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Posts under ‘Gazprom’

Gazprom and Shell address ongoing and future cooperation

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Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 21.31.46Friday, Apr 29, 2016

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Shell, took place in St. Petersburg today.

The parties addressed the prospects for collaboration between the companies under the Agreement of Strategic Cooperation. An emphasis was placed on a potential asset swap.

The meeting also reviewed the ongoing front-end engineering design (FEED) process for the third production train of the LNG plant within the Sakhalin II project.

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Bulgaria anti-monopoly watchdog raids more oil firms in fuel inquiry

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Commodities | Fri Apr 22, 2016

Bulgaria’s anti-monopoly watchdog said it had raided the offices of Eco Petroleum, part of Hellenic Petroleum, and Shell Bulgaria, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, as part of an investigation into possible cartel agreements.

The inquiry follows complaints by Bulgarians over high fuel costs despite a plunge in global oil prices and a call by Prime Minister Boiko Borisov for the competition authority to hasten checks on the fuel sector.

“Employees of the Commission for Protection of Competition are carrying out surprise checks on site at the offices of Eco Bulgaria and Shell Bulgaria,” the commission said in a statement on Friday.

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Gazprom Mulls Selling 49% of Baltic LNG Project’s Shares to Shell

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 12.14.5911 April 2016

Russian energy giant Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell are currently discussing the possibility of selling 49 percent of Gazprom’s shares of the Baltic LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant to Shell, the Dutch company said Monday.

The Baltic LNG is a proposed LNG plant construction in Russia’s Leningrad Region oriented at the European and Latin American markets. It is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell, Gazprom’s Russian LNG Venture Readying Export Boost Plans

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.13.03By Stephen Stapczynski and Ichiro Suzuki: Bloomberg.com: Dec 18, 2015

Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., the only liquefied natural gas exporter in Russia, has agreed to begin design work on an expansion, the joint venture said Friday.

The partners — Gazprom PJSC, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. — will add a third production unit at the Sakhalin-2 LNG export terminal to raise capacity by 4.8 million metric tons to 14.4 million metric tons a year, Miyuki Shiga, a Mitsui spokeswoman, said by phone. The design process will take about a year and the first cargo from the new unit is expected to ship early next decade, Shiga said.

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Shell seeks permission for Russian JV

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Shell has asked regulators for permission to work with Gazprom Neft on a joint venture, Khanty-Mansi Oil and Gas Union, despite the continuing EU and United States sanctions against Russia.

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Sanctions do not exclude investment opportunities in Russia – Shell

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Neil Hall / Reuters: 6 Oct 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s business ties remain strong in Russia and there’s no lack of investment opportunities in the country despite sanctions, said Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden.

“Our interests in Russia stay significant… Sanctions do not mean absence of investment opportunities. We have a very effective and strategic cooperation with Gazprom in different areas… This is still in power. I want to stress that sanctions don’t mean lack of investment opportunities,” he told the Oil & Money conference on Tuesday.

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Here’s How Royal Dutch Shell plc And BP plc Will Be Impacted By A Weak Chinese Economy

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Bidness Etc discusses how European oil majors are impacted by the slowdown in the Chinese economy

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By: Micheal KaufmanSep 25, 2015

The slowing Chinese economy has impacted the overall world economy and various other sectors. According to a Moody’s Investor service report EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa)’s mining sector is totally exposed to the economic crisis, followed by the oil and gas sector. Shipping, chemicals, and auto sector are considerably impacted while some other EMEA sectors including tobacco, telecoms, real estate, healthcare, and railways will be marginally impacted, since they are more regionally focused and their credit worthiness is not genuinely exposed.

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Move Over Exxon, Russian Drillers Are Oil World’s Top Performers

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By Stephen Bierman and Rakteem Katakey: Sept 8, 2015

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At a time when the collapse in crude prices pushes Russia’s economy into a recession, the nation’s oil producers are managing to beat their western counterparts.

On measures including cash flow, profit margins and share prices, OAO Rosneft, Lukoil PJSC — Russia’s two largest oil producers — and OAO Gazprom Neft are performing better than Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc or Exxon Mobil Corp.

“When oil goes down, the western companies are hurt more than the Russian companies,” said Maxim Edelson, a senior director at Fitch Ratings in Moscow. Because Russian tax rates adjust automatically to lower prices the nation’s companies enjoy a buffer to the slump in crude while “a lot of the hit is taken by the government,” he said.

