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Posts from ‘February, 2008’

The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois): Shell gasoline spill settlement reached

02/29/2008, 10:46 am

The final settlement hearing for the class action lawsuit over Shell Oil’s 1988 gasoline spill in Limestone Township was held Thursday in Kankakee County Circuit Court, but details of the settlement order have yet to be worked out.

The settlement will total at least $26 million and involves 1,384 claims for property damages and costs associated with the spill, said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Joseph Yurgine of Kankakee.

Separate suits involving health issues relating to the contaminants have been filed, he said.

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The Guardian: UK gas pipe still shut Friday as cold snap nears

Friday February 29 2008
(Recasts, adds detail)

LONDON, Feb 29 (Reuters) – How long a key British gas supply pipeline will remain closed after an import terminal fire was unclear on Friday as checks on the extent of the damage lasted into the weekend, with freezing weather forecast for next week.

One of two pipelines affected by the Thursday’s fire at Royal Dutch Shell’s terminal in Bacton resumed flows into the UK of the fuel used to heat most British homes at midday Friday.

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Financial Times: Gold and oil rise to hit record highs

By Chris Flood
Published: February 29 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 29 2008 02:00

Gold and oil both achieved record levels for a second consecutive session yesterday while wheat markets saw further volatility after news of a commodities trader at MF Global who substantially exceeded his authorised trading limits.

The dollar’s weakness has been widely cited as a key driver of the present rally. But analysts at Barclays Capital disagree. “Commodity prices are going up in all currencies. Supply losses, strong demand and low inventory levels are the key drivers, not exchange rates,” said Barclays.

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Bloomberg: U.K. Gas Retreats as Supplies Are Unaffected by Fire (Update2)

By Ben Farey and Alexander Kwiatkowski

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.K. natural gas prices retreated from near two-year highs after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said supplies were adequate after a fire yesterday at its Bacton gas terminal in England cut flows from the North Sea.

Natural gas for delivery a week ahead reached its highest price in almost two years today, following the blaze in a water- treatment plant at the terminal, which supplies 10 percent of the U.K.’s gas. Prices retreated from intra-day highs as shippers drew on storage and Shell said there was no adverse effect on U.K. supplies.

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Comment on the Bacton Explosion received from a Shell insider…

29 February 2008

The Bacton explosion was at the “water” end says the plant Manager!!  All the safety systems worked and there were no injuries!! 

Waste water treatment facilities and equipment are classified as hydrocarbon as if something goes wrong a lot of volatile hydrocarbons arrive on the scene very quickly, but the equipment is designed to handle them safely.

If men were working, for this to happen there must be more than two safety barriers breached, but what about the plant integrity.

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Dominican Today: Shell’s representative arrives, Dominican Refinery deal heats up

Dominican Today image: Rafael Maradiaga

Rafael Maradiaga arrived in Las Americas yesterday.

February 2008, 8:24 AM

SANTO DOMINGO. – Dominican Republic took the first step to buy 50 percent of the shares in the Petroleum Refinery (Refidomsa) from the multinational Shell, whose representative in the country, Rafael Maradiaga, arrived in the Las Americas International Airport yesterday afternoon, though declined to comment to Dominican Today.

Hacienda minister Vicente Bengoa said seven companies had been pre-selected, one of which would determine the value of those assets. He said five of those companies are foreign and two are registered in the country.

read more Shell says UK gas supply unaffected by Bacton terminal shutdown

February 29, 2008: 05:53 AM EST

LONDON, Feb. 29, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS A) said gas supply in Britain is unaffected by the shutdown of the Bacton gas terminal on the Norfolk coast following a fire at the site on Thursday.

No one was injured during the incident which occurred at the Shell-operated terminal’s waste water system. The facility remains shut for safety reasons.

‘The gas supply to the UK is unaffected. Shell has been in contact with the National Grid, which monitors the amount of gas coming into the UK, and they have confirmed there is more than enough supply coming into the country from all the various sources. National Grid is confident there will be no detrimental effect on security of supply,’ Shell said in a statement.

