreme poverty and many say kidnappings and attacks that grab international attention are some of the only tools available to them.
 
Nigeria is the fifth-largest supplier of crude oil to the United States.

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Business Journal: Shell president to speak at chamber event (*$60 per person to hear Hofmeister PR BS!)

By Mike Sunnucks
The Business Journal of Phoenix

A top oil company executive will address the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce later this month, discussing energy supplies, foreign oil and roller coaster gasoline prices.

Shell Oil Co. president John Hofmeister will keynote the chamber’s Phoenix Forum event Oct. 12 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

Big oil companies such as Shell, ExxonMobil, BP and Chevron have come under intense criticism in recent quarters due to high gas prices earlier this year, record profits and questions about possible antitrust violations.

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Financial Times: Oil group engineer shot dead in Siberia: resurgence of contract killings in Russia

By Arkady Ostrovskyin Moscow

Published: October 3 2006 03:00 | Last updated: October 3 2006 03:00

The chief engineer for a company controlled by TNK-BP, the Anglo-Russian oil group, was shot dead in the east Siberian city of Irkutsk over the weekend in an apparent resurgence of contract killings in Russia.

Enver Ziganshin was the chief engineer for Rusia Petroleum,which holds the licence to develop the giant Kovykta gas field in eastern Siberia. A spokesman for Rusia Petroleum, which is 60 per cent owned by TNK-BP, said Mr Ziganshin was responsible for much of the work on the Kovykta field.

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ShellNews.net: Shell to Sea corrib pipeline protesters battle cry

There will be a protest at 1pm on Wednesday October 4th at the Shell Headquarters, 53 Lwr Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Very large numbers of Gardaí are now in Erris getting ready for a planned operation to force Shell’s contractors through the local pickets at the refinery site at Ballinaboy.

Local people have been stopped and questioned and have had cameras confiscated.

Today in Belmullet (the nearest town to Balinaboy) the police sealed off a small street while holding a meeting with Shell in a premises on that street.

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