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Posts from ‘March, 2011’

Oil platform must be halted to save critically endangered whale

Posted on 31 March 2011

The Russian government must oppose the development of a proposed oil and gas platform off Russia’s Sakhalin Island because the project has not been subject to appropriate environmental risk assessments, according to an international coalition of leading NGOs.

The coalition, which includes WWF, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Pacific Environment and Sakhalin Environment Watch, will submit a Statement of Concern to the Russian Inter-departmental Working Group on the Conservation of Western Gray Whales, a group of oil industry representatives and Russian government officials meeting Friday to discuss off-shore oil exploration near the feeding grounds of the critically endangered Western gray whale.

“The project may have a potentially devastating impact on the critically endangered Western gray whales,” the statement says. “Sakhalin Energy has a legal, social and ethical responsibility to ensure the project does not have unacceptable levels of damage to the marine environment, and the fragile species that live within it.” read more

Lifting the corporate veil

April 2011

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The oil industry is worried that new US corporate-transparency legislation will undermine the EITI and its strategy of good governance, Anthea Pitt reports from Paris

AS THE Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) nears its 10th anniversary, the mechanism is unwittingly at the centre of a war of words over how best to ensure financial transparency in the resources sector. The dispute centres on new legislation in the US, which demands more transparency from companies than even the EITI requires – and oil companies don’t like it. read more

Shell Obtains Permit to Drill in Deep-Water Gulf


HOUSTON—U.S. regulators have granted approval for Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill a new well in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico as part of the oil company’s recently approved exploration plan for the area.

This marks the first time since last year’s Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that the government has approved plans to drill new oil-and-gas resources. Previously, regulators had approved only wells that were being drilled at the time the administration’s moratorium went into effect. read more

‘YOU CAN BE SURE OF SHELL’: The biggest confidence trick in history

By John Donovan

Many people fondly remember the advertising slogan…

“You can be Sure of Shell”

The legendary crooner, Bing Crosby, sung the praises of Shell in the 1950’s.



Our research indicates that the slogan


was first used in Great Britain by Shell in 1937 (right) months after the forced resignation of Sir Henri Deterding, the man most responsible for the creation and global success of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. read more

BP executives may face jail for manslaughter over Gulf disaster

The Independent

Tony Hayward faced a barrage of criticism when US politicians claimed that he stonewalled their questions last year

By David Usborne in New York Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Managers of BP could face manslaughter charges when prosecutors in the United States finally conclude their criminal investigation into the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last April that killed 11 rig workers and triggered the worst oil spill in US history.

The mere possibility that these and other charges may now be on the table at the US Justice Department, first reported last night by Bloomberg News, put new pressure on the shares of the energy giant. read more

Don’t trust Shell

March 30, 2011

By Andreas Späth

Shell wants us to believe that in exploring for and extracting natural gas from underground layers of shale in the Karoo using the polluting and extremely water-intensive technique of hydraulic fracturing or fracking, they have all of our best interests as well as those of the environment at heart.

They must also think us the most gullible halfwits this side of the Niger Delta.

In a recent full-page newspaper ad, the multi-billion dollar oil giant’s Bonang Mohale writes passionately about his company’s “commitments to the Karoo”, promising not to despoil and pollute it in the way fracking has been documented to mess up formerly pristine landscapes and water sources  elsewhere. He describes natural gas as a “more environmentally friendly” option and a “cleaner energy source” and twice refers to its role in building a “sustainable energy future”. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Sells Refinery, Other Assets To Essar For $1.3B

MARCH 29, 2011

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) Tuesday announced it has signed a sales and purchase agreement for its 270,000 barrel-per-day Stanlow refinery in the U.K. and certain associated local marketing businesses with Essar Oil Ltd. for $1.3 billion.


-The proposed sale covers oil products, chemicals manufacturing and access rights to certain distribution terminal assets, plus the commercial fuels bulk fuels and local marine fuels businesses associated with the refinery. read more

Enron was populated by a host of former Shell USA managers


Saw your article on Enron and Shell.

FYI Enron was populated by a host of former Shell USA managers who were let go by Shell in the early 1990’s as part of Shell USA’s reorganization and downsizing program (Shell USA had finally managed to manage the company into a serious financial problem with a host of bad decisions).