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Honolulu Advertiser: Senate should clear green-energy package

Posted on: Friday, February 29, 2008

The U.S. House took a bold step this week to change America’s oil-dependent course toward the more sensible path of renewable energy.

Lawmakers voted to eliminate lucrative tax breaks for big oil companies and use that savings for extending smart tax credits and incentives to encourage energy production from renewable sources.

The tax credits for new wind farms and other facilities generating power from renewable sources would be extended through 2011. It would also extend the 30 percent tax credit that companies can claim for investments in solar products and fuel cells that convert fuel into electrical energy without combustion, minimizing pollutants.

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AFP: Shell says oil pumping again at sabotaged Nigerian terminal

29 Feb 2008 10:52 GMT

LAGOS (AFP) – Anglo-Dutch group Shell said oil was pumping again Friday at its Bonny Island terminal in southern Nigeria after repairs following a sabotage attack.
“We have resumed oil lifting at Bonny following a successful repair of the burst pipeline accounting for a daily production of some 130,000 barrels of crude,” a company spokesman told AFP.

This is estimated to be about a quarter of the Bonny terminal’s capacity.

The spokesman said force majeure measures — which allow companies to suspend contractual obligations due to unforeseen events without incurring penalties — declared for February and March were still in force.

read more Venezuela: The spectre of Big Oil

Paul Kellog
29 February 2008

“Never again will they rob us — the ExxonMobil bandits. They are imperial, American bandits, white-collared thieves. They turn governments corrupt, they oust governments. They supported the invasion of Iraq.”

This was the response from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to the successful lawsuit by the world’s biggest corporation (ExxonMobil), freezing US$12 billion in assets of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA — a serious escalation in Big Oil’s long running dispute with Chavez and the movement he represents.

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The Times-Picayune: Chevron donating millions to LSU

Most of gift will go to faculty endowments
Friday, February 29, 2008
By Bill Barrow

BATON ROUGE — Chevron Corp. has pledged $4.75 million to LSU in what school officials Thursday said is the largest corporate contribution ever for the state’s flagship university.

Most of the gift, $3.9 million, is earmarked for the College of Engineering: $2 million for faculty endowments, $1 million for graduate student fellowships and $900,000 to help support several academic programs.

The remainder is described as a five-year commitment, totaling $850,000, to support scholarships and grants in the College of Engineering, College of Basic Sciences and the E.J. Ourso College of Business.

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Houston Chronicle: Notable absences at energy summit don’t bode well

Feb. 29, 2008, 12:13AM
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The topic wasn’t on the agenda, and it wasn’t discussed on any of the panels. But in the convention center hallways and around the luncheon tables, everyone was asking the same thing: Why aren’t they here?

“They” are the presidential candidates, only one of whom deigned to attend the “presidential summit” Thursday that was devoted to energy issues.

Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke Thursday after my deadline. Other than that, it was a presidential summit glaringly unencumbered by presidential candidates.

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Bloomberg: Oil Rises to a Record as Dollar Drops; OPEC May Maintain Output

By Nesa Subrahmaniyan and Megumi Yamanaka

Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil climbed to a record for a fourth day as a weakening U.S. dollar and global stock market declines increased the appeal of commodities for investors.

Oil also rose after a crude export pipeline broke in Ecuador because of a mudslide and fire shut a U.K. natural gas terminal, boosting prices for the utility fuel by more than 20 percent. The dollar traded at $1.5181 per euro at 12:07 p.m. in Singapore, after touching $1.5229 yesterday, the weakest since the euro began trading at about $1.17 in January 1999.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil-Price Rise Poses OPEC Conundrum

By NEIL KING JR. in Washington and GUY CHAZAN in London
February 29, 2008; Page A3

Oil prices finished at a new high for the second time this week, bolstering the likelihood that OPEC will sit on its hands at next week’s meeting in Vienna.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which supplies about 40% of the world’s oil, had signaled it was considering a production cut to compensate for economic softness and a slowdown in major consuming markets. But oil’s recent surge has made a production cut politically tricky, market watchers say.

