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Posts from ‘January, 2010’

Nigeria’s oil pipeline sabotaged – Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has shut three oil flow stations in Nigeria's Niger Delta region after a pipeline was sabotaged, a company spokeswoman has said.

More job cuts at ailing Royal Dutch Shell

Times Online

The Sunday Times

// <![CDATA[ // January 31, 2010 By Danny Fortson PETER VOSER, boss of Royal Dutch Shell, will warn of fresh job cuts this week as he reveals sagging profits at the oil giant. Since taking the top job six months ago Voser has cut 5,000 staff. He warned this weekend that the restructuring “may need to go further” as the company battles falling production and a huge cost base. He added: “As part of that, it may also mean that some more people have to go.”
Analysts expect the group to report a quarterly profit of $2.9 billion (£1.8 billion) on Thursday, a 40% drop over the same period last year. This would take its annual profit to $13.4 billion, down 57% on the $31.4 billion it made in 2008 when the oil price hit a record of $147 a barrel.The results will come in stark contrast to rival BP. Analysts expect it to post a profit of $4.8 billion for the quarter, about 75% better than the same time a year ago. The jump is largely thanks to the overhaul initiated by Tony Hayward since he took over as chief executive in 2006.

Peter Hitchens, analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “The question is, can Voser turn it round and get Shell going in the right direction? The underlying business is still in decline.”

Voser is carrying out a raft of other cost-cutting measures, including the sale of large swathes of its Nigerian oilfields, a plan revealed in The Sunday Times last month.

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Shell to sell oil licenses in Nigeria

Financial Times

By Tom Burgis in Lagos

Published: January 30 2010 03:20

Royal Dutch Shell is to sell its stake in three Nigerian oil-producing licenses, underlining its new chief executive’s cool stance towards what was long a mainstay of the group’s operations.

In recent weeks fresh rumours have circulated that Shell was seeking to dispense of Nigerian assets worth billions of dollars.

Peter Voser, Shell’s new chief executive, said in October that the group’s production in Nigeria had fallen to 120,000 barrels a day from 300,000 b/d before the start of a rebellion by militant groups in the Niger delta demanding a greater share of the region’s oil wealth.

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Shell COE Peter Voser warns of more redundancies

Sunday Telegraph

BP expected to exend gap with Shell in the battle of oil giants

The British oil major, now the biggest in Europe, is currently winning the race against its Anglo-Dutch rival

By Rowena Mason
Published: 8:12PM GMT 30 Jan 2010

Royal Dutch Shell is likely to endure more humiliation at the hands of BP this week, when it posts profits an estimated $1.7bn lower than its rival.

BP, which recently stole Shell’s crown as Europe’s largest oil company by market value, is likely to report profits of $4.6bn (£2.9bn). This 80pc up from $2.6bn in the last quarter of 2008 on a “replacement cost basis – a measure used by oil companies to strip out the effect of changing inventories.

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Is Iraq’s oil strategy too ambitious?

Published: Jan. 29, 2010 at 4:46 PM

BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 (UPI) — The chief executives of two of the world’s oil giants have been waxing lyrical about helping Iraq quadruple its oil production over the next decade, but questions linger about whether it can be done.

Some energy industry experts believe that given the plethora of problems that the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is having to deal with, Baghdad is being way too ambitious.

Others are less sanguine about the prospects of Iraq raising its production level from the current 2 million barrels a day to 12 million bpd by 2020.

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Ex-BAE middleman charged with bribery

guardian.co.uk home

First ever criminal case is brought during corruption investigations into British weapons manufacturer, which began more than five years ago after disclosures in the Guardian

David Leigh and Rob Evans
Friday 29 January 2010 19.47 GMT

One of BAE’s former confidential agents, Count Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, was today charged by the Serious Fraud Office with bribery over arms deals. He was remanded in custody in London.

It is the first ever criminal case brought during long-running corruption investigations into the British weapons manufacturer, which began more than five years ago after disclosures in the Guardian.

However, in an unusual turn of events, the attorney general, Lady Scotland, has not yet agreed to let the case proceed. David Huw Williams QC, for the SFO, told Highbury Corner magistrates court that the case should be adjourned for a month while she decided.

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Nigeria militants ‘end truce in Delta oil region’

BBC NEWS: Mend has carried out many attacks over several years

Saturday, 30 January 2010

A militant group in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta says it is ending the ceasefire it declared last October.

