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Posts under ‘Arctic’

Shell’s belligerent partner, Russia

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Extracts from an article by Kyle Mizokami published by THE WEEK: 29 MARCH 2016

Russia is staking its claim to the Arctic and is being more than a little unreasonable about it. In 2007 Russian robotic submarines planted the national flag under the North Pole. Russia claims the North Pole on the grounds that the Lomonosov Ridge, an extension of Russia’s continental shelf territory, passes underneath the pole.

Russia is preparing to back its claims up, too: As of 2015, it had established six new bases north of the Arctic Circle, including 16 deepwater ports and 13 airfields. Russia has deployed advanced S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles, as well as “Bastion” supersonic anti-ship missiles, to protect Arctic bases. The vastness of the Arctic means these weapons don’t threaten other countries, but they do create fortified bases that will allow Russia to springboard ships, planes, and Arctic-trained troops into contested territory. read more

Arctic Conservation Efforts Held Up By Shell Permits From 1970s

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By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press: Posted: 03/27/2016

Environmentalists say talks on creating a third national marine conservation area are being held up over Arctic offshore energy exploration permits that may not legally exist.

“Looking at the permits, it looks like the rights expired in 1979,” said Alex Speers-Roesch of Greenpeace.

The federal government has been trying for years to protect the waters of Lancaster Sound, the eastern gate of the Northwest Passage and home to a wealth of Arctic seabirds and mammals. The effort is strongly supported by local Inuit hunters and land claim groups. read more

Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Katie Herzog on 14 Mar 2016

Shell Oil released its 2015 annual review last week, and the most surprising thing in it may be how concerned the company is with climate change. It’s hardly what you’d expect from Big Oil, and yet the words “climate change” occur 15 times in the 228 page report. While this may seem minor, it’s a hell of a lot more than climate change is discussed by most other oil monsters (Looking at you, Exxon). Shell, unlike many oil giants, actively acknowledges and even embraces climate action — at least, on paper. “It was encouraging to see governments reach a global climate agreement in Paris in December,” the report reads. “The agreement should now encourage countries to develop policies that balance environmental concerns with enabling a decent quality of life for more people.” read more

Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.   read more

Time to End ‘Blood Oil’ Disaster in the Niger Delta

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By Richard SteinerProfessor and conservation biologist, Oasis Earth (www.oasis-earth.com): 10 MARCH 2016

The Niger Delta’s legendary “blood oil” disaster has persisted for decades, and is now deepening. Oil in the Delta fuels a dangerous mix of environmental devastation, a violent militancy that has killed thousands, human rights abuses, corporate greed and exploitation, epidemic corruption, massive oil theft, sabotage, repression, poverty, anger and despair. It is time to put an end to this ongoing atrocity, once and for all.

The 30,000 square mile Niger Delta — including rich coastal waters, islands, mangroves swamps, and rainforests — was once one of the most productive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth. But today, after 60 years of oil extraction, the region’s environment and society are devastated — a textbook example of the “oil curse.

The Delta is arguably the most severely oil-damaged environment anywhere in the world. A decade ago, our team of scientists conducting an oil damage assessment in the Delta estimated that each year, some 250,000 barrels (10 million gallons) of oil spill there, an amount comparable to that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska — each year for 50 years. Oil operations have also caused extensive habitat degradation from road building, forest clearing, dredging and filling, thousands miles of pipelines, and chronic pollution from gas flaring and drilling wastes. read more

An oilman’s $7 billion refresher course in the economics of drilling and climate change

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To many analysts, it looked like Odum was pushed into leaving.

Steven Mufson March 11, 2016

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, was attending a meeting of the parent company’s executive committee in Singapore when word trickled in that an exploration well drilled in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — the crowning step in a multi-year $7 billion quest — was a dry hole.

Maybe not bone dry. In a recent interview, Odum wouldn’t say. But in the oil business glossary, a dry hole is one that can’t pay off commercially, and Shell’s hole definitely qualified. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, abruptly dropped any further drilling — a setback for the industry, though a relief for environmentalists.

For years, they had fought a vigorous, litigious and politically intense battle over the Chukchi. Meanwhile Shell, lured by potentially rich rewards, had overcome a couple of embarrassing rig mishaps at sea and patiently navigated the courts and the Obama administration’s permitting process. Now, geology had rendered its verdict. read more

Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence

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Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence.

His presiding over the disasters in the Arctic and in the $40 billion shale misadventure finally caught up with him as all those who took the fall earlier had gone and BvB finally saw him as the liability he was.

That was why he was ‘moved’ into the departure lounge position in the first place.

I cannot think of a single executive offhand who willingly got off the gravy train before their time regardless of what Corporates press writers spin. read more

Woodside Appoints Former Shell Senior Executive Ann Pickard as Director

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. announced Monday that its Board has appointed Ann Pickard as a non-executive director effective Feb. 29. Pickard joins Woodside as an independent director.

Woodside Chairman Michael Chaney said that Pickard had significant international business experience.

“The directors are delighted that we have been able to attract a person of Ms Pickard’s background and experience to the company’s Board,” Chaney said.

