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Posts from ‘January, 2007’

The Wall Street Journal: EU Targets Oil Firms In a Fresh Attempt To Reduce Emissions

By JULIANE VON REPPERT-BISMARCK
January 31, 2007 5:56 p.m.

BRUSSELS — The European Commission opened a second front in its fight against climate change with a call for binding rules that will force oil refiners to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicle fuel 10% by 2020.

The commission is facing resistance from Europe’s auto industry and national governments over a plan to cut emissions from new cars. Now it is picking a potential fight with oil companies.

If endorsed by European Union governments, the law will take effect in 2011, EU officials said. The plan represents another step toward the commission’s goal to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels by increasing the use of biofuels and curb the economic impact of global warming.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: OIL NEWS ROUNDUP: January 31, 2007 4:03 p.m.

Crude-oil futures surged to a new four-week high Wednesday after U.S. government data showed distillate inventories, which include heating oil, fell more than expected amid continued forecasts for cold U.S. weather.

Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
CNOOC UNDER PRESSURE: Domestic production troubles are putting pressure on Cnooc to raid its multibillion-dollar war chest and make an acquisition, but potential targets are unlikely to come cheap despite the recent fall in oil prices. China’s largest offshore oil producer by output is facing a shrinking field of midsize companies that it could buy following a flurry of corporate activity globally in the past year. It may have to content itself with bidding for producing fields that come with neither the prestige it wants nor significant size, analysts say.

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The Scotsman: Billionaire, benefactor … but is Bill Gates a force for good?

Bill Gates

EXTRACT: An investigation of companies in which the foundation invests £16.8 billion led to accusations that it was profiting from firms whose activities contribute to the problems, such as poverty, debt and disease, that it was trying to solveIN EARLY January an investigation by the Los Angeles Times found that the foundation had invested over £254 million in oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total, whose practices are being blamed for causing health concerns in Nigeria; problems the Gates Foundation is contributing money to solve.

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RIA Novosti: Decision on holding to develop offshore deposits possible in Q1

19:01 | 31/ 01/ 2007 

ST. PETERSBURG, January 31 (RIA Novosti) – A decision on whether to set up a state holding to oversee the development of Russia’s offshore oil and gas deposits could be made in the first three months of 2007, a deputy natural resources minister said Wednesday.

Russia has moved to tighten state control over its mineral resources in recent years, cutting foreign participation in the oil and gas sector. State-controlled giants Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] and Rosneft [RTS: ROSN] have been appointed to control all hydrocarbon deposits on the continental shelf.

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The Times: Mirror, mirror on the wall, how can oil plan at all?

January 31, 2007
Carl Mortished: European Briefing
 
Every morning as he brushes his teeth, a European oil company chief is reminded of the big question: is his business more like a tube of toothpaste or a glass of water?

If the latter, his job is to make money by being efficient, to keep the tap flowing, the water clean and the glass adequately replenished. 
 
A glass half-empty or half-full is the conventional view of integrated oil companies. These are utilities: there is plenty of oil and gas about and the job is to invest adequately, not overfilling the glass, in order to maximise the amount of money that flows from the taps and pipes.

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PrimeNewswire.com: CO2 Tech Commissioned to Develop Anti-Global Warming Solutions for Sakhalin II Energy

Project a Joint Venture of Gazprom, Shell, Mitsui & Mitsubishi

LONDON, Jan. 31, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) (PRIMEZONE) — CO2 Tech (Pink Sheets:CTTD) President, Ms. Helga Schotten, today announced that CO2 Tech, a UK-based provider of cutting-edge, anti-global warming technology solutions announced that CO2 was commissioned to perform environmental effects monitoring and analysis and develop environmental solutions to the Sakhalin II Project, one of the largest new energy development projects in the world today.
 
Sakhalin II, one of the biggest new energy developments in the world, is a joint venture operated by Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (SEIC) (owned by OAO Gazprom (Gazprom), Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) and Mitsubishi Corporation (Mitsubishi)). Phase I of the project produces oil from an offshore platform, while Phase II includes two further offshore platforms, 1800 km of pipelines and Russia’s first LNG plant. Peak production is expected to reach 180,000 barrels per day, and 9.6 million tons of LNG per year.

