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Posts from ‘May, 2010’

Alleged Shell violation of U.S. Export Restrictions


Dear John,

As a Shell insider I need to stay anonymous but I will point you to the right story.

As you possible know, there are export restrictions to export software and technology which is US based to restricted countries like Iran, Sudan, Syria, North Korea and Cuba. Shell violates this export restrictions as Shell is using software and technology without a valid export license.

One example will be that in the joint venture from Shell and Sinopec both companies are using Microsoft Windows Operation system. They never got a valid license from the US government. It looks like that in some cases Shell take the business risk only for profit to make business with terrorists.

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BP’s Top Kill Effort Fails to Plug Leak


BP Prepares to Take New Tack on Leak After ‘Top Kill’ Fails


Win Mcnamee/Getty Images: Crews worked Saturday on the failed top kill effort to stanch the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico. BP will try another strategy.


A version of this article appeared in print on Sunday May 30, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

NEW ORLEANS — In another serious setback in the effort to stem the flow of oil gushing from a well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, BP engineers said Saturday that the “top kill” technique had failed and, after consultation with government officials, they had decided to move on to another strategy.

Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, said at a news conference that the engineers would try once again to solve the problem with a containment cap and that it could take four to seven days for the device to be in place.

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BP share price fear over latest setback

The Sunday Telegraph

BP’s share price is likely to take another battering this week as the company last night admitted it was failing in its latest attempts to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil leak.

By Angela Monaghan Sunday 30 MAY 2010

Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, BP shares have lost a quarter of their value, however with the latest failure of efforts to stem the flow of oil the stock is likely to continue its fall when the London market opens on Tuesday.

Speaking last night at a news conference in Louisiana, Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer, said a “top kill” operation to stop the leak was having no effect. “I don’t think the amount of oil coming out has changed,” said Mr Suttles.

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New drilling rules’ impact goes beyond Big Oil

By CHRIS KAHN (AP) 28 May 2010

NEW YORK — President Obama’s decision to halt new deepwater oil exploration will extend beyond the Gulf of Mexico, affecting boat captains, helicopter pilots, mechanics and others who rely on drilling for their livelihoods.

The industry employs a community of service companies with 75,000 workers in the U.S. Many of them can’t afford to rearrange their plans as easily as oil giants like BP and Shell.

“This can’t be good,” said Mark Cuevas, owner of a crew boat that transports passengers and cargo to deepwater rigs and production platforms in the Gulf. Cuevas’ business focuses on established oil platforms not affected by Obama’s announcement. That business also will suffer as service companies go after a smaller number of drilling contracts.

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Shell agrees to buy US rival for $4.7bn

Times Online

Francesca Steele: May 28, 2010

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy East Resources, the US natural gas explorer, for $4.7 billion (£3.2 billion).

The Amsterdam-based oil and gas giant said that it had struck a deal with East Resources and its private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to acquire “subsidiaries which own substantially all of the business”.

East Resources has more than 650,000 acres in the Marcellus shale, a rock formation running from West Virginia to New York, which is said to contain vast amounts of natural gas. It produces the equivalent of almost 10,000 barrels of oil a day.

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Rethinking Offshore Drilling

“Royal Dutch Shell shares have also dropped – around 11% – since the BP oil spill began.”

Published May 28, 2010 7:20 AM

As the BP (BP: 45.38, +2.97, +7.00%) spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues, the Obama administration is reviewing its position on offshore drilling, which could add further selling pressure on BP and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A, RDS-B), among other oil companies. On Thursday, the President announced the suspension of most offshore drilling operations in the Gulf and postponed or canceled drilling in Virginia and in the Arctic. Meanwhile, the head of the regulatory agency Minerals Management Service resigned, suggesting a shakeup of management and an improvement in safety and regulations to come.

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Shell says drilling ‘pause’ will cost Alaskans jobs

"There's nothing that's going to get us to drilling in 2010," said Curtis Smith, a Shell spokesman, when asked whether the language of the announcement left room for salvaging Shell's summer operations in Alaska.

