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Posts from ‘February, 2015’

SAKHALIN2: How many billions of dollars did Shell lose in Russian annexation?

Chris Finlayson representing Shell and Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s Vice Chairman

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell executive Chris Finlayson held a leadership position in Shell’s Sakhalin II project in Russia from September 2005 to September 2009.

The venture was described as “the Mother of all Projects” by the Financial Times.

When Finlayson joined the Sakhalin II project, Shell was the controlling stakeholder in the venture.

By the time he departed, Shell had lost its controlling stake and had become a junior partner in humiliating circumstances.

The Putin government found out that Shell had hidden information from them in a high level cover-up. As a Russian government minister, Oleg Mitvol, confirmed to the news media at the time, and more recently in a GERMAN TV documentary segment broadcast across Europe, I supplied that crucial insider information to him. I did so before the real nature of Putin had become apparent.   read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Lynn Hughes and Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes

In an extremely rare move, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has removed a case from U.S. District Lynn Hughes’ docket after the Houston federal court judge declined to rule the way the appellate court wanted in a case involving Shell Exploration.

The recent decision in United States v. Shell Exploration involves a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) action brought by two individuals against Shell alleging that the company had failed to pay the U.S. government at least $19 million in oil royalties. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

High Court dismisses Shell Centre challenge

From an article by Allister Hayman published 25 Feb 2015 by PropertyWeek.com

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High Court dismisses Shell Centre challenge

A judge has rejected a legal challenge to Eric Pickles’ decision to approve the controversial £1.2bn redevelopment of the Shell Centre.

The ruling today means joint venture developers Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar can now proceed with their redevelopment of the 27-storey Shell Centre tower, which includes eight new buildings and comprises 800,000 sq ft of office space, 80,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and cafés, and up to 790 new homes.

The ruling looks set to bring to an end a long battle over the scheme on the River Thames. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Houston We Have A Problem: Oil Workers Strike For Safety & Fair Labor

Article by Alvaro Rodriguez and Jane Nguyen published 25 Feb 2015 by MINTPRESS NEWS under the headline:

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Oil workers holding picket signs in front of the Shell oil refinery in the Houston Ship Channel

In the largest strike since 1980, oil workers who are members of United Steelworkers District 13 locals (Locals 13-1 and Local 13-227) are no longer on the job in the Houston Ship Channel, the largest petrochemical complex in the world. The strike kicked off on February 1, 2015.

The three plants impacted by the strike in Houston include Shell Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, LyondellBasell Refinery and Marathon (refinery and cogeneration facility).

The union is under attack in Texas, with USW members locked out at the Sherwin Alumina plant in Corpus Christi and the ASARCO facility in Amarillo. The attack on the union is occurring while the industry made record profits. Royal Dutch Shell announced earnings of $19 billion in 2014. LyondellBasell had record profits of $7.1 billion (EBITD) in 2014, cash generation of $6.0 billion. These profits in large part went to reward stock holders rather than repairs — with stock repurchases prioritized over worker safety —  to the tune of $7.2 billion in dividends. This largesse extended to a jump in compensation for their corporate officers. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

That sinking Feeling

Financial Times article by Christopher Adams, Michael Kavanagh and Chris Tighe: 25 Feb 2015

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That sinking feeling

North Sea oil was a challenge before prices halved. Now the UK industry fears a fatal blow

The plunge in prices, a tax system that deters investment and a failure by producers to co-operate could lead to a wave of early field closures and accelerated moves to decommissioning.

FULL ARTICLE

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Keystone and the Riddle of the Tar Sands

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BY MARK DOWIE 2/25/15 AT 10:49 PM

Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands (a.k.a. the tar sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset.

For either outcome, the turning point they will look back on is just about now. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Offshore oil drilling opponents scold Port of Seattle for Shell deal

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Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 22.42.39Article by Ted Land, KING 5 News: 24 Feb 2015

SEATTLE — The Port of Seattle got quite the earful, Tuesday from a group opposed to offshore oil drilling.

They’re irate that the port is doing business with Shell, which plans to use Terminal 5, near West Seattle, as a launching point as it prepares to drill in the Arctic.

“It appears the port has forgotten that it’s a public agency entrusted with making decisions in the general public interest,” said Peter Goldman, an environmental attorney who was among more than a dozen people to testify at the port commission meeting. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Canada’s energy slump to wipe out $23-billion over two years

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Jeff Lewis published 24 Feb 2015 by The Globe and Mail under the headline:

Canada’s energy slump to wipe out $23-billion over two years

Extracts

The slump in Alberta’s energy sector is set to wipe out billions more in corporate earnings, complicating growth plans and putting investor dividends at greater risk.

An analysis of more than 30 major oil sands projects by consultancy Wood Mackenzie Group says as much as $23-billion (U.S.) of cash flow will disappear over the next two years – even if U.S. crude oil prices rise to $55 a barrel this year and $65 in 2016 from today’s lows.

Even as the energy sector reels from the sharp drop in oil prices, the Edinburgh-based consultancy said a series of expansions and new projects where investments were made long before oil prices hit the skids will add as much as 458,000 barrels per day of oil sands production over the next two years. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Salym Shell development in Siberia

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By Olga Ivshina, BBC News, Western Siberia, published 27 Nov 2014 under the headline:

Russian oil industry facing deep freeze

Without visiting a well in Western Siberia, you would never realise just how hard it is to extract oil in Russia.

