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Iraq Exports First Natural Gas Shipment in Its History

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: MARCH 20, 2016

BAGHDAD — Iraq on Sunday exported the first shipment of natural gas in its history, a key development for the OPEC member struggling to feed a cash-strapped economy amid an expensive fight against the Islamic State group.

The move revives a long-sought ambition by Iraq to be a gas exporter, thanks to a joint venture with Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. Iraq first planned to begin exporting gas in the late 1970s, but that timeline was delayed by the Iraq-Iran war when Iraqi export ports were bombed. read more

Nigerians sue Shell in UK court over oil spills contamination

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London law firm Leigh Day & Co. is representing them after winning an unprecedented $83.5 million in damages from Shell in a landmark ruling by the same court last year. Shell originally offered villagers $50,000.

In a statement Wednesday before the trial opened, Shell blamed sabotage and oil theft for the ongoing pollution and noted it had halted oil production in 1993 in Ogoniland, the area where the two communities are located in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern Niger Delta.

Shell said it will challenge the jurisdiction of the British court. read more

$717M expansion at Shell plant in Geismar, Louisiana

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– Associated Press – Wednesday, February 17, 2016

GEISMAR, La. (AP) – Shell Chemical LP is starting a $717 million expansion at its plant in Geismar (GYS-mar).

Shell officials and Gov. John Bel Edwards say it will create 1,500 construction jobs and add 20 permanent jobs when it opens in 2018. Salaries for the permanent jobs average $104,000 a year.

About 650 people already work at the plant.

Officials say the expansion will make the 800-acre complex the world’s largest producer of a group of chemicals used to make various consumer and industrial products, including packaging plastics, synthetic lubricants, drilling fluids and household detergents.

Officials say the expansion will bring total production capacity to 425,000 tons of alpha olefins (OH-luh-finz) a year. read more

Nigerian Farmers Cleared to Sue Shell in Dutch Court

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.01.07By MIKE CORDER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dec 18, 2015

Nigerian farmers will have the chance to sue oil multinational Shell in a Dutch court for pollution they blame on leaking pipelines, a Dutch appeals court ruled Friday.

Activists said the ruling sets a landmark legal precedent that clears the way for Dutch-based companies to be sued for alleged negligence of their subsidiaries elsewhere in the world.

“There is now jurisprudence that means victims of human rights violations or pollution can sue Dutch multinationals in the Netherlands,” said Geert Ritsema of the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, the environmental group that is also involved in the case.

The case centers on a charge from four farmers that Shell and its Nigerian unit are liable for damages caused by leaks from two underground oil pipes from 2004-2007. Shell has argued that it has no liability in the case and that Dutch courts did not have jurisdiction. read more

State regulators fine Shell Oil for toxic release in Anacortes

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Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 00.19.03Inspectors found that Shell had skipped critical decontamination steps while shutting down the main flare. The uncontrolled release exposed workers to toxic substances.

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS: NOVEMBER 20, 2015

TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) — Washington state regulators have fined Shell Oil Products $77,000 after an investigation found that it failed to control a toxic release.

The Department of Labor and Industries said Friday that they began investigating Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes after learning that the refinery’s main flare released contaminates into the environment.

The release prompted complaints about the odor by people living nearby.

A refinery flare is designed to burn off waste gases and vapors not used in production. It also helps to prevent fires. But the flare must be decontaminated and shut down periodically for maintenance. read more

Nigeria oil pollution still menaces 20 years after activist’s hanging, Shell cleanup vows

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WARRI, NIGERIA – Twenty years after a Nigerian military dictatorship hanged activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, his Niger Delta homeland remains blighted by oil pollution.

Thousands of lives have been wrecked, according to Amnesty International, as oil slicks killed the fish, crude-crusted soil stunted crops and oil flare-ups polluted lungs.

Gen. Sani Abacha’s regime hanged Saro-Wiwa, 54, and seven other Ogoni leaders on trumped-up murder charges. “Judicial murder,” charged then-British Prime Minister John Major. read more

Shell describes Arctic drilling project as a good prospect that just didn’t work out

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.

Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil. read more

Shell’s drilling vessels leave Arctic waters after company ends oil exploration off Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Oct. 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.

The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington. read more

Militants attack Shell Nigeria flow station, kill guard, company says

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Published October 11, 2015: Associated Press

WARRI, Nigeria –  Shell Nigeria says armed militants attacked an oil flow station in the southern Delta and killed a guard, amid fears of a renewed crisis as the country grapples with halved petroleum prices.

