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Posts from ‘April, 2008’

Australian Aboriginals Seek `Economic Partnerships’ in LNG

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Bloomberg: Australian Aboriginals Seek `Economic Partnerships’ in LNG

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

April 30 (Bloomberg) — Australian aboriginal groups will seek “economic partnerships” with ventures planning to develop liquefied natural gas projects in the far northeast, the head of a group representing indigenous communities in the region said.

Such alliances are the best way to ensure “responsible development” of the gas reserves in the Browse Basin, which could yield A$20 billion ($19 billion) a year in revenue for more than 50 years, Wayne Bergmann of the Kimberley Land Council said today in Canberra. The government needs to help ensure indigenous people benefit from the resources “boom,” he said.

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Nigerian Oil Workers Return to Work Amid Exxon Talks

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Bloomberg: Nigerian Oil Workers Return to Work Amid Exxon Talks (Update2)

By Julie Ziegler

April 30 (Bloomberg) — A Nigerian oil workers’ union is sending members back to work today as part of a bargaining agreement as talks with management at Exxon Mobil Corp.’s local unit were scheduled to resume.

Union and company representatives will meet at 10 a.m. local time today in Abuja in an attempt to end a seven-day strike that has cut crude output by 860,000 barrels a day, according to Olusola George-Olumoroti, branch chairman of the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

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Shell speeds plans for Russian north

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Calgary Herald: Shell speeds plans for Russian north

From Herald News Services
Published: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and its partners will accelerate planning to develop far-northern natural gas fields in Russia, Dutch premier Jan Peter Balkenende said.

Balkenende held talks on energy projects with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov in the Dutch city of The Hague. Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Shell, and Gertjan Lankhorst, CEO of gas trader GasTerra BV, also attended, Balkenende said.

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Do not rest on your laurels, Hayward tells BP’s reformers

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Financial Times: Do not rest on your laurels, Hayward tells BP’s reformers

By Ed Crooks
Published: April 30 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 30 2008 03:00

Rarely can there have been such a clear case of the embarrassment of riches.

Not many companies reporting a near-50 per cent rise in profits would immediately explain away much of the growth and warn of more challenging times ahead but that is what BP did yesterday.

Cazenove calculated that it was the biggest positive quarterly earnings surprise BP had ever given investors, with replacement cost earnings more than $1.4bn (£705m) higher than the consensus of analysts’ forecasts.

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Petrobras confident over deep water well

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Financial Times: Petrobras confident over deep water well

By Ed Crooks
Published: April 30 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 30 2008 03:00

In more than 2,000 metres of water off the coast of Brazil, Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company, is drilling what could become one of most important oil wells of recent years.

Sergio Gabrielli, chief executive of Petrobras, told the Financial Times that results from a well now being drilled in the offshore Carioca field, the subject of fevered excitement, should provide some answers about its true potential in about three months’ time.

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Shell output up

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Financial Times: Shell output up

Published: April 30 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 30 2008 03:00

For Royal Dutch Shell, which has been dogged by concerns about falling production, the rise in its first-quarter output reported yesterday, though small, was particularly welcome. The reason was the growth in its gas business.

Shell still has 164,000 barrels per day of production shut-in as a result of the violence in Nigeria, and its total crude oil production was 6 per cent lower in the first quarter of this year than the equivalent period of 2007. But gas production was up 9 per cent.

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Shell and BP

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Financial Times: Lex Column: Shell and BP

Published: April 30 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 30 2008 03:00

Mega-cap energy stocks are not supposed to move this much. Yesterday’s first-quarter figures from BP and Shell – comfortably above consensus in both cases – sent the pair’s shares up about 6 per cent. Investors may have been waiting for an excuse to pile back in; BP had underperformed the sector by 13 per cent over the past 12 months and Shell had lagged behind by 8 per cent.

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oil fat cats should be hung up and beaten like scalded dogs

oil fat cats should be hung up and beaten like scalded dogs

Comment posted by Daniel Dillard

Shell, BP, Chevron, Exxon and all of you other money grubbing oil fat cats should be hung up and beaten like scalded dogs. YOur practices sicken me and the rest of the world. I hope we find another source of power that has nothing to do with oil so we can see your fat butts suffer like the rest of us. We have a baby on the way and now that childs future is in jeopardy and she hasn’t even been born yet. Mommy and daddy can’t afford to put gas in the car to get to two separate jobs. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

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Profits a slap in the face for 180 staff at Shell told less than seven days ago that they face redundancy

The Guardian: image: David McNew/Getty images

Photograph: David McNew/Getty images

Brown wants profits poured into North Sea

· BP and Shell announce £7bn bonanza
· Motorists and greens united in condemnation

Terry Macalister
The Guardian, Wednesday April 30 2008

Gordon Brown stepped into a growing row about oil company profits yesterday, calling on BP and Shell to spend more of their combined £7bn first-quarter earnings on activity in the North Sea.