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Russia’s Gazprom, Shell start talks on Baltic LNG project – Interfax

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Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 18.24.06Moscow| Mon Sep 7, 2015

Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) have started commercial talks on Baltic LNG project, Interfax news agency quoted Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller as saying on Monday.

The Russian gas producer plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant in the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes. It wants to increase output to 15 million tonnes a year later on.

Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said in June that Gazprom may offer up to 49 percent in the project to a strategic partner, with most likely candidates being Shell or a consortium of Japanese firms.

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Gazprom and Shell Sign Shareholders’ Agreement on the Nord Stream 2 Project

NewswireToday – /newswire/ – Moscow, Russia, 2015/09/04

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Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 18.24.06The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction of two offshore pipelines with the aggregate annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas to be constructed from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Today at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, Klaus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management, E.ON SE, Pierre Chareyre, Executive vice-president of ENGIE, Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell signed a Shareholders’ Agreement on implementation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project to enhance supply of natural gas to the European Union’s market. The project will be developed by the new project company New European Pipeline AG. According to the document, Gazprom will own a 51 per cent share in the project company. E.ON, Shell, OMV and BASF/Wintershall will each own ten per cent and ENGIE will hold nine per cent.

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Gazprom Seals Two Big European Deals

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Russia’s Gazprom has bolstered its industrial presence in the heart of Europe with two major gas deals that were announced on Friday despite ongoing tensions with Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The first of the deals, an asset swap with German chemicals group BASF that gives Russia greater access to gas trading and storage in Germany, was a surprise as the companies had abandoned it only nine months ago, citing a “difficult political environment”.

Pressed on what had changed since, BASF declined to respond directly. Its oil and gas production unit Wintershall, which will secure more stakes in Siberian gas fields under the swap, said only that it was convinced that Russian natural gas would help ensure energy security in Europe.

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BVB Personal Journey? Was it to a bank or a casino?

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By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden claims that he has been on a personal journey in relation to authorising Shell’s latest Arctic gamble.

All due credit for the courage needed to take such a huge risk. The same applies to Shell’s takeover of the BG Group and the alliance with the corrupt and murderous Putin regime. All could go terribly wrong.

With regards to economics, the price of oil is an important factor in all three ventures. Shell has now admitted that oil prices are likely to remain low for some time. 

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U.S. sanctions put Gazprom-Shell alliance plans in jeopardy

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MOSCOW | BY DENIS PINCHUK AND KATYA GOLUBKOVA: Mon 10 August 2015

Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) plans to build a strategic alliance with Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) could be in jeopardy after the United States added one of Gazprom’s biggest gas fields to its list of Russian sanctions on Friday.

Shell and Gazprom signed an agreement in June to develop a strategic alliance in the gas sector, ranging from upstream – exploration and production – to sales, including possible asset swaps.

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U.S. Puts Russian Gas Field Off Limits as Sanctions Tighten

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The U.S. declared one of Russia’s largest offshore oil and natural gas fields off limits to American tools and expertise, potentially disrupting Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plans…

SHELL CEO BEN VAN BEURDEN ON CNBC SEPT 2014

SHELL CEO BEN VAN BEURDEN INTERVIEW ON CNBC SEPT 2014

Stephen Bierman, Elena Mazneva and Joe CarrollL BLOOMBERG.COM: 7 AUGUST 2015

The U.S. declared one of Russia’s largest offshore oil and natural gas fields off limits to American tools and expertise, potentially disrupting Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s plans to liquefy the fossil fuel for export.

Sanctions imposed to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime for the annexation of Crimea and support for Ukrainian separatists were expanded to bar the transport of U.S.-made equipment to Gazprom PJSC’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field off Russia’s eastern coast, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce statement on Friday.

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Despite Western Sanctions Shell Agrees Asset Swop With Putin Regime

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Shell Game: Anglo-Dutch Firm Deals

Asset Swap, Shell Assets for Sakhalin III Piece

By Kostis Geropoulos: 7 August 2015

Despite Western sanctions against the Russian government and businesses, Europe’s biggest oil company Anglo-Dutch Shell has agreed to swap a stake in one of its international energy assets in exchange for a piece of Gazprom’s Sakhalin III project, which involves developing one of the world’s biggest gas reserves.

The two are still deciding which asset to give the Russian gas monopoly, but the deal strengthens an already solid partnership between the two.