Shell Buys U.S. Gas Assets From East Resources for $4.7 Billion

BusinessWeek Logo

By Fred Pals

May 28 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil producer, agreed to buy most of the assets of closely-held East Resources Inc. for $4.7 billion in cash, expanding its portfolio of U.S. unconventional gas deposits.

East Resources owns and operates more than 2,500 producing oil and gas wells in New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Colorado and is actively exploring drilling programs in Wyoming, according to its website. It has been operating in the Marcellus Shale Area for 25 years.

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Royal Dutch Shell BP Merger?


Spill Could Make BP Vulnerable


BP is likely to eventually stop the flow of oil from its explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. After that happens, the autopsy of the spill will begin in earnest. But if the information dribbling into the public domain proves correct, the British energy giant will be a weakened creature — so weak it will be vulnerable to a takeover.

Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are almost certainly running the numbers. Government leaders ought to be plotting their strategy, too.

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Shell’s Statement on the President’s Offshore Announcement

PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring

HOUSTON, May 27 /PRNewswire/ — The Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico is a terrible tragedy for the families of those who lost their lives or were injured, as well as our neighbors in the Gulf region.

Immediately following the on-set of this incident, we undertook a number of proactive steps to reinforce our top priority, safety, by conducting a comprehensive review of our operating practices, testing frequencies and training protocols. We have an unwavering commitment to safe operating practices and will actively seek to understand the causes of the Deepwater Horizon incident.

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The Pipe – Shell in Ireland

by John Donovan

A new documentary on Shell’s Corrib Pipeline Project in Ireland is claiming that the Irish Police and regulators colluded in covering up the connection between private security working on the Corrib Gas pipeline project and an apparent assassination attempt on the Bolivian President, Evo Morales.

Shell’s interests in Bolivia have been threatened by Morales’ policy of nationalising its natural resources. However, apparently for legal reasons, the film-maker has been forced to avoid naming the oil company.

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News Alert: Gulf leak nation’s worst spill; far bigger than Exxon Valdez


10:51 AM EDT Thursday, May 27, 2010

ROBERT, La. — New oil flow estimates by scientists studying the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico would make leak the worst in the nation’s history, far bigger than 11 million gallons that spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. U.S. Geological Survey Director Dr. Marcia McNutt says the results are preliminary, but two teams using different methods determined the well that exploded April 20 and sank two days later has spilled between 17 and 39 million gallons.

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Obama to Suspend Arctic Oil Drilling Until 2011



The Obama administration, under pressure to act over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, is expected to announce Thursday that it will suspend consideration of any applications for exploratory drilling for oil in the Arctic until 2011.

The decision is a major blow to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, which had planned an ambitious oil-drilling program in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska this summer. Shell has been arguing to regulators that its operations in Alaska would face a lower risk of the kind of problems faced by BP PLC in its ill-fated Gulf of Mexico operation.

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Obama warns on ‘risky’ fossil fuels

By Anna Fifield and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Ed Crooks in London

Published: May 27 2010 00:55


President Barack Obama will on Thursday announce sweeping new regulations for offshore drilling and delay or cancel some drilling deals, as he struggles to show hisadministration is in control of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mr Obama will announce standards to “strengthen oversight of the offshore drilling industry and enhance safety”, a first step in a process that the independent Presidential Commission will continue, a White House official said on Thursday morning.

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Shell Alaska offshore drilling put on hold


Obama to Extend Drilling Moratorium


WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to announce Thursday that he is extending the moratorium on permits to drill new deepwater wells for six more months and will delay or cancel specific projects off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia and in the western Gulf of Mexico, a White House official said.

Mr. Obama, who will discuss the decisions at a midday White House news conference, is taking the actions in response to the initial 30-day safety review of offshore drilling ordered after a BP rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 men and opening a gusher of oil that has yet to be stopped.

