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Posts from ‘February, 2013’

Matthias Bichsel’s Arctic Role

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51In our article about the role of Matthias Bichsel in the reserves scandal, we listed from the Shell website his current duties as Royal Dutch Shell Plc Director of Projects & Technology. His responsibilities include “Safety and Environment.”

In view of this fact, does anyone know the role of Bichsel’s Projects and Technology group in Shell’s aborted Arctic programme?

Shell to Take a Gap Year in the Arctic

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By Ben Winkley: February 28, 2013

Shell will postpone a second summer of drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean as it sends its two drilling rigs to Asian ports for repairs, The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Fowler and Ben Lefebvre report.

The move comes as no surprise. Shell has poured billions of dollars into the region and has no production to show for it. Last year it was beset with problems including bad weather, mechanical failures and regulatory challenges.

The Anglo-Dutch major has also faced challenges from environmental groups concerned about the possible effects of an accident in the pristine wilderness (the danger of a spill was shown this week when a shut-in Gulf of Mexico wellhead was struck by a boat, Upstream Online reports).

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Shell Sees Solar as Biggest Energy Source After Exiting Industry

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 15.08.50 By Eduard Gismatullin & Sally Bakewell – Feb 28, 2013 12:01 AM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) says solar power, a business it abandoned four years ago, may expand into the world’s biggest source of energy in the next half century.

The proposition that photovoltaic panels will be the main power source by 2070 is one of the New Lens Scenarios Europe’s largest oil company published today in a report on energy demand this century. A second has natural gas as the main fuel by 2030.

“These scenarios show how the choices made by governments, businesses and individuals in the next few years will have a major impact on the way the future unfolds,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in a statement accompanying the report.

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Shell suspends Arctic drilling for 2013

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27 February 2013 Last updated at 22:40

Royal Dutch Shell has said that it will suspend its offshore drilling programme in the Arctic for the rest of 2013 in order to give time to ensure safety.

The decision to pause drilling for oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska was widely expected, following a catalogue of problems last year.

The US Department of Justice is looking into safety failures at one rig.

The move “will give us time to ensure the readiness of all our equipment and people”, said Marvin Odum of Shell Oil.

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With 2 Ships Out of Commission, Shell Suspends Arctic Drilling

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By February 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — After a series of costly and embarrassing accidents in its efforts to drill exploratory wells off the north coast of Alaska last year, Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday that it would not return to the Arctic in 2013.

The company’s two drill ships suffered serious accidents as they were leaving drilling sites in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas last fall and winter and are being sent to Asia for repairs. Shell acknowledged in a statement that the ships would not be fixed in time to drill during the short summer window this year.

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Royal Dutch Shell calls time in the Arctic for another year

Royal Dutch Shell has called time on its troubled Arctic exploration programme for another year after a series of mishaps in 2012 scuppered its plans to drill for oil in the region this summer.

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By 8:20PM GMT 27 Feb 2013

The controversial campaign has so far cost Shell about $5bn (£3.3bn) over seven years. The company has faced a string of delays that have as yet prevented it from drilling into potentially oil-bearing rocks.

The energy giant concluded its 2012 programme in October by saying it looked forward to “picking up where we left off when the sea ice retreats next summer”, but the plans for 2013 were thrown into doubt on New Year’s Eve, when Shell’s Kulluk rig ran aground in a storm off Alaska and was damaged.

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Shell’s Forecasts for North Sea Field Are Blown Off Course

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By Steve Rosenbush, Deputy Editor: February 27, 2013

Royal Dutch Shell plc’s analytic tools may have led it to overestimate the potential resources of an oil and gas field in the North Sea—a reminder that the latest in algorithms and visualization tools, as powerful as they might be, aren’t always right.

The company said late last Thursday it was reassessing its development plan for the Fram oil and gas field in the North Sea following “unexpected” initial drilling results. The original development plan forecasted that the field, located between the U.K. and Norway, would  produce an average of 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

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Shell announces indefinite halt to its Alaska drilling plans

By John Donovan; Published 27 February 2013 PM

The following announcement has just been published on shell.com under the headline: Shell announces pause in Alaska drilling programme

It is notable that the so-called “pause” is indefinite.

Shell has got a bad case of corporate frostbite and may take some time to regroup and recover. 

The current management was exposed as being inexperienced and hopelessly incompetent.

The latest move is an admission that Shell was not ready and is still not ready (properly equipped and trained) to drill safely in Arctic waters. It proves the first foray was reckless.

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Selection of links to Shell related articles: 27 February 2013

Selection of links to Shell related articles kindly supplied by a regular contributor

The Race For California’s Shale Is On!: Daily Reckoning-Natural gas is plentiful and oil is coming to the surface, more each day. … Indeed, if New York goes the way of shale, the road may be paved for California. … characters include: Chevron, Shell, Exxon, Occidental and Venoco.

Witness in Gulf oil spill trial charges BP had flawed safety record: NOLA.com-Feb 26, 2013: Bea’s work experience includes 16 years with various divisions of Shell Oil, including stints studying offshore accidents; five years as a vice …

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Is Shell Executive Director Matthias Bichsel Trustworthy?