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August Off To A Shaky Start For Oil Markets

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Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23By Evan Kelly: Tue, 04 August 2015

August started off on a dour note for crude oil, with prices tanking by around 5 percent on August 3. A slew of negative news from around the world weighed on prices. The Greek stock market plummeted on the first day of trading after being closed for five weeks. The Athens Index dropped by 16 percent on August 3 and continued its descent as of midday trading on August 4. Concerns over the Chinese economy once again reared their head as the government moved to put restrictions on short selling to stop the collapse of the stock markets. WTI fell below $46 per barrel and Brent briefly dipped below $50 per barrel before rebounding a bit on August 4.

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Shell to Strengthen Russian Hand Through Gazprom Asset Swap

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48by Rakteem Katakey: August 3, 2015: BLOOMBERG.COM

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will swap a stake in one of its international energy assets for part of Gazprom PJSC’s Sakhalin-3 project as Europe’s biggest oil company extends ties with Russia.

The companies are discussing which asset would be offered to Gazprom, Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden said last week in London. For Shell, the prize is greater involvement in the world’s biggest gas reserves.

“Russia sits on 25 percent of the world’s gas reserves and is very, very close to markets that we are very familiar with,” Van Beurden said July 30, on the sidelines of the company’s earnings presentation. Shell is also pushing “to see how we can work with Gazprom internationally.”

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Shell’s Positioning For Better Russia And Iran Relations Is Part Of Its Global Gas Strategy

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Zoltan Ban: 23 July 2015

Summary

  • Shell has been showing long-term interest in moving more towards natural gas for a while, with natural gas production surpassing its oil production in 2013.
  • Aside from its major acquisition of BG group, it is forming an alliance with Gazprom and is looking to be among the first in Iran.
  • The overall big picture suggests that Shell is giving up on North American shale gas and focusing on being a major player in conventional gas and LNG.

Before Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) acquired BG Group, it was already a major player in the gas industry. Its upstream production has been more than half natural gas since 2013 already. It is constantly looking to expand its downstream presence, with plans such as the ethylene plant it wants to build in Pennsylvania, in order to take advantage of the cheap gas in the North-Eastern part of the United States. It also has a gas to liquids plant in Qatar, which is the world’s biggest. It should be no surprise then to see Shell actively involved in setting up a tighter partnership with both Russia and Iran.

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Investors Are Underestimating Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Deal To Buy BG Group plc

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By Rupert Hargreaves – Monday, 20 July, 2015

Large-cap FTSE 100 blue chips like Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) are considered to be relatively safe investments.

Unfortunately, Shell has been trying to go against this belief over the past year. During the past 12 months Shell has taken on three high-risk projects, all of which could cripple the company if they don’t go to plan. 

As a result, investors have turned their backs on the oil giant and Shell’s shares have underperformed the FTSE 100 by a staggering 25% over the past year. 

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Royal Dutch Shell plc Confirms Deal With Morgan Stanley: Shares Up 2%

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANJul 11, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) plans to establish a strong footing in the natural gas sector. In April 2015, the company finalized its $70-billion deal with BG Group plc (OTCMKTS:BRGYY). If approved by the regulatory authorities, the merger will give Shell access to BG Group’s valuable assets in Brazil and several other countries.

According to Reuters, Shell has purchased the European gas and power trading book from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). The acquisition is expected to help the company achieve a strong footing in gas industry. In addition to the BG deal, the company is also colluding with Russia’s Gazprom OAO (OTCMKTS:OGZPY). Currently, Gazprom is considered the world’s top gas producer.

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Putin to blame for MH17 shootdown, but Dutch oil interests (SHELL) will thwart any prosecution

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48“The Dutch have a company that everybody knows, called Royal Dutch Shell, and Russia has some projects that Shell could make lots of money from,” Koshiw says. Royal Dutch Shell is teaming up with Russian Gazprom on several projects despite Western sanction on Russia, and at the beginning of 2015 they signed a memorandum to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea. “Shell is the Netherlands’ number one company, so they will be very careful in attacking Putin,” Koshiw explained. “They have an important relationship with Gazprom, and that’s key.”

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Gazprom lays bare West’s vulnerability

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Royal-Dutch Shell is teaming up with Gazprom on several projects despite Western sanctions on Russia.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48The expanded partnerships fly in the face of European and American sanctions which ban joint ventures with Russian energy companies.

23 June 2015

Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on the Russian energy have been dealt a new blow after reports that the Anglo-Dutch energy behemoth Shell was teaming up with Gazprom on several projects. 