Jomo Gbomo, who said he was a spokesman for the group Mend, said it did not believe the government would restore control of resources to local people.

Mend has demanded that residents be given a greater share in profits from oil resources and land.

It warned oil companies to prepare for what it called an all-out onslaught against installations and personnel.

Analysts say it is not yet clear if this statement comes from the whole of Mend – the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta – or just a faction that did not accept the offer of an amnesty from President Umaru Yar Adua.

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BP May Widen Valuation Gap With Shell on Higher Profits, Output

Shell, whose production has dropped below 3 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, has cut 5,000 jobs. It’s also reorganized management by erasing 20 percent of senior posts.

Oil giants promise to rebuild industry in Iraq

Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, said that his company hoped to increase production in the Iraqi field it has agreed to modernise from one million to three million barrels a day over the next 10 years. His counterpart at Royal Dutch Shell, Peter Voser, made a similar commitment on the two fields Shell is involved with.

Shell Sells 3 Nigeria Oil Blocks To Local Companies

LONDON (Dow Jones)--The Nigerian joint venture company operated by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) agreed Friday to sell its 30% interest in three oil production licenses that have been shut down since 2008 to a consortium led by local companies for an undisclosed sum, the venture said in a statement.

Shell May Cut More Jobs says Voser

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Shell May Cut More Jobs as Energy Demand Recovery Remains Muted

January 29, 2010, 07:22 AM EST

By Fred Pals and Francine Lacqua

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, may need to cut more jobs this year to control operating costs as a recovery in energy demand waits until the second half.

“It’s normal in any business that you have to go further and you have to operate your operating expenditure in a very tough way,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Davos, Switzerland. “As part of that, it may also mean that some more people have to go

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Shell’s North Sea history of safety violations, blackmail and blacklisting

Paying For The PiperBy John Donovan

Violation of this court order, Shell warned, could result in the families and survivors concerned being ‘subject to bodily imprisonment: Faced with such legal harassment, even case-hardened lawyers involved in the proceedings reeled in disbelief

A book first published in 1996, “PAYING FOR THE PIPER”, provides more evidence of the dark side of Royal Dutch Shell, which also reflects on its current Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer: Mr. Richard Wiseman.

The book reported on the industrial relations crisis which erupted after the world’s worst offshore disaster in which 167 oil workers died on 6 July 1988 in an explosion and fire on the Piper Alpha North Sea oil production platform, operated by Occidental Petroleum.

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DAVOS-Shale gas is U.S. energy “game changer” -BP CEO

REUTERS

* Shale gas is “global and necessary” -Royal Dutch Shell

* Iraq could produce 10 mln barrels oil per day by 2020

* BP CEO expects $60-80 oil price through 2010

By Gerard Wynn and Ben Hirschler

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 28 (Reuters) – New technologies to extract gas from shale rock have altered the U.S. energy outlook for the next 100 years, Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP (BP.L), said on Thursday.

Energy chiefs speaking at the World Economic Forum differed about the prospects for future oil supplies — with Iraq placed to account for up to 10 percent of that — but agreed new “unconventional gas” would be a huge fillip.

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Shell CEO Pledges to Continue Record Spending in 2010

BLOOMBERG

By Fred Pals

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s second-largest oil company, plans to continue record spending this year in its search for oil and gas.

“We need to keep investing throughout the cycle,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, today.

Investments are needed within the oil industry to increase energy supply amid increasing demand. Shell has previously said it plans to spend as much as $28 billion this year.

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Hess in Talks With Chevron, Woodside, Shell on Gas

Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Hess Corp., the fifth-biggest U.S. oil company, is in talks with Chevron Corp., Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc to convert gas from its fields in Western Australia to liquid for export.

Feds’ offer of new oil shale leases nets 3 takers

In a separate investigation, the Department of Justice is looking at whether former Interior Secretary Gale Norton used her position to steer three of the leases issued in 2007 to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, her employer after she left the federal government.

Shell’s Perdido oil field may start by Feb. -U.S.

REUTERS

* Perdido can produce up to 100,000 bpd crude oil

* MMS sees Shell’s Perdido project starting by February

* No immediate comment from Shell

By Robert Campbell

HOUSTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSa.L) Perdido oil and gas project in the Gulf of Mexico will start up soon, perhaps as early as the end of January, the U.S. Minerals Management Service said on Wednesday.