Matthias Bichsel, Executive Director, Projects & Technology, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Irrefutable evidence proves that Matthias Bichsel knew years before Shell investors that Shell had a major problem over its proven reserves bookings, which were not in compliance with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Like his colleague Simon Henry, the current CFO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, he participated in the cover-up by not blowing the whistle, thus protecting his own ambitions inside Shell.  The evidence suggests he may have had a role in the reserves conjuring process and also has a memory problem. Lets hope it has not deteriorated further. He is not a man who can be trusted to look after the best interests of investors.

By John Donovan

Matthias Bichsel, a Swiss citizen, is currently an executive director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He joined Shell in 1980, rose through the ranks and was appointed as Director of Projects & Technology on 1 July 2009.

His current responsibilities include:

  • Project Execution
  • Global Technical Expertise
  • Research and Development
  • Third-Party Services
  • Safety and Environment
  • Contracting & Procurement
  • Technical IT

Can shareholders place their trust in Matthias Bichsel to protect their interests? The answer is absolutely NO, not if his track record is any guide.

Since Mr. Bichsel is the executive director responsible for safety and environmental issues, he may well have questions to answer about Shell’s Arctic debacle, with U.S. federal prosecutors currently being asked by the Coast Guard authorities to take legal action over safety and environmental violations committed by Shell and/or its contractor, Noble Corporation

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Tugs towing Shell drill vessel to Dutch Harbor

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A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling barge that ran aground New Year’s Eve is on the move from near Kodiak Island in Alaska to Dutch Harbor.

The Associated Press: Originally published February 26, 2013 at 7:18 PM | Page modified February 26, 2013 at 7:21 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska —

A Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling barge that ran aground New Year’s Eve is on the move from near Kodiak Island in Alaska to Dutch Harbor.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in an email to The Associated Press that the Kulluk left the bay Tuesday afternoon. Three tugs are towing the barge in a journey expecteKd to take about 10 days.

The Kulluk drilled in the Beaufort (BOH’-fort) Sea last year and was being towed to Seattle when it broke loose from its towing vessel. The round drilling barge ran aground New Year’s Eve.

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Shell to buy Repsol LNG assets for $6.2 billion in cash and assumed debt

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Associated Press: Published February 26, 2013

AMSTERDAM –  Royal Dutch Shell says it has struck a deal with Spain’s Repsol SA to buy Repsol’s liquefied natural gas assets in Peru and Trinidad & Tobago in a deal worth $6.2 billion.

Shell said it would pay $4.4 billion in cash and assume $1.8 billion in Repsol debt and other obligations.

The deal also includes a gas-fueled power plant in Spain.

For Shell, Europe’s largest oil company, the deal builds on an already strong specialization in LNG. More than half of Shell’s production comes from natural gas, rather than oil, and it has stakes in LNG facilities across the world.

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Selection of links to Shell related articles: 26 February 2013

Selection of links to Shell related articles kindly supplied by a regular contributor

Shell drillship may have legal troubles on horizon: Alaska Dispatch-Ed Markey, D-Mass., to Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum. Among the issues noted by the Coast Guard’s inspectors were “improper wire …

Japan wakes up to US shale revolution: Financial Times-… affecting both producers such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell and … Oil-indexed contracts have been a feature of the LNG industry for …

BC announces First Nations agreement, royalty credits to bolster …: National Post

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20 Years Later, Shell Hopes Supreme Court Will Endorse ‘Business As Usual’

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Katie Redford: 25 February 2013

Co-Founder and Director, EarthRights International

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 14.29.03Twenty years — almost to the day. Last weekend marked the anniversary of meetings between officials from oil giant Shell that led to alleged human rights abuses at issue in a landmark Supreme Court case known as Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. The Court, considered by many to be the most corporate-friendly Supreme Court in history, could issue a decision as early as Tuesday as to whether Shell — or any company — can be held legally accountable for torture, extrajudicial execution, and crimes against humanity. Shell’s position is sweeping and bold: Let us make over $30 billion off communities’ and their homelands, but leave us off the hook when these operations lead to gross human rights abuses.

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U.S. legal action sought over Shell drillship violations

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow said the Justice Department was now in charge of any potential sanctions against Shell or Noble, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis confirmed it was now in the department’s hands.

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Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska | Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:36pm EST

(Reuters) – U.S. federal prosecutors have been asked to take legal action over safety and environmental violations discovered on one of two drillships Royal Dutch Shell used last year in Arctic waters off Alaska, officials said on Monday.

The violations were discovered in November by Coast Guard inspectors on the Noble Discoverer, a drillship contracted from Noble Corp to work on Shell leases in the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska.

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Repsol Nears LNG Assets Sale to Shell for Up to EUR1.7 Billion -Report

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Dow Jones Newswires: Published February 25, 2013

Spain’s Repsol SA may announce this week the sale of several of its liquefied natural gas assets to Royal Dutch Shell PLC for a total between 1.50 billion euros ($1.98 billion) and EUR1.7 billion, reports Expansion, citing financial sources.

Repsol’s regasification plant in Canada will be excluded from the sale to Shell, as it is operating below its capacity and likely would force Repsol to make provisions on that asset, the paper adds.

Repsol’s other LNG assets are located in Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Spain.

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Has Shell Unlawfully Resumed Oil Operation In Ogoni?