The prime minister’s comments came as lorry drivers took a protest on the soaring cost of petrol to central London, while other motoring organisations and environmentalists accused the oil industry of profiteering at the expense of car drivers and the planet.

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The power struggle: Oil companies rake in profits of £7.2bn as fuel prices soar

The Independent Front Page: 30 April 2008

The Independent: The power struggle

Oil companies rake in profits of £7.2bn as fuel prices soar

By Cahal Milmo
Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The price of power and who foots the bill for Britain’s rocketing energy costs took centre stage yesterday as the oil giants Shell and BP unveiled huge combined profits of £7.2bn, made in just three months, and consumers were hit with a new round of steep rises in prices from gas and electricity to air travel.

Npower, Britain’s fourth largest domestic power supplier, signalled the start of what experts said will be another round of price increases in gas and electricity after it abolished its cheapest online dual fuel tariff and raised charges for new internet customers by up to 20 per cent. Industry analysts expect all energy bills to rise by another 20 to 25 per cent by next spring, pushing another one million Britons into fuel poverty.

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Opec chief warns ‘the price of oil could surge to $200’

The Times: Chemistry

April 30, 2008

The rising price of oil should not bring tax relief

Seeing petrol prices rise on the electronic boards outside filling stations is nothing compared to the shock when it comes to paying. A year ago the driver of an average-sized family saloon would have left the forecourt with a £60 bill for a full tank of petrol. The same driver will now be nursing a £70 hole in the pocket. Diesel users have had it even worse. Today they will be lucky to leave the pumps with change out of £80. The price of diesel has risen by a quarter in the past 12 months and by nearly half since 2003.

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Hurrah! Oil profits are up

The Times: Hurrah! Oil profits are up
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Without the inflated earnings of multinationals, we’d be even worse off than we are now

April 30, 2008
Carl Mortished

Hurrah for big oil profits. Seven million dollars an hour for BP and Shell, as the cost of jet kerosene bankrupts airlines and dear diesel puts up the price of just about everything from corn flakes to cucumbers. The cheer is not ironic; we should celebrate these gazillion- dollar profits because our world is now in deep trouble and without the grotesquely inflated earnings of the oil multinationals, we should be even deeper in the mire.

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Fuel crisis Q&A

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The Times: Fuel crisis Q&A

April 30, 2008

Why do oil prices keep on rising?

Oil is becoming scarcer and harder to produce. Several former big areas of oil production are in decline while other top oil-producing countries, including Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, are either unwilling or unable to lift production. Chinese demand is expected to more than double by 2030. Hedge funds and investment banks have been placing big bets that oil prices will continue to rise, amplifying the volatility in prices.

Is petrol rising in tandem with oil?

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Nigeria’s Delta is where Western oil giants meet local militants

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Daily Telegraph: Nigeria’s Delta is where Western oil giants meet local militants

Last Updated: 1:21am BST 30/04/2008

Political unrest has made the Niger Delta a high-risk region for Western majors and their staff, write Russell Hotten and Mike Pflanz

It is early morning, just after the 7pm-to-6am curfew is lifted, and convoys of minibuses led and tailed by armed escorts speed oil industry workers to their offices, refineries and workshops. The threat of kidnap is everywhere. Oil pipelines and facilities are regularly attacked. For employees of Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and a host of other companies, there is no such thing as a normal day at the office.

Welcome to Nigeria, the world’s eighth largest crude exporter – but where concerns about the worsening security situation have contributed to the recent surge in oil prices.

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Shell and BP investors get $5bn payout

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Soaring oil prices have boosted Shell and BP’s earnings

Daily Telegraph: Shell and BP investors get $5bn payout

By Russell Hotten
Last Updated: 1:20am BST 30/04/2008

A surging oil price has showered investors with a $5bn (£2.5bn) bonanza earned in just 12 weeks, with further payouts throughout the year expected to make 2008 a record for shareholders.

