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Posts under ‘Fracking’

Eyes on Doha

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By Ed Crooks: April 15, 2016

All eyes in the oil market this weekend will be on Sunday’s meeting in Doha, which will bring together leading producers including Russia and most – although perhaps not all – of the members of Opec. Expectations that the countries will agree to freeze production, encouraged this week by statements from Russian and Iraqi representatives, have helped drive Brent crude prices up more than 60 per cent from about $27 per barrel in January to around $44 today.  The heads of some of the world’s largest trading houses have concluded that for oil producers, the worst is probably now over.

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South Africa to start shale gas exploration in next year

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Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil & Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five companies which have applied for exploration licenses being reviewed by South Africa’s Petroleum Agency, the regulator said on Tuesday.

The Petroleum Agency will submit its recommendations to the government by early May. The ministry of mineral resources will make the final decision on granting licenses.

“One area of real opportunity for South Africa is the exploration of shale gas,” a statement from cabinet ministers responsible for the economy said.

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South Africa looks to shale gas future

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Shell one of the early examiners of gas potential in a country plagued by an electricity crisis

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By Daniel J. Graeber: March 8, 2016

PRETORIA, South Africa, March 8 (UPI) — The South African government said Tuesday it was expecting to reap the rewards of shale natural gas, with exploration slated as early as 2017.

Royal Dutch Shell is among the early entrants into the South African shale sector, reviewing the prospects for gas in the country’s Karoo basin.

South African Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Gugile Nkwinti told government officials in Pretoria shale gas exploration presents a real opportunity for economic growth in the country.

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Ruairí McKiernan: Corrib gas protesters did State some service

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…many of those involved have been ridiculed, slandered, spied on, harassed, beaten and jailed – all for upholding their democratic right to peaceful dissent. Incidents included the 2005 jailing of the Rossport Five, who spent 94 days in prison at the behest of Shell.

Ruairí McKiernan

As gas is flared into the skies above north Mayo, it is worth reflecting on a project that has been one of modern Ireland’s greatest scandals, a stunning fiasco in planning, economics, environmental protection and the abuse of civil liberties.

Far from it being just about energy supply, jobs and development, the Corrib gas project cuts to the core of this republic and asks big questions about how the country is run.

For more than 10 years now, campaigners have attempted to highlight the project’s many flaws.

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Safety risks prompt Dutch court to order cuts at Groningen gas field

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Sectors | Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:33pm IST

By Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling

A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered more cuts in gas production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, saying the government had given too little consideration to the stronger and more frequent earthquakes extraction had caused.

Output at the field, the world’s 10th largest, will now be capped at 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from 33 bcm, the court said, adding that the government had failed to sufficiently weigh public safety risks.

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Exxon’s Dutch Gas Gag

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Liam Denning: November 18, 2015

If you’ve never been to Groningen, it’s a pleasant college town in the northern Netherlands. It also happens to share its name with one of the world’s largest natural gas fields. Tourists are best advised to focus on the scenic bicycling routes. Exxon Mobil is more attuned to what lies beneath.

The region around Groningen has a problem that is becoming familiar in places like Oklahoma: earthquakes brought on by gas production. On Wednesday, a Dutch court ruled that the production cap on the giant field should be reduced temporarily by another 18 percent, to about 950 billion cubic feet for the year that started October 1. Altogether, the cap has been cut by about a third since 2014.

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Arctic Drilling: A Giant Gamble for the Planet and Shell’s Bottom Line

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Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network | August 31, 201

Shell is betting on finding the oil industry’s Holy Grail: according to 2008 estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Arctic contains more than 20 percent of the world’s remaining hydrocarbon resources—including at least 90 billion barrels of oil.

If Shell does strike oil in big quantities maybe its gamble will pay off—and its anxious shareholders can look forward to handsome payouts.

But the whole venture is a high-risk business. The decision by the U.S. administration to allow Shell to start drilling in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, is highly controversial.