Shell as well as Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum with Gazprom last week to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany. They hope to ship 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe each year.

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Gazprom-Shell Partnership Flies In The Face Of Sanctions

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Charles KennedyMon, 22 June 2015

Russian energy giant Gazprom is building up a global portfolio with a western oil major.

Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell are teaming up on several energy projects that will benefit both. The two energy companies have agreed to build an expansion of the Nord Stream Pipeline, a major natural gas pipeline that travels beneath the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is a priority for Russia, which will allow it to expand its natural gas exports to Europe while also cutting out Ukraine from the mix.

Gazprom, Shell, along with E.ON and OMV – two gas importers in Western Europe – have agreed to build the $11 billion expansion of Nord Stream.

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Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

Kenneth Rapoza: 22 June 2015

…some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions. For example, Gazprom, Shell, E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum last Thursday…

It’s been nearly a year since sectoral sanctions were slapped on Russia for its involvement in helping create a frozen conflict in Eastern Ukraine. European and American companies banned financing of Russian energy firms, and banks. They banned any joint venture deals with Russian oil and gas companies that involved exploration and production, or the selling of technologies used in E&P. But if a string of memorandum of understandings signed during last week’s St. Petersburg International Forum puts anything in the spotlight this week it is this: some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions.

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Gazprom set to build global strategic alliance with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48A Gazprom logo is displayed above its headquarters in Moscow. Gazprom is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell that will include asset swaps and allow the Russian gas giant to penetrate new markets.

The deal with Shell is a coup for Gazprom at a time when many Western companies are reducing their exposure to Russia because of Western sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Reuters/St Petersburg, Russia

Gazprom is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell that will include asset swaps and allow the Russian gas giant to penetrate new markets, its chief executive told Reuters.

Gazprom, the world’s top gas producer, said on Thursday that Shell and its long-time gas buyers in Europe – Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV – had agreed to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic sea to Germany.

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Gazprom, Shell agree to expand Sakhalin-2 project

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Gazprom, Shell agree to expand Sakhalin-2 project

Thu Jun 18, 2015

(Reuters) – Russian gas producer Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell have signed an agreement to expand the Sakhalin-2 LNG project, Gazprom said in a statement on Thursday.

The Sakhalin-2 project, Russia’s sole LNG plant, has a current annual capacity of around 10 million tonnes. The third line would add another 5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year.

Officials from both companies signed the agreement at an economic forum in Russia’s second city of St Petersburg on Thursday, but gave no specific timing.

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Shell, Japan firms may get stake in Gazprom’s Baltic LNG: Report

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell, Japan firms may get stake in Gazprom’s Baltic LNG: Report

By Reuters | 17 Jun, 2015

MOSCOW:Russian gas company Gazprom may offer up to 49 percent in its Baltic LNG project to a strategic partner and the most likely candidates are Royal Dutch Shell or a consortium of Japanese firms, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper said on Wednesday.

The agreement may be signed this week during an economic forum in Russia’s second city of St Petersburg, it reported, quoting sources in the gas industry.

Gazprom was not available for immediate comment.

The gas producer plans to build a liquefied natural gas plant in the Baltic sea port of Ust-Luga with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes. It also wants to be able to increase output to 15 million tonnes a year. An Ust-Luga port official said on Tuesday the company may need around 1 trillion roubles ($18.50 billion) to build the plant.

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Shell Expects Russia’s Sakhalin-2 Project to be Expanded — CEO

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Shell Expects Russia’s Sakhalin-2 Project to be Expanded — CEO

June 3, 2015

Shell expects that the Sakhalin-2 project will be expanded, its CEO Ben van Beurden said Wednesday, writes TASS.

“This is what we will be working at, we’re very interested in developing business in Russia,” he said, adding that he will be discussing the issues related to the company’s cooperation with Russia at a meeting with Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

We’re committed to cooperation with Russia in the long-term and it’s important for us to continue dialogue with the Russian Government, he said.

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Shell drilling may spur Arctic resource race

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24Colin Chilcoat, Oilprice.com: May 27, 2015

In a few short months Shell will (re)enter the Chukchi Sea, between Alaska and Russia. The oil and gas major still awaits approval from a number of state and federal agencies, but in early May the company received the consent of the Obama administration to explore the remote Arctic sea 70 miles off the coast of Alaska.

