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Shell to face Nigeria oil spill lawsuit

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A Dutch judge has ruled that a court in the Netherlands should hear a case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by four Nigerian farmers.

The farmers and fishermen want Shell to clean up oil spills in four villages in the Niger Delta and pay compensation.

The latest ruling overturns a decision that was made two years ago by a lower court.

The oil giant said it was disappointed with decision made by appeals court judge Hans van der Klooster.

He ruled that Dutch courts had jurisdiction in the case against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary. read more

Royal Dutch Shell plans 2,800 extra job cuts after BG deal

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Royal Dutch Shell has said it will cut 2,800 jobs if its planned takeover of BG Group goes ahead, about 3% of the combined group’s workforce.

The proposed job cuts are in addition to the 7,500 job losses Shell announced in July.

The tie-up between Shell and BG deal is due to be completed early next year.

However, an institutional investor has told the BBC that the deal does not make “financial sense” at current oil price levels.

David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life Investments, told the BBC it was “very difficult to make the deal work” with oil below $40 a barrel, saying oil prices needed to be $60-$70 a barrel. read more

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11 December 2015

The oil price has fallen to a new seven-year low after the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecast a slowdown in growth in demand for oil.

The price of Brent crude oil fell below $39 a barrel at one point, its lowest since December 2008.

The IEA said demand in the current quarter was growing by 1.3 million barrels a day, down from 2.2 million barrels in the previous quarter.

The IEA predicts that will slip back to 1.2 million barrels a day next year.

The price of Brent crude fell to $38.90 a barrel at one point, before recovering slightly to $39.13 – still down 60 cents in the trading session. US crude oil also fell, down 50 cents to $36.12 a barrel. read more

UK government carbon capture £1bn grant dropped

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47A Shell spokesman said: “Shell is disappointed at the withdrawal of funding for the CCS Commercialisation Competition…

25 November 2015

The UK government has announced it is axing a £1bn grant for developing new carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

Peterhead power station and the White Rose scheme in North Yorkshire were the bidders in the competition.

Shell and SSE are behind the Aberdeenshire plans.

The energy company Drax had announced in September it was abandoning plans to introduce CCS technology in North Yorkshire.

‘Engage on implications’

In stock exchange announcement, the government said: “Today, following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, HM Government confirms that the £1bn ring-fenced capital budget for the Carbon Capture and Storage Competition is no longer available. read more

Shell charged over Gannet Alpha leak in 2011

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Friday 20 November 2015

Oil giant Shell has been charged after an investigation into a leak at a North Sea platform in 2011, the BBC Scotland news website has learned.

It involved the Gannet Alpha platform, 113 miles (180km) from Aberdeen.

It was reported that the pipeline leaked more than 200 tonnes of oil.

The case against Shell UK is due to call at Aberdeen Sheriff Court next week. The charges cover oil pollution, pipeline safety and health and safety regulations.

The pipeline involved was about 300ft (91m) below the surface. read more

US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling

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The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.

It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.

The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.

The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”. read more

Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

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By Matt McGrath: Environment correspondent, BBC News, Alaska: 12 Oct 2015

Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.

The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.

He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.

Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years. read more

Nigeria’s ex-oil minister ‘arrested in London’

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40…one of five people as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering. $20bn of oil money had gone missing…

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Nigeria’s former oil minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has been arrested in London, her family has said.

She is believed to be one of five people the UK National Crime Agency said it had arrested, but did not name, as part of an investigation into suspected bribery and money laundering.

Ms Alison-Madueke was oil minister between 2010 and 2015.

She denied wrongdoing when it was alleged that $20bn of oil money had gone missing when she was in office.

That accusation was made by Nigeria’s central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in February 2014. Mr Sanusi was sacked soon after, accused of financial recklessness himself. read more

Shell has made a costly call to abandon Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 14.19.16Kamal AhmedBusiness editor: 28 Sept 2015

It could have been Hillary Clinton’s tweet that did it.

Just after the US government had given the go-ahead for Shell to restart its exploration in Alaska, the Democratic presidential candidate took to the social media site.

“The Arctic is a unique treasure,” Mrs Clinton said on Twitter. “Given what we know now, it’s not worth the risk of drilling.”