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 13.17.19By Ben Ikari, Director, African Cultural and Fundamental Rights Council (AFCRC-USA): 26 February 2013 Last updated at 08:02 CET

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) may be set for a serious crisis and bloodletting in Ogoni, Nigeria. Information reaching the African Cultural and Fundamental Rights Council (AFCRC-USA) has it that the oil company, which happens to be the foremost in Nigeria for over 50 years, have been using heavily armed soldiers to clear the Ebubu Eleme oilfield in Ogoni. The corporation is also said to be engaging in other activities villagers believe could be oil extraction against the people’s wishes.

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Shell Oil in Arctic: Learning to juggle, with chainsaws

Air permit emission limits were grossly violated yet drill operations continued.; Multiple critical engine failures also demonstrate their support vessels’ failed under stress. The eventual grounding of Shell’s giant mobile oil-drilling rig, the Kulluk, off Kodiak Island conveys a serious lack of planning to save a few dollars (before you go boating, check the weather).Could these mishaps be chalked up to bad luck? No. These operational bungles were all preventable.

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Waves crash over the mobile offshore drilling unit Kulluk where it sits aground on the southeast side of Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, Jan. 1, 2013. US Coast Guard photo

Daniel Lum: February 22, 2013

Looking back at an eventful season in offshore drilling, one must consider the challenges of the Arctic Ocean in tandem with the limitations of industry trying to operate so far north. Shell Oil has skated through one operational failure after another, a credit to their spokesman, without real consequence or permit restriction.

Air permit emission limits were grossly violated yet drill operations continued. Rigging and towline failures show that moving (and even securing) Shell’s mobile drill units is a challenge. A failed capping system limited the depth to which they could drill this season, requiring repairs thousands of miles away. Multiple critical engine failures also demonstrate their support vessels’ failed under stress. The eventual grounding of Shell’s giant mobile oil-drilling rig, the Kulluk, off Kodiak Island conveys a serious lack of planning to save a few dollars (before you go boating, check the weather).

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Shell in Arctic oil risk alert

Failings identified on a Shell ship drilling in the Arctic have raised questions about the energy giant’s plans to extract oil in the region.

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The findings emerged after Shell’s other Arctic barge, the Kulluk, broke away from a tug and crashed into the uninhabited Sitkalidak Island on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Reuters

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 24 FEBRUARY 2013

The US Coast Guard has passed its investigation of 16 violations on board the Noble Discoverer to the Department of Justice, after the ship spent last summer drilling off Alaska’s northern coast.

The violations included fire hazards and problems with the propulsion system, which meant the ship could not move as quickly as required in all expected weather conditions. Any potential fines would depend on how seriously officials view them.

The findings emerged after Shell’s other Arctic barge, the Kulluk, broke away from a tug and crashed into the uninhabited Sitkalidak Island on New Year’s Eve.

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Ahead of Trial, Talk of a BP Settlement in 2010 Oil Spill

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A BP cleanup crew removing oil from a beach in May 2010 in Port Fourchon, La., after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Photo Credit: John Moore/Getty Images

By and : A version of this article appeared in print on February 24, 2013, on page A17 of the New York edition

With a major civil trial scheduled to start Monday in New Orleans against BP over damages related to the explosion of an offshore drilling rig in 2010, federal officials and those from the five affected Gulf Coast states are trying to pull together to strike an 11th-hour settlement in the case.

A lawyer briefed on those talks said that the Justice Department and the five states — Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — had reportedly prepared an offer to resolve the two biggest issues central to a series of trials against BP, the first of which starts Monday.

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Coast Guard finds evidence of safety violations on Shell rig

The Coast Guard found a lack of preventive maintenance and “systematic failure” led the Discoverer to experience a loss of its propulsion system and an explosion in its exhaust system…

Screen Shot 2012-12-29 at 02.12.52 By Kim MurphyFebruary 23, 2013, 6:15 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard has found evidence of multiple safety and environmental violations in Shell Alaska’s Noble Discoverer Arctic drilling rig and forwarded it to the U.S. Justice Department for a decision about possible civil or criminal penalties, authorities confirmed Friday.

The news is the latest setback for Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program, launched last summer off the coast of Alaska to tap one of the world’s biggest remaining oil and gas deposits. It has been plagued with logistical and mechanical troubles that raise questions about the company’s ability to continue this year.

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Coast Guard Finds 16 Violations on Shell Ship

The U.S. Coast Guard has turned over its investigation of violations on a Royal Dutch Shell PLC Arctic drill ship to the Department of Justice, officials said Friday.

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By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press ANCHORAGE, Alaska February 23, 2013 (AP)

The U.S. Coast Guard has turned over its investigation of violations on a Royal Dutch Shell PLC Arctic drill ship to the Department of Justice, officials said Friday.

The violations were found after the drilling season when the Noble Discoverer was in dock in Seward, Alaska. Shell’s other Arctic drill barge, the Kulluk, remains in a sheltered bay off Alaska’s Kodiak Island, where it was towed after grounding on New Year’s Eve.

The Coast Guard found 16 violations on the 571-foot Noble Discoverer after it completed drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northern coast.