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More and bigger drilling-linked earthquakes rattle Oklahoma

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Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 22.24.59By Heide Brandes: 28 July 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – Several earthquakes shook Oklahoma on Monday as the state experiences a sharp increase in the frequency of tremors linked to wastewater disposal from gas and oil drilling, including from fracking, state and federal officials said.

Three of Monday’s quakes measured above a magnitude 4.0, with a 4.5 earthquake centered just north of Crescent, roughly 45 miles (72 km) north of Oklahoma City, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

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UK fracking application rejected

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An application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors.

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Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool.

Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of “unacceptable noise impact” and the “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”.

Cuadrilla said it was “surprised and disappointed” and would consider its “options” regarding an appeal.

A spokesman added: “We remain committed to the responsible exploration of the huge quantity of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep underneath Lancashire.”

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U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer

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Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 23.24.56Article by Rakteem Katakey published 10 June 2015 by Bloomberg.com

The U.S. has taken Russia’s crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America’s shale fields.

U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc’s Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined.

The data showing the U.S.’s emergence as the top driller confirms a trend that’s helped the world’s largest economy reduce imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted the country’s foreign policy priorities.

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Saudi Arabia Lets The World Drown In Oil

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Article by Nathan Vardi: Forbes Staff: Friday 5 June 2015

To the surprise of nobody, Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC member states decided in Vienna on Friday to maintain production targets of 30 million barrels a day, making sure the world remains flooded with oil. The fact that OPEC—particularly the core countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates—have refused to play their traditional stabilizing role and cut oil production makes it less likely that oil prices will rebound to the $115 a barrel level that was reached about one year ago.

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OPEC Seen Backing Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Keep Supplies Elevated

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by Grant Smith and Maher Chmaytelli: Bloomberg.com: 27 May 2015

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When Saudi Arabia argues next week that OPEC should keep up production to fight the rise in U.S. shale oil, prices will be on its side.

Crude plunged for eight of nine weeks prior to the group’s November gathering, when the kingdom faced down opposition from the majority of fellow members, who advocated output reductions to tackle a global glut. With oil companies around the world cutting investment, U.S. output peaking and prices up, Saudi Arabia’s strategy will be extended at OPEC’s semiannual meeting on June 5, say Societe Generale SA and Bank of America Corp.

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No Shell Arctic Oil Until 2030’s

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: May 26, 2015 

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) head of oil and gas production in Americas, Marvin Odum has told the Financial Times (FT) in an interview that the company’s Arctic drilling operations would take at least a decade to extract oil reserves, which would then be sent to production.

The leading executives dealing with this particular exploration project stated that there are enormous difficulties that the company is facing during the process of securing environmental approvals. Amid strong opposition from environmental groups, to obtain the needed approvals is taking longer than the expected time.

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Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era

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Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.29.47Shell’s Arctic voyage marks beginning of peak oil era

Anglo-Dutch company’s search for resources in the Arctic is a sign that the world is running out of options for new oil reserves

By Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor

In his critically acclaimed 2005 book ‘Twilight in the Desert’, the prominent oil economist Matthew R. Simmons predicted that Saudi Arabia’s oil wells would soon run dry.

His argument was based on the age of the seven main fields, which the kingdom still to this day depends upon to pump the bulk of its 10m barrels per day (bpd) of crude. These fields in the main have been producing for over a generation and, despite official figures placing Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves at over 260bn barrels, Mr Simmons argued that the kingdom would struggle to increase its output to keep pace with the projected increases in the demand over the next half century marking the beginning of a period known as “peak oil”.

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Fracking lobby calls the tune on commission shale-gas panel

An article by PASCOE SABIDO, PUBLISHED BRUSSELS, TODAY, BY EUOBSERVER.COM

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2015 is a big year for climate in Europe: the UN talks in Paris, this December; the implementation of the EU’s 2030 climate targets; mapping out the Energy Union.
Judging by the European Commission’s public statements, one would think the EU was firmly on its way to transforming our energy system towards efficient and renewable energy.

