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Posts on ‘October 11th, 2006’

Washington (Platts)–11Oct2006: BP faces fresh scrutiny on Alaska spill with 2001 order

BP Wednesday was facing more questions about its safety program in Alaska after a Congressional panel demanded to know why the oil major failed to disclose that it had received an order from the state of Alaska in 2001 requiring the company to inspect its Prudhoe Bay pipelines.

Those pipelines leaked earlier this year, forcing BP to shut down a
portion of its system, a move that caused oil prices to rise briefly in late August.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton
(Republican-Texas) and some of his colleagues wrote in a letter Tuesday that the 2001 Compliance Order issued by the Alaska Department of Conservation undermined BP executives’ claims that the company could not have known that the lines “possibly contained unacceptable amounts of solids” and that they should have been thoroughly inspected.

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UPI: Outside View: Putin’s difficult visit

UPI Outside View Commentator

MOSCOW, Oct. 11 (UPI) — Early October turned out to be a trying time for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The murder of investigative journalist and his staunch critic Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in her apartment block in Moscow last Saturday, provoked a whirlwind of negative emotions around the world.

It happened shortly before Putin’s visit to Germany, a country he loves, and so he was not expected to follow the protocol, which requires trite words about friendship and understanding between Russians and Germans.

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U.S. Newswire: Shell Oil President John Hofmeister to Address National Press Club

10/11/2006 12:42:00 PM

To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor

Contact: Melinda T. Cooke of the National Press Club, 202-887-7516, [email protected]

News Advisory:

John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Company, will address the National Press Club on Monday, Oct. 23. He is expected to discuss strategies for meeting the nation’s energy needs in an era of increasing international demand for energy resources.

Hofmeister was named president of Houston-based Shell in March 2005 after holding key positions at Shell, General Electric, Nortel and AlliedSignal. He has held positions in Europe and Asia as well as North America.

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Fox News: Most Hostages in Nigerian Oil Raid Freed

Nigeria pipelines

(Oct. 7: A woman lays clothes out to dry on an oil pipeline running through the Okrika neighborhood of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
LAGOS, Nigeria — Most of the dozens of troops and oil workers taken hostage in a raid on a navy base and neighboring oil facility in southern Nigeria have been released, police said Wednesday.

The eight remaining hostages — employees of a subsidiary for Royal Dutch Shell PLC — should be freed within hours, said Hafiz Ringim, the police commissioner for Bayelsa state.

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IrelandOnline: Gardaí worried about arresting gas refinery protesters, claim campaigners

Shell pectin

11/10/2006 – 16:28:01 

Protesters who stormed the Irish headquarters of oil giant Shell today questioned why gardaí won’t arrest them.

Demonstrators opposed to the construction of an onshore Corrib gas refinery at Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, occupied the company’s Dublin offices at lunchtime.

Seven people from the Shell to Sea campaign got into the lobby of the building, Corrib House, while six more climbed onto the foyer roof.

Around 30 more protesters gathered outside holding placards and chanting slogans for the hour-long demonstration, marshalled by around a dozen gardai.

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Dublin Evening Echo News: Pipeline protestors occupy Shell headquarters in Dublin

11/10/2006 – 1:02:24 PM

A group of protestors opposed to the Corrib gas pipeline in Co Mayo are occupying the headquarters of Shell Ireland in Dublin today.

The demonstrators are members of the Shell to Sea group which has been leading the campaign against the controversial pipeline.

Some of them have occupied the lobby of the building, while others have climbed onto a one-storey roof.

Gardaí have been called to the scene in an effort to resolve the situation.

Indymedia: Shell petrol pumps shut down in Leeds in solidarity with County Mayo, Ireland

Fiddling on the roof

Protesters shut down Shell

Leeds IMC | 11.10.2006 13:19 Struggles | Leeds Bradford

A Shell petrol station on Kirkstall Rd in Leeds was shut down this morning between 8am and 10am by local people in solidarity with people in in County Mayo, Ireland, who are currently fighting to stop Shell’s disastrous and potentially deadly gas pipeline being built through the beautiful coastal village of Rossport. 