If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Shell was in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas for much of 2012 – a stint that ended with more headaches than drilling. Following some high-profile failures with its Noble Discoverer and Kulluk rigs, Shell put its Arctic operations on pause in early 2013. Amid slumping profits, the group called off its 2014 plans to resume. Today, the economic indicators are not much better – Shell lost $1.1 billion in the Americas in the first quarter of 2015 – but the company is committed to moving forward.

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Why we all should care about the oil platform explosion that just happened in Mexico

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This image, one of several that were made available to Greenpeace by anonymous workers, shows smoke and fire on the shallow-water Abkatun, a permanent platform in the Campeche Sound in the Gulf of Mexico.

Early Wednesday morning the Pemex oil platform, Abkatun Alpha blew up off the West coast of the Yucatan peninsula. The explosion killed four people and sent 16 to the hospital. 300 people managed to escape the blazing wreckage. Three people are still missing.

The rig might as well have imploded, though, given the swift clamp-down on facts and sudden empty space devoid of independent information. What we know about the blaze is only what Pemex and the Mexican government would tell the world.

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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.  

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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.

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Arctic Explorers Retreat From Hostile Waters With Oil Prices Low

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26From an article by Mikael Holter published 14 Jan 2015 by Bloomberg under the headline:

“Arctic Explorers Retreat From Hostile Waters With Oil Prices Low”

When Statoil ASA (STL) acquired the last of three licenses off Greenland’s west coast in January 2012, oil at more than $110 a barrel made exploring the iceberg-ridden waters an attractive proposition.

Less than two years later, the price of oil had been cut by almost half and Norway’s Statoil, the world’s most active offshore Arctic explorer in 2014, relinquished its interest in all three licenses in December without drilling a single well…

“At $50, it just doesn’t make sense,” James Henderson, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, said in a Jan. 12 phone interview. “Arctic exploration has almost certainly been significantly undermined for the rest of this decade.”

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Potential serious impact on Shell from new Sanctions on Russia

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16American and European explorers such as Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell Plc , which is drilling in Siberian shale rock formations, will have to act fast to avoid violating the bans. “Those new sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Europe on Friday will, among other things, force Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell… and other big oil companies to wind up their joint ventures with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft and Gazprom

By John Donovan

The territorial ambitions of the aggressive and dangerous Putin regime in Russia looks likely to undermine the fortunes of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil in Russia and the Ukraine. This is dispute the grovelling attitude towards Putin by Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, who actually bowed to Putin in their last meeting

Energy Law360 reports that “The U.S. and European Union moved in conjunction to dramatically escalate new sanctions against Russia on Friday, ratcheting up pressure on Moscow’s financial, energy and defense sectors and further severing the nation’s corporate titans from lucrative capital markets in response to the persistent unrest in Ukraine.

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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup Monday 11 Aug 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Rejection in Australia, Oil Spill Fire in Nigeria, Fire sale in the USA, Asbestos lawsuit in the UK

By John Donovan

AUSTRALIA

The Australian reports that a fortnight after Woodside Petroleum shareholders scuttled a $2.7 billion plan to remove Royal Dutch Shell from the company’s share register, Woodside has bought a 40% stake in a joint venture deep water exploration project off west Africa.

NORTH AMERICA

According to the FT, Shell is preparing to dispose of its 50 per cent stake in a Louisiana gasfield to Blackstone for $1.2bn, as the oil and gas group retreats from one of its souring investments in North America. Private equity group, Blackstone, is named as the likely purchaser.  The article contains reference to the “fix or divest” policy of Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden in relation to Shell’s under performing North American upstream business.

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Shell Leaves Business Strategy for Russia Unchanged Despite Sanctions

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29British oil giant is determined to continue its work in Russia and will not change its business strategy in the country, despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow by the United States and European Union, representative of Shell’s press service told RIA Novosti on Friday.

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MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – British oil giant is determined to continue its work in Russia and will not change its business strategy in the country, despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow by the United States and European Union, representative of Shell’s press service told RIA Novosti on Friday.

“Shell continues to run business in Russia both in the upstream and downstream without any changes. We monitor the situation regarding the sanctions. But so far there have been no changes in either the business itself or in the business strategy,” the source said.

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Death of 193 Dutch Strains Russian Relations for Shell, Heineken

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At one point the largest foreign investor in Russia, Shell declined to comment on whether its business would be affected after the downing of the plane. The company lost four employees in the incident, it said yesterday.

