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Posts on ‘October 6th, 2006’

MarketWatch: Shell and Petrobras Are Latin America’s Most Sustainable and Ethical Oil Companies

Latin American-based Oil Companies Invest Hundreds of Millions to Deliver Clean Performances
Last Update: 3:00 PM ET Oct 6, 2006

MIAMI and MADRID, Oct 06, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Among the big Latin American oil/gas companies, Shell and Petrobras are the most effective at sustainability, social, ethical and governance programs, according to a study by Management & Excellence and LatinFinance.

    The Biggest and Best Six in Latin America

    1) Shell: 90.26%
    2) Petrobras: 79.94%
    3) Repsol: 79.08%
    4) Chevron: 77.08%
    5) Pemex: 53.58%
    6) Enap: 44.99%

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RIA Novosti: Sakhalin I PSA gives Russia 15% share or less – Audit Chamber

19:40 | 06/ 10/ 2006 

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia can receive no more than 15% of hydrocarbon output in the Sakhalin I energy project given the way the project has been implemented since 1997, Russia’s financial watchdog said Friday.

U.S. oil major Exxon Neftegas Limited operates the project under a production-sharing agreement (PSA). Apart from the American giant, the Sakhalin-I international consortium comprises Russia’s state-controlled Rosneft (20%), India’s ONGC (20%), and Japan’s Sodeco (30%).

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Reuters: Fighting forces Shell to shut Nigerian oilfield

Fri 6 Oct 2006 15:28:37 BST
(Updates with quotes)

By Tom Ashby

ABUJA, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Gun battles between Nigerian militants and troops in the Niger Delta forced Royal Dutch Shell to shut a 9,000 barrels-a-day oil platform and pull out some staff, company sources said on Friday.

The closure of the Ekulama I flow station in the eastern delta was the first impact on oil output from a surge in violence this week, and adds to almost 500,000 barrels a day shut since February in the western delta.

read more the siege of Bellanaboy


(Rossport Five member, Willie Corduff (centre – right – of front row) with other “Shell to Sea” campaigners) 

In the wake of Tuesday’s dramatic events outside the gates of Shell’s proposed refinery site at Bellanaboy, campaigners were out in force Wednesday and Thursday undeterred by the heavy police presence and inclement weather. For the last two days over 200 local residents and Shell to Sea activists gathered in the semi darkness of the early mornings to voice their opposition to the Corrib gas project and to underline the fact that although work has temporarily recommenced on site, Shell to Sea resistance to this project will continue. In the face of deliberate attempts by Gardaí to opportunistically provoke and inflame the tempers of the protestors at this sensitive time, the nature of the last few days’ protests has been consciously peaceful, as usual, in an effort to diffuse the tension imported by An Garda Síochána.

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Alaska Journal of Commerce: Veco expands its reach in Russia

Reuters: UPDATE 1-Russia audit chamber joins attack on Exxon Sakhalin

Fri Oct 6, 2006 9:53am ET

MOSCOW, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Russia’s audit chamber, a state agency which supervises the use of government finances, said on Friday the Exxon Mobil-led (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Sakhalin-1 energy project has broken many terms of its production sharing deal with Russia.

The agency said in a statement the group had started oil production two years later than expected and still had no clear gas export plans.

The agency has no enforcement powers but can send its conclusions for further investigation by prosecutors. It said it had sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin.

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Reuters: Shell sees Tex. refinery expansion decision in ’07

Fri Oct 6, 2006 9:33am ET

NEW YORK, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Shell Oil Co. said on Friday it expects a final decision on whether to go ahead with a plan to double the size of its joint venture oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, by sometime next year.

Motiva Enterprises LLC, a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco, has said it plans to boost its 285,000 barrel per day Port Arthur plant to around 600,000 bpd by 2010, and has already hired engineers and ordered some equipment for the project.

“We have not yet made a final investment decision on the project, but we’re moving ahead,” said David Sexton, president of Shell Oil Products. “The final decision to formally agree to the project will probably come next year.”

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The Moscow Times: Eni Faces Probe Over Sakhalin-2

Friday, October 6, 2006. Issue 3513. Page 5.
By Dmitry Zhdannikov

The Natural Resources Ministry’s environmental regulator said Thursday that it would probe a company controlled by Italian energy group Eni working as a contractor on the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell.

