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Zambian villagers win right to sue Vedanta in English courts

Barbara Lewis: OCTOBER 13, 2017 / 2:33 PM

London’s Court of Appeal on Friday threw out miner Vedanta’s attempt to block the Zambians’ legal action over alleged pollution of their villages. Vedanta said in a statement it would seek the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest in the English legal system, adding the decision was on jurisdiction only and “was not a ruling or a determination on the merits of the claims”. Three senior High Court judges dismissed an appeal by Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)against a ruling in May last year when a High Court judge decided the claim could proceed in the English courts on behalf of 1,826 Zambian villagers. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell buys NewMotion charging network in first electric vehicle deal

Karolin Schaps: OCTOBER 12, 2017 / 1:23 PM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has agreed to buy Dutch-based NewMotion, the owner of one of Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging networks, marking the company’s first deal in electric mobility as demand for cleaner vehicles is expected to soar. Shell said NewMotion, which manages over 30,000 charging points for electric vehicles in Western Europe and offers access to thousands more, will operate in parallel to Shell’s program of rolling out fast charging points at its forecourts. “They’re complementary offers. One is fast charging on the go on the forecourt and the other is a slightly slower rate of charge at the workplace or at home. At this stage there are no plans to integrate the two,” Shell’s vice-president for new fuels, Matthew Tipper, told journalists. Shell is installing electric vehicle charging points at retail stations in Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and the Philippines. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell seeks buyers for Oman field stake – sources

The sale process is led by investment bank Rothschild, the sources said. Shell and Rothschild did not respond to requests for comment. The Mukhaizna heavy oil field, operated by Occidental Petroleum (OXY.N), reached an average oil production rate of 127,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2016, according to Occidental’s annual report. Shell is not selling its 34 percent interest in Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) which operated more than 160 oil fields mostly in the centre and south of the Middle East sultanate, according to the sources. FULL ARTICLE read more

Chevron starts LNG output at Australia’s Wheatstone, first cargo expected in weeks

MELBOURNE, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Chevron Corp said on Monday it has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Wheatstone project in Australia, slightly later than expected, and plans to ship its first cargo soon. The LNG market will be focused on how smoothly Wheatstone progresses following the troubled start-up at Chevron’s bigger Gorgon LNG project. Both projects are fed from natural gas fields offshore the state of Western Australia. “The first cargo is on track to be shipped in the coming weeks,” Chevron Corp said in a statement. It had originally hoped to start exporting from Wheatstone in middle of 2017. Wheatstone is the sixth out of eight projects in a $200 billion Australian LNG construction boom that is now in its final stretch. The two remaining ones are Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project and Ichthys, led by Japan’s Inpex. FULL ARTICLE read more

Citizens must “flood the courts” in fight for climate justice: economist

Adela Suliman: OCTOBER 4, 2017

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world faces a ticking time bomb in the form of global warming, and recent disasters caused by extreme weather should motivate individuals to urgently seek “climate justice”, said leading U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs.

The U.N. special adviser urged citizens to “flood the courts” with legal cases demanding the right to a safe and clean environment, and to pursue major polluters such as big oil companies and negligent governments for liability and damages. read more

Interview – Shell Netherlands CEO: More large wind projects wanted

Toby SterlingStefano Berra: OCTOBER 5, 2017

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – As the Netherlands struggles to meet its renewable energy goals, Shell’s country chief executive sees its role as the architect of big, high-risk projects such as wind turbine farms — for the time being.

In an interview, Marjan van Loon said Shell had joined a coalition of companies urging the Dutch government to greatly increase its ambitions for offshore wind farms from its current plan for 5 tenders of 700 megawatt farms. read more

Shell working to fix gas disruption at Ireland’s Corrib field

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) are working to remove unodourised gas that entered the network from the country’s Corrib gas field and has curbed output since last week, Shell said.

Due to a technical problem at the Shell-operated Bellanaboy Bridge gas terminal in Ireland, unodourised gas entered the network, forcing GNI to ask local customers to switch off their gas meters on Sept. 22-23, a Shell spokesperson said.

Unodourised gas cannot be easily detected as it cannot be smelt. Normally odourants are added before the gas reaches customers so people can detect gas leaks by scent. Undetected gas can lead to an explosion or fire. read more

South Africa Karoo shale gas deposits seen less than earlier estimates

South Africa’s government said in May it might award its first shale gas exploration licences by the end of September, after environmental objections delayed the process. Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil and Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five firms whose applications were being reviewed by the regulator. FULL ARTICLE

Talks continuing with Shell about Iraq’s Majnoon oil field, oil minister says

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 / 11:54 AM

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Sunday talks are continuing with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) on the Majnoon oil field that the company is said to be seeking to quit.

