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Posts from ‘April, 2010’

SEC Announces $113.5 Million Distribution For Shell Investors

NASDAQ

By Fawn Johnson, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will begin distributing about $113.5 million to some 84,000 investors Friday stemming from a 2004 settlement with Royal Dutch/Shell Group after it was accused of overstating its oil reserves.

A federal court approved the distribution plan earlier this week. The “Fair Fund” made interim distributions of about $4.2 million last year. read more

Oil spill sparks new drilling ban

BBC News

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano: This is a spill of national significance

Friday, 30 April 2010 13:15 UK

The US administration has banned oil drilling in new areas of the US coast pending investigations into the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana. read more

Shell to proceed with Arctic offshore plans despite spill

The Associated Press

Published: April 29th, 2010 11:39 AM
Last Modified: April 29th, 2010 11:40 AM

FAIRBANKS — A large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has come at a tricky time for two companies seeking to increase Arctic exploration.

The Gulf spill occurred weeks after Shell and Conoco Phillips said they would boost oil exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Shell, which paid $2 billion for offshore leases, recently secured key air-quality permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. read more

Shell not planning oil sands expansion – paper

REUTERS

* Shell plans no expansions in oil sands

* Expects to boost output from existing ops (In U.S. dollars unless noted)

CALGARY, Alberta, April 29 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) has no plans to quickly expand its oil sands operations, focusing instead on tweaking output from its existing investments, the head of Shell’s U.S. arm told a Canadian newspaper.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail’s editorial board, Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co, said the company was unlikely to launch a major expansion of its 60 percent-owned Athabasca oil sands project because new projects in the region, which contains the largest crude reserves outside the Middle East, are too expensive. read more

Shell, PetroChina Bid for Arrow Energy Wins Approval

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc and PetroChina Co. received approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to acquire gas producer Arrow Energy Ltd. in a A$3.5 billion ($3.3 billion) transaction.

U.S. Gulf States Mobilize for Oil Spill Reminiscent of Valdez

April 30 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Interior Department inspectors began boarding deep-water platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana asked for help from the National Guard as an oil sheen reportedly washed ashore in the worst rig spill in four decades.

The U.S. will “use every single available resource at our disposal,” in response to the spill, President Barack Obama said yesterday. BP Plc, which owns the leaking well, is “ultimately responsible” for paying for the cleanup, the president said. A faint sheen washed ashore on the Louisiana coastline last night, the Associated Press reported. Oil may hit Mississippi tomorrow, Alabama in two days and Florida in three, according to a government forecast.

Oil is escaping from the well at a rate of about 5,000 barrels a day, five times faster than previously estimated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. At that rate, the volume of the leak will exceed Alaska’s 1989 Exxon Valdez accident by the third week of June, making it the worst U.S. oil spill.

“This has a danger of becoming an utter ecological disaster,” said Ken Medlock, a fellow in energy and resource economics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston. “This is going to result in remediation costs, and is going to be burdensome, to say the least.”

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency and demanded extra oil barriers from BP and the U.S. Coast Guard to protect wildlife preserves that nurture a $1.8 billion seafood industry, the richest in the U.S. behind Alaska.

Shell refuses to comment on Oklahoma oil royalties fraud

“As you surmise, we will not be commenting.  As always, you cannot take our silence to mean that we agree with any of your conclusions.”: Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc 29 April 2010

NANCY FULLER HEBBLE AND OTHERS vs SHELL OIL CO.

On 13 April 2010, Shell filed an “APPELLANTS’ MOTION TO SUSPEND EFFECTIVENESS OF MANDATE“. It relates to the 18 December, 2009 decision by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals affirming a judgment on a jury verdict in the Hebble v Shell royalties fraud case.

The jury awarded the Plaintiffs/Appellees $750,708 in principal, $12,455,208 in pre-judgment interest, and $53,625,000 in punitive damages.

The mandate is the instrument used by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to signal that they are finished with the case.  Shell asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to suspend the effectiveness of the mandate so that the plaintiffs would not collect on the judgment pending a ruling by the United States Supreme Court. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Delays Oil Sands Expansion, Globe Reports

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc has put plans to expand operations in Alberta’s oil sands on hold for at least five years, the Globe and Mail reported, citing Marvin Odum, the company’s Americas head.

Costs to build in the oil sands have increased, prompting the company to delay any decisions to expand its Athabasca Oil Sands project until at least the second half of the decade, the newspaper said.

Royal Dutch will instead focus on increasing production at existing facilities, planning to produce a further 30,000 to 80,000 barrels a day, Odum told the Globe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at [email protected].

Last Updated: April 29, 2010 07:10 EDT

Bloomberg.com Article
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Shell’s profit gusher not as productive as it looks

ft.com

By Andrwe Hill Published: April 28 2010 22:54

Profits are like oil: great resources to have, but greater still when converted into hard cash. Royal Dutch Shell pumped out more oil and gas and made a decent fist of improving profits in the first quarter. Its cash conversion rate, however, was horrid. The Anglo-Dutch oil major burnt through $1.3bn (£847m); that followed a $4.5bn cash burn the previous quarter.

Drilling for oil is clearly a licence to sink money.

