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Posts on ‘October 14th, 2006’

The Voice of Russia: GAZPROM TO PLAY BIG OFF SAKHALIN

Saturday 14 October 2006
 
Japan’s leading corporations fully endorse the idea of Russia’s Gazprom giant joining the Sakhalin 2 project. A statement to this effect has just been made by representatives of Mitsui and Mitsubishi companies both of which have a stake in the joint venture to extract oil and gas of Russia’s Far Eastern island of Sakhalin.

According to Japanese media reports. Mitsui and Mitsubishi could respectively sell 3 and 2 percent of their stakes in the Sakhalin 2 project to Russia’s gas monopoly. Gazprom, for its part, is now in talks to acquire a 20% stake in the project’s biggest shareholder Royal Dutch Shell in exchange for giving the Anglo-Dutch giant a share in another major project in Russia. If Gazprom has its way, it could accumulate a 25% stake and become the second biggest shareholder in the Sakhalin 2 project after Shell.

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The Wall Street Journal: Crude Climbs On Norway Outage, OPEC Plans

EXTRACTS: In Norway, authorities shut down three offshore oil fields that together produce 280,000 barrels a day, as a result of a lack of approved lifeboats.

Norwegian state-controlled Statoil ASA shut down the 115,000-barrel-a-day Snorre A and the 85,000-barrel-a-day Vigdis fields, while Royal Dutch Shell PLC halted production at the 80,000-barrel-a-day Draugen field. Statoil said work to repair the lifeboats will start as soon as possible.

THE ARTICLE

By MASOOD FARIVAR
October 14, 2006; Page B5

Crude-oil futures were lifted higher for a second straight session Friday by news of a production shutdown in Norway and plans by OPEC to cut output.

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The Wall Street Journal: Norway’s Statoil Is Fined by SEC Over Iran Affair

EXTRACT: Separately, Norwegian safety officials upheld an order to shut down two offshore oil platforms, owned by Statoil and Norske Shell ASA, the Norwegian branch of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, because of defects in their lifeboat systems. The order will delay production of about 280,000 barrels per day of oil, or some 10% of the production that makes Norway the world’s third-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

THE ARTICLE

By IAN TALLEY
October 14, 2006; Page A8

The Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department levied a $21 million fine against Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA for a payment it made in 2002 to win development of a critical Iranian petroleum project.

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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 13, 2006 4:49 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
October 13, 2006 4:49 p.m.

Oil prices surged again, settling at $58.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on news of a production shutdown in Norway and OPEC plans to cut production. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
ANGOLA’S OIL BOOM: Chevron’s $2.3 billion Benguela Belize oil platform, dwarfing the Statue of Liberty at 1,680 feet, is a testament to Africa’s growing importance in an energy-hungry world fearful of dependence on the explosive Middle East and to Angola’s growing importance within Africa. Angola is the latest example of the growth of oil in Africa – and of its potential to both help and hurt, the Associated Press reports.

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The Times: Norwegian lifeboat failures push up price of crude oil

October 14, 2006
By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor
 
THE discovery by safety regulators of faulty lifeboats on two Norwegian oil production platforms pushed the price of crude oil above $59 per barrel yesterday.

Statoil is closing the Snorre A platform for between seven and ten days and Shell said that it would close its Draugen facility for up to two weeks for repairs. Together, the two oilfields produced about 280,000 barrels per day, representing 13 per cent of Norway’s total output of 2.2 million barrels per day.
 
The price of Brent crude gained $1 yesterday on the London futures market to $59.73, buoyed by an imminent Norwegian production cut and further indications that Opec would implement a one million barrel per day reduction in output.

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Daily Telegraph: Database: Energy: Saturday 14 October 2006

• A protester trying to prevent workers from entering the site of a Royal Dutch Shell natural-gas terminal in western Ireland was injured and taken to a hospital, according to a member of the protest group.

• Russia and Kazakhstan will set up joint ventures in nuclear energy, pooling as much as $10bn of assets to prepare for a global resurgence in atomic power.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/10/14/cxbloom14.xml

Irish Times: Russian government considers stripping licences from Lukoil

EXTRACT: Markets were sceptical that Russian environmental authorities, who have waged a fierce campaign against Royal Dutch Shell’s giant Sakhalin-2 project, would actually remove licences from a Russian oil giant.

THE ARTICLE

Oct 14, 2006

Russia’s government, keen to show it is not only targeting foreigners for environmental breaches, said yesterday it might strip up to 19 licences from domestic giant Lukoil.

Russia’s outspoken environmental watchdog Oleg Mitvol led the criticism of the nation’s top oil firm while on a trip to the Arctic north of the Komi republic in western Russia, where Lukoil is active.

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Irish Times: Protests over Mayo pipeline

Oct 14, 2006

Madam, – Joe Murray, co-ordinator of the NGO Afri (October 11th), repeats known untruths about Shell.

Ken Saro Wiwa and eight colleagues were arrested and – after a rigged trial – executed in 1995 by Nigeria’s brutal military dictatorship of the day, not for “trying to protect their people and land” [ from Shell], but for inciting the murder of four elders from their own Ogoni tribe who did not agree with their (largely anti-Shell) activities. Shell had no hand in their fate, and was horrified by it. To suggest collusion is, quite simply, a grievous calumny.

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Irish Times: Corrib protesters detained as unrest continues

Oct 14, 2006
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

Two people detained in Belmullet, Co Mayo, yesterday in relation to a complaint about intimidation over the Shell Corrib gas project were released last night and a file is to be sent to the DPP.

The two, a man in his sixties and a woman in her thirties, were arrested and taken to Belmullet Garda station yesterday afternoon and were detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Chief Supt Tony McNamara, head of the Mayo Garda division, confirmed that the arrests were related to a complaint of intimidation which gardaI in Belmullet were investigating. He described the complaint as the most serious of a number of similar complaints lodged over the protests at Bellanaboy.

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Irish Independent: Protester injured in Shell site incident

Oct 14, 2006

A LEADING Shell-To-Sea protester who was injured when gardai tried to prevent demonstrators from blocking a road last night accused officers of being heavy-handed.

Campaigner Maura Harrington suffered a head injury as the early morning blockade at the entrance to the Bellanaboy refinery site in Co Mayo.

She fell to the ground and hit her head as around 30 gardai moved in to prevent protesters from blocking the road.

Ms Harrington was treated at the scene by fellow protester and Independent TD Dr Jerry Cowley before being taken to Castlebar Hospital suffering from concussion.

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Financial Times: Contract killers return to Russia: (‘with the state moving back into business… the lucrative energy and commodities sectors… violence could increase’)

By Neil Buckley in Moscow

Published: October 14 2006 03:00 | Last updated: October 14 2006 03:00

Do four contract killings in a month – including a senior central bank official and a crusading investigative journalist – show Russia is reverting to its “Wild East” days of the 1990s?

Experts on Russian crime see no return to the bloody quasi-anarchy of a decade ago, when rival criminal gangs waged a gun battle on a Moscow housing estate, and another lobbed an artillery shell into a downtown clinic to settle a score. But they warn that contract killings, which declined in the early years of this decade, are making a comeback – and likely to get worse.

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