“There are still negotiations, things are not clear,” Luaibi told a news conference in Baghdad. “We haven’t initiated talks with other companies.”

A letter signed by Luaibi, dated Aug. 23 and seen by Reuters, gave approval for Shell to quit Majnoon, a major oilfield near Basra which started production in 2014. read more

California cities sue big oil firms over climate change

Gary McWilliams: SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 / 2:34 AM

(Reuters) – California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents. The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. According to a news release from San Francisco city officials, the lawsuits mirror 1980s-era lawsuits against tobacco companies. They allege the oil giants “knowingly and recklessly created an ongoing public nuisance that is causing harm now and in the future risks catastrophic harm to human life and property.” FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell restarting Deer Park, Texas, joint-venture refinery: sources

The refinery’s largest crude distillation unit, the 270,000-bpd DU-2, restarted on Sunday morning and was on circulation by midday, the sources said. Other units are being brought up to operating temperature and readied to resume production following the restart of DU-2. Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said the Deer Park refinery was “still in startup. Nothing to add.” Shell began saying on Sept. 8 that the refinery was in startup mode. FULL ARTICLE

Brazil’s Raízen trying to cut sugar production costs -CEO

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Raízen, the world’s largest sugar producer, is trying to cut production costs to remain profitable amid depressed international prices, Chief Executive Luis Henrique Guimarães said on Friday.

Raízen, a 50-50 joint venture between Cosan SA Indústria e Comércio and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, plans to crush up to 63 million tonnes of cane in the current crop season, more than 10 percent of total Brazilian cane output.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Paul Simao) read more

Shell set to draw line under a century of Iraqi oil

Ron Bousso: SEPTEMBER 13, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is set to end a century of oil production in Iraq by withdrawing from two of the Arab state’s flagship fields to focus on more profitable gas development.

Shell’s retreat highlights the challenges foreign operators face with low-margin oil contracts in Iraq, an OPEC member that sits on some of the world’s biggest oil reserves and wants to boost production after years of conflict hindered development.

The Anglo-Dutch firm said on Wednesday it had agreed with Iraq’s oil ministry to relinquish operations at Majnoon field to the government after unfavorable changes to fiscal terms. The announcement confirmed an earlier Reuters report. read more

Shell says to focus on Basra gas in Iraq after Majnoon exit

SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 / 7:52 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell said on Wednesday it would focus its efforts on the development and growth of the Basra Gas Company in Iraq after handing over operations of the Majnoon oil venture back to the Iraqi government.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Shell Iraq has started preparations to finalize the exit of Shell from Majnoon, one of the largest fields in the country.

“In May 2017, the ministry of oil in Iraq applied the performance penalty and remuneration factor on the Shell operated venture, the Majnoon oil field, which had a significant impact on its commerciality,” a Shell spokesman said. read more

Shell eyes Asia, aims to expand vehicle recharging at fuel stations

By Ron Bousso and Dmitry Zhdannikov

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell aims to expand marketing operations in Asia and wants 20 percent of sales from its fuel stations worldwide to come from recharging electric vehicles and low carbon fuels by 2025, as the world shifts away from crude. The Anglo-Dutch firm, with 43,000 fuel stations in 80 countries, aims to expand in China and India, as well as Mexico, where it sees fossil fuel growth in the next decade, John Abbott, the head of refining, trading and marketing, told Reuters. But he said Shell remained focused on a future of where demand for alternatives to petrol and diesel cars would rise. “Shell will be part of leading the de-carbonising of the energy system. We have to accept that is the way the world is going,” he said in an interview in London. He said Shell, the world’s top roadside fuel station operator, was “working back from the customer, which is very relevant as we go through the energy transition.” FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell’s defence of big oil is too hopeful

Despite growing evidence that the oil era is grinding to an ugly and disruptive halt, Shell remains optimistic. On Sept. 8, the company updated its two core strategic models – labeled Mountains and Oceans – which both come to similar conclusions about the future of crude and liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Although peak demand will happen sometime after 2030, and governments will keep intervening to cut carbon emissions, oil could still account for more than a fifth of all energy even by 2060. This matters to Shell investors. Its $50 billion takeover of BG Group in January 2016 made it the largest shipper of gas amongst its peers. However, oil remains core to its profitability. If oil has a future, it makes sense for Shell to keep investing in it. The problem is that Shell’s projections could easily be proven wrong. FULL ARTICLE read more

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