BP’s pay safety catch

BP executive directors are rightly focusing on the immediate human and environmental aftermath of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. But they have an added spur to deal with the incident as efficiently, cleanly and safely as possible. Two weeks ago, BP shareholders voted to tighten the conditions on executive directors’ annual bonuses. From this year, one-third will be paid in deferred shares, which could be clawed back if there has been “a material deterioration” in safety and environmental measures, or “major incidents [reveal] underlying weaknesses in safety and environmental management” in the following three years. How much BP’s top team expect to be paid will not affect how they handle the tragedy of Deepwater Horizon. But how they handle it may yet affect how much they are paid. read more

Big banks, Shell blast CFTC position limit plan

“Royal Dutch Shell is the only major oil company objecting to the plan by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission to limit speculative positions in U.S. oil and gas futures. In view of its track record of market manipulation, including false reporting, fictitious sales, fictitious trades and manipulation of natural gas prices, the attempt to block regulation is predicable by the predatory oil giant which has no shame.”

REUTERS

Roberta Rampton and Ayesha Rascoe WASHINGTON

Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:43pm ED

(Reuters) – The biggest Wall Street energy traders and top producers filed fierce last-minute objections to a proposed plan to limit speculative positions in U.S. oil and gas futures, hoping to halt a crackdown that has been lauded by consumers but decried by market participants.

In letters to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Wednesday, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital and BlackRock Inc joined others in saying the proposal to set a hard cap on the number of contracts any single party can hold would hurt hedgers and lead to a loss of liquidity. read more

SHELL JOINS CLEAN-UP EFFORT FOR BP SPILL

Financial Times

Multinational petroleum company Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has dispatched six boats to assist in cleaning up the oil spill caused by last week’s fatal accident aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The rig had been drilling a well for BP (BP.L) in the Gulf of Mexico — an area Shell deems “very important”, with three new exploration wells identifying reserves that could amount to 350 million barrels. News of Shell’s assistance came as the group reported a 60 percent rise in underlying post-tax profits, with earnings per share up 48 percent at 80 cents. read more

FIRE AND ICE: Shell and BP’s hunt for offshore oil in Alaska

“An ugly and growing oil leak associated with the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico last week has raised questions… providing new leverage to environmentalists and North Slope residents…”

Alaska Dispatch

Craig Medred and Jill Burke

Apr 28, 2010

Since the Arctic whaling days of the 1850s, profits on oil from Alaska’s north have fattened the wallets of the global merchant class. The source of the oil changed with the times, but it has continued to flow to the benefit of both commerce and government.

arctic-drill-intro-2 Photos by U.S. Coast Guard and Stephen Nowers Wednesday: Will the Gulf oil spill slow offshore plans in Alaska’s Arctic? Coming Friday: How do you clean up oil in sea ice?

The crude that replaced whale oil set the stage for a boom that ran, with some ups and downs, from the mid-1970s into the 21st century. Oil production on the North Slope peaked in 1988, with about 2 million barrels a day. That boom is fading now, the volume of oil running through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline falling to about 675,000 per day. And yet many believe there are vast new oil riches waiting just offshore beneath the waters once roamed by the Nantucket whalers — if companies are allowed access, and if they can find a way to get the oil out without harming the environment. read more

‘Controlled Burn’ Considered for Gulf Oil Spill

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in print on April 28, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

By LESLIE KAUFMAN

With a vast oil slick now within only 20 miles of the ecologically fragile Louisiana coastline, Coast Guard officials said they were considering a “controlled burn” of the petroleum on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, the federal on-scene coordinator for the spill, said such a burn might be conducted as soon as Wednesday.

A joint government and industry task force has been unable to stop crude oil from streaming out of a broken pipe attached to a well 5,000 feet below sea level. The leaks were found Saturday, days after an oil rig to which the pipe was attached exploded and sank in the gulf about 50 miles southeast of Venice, La. An estimated 42,000 gallons a day are now spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. read more

Higher oil prices lift Royal Dutch Shell’s profits by 60 per cent

Times Online

April 28, 2010 Robin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor

Royal Dutch Shell announced a 60 per cent increase in profits this morning, propelled by higher oil and gas prices and growth in production.

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, said that the current cost of supply profits, a key industry measure which strips out fluctuations in the price of energy, reached $4.8 billion in the three months to March 31, up from $3 billion a year ago.

The performance was boosted by a 6 per cent increase in the Anglo-Dutch company’s oil and gas production, which hit 3.59 million barrels per day after the ramp-up of the Sakhalin II project in Russia and Parque das Conchas in Brazil. read more

Shell Widens Talks On Sale Of European Refineries

Shell Stanlow Refiney

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

APRIL 28, 2010

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) is still in talks with Essar Oil Ltd. (500134.BY) over the sale of three of its European refineries, but the company has also initiated talks with other parties, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said Wednesday.

Other potential buyers include private equity groups and state-controlled oil companies from outside Europe, he said.

Shell entered exclusive talks with Essar over the sale of the three refineries–Stanlow in the U.K. and the Heide and Harburg refineries in Germany–late last year, but talks between the companies have failed to reach a conclusion. read more

Shell sees profits surge on oil price rise

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:43 AM on 28th April 2010

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell today revealed that profits rose almost 50 per cent during the first three months of the year as it joined rival BP in benefiting from higher oil prices.

The Anglo-Dutch firm reported earnings of $4.9bn (£3.2bn) for the first three months of the year – just one day after BP posted profits of $5.6bn (£3.6bn) for the same period.

The profit surge has been fuelled by a marked increase in the price of crude oil. At the height of the recession in 2009, the average price of oil was just above $41 a barrel. In contrast, the average price for the first quarter of 2010 stands at $76 a barrel.
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