The dividend payouts announced yesterday on the back of bumper profits by Royal Dutch Shell and BP, Europe’s two biggest oil companies, will deliver much needed cheer to investors, both private individuals and the institutions that manage the country’s pension schemes including Legal & General and Standard Life.

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Outcry as Shell and BP make billions on back of price rises

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The Times: Outcry as Shell and BP make billions on back of price rises

Wednesday April 30, 2008
Robin Pagnamenta and David Robertson

Surging oil prices helped to boost profits at BP and Royal Dutch Shell to a combined record of £7.2 billion for the first quarter of the year.

Amid growing accusations of profiteering by big oil companies, it also emerged that BP had earned a one-off trading profit of $400 million (£203 million) by correctly betting on the direction of oil and gas prices.

The figures provoked an immediate outcry from campaign groups, which said it was a disgrace that at a time of increased public concern about climate change Shell and BP were earning their biggest profits, while compounding the problem of rising global carbon emissions.

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Amid High Oil Prices, Danger Signs in Production

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India has a seemingly insatiable appetite for cars, as shown in this traffic jam in a suburb of New Delhi,  and the oil needed to run them, contributing to growing worldwide demand for petroleum.

By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: April 28, 2008

As oil prices soared to record levels in recent years, basic economics suggested that consumption would fall and supply would rise as producers opened the taps to pump more.

But as prices flirt with $120 a barrel, many energy specialists are becoming worried that neither seems to be happening. Higher prices have done little to attract new production or to suppress global demand, and the resulting mismatch has sent oil prices spiraling upward.

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Bolivia puts Shell under pressure

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RadioNetherlands.nl: Bolivia puts Shell under pressure

BY EDWIN KOOPMAN*
29-04-2008

The Shell oil company is under great pressure from the Bolivian government to reduce its presence in the country, or even to withdraw completely. President Evo Morales issued an ultimatum at the end of March, giving the company till 30 April to agree to sell off its activities to the Bolivian state.

The date is not a coincidence, as 1 May marks the second anniversary of the nationalisation of oil and gas concerns by the president soon after he came to office. Morales arranged for the oil platforms to be occupied by the military, which hung up banners with the text ‘Property of Bolivia’.

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Shell Examines Carbon Capture Project at Its Canadian Refinery

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Bloomberg: Shell Examines Carbon Capture Project at Its Canadian Refinery

By Eduard Gismatullin and Fred Pals

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said it’s examining a carbon capture project at its Scotford refinery and upgrader in the Canadian province of Alberta.

The company is studying a plan nicknamed “Quest,” which would capture carbon at the 155,000-barrel-a-day upgrader and “transport it to a mature field for sequestration,” Chief Financial Officer Peter Voser said today on call with reporters. “We are looking into that and we are working on that.”

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In 2004, Shell’s U.S. gas and power trading arm Coral Energy paid $30 million to settle charges it reported fake natural gas trades

huffingtonpost.com image: Pirate Flag

In 2004, Shell’s U.S. gas and power trading arm Coral Energy paid $30 million to settle charges it reported fake natural gas trades

Reuters: Shell, BP win big from volatile energy markets

Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:17am EDT
By Alex Lawler

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – A lucrative ride on the rollercoaster energy markets helped add to the big increases in profit that BP Plc (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) posted on Tuesday.

BP beat forecasts with a 48 percent leap in first-quarter profit to $6.6 billion, while Shell said earnings rose 12 percent to a record $7.8 billion. BP said a few unusual items flattered its results.

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Record oil prices boost Shell and BP

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Reuters: Record oil prices boost Shell and BP

Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:57am BST
By Tom Bergin and Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) – Record oil prices of over $100 a barrel helped Shell and BP shatter first-quarter profit forecasts on Tuesday.

Royal Dutch Shell announced a 12 percent rise in current cost of supply (CCS) net income to $7.85 billion (3.96 billion pounds) while BP was up 48 percent to $6.59 billion.

A Reuters poll of 11 analysts gave an average forecast of $6.84 billion for Shell’s first quarter CCS earnings, excluding non-operating items. The highest forecast was $6.99 billion.

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D-day in New Zealand Court for litigation brought against Shell

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The Dominion Post: D-day for oil, gas compo bids

By KRIS HALL – The Dominion Post | Monday, 28 April 2008

Seven days from now, a little-known group of oil and gas investors will go up against multinational Shell as New Zealand’s longest-running insider-trading case finally lands in court.