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Shell’s Arctic Meltdown Continues

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51By John Donovan: SHELL’S ARCTIC DEBACLE IS TURNING INTO A REPUTATIONAL DISASTER BEARING IN MIND THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS REPORTED BY THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS. I AM NOT GOING TO PRETEND THAT WE ARE SHOCKED, BECAUSE WHAT IS HAPPENING IS IN LINE WITH OUR EMAILED WARNINGS TO UK MP’S BEFORE SHELL’S CLAPPED OUT DRILLING FLEET EVEN SET SAIL. ITS “TOUCH F*** ALL” APPROACH TO OFFSHORE SAFETY HAS DROPPED THE COMPANY IN DEEP S*** AND THE U.S. COAST GUARD HAS CALLED IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. PETER VOSER AND HIS HAPLESS INCOMPETENT CREW, INCLUDING ODIOUS ODUM, SHOULD BE FIRED. IN THE RECENT PAST, CORNER-CUTTING SHELL EXECUTIVES DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO ENSURE THAT LIFEBOATS ON SHELL NORTH SEA RIGS WERE SEAWORTHY. WIDOWS OF SHELL NORTH SEA OFFSHORE WORKERS (THE UNFORTUNATE VICTIMS OF SHELL’S TFA POLICY) WERE ENTICED INTO CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS DESIGNED TO BUY THEIR SILENCE. SHELL PREFERS TO BURY ITS MISTAKES. THIS TRACK RECORD TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL.

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard has found serious safety and environmental violations on a Shell drilling rig used in the Arctic waters off Alaska, another blow to the company’s controversial bid to harvest oil in the petroleum-rich but sensitive region. The Coast Guard said Friday that it has turned over the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice…

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Coast Guard finds violations on Shell Arctic drilling rig

By Sean Cockerham — Anchorage Daily News

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard has found serious safety and environmental violations on a Shell drilling rig used in the Arctic waters off Alaska, another blow to the company’s controversial bid to harvest oil in the petroleum-rich but sensitive region.

The Coast Guard said Friday that it has turned over the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, which had no comment.

The Coast Guard found 16 violations on the Noble Discoverer, one of Shell’s two drilling rigs for Alaska’s Arctic waters. The company’s other rig, the Kulluk, has its own troubles. The Kulluk broke free from towlines during a New Year’s Eve storm and was grounded for several days off Kodiak Island.

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Selection of links to Shell related articles: 22 February 2013

Selection of links to Shell related articles kindly supplied by a regular contributor

Shell: Reassessing Development Plan For North Sea Fram Oil, Gas …:NASDAQ: LONDON–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) is reassessing its development plan for the Fram oil and gas field in the North Sea following …

Shell to reassess development of Fram field in North Sea: Your Oil and Gas News (press release)

Well issues cause Shell to re-think UK Fram offshore project: Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine

Former Shell Oil chief to speak at institute: The Union Leader-MANCHESTER – John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Co., will discuss private energy investment during a talk at 7 p.m. Monday at the …

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Shell EP Ireland mired in corruption allegations

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 10.14.43By John Donovan

The long-running saga involving Shell EP Ireland and a small Irish company continues. OSSL supplied goods and services to the Shell Corrib project in Ireland.  It has accused Shell management of instructing them to make corrupt payments/gifts to third parties on behalf of Shell, including Police involved in handling environmental protests against the controversial project. OSSL claim that invoices were falsified on the express instruction of Shell EP Ireland. We have seen related email correspondence with Shell senior management. Perhaps there is a problem with the Irish police investigating alleged corruption when they are said to be recipients of corrupt gifts from Shell? In their case allegedly free booze. Many Irish activists have long believed that the Garda is in the pocket of Shell. OSSL placards are shown on display at Shell premises in Ireland. According to emails sent to Shell CEO Peter Voser, OSSL is threatening to move its protest to the Shell Centre in London next week. I have no idea why Shell has not had the OSSL protestors imprisoned as it did with the Rossport Five and members of the Shell to Sea Campaign? On Wednesday the 13th February in Belmullet district court, Shell to Sea campaigner Izzy Ní Ghraidm was convicted on Sections 8 and 9 of the public order act for obstruction. Izzy refused to do community service as she felt her protest was a service to a community under siege from Shell. The Judge then sentenced Ms Ní Ghraidm to 3 months in jail. Perhaps the Judge is on Shell’s payroll as well?

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Selection of links to Shell related articles: 21 February 2013

Selection of links to Shell related articles kindly supplied by a regular contributor

ExxonMobil Witness in Trial Says MTBE Raised Cancer Risk: Bloomberg: Shell Oil Co., Sunoco Inc., ConocoPhillips (COP), Irving Oil Ltd., Vitol SA and Hess Corp. settled before the trial began. The New Hampshire …

Five reasons the Keystone XL pipeline is bad for jobs, as well as the …: rabble.ca: Burning the recoverable tar sands oil will increase the earth’s … ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP reduced their U.S. workforce by 11,200 …

Ottawa reviewing polluter-pay principle: Globe and Mail: “Oil companies should face unlimited absolute liability for spills, … drilling in Nova Scotia, however, BP and Shell have acquired licences to drill

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Shell’s contempt for its UK shareholders: Scraps UK satellite AGM

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03“The decision not to have an audio/visual link to London for this years RDS AGM means that for the first time in history British based shareholders will not be able to attend a Shell AGM in the UK. At the time of the demise of Shell Transport and Trading and the formation of the new Royal Dutch Shell plc. it was stated that this did not mean that Shell was becoming a more Dutch, and less British, company. This was not true…

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By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has published shareholder information about its 2013 AGM that includes the following shocking announcement confirming utter contempt for its UK investors:

“There will not be an audio-visual link to a satellite meeting place in London this year.”