But in reality, its recently-established advisory group for the evaluation of shale gas development is opening the back door to this harmful and polluting technology across Europe, despite massive public opposition.

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U.S. Maps Pinpoint Earthquakes Linked to Quest for Oil and Gas

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Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 07.46.46“Predicting risk is also hard, the report noted, because there is no scientific consensus on just how powerful such quakes can be. The report estimated the effects of shocks up to magnitudes 6 and 7, while noting that some scientists have speculated that the catastrophic 7.9-magnitude earthquake in China in 2008 was caused by human activity.”

Article bBy RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA PUBLISHED APRIL 23, 2015 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred.

The report was the agency’s broadest statement yet on a danger that has grown along with the nation’s energy production.

By far the hardest-hit state, the report said, is Oklahoma, where earthquakes are hundreds of times more common than they were until a few years ago because of the disposal of wastewater left over from extracting fuels and from drilling wells by injecting water into the earth. But the report also mapped parts of eight other states, from Lake Erie to the Rocky Mountains, where that practice has caused quakes, and said most of them were at risk for more significant shaking in the future.

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Shell’s Huge Gas Bet Underscores Big Oil’s Push to Replace Coal

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Article by Javier Blas and Rakteem Katakey published 10 April 2015 by Bloomberg.com

BP Plc coined the slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” The new industry mantra might be “Beyond Oil and Into Gas.” Oh, and while we’re at it, “Down With Coal.”

Consider Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s recent $70 billion acquisition of BG Group Plc — clearly a huge bet that natural gas will prove to be its cash cow of the future.

The petroleum industry’s move toward gas is hardly new — the hydraulic fracturing shale revolution is in its second decade, after all. Still, Shell’s move is an emphatic confirmation that some among the Big Oil family firmly believe gas will play a growing role in meeting the energy demand of emerging countries such as China and India that are trying to move away from dirtier coal.

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As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 11.37.11Article by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Michael Wines published by The New York Times:

As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry

A version of this article appears in print on April 4, 2015, on page A1 of the New York edition

PRAGUE, Okla. — Yanked without warning from a deep sleep, Jennifer Lin Cooper, whose family has lived near here for more than a half-century, could think only that the clamor enveloping her house was coming from a helicopter landing on her roof. She was wrong.

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake — the first of three as strong or stronger over several days in November 2011 — had peeled the brick facade from the $117,000 home she bought the year before. Ms. Cooper, 36, could not get out until her father pried a stuck storm door off the front entrance. Repairs have so far cost $12,000 and forced her to take a second job, at night, to pay the bill.

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New Federal Rules Are Set for Fracking

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 09.12.24FROM AN ARTICLE BY CORAL DAVENPORT PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK EDITION OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ON 21 MARCH 2015

New Federal Rules Are Set for Fracking

Extracts

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Friday unveiled the nation’s first major federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, a technique for oil and gas drilling that has led to a significant increase in American energy production but has also raised concerns about health and safety risks.

The Interior Department began drafting the rules, focused on drilling safety, in Mr. Obama’s first term after breakthroughs in the technology, also known as fracking, led to a surge in the production of oil and gas.

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Non-U.S. Shales Prove Difficult to Crack

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By JUSTIN SCHECK and SELINA WILLIAMS: WALL STREET JOURNAL

March 18, 2015 11:20 p.m. ET

Exxon, Shell and others are pulling back from once-promising shale finds in Europe, Asia

After spending more than five years and billions of dollars trying to re-create the U.S. shale boom overseas, some of the world’s biggest oil companies are starting to give up amid a world-wide collapse in crude prices.

Chevron Corp. , Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have packed up nearly all of their hydraulic fracturing wildcatting in Europe, Russia and China. 