Fuelled by spiralling oil prices and the tireless Tony Gavigan, a group of former Southern Petroleum shareholders will enter the High Court at Auckland seeking millions of dollars’ compensation for alleged misinformation by Fletcher Energy in its 1995 takeover of the Southern subsidiary.

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Fighting graft

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Financial Times: Fighting graft

Published: April 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 29 2008 03:00

Bribery and corruption are not just morally indefensible but bad for your business. That is the message Transparency International, the anti-graft campaigner, is determined business will internalise and, perforce, implement. But is it true?

TI’s report, launched yesterday, on the information disclosure practices of 42 leading oil companies, at first glance gives a mixed answer. Its research shows that only Royal Dutch Shell of the majors is in the premier league for revenue and payments transparency, whereas BP, Chevron and Total are in the middle, and ExxonMobil is playing in the bottom division, alongside China’s CNOOC and Russia’s Lu-koil. Yet these apparent differences do not seem to have had any effect on their profits or share prices.

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Shell and BP beat expectations

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Financial Times: Shell and BP beat expectations

By Ed Crooks
Published: April 29 2008 07:47 | Last updated: April 29 2008 08:02

Royal Dutch Shell and BP, Europe’s two biggest oil companies, have delivered better than expected results on the back of the soaring price of oil. While BP’s profit growth since last year was much faster than Shell’s, both companies comfortably exceeded analysts’ expectations.

BP’s faster profit growth came as it continued along the recovery track after the difficulties that contributed to the departure of Lord Browne, its former chief executive, last year.

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Scottish strike and Nigerian attack boost oil

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Financial Times: Scottish strike and Nigerian attack boost oil

By Chris Flood
Published: April 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 29 2008 03:00

Oil traded at record levels near $120 a barrel yesterday amid supply concerns following the start of a strike at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland and more trouble in Nigeria.

Nymex June West Texas Intermediate hit a record $119.93 a barrel before easing back to settle 23 cents higher at $118.75. ICE June Brent added 40 cents to close at $116.74 a barrel.

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Opec chief warns oil could hit $200 a barrel

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Financial Times: Opec chief warns oil could hit $200 a barrel

By Carola Hoyos in London
Published: April 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 29 2008 03:00

Opec’s president yesterday warned oil prices could hit $200 a barrel and there would be little the cartel could do to help.

The comments made by Chakib Khelil, Algeria’s energy minister, came as oil prices hit a historic peak close to $120 a barrel, putting further pressure on global economies.

His remarks suggest Algeria wants Opec to continue to resist calls by US and European leaders for the cartel to pump more oil to help ease prices. But Mr Khelil blamed record oil prices on the weak dollar and global political insecurity.

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Oil Nears $120 on Nigeria Unrest: paid attacks in Nigeria help fund huge retention payments to flawed Shell executive directors

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Nears $120 on Nigeria Unrest

By GUY CHAZAN and NEIL KING JR.
April 29, 2008; Page C12

An escalation in attacks by militants in the Niger Delta and a strike by Exxon Mobil Corp. workers are playing havoc with oil production in Nigeria at a time when worries about tightening global supply have sent the price of benchmark crude close to a record $120 a barrel.

Separately, a major North Sea oil pipeline that was forced to shut because of a strike at a refinery in Scotland isn’t expected to be fully operational until the end of the week, further fueling uncertainty.

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High Oil Prices Boost Shell Profit: Shell gets its monies worth from paid Nigerian militants

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: High Oil Prices Boost Shell Profit, Offsetting, Lower Refining Margins

By BENOIT FAUCON
April 29, 2008 1:58 a.m.

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell Tuesday said its first-quarter net profit rose 25%, as rocketing oil prices more than offset lower refining margins.

Shell said net income was $9.08 billion, or $1.46 a share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $7.28 billion, or $1.15 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The profit figure shows how major oil companies are still able to capture the benefits of record oil prices, which have been boosted by continuing unrest in Nigeria and tensions between Iran and the West.

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Shell Profit Rises on Record Crude Prices: profits boosted due to ‘militant attacks in Nigeria’ by Shell’s paid thugs

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Bloomberg: Shell Profit Rises on Record Crude Prices, Higher Gas (Update1)

By Fred Pals

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s biggest oil company, said first-quarter profit climbed 25 percent, boosted by record crude prices and higher natural gas.

