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Posts on ‘October 3rd, 2006’

BBC News: Oil workers kidnapped in 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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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.



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.

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.

read more 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

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…


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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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