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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup Monday 11 Aug 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Rejection in Australia, Oil Spill Fire in Nigeria, Fire sale in the USA, Asbestos lawsuit in the UK

By John Donovan

AUSTRALIA

The Australian reports that a fortnight after Woodside Petroleum shareholders scuttled a $2.7 billion plan to remove Royal Dutch Shell from the company’s share register, Woodside has bought a 40% stake in a joint venture deep water exploration project off west Africa.

NORTH AMERICA

According to the FT, Shell is preparing to dispose of its 50 per cent stake in a Louisiana gasfield to Blackstone for $1.2bn, as the oil and gas group retreats from one of its souring investments in North America. Private equity group, Blackstone, is named as the likely purchaser.  The article contains reference to the “fix or divest” policy of Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden in relation to Shell’s under performing North American upstream business.

RUSSIA/UKRAINE

A New York Times article says that even as Russia and the West keep raising the stakes in their economic sanctions battle, the one commodity that could matter most — Russian natural gas — seems still to be off limits. If correct, that will be a relief for Gazprom and its Sakhalin2 junior partner, Royal Dutch Shell.

NIGERIA

A Sahara Reporters article claim that a fire suspected to have been started by oil workers engaged by Shell on Sunday gutted a spill site on a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) oil field in Ayambele and Kalaba communities in Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa State. Friends of the Earth is said to have condemned the act of burning spilled crude oil.

allAfrica.com is reporting an oil spill from a Shell pipeline in the Local Government Area of Rivers State. “Some members of the affected communities described the spill as massive, but, Shell said the volume of oil involved is yet to be ascertained.”

UK

The Liverpool Echo has reported that a former Shell employee, 67 year old Bill Jones, is suing Shell after he was allegedly exposed to deadly asbestos dust on a North Sea rig more than 40 years ago. Mr Jones claims: “The dust I was exposed to was in such great volumes that, often after emptying sacks of Flosal, the room became a swirling mass of dust as the powder billowed up. My colleagues and I looked like snowmen within minutes, we could not help but get completely covered by it.” No doubt fearful of further claims, Shell declined to comment on the case.

Greenpeace has continued its campaign against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans and Shell’s tie-up with Lego by mounting a protest  on Saturday outside Bluewater’s LEGO store, calling for an end to Lego’s relationship with Shell.

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