BloombergBusinessweek article by Celeste Perri, Maud van Gaal and Fred Pals published 22 July 2014

For centuries, the fortunes of the Netherlands, the wind-swept country carved out of North Sea wetlands, have relied on preserving the peace with its global trading partners. Last week’s downing of an airliner carrying 193 Dutch nationals is testing one of its most important relationships, involving companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to Heineken NV. (HEIA)

The Netherlands was Russia’s third-biggest trading partner last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Dutch, home to the busiest container port in Europe and the region’s biggest energy company, send dairy products, meat and machinery to Russia, which the U.S. says is complicit in the attack.

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A Horrified Netherlands May Rethink Its Economic Ties With Russia

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a BloombergBusinessweek article by Carol Matlack published 21 July 2014

The Netherlands, a nation of traders, generally doesn’t like to let politics interfere with business. The death of 193 Dutch nationals in the Malaysia Airlines  jet crash could change that.

Major Dutch companies with business interests in Russia also are drawing fire for their relations with President Vladimir Putin. “In April of this year, when the crisis over Crimea was at its height, [Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer] Ben van Beurden made a point of visiting Putin and saying that no matter the political situation, Shell and Russia had great plans for the future…”

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Will Royal Dutch Shell Be Forced to Skedaddle From Russia?

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.59.11Extract from a Motley Fool article by David Smith published 21 July 2014 under the headline: “Will ExxonMobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell Be Forced to Skedaddle From Russia?”

Amid a crescendo of calls in Washington for the imposition of severely tightened sanctions on Moscow, following last week’s tragic shoot-down of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, I’m wondering whether in, say, six months, the likes of ExxonMobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, will retain permission to work side-by-side with Rosneft and other Russian state-controlled energy companies.

Shell has a 27.5% interest with Gazprom in Sakhalin-2 on a desolate, eponymously named island in the Sea of Okhotsk, to Russia’s east. Until 2006 Shell operated the project, but late that year it was forced to sell much of its then majority interest to Gazprom, for what was generally agreed to be a pittance, relative to the $20 billion the company had already invested in the project.

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Royal Dutch Shell and U.S. Sanctions on Russia

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin during a meeting held on 18 April 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell directors must be feeling anxious again.

For some years Shell continued to trade with Iran despite U.S. sanctions and engaged in machinations in an attempt to disguise what was going on. 

Today, President Obama escalated sanctions against Russia, targeting in particular Russian energy giant Rosneft and Gazprombank, the financial arm of Gazprom.

Rosneft and Gazprom are controlled by the Putin regime and both have important business dealings with Shell.

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China gets into bed with Putin

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 15.30.36Extract from an Investors Chronicle article published 29 May 2014

In the week in which Prince Charles demonstrated that he had inherited his father’s gift for diplomacy, Russia and China finally signed a $400bn (£238bn) gas supply deal that had been a decade in the making. The timing couldn’t have been better, at least from a Russian perspective. With all the talk centred on the political impasse in Ukraine, and the necessity for Europe to diversify its gas supplies away from Russia, Gazprom promptly turned around and secured a huge new export market at a single stroke. What does the Gazprom deal mean for the likes of BG Group (BG.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), both of which have expanded their LNG capacity to tap into Chinese industrial growth?

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Is Russia’s Hostility Exposing Royal Dutch Shell?

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 15.30.36Extracts from a Motley Fool article by Arjun Sreekumar published 17 May 2014

Shell clearly has significant exposure to Russia. The worst-case scenario for the company, as well as for BP and other companies operating in the nation, would be if the U.S. and European Union sanctioned Russia’s energy sector. Such economic penalties would make it problematic for Shell to maintain relations with Gazprom… As I understand it, such a sanction, if imposed, would not impact Shell’s existing projects. However, it would affect new projects and expansion plans, including perhaps the proposed expansion of Sakhalin-2. It could also hamper Shell’s 50/50 joint venture with Gazprom in western Siberia’s Salym fields…  I remain cautious about Shell’s exposure to Russia.

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Energy sanctions aim to hurt Russia more than the west

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16Extract from an FT article by Ed Crooks published 14 May 2014

ExxonMobil of the US in 2011 signed a wide-ranging strategic co-operation agreement with Rosneft… Royal Dutch Shell has a similar arrangement with Gazprom, also expanded last year to include exploration in the Arctic and shale development in western Siberia.