So, it comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the two organizations that RD Shell had it own financial scandal a few years later. The reserves scandal at Shell was a long time in coming but the ‘problem’ was known about internally for many, many years. Shell USA knew it had a credibility issue with its reserve bookings in the mid-1980’s. read more

Oil firms showcase giving ahead of Nigeria poll, but many blame them for environmental damage

  • JON GAMBRELL  Associated Press
  • First Posted: March 27, 2011 – 10:49 am

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria — Posters show smiling students posing after receiving university scholarships. New roads appear on formerly potholed mud tracts. Millions of dollars are promised to improve the lives of the desperate poor.

These campaigns by oil company Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other foreign firms make it seem they are running for office in crude-rich Nigeria, which will hold crucial presidential, federal and local elections in the coming weeks. The multinational firms have spent hundred of millions of dollars toward projects they advertise as improving the life of those living in the country’s troubled Niger Delta. read more

Shell muscles in on BP’s Russian deal

By Tom McGhie and Will Stewart
26 March 2011, 7:03pm

BP is under intense pressure to settle the dispute with the four oligarch shareholders in its Russian joint venture that threatens the company’s future, after it emerged that rival Shell was holding talks with Kremlin-owned oil giant Rosneft about Arctic exploration.

Rosneft’s powerful chairman and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Sechin, said the company preferred to do a deal with BP, but that whatever happened its policy of exploiting Arctic oil and gas reserves would go ahead. read more

Hogan grants Shell foreshore licence

The Irish Times – Saturday, March 26, 2011

LORNA SIGGINS, Marine Correspondent

ONE OF the last outstanding consent applications for the Corrib gas project was completed yesterday when Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan granted a foreshore licence to Shell EP Ireland.

The foreshore licence, which is subject to conditions, allows the lead developer to construct the final 8km section of pipeline linking the gas field to the terminal built inland at Ballinaboy.

An Taisce, which has sought a judicial review of the recent An Bord Pleanála decision to approve the pipeline route through a special area of conservation, said it was “unhappy” that Mr Hogan had made his decision while legal proceedings were still in train. read more

Hypocrisy of Shell CEO Peter Voser on BP Gulf of Mexico disaster

By John Donovan

In October, the Daily Mail reported a “blistering attack on beleaguered rival BP over the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill.”


Peter Voser said his company would never have made the mistakes that led to the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon rig and the biggest environmental disaster in US history.

‘Shell clearly would have drilled this well in a different way and would have had more options to prevent the accident from happening,’ he said.”

We now know that this was hogwash.

Tom Feilden, the science correspondent on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme, reported in December 2010 “A near miss for the North Sea oil Industry“. read more

Shell is very different from Enron

Shell is very different from Enron. We were criticized for that some time ago and I’m glad we have a absolutely rock-solid way we do business. And, if you read our annual report, you read our footnotes and all the details, everything is in there. It’s all completely transparent, as far as Shell is concerned.

Sir Phillip Watts, Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell Group

By John Donovan

During a Bloomberg interview in 2002, with the then Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Sir Phillip Watts, reference was made to the core Royal Dutch Shell business principle of complete transparency. read more

Ireland grants license to controversial Shell pipe

DUBLIN | Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:34am EDT

(Reuters) – Ireland on Friday granted oil major Royal Dutch Shell a license to complete a controversial pipeline to an offshore field it says can provide up to 60 percent of Irish gas needs.

The pipeline will link the north-west coast of Ireland to the Corrib gas field, which is estimated to contain 1 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The environment ministry said in a statement that it had granted a pipeline foreshore license, the last government permission needed for work to begin on the project, which has been beset by protests and delays since its discovery in 1996. read more

Shell: Looking At Opportunities In Russia With Rosneft

MARCH 25, 2011


LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) said Friday it is examining strategic opportunities in Russia, including some with state-run Russian oil company OAO Rosneft (ROSN.RS), but it declined to comment on a report that it had offered to work with Rosneft in the Arctic shelf in the last three months.

The story, in Friday’s Vedomosti, comes in the wake of an arbitration ruling late Thursday that blocks rival BP PLC’s (BP) own Arctic exploration deal with Rosneft. read more

The Military Beast – Royal Dutch Shell


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