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Financial Times: Iranian official reports record oil revenues

By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran
Published: February 28 2008 16:15 | Last updated: February 28 2008 16:15

Iran’s oil revenues reached a record $62bn for the first 11 months of this Iranian year – an increase of 31 per cent over the same period the previous year, according to a senior Iranian oil official.

Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, deputy to the head of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for international affairs said Iran’s oil exports, at 2.4m b/d, would generate about $69bn by the end of the year on March 19. Iran produces around 4.2m b/d of oil, of which 2.4m b/d is exported.

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The Times: Crude oil price hits new high of $102.59 a barrel

February 29, 2008
Suzy Jagger in New York

The price of oil shot to a new high last night as Wall Street traders bought fuel contracts to offset the falling value of the dollar.

Energy traders were also unnerved by a fire at Shell’s Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk, which threatened more than 45 million cubic metres of gas supplies, about 13 per cent of National Grid’s forecast demand. The blaze – which started at 6pm – was extinguished. National Grid sought to reassure markets that the facility, the third-largest in the UK, was still receiving adequate supplies.

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Eastern Daily Press: Bacton explosion probe begins

Eastern Daily Press image

Smoke rises above the Bacton gas terminal. Picture: EDP reader Anna Hollis. 

29 February 2008 05:45

Neighbours of Norfolk’s giant gas terminal are today pondering how close they came to disaster after a blast rocked the seaside complex.

Villagers in Bacton are used to living in the shadow of the site’s mass of pipes, pumps, aerials and chimneys, which handle a third of the nation’s gas.

But many were shocked when their homes were rocked by the 5.45pm blast from a waste water system in the middle of the Shell section at the eastern end of the site, which sent a huge column of smoke towering over the terminal.

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The Guardian: Oil prices jump after fire at gas terminal

· Explosion at Norfolk plant importing 13% of supplies
· ‘Major incident’, but no reports of casualties

Martin Hodgson and Dan Milmo , Friday February 29 2008

Emergency teams were last night fighting a big fire at one of Britain’s largest gas terminals, which sent more jitters through energy markets.

The blaze is believed to have broken out at a water treatment plant at the Bacton gas terminal in north Norfolk. Norfolk fire service said 10 crews had contained the fire, which was described as a major incident.

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Daily Mirror: Blaze at huge gas terminal


Fire crews last night fought a blaze at one of the largest gas terminal complexes in the UK.

The fire in a treatment plant at the Shell base in Bacton, Norfolk, broke out shortly before 6pm.

It took 10 crews from Norfolk Fire Service around two hours to bring it under control.

Anna Hollis, from a nearby holiday park, said: “We could see flames and smoke shooting up and the alarm was going off.

“The fire was right in the centre of the terminal and there were helicopters flying all around.”

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Reuters: Oil hits fresh high after Ecuador pipeline rupture

Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:58am GMT 

By Luke Pachymuthu

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil touched a new high above $103 on Friday after Ecuador shut a key export pipeline and a fire hit a major European natural gas plant, while the U.S. dollar’s fall to a series of lows kept fresh funds flowing in.

Prices later shed initial gains, with U.S. crude down 4 cents to $102.55 a barrel by 3:44 a.m. British time, after hitting $103.05 in early morning trade, smashing the inflation-adjusted high of $102.53 reached in 1980, a year after the Iranian revolution.

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Penn Energy: Shell Oil outlines 12-point energy plan

Paula Dittrick
Senior Staff Writer

HOUSTON, Feb. 28 — Shell Oil Co. Pres. John D. Hofmeister said his company proposes a 12-point energy plan, noting that he believes the last time the US had a “coherent, comprehensive” energy policy was during World War II.

Hofmeister, speaking Feb. 27 to Business and Climate Change conference cosponsored by the British Consulate-General of Houston, Shell, and others, called for a US energy policy to address short-term, medium-term, and long-term issues.

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Corrib St Patrick’s Day protest at Shell Centre

GLUAISEACHT are mobilising people from all over Ireland to travel to London this St. Patrick’s weekend to “return the pipeline to Shell!”