“The pace of development outside North America is slower everywhere than people thought it would be,” Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, said in a recent interview.

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Shell gets cold feet on SA shale-gas

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.07.51FROM TIMES LIVE – SUNDAY TIME SA: ARTICLE BY LONI PRINSLOO 15 March 2015

Shell gets cold feet on SA shale-gas

Multinational oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell is pulling its top shale-gas man out of South Africa, an indication that companies are growing increasingly frustrated with government delays over shale-gas legislation.

This week, Business Times was told that Jan-Willem Eggink – whom Shell sent to South Africa from Libya to monitor South Africa’s shale gas opportunity – would be pulled out of the country in coming weeks. Other highly skilled staff would follow him.

“While government is sitting around farting, these companies are shifting their money away from South Africa and our economy will lose billions,” said a member of parliament, who declined to be named.

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Fracking Earthquakes

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From an article by AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein published 14 Feb 2015 by Associated Press under the headline: 

“STUDY: OKLAHOMA’S DAILY SMALL QUAKES RAISE RISK OF BIG ONES”

SAN JOSE, California (AP) — Small earthquakes shaking Oklahoma and southern Kansas daily and linked to energy drilling are dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates.

This once stable region is now just as likely to see serious damaging and potentially harmful earthquakes as the highest risk places east of the Rockies such as New Madrid, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina, which had major quakes in the past two centuries.

They are mostly in areas with energy drilling, often hydraulic fracturing, a process known as fracking. Many studies have linked the increase in small quakes to the process of injecting wastewater deep underground because it changes pressure and triggers dormant faults.

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Fracking failures lead to environmental harm

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.07.51Comment: These events appear to have happened on Paul Goodfellow’s watch?: According to his current Linked-in profile Goodfellow was Shell VP Unconventionals from 2012-2013

FROM AN ARTICLE BY SUSY KELLY PUBLISHED 28 JAN 2015 BY THE HERALD-STANDARD UNDER THE HEADLINE:

“Report: Fracking failures lead to environmental harm in area and state”

Extract

A report released Tuesday by a nonprofit environmental research group shows that despite assurances to the contrary, companies who develop unconventional natural gas wells have polluted the environment in Pennsylvania and will continue to do so under current regulatory standards.

In April 2013, EQT, Chevron Appalachia, Consol and Shell formed the Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), promising not only that safe, sustainable shale resource development was possible, but that they would do it of their own accord, according to the report. Data from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows those four companies failed to uphold state requirements at least 100 times, according to PennEnvironment’s research.

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Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Petrobras In Trouble?

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jan 20, 2015

James Chanos is a renowned short-seller, hedge fund manager, and the founder of Kynikos Associates – an investment firm which specializes in short-selling. In an interview with CNBC last Friday, Mr. Chanos cited serious problems for some of the largest oil producers, leading him to short some major oil companies for a couple of years, including Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), and Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (ADR) (NYSE:PBR).

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Goodfellow or Badfellow?

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 23.17.45By John Donovan

There have been a number of posts on our Shell Blog by insiders welcoming the apparent departure of Paul Goodfellow, Vice President US Unconventionals for Upstream Americas.

e.g.

POSTING BY “F-150”

So, Christmas has finally arrived in The States with the announcement that Goodfellow is finally leaving. After seeing the havoc he has inflicted in Deepwater and Unconventionals it will be good for folks like Crouching Tiger to see the damage non-Americans can do to shareholder value. Remember Walter, Phil and David Greer?

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BP sees $50 oil for three years

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 20.54.03BP can’t be immune to the upheaval. Today its job announcement is focused on the UK. But it won’t be long till it announces staff reductions in Houston, another of its important centres.

Robert Peston article published by BBC News 15 Jan 2015

BP sees $50 oil for three years

BP’s job announcement later today, including a few hundred job losses in Aberdeen, is being made because it does not expect the oil price to bounce any time soon.