Net income advanced to $9.08 billion from $7.28 billion a year earlier, The Hague-based company said today in a PR Newswire statement. Excluding inventory changes and one-time items, earnings beat analysts’ estimates.

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Rising oil price benefits Shell: $7.8bn (assisted by the attacks in Nigeria by Shell’s paid militants)

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BBC News: Rising oil price benefits Shell

Tuesday, 29 April 2008 06:40 UK

Oil firm Royal Dutch Shell says it made first quarter profits of $7.8bn (£3.9bn), up from $6.9bn a year ago.
It comes three months after the Anglo Dutch oil firm reported annual profits of $27.56bn (£13.9bn), a record for a UK-listed company.

The firm has benefitted from the rising price of oil, which is closing in on $120 a barrel, up from $91 in January.

Chief executive Jeroen van der Veer said he would continue to grow the firm after a “good operating performance”.

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Shell Q1 profits beat forecast on record oil:$7.85 BILLION

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Reuters: Shell Q1 profits beat forecast on record oil

Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:37am BST

LONDON, April 29 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) beat forecasts on Tuesday with a 12 percent rise in its first quarter current cost of supply net income, helped by record oil prices.

Excluding non-operating items, which amounted to a net charge of $77 million, the CCS result, which strips out the impact of changes in the value of fuel inventories, was $7.85 billion.

A Reuters poll of 11 analysts gave an average forecast of $6.84 billion for Shell’s first quarter CCS earnings, excluding non-ops.

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Shell, TransCanada to appeal New York LNG decision

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Reuters: UPDATE 1-Shell, TransCanada to appeal New York LNG decision

Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:43pm BST

(Adds background, comment from Connecticut attorney general)

NEW YORK, April 28 (Reuters) – Energy companies Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) and TransCanada (TRP.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) plan to ask the U.S. Commerce department to overturn New York state’s rejection of their plan to build a liquefied natural gas platform in Long Island Sound.

John Hritcko, regional project director for the Broadwater LNG project, has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to forward the details of the case to the Secretary of Commerce in preparation for an appeal.

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Former Shell International HSE Group Auditor Bill Campbell comments on our article: ‘Contenders for the tarnished Shell crown’

My only comment on the statement that quote "Brinded has a track record of turning a blind eye to corrupt management and has the blood on his hands of Shell offshore workers that lost their lives in a preventable accident on the Brent Bravo production platform" was that he was in fact the corrupt Manager (Director) and the 1999 major audit atypically pointed the finger at him as the main catalyst for the demise witnessed in that organisation.

Shell shares fall on Nigerian troubles

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Reuters: Shell shares fall on Nigerian troubles

Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:47pm BST

Shares in oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) fall after Nigerian rebels say they have shut in 350,000 barrels per day of production and a senior oil official and industry sources tell Reuters that Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) has shut almost all its Nigerian production.

Shell’s London-listed “A” shares trade down 0.41 percent compared to a 0.75 percent rise in the DJ Stoxx European oil and gas sector index .

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Contenders for the tarnished Shell crown

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Contenders for the tarnished Royal Dutch Shell crown

By John Donovan

The Financial Times published an article on Saturday revealing Shell’s intention to make “one-off retention payments to three Shell executive directors”, Malcolm Brinded, Peter Voser and Linda Cook; the three candidates vying to succeed Jeroen van der Veer when he retires in June next year.

Financial Times Article

Not an inspiring trio

Brinded has a track record of turning a blind eye to corrupt management and has the blood on his hands of Shell offshore workers that lost their lives in a preventable accident on the Brent Bravo production platform for which Shell admitted responsibility and paid a record breaking fine. Brinded failed to take adequate action after a “Touch Fuck All” safety culture was exposed in a safety audit led by Shell International HSE Group Auditor, Bill Campbell.

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Borders & Southern Rises to Record on Speculation of Shell Bid

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Bloomberg: Borders & Southern Rises to Record on Speculation of Shell Bid

By Sabine Pirone and Sarah Thompson

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Borders & Southern Petroleum Plc, a U.K.-based company that explores for oil near the Falkland Islands, rose to a record in London trading on speculation Royal Dutch Shell Plc may make a takeover bid.