We are bringing a 70ft pipeline to Shell H.Q. on St Patrick’s day to protest against the give away and mismanagement of our natural resources and to show our solidarity with the Shell to Sea campaign.

Buses will leave from Limerick and Dublin on Friday 14th of March and meet at the Dail at 5pm to protest at our government’s complicity in the Corrib gas project. From there we will embark on a weekend of actions in London highlighting the corrupt deal our government has done with Shell and the destruction of a area of extreme natural beauty. The weekend will culminate in a protest at Shell H.Q. on St Patrick’s Day where we “return the pipeline”.

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The Associated Press: Fire breaks out at one of UK’s largest gas terminals

AP – 28.02.2008 19:15

A fire has broken out at one of Britain’s largest gas terminals. Fire officials in Norfolk, a county north-east of London, said on Thursday that crews were dealing with a “very large scale incident”. A number of fire engines have been deployed to the Shell UK-owned Bacton terminal, said a fire department spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with official policy. The site is the third largest of its kind in Britain and is responsible for brining natural gas ashore from the North Sea.

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East Anglian Daily Times: Massive explosion at gas terminal

28 February 2008 | 19:12
Emergency services were called to reports of an explosion at the Bacton gas terminal on the Norfolk coast this evening.

Villagers said they had been told to stay indoors pending further advice.

One said she had “felt an earth tremor” and had seen smoke coming from the vicinity of the terminal.

A spokesman for Norfolk fire service confirmed there had been initial reports of an explosion and said he had been told there was a “major fire” at the Shell terminal at the site.

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Reuters: Major fire at large gas terminal

Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:23pm GMT 

LONDON (Reuters) – Firefighters said on Thursday they were tackling a major fire at the Bacton gas terminal, but that the blaze appeared to be confined to the terminal itself.

“We have a very large scale incident ongoing at the moment at the Bacton Gas Shell UK Ltd site … on the Norfolk coast,” a spokeswoman for Norfolk fire brigade said.

She said there were 10 fire engines tackling the blaze which broke out shortly before 6 p.m..

She said the fire was in the water treatment plant and that there was no immediate evidence of any chemicals being involved.

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Bloomberg: Fire Doused at Shell’s Bacton Gas Terminal in England (Update2)

By Alexander Kwiatkowski and Grant Smith

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — Firefighters doused a blaze at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Bacton terminal in the U.K., which handles gas flowing from the North Sea into Europe’s biggest gas-consuming country.

A fire erupted in the water-treatment plant at Shell’s terminal, according to a recorded message by the Norfolk Fire Service press office today. Ten fire engines attended the incident, which the message described as “very large-scale.” No chemicals are believed to be involved, according to the message.

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Reuters: Shell finishes Nigeria’s Bonny oil pipeline repair

Thu Feb 28, 2008 12:53pm

LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday that repair works to a pipeline connected to the Bonny Light oil terminal in Nigeira had been completed and oil had started flowing.

Early in February, Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light exports and stopped shipments from the terminal to repair three pipeline leaks, which were first discovered in January.

“The Nembe Creek pipeline has been repaired and oil started flowing,” a Shell spokesman said. “Force majeure is still in place.”

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Further ‘Live Chat’ discussion on Shell in Nigeria: updated

By John Donovan

A guest on Live Chat has taken issue with the content of my recent article…

26/02/2008  Shell’s atrocious track record in Nigeria

The allegations in my article were made by independent reputable sources with verification links provided. The article included a link to a leaked Shell internal report, the contents of which were commented upon in the cited news media reports. They also commented on the admissions made in the report.

I have not visited or lived in Nigeria and have no ambition to do so. I do not accept that anyone is disqualified from giving an opinion on the issues being discussed unless they have lived in or visited Nigeria. Neither do I accept that someone who has lived in Nigeria will automatically provide a more informed impartial opinion on relevant issues.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Cash-Rich, Publicity-Shy, Abu Dhabi Fund Draws Scrutiny (*This is what really scares the top people at Shell)

New York Times image

Charles Crowell/Bloomberg News
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority headquarters in the city of Abu Dhabi.