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wfaa.com (Texas): 32 Shell Oil employees hurt in bus-train crash

05:49 AM CST on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

HOUSTON – At least 32 Shell Oil Co. workers were injured early Tuesday when a train collided with a bus carrying contract employees at the company’s Deer Park refinery.

The workers were taken to area hospitals for observation or treatment of injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to a possible hip dislocation, officials said. They said the bus was carrying contract workers to work sites from satellite parking areas and was crossing tracks inside the plant when it was hit by a Port Terminal Rail Authority train.

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Sheffieldtoday.net: Caution for man in gas pipeline protest

A SHEFFIELD man was released with a police caution after mounting a balcony protest at the Irish Embassy in London over plans for a gas pipeline.

The 26-year-old climbed on to the balcony of the ambassador’s office at the Embassy to protest against a controversial Shell gas pipeline in north Co Mayo.

He initially refused to leave but was eventually talked down by police.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A 26-year-old male was questioned under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Act, 1977, for trespassing on a diplomatic premises.

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Associated Press: Russia OKs Draft Bill on Foreign Investors

By ALEX NICHOLSON 01.31.07, 7:13 AM ET  

The Russian government gave tentative approval Wednesday to long-awaited draft legislation that would restrict foreign companies’ access to oil and gas fields and mineral deposits that are deemed strategic.

The new regulations, which will also limit foreign access to over 40 sectors of the economy, such as military hardware, aviation and atomic energy, will for the first time clarify the rules under which foreigners will be allowed to invest in strategic Russian projects.

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Bloomberg: Train Hits Van at Houston Shell Refinery; Dozen Hurt (Update1)

By Barbara Powell

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) — A lone locomotive struck a van carrying Shell Oil Co. contract employees at a refinery near Houston, causing minor injuries to about a dozen workers.

The accident in Deer Park, Texas, occurred about 7:40 a.m on Shell property, company spokeswoman Emily Oberton said. As many as a dozen workers were taken to five hospitals and 20 more were evaluated at the scene by emergency medical personnel, she said.

The Port Terminal Railroad Association reported that a locomotive traveling at 10 miles per hour struck the van after it failed to stop at a railroad crossing, said Felicia Griffin, a spokeswoman for the Port of Houston Authority. There was no rail arm at the at-grade crossing, but there were stop signs, the railroad association said in a statement.

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Western Mail (UK): Welsh firm wins hot contract in Russian oilfield

Jan 31 2007
David Williamson,
 
ONE of Russia’s most ambitious and controversial energy projects will use Welsh fire safety technology in a “seven-figure” link-up with Pontypool-based Flamgard.

Its products will protect staff extracting oil and gas in sub-zero temperatures on the island of Sakhalin, north of Japan.

The $20bn venture made headlines worldwide last month when Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom wrested control of holding company Sakhalin Energy from Anglo-Dutch operator Shell.

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Dow Jones Newswires: US Govt Probe of Shell-Iran Deal May be Sanctions Test Case

By  Ian Talley: WASHINGTON

The U.S. government will likely investigate to see if Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSA) upstream services agreement for a $4.3 billion liquefied natural gas project in southern Iran violates its sanctions laws, a State department spokesman said Monday.

The deal may become the next test case for the State Department, accused by the new Democrat-controlled Congress as having been too lax in applying laws that prohibit investment in Iran.

Current U.S. law bars companies from doing more than $20 million a year in business with Iran, and since the project is likely to exceed the parameters, State Department spokesman Scott McCormack said he “was sure” the government “will take a look at this particular deal.”

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The Australian: US may punish Shell for Iran deal

Ed Crooks, London
January 31, 2007

THE US authorities would “take a look at” a controversial agreement signed by Royal Dutch Shell which could ultimately lead to a multi-billion-dollar investment in Iran, a US State Department official said.

Shell and its partner, Repsol of Spain, have signed a service agreement with the Iranian Government to continue work on developing blocks 13 and 14 of the giant South Pars gas field, despite mounting international pressure over the country’s nuclear program.

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Financial Times: values must still matter to tomorrow’s companies

By Stuart Hampson: Published: January 31 2007 02:00 | Last updated: January 31 2007 02:00

An invitation in 1992 to join a group of leaders from 25 big UK companies to look at the role of business in a changing world would normally have seemed instantly resistible. But the facts that the invitation came from the Royal Society of Arts, that Sir Anthony Cleaver of IBM was chairing the inquiry and that the list of other individuals who had already signed up was impressive all made me think again.I am glad I did.