Militant demands have been increasing and range from regional autonomy to a bigger share of the oil wealth that has polluted the Niger Delta region and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers and fishermen.

President Muhammad Buhari has said he will terminate in December a $500 million-a-year amnesty program negotiated in 2009 for 30,000 militants that curbed an insurgency that was killing 1,000 people a year and halved the oil production of Africa’s biggest producer. read more

Shell move dims oil prospects, delights environmentalists

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Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 23.21.47ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its long quest to become the first company to produce oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters, darkening the nation’s long-term oil prospects and delighting environmental groups that tried to block the project.

After years of effort, Shell is leaving the region “for the foreseeable future” because it failed to find enough oil to make further drilling worthwhile.

The company has spent more than $7 billion on the effort, slogged through a regulatory gauntlet and fought environmental groups that feared a spill in the harsh climate would be difficult to clean up and devastating to polar bears, walruses, seals and other wildlife. read more

Tapped out? Shell ending Arctic offshore oil exploration after test well disappoints

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25FoxNews.com: Sept 28, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell said early Monday that it was ceasing offshore oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters after a test well yielded unsatisfactory amounts of oil and gas.

The announcement was a huge blow to Shell, which was counting on offshore drilling in Alaska to help it drive future revenue and had poured billions in investment and years of work into the exploratory well. Environmentalists, however, had tried repeatedly to block the project, and welcome the news.

A statement from the company’s headquarters in The Hague said Shell was ending exploration off Alaska “for the forseeable future” after what it called “a clearly disappointing exploration outcome.”

Shell said it had found indications of oil and gas in the well in the Chukchi Sea, about 80 miles off Alaska’s northwest coast. However, the petroleum was not in quantities sufficient to warrant additional exploration in that portion of the basin, the company added. read more

Shell ceases Alaska Arctic drilling after exploratory well disappoints

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Associated Press: Monday 28 September 2015 07.04 BST

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has said it is ceasing exploration in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future, saying an exploratory well drilled to 6,800ft (2,100m) found oil and gas but not in sufficient quantities.

Shell USA’s president, Marvin Odum, said in an announcement early on Monday in the Netherlands that it was a disappointing outcome for that part of the Chukchi sea basin.

Shell drilled in 150ft (45m) of water about 80 miles (130km) off Alaska’s north-west coast. The exploratory well was the first in the Chukchi in 24 years. read more

Actors join campaign to draw attention to Arctic issue

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Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 23.17.56By DAN JOLING: 18 Sept 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Critics of Arctic offshore petroleum drilling have used climbing gear, kayaks and polar bear costumes to protest industrial activity in the Arctic. They’re now trying humor.

Actors Alexander Skarsgard of “True Blood” and Jack McBrayer of “30 Rock,” along with Andy Bichlbaum of “The Yes Men” activists, are on a Greenpeace ship in the Greenland Sea with a team from the Funny or Die production company to make a comedy series focused on industrial threats to the Arctic. read more

Shell President: ‘Oil Will Be Required for a Long Time’

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sep 2, 2015, 12:31 AM ET

By DAN JOLING Associated Press

The president of Shell Oil Co. said Tuesday exploratory drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast is going well despite stormy weather last week that caused the company to halt operations for a few days.

And in an interview with The Associated Press Marvin Odum said he expects further protests against the company’s plans for Arctic drilling like the ones in Seattle and Portland where activists in kayaks tried to block Shell vessels. read more

Shell Resumes Operations After Storm Force Arctic Stop

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Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Aug 31, 2015, 10:31 PM ET

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has resumed operations after high winds and rough seas north of Alaska’s northern coast put a temporary stop to exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

But Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in a Monday email to The Associated Press that full operations, including drilling, will start again once a systems check is complete and the company is satisfied it’s safe to start drilling again.

He says there’s no timeline for that to be completed. read more

Shell Pauses Arctic Offshore Drilling for High Wind, Water

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By DAN JOLING Associated Press


Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25Strong winds and high waves that pounded the northern coast of Alaska have led Royal Dutch Shell PLC to temporarily stop exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

“Due to high wind and sea states, we have paused all critical operations in the Chukchi Sea,” said spokesman Curtis Smith in an email response to questions.

The eastern Chukchi Sea this week experienced gale-force winds in the range of 39 to 54 p.m., said Ed Townsend, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. Winds at Point Lay on Alaska’s northwest coast about 9 a.m. Friday blew steadily at 29 mph with gusts to 37 mph. read more

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