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Posts on ‘October 21st, 2006’

Daily Mail (UK): Russia hits Shell with demand for backtaxes

RUSSIA’S authorities opened a second front in their challenge to Shell, slapping a demand for back taxes on the Salym field in Siberia, one of the country’s largest onshore fields.

Local reports put the claim at ‘more than $10m’ (£5.4m). Shell (down 3p to 1817p) owns Salym with Sibir Energy. The Salym operating company said it would dispute the claim.

Shell is already under fire at the huge Sakhalin project, where costs have soared to £10.6bn. The higher they rise, the longer Russia must wait for revenues. read more

Daily Express (UK): Russia v Shell: again

Saturday 21 October 2006

ROYAL Dutch Shell faces a new battle with Russia after receiving a bill for unpaid taxes at its Salym joint venture with Sibir Energy in Siberia.

Shell, already at loggerheads with Russia over alleged environmental breaches at the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project, said it would fight the bill in court. The Hans Bouman, Engel van Spronsen Sakhalin II emails published here on Monday

Sakhalin II: A potential environmental calamity?

Subject to legal injunction, candid e-mails between Hans Bouman, a natural-gas field manager, and Engel Van Spronsen, in his then capacity as Sakhalin Energy’s technical director, will be published here on Monday 23 October 2006. Both gentleman are now retired.

Some months ago we became aware from Shell insiders of a treasure trove of “Hans” Bouman” emails which have been widely circulated as collector items by Shell insiders because of their outspoken, prophetic and eloquent content.   read more

Sakhalin II: Apocalypse Now?

The Times: Putin rejects EU demand to open up gas supplies


Saturday 21 October 2006

From David Charter in Lahti
A DEFIANT President Putin defended his hardline attitude towards Georgia and his refusal to open up Russian energy supplies against a series of complaints from EU leaders over their summit dinner last night.

The Russian leader refused to sign an energy agreement with the EU that would involve greater openness from his country but pledged to work towards a longer term pact that he said would address Europe’s concerns.

In the face of strongly worded criticism over the dramatic worsening of Russian relations with Georgia, Mr Putin told the 25 European heads of government gathered in Lahti, Finland, that the problem was not of his making and insisted that he wanted to avoid bloodshed. 
Invited to the one-day summit dinner for an informal discussion, the Russian leader wrongfooted his hosts with opening remarks in which he challenged them to ask him anything, whether connected to their agenda of energy security or not. read more

The Times: Sakhalin decision

Saturday 21 October 2006

Russia is to decide on the budget for the Shell-led Sakhalin-2 oil and and gas project by December, Andrei Dementyev, Russia’s deputy energy minister, said.

Shell has infuriated Russian officials with multibillion-dollar cost overruns on the project.

Daily Telegraph: Energy Database: Saturday 21 October 2006

• Royal Dutch Shell and its partners in Sakhalin-2 will get a chance to repair environmental damage caused by the $22bn oil and gas venture, Russia’s natural resources minister said, as the government softens a campaign to increase control over the development.

• British Energy’s shares fell as much as 5.3pc after the company’s biggest shareholder, Deutsche Bank, sold part of its stake.

• Shares of Ramco Energy, a Scottish oil and gas explorer, jumped as much as 30pc after the company said a Texas court upheld a legal decision freeing it from paying damages in a legal dispute. read more

The Guardian: EU clash on warning to Putin over gas supplies

· Compromise after France and Germany disagree
· Foreign investments must be secure, Russia told

Nicholas Watt in Lahti
Saturday October 21, 2006

Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel clashed yesterday on how to deal with Vladimir Putin as European leaders tried to hammer out a common approach on the EU’s relations with Russia.

Hours before President Putin took centre stage at an EU summit in Lahti the leaders of France and Germany disagreed on the strength of a warning to Russia after gas supplies were cut last winter. read more

UPI: Geologist: Earth has lots and lots of oil

SPOKANE, Wash., Oct. 20 (UPI) — A University of Washington economic geologist says there is lots of crude oil left for human use.

Eric Cheney said Friday in a news release that changing economics, technological advances and efforts such as recycling and substitution make the world’s mineral resources virtually infinite.

For instance, oil deposits unreachable 40 years ago can be tapped using improved technology, and oil once too costly to extract from tar sands, organic matter or coal is now worth manufacturing. Though some resources might be costlier now, they still are needed. read more

RIA Novosti: Sakhalin II problem can be resolved by talks – Putin

President Putin

10:37 | 21/ 10/ 2006

LAHTI (Finland), October 21 (RIA Novosti) – The problem around the giant Sakhalin II oil and gas project on Russia’s largest Far East island may be resolved through talks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

“We believe that we should sit at the [negotiation] table and seek an agreement. We are convinced that we will find a resolution,” Putin told a news conference following an informal EU summit.

He said the Sakhalin II project is facing not only ecological problems, because foreign investors are demanding a two-fold increase in their spending. read more

AlterNet: Bush’s Petro-Cartel Almost Has Iraq’s Oil

Parts One & 2

By Joshua Holland, AlterNet. October 2006.

Even as Iraq verges on splintering into a sectarian civil war, four big oil companies are on the verge of locking up its massive, profitable reserves, known to everyone in the petroleum industry as “the prize.”

Iraq is sitting on a mother lode of some of the lightest, sweetest, most profitable crude oil on earth, and the rules that will determine who will control it and on what terms are about to be set.

The Iraqi government faces a December deadline, imposed by the world’s wealthiest countries, to complete its final oil law. Industry analysts expect that the result will be a radical departure from the laws governing the country’s oil-rich neighbors, giving foreign multinationals a much higher rate of return than with other major oil producers and locking in their control over what George Bush called Iraq’s “patrimony” for decades, regardless of what kind of policies future elected governments might want to pursue. read more

The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 20, 2006 4:43 p.m.

October 20, 2006 4:43 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled nearly $2 a barrel, settling at less than $57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, despite OPEC’s bigger-than-expected promise of a production cut, raising doubts about the cartel’s ability to influence prices. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
PUSHING PUTIN: European Union leaders said they would push Russian President Vladimir Putin to commit to a new, legally binding energy partnership that would ensure supplies of oil and gas for Europe. After a one-day summit to forge a united front, the 25 EU leaders sat down to a potentially tense working dinner with Mr. Putin, eager to secure oil and gas from resource-rich Russia but concerned about its reliability as a source. read more

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