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Posts from ‘August, 2011’

Rosneft Deal Shows Exxon To Be The Only Supermajor With Heft In Russia

In Sakhalin… Exxon has fared much better than rival Royal Dutch Shell, which has led the development of Sakhalin-2. In 2005 Shell disclosed $10 billion in cost overruns on the $20 billion project, and in 2007 it was forced by the Kremlin to sell half of its Sakhalin stake to Gazprom. Though Shell and Rosneft signed a “strategic alliance” in 2007, it has proven to be all show, no go. In May, Rosneft and Shell were reportedly in talks over a deal to explore the Arctic. The Exxon announcement indicates that those talks have ended.

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff

From Houston 8/31/2011 @ 12:46PM

More than a black eye for BP, the Rosneft deal is a gold star for ExxonMobil, one that illustrates that the company is not only the world’s biggest international supermajor, but the only one that can claim any lasting success in Russia.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Exxon is stepping into dance shoes that had been knocked off BP’s feet — the Exxon/Rosneft venture has been a long time in coming. What’s more, the lovey-dovey deal increases the likelihood that Exxon and the Kremlin might soon be able to come to terms on the development of massive untapped natural gas reserves held by Exxon’s Sakhalin Island development.

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Another Denial of Service Attack on Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com website?

“Distributed Denial of Service attack, is when a server is bombarded with so many requests that it can’t respond to legitimate traffic.”

By John Donovan

Apologies for this website being down earlier today. Our dedicated server may have been the target of a denial-of-service high load attack by an unknown party. This information comes from our hosting company in Dallas. DoS attacks generally involve organised efforts by a third party with malicious intent, to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all. Should this website disappear from the Internet as a result of legal or illegal action by a third party, please visit where we will post information. DoS attacks are unlawful.

The site was down for several hours in the last 24 hours due to what was described  by the hosting company as being “under severely heavy load.”

We cannot be certain if it a problem caused by the popularity of the site, or deliberate coordinated denial of service attacks by an unknown party.

By coincidence or otherwise,  it often seems to happen when we publish the most negative information about Royal Dutch Shell, for example about Shell’s highly sensitive activity in Syria.

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U.K. Shell Deal Spotlights Value of Common Law Model for Human Rights Litigation

Michael D. Goldhaber:  The American Lawyer August 31, 2011

Royal Dutch Shell has been sued so many times over its conduct in Nigeria that its cases offer a laboratory experiment for human rights litigation. After thirteen years of arduous U.S. alien tort litigation, Wiwa v. Shell resulted in a piddling $15.5 million settlement in 2009. Kiobel v. Shell has done even worse. Nearly a decade after the case was filed, it has succeeded only in abolishing the corporate alien tort within the Second Circuit, and if the U.S. Supreme Court accepts cert, it may do the same nationwide.

Now comes the “Bodo” case, which emerged from obscurity three weeks ago. On Aug. 3, four months after farmers and fishermen from the village of Bodo filed a common law complaint in London high court, Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary admitted liability for a pair of oil spills in return for the parent company’s dismissal from the suit. The Financial Times trumpeted the potential for a payout of over $400 million, although the Shell Petroleum Development Company called this number “massively in excess of the true position.”

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Exxon Reaches Arctic Oil Deal With Russians


A version of this article appeared in print on August 31, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition

MOSCOW — Exxon Mobil won a coveted prize in the global petroleum industry Tuesday with an agreement to explore for oil in a Russian portion of the Arctic Ocean that is being opened for drilling even as Alaskan waters remain mostly off limits.

The agreement seemed to supersede a similar but failed deal that Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft, reached with the British oil giant BP this year — with a few striking differences.

Where BP had planned to swap stock, Exxon, which is based in Texas, agreed to give Rosneft assets elsewhere in the world, including some that Exxon owns in the deepwater zones of the Gulf of Mexico and on land in Texas.

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Exxon Rosneft deal major setback for BP and Shell

Royal Dutch Shell PLC… declined to comment on the Exxon-Rosneft deal and had no update on the status of Shell’s talks with Rosneft. Shell CEO Peter Voser said in July that his company was in early-stage talks with Rosneft over Arctic exploration opportunities.

Exxon, Rosneft Sign Global Pact To Jointly Drill For Oil

By William Mauldin and Isabel Ordonez of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

MOSCOW -(Dow Jones)- Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Russia’s OAO Rosneft (ROSN.RS) Tuesday announced a global partnership that would grant the Texas oil giant more access to Russia’s vast oil riches and provide Rosneft a piece of the red-hot U.S. oilpatch.

