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Posts under ‘New York Times’

Brexit, Trump, Populism and Royal Dutch Shell Plc

By John Donovan (right)

Brexit and Trump are the most visible current manifestations of populism – examples of ground-breaking nationalist movements backed by a large proportion of a voting population.

Populism is on the rise in a number of EU countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands, where there is mounting concern over PVV leader Geert Wilders.

What is described as “encroaching populism and negativism” is apparently viewed as a serious threat by Dutch multinationals, including Shell, Philips and Unilever.

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Big Oil Slowly Adapts to a Warming World

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSSNOV. 3, 2016

In a warming world, Big Oil doesn’t look quite so big anymore.

A global glut of oil and natural gas has sent prices tumbling over the last two years, and profits are evaporating. Improving auto fuel efficiency standards threaten to depress oil consumption eventually, and fleets of electric vehicles are gradually emerging in China and a few other important markets.

Perhaps most troubling for oil companies over the long term is the goal — agreed to last December by virtually every country in the world at a climate conference in Paris — of staving off a rise in average global temperatures of more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

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Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and JOHN SCHWARTZA version of this article appears in print on May 24, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil has been under pressure for over a year to explain its handling of climate change issues in the past. Now the company faces new pressure to explain its future, particularly how it will change in response to a warming world.

At the company’s planned annual meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, shareholders will vote on a resolution to prod Exxon Mobil to disclose the risks of climate change to its business.

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Anger Overflows in Nigeria as Economy Dives

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By DIONNE SEARCEYA version of this article appears in print on May 10, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

LAGOS, Nigeria — Young men became entangled in a swirl of flying fists. Gas station workers swatted away boys hoping to fill their plastic cans. A mother with a sleeping baby in her minivan was chased off, rightly accused of jumping the line. A driver eager to get ahead crashed into several cars, the sound of crunching metal barely registering amid the noise.

Nigerians were getting used to days like this.

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Major Oil Exporters Fail to Agree on Production Freeze

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By STANLEY REED and ANDREW E. KRAMERA version of this article appears in print on April 18, 2016, on page B1 of the New York edition

DOHA, Qatar — Officials from 18 oil-producing nations failed on Sunday to reach a deal to freeze oil production at current levels.

The meeting of officials, representing most of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as Russia, had been intended to calm the markets and convince them that the two leading oil exporters, Russia and Saudi Arabia, were cooperating. But with officials coming up short on Sunday, the meeting may end up being a blow to confidence that could send oil prices tumbling.

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Italy Probes Shell’s Role in Purchase of Nigerian Oil Block

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 21.20.56Shell and the Italian oil firm Eni bought the block known as OPL 245 in 2011. Activists including the watchdog group Global Witness say the money ultimately went to a company secretly owned by a former Nigerian oil minister and never reached state coffers.

Global Witness and other groups filed a complaint in 2015 with the public prosecutor in Milan that the group says describes Shell’s role in the transaction.

Eni was already being investigated. Both firms have denied wrongdoing.

In a statement this week, Shell said officials searched its headquarters in The Hague in February and that it was cooperating with officials.

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Australian Energy Giant Woodside Delays Large Offshore L.N.G. Project

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By STANLEY REED: A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2016, on page B2 of the New York edition

Woodside Petroleum and its partners, including the energy giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP, have decided to delay indefinitely the development of a huge liquefied natural gas project off Western Australia, the company said on Wednesday.

The decision to postpone the project, called Browse, comes as L.N.G. prices in Asia have fallen by around two-thirds since 2014. The slump is attributed to a supply glut set off largely by a building boom and by lower-than-expected demand from major customers like China.

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Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries

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By JUSTIN GILLISA version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2016, on page A11 of the New York edition

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

A draft version of the paper was released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, and that debate seems likely to be replayed in the coming weeks.

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Iraq Exports First Natural Gas Shipment in Its History

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: MARCH 20, 2016

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

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

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How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself

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By ANDREW SCOTT COOPER: A version of this op-ed appears in print on March 13, 2016

FOR the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

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Oklahoma Puts Limits on Oil and Gas Wells to Fight Quakes

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By MICHAEL WINESA version of this article appears in print on March 8, 2016

Facing a six-year barrage of increasingly large earthquakes, Oklahoma regulators are effectively ordering the state’s powerful oil-and-gas industry to substantially cut back the underground disposal of industry wastes that have caused the tremors across the state.

On Monday, the state Corporation Commission asked well operators in a Connecticut-size patch of central Oklahoma to reduce by 40 percent the amount of oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth. The directive covers 411 injection wells in a rough circle that includes Oklahoma City and points northeast.

It follows a February request that imposed a 40 percent cutback on injection wells in a similar-size region of northwest Oklahoma.

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Shell and Nigerian Partner Are Sued in Britain Over Spills

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By STANLEY REEDMARCH 2, 2016

LONDON — Nigerian communities from the oil-rich Niger Delta initiated court action on Wednesday in London against the energy giant Royal Dutch Shell, in a case that may have far-reaching implications for whether companies can be sued in Britain for pollution and damages caused by their activities in other countries.

The case is based on accusations by farming and fishing communities that say they have suffered years of damage because of repeated large spills from oil pipelines in their home areas.

The law firm Leigh Day is bringing the claims against Shell and its Nigerian joint venture, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, in London on behalf of two communities in the swampy, oil-rich Niger Delta: the Ogale and the Bille.

On Wednesday, the claimants won a small victory when a judge ruled that the Nigerian venture could be included in the case, along with its parent company.

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