COMMENT FROM A WELL INFORMED INSIDER SOURCE

“The decision not to have an audio/visual link to London for this years RDS AGM means that for the first time in history British based shareholders will not be able to attend a Shell AGM in the UK. At the time of the demise of Shell Transport and Trading and the formation of the new Royal Dutch Shell plc. it was stated that this did not mean that Shell was becoming a more Dutch, and less British, company. This was not true and the latest decision just confirms that the inevitable move to total Dutch control is almost complete. It is likely also that Shell will move to a single Head Office in The Hague before too long. Shell Centre in London is virtually deserted and most of the site is being redeveloped. Insiders say that Shell will not return to Shell Centre when this is completed (from their “temporary” offices in Canary Wharf). Shell Centre will be sold and Shell will gradually move all but a few functions to The Netherlands. This is a complex process and will take time but it is likely to be completed well before the expiry of the 10 year rental arrangements in Canary Wharf.”

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Matthias Bichsel and the Shell reserves fraud

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.44.36By John Donovan

Within the next few days we will publish authentic Shell internal confidential emails and documents that provide irrefutable proof that like his fellow Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive director, Simon Henry, Matthias Bichsel (right) was aware years before the Shell reserves fraud became public knowledge, that Shell was cooking the books. Many Shell executives, including Matthias Bichsel, knew group guidelines for booking proven reserves were no longer in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but withheld that vital information from investors. In other words, participated in the long-running cover-up, which after a hundred years of trading, destroyed the Royal Dutch Shell Group in its original Anglo-Dutch partnership form. It is breath-taking arrogance on the part of Shell senior management that Shell did not rid itself in 2004 of all executives tainted by the scandal. The smell lingers on and damages the reputation of the current executive committee, which has to put up with our articles on the subject because what we say is true and they know we have the evidence to prove it in court.

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Shell comedy continues: Tugs collide while maneuvering around Kulluk

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By LISA DEMER — [email protected]: Published: February 19, 2013

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“The Coast Guard is reviewing Shell’s tow plan and evaluating whether the vessel is seaworthy for a tow…”

Two tugboats maneuvering around Royal Dutch Shell’s oil drilling rig, the Kulluk, collided Friday afternoon, but the damage was minimal, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The Corbin Foss, one of Seattle-based Foss Maritimes’ tugboats, hit the port side of the Ocean Wave, a Crowley Marine Services tug, around 5:30 p.m. Friday in Killiuida Bay on the eastern side of Kodiak Island, where the Kulluk is anchored while awaiting Coast Guard approval to leave, said Petty Officer David Mosley.

No one was injured, no pollution occurred, and the damage to the Ocean Wave was minor, Mosely said. The tugs sailed to the harbor in Kodiak where they were met by inspectors from Kodiak’s Coast Guard marine safety detachment, Mosley said.

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Shell boss denies job fears

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Nick Sas, The West Australian February 21, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 00.37.57Royal Dutch Shell Australia chief Ann Pickard has moved to dispel fears over the lack of local jobs on its new floating LNG hubs, saying the “more important” maintenance and service jobs will stay local and last for up to 30 years.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Australian Oil and Gas conference in Perth yesterday, Ms Pickard dismissed the concentrated union campaign against FLNG, saying claims such as the use of Filipino workers for FLNG were incorrect.

Unions have attacked the Government and Shell over recent weeks, saying WA workers will miss out on construction jobs, with work moved to overseas shipbuilding yards.

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Shell USA engaged in a conspiracy to bilk California electricity consumers?

FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

John,

Thought you would like this article. It seems Shell USA was engaged, with other participants, in a conspiracy to bilk California electricity consumers.

Are we surprised ???  Shell is such an ethical company.

Interestingly, the Bonneville Power Administration, a unit of the US Government, the Dept. of Energy, was also involved. Makes you wonder.

Electricity providers gamed California a decade ago, judge rules: Los Angeles Times-by Marc Lifsher-… included Powerex, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Columbia-based BC Hydro; Shell Energy North America, a subsidiary of Shell Oil; …

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Why the world isn’t running out of oil

Decades ago, the world was told it was running on empty. Today, we have more oil than we need. What’s fuelling the boom in black gold?

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By Brian Viner: 19 Feb 2013

On the evening of April 18 1977, President Jimmy Carter invited television cameras into the Oval Office and portentously announced to the American people that “tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes.”

The unprecedented problem was energy. Or rather, the lack of it. “We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources,” said the 39th President of the United States. “The oil and natural gas we rely on for 75 per cent of our energy are running out.”

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Shell says no need to rush Australia Gorgon LNG expansion

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PERTH | Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:01am EST

Feb 20 (Reuters) – There is no need to rush the expansion of the $52-billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex, the chairman of Shell Australia said on Wednesday, adding that the company wanted to avoid distraction while it kept the project on track.