The protest comes in direct response to events last week (3/4 October) when Shell and at least east 200 Irish police forcibly removed local people to allow Shell workers back in to start work again on the gas pipeline and nearby refinery. A successful community blockade has stopped Shell working at the gas refinery site at Ballinaboy for the past 18 months.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 10, 2006 8:50 p.m.

October 10, 2006 8:50 p.m.

Oil prices fell to an eight-month low today, as traders continued to look for clarity from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on whether it plans to cut production, after several days of mixed messages from officials. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
IRAQ FUEL SHORTAGES BUOY SEPARATISTS’ STANCE: Fuel interruptions are aggravating the debate over how Iraq’s abundant oil supplies are divided among its factionalized regions, and the resolution could determine whether the country splinters. Recurrent shortages are draining Kurdish officials’ patience with the central government, which they accuse of fumbling fuel imports, and in Baghdad last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said “oil needs to be a unifying factor.”

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New York Times: Oil Below $59; Focus on OPEC Debate, US Stockbuild

Published: October 11, 2006
Filed at 2:20 a.m. ET

SINGAPORE ( Reuters) – Oil held below $59 a barrel on Wednesday, hovering near its lowest level in eight months as traders anticipated a build in U.S. crude stocks and grew impatient with OPEC’s haggling on the details of an output cut.

U.S. crude (CLc1) rose 2 cents to $58.54 a barrel by 0617 GMT, after slumping $1.44 on Tuesday, less than a dollar off last week’s $57.75 low, the weakest since February. London Brent crude (LCOc1) gained 5 cents to $59.39.

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The Times: Why Gazprom has spurned its foreign lovers (*first rate analysis )

October 11, 2006
European Briefing by Carl Mortishead
I WANT to be alone, said the boss of Gazprom. Alexei Miller, the Gazprom chairman, is no Greta Garbo, but his declaration that the Shtokman gasfield would be developed solo has deeply disappointed at least five international suitors. The admirers were rich and good looking — American companies, such as Chevron and ConocoPhillips, two Nordic blondes, Norsk Hydro and Statoil, and a Latin lover, Total, of France.

Still, Miller was unmoved. They didn’t offer enough, he said, and, for good measure, he ground his heel into the faces of the Yankee boys to show contempt for their fat wallets. Shtokman’s gas will not be shipped in cryogenic tanks to the United States but piped into Europe.
It is tempting to think of all this as more sulks from the Baltic. There is a pattern of behaviour: attempts to evict Shell and ExxonMobil from their positions on Sakhalin Island, bully tactics in the gas-price negotiations with Ukraine and Gazprom’s not very subtle hints that it would like to take a majority position in BP’s Russian joint venture.

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Daily Telegraph: Gazprom spurns West: Gazprom may be forced into rethink

(Filed: 10/10/2006)

Gazprom, Russia’s state-run gas company, will develop the $20bn (£11bn) Shtokman field itself, spurning offers from five Western producers to exploit the country’s biggest untapped natural-gas deposit.

Gazprom doesn’t need “international participation,” chief executive Alexei Miller said. Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Norsk Hydro, Statoil and Total had bid to help develop Shtokman’s 3,700bn cubic meters of gas, enough to supply the US for more than five years.

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Irish Times: Fishermen angered by Garda role at Corrib protest

By: Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent,
Published: Oct 11, 2006

North Mayo fishermen have criticised the decision to deploy gardaI to “facilitate” Shell E&P Ireland after about 100 people engaged in a peaceful protest at the controversial Corrib terminal site early yesterday.

The Erris Inshore Fishermen’s Association said yesterday it was both “very concerned about” and “extremely annoyed” at “the fact that the peacekeepers of our country, An Garda SIochana, are being used by our Government against local people in an aggressive manner”.