Which seemed to ignore the fact that drilling has been taking place in the Arctic for decades – for example oil was first discovered in one of the main basins, Prudhoe Bay, in 1968. read more

Shell will not sanction Arctic exploration until at least 2020

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Kamal AhmedBusiness editor: 17 Sept 2015

As it moves, gingerly, through the first stages of exploration 70 miles off the Alaskan coast, Royal Dutch Shell has revealed its commitment to drilling in the Arctic.

And how long it will be before any oil or gas actually comes out of the ground – if at all.

Despite environmental concerns and the low oil price, Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, told me that as the world’s energy demands increased, the hunt for new resources was as important as ever.

The Arctic, he points out, has long been a source of oil and gas production. Environmental safety would be the priority, he insisted. read more

Volatile’ oil price hard to predict, says Shell boss

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Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has told the BBC a recovery in the price of oil is hard to foresee.

“It is a very, very volatile business in terms of supply and demand. The oil price responds to very small mismatches between supply and demand,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The price of oil has roughly halved in the past year, to just under $50 (£32) per barrel.

Goldman Sachs predicted earlier this month it could fall as low as $20.

When asked where oil prices may go next, he told the BBC: “The honest answer to that is I don’t know.” read more

Shell gets final permit for Arctic oil drilling

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Oil and gas giant Shell has been granted the final permit it needs to begin drilling below the ocean floor for oil in the Arctic.

Shell began work last month, but was allowed to drill just the top sections of two wells, off the coast of Alaska.

Environmental campaigners are against the drilling which they say could harm the region.

But the US government said it was monitoring Shell’s work “around the clock” to ensure the “utmost safety”.

“Activities conducted offshore Alaska are being held to the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards,” added Brian Salerno, director of The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which issued the final permit. read more

Shell Arctic drilling ‘risky’ – ex-BP boss Lord Browne

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By Roger Harrabin: BBC environment analyst: 12 August 2015

Drilling for oil in the Arctic may harm Shell’s reputation and cost it dear, the former BP boss Lord Browne has said.

Shell has just started preliminary drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea after several setbacks.

The firm’s CEO Ben van Beurden said he had gone on a “personal journey” before deciding the risks were containable.

But Lord Browne urged caution, saying the company’s long-term reputation could be affected.

Both men have given interviews to the BBC for a Radio 4 documentary series in the autumn – Climate change: Are we feeling lucky? read more

US Coast Guard ends Shell icebreaker bridge protest

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Environmental activists have been removed from a bridge in Portland, Oregon, allowing an icebreaker to join a US Arctic oil-drilling operation.

Police lowered the Greenpeace campaigners dangling on ropes from St John’s Bridge into boats, while the Coast Guard cleared dozens of kayaks.

The icebreaker, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell, had been prevented from leaving port for hours.

A judge has ordered Greenpeace to pay $2,500 (£1,600) per hour of blockage.

The Fennica icebreaker was in Portland for repairs. At one point it had to retreat before the activists refused to move. read more

Royal Dutch Shell to cut 6,500 jobs

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 08.23.47Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has announced it is to shed 6,500 jobs as part of cost cutting plans.

30 July 2015

The company said the cost cutting was to help “mitigate the impact” on profits amidst a drop in oil prices.

Its “prudent approach” included a reduction in operating costs of $4bn and reduced oil exploration operations.

The company announced profits of $3.4bn in the three months to 30 June, a 35% decrease compared with last year.

Shell also said that it was “planning for a prolonged downturn” in oil prices.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said: “We have to be resilient in a world where oil prices remain low for some time, whilst keeping an eye on recovery. read more

Shell to move to new shift pattern

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Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 08.34.47Written by Harriet Brace – 28/07/2015 8:06 am

A major oil firm has confirmed its offshore workers will be the latest to move over to a new three weeks on shift pattern.

Oil giant Shell today confirmed the company will be moving to the new working pattern for offshore employees.

Offshore workers at Shell are currently on a two weeks on, three weeks off rotation.

However, the firm’s representatives have yet to confirm the arrangement for its employees’ off time, which is still under consultation. read more

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