Published: February 28, 2008

Abu Dhabi has about 9 percent of the world’s oil and 0.02 percent of its population. The result is a surfeit of petrodollars, much of which is funneled into a secretive, government-controlled investment fund that is helping to shift the balance of power in the financial world.
After decades in the shadows, the fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is turning heads on Wall Street and in Washington by making high-profile investments in the United States and elsewhere.

read more Arctic Meltdown: The Economic and Security Implications of Global Warming

Scott G. Borgerson: Scott G. Borgerson
From Foreign Affairs, March/April 2008

Summary:  Thanks to global warming, the Arctic icecap is rapidly melting, opening up access to massive natural resources and creating shipping shortcuts that could save billions of dollars a year. But there are currently no clear rules governing this economically and strategically vital region. Unless Washington leads the way toward a multilateral diplomatic solution, the Arctic could descend into armed conflict.

SCOTT G. BORGERSON is International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Houston Chronicle: Bumps on green road come into focus

Conference confronts issues businesses face on environment

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

The likely regulation of greenhouse gases in the U.S. will bring huge business opportunities, but cleaning the environment won’t be cheap or easy, speakers said Wednesday at a Houston conference.

The trading of carbon dioxide pollution credits is already a multibillion-dollar business in Europe just a few years after markets were launched there under the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate treaty the U.S. did not sign.

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Financial Post: BP hints at second oilsands partnership

Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post 

CALGARY — Former oilsands skeptic BP PLC now seems in a hurry to catch up, signaling on Wednesday that it would forge a second partnership similar to its US$11.7-billion deal with Husky Energy Inc. if the right match came along.

After combining its Toledo refinery in Ohio in December with Husky’s Sunrise project in northern Alberta to create a US$11.7-billion business, CEO Tony Hayward said BP could make a similar move involving its refinery in Whiting, Ind., where a US$3.8-billion retooling and expansion to handle Canadian heavy oil is on its way.

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Los Angeles Times: BP chief says firm may sell ‘green’ unit

From the Associated Press
February 28, 2008

LONDON — Oil giant BP’s chief executive hinted Wednesday that the company might offload part or all of its “green” business unit, reversing a central part of its previous strategy as he seeks to turn the company around.

Tony Hayward, giving his first annual presentation to analysts since taking over from former CEO John Browne in May, also said BP could be producing about 4.3 million barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2012.

BP intends to expand its alternative energy business “predominantly for its equity value,” Hayward said. The green unit, much prized by Browne, is worth $5 billion to $7 billion, based on market valuations for similar companies, Hayward said.

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Bloomberg: ERG Calls Sicily LNG Plant Delays `Unacceptable,’ Sole Reports

By Anthony DiPaola

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — ERG SpA called delays in government approval for a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal the Italian refiner plans to build in Sicily “unacceptable,” Il Sole 24 Ore reported, citing Chairman Edoardo Garrone.

The project has already cost 15 million euros ($22.7 million) and has been awaiting approval for three years, Il Sole said.

ERG and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in February 2005 proposed building the facility at Priolo in Sicily. The terminal would have capacity to process 8 billion cubic meters of gas a year.

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The Independent: BP shrugs off global shortfall fears

By Danny Fortson
Thursday, 28 February 2008

Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, brushed off worries about the world’s dwindling oil supplies yesterday by predicting that the company will be able to pump more than 4 million barrels per day through 2020, even if the oil giant doesn’t make any new discoveries.

Speaking at the company’s annual strategy briefing, Mr Hayward said based on an assumed base price of around $60 per barrel BP could sustain daily production of at least 4 million barrels, “with no new discoveries or access to new opportunities”. The bullish outlook sits in stark contrast to the cautious forecasts of Jeroen van der Veer, his opposite number at Royal Dutch Shell, who says production will fall over the next few years and warned that the world would soon reach the peak of “easy oil”.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: BP Pledges to Increase Output, Profit

Wall Street Journal image Tony Hayward

CEO to Take New Look
At Green-Energy Arm;
Focus on ‘Equity Value’
February 28, 2008; Page A13

LONDON — BP PLC Chief Executive Tony Hayward pledged to increase the energy titan’s oil production and improve results at its marketing and refining division, and signaled a shift in its renewable-energy business.
Analysts said the shift in emphasis could result in the sale or flotation of some parts of BP’s renewables business or tie-ups with other companies. A BP spokesman said the comments didn’t mean BP had any immediate plans to divest itself of its solar, wind and biofuels units.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: House Votes to Rescind Tax Breaks for Oil Industry

February 28, 2008; Page A12

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted to repeal $18 billion of tax breaks for oil and gas producers, and to use the savings to finance tax incentives for wind-power projects, solar panels and more energy-efficient cars.