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Financial Times: Pathfinders to a distant future

By Graham Bowley
Published: January 31 2007 02:00 | Last updated: January 31 2007 02:00

The urge to predict the future goes back to the oracle in the temple at Delphi, to Nostradamus uttering his gnomic quatrains and to the Romans consulting the entrails of slaughtered bulls.

Today, those working in the “futurist” profession glean insights from more earthly sources, such as fringe newspapers, websites and newsletters; from human experts; and from the world around us – which in futurist parlance contains “memories of the future”.

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Indymedia: Irish Embassy protest against Shell Hell

31.01.2007 01:28

Press Release

Today, supporters for the Anti-Shell Campaign took their protest to the Irish Embassy. The action was to target the Irish State; Shell; Statoil and Marathon who are attempting to construct a dangerous and experimental onshore raw gas pipeline and refinery in County Mayo; a beautiful remote part of North West Ireland.

There is massive opposition to this proposed pipeline by the local community, Ireland and internationally. A campaign of direct action against this plan has been ongoing since 2005.

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Sherwood Park News: Explosive chemical leaked from Shell Scotford

No injuries in incident as crews contain vapour to plant site

by Dave S. Clark
Wednesday January 31, 2007

Residents and businesses in northern Strathcona County were in lockdown on Sunday afternoon due to the release of an explosive chemical at the Shell Scotford Upgrader.

According to Erin Carrier, a spokesperson for Alberta Environment, the plant began leaking a chemical called polyethylbenzene. Beverlee Loat, spokesperson for Shell Chemical, said the leak was noticed at about 12:15 p.m.

Carrier said once the release was noticed, Shell enacted its emergency call out system, calling over 185 residents and businesses in the area and notifying them to stay inside in an internal room where there are no windows. Carrier said since the chemical is explosive, all precautions were taken.

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New Straits Times, Malaysia: High seas drama: Helicopter crashes off Bintulu, nine rescued, one missing

Helicopter

31 Jan 2007
Firdaus Abdullah, Dennis Wong and Adrian David

KUCHING: For the second time in three months, a helicopter en route to an offshore oil facility has crashed into the sea, this time off Bintulu.

A 26-year-old technician remains missing while seven others and the Super Puma L2’s two pilots were rescued in choppy waters about 40km out in the South China Sea yesterday.

The high seas drama started when the transport helicopter, chartered by Petronas Carigali and operated by Malaysian Helicopter Services Sdn Bhd (MHS), crashed in bad weather on its way to the B18 platform in the Bayan Balingian oilfield.

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UPI: Oil tech missing after chopper crash

KUCHING, Malaysia, (UPI) — A technician was missing after a helicopter carrying employees to offshore oil drilling platforms crashed Tuesday in the South China Sea off Malaysia.

Seven passengers and two pilots were rescued, the New Straits Times reported. The missing man was identified as Irwan Fasla Aini Salihin, a technician with a Petronas contractor.

The crash occurred in stormy weather with high winds and waves. The passenger might have failed to escape from the helicopter before it sank or have been swept away after getting out.

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Nine Injured, One Missing In Malaysian Helicopter Crash

Nine people were injured and one remains missing after a helicopter carrying staff of Malaysian national oil company Petronas crashed in deep seas off the eastern state of Sarawak on Borneo, reports said Wednesday.

The Super Puma L2 helicopter, carrying 10 people including two pilots, was reported to have crashed Tuesday en route to an oil platform, the official Bernama news agency said.

Nine occupants on board the chopper survived the crash, but one passenger remains missing, the report said.

“When the helicopter crashed into the sea, seven of the workers and the pilots scrambled out before the it sank,” a source was quoted as saying by the Star daily.

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The Guardian: Campaigners urge Shell to put profits into clean-up

· Green groups put firm’s damage bill at $20bn
· Record earning ‘should go to local communities’

Terry Macalister
Wednesday January 31, 2007

Record annual profits to be announced by Shell tomorrow should be used towards paying off a bill estimated at more than $20bn (£10bn) for the damage caused by its oil activities to local communities and the wider environment, according to an alliance of human rights and green groups including Friends of the Earth (FoE).