The government agency, which oversees oil and gas production in U.S. federal waters, did not say how much it expected the project to produce initially. The Perdido platform is capable of producing 100,000 barrels per day of oil and 200 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

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Shell forced into oil sands U-turn

Share tips and investment analysis & advice

Created: 27 January 2010 Written by: Daniel O’Sullivan

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser cannily chose the safe ground of an exclusive interview with the Financial Times to finally admit the all-too-obvious – the Canadian oil sands development Shell has touted as a major growth driver is instead a costly distraction, on which time is now being called. Mr Voser said the massive expansion the company had previously planned for its Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) – envisioning growth from the current 155,000 barrels per day (bpd) capacity to an eventual 770,000bpd – was now ‘”clearly scaled down” and would be “very much slower”.

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Shell, Chevron Certain To Renew Oil Leases in Nigeria-Official

CNNMoney.com

January 27, 2010: 08:08 AM ET

ABUJA, Nigeria -(Dow Jones)- Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) and Chevron Corp. ( CVX) will soon renew oil leases with the Nigerian government despite uncertainty caused by the absence of the country’s President, a senior government official said late Tuesday.

“Shell and Chevron have some outstanding issues they’re trying to resolve, but definitely the renewal is sure,” Emmanuel Egbogah, Special Adviser to the President on Petroleum Matters, said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. ” We’re quite confident that there’s not going to be a problem of non-renewal.”

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Arrow Energy Shares Rise After 50% Increase in Gas Reserves

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Arrow Energy Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s coal-seam gas partner in Australia, rose the most in three weeks in Sydney trading after it announced a 50 percent increase in gas reserves.

Case Study: Shell Hydrocarbon Reserves Scandal

Class action reformBook Title: The Reform of Class and Representative Actions in European Legal Systems: Book by Christopher Hodges, MA (Oxon), PhD (Lond), FSALS: June 2008: Front Cover, Chapter 3 Court Rules for Multiple Claims – Extracts from Pages 75 & 76, plus Back Cover.

ISBN 978-1-84113-902-9 (Hart Publishing Limited)

The Netherlands

Case Study: Shell Hydrocarbon Reserves

On 9 January 2004, following an internal review, Shell (Royal Dutch and Shell Transport, the two former parent companies of the ‘Shell Group’) announced that it would re-categorise approximately 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent (‘boe’) out of its reported proved reserves. The re- categorisations were based on a determination that the reserves did not strictly comply with the definition of ‘proved’ reserves established by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (‘the SEC’). On 24 August 2004, the UK Financial Services Authority and the SEC announced final settlements of their investigations with respect to Shell. As a result of the settlement, Shell, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings or conclusions, entered into a consent agreement with the SEC and paid a civil penalty of $120 million.

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Essar Oil Says Shell Refinery Deal to Take More Time

BLOOMBERG

By Rakteem Katakey and Francine Lacqua

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — Essar Oil Ltd., operator of India’s second-largest non-state refiner, said a deal to buy three refineries from Royal Dutch Shell Plc will take more time.

“It’s going to be a few more months before we have a clear decision on the transaction,” Prashant Ruia, chief executive officer of the Essar Group, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV at Davos in Switzerland today. “It’s a bit too early to talk about the value of the transaction.”

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Shell becomes biggest investor in Qatar – executive

REUTERS

Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:37am EST

* Shell Qatar investments at $21 bln, surpasses Exxon

* First output from Pearl GTL plant expected early 2011

* Shell to get free gas from Qatar for Pearl, so costs low

By Simon Webb

DOHA, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) $21 billion investment in energy projects in Qatar would make it the largest private investor in the country, surpassing rival ExxonMobil (XOM.N), a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

Shell expected to complete construction by the end of 2010 on the world’s largest energy project, a $19 billion plant to produce superclean fuels from gas, said Gerrit-Jan Smitskamp, the company’s regional vice-president for finance.

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Oil sands costs driving Shell elsewhere

Calgary — Globe and Mail

By Nathan VanderKlippe: Company steering exploration dollars to other parts of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico and Kazakhstan

More than a year after it delayed a decision on a major new oil sands expansion, Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A-N58.390.050.08%) is backing further away from Canada’s richest crude resource.

Shell will dramatically slow its future growth in the Fort McMurray area, according to chief executive officer Peter Voser, who said that high costs in the oil sands are the reason the company is steering exploration dollars to other parts of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico and Kazakhstan.

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Shell pulls back from Canadian tar sands projects

London Evening Standard

Growth: Shell will rely on more conventional oil and gas reserves

The chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell today announced the firm would scale back growth in Canadian tar sands amid a growing backlash from shareholders and environmentalists.