The bill, which passed by 236-182, faces long odds amid opposition in the Senate and a White House veto threat. But it allowed House Democrats to promote renewable energy as an alternative to high-priced oil, and to take aim at the oil industry, which is in the midst of a profit boom as prices keep rising.

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CNN: House passes $18 billion in new taxes for Big Oil

CNN image

Gas prices are rising to record highs across the nation.

updated 5:25 p.m. EST, Wed February 27, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies Wednesday as Democrats cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs in a time of economic troubles.

The money collected over 10 years would provide tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation. The legislation, approved 236-182, would cost the five largest oil companies an average of $1.8 billion a year over that period, according to an analysis by the House Ways and Means Committee. Those companies earned $123 billion last year.

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Financial Times: BP’s strategy

Published: February 28 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 28 2008 02:00

As BP’s strategy presentation entered its fourth hour yesterday, weary attenders could have been forgiven for letting their minds drift, perhaps back to a similar event five years earlier. Lord Browne, then chief executive, indicated total production would swell by 1m barrels to 4.5m barrels a day by the end of 2007. As it turned out, BP managed less than half that rise.

That is the company’s problem in a nutshell. Back in February 2003 oil industry valuations were clearly stratified – at the top, on a forward price/earnings ratio about 30 per cent better than the FTSE Eurofirst 300, sat BP, flanked by Shell. In the intervening period, following regular production disappointments, the market has fallen out of love with size. For most of the past year, both BP and Shell have traded in a 10 per cent band beneath that benchmark.

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Financial Times: US data fuel stagflation fears

By Daniel Pimlott in New York
Published: February 26 2008 23:18 | Last updated: February 26 2008 23:18

A sharp drop in US consumer confidence, to its lowest level since the beginning of the Iraq war in 2003, and a jump in inflation among producers highlighted the deepening risk of stagflation, figures released on Tuesday showed.

Separately, data on house prices and foreclosures showed that the housing market continued to plumb record lows at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

The consumer confidence index fell to 75 in February from 87.3 in January, the worst reading in five years, according to figures from the Conference Board. Consumers’ perspective on current situations fell to its most downbeat since October 2001, during the last extended period of contraction in US economic growth, while future expectations hit their worst level since 1991.

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The Guardian: Top ten: Biggest company fines by the EU

The biggest individual company fines under EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes
Wednesday February 27 2008

1 Microsoft €899m (software)

2 ThyssenKrupp €479m (lifts)

3 Siemens €396m (engineering)

4 Microsoft €280.5m (software)

5 ENI €272m (synthetic rubber)

6 Otis €225m (lifts)

7 Heineken €219m (beer)

8 Arkema €219m (acrylic glass)

9 Solvay €167m (chemicals)

10 Shell Netherlands €161m (synthetic rubber)

The Guardian: Through biofuels we can reap the fruits of our labours

If we use sewage, refuse or agricultural waste, biofuels can be sustainable – and cut poverty, says Ron Oxburgh

Lord Oxburgh
Thursday February 28 2008

George Monbiot has gone too far. Whatever sympathy one has with his campaign against some present-day biofuels, it is absurd to say none are sustainable (Apart from used chip fat, there is no such thing as a sustainable biofuel , February 12).

A month ago the Royal Society published a thoughtful paper, Sustainable Biofuel: Prospects and Challenges, which concluded that, done carefully, biofuels could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. There certainly are sustainable biofuels, and producing some of them can help alleviate poverty in developing countries.