Shell holds a stake of 25 percent in the Gorgon development, located off the coast of northwest Australia and spearheaded by Chevron. Now 55 percent complete, it will be Australia’s largest, with an output of 15.6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

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Shell in need of corporate psychotherapy

Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Shell has been prepared to put up with the ignominy of its so-called “No1 Enemy” receiving private communications meant for the company. Several years ago Michiel Brandjes, Royal Dutch Shell Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, gave us written permission to vet incoming mail on behalf of Shell, using our discretion to remove and destroy what we consider to be spam and pass on to Shell what we decide they ought to see! No self-respecting company would allow such a bizarre situation to continue. It tells you all you need to know about the competence of Shell senior management. 

By John Donovan

Because Royal Dutch Shell Plc petulantly decided to keep trading under the name Royal Dutch Shell Plc  despite knowing we had registered the RoyalDutchShellPlc.com domain name, a certain amount of unforeseen confusion was probably inevitable.

Shell tried to escape humiliation by attempting to seize the domain name, issuing proceedings, but  lost the case and did not bother to appeal against a unanimous verdict, which resulted in yet more embarrassment.

One unintended consequence of owning the sought after domain name is that we regularly receive job applications including CV’s, plus business proposals, general enquiries, and even terrorist threats, all meant for Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

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Battle Lines Drawn for BP’s Day in Court

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Cleanup crews on Pensacola Beach in 2010. A federal court in Louisiana is preparing to hear lawsuits related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: Photo Credit: Michael Spooneybarger/Associated Press

By : A version of this article appeared in print on February 20, 2013, on page B1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Unless the Justice Department and BP reach a last-minute settlement, the British oil company will return to court on Monday to face tens of billions of dollars in civil claims from the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico that could cripple the company for years to come.

For the last three years, BP’s efforts to explore and produce oil across the globe have been overshadowed by the accident that left 11 workers dead and soiled hundreds of miles of Gulf Coast beaches. The company has been forced to plead guilty to several felony charges, pay large fines and shake up its management team. Compelled to sell off oil assets to meet its expanding liabilities from the blowout and spill, BP has shrunk considerably in size, and the trial promises to extend the company’s distress.

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Gas (Methane) Hydrates: A New Frontier

RECEIVED FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

John,
 
The following articles are very interesting.

If the technology proves successful vast new reserves of natural gas could be brought onto the market.

Note that Royal Dutch Shell is NOT one of the participants in this test.
 
US claims ‘unprecedented’ success in test for new fuel source – U.S. …: usnews.nbcnews.com: May 5, 2012 – Those crystals, known as methane hydrates, contain natural gas but so far releasing that fuel has been an expensive proposition. The drilling …
 
Alaska’s Methane Hydrate Resource Sparks Debate Over Energy …: huffingtonpost.com: Nov 11, 2012 – “Any exploration activities designed to extract methane hydrates run the risk of unintended consequences, of unleashing the monster,” he said.

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Shell seems to have fallen into a trap

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Brief extracts from an excellent informative article published today by “Seeking Alpha” under the headline: Why Royal Dutch Shell Needs To Acquire InterOil Now

EXTRACTS

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) is perhaps the best example of a major that is suffering from diminishing returns on capital, faltering reserve replacement ratios (RRR), and significant excess capital yielding paltry returns. The stock has declined 4.83% year-to-date and 9.95% over the last year…

Shell seems to have fallen into the trap of chasing projects that are perceived as safe either because they are in benign jurisdictions or because they are the types of assets in which other majors are interested. In doing so, the company has exacerbated its risk profile by paying up for projects that depend on flat to rising commodity prices in order to generate acceptable returns. Shell’s woes in Alaska are a good example of the risks inherent in a region that conventional wisdom considers to be safe. The company has already spent $2.2 billion for leases to drill in offshore Alaska and approximately $2.8 billion for operations in the area over the past six years, without making any new discoveries. Shell failed last year to complete two exploration wells in offshore Alaska during the short ice-free summer season, and its drilling rig ran aground after breaking free from tow ships in high seas.

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Shell rapped by Norway’s offshore safety watchdog

By John DonovanSeems from an article just published by upstream.com that little has changed in Shell’s notorious “Touch F*** All” approach to protecting the lives of its offshore workers. Apparently the corner-cutting bean counter duo now running the show – Peter Voser, and his sidekick Simon Henry – are following the same path. They do not give a F***.  Shell’s retired HSE Group Auditor Bill Campbell will probably not be the least surprised by Shell managements continued mendacity in such matters in line with its policy of putting production and profits before the safety of its employees. This is the same management responsible for Shell’s Arctic debacle, which had many hallmarks of a farce, but without being funny. Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 14.26.26

“…emergency procedures in the event of a structural incident were lacking and the agency also found that an analysis stating that “the constructions can resist all forms of explosion” was “misleading and gave an incorrect risk picture”

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Steve Marshall: 18 February 2013 13:09 GMT

Shell has been pulled up by Norway’s safety watchdog for failings related to the integrity of load-bearing structures on its Draugen field platform.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) reported that it has identified a number of regulatory non-conformities after carrying out a recent audit of measures implemented by the Anglo-Dutch operator to ensure the technical integrity of the concrete-based facility in the Norwegian Sea.