Peter Voser said Shell plans to rely more on conventional oil and gas reserves for future growth.

“We have enough other growth opportunities,” he told the Financial Times.

Protestors have opposed oil sands projects over their impact on the environment, while shareholders are worried about the cost of climate change legislation.

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Nigeria: Shell has had enough

Energy Report – 26 January 2010

Shell, the company most affected by the years of violence in the Niger delta and the other difficulties of working in Nigeria, has finally had enough

In December, it invited offers for a swathe of its onshore fields and last month underlined its new stance with a statement from Peter Voser, group chief executive, that “we no longer depend on [Nigeria] for our growth aspirations.”

In – for Shell – surprisingly forthright comments about the country in which it has been the dominant oil and gas producer for over 50 years, Voser cited “uncertainties about the future of the fiscal structure” and the government giving “priority to maintaining oil production over reducing gas flares”, in addition to the “sabotage and attacks on installations” as reasons for its decision. Not depending on Nigeria for growth “gives us more flexibility in deciding when and how to develop oil and gas resources” in the country, he said.

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Shell Motiva to shut Convent refinery for five to six weeks

By Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune

January 26, 2010, 10:51AM

(Bloomberg) — Motiva Enterprises LLC will shut a crude unit and reformer at its Convent, Louisiana, refinery on Jan. 28 for five to six weeks of planned maintenance, people familiar with the plant’s operations said.

The crude unit has a capacity of 130,000 to 140,000 barrels a day and is the larger of the plant’s two crude units, said the people, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak for the refinery.

“I can’t comment on operational issues,” Kevin Hardy, a spokesman for the Convent refinery, said in an e-mail. “We don’t comment on anything that could have an impact on business.”

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In the Middle of the Baghdad Hotel Attacks

On Monday, my main assignments for the day were positively mundane: first, to get a plumber to fix the burst pipe at the office, and then head over to the oil ministry, where Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell were signing a 20-year deal to develop a supergiant Iraqi oil field. The agreement had been heralded as a cornerstone for the future of an Iraq safe enough for investors to unload tens of billions of dollars, perhaps one that would see Iraq surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production.

Shell expects production from Pearl GTL in 2011

Reuters UK

Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:52am GMT

DOHA, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) expects first production from its gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar in 2011, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.

The cost of the Pearl super-clean fuels plant in Qatar was pegged at $18 billion to $19 billion, the company’s regional vice-president for finance, Gerrit-Jan Smitskamp said during a MEED conference.

The GTL project will be the world’s largest and will have a capacity of 140,000 barrels per day (bpd).

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Shell & Big Oil’s Exploration Challenge

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

JANUARY 25, 2010, 9.32 A.M. ET

By MATTHEW CURTIN

These days, you have to corral an army of engineers in the desert to build an enormous factory to transform natural gas into a liquid to be used like oil. The capital cost of Royal Dutch Shell’s Pearl gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar is a cool $18 billion or more—10% of its market capitalization. Like Chevron’s Gorgon liquefied-natural-gas project offshore Australia, it shows what big integrated oil companies are capable of.

[shellherd0125] Associated PressShell has bumped up its exploration budget to $3 billion.

But have they neglected bread-and-butter exploration for lower-risk, lower-return engineering projects? Certainly, investors are unimpressed. A decade ago, the international oil companies, or IOCs, accounted for 79% of energy-sector market capitalization and nearly all its net income. Today the figures are 53% and 62%, according to Sanford C. Bernstein. Shell trades at a discount of 13% and 36% respectively to the 2010 forward price-to-earnings multiples at Petroleo Brasileiro and BG Group. But their estimated five-year average output growth is 5% and 9% compared with Shell’s 3%, around the IOC average.

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Exxon’s Sakhalin Troubles: A Redux of Shell’s Sakhalin II?

ExxonMobil is (XOM) at loggerheads with the Russian government over the Sakhalin I project. The issue is the one that eventually spelled Shell’s (RDS.A) doom in Sakhalin II: Development costs under the production sharing agreement (PSA):

Exxon, Shell Sign Final Deal For Iraq’s West Qurna 1 Oil Field

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

JANUARY 25, 2010

By Hassan Hafidh

Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

A consortium made up of Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) finalized a deal in Baghdad Monday to develop the West Qurna phase 1 oil field in southern Iraq, Iraqi oil officials said.