High crude prices mean the Anglo-Dutch oil company is expected to show earnings of $25bn, up 17%. It has left in its wake a legacy of oil spills, air pollution and residents who pay the price of its operations while gaining few of the financial benefits, claims a report today from the FoE-led Shell Accountability Campaign.

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CSRwire: Royal Dutch Shell: Use your profits to clean up your mess

01/30/2007: Press Release from Global Community Monitor

New report about damage to the environment and communities caused by Shell

(CSRwire) SAN FRANCISCO, CA (USA) / AMSTERDAM (The Netherlands) / LONDON (UK) – January 31, 2007 – A new report, launched the day before oil giant Shell announces its 2006 annual profits (on 1 February 2007) calls on Shell to use the profits to begin cleaning up damage it has caused to communities and the environment. The report offers proposals and figures for where and how Shell should repair some of the damage it has caused in nine communities around the world.

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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. May Probe Shell Gas Deal

Investment in Iran
Likely Exceeds Limit
Set by Sanctions Law
By IAN TALLEY
January 31, 2007

WASHINGTON — The U.S. will likely investigate whether Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s upstream services agreement for a $4.3 billion liquefied-natural-gas project in southern Iran violates its sanctions laws, a State Department spokesman said.

U.S. law bars companies from doing more than $20 million a year in business with Iran, and since the project is likely to exceed that, State Department spokesman Scott McCormack said he “was sure” the government “will take a look at this particular deal.”

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The Wall Street Journal: Congress Gets Hot Over Iran Deals: Shell… ‘must be held accountable’

January 30, 2007, 8:34 pm

Some prominent lawmakers want the Bush administration to get tough with European and Asian companies moving ahead with big investment deals in Iran’s lucrative oil and gas industry, the backbone of the country’s economy. Royal Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol are the latest companies to announce possible multi-billion dollar exploration deals in Iran — in their case a potential $4.3 billion liquefied-natural-gas project in the south of the country.

The State Department says it is looking into the proposed Shell-Repsol deal, which could run afoul of the Iran Freedom Support Act, a law that calls for sanctions against any companies investing over $20 million in Iran’s oil and gas industry. A similar law has been in place since the late 1990s, but neither the Clinton nor Bush administrations have sanctioned companies operating in Iran.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: January 30, 2007 4:07 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose more than 5% to a three-week high of nearly $57 a barrel, boosted by colder U.S. weather and looming OPEC production cuts.

Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
EMERGENCY GLOBAL-WARMING SESSION: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is planning an emergency meeting of world leaders in September to discuss global warming, the Financial Times reports. Among the discussions will be finding a successor treaty to the Kyoto protocol, due to expire in 2012.

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The Moscow Times: Rosneft and Gazprom Put Their Feud Aside

Tuesday, January 30, 2007. Issue 3585. Page 1.
By Miriam Elder
Staff Writer

Recent partnership deals between Rosneft and Gazprom have paved the way for major shifts in the energy industry that will further squeeze out foreign oil majors while enabling a much-needed boost in production, analysts say.

The two state-owned companies have emerged from the dust of a failed merger that collapsed in May 2005 amid an acrimonious struggle over who would snatch up the main production unit of bankrupt Yukos, and now appear ready to put their feuding behind them.

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Videotaped Deposition of former Chief Executive of Shell Exploration & Production Walter van de Vijver

National Post (Canada): Swift action cut costs in giant

oilpatch deal

SCOTIAWATEROUS CNQ paid US$4B for Anadarko’s Canadian assets
BY SCOTT DEVEAU Financial Post [email protected]

The brevity of a deal is sometimes as important as the price, and that certainly was the case with the largest oil and gas acquisition in Canada last year.

The breakneck pace in which Canadian NaturalResources Inc.’s “swat team” of evaluators put together its US$4-billion offer for Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s Canadian assets last year wound up undercutting the advertised price by about US$1-billion, according to Adam Waterous, president and head of ScotiaWaterous, which acted as financial adviser for Canadian Naturalon the deal.

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Calgary Herald: Russian watchdog alleges ‘violations’ at BP gasfield

20 January 2007

Claims raise fear oil firm will lose control of project
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Russia’s environmental watchdog alleged on Monday violations in the huge Siberian gasfield run by a unit of BP, raising fears that the British oil major could lose control of the project.

“We asked for information on (gasfield) Kovykta. . . . We received this information and they showed that one point of the licence was not adhered to,” Rosprirodnadzor deputy head Oleg Mitvol said.