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BP Skimped on Safety Before Blast

BP Used Riskier Method to Seal Oil Well Before Blast

By IAN URBINA: Published May 26, 2010

WASHINGTON — Several days before the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, BP officials chose, partly for financial reasons, to use a type of casing for the well that the company knew was the riskier of two options, according to a BP document.

The concern with the method BP chose, the document said, was that if the cement around the casing pipe did not seal properly, gases could leak all the way to the wellhead, where only a single seal would serve as a barrier.

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Democrats and environmentalists push to kill Shell’s Arctic drilling project home

Interior secretary due to give final approvals to Alaska exploration despite intense pressure from Congress and environmental groups

Suzanne Goldenberg 26 May 2010 23.12 BST

Shell is planning a drilling project in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the northern coast of Alaska. Photograph: Delphine Star/Getty Images

The Obama administration is coming under intense pressure from Democrats in Congress and environmentalists to shelve a Shell offshore drilling project in the Arctic.

The interior secretary, Ken Salazar, is due to give final approvals this week to a Shell exploration project in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the northern coast of Alaska. He told Congress today that new regulations would help assure greater safety. “We need to move forward with oil and gas development,” he said. “Nothing in life is risk-free … How do you create a program that does in fact minimize those risks?”

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Shell Arctic Drilling Leases to Be Reviewed by U.S.

“There are 1,700 employees within the Minerals Management Service” Salazar said. “Most of the employees at MMS are good public servants. There are bad apples within the organization. People have been reprimanded. People have been turned over for prosecution. We will have zero tolerance with respect to ethical lapses.”

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26, 2010, 2:17 PM EDT

By Jim Efstathiou Jr.

May 26 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. will review Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plans to explore for oil and natural gas off Alaska’s coast and take steps to increase safety on all offshore rigs, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today.

Shell’s application to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean faces new scrutiny because of the spill from BP Plc’s well in the Gulf of Mexico, Salazar told a House panel probing the spill. Shell’s plans were conditionally approved last year by Salazar, and drilling could begin within months in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

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In the Arctic, another oil spill looming

Published: May 26, 2010 at 3:08 PM
By STEFAN NICOLA, UPI Europe Correspondent

BERLIN, May 26 (UPI) — Will Royal Dutch Shell do to the Arctic what BP did to the Gulf of Mexico?

That’s the question troubling environmental experts across the globe ever since the Dutch minerals giant Shell announced its plan to begin exploratory oil drilling this summer in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, two of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet.

The seas near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are home to endangered bowhead whales and threatened polar bears, Beluga whales, walruses, various kinds of seals and numerous bird and fish species — right down to the krill, the tiny shrimp-like invertebrates that form the basis of the marine food chain. Moreover, millions of sea mammals and birds head there to calve and nest each year.

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U.S. Makes Case for Drilling, But With Tougher Rules



WASHINGTON—U.S. House lawmakers applied pressure to the Interior Department from all sides Wednesday over a Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as the Obama administration maintained that tighter regulation would allow offshore energy development to remain part of the country’s mix.

The lobbying, in a House Natural Resources Committee hearing, came as BP PLC began to pour heavy drilling fluids into a damaged well on the sea floor in an attempt to plug a leak.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar defended the administration’s handling of the oil spill before leaving the hearing in order to watch the “top kill” attempt to plug …

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Shell drilling Alaska offshore: Much older drilling equipment than BP and less scruples


Dear Bill

Shell, another foreign owned oil company, is pushing hard to commence drilling for oil in offshore Alaska.

Your American viewers will be alarmed to know that the oil rig in question, the The Frontier Discoverer, is an ancient vessel overdue at the breakers yard.

Shell may also import its infamous“Touch F*** All” safety culture from North Sea platforms that cost the lives of Shell workers in an avoidable accident – a huge explosion on Shell Brent Bravo.

Shell’s alleged corrupt relationship with the UK safety regulator is still the subject of a criminal investigation by Scottish legal authorities. The investigation started after Bill Campbell, the Health & Safety Executive, Group Auditor of Shell International, exposed misdeeds reaching right to the top of Shell senior management.