It represents the first time a U.S.-led group has been allowed into Iraq’s oil patch since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Exxon and Shell won the right to develop the field following the country’s first postwar licensing auction held last year. The license to develop the field wasn’t initially awarded in the auction in June, but a deal was reached following subsequent negotiations.

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Royal Dutch Shell is the world’s 25th-biggest economy, bigger than Norway

A version of this article appeared in print on January 25, 2010, on page A16 of the New York Times.

New York Times Editorial

Big Food

As huge corporations merge and get even huger, we find ourselves yearning for some old-fashioned competition, and maybe a little diversity.

Banks have gotten so big that they can unleash havoc and bill us for the pleasure. Big Oil is so big that Royal Dutch Shell is the world’s 25th-biggest economy, bigger than Norway. Four -fifths of the chips in the world’s PCs come from Intel. In the United States, AT&T and Verizon account for over half of all cellular phone customers. Big companies are likely to become even bigger. Between 2003 and 2007, the number of big mergers reported to American antitrust regulators doubled to 2,201. Though merger activity fell during the financial crisis, it is expected to rebound sharply. There is already another behemoth lumbering toward consumers: Big Food.

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Shell to scale back on oil sands – CEO

Reuters UK

LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) is slowing its expansion into high-cost Canadian tar sands, Chief Executive Peter Voser said in Monday’s edition of the Financial Times.

In an interview with the paper, Voser said Shell had scaled down plans to increase tar sands production to 700,000 barrels per day.

“Over the past two years and certainly over the past six to eight months, I’ve taken the pace out of that because we have enough other growth opportunities,” he said. Instead, Shell planned to rely more on conventional oil and gas reserves for future growth, he said, adding that Shell had become better at finding new oil and gas reserves after investing heavily in exploration.

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Peter Voser claims he had to be talked into becoming Royal Dutch Shell chief executive

After taking over last July, Voser put in place a new organisational structure and cut 5,000 jobs including 150 senior managers, all before the year was out. It is no surprise that, when asked to compare himself with his predecessor Jeroen van der Veer, he says: “I think I’m more direct, and I’m a faster decision taker.”

Shell faces legal fight over Arctic wells

guardian.co.uk home

• Shell paid $2.2bn for leases to drill for oil off Alaska
• Groups claim US government skimped on review of dangers

Nick Mathiason
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 January 2010 17.08 GMT

Shell could extract billions of barrels of oils from the US part of the Chukchi Sea if its controversial plans go ahead. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell‘s controversial plans to drill for billions of barrels of oil in the Arctic’s environmentally sensitive frozen waters face a potentially damaging legal challenge.

An alliance of conservation and Alaskan indigenous groups has filed a legal claim to prevent Shell drilling for oil this year in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea. Two years ago, Shell paid $2.1bn (£1.3bn) to the US government for 275 oil leases there.

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Alleged conflict of interest involving Shell Malaysia E&P manager

Grateful if you can follow up on my complaint against Shell Malaysia employee Surya Hidayat Abdul Malik (contracting and procurement country manager, Shell Malaysia E&P).

Yar’Adua’s absence stalls Nigerian oil reforms

While stressing Nigeria's importance, Shell chief executive Peter Voser earlier this month played down its significance to the company's global activities. "Nigeria is still a heartland for Shell, but we no longer depend on it for our growth aspirations. This gives us more flexibility in deciding when and how to develop oil and gas resources in Nigeria," he said. - Sapa-AFP

BP’s Iraq oil deal faces court battle

If successful, Mrs al Musawi's case could set a legal precedent that would invalidate all the agreements that Iraq secured last year – with BP, CNPC, ExxonMobil, Petronas, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Gazprom and Lukoil.

Essar Oil hit by a steep fall in crude-oil prices

Essar, which plans to have a refining capacity of one million barrels a day, is in talks to buy three European refineries from Royal Dutch Shell PLC. In July, Essar acquired a 50% stake in 80,000-barrel-a-day Mombasa- based Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd. from Shell, Chevron Corp. and BP PLC.

Nigeria’s oil industry in peril

LAGOS, Nigeria, Jan. 22 (UPI) — The power vacuum in Nigeria, one of Africa’s leading oil producers, caused by the two-month absence of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua is putting the all-important oil industry in jeopardy by delaying reforms and threatening to re-ignite an insurgency in the oil-rich south.