He said the gasfield, run by a unit of TNK-BP, which in turn is 50 per cent owned by BP and 50 per cent owned by Russia’s Alfa Access Renova, would be inspected in March.

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THE HINDU: Energy war

EXTRACT: SAKHALIN-2 TAKEOVER: In December, Gazprom ousted Royal Dutch Shell from its leading position in Asia’s biggest energy project, Sakhalin-2. Faced with multi-billion-dollar legal actions and licence recall over environmental damage, Royal Dutch Shell and its two partners, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, agreed to sell just over 50 per cent of their shares to Gazprom. With the takeover of Sakhalin-2, the better part of the Russian oil and gas sector reverted to government control.

THE ARTICLE 

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The Age (Australia) : Shell Iran deal revives BHP pipedream

EXTRACTS: THE lure of Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves has proved too tempting for Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell… But Washington’s tough line over petroleum investment in Iran means it will be hard for companies to maintain operations in the US.  John Browne, chief executive of rival BP has bowed to US pressure and will not invest in Iran — he is concerned about compromising his company’s US interests.

Mark Hawthorne
Wednesday January 31, 2007

THE lure of Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves has proved too tempting for Repsol and Royal Dutch Shell, which are negotiating to build a $US4.3 billion ($A5.6 billion) liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and port terminal at the country’s South Pars gas field by the end of the year.

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ChinaView: Shell Helicopter crashes in South China Sea

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — A helicopter carrying 10 oil rig workers and two pilots crashed in the South China Sea offshore Bintulu in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak on Tuesday afternoon.

The website of Malaysia’s English-language newspaper The Star said that nine of the workers had found alive, one was missing, while the fate of the pilots remained unknown so far.

Sarawak Shell had dispatched a search and rescue team to the spot where the incident took place.   
  
www.chinaview.cn 2007-01-30 19:29:57

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BBC News: In pictures: Delta artists

BBC Nigeria article

“I call this piece of sculpture Shell or Hell because [oil giant] Shell has done nothing but bring hell to the people of the Niger Delta,” says sculptor Pius Waritimi.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 12:25 GMT 

For the complete article go to…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6313035.stm

THE CALIFORNIA GASOLINE CRISIS: (with a related letter to Shell Oil President, John Hofmeister)

Why Californians Pay More at the Pump
And How True Reforms Will Help
California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association
1202 Grant Avenue, Suite B-1
Novato, California 94945
(415) 892-1243
www.CSSARA.org
________________________________________
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Executive Summary
I. HOW THE CALIFORNIA MARKET OPERATES TODAY
II. COST TO CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES
III. OIL COMPANY PROFITS
IV. OTHER STATES ARE ACTING
V. SOLUTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA
VI. OIL COMPANIES OPPOSE REFORM
Appendix A: You Can’t Believe Any Claim Made by the Oil Companies
Appendix B: QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Executive Summary
 
A Gallon of Gas in California
Costs 30-40 Cents More than US Average
 
Source: American Automobile Association, 4-4-03.

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Rigzone.com: Shell Offers Farm-In Opportunity Offshore Brazil

Monday, January 29, 2007 

Shell Brasil Ltda. formally announces the opening of a Data Room for block BMS-31, Santos Basin, Brazil. The block is in shallow water (500m), contains a near term drilling opportunity, and greater than 1,000MMbbls potential.

BMS-31 contains a drill-ready prospect with primary objective volumes estimated at 560MMbbls (STOIIP) of light oil. In addition, a number of follow-up prospects have been identified. Total unrisked recoverable volumes on the block are greater than 1,000MMbbls STOIIP.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 30, 2007 12:37 a.m.

Crude-oil futures fell to $54 Monday after Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S. implied prices aren’t too low for the oil-producing kingdom, fueling speculation OPEC won’t attempt extra production cuts to buoy prices.

Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

* * *
SAUDIS TO PARE OUTPUT AGAIN: Saudi Arabia is cutting oil output by an additional 158,000 barrels a day, part of a broader campaign by OPEC to shrink inventories and shore up prices. After the cuts take effect Feb .1, Saudi production will have declined by about a million barrels a day since last summer, a senior Saudi oil official said.