It made the announcement a day after Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni said rising pressure on Western energy companies in Russia had delayed an asset swap deal between Eni and Gazprom.

On Thursday, Scaroni backtracked.

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Bloomberg: Exxon Loads First Sakhalin Oil as Shell Faces Export Delays

By Lucian Kim

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. said it has begun loading its first oil from Russia’s Sakhalin Island, even as the government threatens to delay the export schedule at a neighboring project run by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The newly-inaugurated De Kastri oil terminal on Russia’s Pacific Coast began loading the Viktor Titov, a tanker owned by Primorsk Shipping Corp., on Oct. 1, said Michael Allen, a spokesman for the Exxon-led Sakhalin-1 project.

“This is a testing and commissioning process,” Allen said by phone from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, seven time-zones east of Moscow. The terminal’s capacity of 250,000 barrels a day will be reached early next year, he said.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Shell Among Companies Preparing Oil Sand Reserve Cases for SEC

By Ian Talley and Benoit Faucon
WASHINGTON Oct 5, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) is one of several oil companies preparing a case to convince the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow it to book reserves from Canadian oil sands.

Although a significant portion of Canada’s oil sands are bookable under SEC guidelines, much are not. If granted, SEC approval could open the door to radical reserve revisions for many companies.

Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister said his company wasn’t in active discussions with the SEC over booking of oil sands. But he said “We are preparing our stance” to present later to the SEC. “We are not aware of any moves by us (Shell) or the SEC to change that,” said a Shell spokesman in London, declining to comment further.

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Dow Jones Newswires: Premier Oil Bid From Shell ‘Highly Unlikely’

Friday, October 06, 2006 

1022 GMT [Dow Jones] A Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) bid for Premier Oil (PMO.LN) is “highly unlikely” says analyst. Follows speculation from traders that RDSA is looking at Premier. Analyst notes this is an old rumour and is skeptical. “I don’t think Premier would add much to Shell’s existing operations,” he says. RDSA not immediately available to comment. Premier oil shares +3.7% at 1081p, Shell -0.2% at 1723p. (KHO)
Contact us in London.
[email protected]

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The Guardian: Oil wealth a boon and burden for Nigeria

Communities in the Niger delta are finally getting a share of the oil money, but serious problems remain, says Mark Tran

Friday October 6, 2006
Guardian Unlimited
Nigeria is the eighth richest oil country in the world and the wealthiest in Africa, with oil revenues accounting for nearly 80% of the national budget. Over the decades, Nigeria has earned billions of dollars from its oil sector, and usually generates about 2.6m barrels of oil a day.

But oil has proved a blessing and a curse for Nigeria, and has been especially damaging for the people of the Niger delta. International oil companies have operated there since 1956, when oil was first discovered in Oloibiri, in what is now Bayelsa State. Communities in the Niger delta see little benefit from Nigeria’s oil revenues. It used to be that the federal government took the lion’s share. Lagos still gets most of the revenues but the state governments in the Niger delta do now get a substantial share of the oil money. But this has led to an increase in violence between different groups competing for a share of the cash. 

read more did our whistleblower email to Oleg Mitvol precipitate the Sakhalin II crisis?

By John Donovan

The following posting, allegedly by the Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation, appeared on the “Live Chat” facility today, Friday 6 October 2006.

EXTRACTS: Mr Donovan Sir. The Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation is grateful for the direct and indirect information supplied from this website. If any persons have further information our telephone, fax and email address is provided. Почтовый адрес: 123995 Москва, Большая Грузинская ул., 4/6 Телефон: (495) 254-48-00 Факс: 254-43-10, 254-66-10 E-mail: [email protected]: Our posting and invitation is of course in relation to Sakhalin II project. Confidentiality will be respected. Thank you.

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Bloomberg: Nigerian Militants Intensify Campaign to Cripple Oil Industry

By Karl Maier

(Bloomberg) — Nigerian militants are stepping up attacks to cripple Africa’s biggest oil industry through a series of clashes with the military and raids on contractors and boats working for companies such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, or MEND, said its fighters killed at least 17 government soldiers yesterday. Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil and gas company, said a convoy of its supply boats was fired on the same day and one contract worker died.