Borders & Southern advanced as much as 5.75 pence, or 7 percent, to 89 pence and traded at 87 pence at 9:14 a.m. That’s the biggest gain since May 2005 and boosts the London-based company’s market value to 169 million pounds ($334.9 million).

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Choir director praying for lower gas prices

deseretnews.com: Choir director praying for lower gas prices

Published: Monday, April 28, 2008 12:52 a.m. MDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A choir director who hopes prayer can bring down high gas prices is trying out his approach at some of the costliest pumps in the country.

Rocky Twyman of Washington, D.C., came to San Francisco over the weekend to stage a pray-in at a Chevron station. He is also calling on churchgoers to ask for God’s intervention where he says politicians have failed.

Gas costing $4 a gallon or more has become common around the San Francisco Bay area.

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ExxonMobil says strike cuts output in Nigeria

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Yahoo! News: ExxonMobil says strike cuts output in Nigeria

28 April 2008

LAGOS (AFP) – ExxonMobil’s Nigerian affiliate said Monday that a five day strike by white collar employees had caused output losses.

A spokesman for Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) said the company was attempting to open talks with the strikers. He would not disclose the volume of the loss. Its production is normally about 780,000 barrels per day.

“There has been some partial shut-in. But we are trying to reopen negotiations with the striking workers in order to resolve the matter,” the company spokesman told AFP.

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New Zealand litigation: ‘Shell has already paid the plaintiffs $1 million…’

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stuff.co.nz: D-day for oil, gas compo bids

By KRIS HALL – The Dominion Post | Monday, 28 April 2008

Seven days from now, a little-known group of oil and gas investors will go up against multinational Shell as New Zealand’s longest-running insider-trading case finally lands in court.

Fuelled by spiralling oil prices and the tireless Tony Gavigan, a group of former Southern Petroleum shareholders will enter the High Court at Auckland seeking millions of dollars’ compensation for alleged misinformation by Fletcher Energy in its 1995 takeover of the Southern subsidiary.

Shell, which bought Fletcher Energy in 2001 and thus owns the assets of Southern, is funding the litigation and costs of bringing the case, after a 2003 Court of Appeal ruling upheld the right of the plaintiffs to press on.

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Biofuels will not solve energy issue

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oilandgasnewsonline.com: Biofuels will not solve energy issue

Volume: 25, No. 17 April 28 – May 4, 2008

ROME:

Biofuels will not solve the world’s energy problem, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell said, amid growing criticism of their environmental and social benefits.

The remarks follow protests in Brazil and Europe against fuels derived from food crops. Food shortages and rising costs have set off rioting and protests in countries including Haiti, Cameroon, Niger and Indonesia.

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Oil Rises to Record on U.K. Pipeline Shutdown, Nigeria Attack: near $120 a barrel

Bloomberg: Oil Rises to Record on U.K. Pipeline Shutdown, Nigeria Attack

By Christian Schmollinger and Gavin Evans

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Crude oil rose to a record, trading near $120 a barrel in New York, after BP Plc shut a North Sea pipeline and gunmen attacked police guarding Nigeria’s largest oil and gas terminal.

BP closed the Forties Pipeline System, carrying 40 percent of the U.K.’s oil production, after a strike at the Grangemouth refinery cut power supplies. Five police were killed in yesterday’s attack in the Niger Delta, where output has dropped by 50 percent since April 25, adding to concern about supplies before the Northern Hemisphere summer driving season.

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Oil multinationals rebuked for reluctance to tackle corruption

Financial Times: Oil multinationals rebuked for reluctance to tackle corruption

By Michael Peel in London and Hugh Williamson in Berlin
Published: April 28 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 28 2008 03:00

Most leading oil multinationals fall well short of best practice on revealing financial data and combating corruption, a survey unveiled today by Transparency International, the anti-graft group, claims.

The research says western companies such as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and BP rank as middling or poor performers on voluntarily disclosing information about their operations – alongside China National Offshore Oil Corp, Russia’s Lukoil and Petronas of Malaysia.

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Virtue’s reward?

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Financial Times: Virtue’s reward?

By Michael Skapinker
Published: April 28 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 28 2008 03:00

In Unilever’s London headquarters, Gavin Neath, the consumer goods group’s head of sustainability, takes a plastic contraption out of its cardboard box and places it on a table. It looks like a small and semi-transparent version of the vending machines that dispense drinks to office workers.

