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Posts from ‘March, 2007’

Sunday Telegraph: Investors to quiz BP over Yukos bid

By Sylvia Pfeifer,
Last Updated: 12:13am BST 01/04/2007

Some of BP’s largest shareholders have expressed grave misgivings over the role of the British oil giant in the controversial auction of the remaining assets of Yukos, the bankrupt Russian oil group, last week.

At least two of BP’s top 20 shareholders are understood to be planning to raise the issue with the company in the next few weeks. They fear that BP’s reputation has suffered after TNK-BP, its Russian joint venture, took part in the auction of a stake in Rosneft, the state-controlled oil group, which belonged to Yukos.

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Sunday Telegraph: Dancing with the Kremlin

Sunday 1 April 2007

You could almost feel sorry for Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive in waiting. Before even starting the job he was catapulted into a diplomatic dilemma this month that makes Tony Blair’s efforts to negotiate with Tehran look like a walk in the desert.

The intimidating venue was the Kremlin, where Hayward was introduced to president Putin by BP’s outgoing chief executive Lord Browne. Four years ago when Browne first took BP into Russia with an audacious bid for TNK, the balance of power looked rather more even: Russia desperately needed Western industry expertise to kick-start its moribund energy sector. Political cover from Downing Street promised BP a fair crack at the whip.

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TheAge.com.au: British oil worker abducted off Nigeria

April 1, 2007

A British oil worker was kidnapped from an offshore drilling rig in Nigeria yesterday, officials and industry sources said.

“We can confirm there was an incident in the early hours of this morning in which a British national was taken hostage,” a spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office in London said. “We are in touch with the Nigerian authorities to try to secure a swift and peaceful resolution.”

She confirmed the kidnapped person was an oil worker but said his name was not being released.

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The Washington Post: British oil worker abducted off Nigeria

By Tom Ashby
Reuters
Saturday, March 31, 2007; 10:05 AM

LAGOS (Reuters) – Gunmen in two speedboats abducted a British oil worker in a pre-dawn raid on a drilling rig 40 miles off the coast of Nigeria on Saturday, officials and industry sources said.

The gunmen first targeted a support vessel moored to the Bulford Dolphin rig, overpowered the crew, then climbed on to the rig and seized the Briton, a security expert working for a Western oil major said.

The Foreign Office in London confirmed the abduction.

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Petroleum News: Shell eyes bigger quarters in Anchorage

Week of April 01, 2007: Vol. 12, No. 13 
Oil Patch Insider

Shell is said to be scouting commercial office space in Alaska on the lookout for at least 35,000 square feet to house a substantially expanded in-state exploration team.

The Houston, Texas-based company currently maintains a small office in Anchorage, but has become increasingly busy with Alaska projects offshore the North Slope and in the Bristol Bay area.

Shell officials are eyeing the Anchorage market and hoping to negotiate a lease for one of at least three suitable locations, according to one knowledgeable Petroleum News source.

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Petroleum News: Shell wins NOIA 2007 Safety in Seas Award

Week of April 01, 2007: Vol. 12, No. 13 

Shell Exploration & Production Co. was awarded the 2006 National Ocean Industries Association Safety in Seas Award on March 29, recognizing the company’s “outstanding contribution to the safety of life offshore for energy workers,” NOIA said in a statement.

Shell received the award for its “exceptional efforts” to recover the Mars tension leg platform and pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Katrina.

A panel of judges from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Minerals Management Service and the National Academy of Science’s Marine Board selected the company.

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UPI Energy Watch: Gazprom unable to join Sakhalin-2 by deadline

By ANDREA R. MIHAILESCU
UPI Energy Correspondent

Russian natural gas giant Gazprom is short of time to join the oil and gas project Sakhalin-2 by the end of March, ITAR-TASS reported Friday.

Gazprom had hoped to complete the deal by March 31.

“Sakhalin-2 is a very large project, and a great amount of details that need to be agreed upon is present here, and this is very difficult technically,” Maxim Shub, Shell spokesman, told ITAR-TASS.

Shub said that intense talks on the completion of the deal were carried on, but a snag was a huge amount of documents to be coordinated.

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Financial Times: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Paint sector stripped almost to the base

EXTRACT: The location of Shell’s headquarters in the Netherlands away from the world’s top financial centre may be emulated by Barclays/ABN Amro if those two banks merge, showing that we favour cutting our nose to spite our prospects.

THE ARTICLE

By Martin Simons
Published: March 31 2007 03:00 | Last updated: March 31 2007 03:00

From Mr Martin W. Simons.

Sir, Lombard’s comment in support of the impending takeover of E Wood Holdings by 3M (“A history lesson”, March 23) should be questioned. The agreed takeover of this specialist high-performance coatings company follows recent US takeovers of Tor Coatings and Farrow and Ball, a decorative paint company. These three have comfortably the highest operating margins among their UK peers.

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Borneo Bulletin: New Vessel For Brunei Shell

Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) has added another workhorse in support of the oil and gas industry.

Last Monday saw the successful launching of the “MV Belait Aishah” in Port Kiang, Malaysia. The vessel is a Well Service Support/Offshore Maintenance Vessel (WSS/OM Vessel) and it is the very first WSS/OM Vessel to be locally owned, registered, flagged and operated in Brunei Darussalam.

The Belait Aishah is the latest third generation Workboat and will be entering service with BSP in May 2007.

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The Wall Street Journal: Exxon Forms $5 Billion Joint Venture In China With Sinopec, Saudi Aramco

By SHAI OSTER
March 30, 2007 4:53 a.m.

BEIJING — In one of the biggest deals of its kind, U.S. oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. Friday signed a deal with Saudi Aramco and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., better known as Sinopec, to expand an oil refinery in China’s rich southern province of Fujian and add on a vast chemicals facility for completion by 2009.

With China still tightly regulating fuel prices, big oil is increasingly looking at the country’s surging demand for chemicals.

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The Wall Street Journal: Farmers Play Ethanol Roulette (includes commentary about Jeroen van der Veer)

If you’re hungry for WSJ energy news, but too busy to flip through the entire paper to find it, here’s a quick roundup:

Across the U.S. plains, farmers are placing big bets on where the price of corn will go in 2007. They are preparing to plant more corn than they have in decades, spending more on seed and fertilizer, investing in new equipment and buying crop insurance against the possibility of bad weather. Some are signing futures contracts to lock in prices now; some are holding off in the hope that prices will climb higher.

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UpstreamOnline: Ex-Shell boss to spearhead Delta

Van de Vijver shakes off reserves scandal to form investment outfit

CHRISTOPHER HOPSON
London

ROYAL Dutch Shell’s former upstream chief executive Walter van de Vijver is returning to the oil and gas industry, raising about $1 billion of private equity to form a new company called Delta Hydrocarbons.

Van de Vijver has founded the new company with Maarten Scholten, formerly head of Schlumberger’s mergers and acquisitions team. They have been joined by Jeri Eagan, formerly chief financial officer for Shell’s gas and power business and Frederik Rijkens, previously a Total project director.

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