Two hours’ drive from the nearest village of Salym, the snow banks are huge and the closest airport is over 300km (185 miles) away.

The temperature is down to -26C, but locals say winter temperatures normally drop to -40C, and Russia’s oil industry has more serious challenges than the cold.

Oil prices are falling and the cost of extraction is rising as resources are becoming exhausted. And then there are the Western sanctions imposed on oil companies as a result of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Matthias Bichsel Joining Petrofac


PETROFAX BOARD: Retirement destination of Shell has-beens?

Petrofac Board is recommending that shareholders approve the appointment of Matthias Bichsel at its 2015 Annual General Meeting. If approved by shareholders, Matthias, who has over 30 years’ relevant experience, most recently as Director of Projects & Technology at Royal Dutch Shell plc, will join the Board as an independent Non-executive Director on 14 May 2015. Matthias brings an extensive understanding of the oil and gas industry and the Board looks forward to working with him. In addition, Roxanne Decyk has notified the Board of her intention to step down as a Non-executive Director at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting. The consequential changes to Board Committee memberships following these changes will be reviewed in due course. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Another nail in the coffin of tar sands

BBC NEWS: Obama vetoes Keystone oil pipeline bill: 24 Feb 2015

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US President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The Republican-led Congress sent the bill to the president on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama vetoed the bill “without any drama or fanfare or delay”.

The 875-mile (1,400km) pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the US state of Nebraska where it joins pipes running to Texas.

The project has pitted Republicans and other supporters, who say it will create much needed jobs, against many Democrats and environmentalists, who warn the pipeline will add to carbon emissions and contribute to global warming. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Oil Industry Blasts Latest Rules For Arctic Drilling

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18This article was written by Oilprice.com , the leading provider of energy news in the world.

Oil Industry Blasts Latest Rules For Arctic Drilling

The energy industry has been quick to criticize the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations for exploratory drilling in the US Arctic Ocean, calling them “unnecessarily burdensome.”

The Interior Department proposed Feb. 20 its first regulations ever for the US regions of the Arctic Ocean that would require energy companies to have contingency plans and spare equipment to contain any spills in the region. They would apply to the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska and the Chukchi Sea over the Bearing Strait between Alaska and Russia.

An Interior Department report said in 2011 that an estimated 22 billion barrels of oil and 93 trillion cubic feet of gas – both technically recoverable – lie beneath these two seas owned by the federal government. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Groningen Gas Field Shock: Risk of earthquakes at 4.6 on the Richter scale

From an article published 24 February 2015 by DutchNews.nl under the headline:

Groningen facing stronger earthquakes as gas field empties: report

The province of Groningen will be hit hard with additional seismic activity hitting the gas fields by more and heavier earthquakes, according to a scientific report of Shell employees and NAM. Last week, the safety research council OVV said in a report that maximising profit was the main driver for the extraction of natural gas from underneath Groningen province and public safety took a back seat.

The province of Groningen will face more frequent and stronger earthquakes as the gas fields under the province empty, the AD reports on Tuesday.

The findings come in a scientific report from Shell and gas extraction company NAM and published in the the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

Parts of Groningen have for years been hit by earthquakes and there is mounting opposition to gas extraction in the province because of the damage to property. The quakes occur as the ground settles in areas where the gas has been removed. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Oil and gas industry in ‘bleak’ 2014, finds survey

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 08.53.48FROM A BBC ARTICLE PUBLISHED 24 FEB 2015

Oil and gas industry in ‘bleak’ 2014, finds survey

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has reported its worst annual performance for four decades.

Industry body Oil & Gas UK said falling oil prices and rising costs meant the sector spent and invested £5.3bn more than it earned from sales during 2014.

That outflow of cash was the biggest since massive investment in platforms in the 1970s preceded the flow of oil.

The body’s annual survey also indicated that investment in the industry is set to fall this year, as well as drilling.

Oil & Gas UK said the “bleak” findings emphasised the urgency of government action to secure the industry’s long-term future. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Replaced Only 26% Of Its Produced Reserves In 2014

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.00.06From an article by Zoltan Ban published 23 Feb 2015 by Seeking Alpha under the headline:

Shell Replaced Only 26% Of Its Produced Reserves In 2014

Summary

  • Shell replaced only 26% of its produced reserves in 2014.

  • The three year average rate of reserve replacement is 67%.

  • Even with potential for growth in the downstream, Shell is likely to undergo a continued process of shrinkage as a company in the longer term.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) produced 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2014. Only 26% of that was replaced with new reserves, which means that just over 300 million barrels of oil equivalent were added. Over the past three years, 67% reserve replacement was achieved, which looks much better, but still suggests that Shell is a shrinking upstream producer (link).

Shrinking oil production has already been a well-established trend with this company since 2010, but the current low reserve replacement ratio suggests that there is much worse to come. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Groups derail Shell refinery plan

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Article by Gary Chittim published 23 February 23, 2015 by King5.com under the headline:

Groups derail Shell refinery plan

Seattle – Six environmental groups successfully challenged approval for a rail expansion that would bring oil trains directly to the Shell Oil Refinery in Anacortes.

The project was initially moved along by Skagit County through a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance.

The groups Earth Justice, Sustainable Communities, Friends of the San Juans, ForestEthics, Washington Environmental Council, Friends of the Earth, and Evergreen Islands appealed that decision to the Skagit County Examiner. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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