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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). read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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 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. read more

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: 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 … read more

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 read more

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


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. read more

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. read more

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 read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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