The deal, which includes $3.2 billion in exploration offshore of Russia, marks Russia’s most decisive step forward to attract international oil heavyweights since the demise of a similar venture between Rosneft and BP PLC (BP, BP.LN).

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Shell won’t stop oil production in Syria unless EU mandates a boycott

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 5:00 PM

AMSTERDAM — Royal Dutch Shell PLC will not stop producing oil in Syria unless it is directed to do so by the European Union, media in the Netherlands report.

National broadcaster NOS news cites Dick Benschop, head of the company’s Dutch arm, as saying Shell thinks halting its operations there would hurt the Syrian people more than its government.

Benschop’s remarks came after a behind-closed-doors meeting Tuesday with members of Dutch parliament who have called for a boycott to protest the Syrian government crackdown on an uprising the U.N. says has left 2,200 dead since it began in March.

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Big oil companies may have to give up Iraq gas

Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:25am EDT

By Ahmed Rasheed and Daniel Fineren

DUBAI (Reuters) – Many of the world’s biggest energy companies may have to surrender most of the gas from Iraq’s vast southern oilfields to a processing and export project led by Shell, a final draft contract between Baghdad and Europe’s biggest company, obtained by Reuters, shows.

Oil giants including Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote), BP (BP.L: Quote), U.S.-based Exxon (XOM.N: Quote), China’s CNPC, and Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI: Quote) signed technical service contracts to develop three oilfields in southern Iraq in 2009-2010.

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The Irish Times: Protecting our resources

The Irish Times – Monday, August 29, 2011

OF ALL the big questions facing the State, few have more profound long-term implications than the management of our natural resources. Official estimates suggest a potential reserve of hydrocarbons equivalent to 10 billion barrels of oil off the west coast alone. Were all of this to be recovered, it would be enough to supply Ireland’s gas and oil needs for a century.

With the stakes so high, it is imperative that the State gets its approach right. It has to balance the need to get companies to spend vast sums drilling wells with the public interest in maximising benefits from resources that belong to the Irish people. There is some urgency. A new round of applications for exploration licences in Atlantic waters closed at the end of May. Fifteen applications were received – the largest number of any licensing round to date and an indication that Irish waters are an increasingly attractive prospect.

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Nigeria’s then acting President Goodluck Jonathan with President Obama in 2010



President Goodluck Jonathan constituted a special committee on oil pollution in Ogoniland recently, according to him; to perform a “holistic review of the UNEP report.” The committee is chaired by Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources and former Shell Oil Company employee. The committee also has Mr. Austen Oniwon, Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) as a member. Technically, this committee is a consortium of oil conglomerate. NNPC and Shell Oil Company are partners in the operation of oil business in Nigeria. A child of circumstance, the ad hoc committee was born as an aftermath of the recent shocking revelation in the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) report that almost all the Ogoni environment is contaminated by oil pollutants.

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Shell FuelSave wakens memories of Formula Shell debacle

By John Donovan

Here we are again in the midst of a major Shell advertising campaign with huge colour adverts in the UK national press for a new Shell wonder fuel, this time invented by “Shell Fuel Scientists”: Its called Shell FuelSave

Shell’s Fuel Scientists are being rather cagey about the secret formula – Shell Efficiency improvers – inviting drivers to “guess what they do.” Doesn’t Shell know?

The adverts claim: “Our Fuel Scientists are more than satisfied with the results” described as “a remarkable benefit.”

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Shell fuels Syrian Tanks?

By John Donovan


On Wednesday 24 August 2011, I sent an email to Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

I asked him whether an email sent earlier that same day to a third party, purportedly by Graham Henley, General Manager of Syria Shell Petroleum Development B.V. was authentic. I supplied a copy.

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MEP claims gardaí assaulted him at Corrib gas protest

The Irish Times – Friday, August 26, 2011

LORNA SIGGINS, Western Correspondent

SOCIALIST Party MEP Paul Murphy says he intends to lodge a complaint with the Garda Síochána over his treatment at a Corrib gas protest in north Mayo yesterday.

Mr Murphy says he was “assaulted by gardaí” as he participated in a sit-down protest on a public road close to the Corrib gas terminal at Ballinaboy.

“I was punched in the head, I had my pressure point targeted – as in my ear was deliberately twisted to a point of excruciating pain and my stomach was repeatedly poked and prodded at very sensitive points,” Mr Murphy said.

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