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The Guardian: Oil price jumps to record levels

Terry Macalister
Wednesday February 27 2008

The price of oil reached $102 per barrel today – a second record is as many days – as traders switched their investments from shares and currencies into commodities amid growing fears of a US recession.

Light, sweet crude for April delivery reached $102.08 on the New York Mercantile Exchange while North Sea crude broke through the $100 mark for the first time in London.

“Commodities are moving and oil has gone with it. In terms of financial news, there’s nothing good coming out of the US at the moment,” said John Hall, managing director of energy consultant, John Hall Associates.

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Daily Telegraph: Eskimos file lawsuit against oil companies

By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 28/02/2008

An Eskimo village that is melting into the sea off Alaska has launched a legal challenge against BP, Shell and more than 20 other oil and power companies, alleging that their contribution to global warming is threatening to destroy the tiny community.

The 391 inhabitants of Kivalina, a traditional Inupiat Eskimo village built on an eight-mile barrier reef between the Chukchi Sea and Kivalina river, say sea ice that has always protected them is eroding because of higher temperatures and that the energy companies should pay to move them to safer ground.

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The Times: Courses tailored to the new demands of the oil industry

February 28, 2008

Steve Coomber says jobs in energy supply and trading are likely to increase WITH oil prices breaking the $100 a barrel level for the first time, new oil and gas discoveries in the Arctic region, and global companies such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell making record results, a career in the booming energy industry appears an attractive choice for MBA graduates.

Rulzion Rattray, MBA and commercial director,of the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPLMP) at the University of Dundee, says: “The level of interest in the sector is increasing, particularly from people changing careers to an energy related field.”

read more Exxon vs. Alaskans as high court takes on oil spill case

AFP/Getty image

Tugboats pull the Exxon Valdez off Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound on April 5, 1989.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Nearly 20 years after one of the most infamous environmental disasters scarred Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the Supreme Court stepped nearer Wednesday to perhaps providing a measure of closure for the seemingly endless litigation over the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The justices heard arguments on whether a $2.5 billion punitive damages award against the energy giant for its role in the 1989 maritime accident was excessive.

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Times Online: New fraud risk for chip and PIN revealed

Times Online image

(David Cheskin)
A relatively simple procedure can program a chip and PIN terminal to steal PIN numbers

Jonathan Richards
‘Chip and PIN’ cards which require customers to enter a four-digit code before purchasing goods may not be as safe as previously thought, according to research.

February 27, 2008

Customers may unwittingly be handing over their card details and pin number when using the new terminals, which have been widely rolled out at supermarkets, service stations and other outlets, a group of computer security academics has claimed.

read more Paddys Day of Action Against Shell

This year´s St Paddy´s day, 17th March, has been called as an International day of action against Shell, in solidarity with the people of Rossport.

People from all over Ireland are set to join forces and show their united strength by going all the way to London to demonstrate on Shell´s front door step.

Gluaiseacht, the Irish environmental network organising the trip, are calling for people to join them at the Shell head office in London, or there is also a call out to take solidarity actions at Shell garages and offices, St Paddy´s day parades and Irish embassies all over the world to coincide with the visit from 15th-17th March.

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Seeking Alpha: Renewable Energy: Approaching Grid Parity?

February 27, 2008
Nick Hodge: Bio & more articles

I seem to remember an e-mail going around not too long ago about different politicians and oil CEOs “going into the confessional,” so to speak.

First up was ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) CEO Jim Mulva, who said he did not believe the global oil supply would ever surpass 100 million barrels per day because of production constraints and new laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

I love how Peak Oil can be cloaked in such nebulous terms as “production constraints.”

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San Jose Mercury News: BP hints that it may offload green business

Associated Press
Article Launched: 02/27/2008 09:59:19 AM PST

LONDON – BP PLC Chief Executive Tony Hayward hinted on Wednesday that the oil company may offload part or all of its green business unit, reversing a central part of its previous strategy as he seeks to turn the company around.

Hayward, giving his first annual presentation to analysts since taking over from former CEO John Browne last May, also said that BP could be producing some 4.3 million barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2012.

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