The inspection was intended to determine how Shell prevents structural failure, with a focus on barrier management in relation to the integrity of load-bearing structures.

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Shell Oil should take responsibility for its problems

It’s a little alarming that you didn’t already know that this tax didn’t apply to you, but we forgive you Shell. The greenies may say nasty things, like that you risked the lives of Alaskans as well as our pristine coastline just to dodge an insignificant tax bill that in fact didn’t apply to you, but we don’t believe that Shell. We love you.

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Carey Restino: The Arctic Sounder February 17, 2013

Royal Dutch Shell, we know you’ve had a rough year. First, there were all those pesky permits that had to come through, and lots of issues about air quality and emissions and so forth. Then, your oil containment barge didn’t quite come together the way you had hoped it would. That was unfortunate, especially when things came really unglued during testing, and your containment dome got all crumpled. That must have been tough.

Then there was the weather window issue — those troublesome ice floes just wouldn’t move out of the way. And then you had to wait to honor your agreement with the whalers to stay out of their way.

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Shell misses out on £1.4bn French deal

Royal Dutch Shell is poised to miss out on a £1.4bn acquisition of French oil explorer Maurel & Prom.

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Royal Dutch Shell was reported last June to have been interested in buying the Paris-listed business, which has assets in Africa and Latin America. Photo: BLOOMBERG NEWS

Ben Harrington By   Sunday 17 Feb 2013

State-backed Indonesian company Pertamina has made an indicative offer for Maurel & Prom and is in talks to buy the business, City sources claimed.

Royal Dutch Shell was reported last June to have been interested in buying the Paris-listed business, which has assets in Africa and Latin America.

However, sources said Pertamina is working with bankers from Societe Generale on a takeover and could be willing to offer up to €19 (£16) a share for the company. The Indonesian group is said to be hungry for fresh oil and gas reserves because Indonesia became a net importer in 2004 following declining production from its maturing fields and growing consumption from its own economic growth.

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Selection of links to Shell related articles: 17 February 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03Selection of links to current Shell related articles kindly provided by a regular contributor

Heat on Nigeria oil industry as sector chiefs meet: Daily Nation-Major oil industry executives gather in Nigeria’s capital for an annual … by government ministers and top officials from oil majors Shell, Exxon, …

Oil and Gas Feeding Off Each Other While They are Fueling …: Forbes-Oil and natural gas are often found alongside one another, making it … Royal Dutch Shell, meantime, acquired East Resources for $4.7 billion in …

Turkish TPAO and Shell sign agreement on oil exploration in Black …: SteelGuru-Trend reported that Turkish Petroleum Corporation TPAO and the company Shell signed an agreement worth USD 150 million on oil …

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Shell and BASF offer $20 million to settle toxic environmental lawsuit

The factory was built in 1977 by Shell. Dozens of former employees of the plant have been diagnosed with prostate, thyroid and other types of cancer, circulatory, liver and intestinal illnesses, as well as infertility and sexual impotence.

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By John Donovan

We were recently contacted by an association representing former workers at a Shell/Basf Chemicals factory in Brazil.

The factory was built in 1977 by Shell. Dozens of former employees of the plant have been diagnosed with prostate, thyroid and other types of cancer, circulatory, liver and intestinal illnesses, as well as infertility and sexual impotence.

Today, AP reported that Shell and BASF have offered $20 million to settle a related class-action. The AP article is printed below.

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Cameron may fly in to Shell India tax row

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By Andrew Callus: LONDON | Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:18pm GMT

(Reuters) – Oil company Royal Dutch/Shell has asked the British government to raise the subject of a tax dispute with India during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit there next week, according to a source familiar with the request.

The dispute blew up earlier this month when tax authorities revalued by $2.7 billion a 2009 transaction by Shell with a wholly-owned subsidiary, and claimed a tax payment was due.

It comes as India seeks to balance its need to shore up its finances by raising tax receipts with its desire to encourage foreign investment.

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SHELL’S DEFEATED ANCIENT ARCTIC FLEET

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51BY JOHN DONOVAN

SHELL’S ARCTIC MELTDOWN: WHAT WERE WE ALL WORRIED ABOUT? THIS OIL COMPANY RUN BY A PAIR OF  BEAN-COUNTERS, PETER VOSER AND HIS SIDEKICK SIMON HENRY, BOTH TAINTED BY FRAUD & SCANDAL, HAVE MADE A GLOBAL LAUGHING-STOCK OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL BY SENDING A COUPLE OF REFURBISHED RUST BUCKETS ON AN ILL-FATED ARCTIC FOLLY RESULTING IN SHIP BOARD FIRE, EXPLOSION, POLLUTION, GROUNDINGS AND PUBLIC HUMILIATION, FORTUNATELY WITH NO ONE KILLED OR INJURED. THE FATE OF THE ARCTIC ENVIRONMENT ENTRUSTED TO CORNER-CUTTING CLOWNS. IT HAS ENDED WITH SHELL’S DEFEATED ANCIENT ARCTIC FLEET RETREATING SLOWLY FROM THE SCENE, UNDER TOW, PERHAPS BOUND FOR THE SCRAPYARD, WHERE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SENT DECADES AGO. VOSER SHOULD HAVE SPENT MORE TIME CONCENTRATING ON SHELL’S ARCTIC EXPEDITION AND LESS ON CRITICISING BP. NOW THERE ARE WARNING SIGNS THAT SHELL RISKS A DECLINE IN PRODUCTION. LETS HOPE SHELL SENIOR MANAGEMENT DOES NOT START COOKING THE BOOKS AGAIN. THERE IS SOME REMAINING IN-HOUSE EXPERTISE IN THAT REGARD.