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Irish Times: Protests over gas pipeline

Published: Oct 11, 2006

Madam, – In response to Fergus Beatty’s astonishment (October 9th) at my suggestion that the Irish Government should not emulate the Nigerian Government in terms of its collusion with the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria, the following points are worth making.

The Nigerian state imprisoned Wiwa and his colleagues for the “crime” of trying to protect their people and land. The Irish State has colluded with Shell in the imprisonment of the Rossport Five, whose “crime” was their determination to resist the running of a dangerous pipeline through the heart of their small rural community.

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Irish Independent: Will Shell pay overtime bill?

Published: Oct 11, 2006

APROPOS of the Corrib oil/shell fiasco currently unfolding in the Erris area of Mayo, I have heard it said, the powers that be have stated they have allowed for 170 gardai a day for two-and-half years until things settle down.

A back of the envelope piece of arithmetic which allows for a conservative estimate of 1,025 per guard per day, which includes wages, overtime, expenses, room and board and transport costs to and from the proposed terminal viz 1,025 times 170 guards, times 365 days, times 2.5 years comes to the not inconsiderable grand total of 159m.

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Financial Times: Bright prospects eclipse concerns

By Neil Buckley

Published: October 10 2006 11:17 | Last updated: October 10 2006 11:17

Everywhere a visitor to Russia’s bigger cities turns, the signs of economic regeneration are palpable. Cars clog the streets; construction sites abound; dreary Soviet-era shops are being swept away by international-standard stores; hotels, cafes and restaurants are multiplying.

The trickle-down of wealth still has a long way to go. Drive out of the cities, and the highways soon dwindle to potholed single carriageways. While official poverty figures are down, life in smaller towns and villages remains harsh.

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Financial Times: Oil and gas: Long on resources but short on clear rules

By Arkady Ostrovsky

Published: October 10 2006 11:17 | Last updated: October 10 2006 11:17

For a country which considers itself an energy superpower and which put energy security at the top of the agenda for its presidency of the G8 club of rich industrialised nations, Russia finds itself in a peculiar position.

It has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, but its own industry is suffering from gas shortages. As the world’s second largest oil producer, it has benefited tremendously from high oil prices, yet its oil industry is barely growing.

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Financial Times: US shrugs off setback over gas supplies

By FT Reporters
Published: October 10 2006 21:23 | Last updated: October 10 2006 21:23

US officials said on Tuesday they were continuing to work towards agreement on Russian entry to the World Trade Organisation, in spite of Gazprom’s decision to develop the huge Shtokman natural gas field on its own and snub potential foreign partners.

The Shtokman decision – which will see Gazprom selling most of the gas to Europe and not the US, as originally planned – has cast a shadow over US-Russia WTO talks in Geneva this week.

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By Dino Mahtani
Published: October 11 2006 03:00 | Last updated: October 11 2006 03:00

Gunmen yesterday invaded an oil facility operated by Royal Dutch Shell in the southern Niger Delta, taking 60 people hostage and forcing the company to shut down 12,000 barrels a day of oil output, writes Dino Mahtani.

Security sources said the invasion of the Nun river facility appeared to be a dispute between members of the Oporoma community in the southern state of Bayelsa rather than a militant operation.

Disputes between local people and oil companies are frequent in the delta, fuelled by poverty and neglect of local communities by state governments.

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The Moscow Times: President Supports Shift on Shtokman

Wednesday, October 11, 2006. Issue 3516. Page 1.

By Catherine Belton
Staff Writer

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday threw his backing behind Gazprom’s sudden decision to go it alone in developing the vast Shtokman gas field, saying foreign oil majors could still participate — as long as Gazprom was the sole owner.

“Russia has decided to develop this field independently,” Putin said after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dresden, Interfax reported. “We will be the sole subsoil user and owner of the field, but we do not rule out inviting foreign companies for joint work on development or doing part of the gas liquefaction process and marketing it in third countries.”

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