The oil price has dropped around 60% since June, to $48 a barrel, and I understand that BP expects that it will stay in the range of $50 to $60 for two to three years.

Although no oil company has a crystal ball, this matters – especially since it has a big impact on its investment and staffing ambitions.

So plans that it had already initiated to reduce costs have taken on a new element, namely postponement of investments in new capacity that have not been started, and shelving of plans to extend the life of older fields where residual oil is more expensive to extract.

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Will falling oil prices curb America’s shale boom?

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This time some of the pain will be taken by the big integrated energy firms, such as Exxon Mobil and Shell. After a decade of throwing shareholders’ cash at prospects in the Arctic and deep tropical waters to little effect, they began cutting budgets in 2013.

Extracts from an article published by The Economist on 6 December 2014

In a bind

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 21.34.15Abundant oil and gas have been extracted from underground rocks by blasting them with a mixture of water, chemicals and sand—“fracking”, in the jargon.

…the firms responsible embody an all-American formula of maverick engineers, bold entrepreneurs and risk-hungry capital markets that no country can match.

Yet now that oil prices have fallen by almost 40% in six months, these firms’ mettle is being tested. Across America shale-shocked executives will spend Christmas overhauling their strategies to cope with life at $70 per barrel, even as investors dump their firms’ shares and bonds.

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Shell admits fracking failure in Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

The Russian News Agency Tass is reporting that Graham Tiley, the country manager of Shell Ukraine has admitted in a meeting with a local high-ranking official that Royal Dutch Shell has failed to achieve the desired progress in the Yuzovka gas field in Ukraine’s east.  Tiley blamed the fracking failure on the situation in the neighbouring Donetsk region.

TASS REPORT

DUTCH SEEK REVISED GAS DEAL WITH SHELL & EXXON

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 20.37.24The Dutch government Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kapm, is seeking to renegotiate deals with Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell on the extraction and sale of Dutch gas. It seems reasonable to speculate that it is not his intention for the renegotiation to benefit the oil giants, who are joint owners of the Dutch Petroleum Company (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij – NAM), operators of the earthquake prone Groningen gas field.

FULL ARTICLE

Long noses at Shell

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43Worthy winners of France’s fiercely contested ‘Prix Pinocchio’ 2014 were selected last night, recognising corporate greed, hypocrisy and malfeasance, based on a record vote since the awards began. Shell won hands down for the Pinocchio award category ‘One for all and all for me!’, with 43% of the vote, for the development of shale gas projects across the entire world – except in Holland, its home country, which is subject to a fracking moratorium.

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Royal Dutch Shell News 15 Oct 2014

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By John Donovan

WHISTLEBLOWER ALLEGES ROYAL DUTCH SHELL TAX EVASION IN NIGERIA 

A former manager of Shell Production Development Company in Nigeria has accused Shell of massive tax evasion. He also alleges that the Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission demanded a bribe from him as part of a related cover-up plan for Shell. The whistleblower also claims that his safety is in jeopardy. All strangely reminiscent of allegations surrounding the Corrib gas project in Ireland. MORE INFORMATION HERE.

SHELL FIRE SALE OF NIGERIAN ASSETS

A consortium led by Aiteo Group has won the auction for Shell oil block OML 29 in Nigeria, with a bid of N434b. The total cost of the acquisition is said to be $2.7 billion, allowing for working capital. MORE INFORMATION

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Shale Fracking is a ‘Ponzi Scheme’

“Shale Fracking is a “Ponzi Scheme” … “This Decade’s Version of the Dotcom Bubble”

By John Donovan

A regular contributor has very kindly drawn my attention to an article published by GlobalResearch under the headline: “Shale Fracking is a “Ponzi Scheme” … “This Decade’s Version of the Dotcom Bubble”

In making the case to support the headline, the article contains a host of extracts from well known publications.

e.g.