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James Carville On Obama’s Response to Oil Spill


The Arctic After the Gulf



There is an important way for President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to show they are absorbing the lessons of the gulf oil spill and to reaffirm their pledge to proceed cautiously with offshore drilling in the future. That is to withhold the permits Shell Oil needs to proceed with a highly controversial drilling project in the Arctic Ocean.

The company owns two leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas — two of the most remote and frigid waters in North America. It hopes to begin exploratory drilling there as early as July. But it does not have final permits, which Mr. Salazar has the authority to deny.

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Shell Arctic Drill Rig The Frontier Discoverer Overdue for Breakers Yard

“45 year old vessels were not built to the same standards as current vessels, and do not incorporate the same safety or environmental features. 45 year old equipment is not as reliable as current equipment. Most rigs of this age have long since gone to the breaker’s yard.”


BY “Outsider” on 26 May, 2010

Odum’s letter to Birnbaum fails to mention that the rig being used in Alaska (Frontier Discoverer) was built in 1965 as a log carrier, and was converted to a drillship in 1975. The Frontier Discoverer is one of the oldest offshore rigs still operating in the world.

In spite of being patched up over time, it is still a 45 year old vessel being operated long after the end of its design life.

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Letter from: Shell Oil Company, Marvin E. Odum, President, One Shell Plaza, P.O. Box 2463, Houston, TX

From: Shell Oil Company, Marvin E. Odum, President, One Shell Plaza, P.O. Box 2463, Houston, TX 772522463

May 14, 2010

To: S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, 1849 C Street, NW, United States Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Washington, DC 20240

Dear Director Birnbaum,

I am writing in response to your letter of May 6, 2010 regarding Shell’s proposed exploratory drilling activity in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea. You requested information that may be pertinent to the review of Shell’s Applications to Drill (APDs) that Minerals Management Service (MMS) will undertake in light of the Deepwater Horizon incident; and information about additional safety procedures that Shell plans to undertake in light of that incident.

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BP Faces Bleaker Prospects If ‘Top Kill’ Fails to Stanch Spill

Partly thanks to fears about the size of the final bill, BP now trades at a 20% discount to its rival, Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Inspector General’s Inquiry Faults Regulators


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


WASHINGTON — Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.

The report, which describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service from 2005 to 2007, also found that inspectors had accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry.

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Regulators Accepted Gifts From Oil Industry, Report Says



WASHINGTON—Employees of a federal agency that regulates offshore drilling—including some whose duties included inspecting offshore oil rigs—accepted sporting-event tickets, lunches and other gifts from oil- and natural-gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to a new report by the Interior Department’s inspector general.

The report—which hasn’t been made public by the inspector general but was described Tuesday in an email from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar—notes “a number of violations” of federal regulations and agency ethics rules by staffers assigned to the Lake Charles, La., office of the Minerals Management Service, a unit of Interior that manages the nation’s offshore oil and gas resources, Mr. Salazar said in his statement.

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Offshore drilling here to stay, but changes coming

FILE – In this March 29, 2010 file photo, a drill pipe extends through the moon pool at the center of the Discoverer Inspiration where Chevron is drilling an exploration well into Moccasin Prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Regulators are likely to make permitting, inspections and equipment requirements for rigs more stringent. Lawmakers want to extract more money from the industry to help pay for any future cleanups. And insurers are bound to raise rates for underwriting this risky business.(AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip, file )

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Greenpeace Targets Shell Contracted-Ship For Anti-Drilling Act

By Isabel Ordonez Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES May 24, 2010 17:54 ET (21:54 GMT)

HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- Greenpeace activists on Monday staged an anti-drilling protest at a Louisiana-based ship contracted by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) to help look for oil in Alaska, the environmental organization said.

Environmental activists painted a message against drilling in the Arctic on the bridge of the Harvey Explorer, which is scheduled to depart for Alaska to support drilling operations in July, according a statement in Greenpeace’s Web site.