On Feb. 1 Pickard retired from Royal Dutch Shell plc, where she held numerous positions during her 15-year tenure with the company. Before her retirement from Shell, Pickard served as executive vice president, Arctic and was responsible for Shell’s Arctic exploration efforts. This followed three years as Executive Vice President of Shell’s Exploration and Production business and Country Chair of Shell in Australia, and five years as Executive Vice President, Africa. Pickard joined Shell in 2000 after an 11-year tenure with Mobil prior to its merger with Exxon. read more

The Allure Of Shale Is Wearing Off

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Nick CunninghamThu, 25 February 2016

Royal Dutch Shell revealed its plans to downgrade its emphasis on expensive shale operations, although it was not worded in those terms.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor says that it would fold its “unconventional” unit (i.e. shale) into its broader upstream business. Shell also announced that Mavin Odum, long-time top official from the North American arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will retire after more than three decades at the company.

The two announcements are consistent with Shell’s decision to takeover BG, which was a large bet on LNG and offshore oil plays, particularly in Brazil and Australia. It is also evidence that Shell is deemphasizing its attention and resources on North America, where it has placed several costly bets that have soured. In 2013, Shell cancelled plans to build a $20 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Louisiana. In 2014, Shell sold off shale acreage in Texas, Colorado, and Kansas, according to Reuters, while also divesting itself of Pennsylvania and Louisiana shale gas assets. read more

Alaska failure not behind exit – Shell’s outgoing U.S. chief

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Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) costly flameout in Alaska last year was “a huge disappointment,” but did not push top North American executive Marvin Odum to exit the company, he said.

Odum made the comments hours after the company announced he would leave next month after 34 years.

“This should not be interpreted as, ‘Alaska didn’t work, so Marvin’s leaving,” Odum, 57, said in an interview.

Instead, he said he decided it was time to move on after heading Shell Oil Co, the Anglo-Dutch company’s U.S arm, since 2008. He later became head of exploration and production operations in the Americas as well. read more

Arctic Was a Bet That Didn’t Pay Off, Departing Shell Chief Says

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Jennifer A Dlouhy: Bloomberg.com: 24 FEB 2016

The departing chief of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.S. division, who presided over its failed quest to find crude in Arctic waters off Alaska, said the effort was still a point of pride because it demonstrated the company’s technical expertise.

Marvin Odum, 57, is leaving the company in a reorganization announced Wednesday. He has been with the company for 34 years and held the post atop its U.S. division, Shell Oil Co., since oil prices were at record highs.

The Arctic was “a big bet,” Odum said in a telephone interview Wednesday.  read more

Shell replaces U.S. chief, splits unconventionals unit

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HOUSTON | BY KRISTEN HAYS AND RON BOUSSO: Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:42pm EST

Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. head Marvin Odum will step down after the company abandoned a troubled drilling project offshore Alaska, and the global oil company said on Wednesday it will split up its U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands unit.

Stung by a 70 percent slide in crude prices since mid-2014, Shell this month reported its lowest annual income in more than a decade and pledged further cost saving measures.

The Anglo-Dutch company said on Wednesday its shale resources unit would become part of the global upstream business led by Andy Brown, and its Athabasca Oil Sands Project and Scotford Upgrader in Canada would be folded into the global downstream unit, headed by John Abbott. read more

The world’s most hated company: can NGOs help turn Shell’s reputation around?

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While Shell’s plummeting profits are partially due to the falling price of oil, the years of negative publicity surrounding the company have likely also had an effect…

Alison MoodieSaturday 6 February 2016 14.00 GMT

In mid-2015, Shell realized its project in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, was in trouble. After nearly a decade of expensive drilling, it still hadn’t yielded results and increasingly strict regulations were making it harder to operate. Plus, there was the small issue of public opinion, which, inspired by an aggressive campaign by Greenpeace, was turning against the company.  read more

How Far Will BP plc And Royal Dutch Shell plc Fall If The Oil Price Reaches $20 A Barrel?

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The share prices of these giants could halve… My investment advice for both companies is unequivocal. STEER. WELL. CLEAR.

By Prabhat Sakya – Monday, 25 January, 2016

Isn’t it interesting how, whenever there’s any news, we tend to jump on the negative side rather than the positive? As a commuter, I drive many thousands of miles every year. That’s why it’s great for me that the oil price is falling. And alongside the hundreds of pounds I’m saving on my daily commute, I’ll save a pretty penny on my heating bills over the next few years. Cheap fuel allows the global economy to run more cheaply, and that benefits consumers around the world. read more

Shell and VW top list of NGOs ‘most hated’ brands in the UK

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Zlata Rodionova: 18 JAN 2016

Volkswagen has made a list of non-governmental organisations’ “most hated” brands in the UK for the first time, following a turbulent year for the company dealing with fallout from the emissions scandal.

VW came in at fourth place in the survey that named Shell as the most hated brand.

VW is now the seventh least popular brand in the world, according to the survey of more than 7,500 NGOs by Sigwatch, a consultancy.

Robert Blood, founder and managing of Sigwatch, told the Independent that the Volkswagen scandal allowed NGOs to draw attention to the bigger problem of green emissions. read more

VW challenges Shell as world’s ‘most hated’ brand after emissions scandal

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.01.07The emissions scandal has propelled Volkswagen to the fourth spot in a list of brands most hated by NGOs, while Shell retains the top place.

Energy companies dominate the list of the most criticised companies in the world.

Shell’s Artic drilling plans made it a particular target for criticism in 2015, according to research by NGO tracker Sigwatch.

FULL ARTICLE

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