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EarthTimes.org: Energy Watch: Gazprom mulls building a refinery for Iranian oil

By ANDREA R. MIHAILESCU

Neft said it is considering constructing a $1.7 billion oil refinery with a capacity of 7 million tons of oil annually in Armenia near the border with Iran.

The cost of the transportation infrastructure could cost an additional $1 billion.Industry analysts say that the project has little economic incentive; instead, there could possibly be political considerations behind the project. The project would provide significant political dividends.

Local reports said Armenia’s interest in the refinery is obvious. After relations between Moscow and Tbilisi deteriorated and Georgia adopted a pro-NATO and pro-U.S. position, Russia, which is its main strategic partner and sponsor, threatened to cut Armenia off.

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MosNews: Russian Economy, Energy Ministries Oppose Iranian Gas Cartel Proposal

Created: 30.01.2007 09:01 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 09:01 MSK

Russia’s Economy and Industry and Energy Ministries see no economic justification for Iranian Supreme Leader’s suggestion to create an international natural gas cartel.

As MosNews has reported yesterday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spoke in favor of setting up “a cooperation organization in the gas sphere, similar to OPEC”. Khamenei pointed out that together Iran and Russia hold about half of the world’s gas reserves.

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The Globe & Mail: Shell’s move away from gas refining gains pace with sale

Reuters News Agency

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it is selling its Los Angeles refinery and related assets to Tesoro Corp. for $1.63-billion (U.S.) as the Anglo American oil giant further reduces its exposure to the refining industry.

Tesoro chief executive officer Bruce Smith said the purchase will give the company profit growth even as it faces flatter gasoline margins.

The deal also includes 250 California service stations in and around Los Angeles and San Diego as well as supply agreements. Tesoro, which is based in San Antonio, Tex., expects to complete the deal in the second quarter of 2007.

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ThisDayOnline (Nigeria): Supreme Court Orders Shell to Pay Firm N6.6bn

By Davidson Iriekpen, 01.30.2007
 
The Supreme Court has ordered Shell Trustees Limited (STL), a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), to pay a construction firm, Bill Construction Company Limited (BCCL), the sum of N6.6 billion in damages for a breach of contractual agreement between them.

Besides, three banks (First Bank of Nigeria, Platinum Habib Bank Plc and Intercontinental Bank) which had in custody N6,618,178,640.80 belonging to Shell were ordered to release same to the construction company.

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Financial Times: Shell Iran plan will come under US scrutiny

By Ed Crooks in London
Published: January 29 2007 23:39 | Last updated: January 29 2007 23:39

The US authorities will “take a look at” a controversial agreement signed over the weekend by Royal Dutch Shell that could ultimately lead to a multi-billion dollar investment in Iran, a US State Department official said.

Shell and its partner Repsol of Spain have signed a service agreement, as reported in the Financial Times last week, with the Iranian government to continue work on developing blocks 13 and 14 of the giant South Pars gas field, in spite of mounting international pressure over the country’s nuclear programme.

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The Guardian: Shell defies American pressure and signs £5bn Iranian gas deal

Terry Macalister
Tuesday January 30, 2007

Shell has signed an important deal to help Iran develop a major gas field, ignorming growing pressure from George Bush to isolate the country for being part of what he alleges is an “axis of evil”.

The Anglo-Dutch group, which is struggling to bring more momentum to its business after being forced to hand over vital Russian reserves at Sakhalin island to the Kremlin, confirmed it had finally reached agreement on various aspects of its “Persian LNG” – liquefied natural gas – project centred on the South Pars gas field.

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Daily Telegraph: Russia to review gas field licences

By Russell Hotten
Last Updated: 12:44am GMT 30/01/2007

Russia’s official environment agency is to review the operation of licences that allow TNK-BP to develop the giant Kovykta gas field, where Gazprom, the state-run energy company, is negotiating to become a partner.

Although the agency has not made recommendations about withdrawing the licences, the issue has echoes of the environmental crackdown on Shell over its Sakhalin-2 development.

Gazprom and Russian authorities have withheld approval of plans to build a gas pipeline from Kovykta to China, a move felt necessary to make development of the field economically viable.

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Daily Telegraph: Shell deal in Iran faces US sanctions

By Russell Hotten
Last Updated: 12:44am GMT 30/01/2007

A proposed agreement between Royal Dutch Shell and Spain’s Repsol to help commercialise Iranian gas fields could trigger US sanctions, a senior Washington official warned last night.