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U.S. House Proposes Penalty on Firms With Iran Oil Deals



A U.S. House committee has proposed barring the Pentagon from buying fuel from companies that do business with Iran’s energy industry—a stance that is a long shot for becoming law but that underscores U.S. lawmakers’ ongoing dissatisfaction with international efforts to slap tough sanctions on the nuclear ambitions of Tehran.

An amendment to a defense-spending bill, co-sponsored by a Republican and a Democrat and passed with full support in the House Armed Services Committee, would cost some European oil firms billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts if they buy Iranian oil, and would dramatically escalate U.S. sanctions against Tehran. “The Secretary of Defense may not enter into any contract with an entity that engages in commercial activity in the energy sector of Iran,” the amendment says, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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Blowout preventer problems were known as early as 2002

Years before the Gulf of Mexico became witness to the nightmare scenario of an unstoppable volcano of crude oil gushing from an unplugged oil well deep beneath the ocean, both the oil industry and the federal agency charged with monitoring seabed drilling off America's coasts knew the last-ditch "failsafe" technology intended to prevent just this sort of catastrophe might not work.

Gulf oil spill: similar disaster could occur in Arctic later this year

Daily Telegraph

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has heightened fears of a similar disaster occurring off America’s Arctic coast, where Shell is due to begin exploratory drilling later this year.

Smoke rises from a controlled burn in the Gulf of Mexico by BP Photo: GETTY IMAGES

By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 6:30PM BST 23 May 2010

President Barack Obama has ordered a review of the Anglo-Dutch firms plan’s to drill off the coast of Alaska.

Activists have claimed that the remote nature of the proposed drilling site, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds would be formidable obstacles to any potential clean-up operation.

The Alaska Wilderness League said in a statement that it would be almost impossible to mount the kind of clean-up witnessed in the Gulf of Mexico, describing the Arctic as one of the “most remote and extreme environments on Earth”.

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Corrib terminal to test gas from grid

Shell declined to give a predicted date for full production pending the outcome of the planning application. However, it is unlikely full production will start before next year.

Shell Oil Unable To Assure Safety Of Arctic Drilling


Shell Oil Unable To Assure Safety Of Arctic Drilling; Proposal Is “Imagineering, Not Engineering,” Says Former Shell Official

May 21, 2010 ( via COMTEX) —-Two engineers with extensive experience in the oil industry said on Capitol Hill today that Shell Oil’s plans to begin drilling off the coast of Alaska in less than six weeks are fraught with risks that have not been adequately addressed by the company.

Dr. Robert Bea, a former Shell official, and Susan Harvey, who previously worked for British Petroleum, expressed serious concerns about Shell’s drilling plans, noting that a spill in the Arctic could not be cleaned up. Those same concerns were detailed in a twelve-page letter ( that World Wildlife Fund submitted today to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, analyzing Shell’s proposed safety procedures for drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

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Can America trust Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean?

By John Donovan

The Shell brand is so well known in the USA that most Americans probably believe that it is as American as apple pie, rather than what it actually is – a foreign owned company: Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

In the wake of the still unfolding BP/Transocean catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell is currently trying to reassure the US government and other parties, including environmentalists, that they can all trust Shell to commence drilling for oil in offshore Alaska. Shell, which has already invested billions of dollars in obtaining the drilling rights, has recently released information about its plans to tackle any consequential oil spills.

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When Winston Churchill accused Shell of secret oil price rigging

Comment by Shell director at AGM:

We next come to a sneer by Mr. Winston Churchill which is unworthy of him.

By John Donovan

I have been described by Reuters as “A prominent critic of Royal Dutch Shell“.

I had no idea that I shared this distinction with a great man, Winston Churchill no less.

During a pre-first World War speech in the House of Commons, Churchill, in his then capacity as First Lord of the Admiralty made an attack on Shell, accusing the company of secret oil price rigging.

