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Posts on ‘October 24th, 2006’

Daily Telegraph: Browne predicts wave of mergers in oil industry

Lord Browne
(BP chief executive, Lord Browne: ‘There are an awful lot of players and I guess the sector will change shape’)

By Russell Hotten, Industry Editor
25 October 2006

Lord Browne, the chief executive of BP, predicted a wave of consolidation in the oil and gas industry as falling prices led companies to re-assess the finances of their exploration and development activities.
 
Speaking as he unveiled a small rise in the company’s third-quarter net profits, Lord Browne said oil prices would continue downward. “A lot of supply is coming on to the market. We are not suggesting a crash, but more of a moderation.”

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The Moscow Times: ‘The scandal surrounding Sakhalin’

Headline: Rendering Sharing Agreements Unproductive

Wednesday, October 25, 2006. Issue 3526. Page 9.
By Mikhail Subbotin

At a news conference last week, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said there were no grounds for annulling existing production sharing agreements, or PSAs, in Russia. But apart from earlier ecological concerns, a rise in the projected cost of developing the Sakhalin-2 project to $1.6 billion is also causing problems.

The scandal surrounding Sakhalin once again demonstrates not only the government’s lack of understanding when it comes to the idea of the inviolability of contracts, but in the area of direct investment in resource development in general.

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The Times: The right moment for a buyout

October 24, 2006
By Carl Motishead
 
IT IS a big play on dear oil, but Shell chose its moment well, offering to buy out the Canadian minority investors just after the Shell Canada share price had slumped by more than a quarter in value.

This is a company that rode high on the oil sands hysteria, its share price soaring to C$47 in January, only to tumble to $29. 
 
Canadian investors have been dumping oil sands stocks, scared by the potential squeeze from escalating costs and the falling oil price.

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Irish Independent: Coming home to roost at Bellanaboy

Published: Oct 24, 2006

I note that you seem to proffer some praise to Dr Jerry Cowley TD for his efforts in trying to clear a way for workers to get on to the Bellanaboy Gas Terminal (Irish Independent, October 21). Tribute was paid to the same deputy by a senior Garda officer in the area. I also noted that Dr Cowley was heckled by some of the imports into the place. Now, having watched the situation for some time, I am wary of people who have helped bring about a situation and perhaps created a Frankenstein monster trying to control a situation when it gets out of hand. Chickens do come home to roost. Dr Cowley also calls on the Government for “talks”. I would remind him that Peter Cassells, one of our foremost negotiators tried his best in this dispute and came up against a stone wall. The Garda operation, however expensive must continue, and the Government cannot yield. BRENDAN CAFFERTY, BALLINA, CO MAYO

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Irish Times: Corrib protesters want ‘all options’ discussed

By: Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent, Irish Times
Published: Oct 24, 2006

The Shell to Sea campaign has said it has always been willing to enter into discussions with Shell E&P Ireland on the Corrib gas project if such discussions include all options for the project.

Campaign spokesman Dr Mark Garavan was responding to last weekend’s appeal by Shell E&P Ireland’s deputy managing director Terry Nolan for dialogue, after three weeks of protests near the Corrib gas terminal site in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo.

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Financial Post (Canada): Investors snub $40 offer from Shell: Shell Canada minority: ‘They are very clearly being opportunistic’

Published: Oct 24, 2006

CALGARY – Minority shareholders of Shell Canada Ltd. have given a thumbs down to Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s offer yesterday to pay $7.7-billion in cash for the remaining piece of its Canadian unit.

“I don’t think $40 is going to be the number,” said Len Racioppo, president of Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., which owns 29.5 million shares, or about 17% of the minority stake.

“They are very clearly being opportunistic,” he said, noting the offer comes at a time of low natural gas prices and after Shell Canada announced high costs for a large oilsands expansion this summer that contributed to a sector-wide correction in share prices.

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AFX Europe (Focus): Northern Petroleum and ExxonMobil Shell unit start drilling at Dutch well

Published: Oct 24, 2006

LONDON (AFX) – Northern Petroleum PLC said drilling at its first Netherlands-based exploration well, Steenwijk, in partnership with the joint Shell and ExxonMobil unit Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V., began on October 22, ahead of schedule.

newsdesk@afxnews.com gp COPYRIGHT Copyright AFX News Limited 2006. All rights reserved.

BBC Monitoring Service: Nigerian environment activist group supports new UN assessment of oil spills

BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom
Published: Oct 24, 2006

Text of report by Kelvin Ebiri entitled “MOSOP welcomes fresh UN assessment of oil spills” published by Nigerian newspaper The Guardian website on 24 October

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says it would support any environmental clean up within the framework of subsisting recommendations of both the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Fact Finding Team to Ogoni and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Nigeria.

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London Evening Standard: Shell at key stage over Sakhalin future

By: Bill Condie, Evening Standard – London: KRTBN
Published: Oct 24, 2006

As BP today unveiled its problems, its great rival Shell was preparing for a crunch meeting with Russia’s Minister for Natural Resources.

Yuri Trutnev will tomorrow fly the length of the Sakhalin project pipeline which is at the centre of threats to the viability of Royal Dutch Shell’s massive gas project in Russia’s far east.

Sakhalin 2 has been delayed after licences were revoked on charges that environmental rules were being disregarded. But sceptics say those claims are trumped up as part of a bid by Moscow to grab a greater share of the project for Russia’s gas giant Gazprom.

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Daily Mail (London): Shell moves to control costs in Canada buyout: BP Shell mega merger?

Published: Oct 24, 2006

Royal Dutch Shell is taking control of its Canadian venture as it tries to stem massive budget overruns. The firm, which has been plagued by spiralling costs across the world, will spend GBP3.6bn of its acquisitions war chest buying out its Canadian minority shareholders.

Shell, which already owns 78pc of Shell Canada, is offering C$40 (GBP18.95) a share for the rest, 22pc more than last week’s closing price.

The move underlines the growing importance to Shell (down 3p at 1763p) of the oil sands in Alberta in Canada, which could contain the world’s biggest source of recoverable oil after Saudi Arabia.

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Daily Mail (London): BP Shell supermerger?

By: Alex Brummer, Daily Mail – London: KRTBN
Published: Oct 24, 2006

The oil price has slipped back below $60 a barrel despite the OPEC decision to cut back production. But this is proving no disincentive to the big oil players as they scramble to find new reserves.

Rather than explore themselves it is sometimes easier to let others deal with the searching and political risk and pick up assets through the stock market.

Shell, which is struggling in Russia’s Sakhalin field against surging costs and an increasingly mercurial Putin government, is opting for the calm of the Canadian wilderness for its latest investment. It is offering to buy up the 22pc minority in Shell Canada for GBP18.95 per share, or GBP3.6bn.

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London Evening Standard: City Spy column

Published: Oct 24, 2006

SHELL’S DECISION to increase its exposure to Canada’s oil-sands deposits is unlikely to meet with the approval of those who have long been critical of the oil giant’s environmental record.

As well as strip-mining the deposits, extracting crude from the oil shale is so energy-intensive that natural-gas-powered refineries have traditionally been needed as part of the process. However, the price of gas is also rising, so the latest plan somewhat incredibly envisages building nuclear power plants in the Alberta wilderness to provide the power to help extract the oil.

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