On Sunday Iran signed a preliminary agreement with the two companies to produce liquefied natural gas from its South Pars field in a deal worth some $10bn (£5bn).

The United Nations, backed strongly by America, has imposed limited sanctions on Iran to stop it developing a nuclear programme.

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CNNMoney.com: Big Shell Iran deal could bring U.S. sanctions

Officials say they will likely review Shell’s deal with Spain’s Repsol to develop Iran’s biggest natural gas field.

January 29 2007: 5:41 PM EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A preliminary multibillion-dollar deal to develop a giant Iranian natural gas field signed by Royal Dutch Shell would likely trigger a review by U.S. officials to see if it requires sanctions, a State Department official said on Monday.

Shell on Monday said it signed a deal with Iran in conjunction with Spain’s Repsol to develop South Pars, the OPEC member’s biggest natural gas field, despite growing U.S. pressure not to invest in Iran.
 
U.S. officials at some point would likely review the deal to see if sanctions should be triggered by the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters at a press briefing.

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The Wall Street Journal: Tesoro Acquires Shell Refinery Near L.A. for $1.63 Billion

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
January 29, 2007 9:29 a.m.

HOUSTON — Tesoro Petroleum Corp. acquired Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Los Angeles-area refinery for $1.63 billion, in a move to enhance its position as the leading West Coast refiner.

Tesoro Chief Executive Bruce Smith announced plans to acquire the 98,000 barrel a day refinery on Monday. The company acquired the refinery, located in Wilmington, Calif., as well as 250 gasoline stations from Shell. Additionally, Tesoro purchased 140 California gasoline stations from USA Petroleum.

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Guardian Unlimited: Shell defies US pressure and signs £5bn Iranian gas deal

Terry Macalister
Monday January 29, 2007

Shell has signed an important deal to help Iran develop a major gas field, ignoring growing pressure from George Bush to isolate the country for being part of what he alleges is an “axis of evil”.

The Anglo-Dutch group, which is struggling to bring more momentum to its business after being forced to hand over vital Russian reserves at Sakhalin island to the Kremlin, confirmed it had finally reached agreement on various aspects of its “Persian LNG” – liquefied natural gas – project centred on the South Pars gas field.

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mediabite.org: Gas, Gaeilge and the Media: important article relating to Corrib pipeline battle

 Gas, Gaeilge and the Media: A Systematic ‘Trend’

The private media are major corporations selling a product (readers and audiences) to other businesses (advertisers).” [‘Manufacturing Consent’ by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky] [5]

Ireland‘s most influential news organisations are all to a large degree dependent on advertising as their principle form of revenue. And those revenues accrued are for the most part supplied by large corporations. In fact many of these news organisations are open about this dependency, RTE [Radio Telefis Eireann] state one of their guiding principles as; “[to] constantly re-evaluate our services in order to ensure that they reflect the needs of our audiences and customers in terms of content and platforms.” [4] It can reasonably be assumed that certain problems are bound to arise when the needs of RTE’s audience conflict with the needs of its customers.      

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Bloomberg: Tesoro to Buy Shell Plant, Stations for $1.63 Billion (Update1)

By Victor Epstein

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Tesoro Corp., a Texas refiner, agreed to buy Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s refinery near Los Angeles and 140 filling stations for $1.63 billion, to lift its capacity to process low-cost crude and tap the largest U.S. fuel market.

The filling stations, located in Southern California, will continue to operate under the Shell brand, San Antonio-based Tesoro said today in a statement. Tesoro said it also agreed to buy 140 USA Petroleum filling stations, located mostly in California, and a fuel terminal in New Mexico for $277 million.

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ShellNews.net: Shell deal in California helps to clear obstacles to BP/Shell mega-merger

Message posted on Live Chat following announcement of Shell sale of assets in California as announced today, 29 January 2007.

guest_9321 : Shell’s sale of Californian downstream assets will avoid excessive concentration of downstream capacity in the event of a merger – BP is already No. 1 in California according to their website

This is the relevant information from BP’s U.S. website: California: We’re No. 1 in the state

With more than 6,000 employees involved in a variety of operations ranging from refining, making and distributing lubricants, to gasoline retail operations and solar energy, BP is proud to play an important role in addressing the diverse energy needs of the state of California.

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