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Investors Chronicle: SIBIR ENERGY (SBE): It hasn’t been easy for Sibir operating in Russia…

6 October 2006
It hasn’t been easy for Sibir operating in Russia over the years, but at least these numbers look healthy. In fact, Sibir’s management sees these results as: “A portrait of a company in transformation from an enterprise of promise into an enterprise of profit.” And despite the flowery language, there is some truth in the sentiment as, for the first time, all three of Sibir’s core businesses delivered profits at the operating level.

Production from the company’s Magma oilfields division contributed £9.4m, the refining business in Moscow contributed a further £16.3m, and the joint venture with Shell, SPD, turned profitable for the first time, too. However, there remains the ongoing argument with Sibneft to contend with, after Sibir found itself unexpectedly diluted out of a key asset last year. Sibir remains confident of a favourable outcome, but Sibneft has since been acquired by Gazprom, so it’s very much a case of David versus Goliath.

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The Times: City Diary by Martin Waller: Fostering interest

October 06, 2006 
SHELL has, I read, brought in Foster & Partners to redevelop its famous HQ on the South Bank next to Waterloo. As it happens, this is the second attempt by the oil company to improve the site, in an area of London that is increasingly popular for commercial development.

The last attempt, a couple of years ago, was blocked by the local council, Lambeth. The intention was to put in some shops, and councillors took the view that these might threaten local retailers, although frankly, the ones around the station are pretty crummy.

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The Guardian: FCO travel warning after Nigeria kidnappings

Matt Weaver and agencies
Thursday October 5, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

The Foreign Office today issued a warning against travelling to parts of Nigeria, following the kidnapping of four British oil workers in the country.

The men were among up to seven foreigners abducted from a residential compound in the country’s southern Akwa Ibom state on Tuesday night.

The Foreign Office advised against all but essential travel to the state, and said it is feared there may be more kidnappings in the Niger delta.

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Irish Independent: Knowing right from wrong

Published: Oct 06, 2006

WHAT a coincidence that Shell should choose the day on which all eyes were focused on Bertie’s apologia to impose its will on the people of Mayo.

If Bertie has succeeded in his struggle to distinguish what is fundamentally right from what is legally acceptable, could he now address the fundamental rights involved in the crisis that confronts the Erris community?

Is it right that the clearly expressed wish of the people for offshore gas processing and a clean environment should be dismissed upon Shell’s insistence on pursuing the cheaper alternative?

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Irish Times: Garda withdraws ‘public order unit’ at Corrib gas terminal

By: Lorna Siggins and Tom Shiel, Irish Times
Published: Oct 06, 2006

The Garda says it has withdrawn its “public order unit” from north Mayo and has scaled down numbers deployed in and around the Shell Corrib gas terminal.

A force of 170 has been cut to 110, according to gardaI, and road-blocks were not in place on approach roads yesterday morning – the third day of a peaceful protest by some 240 people as Shell staff arrived for work on the terminal site.

However, Garda spokesman Insp Ray McHugh has denied reports that several staff had put in personal requests to be taken off duties in the area, and has said that no such requests would be entertained in any case.

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Houston Chronicle: BP, Shell to pay in pollution case: Settlements allege gasoline fell short of air rules

Oct. 6, 2006, 12:13AM
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that BP and Royal Dutch Shell will pay $1.5 million in fines to settle allegations that they sold gasoline that failed to meet federal clean air standards.

The agency said the settlements were reached Sept. 27 and resolve alleged violations that occurred between 1999 and 2004 at gas stations, fuel-handling terminals and refineries.

Under the voluntary settlements, BP will pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and two Shell affiliates will pay $600,000 in fines. The Shell allegations were aimed at Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Refining, and Equilon Enterprises, a Shell subsidiary based in Houston.

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Reuters: Dutch won’t block Russian energy firms over Shell

MOSCOW, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The Netherlands will welcome the expansion of Russian energy firms in the country despite the problems Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has encountered in Russia, the Dutch Economy Minister said on Thursday.

“It is true that on the investment climate you always look from a reciprocal point of view,” Joop Wijn told a news conference in Moscow.