Yar’Adua, who has a history of poor health, was flown to Saudi Arabia for hospitalization with a heart condition on Nov. 23, leaving no designated successor and plunging Africa’s most populous nation into constitutional confusion.

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Shell trickery over Data Protection Act compliance

By John Donovan

Shell and its lawyers have had advance sight of what you are about to read and therefore the opportunity to seek an injunction to prevent publication, but have not done so. Our most recent email to Shell on this matter is published at the foot of the article.

Royal Dutch Shell trickery over UK Data Protection Act (DPA)

As long term prominent critics of Shell management, my father (Alfred) and I have found some of the information supplied to us by Shell under the Data Protection Act law to be very revealing. Some would say astonishing.

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Sniffing Oil From The Sky

Jonathan Fahey, 01.21.10, 06:00 PM EST

Shell is working to detect hydrocarbons in the air and track them to oil deposits under the earth’s surface.

Here’s a curious place to look for an oil field buried under thousands of feet of rock: the sky.

But that’s where Royal Dutch Shell ( RDSA news people ) is heading in an attempt to survey huge tracts of rugged and remote terrain that might be hiding oil.

The trick is an instrument Shell is perfecting that can sniff molecular signatures of trapped hydrocarbons floating in the air at concentrations of just 10 parts per trillion. Shell puts the instrument on board an aircraft that flies low (about 1,000 feet) over potential oil territory, sniffing the air and comparing that information with other data collected onboard about the chemistry and structure of the terrain below and the local weather conditions.

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The World’s Biggest Oil Reserves

Christopher Helman, 01.21.10, 12:00 PM EST

Chances are your energy needs are going to flow from one of these 10 fields in the future.

HOUSTON — This month Iraq will finalize contracts with the likes of ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and to develop some of its biggest oil fields. These giants are among the world’s last remaining pockets of so-called “easy oil.” They don’t require ultradeep drilling or innovative production techniques, just the application of Big Oil know-how. No wonder the oil companies agreed to develop Iraq’s fields without even getting an ownership stake in the fields and collecting as little as $1.15 per barrel recovered.

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Oil majors including Shell eye French shale oil explorer -report

Shell declined comment.

Shell offshore oil drill plan in Alaska challenged

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Environmental and Alaska Native groups have filed a legal challenge seeking to overturn U.S. approval of Royal Dutch Shell Plc's (RDSa.L) plans to drill up to three wells this year off the shore of Alaska, representatives said on Wednesday.

Groups File Legal Challenge to Shell Chukchi Drilling

Alaska Natives, environmental groups file legal challenge to Chukchi offshore drilling

By MARY PEMBERTON Associated Press Writer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska January 20, 2010 (AP)

A coalition of Alaska Natives has combined forces with some of the heaviest hitters in the environmental community to challenge a plan by Shell to drill for oil off northwest Alaska.

The legal challenge to Shell’s approved drilling plan for the Chukchi Sea was filed Wednesday in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The groups say the plan approved by the Minerals Management Service does not comply with federal environmental laws. And they say the plan was approved without evaluating the potential impact of a major oil spill in the Chukchi Sea.

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APPEAL FROM INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS IN HAITI

Dear Alfred

International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization, founded by volunteer doctors and nurses and dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through relief and development programs. Our emergency response team is in Haiti responding in force and I would like to ask for your help to get the word out to the readers of TellShell.net: The best of Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com. There are still thousands of patients seeking treatment of which approximately 80% are in need of surgery and are running out of time – especially with the tremendous aftershocks still devastating this country. The team is treating crush injuries, trauma, substantial wound care, shock and other critical cases with the few available supplies – And they’re in it for the long haul.  I would love your help spreading the word by blogging or tweeting about IMC’s rescue efforts. We’ve put up a blogger friendly widget here on our site:

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Shell, BP and Statoil Pursue Toreador Resources

The New York Times

Big Oil Pursues Toreador Resources

Wednesday January 20, 2010

Several big energy conglomerates are in initial discussions to buy or partner with Toreador Resources Corporation, an independent oil and natural gas company that operates primarily in France, people briefed on the matter told DealBook.

Three big companies — Royal Dutch Shell plc, BP plc and Statoil ASA — have signed confidentiality agreements with Toreador and concluded technical due diligence on the firm’s oil properties, these people said. Toreador currently has a market value of roughly $200 million.

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Workers say Exxon Mobil hid cleaning job’s radiation risk

A trial against Shell Oil on these allegations is set for trial in May.