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Shell Risks Production Decline Over Rigs Repair

Royal Dutch Shell’s production output is likely going to suffer a major decline this year, following its decision to send its two offshore drilling rigs to Asia for repairs: …sending the rigs for repairs will likely mean the cancellation of its second summer of drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, unless it can find replacements…: rigs that are able to operate in harsh Arctic conditions are rare and even if available, would have to be modified and receive approval from the United States’ government…

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By Michael Eboh With Agency Report, 13 February 2013

Royal Dutch Shell’s production output is likely going to suffer a major decline this year, following its decision to send its two offshore drilling rigs to Asia for repairs.

According to reports, sending the rigs for repairs will likely mean the cancellation of its second summer of drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, unless it can find replacements fit to do the work.

The report stated that rigs that are able to operate in harsh Arctic conditions are rare and even if available, would have to be modified and receive approval from the United States’ government to operate in a remote and environmentally sensitive area in less than five months.

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Dutch gas field to keep producing as earth tremor risk is studied

Several politicians… have called for an urgent review of gas extraction in Groningen province following earth tremors in recent weeks of up to 3.2 magnitude, which caused cracks in some buildings. The huge gas field near Slochteren in the north of the country has recoverable gas reserves of around 2.7 trillion cubic metres and is operated by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV (NAM), which is jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

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AMSTERDAM | Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:28pm EST

Feb 14 (Reuters) – The Netherlands will maintain current output levels at one of the world’s largest gas fields while scientists study whether the operations risk causing more severe earth tremors than they have already, a minister said.

“If I cut production, then the effect will be felt in the Netherlands,” the minister for economic affairs, Henk Kamp, told a parliamentary commission on Thursday, referring to the economic consequences of a reduction in gas output.

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Shell undermines climate, guts clean energy legislation

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By: Ray Anderson, River Falls Published February 13, 2013

Letter: Shell undermines climate, guts clean energy legislation, he says

TO THE EDITOR: The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company, the most carbon-intensive oil company in the world, will contribute more to global warming than any other oil company.

Shell continues to expand investments in oil sands and oil shale using the dirtiest technologies to make it a leader in the industry. Often extracted with gas, that gas is burnt off in huge roaring flames at Shell’s operations in Nigeria, causing premature deaths, child respiratory illnesses, asthma attacks and cancer.

Even though gas flaring was made illegal in 1984, “instead of stopping that practice, Shell decided it was more profitable to pay the legal fines instead and continues to flare one billion cubic feet of gas per day.

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Setback for Shell’s Arctic oil ambitions as rigs require repair in Asia

Royal Dutch Shell’s hopes of resuming drilling for oil off Alaska this summer have suffered a further setback after it revealed both its Arctic drilling rigs would now need to be taken to Asia for repairs.

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Kulluk, the oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell ran aground in Alaska after drifting in stormy weather. Photo: AFP

Emily GosdenBy : 13 Feb 2013

The oil giant has admitted it does not know whether it will be able to continue its controversial campaign this year after a series of setbacks in 2012, including the grounding of its Kulluk drilling rig on New Year’s Eve and problems with its second rig, the Noble Discoverer.

However its exploration plans for 2013, set out a fortnight ago, showed it still was still intending to resume the work. It has so far spent nearly $5bn on its Arctic campaign without being allowed to drill into potentially oil-bearing rocks.

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Shell To Face Challenges Replacing Damaged Arctic Rigs

Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s plans to send its two offshore drilling rigs to Asia for extensive repairs will likely mean the cancellation of its second summer of drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, unless it can find replacements fit to do the work – something that may prove to be a challenge.

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By Tom Fowler Published February 12, 2013 Dow Jones Newswires

Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s (RDSA) plans to send its two offshore drilling rigs to Asia for extensive repairs will likely mean the cancellation of its second summer of drilling in the U.S. Arctic Ocean, unless it can find replacements fit to do the work – something that may prove to be a challenge.

Rigs able to operate in harsh Arctic conditions are rare and even if found, would have to be modified and receive U.S. government blessing to operate in a remote and environmentally sensitive area in less than five months.

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Gulf Gasoline Gains for Fifth Day on Shell Deer Park Fire

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By Christine Harvey – Feb 12, 2013 9:24 PM GMT

U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline rose for a fifth day after fire broke out at a Royal Dutch Shell Plc refinery in Texas.

The 340,000-barrel-a-day Deer Park plant had a fire at about 9:30 a.m. local time, said Kimberly Windon, a company spokeswoman in Houston. The fire “was quickly isolated and contained to one unit,” and there were no injuries, she said.

Conventional, 87-octane gasoline on the U.S. Gulf Coast strengthened 1.88 cents to a discount of 12.75 cents versus futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4 p.m., the narrowest gap since Jan. 8, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Reformulated, 84-octane gasoline rose 0.88 cent to 9.75 cents below futures.

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