But he added: “If Russia wants to sell gas to Great Britain and they want to transport gas to the Netherlands, we welcome this strategy.”

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The New York Times: A Mix of Oil and Environmentalism

Sakhalin Island

(Joseph Sywenkyj for The New York Times
Ships at Korsakov, a port at the southern tip of Sakhalin Island in Russia.)

October 6, 2006

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, Russia — For more than a decade, Dmitri V. Lisitsyn waged a lonely, losing battle to protect the local salmon and gray whales from the world’s large oil companies, which are turning bucolic Sakhalin Island into an industrial hub for energy in Asia.

Now, Mr. Lisitsyn suddenly has the full support of an unlikely environmental champion: the Russian government.

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The Scotsman: BP, Shell fined in fuel rule case

Shell station Scotland

(People fill their cars with fuel at a Shell garage in Glasgow, February 3, 2005. Units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and BP Plc. will pay a combined $1.5 million (800,000 pounds) to settle charges that they violated U.S. gasoline standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday. REUTERS/Jeff J Mitchell)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Units of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. and BP Plc. will pay a combined $1.5 million (800,000 pounds) to settle charges that they violated U.S. gasoline standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday.

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MarketWatch: EPA: BP, Shell to pay $1.5 million in air quality case

Last Update: 6:40 PM ET Oct 5, 2006

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached settlements with units of BP PLC (BP) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) to address allegations that the oil firms produced gasoline that failed to meet regulatory clean-air requirements, the agency said Thursday.

BP agreed to pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and Shell agreed to pay a civil penalty of $600,000.

The settlements resolve alleged violations of various fuel standards that occurred from 1999 through 2004 at retail outlets, terminals and refineries located throughout the U.S., the EPA said. The agency said a number of violations involve the summertime gasoline standards intended to reduce smog-causing hydrocarbon emissions. Some violations were self-reported by the companies while others were discovered through the EPA’s inspection program.

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RosBusinessConsulting: Evidence against Sakhalin-2 contractors found

RBC, 05.10.2006, Moscow 19:07:39.Oleg Mitvol, the deputy chief of the Russian environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor has submitted to the General Prosecutor’s Office documents from a number of Sakhalin forestries that reveal violations committed by the Sakhalin-2 subcontractor, the press service of the Russian Natural Resources Ministry reports. The documents testify to large-scale illegal forest cutting and destruction of the fertile soil layer during construction of coastal pipelines by Starstroy, one of the project’s contractors.

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St Petersburg Times: Kremlin Rejects Shelling Out More For Sakhalin-2

Issue #1210(76), Friday, October 6, 2006
By Miriam Elder
Staff Writer
MOSCOW —A top Kremlin economic adviser on Wednesday said Shell had broken its agreement with the government to develop Sakhalin-2 when it doubled the cost estimate for the project to $20 billion, and warned that the government would never accept the increase.”You know which side changed the conditions of development” when it asked to double the project’s costs, Arkady Dvorkovich, head of the Presidential Experts’ Council, told an investment conference.

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Bloomberg: Exxon Mobil’s Tillerson Says BP Delay `Disappointing’ (Update3)

By Joe Carroll

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson criticized BP Plc for delays starting their jointly owned $1 billion Thunder Horse oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Thunder Horse, a 50,000-ton floating production facility, nearly sank after Hurricane Dennis in July 2005, a storm that did little damage to other offshore platforms and rigs. BP, operator and 75 percent owner, last month said Thunder Horse won’t begin pumping oil until 2008. The original start date was in 2005.

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Bloomberg: BP, Shell Settle Charges Gasoline Didn’t Meet Air Standards

By Tina Seeley

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc agreed to pay a combined $1.5 million to settle accusations that the companies produced and distributed gasoline that didn’t meet federal clean-air standards, the U.S. government said.

Under the agreements, BP will pay a civil penalty of $900,000 and Shell will pay $600,000, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement today.

The agreements settle charges that the companies’ gasoline didn’t meet federal standards aimed at reducing air pollutants such as smog and carbon monoxide from cars. The fuel was sold between 1999 and 2004 to filling stations in several states including Illinois, New York and Missouri, the agency said.

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