Extracts from pages 161/162/163 “The Prize” by Daniel Yergin.

On June 17, 1914, Churchill rose in the House of Commons to introduce a historic measure. The bill he proposed had two essential elements: First, the government would invest £2.2 million in Anglo-Persian, acquiring in turn 51 percent of the stock.

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AP INVESTIGATION: Oil self-regulates around globe

Across the globe, industry-driven regulation is the norm, not the exception - and critics are calling for a re-examination of a system that puts crucial safety decisions into the hands of corporations motivated by profit.

AT&T Tapped to Provide Shell with Unified International Communications Service

This initiative is a three-year, $90 million deployment that is part and parcel of the estimated $1.6bn global strategic sourcing agreement inked by Shell and AT&T in 2008, during which Shell awarded AT&T with a contract to manage most of its telecom and IT infrastructure services.

BP accused of cover-up

Matthew Bigg and Jeremy Pelofsky: Thu May 20, 2010 7.36pm EDT

(Reuters) – The U.S. government Thursday accused energy giant BP of falling short in the information it has provided about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in a clear sign of Washington’s growing frustration with BP’s handling of the spiraling environmental disaster.

“In responding to this oil spill, it is critical that all actions be conducted in a transparent manner, with all data and information related to the spill readily available to the United States government and the American people,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a letter.

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Shell trims exposure to Iran crude – sources

A view of a Shell oil both at the 11th international oil, gas and petrochemical exhibition in Tehran April 20, 2006. Credit: Reuters/Raheb Homavandi

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and other oil companies are taking less Iranian crude because of poor economics and the difficulty of making financial transactions with Tehran, industry sources said on Thursday.

The lower sales coincide with a build-up of Iranian crude in storage and a draft U.N. resolution to expand sanctions against the Islamic Republic — the world’s fifth largest oil exporter — over its nuclear work.

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Arctic Drilling Proposal Advanced Amid Concern

Damon Winter/The New York Times

BP’s Endicott oil and gas facility at the edge of the Beaufort Sea. Shell Oil wants to drill dozens of miles offshore in federal waters.


A version of this article appeared in print on May 20, 2010, on page A18 of the New York edition


A proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean as early as this summer received initial permits from the Minerals Management Service office in Alaska at the same time federal auditors were questioning the office about its environmental review process.

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Shell’s treachery in Iran


Hello Bill

In March 2007, I sent you an email on the subject of Shell’s treachery in Iran.

Two years later, as a result of Shell internal documents obtained from the oil giant under UK freedom of information laws, I discovered that my email to you had sent Shell media and its lawyers into a frenzy.


Today, The Wall Street Journal published an article – “Oil Trade With Iran Thrives, Discreetly“.

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Oil Trade With Iran Thrives, Discreetly

“One tanker industry executive speculated that Shell might want to disguise its Iranian purchases so as not to suggest that the gasoline it sells in the U.S. is refined from Iranian oil, which would violate U.S. law.”



FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates—An oil tanker named Front Page, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, left this port on March 17 and reported it was going to another U.A.E. port, then on to Saudi Arabia, ship-tracking data show.

But the tracking information reveals that Front Page also made an unreported stop—to the coast of Iran. There it loaded Iranian oil, according to records obtained by oil traders and shipping sources.

The incident, some oil-industry experts say, is an example of how some companies these days are hiding their business dealings with Iran, even when they are perfectly legal because they aren’t subject to any sanctions.

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Shell Hoax Puts Spotlight on Big Oil’s Mess in Nigeria

George Osodi, File / AP People evacuate their homes by boat, as they pass smoke and flames billowing from a burning oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, across the Opobo Channel in Asagba Okwan Asarama, about 31 miles southwest of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in 2005.
(May 19) — If it seemed too good to be true when Shell Oil proclaimed this week that it was putting an end to its offshore drilling operations in Nigeria, that’s because it was.

Monday’s announcement turns out to have been an elaborate hoax, put on by an ad hoc activist group calling itself the Nigerian Justice League.