FULL FT ARTICLE

BP And Shell Have Problems, But Manageable Ones, With The Russian Sanctions

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extract from a Forbes article by Tim Worstall published 29 April 2014

The imposition of sanctions on various Russian people and organisations over the Ukraine threatened to pose a number of problems for the big energy companies, especially BP and Shell. If Rosneft itself were placed on the list, for example, or Gazprom, the the respective situations for BP and Shell would change markedly. …obviously neither of them is going to flout the law of a country where they have such considerable interests, as they do in the US. 

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BP and Shell to be exposed as G7 plans for sectoral sanctions against Russia

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Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extract from Forex Live article by Mike Paterson published 28 April 2014

…part of the US plans looks likely to have a serious impact on UK energy giants BP and Shell The US Treasury is also eyeing some form of sanction against Gazprombank, the financial arm of the gas monopoly Gazprom. This would greatly complicate Shell’s joint operations with Gazprom…

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED: U.S. Sanctions Target Putin’s Inner Circle 

Extract

The Obama administration imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle involved in banking, energy and infrastructure. The list includes Igor Sechin, OAO Rosneft chief executive officer…

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Shell embroiled in Russian oligarch machinations

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extracts from an article by Josh Lewis published 25 April 2014 by upstreamonline.com under the headline:

“Rosneft ruffled over Gazprom”

Reuters reported that Igor Sechin, at a government meeting, said both Gazprom and Shell, which operate a gas project in the Pacific island of Sakhalin, were denying access to a trunk pipeline for its LNG project. Upstream reported on Friday that Shell is urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to step-in…

FULL ARTICLE

Sanctions not enough to deter hydrocarbon-hungry firms

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extract from a BusinessDay article published 26 April 2014

Shell also expressed commitment to its expansion projects in Russia. Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell told Russian President, Vladimir Putin at a meeting recently. Shell plans to expand Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom. Van Beurden said that Shell “are very keen to grow our position in the Russian Federation and we look forward with anticipation and confidence on a very long-term future here in Russia.” He confirmed that Shell had agreed with Gazprom to expand the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant which produces 10 million tonnes of LNG per year. The expansion plan is in line with Putin’s demand to boost production of LNG and double Russia’s global market share to around 10 percent by 2020. Putin said in his response said; “We, of course, will pledge all the necessary administrative guidance and support.”

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Leveraging Big Oil to resolve the Ukrainian crisis

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extract from an article published 25 April 2014 by allvoices.com

Bloomberg’s Business Week reports that even while Western governments and Russia squared off over Ukraine, relations between the major energy companies — such as ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and BP — and Russia grew even cozier as they pursued the half a trillion dollar oil and gas joint venture deal in the Arctic and Siberia concluded in 2011. The implications are clear: Any comprehensive sanctions against Russia will have adverse effects on major Western energy companies. The strenuous efforts by Big Oil CEOs to reassure Putin that Obama’s sanction threats are empty threats have been noted by close watchers of the energy sector. While Obama and US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice were threatening sanctions on Russia’s “very significant sectors,” Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Putin at his residence in the outskirts of Moscow and assured him, confidently, that his company’s business interests in Russia would not be sacrificed to international politics.

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Shell sucked in to Russian gas pipeline politics

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16Extract from a Reuters article published Friday 25 April 2014 under the headline: “Russia’s Rosneft says Gazprom hinders its LNG project”

Last week, Putin approved expansion plans for an LNG plant, operated by Royal Dutch Shell and majority-owned by Gazprom, on the Pacific island of Sakhalin. Analysts have said that would hinder implementation of Rosneft and Exxon’s LNG project. Sechin told the meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, that both Gazprom, a monopoly owner of trunk pipelines, and Shell were denying his company access to a pipeline from Sakhalin to the mainland for the LNG project.

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Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden Bows to Putin

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin: Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29For over a 100 years, Shell has been driven by unscrupulous greed as its sole motivator. Shell funded Hitler and the Nazis party and has subsequently done business with a string of evil regimes, including General Sani Abacha, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and the Mad Mullahs of Iran. Putin is but the latest  power mad egomaniac to be treated like royalty by Shell. Bowed to and fawned over on Good Friday by the overpaid bootlicker, Ben van Beurden. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

By John Donovan

The New York Times newspaper published an article today under the headline: In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin

Extract:

Just as the United States resolved in the aftermath of World War II to counter the Soviet Union and its global ambitions, Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making it a pariah state.

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