The device is called a Pureit – and it is a drinks dispensing machine of sorts. Developed by Hindustan Unilever, the company’s Indian subsidiary, the Pureit provides drinking water from any source, however polluted, purifying it with a series of meshes, parasite and pesticide traps and a germ-killing battery kit, without the need for boiling and without the use of mains electricity.

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BP seeks to refine its performance

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Financial Times: BP seeks to refine its performance

By Ed Crooks
Published: April 28 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 28 2008 03:00

BP and Royal Dutch Shell , unusually, report first quarter results on the same day on Tuesday, the clash forced by the coincidence of the Dutch holidays of Queen’s Day on April 30 and Ascension day on May 1, writes Ed Crooks . This time round the comparison is likely to flatter BP, which had produced weak results for 2007 – in part because of the problems of its US refineries.

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Rise of Nationalism Frays Global Ties

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Rise of Nationalism Frays Global Ties

EXTRACT: Growing petro-nationalism has prompted Royal Dutch Shell PLC to change the global scenarios its economists create to help the company plot its next moves. In the 1990s, Shell’s scenarios assumed government power was diminishing. The company invested heavily in Russia’s Sakhalin oil fields, assuming it would see minimal interference. But as the Kremlin tightened its grip on the energy sector, Shell was forced to sell half of its stake in the project to Russia’s state-owned OAO Gazprom.

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As Fed Meets, Oil and Euro Face a Test

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: As Fed Meets, Oil and Euro Face a Test

By SCOTT PATTERSON
April 28, 2008; Page C1

Two related market trends — the weakening of the dollar against the euro and soaring oil prices — could be approaching turning points.

Last week, crude flirted with $120 a barrel for the first time. The dollar fell to $1.60 against the euro for the first time. But with the Federal Reserve possibly on course to pause in its campaign of aggressive interest-rate cuts, oil and the euro could be put to the test.

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Expect Big Profits for Big Oil

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Expect Big Profits for Big Oil

April 28, 2008

Big Oil’s profit juggernaut shows few signs of slowing, despite the weakening of the world’s biggest fossil-fuel guzzler, the U.S. economy.

Normally, a weakening economy leads to softening demand for gasoline and crude oil as businesses and consumers cut back on driving and electricity usage. But while there are signs this is occurring, the troubled U.S. economy may actually end up contributing to bigger profits for many global oil producers such as Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Chevron Corp., which will be reporting first-quarter earnings this week.

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Exxon, Shell, BP Profit to Climb on $100 Oil; Refining Slumps

Bloomberg: Exxon, Shell, BP Profit to Climb on $100 Oil; Refining Slumps

By Fred Pals and Eduard Gismatullin

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc may report record first-quarter profit and BP Plc the highest earnings in two years after oil rose above $100 a barrel and natural gas prices climbed.

Exxon Mobil probably will say net income rose 25 percent to $11.6 billion, based on the average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Profit at The Hague-based Shell likely gained 4.9 percent to $6.88 billion excluding one-time items, according to the median of eight analysts. BP’s probably jumped 32 percent to $5.26 billion, the median of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News shows.

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Exxon, Shell, BP Profit to Climb on $100 Oil; Refining Slumps

Bloomberg: Exxon, Shell, BP Profit to Climb on $100 Oil; Refining Slumps

By Fred Pals and Eduard Gismatullin

April 28 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc may report record first-quarter profit and BP Plc the highest earnings in two years after oil rose above $100 a barrel and natural gas prices climbed.

Exxon Mobil probably will say net income rose 25 percent to $11.6 billion, based on the average of six analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Profit at The Hague-based Shell likely gained 4.9 percent to $6.88 billion excluding one-time items, according to the median of eight analysts. BP’s probably jumped 32 percent to $5.26 billion, the median of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News shows.

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Windfall tax urged as profits soar to £68bn

royaldutchshellplc.com BP Shell image

Windfall tax urged as profits soar to £68bn

Phillip Inman
The Guardian, Monday April 28 2008

The world’s big oil firms, including BP and Shell, are expected to announce a jump in profits of more than a quarter this week. BP’s profits are expected to soar by more than 40% and Shell’s by around 15% as the rocketing price of oil boosts their finances for the past three months.

Together, the two firms are expected to see their profits reach £68bn this year.

Protesters are expected to claim that the firms are profiteering and should face a windfall tax to channel some of the surplus back into public services.

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