A Losing Bet

In 2011, the New York Times wrote:

“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company, wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC NEWS FRIDAY 19 SEPT 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.52.41By John Donovan

Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plans 

fuelfix.com has published an article about Shell’s latest plans for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska. The detailed article contains links to a document Shell has filed with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a related federal court document and an exploration plan.  A lawyer for the conservation group Oceana, is quoted as saying: “Shell appears to have learned little from its past experiences and should be considering whether it wants to continue to invest huge sums continuing to try to drill in a place for which it is clearly unprepared.” Apparently “Shell executives have not made an official decision to plunge forward into those icy waters, but filing the exploratory plan is a necessary step in its quest for federal permits necessary to conduct the work next year.”

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BP a better investment than Shell right now

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 00.47.49Extracts from an article by David Thorpe published 22 July 2014 by What Investment under the headline: “M&G: BP is a better investment than Shell right now”

Felton’s reason for not investing in Shell at present is that he believes the company has made a significant strategic blunder.

‘Shell has always been the high cost, low risk producer. They are the archetypal supertanker of the oil industry. But a few years ago, they began to focus on extracting very expensive oil from the Canadian sands. The rationale was that the higher production cost would be offset by the ease of transporting the oil just next door to the US. And that made sense, when the US was the largest oil market in the world, but the rapid acceleration of the fracking industry means that the US could become self-sufficient in energy within one or two years, which means Shell wouldn’t have that market.’

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South African anti-fracking group threatens legal challenge

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.07.51Extract from a Reuters article by Ed Cropley published 22 July 2014 under the headline: “UPDATE 1-S.African anti-fracking group threatens legal challenge”

JOHANNESBURG, July 22 (Reuters) – A South African anti-fracking group threatened a legal challenge on Tuesday to government plans to grant shale gas exploration licences in the pristine semi-desert of the Karoo, saying the regulatory process had been marked by “patent ineptitude”. Green groups wanting to protect the Karoo, believed to hold significant shale gas deposits, said Pretoria was incapable of ensuring firms such as Royal Dutch Shell, at the forefront of the fracking push, would adhere to the rules.

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Shell ending investments in gas development project in Saudi Arabia

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Reuters article published by ArabNews.com Monday 7 July 2014

DUBAI: Royal Dutch Shell is ending investments in a gas development project in Saudi Arabia, complicating the top oil exporter’s efforts to exploit its huge gas reserves.

The search for gas has been a priority for Saudi Arabia as it struggles to keep pace with rapidly rising domestic demand.

But the emergence of the shale gas industry has opened up more lucrative opportunities for energy companies elsewhere.

“Shell has decided to end further investment in the Kidan development,” it said in a e-mailed statement.

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Shell sails ahead without UK shale

Extracts from an article by Andrew Critchlow published in The Sunday Telegraph on 6 July 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Shale gas is likely to play an increasingly important role in powering Britain’s growth but don’t expect the country’s largest oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell, to help create a fracking-led energy revolution. Andrew Brown, director of upstream international business and the man responsible for the main revenue-generating side of Britain’s most valuable company, is sceptical about the potential for shale oil and gas development in Britain. Outside North America, Shell’s main focus on what Brown calls “unconventional” oil and gas is in China and Russia. The company is also looking at Ukraine and drilling in Turkey, but using North America as a benchmark, the UK is nowhere near the Anglo-Dutch company’s list of viable prospects.

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Fracking earthquakes

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 14.09.18Extracts from a BBC News article by Matt McGrath published 3 July 2014 under the headline: Wastewater from energy extraction ‘trigger US quake surge’

Massive injections of wastewater from the oil and gas industry are likely to have triggered a sharp rise in earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma.

Researchers say there has been a forty-fold increase in the rate of quakes in the US state between 2008-13.

The scientists found that the disposal of water in four high-volume wells could be responsible for a swarm of tremors up to 35km away.

Their research has been published in the journal, Science.