Established solely for the sake of this con, the group put out a lengthy press release including details of the faux “Comprehensive Shell Remediation Plan for the Niger Delta,” along with phone numbers supposedly for the company’s media relations department — all under the oil giant’s iconic red-and-yellow logo.

The text of the release can be found on the group’s fake Shell website.

Shell is the largest oil producer in Nigeria, a country that holds one of the worst oil safety records on the planet. According to reports, last year alone the West African nation had 2,000 active spills.

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Toxic Living: California Neighbors Sue After Finding Homes Were Built on Oil-Saturated Soil

“The lawsuit, filed in October against Shell, the developer and its subsequent owners, claims among other things that the companies were negligent in their treatment of the site and that they fraudulently concealed chemical hazards on the property.”

Experts Say Homeowners Exposed to Dangerous Levels of Benzene, Methane

By SARAH NETTER CARSON, Calif. May 19, 2010

The tidy rows of hacienda-style homes in a pretty, well-manicured southern California neighborhood give little indication of the festering chemicals under the soil.

Carson Toxins Adolfo Valdes, pictured with his 3-year-old daughter Alexa, no longer lets his daughters play outside after environmental experts found crude oil just feet under his front lawn.

(Sarah Netter/ABC News)
More Photos

Built on top of a long-forgotten crude oil storage site, the 285 homes in Carson’s Carousel neighborhood are now ground zero for an environmental and medical crisis that has pitted current and former homeowners, some of them cancer-stricken, in a massive lawsuit against Shell.

“I’m very angry. I’m angry that this could happen to our family or anyone else’s family,” longtime Carousel homeowner Royalene Fernandez said. “It has definitely ruined our lives and I don’t want it to ruin my kids’ lives or my grandchildren’s.”

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Pension deficits threaten 1 in 10 FTSE firms

"The biggest deficit contribution was made by oil group Royal Dutch Shell, which handed £2.7bn to its pension scheme."

Reputation Management


The maintenance of a good corporate reputation in today’s febrile multimedia age is no easy task – not least because the needs of a company’s various stakeholders are all too often contradictory. Investors may seek cost efficiencies which boost earnings and dividends whilst employees seek job security. The need to boost the resource base, especially for oil and gas companies, will often conflict with the needs of local communities and environmentalists. And in some industries, like tobacco, the very nature of the business activity itself can be hard to defend and virtually incapable of being painted in a positive light. So does that mean that there are no firm guidelines that can be established to help companies manage their reputation – is it all too difficult? This article will argue that the reverse is the case – so long as companies understand that brand management and reputation management are the same thing – and so long as they have an imperative to integrate what they say with what they do – and then tell the truth. And as long as they have the confidence not to have their reputation management decisions taken by lawyers!

Let’s start with the key premise that there is really no difference between a company’s corporate brand and its reputation. This is not semantics – the need to understand this principle is an essential condition before we can go on to put a reputation management plan together. But first lets clarify what we mean by corporate identity or brand. In a company like Unilever the corporate brand is the company name and it is the multitude of product brands that comprise the consumer offer. Lipton and Lux and Persil stand alone as distinctive brands and although there is some measure of endorsement from the Unilever parent brand this is not crucial to the product brands’ success. When Unilever experienced some problems with the reformulation of their Persil brand back in the 1990s it did little harm to their corporate brand or to their business performance. It was a costly error – but it was confined to one product line – albeit an important one.

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Shell deal forges new links with China

Times Online

May 19, 2010

China’s biggest energy company has agreed to take a stake in Royal Dutch Shell’s oil and gas unit in Syria in a deal estimated to be worth $1.5 billion (£1 billion).

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has acquired a 35 per cent interest in Syria Shell Petroleum Development.

Shell has been eager to foster closer links with China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer after America, and to team up in exploring and producing in the Middle East.

Shell signed a 30-year deal with CNPC on Sunday for joint gas exploration and production in Qatar.

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