There has been increasing evidence of links between the process of oil and gas extraction and earthquakes in states like Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Oklahoma in recent years.

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Ukraine Discomfort for Shell and Chevron

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Shell entered into the deal in 2013 with then Putin puppet President Viktor Yanukovych, before he was ousted. As can be seen in the FT article, Shell and Chevron are now both trying to hide behind claimed business principles. Its a bit late for that.

By John Donovan

The Financial Times has published an article about the uncomfortable position of Shell and Chevron in the Ukraine crisis.

Extract

Getting caught up in a war zone ranks among the worst-case scenarios for an oil company. This has happened to Royal Dutch Shell in eastern Ukraine, where heavy fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian military forces continues.

What is even worse is that both energy giants have Ukrainian partners in shale gas deals with dubious connections to the former regime, in a country famed for corruption. 

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Chevron Cancels Bulgaria Fracking, Shell Postpones Ukraine Plans

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Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Extracts from a CorpWatch article by Richard Smallteacher publish 12 June 2014

Fracking for oil and gas across Europe has suffered a series of setbacks with Chevron closing its offices in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Shell postponing fracking plans in the Ukraine by at least two years. Meanwhile the French government is standing firm in its opposition to fracking. Shell announced that it would take a respite from drilling for gas in the 8,000-square-kilometer Yuzivska field in the eastern Ukraine in early June. The company was awarded the concessions by the government of Viktor Yanukovych in January 2013, a year before he was ousted from office by violent protests this past February. Since then, clashes between government forces and pro-Russian militias have caused Shell to reconsider, not least because Shell has other lucrative energy deals in Russia. “We obviously need to assess the future security situation as it develops because the safety of our own people is our first priority,” Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, told Bloomberg TV. “Russia is a major holder of hydrocarbon reserves, possibly the largest in the world. So in the long term it really does matter.”

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Fracking Irony

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Extract from a Dallas Observer article by Amy Silverstein published 21 Feb 2014 under the headline: Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is Suing to Stop a Fracking Development Outside Dallas

Just a few days after the Weather Channel published a damning, in-depth report documenting how natural gas drilling is wreaking havoc on Texas’ air quality, a group of wealthy property owners outside Dallas are dealing with another dark side of the energy boom: a really ugly water tower. And, as the Wall Street Journal just uncovered, one of those angry homeowners trying to stop the tower and its fracking-related business is none other than Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. The lawsuit already has a winner, and that winner is irony.

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Upstream and Downstream – always oil and water

PADDY BRIGGS

RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EXECUTIVE, PADDY BRIGGS

When I retired I was presented with a small silver Shell emblem which I still wear with pride from time to time. It once stood for excellence in marketing and was one of the world’s most familiar brand symbols. Now it’s a bit of a collectors item symbolising a world that has long gone…

By Paddy Briggs

Most of my 37 year Shell career was spent in the “Downstream” but from time to time I had contact with the Upstream operations and in my final assignment in the Middle East I was very close to Upstream issues. Both Shell’s exploration and production activities (the Upstream) and their refining and marketing business (the Downstream) had the Shell emblem (the “Pecten”) flying over them – but that was about the only thing they had in common!

EP is a top down business. The experts in The Hague, mostly products of the best geology and technology Universities, built unrivalled expertise in the tasks of finding and exploiting hydrocarbon assets. They were also pretty good at building the necessary alliances with partners that virtually all upstream operations require. Their world was the world of oil reservoirs, horizontal drilling, fracking and all the other thousand and one technologies and techniques that made the business work.

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Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance

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Extract from an article by Jess Davis published 23 April 2014 by LAW360 under the headline: “Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance Claim”

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Fracking earthquakes

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 14.07.51Extract from an article by Carey Gillam published by Reuters, 5 April 2014, under the headline: Series of small earthquakes rock Oklahoma in record seismic activity

(Reuters) – Earthquakes rattled residents in Oklahoma on Saturday, the latest in a series that have put the state on track for record quake activity this year, which some seismologists say may be tied to oil and gas exploration. One earthquake recorded at 3.8 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey rocked houses in several communities around central Oklahoma at 7:42 a.m. local time. Wastewater disposal related to the fracking is suspected by many scientists to contribute to the earthquake activity. Millions of gallons of wastewater are typically trucked from a fracking site to wells where the water is injected thousands of feet underground into porous rock layers. That work, if done near a fault, can trigger larger quakes, according to several recent scientific studies.

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US now pumping 10 percent of the world’s crude

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 08.30.15Extracts from an article by Emily Pickrell published 26 March 2014 by fuelfix

HOUSTON — Boosted by the galloping pace of tight oil operations, the United States produced a tenth of the world’s oil at the end of last year, the Energy Information Administration reports. The shale boom has given the U.S. a production rate not seen since 1988, as tight oil replaced declining production in conventional fields. Almost two-thirds of U.S. tight oil comes from South Texas’ Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken shales.

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‘Orphan’ oil wells warning for fracking

Plans to expand shale gas “fracking” in the UK must learn from leaks and poor monitoring at existing onshore oil and gas sites, scientists say.

A review of 2,152 wells drilled from 1902-2013 found up to 100 “orphaned” wells for which no firm is responsible.

fracking graphic

The use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to recover shale gas has raised fears of earthquakes and contamination of drinking water by chemicals pumped into wells. But scientists say there is another pollution risk – from structural failure of the well casing – and this risk is not particular to shale gas. It is common to all hydrocarbon drilling sites.

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The People vs Shell: Frack off

Extracts from an article by Staci Matlock published on 11 March 2014 by The New Mexican under the headline: “Land grant group joins Mora fight against oil drilling”

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 08.50.16The Mora Land Grant association has come down on the side of the Mora County Commission in a fight against the Royal Dutch Shell oil company and private landowners over oil and gas drilling. “This case is about who controls the water, the land, and the natural environment in Mora County — the residents of the county who have passed the ordinance to protect their rights and the rights of nature or an out-of-state corporation,” Jeffrey Haas, a Santa Fe attorney representing the land grant association, said in a statement. Jacobo Pacheco, a Mora County resident and member of the land grant, also is intervening in the lawsuit. He said in the history of the U.S. — whether it was voting rights, civil rights or now the rights of people over corporations — “there is a time to stand up for what is right.”

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Sasol ‘eyes Shell Karoo acreage’

Extracts from an article by Eoin O’Cinneide published by upstream online.com

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52South African petrochemicals giant Sasol is eyeing some of Shell’s shale gas acreage in the country’s Karoo basin… “We are really interested in what is going in the Shell block and would love to farm in or take a piece of it,” Reuters quoted Sasol chief executive David Constable as saying on Monday. “Shell is issuing profit warnings and pulling back capex right now.”

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Shell/Exxon Mobil puts Ukraine gas prospect on hold

Extract from an article by Jim Landers published on 5 March 2014 by The Dallas Morning News

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell are heading a group selected in 2012 to explore for gas off Ukraine’s western Black Sea coast in an area called Skifska. Negotiations on a production-sharing agreement with the Ukrainian government were underway in the weeks before street battles with government opponents led the country’s president to flee to Russia.

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Shell halts work on Pierre River oil sands mine in northern Alberta

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| February 12, 2014 5:18 PM ET

Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 00.32.08CALGARY – Royal Dutch Shell PLC told regulators it is halting work on its Pierre River mine in northern Alberta’s oil sands and that it has no idea when it may revive the blueprints. The Hague-based company this year cancelled plans to drill in Alaska’s Arctic and postponed development of a liquefied natural gas venture offshore Australia. The company issued a rare profit warning last month before reporting a 49% plunge in quarterly earnings to $2.9-billion.

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