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Posts under ‘Sakhalin II’

Russia’s Gazprom eyes asset swap deals with Shell, OMV by year-end

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ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA | BY DENIS PINCHUK AND DMITRY ZHDANNIKOVMon Jun 20, 2016 8:29am EDT

Russia’s state-controlled gas giant Gazprom (GAZP.MM) could gain control over some of the assets that Shell (RDSa.L) acquired earlier this year from BG group, a senior Gazprom executive said in an interview.

Gazprom’s Deputy Chief Executive Alexander Medvedev said the BG holdings could be included in an asset swap deal between Gazprom and Shell that was announced last year. He did not say what the BG holdings were or where they were located.

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Gazprom and Shell committed to broader cooperation in LNG sector

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Gazprom and Shell committed to broader cooperation in LNG sector

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Greenpeace image relating to Shell/Russia Arctic Drilling Plans

June 16, 2016, 17:30

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Shell, took place today at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016.

The parties discussed the progress of and prospects for strategic cooperation in the LNG sector, paying particular attention to the construction project for the third production train of the LNG plant on Sakhalin Island (Sakhalin II project). Design and FEED documentation are currently being prepared for the new production train.

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Western leaders, CEOs visit Russia amid sanctions fatigue

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin of Russia.

NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS: June 15, 2016 Updated: June 16, 2016 1:29pm

Following a meeting with Putin, Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden and state-owned gas giant Gazprom announced plans to build an LNG plant in Russia together. France’s Total is working with Russia’s largely private gas producer on a liquefied natural gas project.

The fact that the CEOs of top American companies have in a sense defied their government shows that they put their business interests before any political considerations, analysts say.

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Gazprom, Shell to invest $13 bln in projects in Russia – Russian Energy Minister

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to Russian President Putin at the Kremlin: April 2014

Thu Jun 16, 2016

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 16 (Reuters) – Energy major Shell and Russia’s gas major Gazprom will jointly invest $13 billion in three projects in Russia, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

Novak said that Shell would take part in the development of Gazprom’s Yuzhno-Kirinskoye gas field offshore Russia’s Sakhalin island in the Pacific.

The two companies will also jointly invest in the Baltic Sea Liquefied Natural Gas plant and in the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant expansion.

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Gazprom, Shell sign memo on Baltic LNG project

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin

Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:11am EDT

Gazprom and Shell signed on Thursday a memorandum of understanding on construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Russian coast of the Baltic Sea.

The memorandum says the companies will look into possibilities of building the LNG plant in the port of Ust-Luga with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes.

Gazprom and Shell are already partners in Russia’s only LNG plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin which has a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year.

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Shell & Gazprom agree Baltic LNG project

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.2816 June 2016 

Russia’s Gazprom and Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell have inked a letter of understanding to begin a liquefied natural gas project at the Russian port of Ust-Luga on the Baltic Sea.

CEOs Aleksey Miller and Ben van Beurden signed the agreement at the 20th International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

The project aims to diversify Gazprom’s LNG sales operations and to boost its LNG portfolio.

The enterprise will reportedly include a two-train LNG plant as well as a pipeline connected to the Gazprom network. The Baltic LNG Plant will have a capacity of about 10 million tons of gas annually with an option to expand to 15 million tons. The new plant will start operating in December 2021.

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Russia’s Putin says Shell is long-term, reliable partner

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:29am GMT

ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 16 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Royal Dutch Shell was a long-term and reliable partner for Russia.

Putin, who is attending the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum, made his remarks after Shell CEO Ben van Beurden asked the Russian leader to help support the company’s Russian business.

Van Beurden said Shell had made a lot of progress in its Sakhalin-2 LNG project with Russian gas giant Gazprom.

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Russia’s Gazprom, Shell to sign deal on Baltic LNG project – Kremlin

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Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 16.44.45Tue Jun 14, 2016 1:32pm GMT

MOSCOW, June 14 (Reuters) – Russian gas giant Gazprom and oil major Shell will sign a deal on a planned Baltic liquefied natural gas (LNG) project on the sidelines of a forum in St. Petersburg later this week, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the deal will be signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will meet Shell’s Chief Executive Ben van Beurden at the forum.

Gazprom plans to build the plant, which may produce up to 20 million tonnes of LNG per year, by December 2021.

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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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Shell’s belligerent partner, Russia

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Extracts from an article by Kyle Mizokami published by THE WEEK: 29 MARCH 2016

Russia is staking its claim to the Arctic and is being more than a little unreasonable about it. In 2007 Russian robotic submarines planted the national flag under the North Pole. Russia claims the North Pole on the grounds that the Lomonosov Ridge, an extension of Russia’s continental shelf territory, passes underneath the pole.

Russia is preparing to back its claims up, too: As of 2015, it had established six new bases north of the Arctic Circle, including 16 deepwater ports and 13 airfields. Russia has deployed advanced S-400 long-range surface-to-air missiles, as well as “Bastion” supersonic anti-ship missiles, to protect Arctic bases. The vastness of the Arctic means these weapons don’t threaten other countries, but they do create fortified bases that will allow Russia to springboard ships, planes, and Arctic-trained troops into contested territory.

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Shell says no changes in plans to expand Russian Sakhalin-2 LNG plant

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MOSCOW, March 24 (Reuters) – There are no changes in plans to expand Russia’s Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas plant, operated by Royal Dutch Shell and Gazprom, Olivier Lazare, head of Shell’s operations in Russia, said on Thursday.

Gazprom and Shell plan to expand their plant on the Pacific island of Sakhalin, where Japan’s Mitsui and Mitsubishi are also shareholders, to add a further 5.4 million tonnes of annual capacity in 2021.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Alexander Winning)

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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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Outspoken articles about Shell

The New Cold War: The Arctic

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It could set major oil companies against each other but also superpower against superpower as they scramble to exploit the last untapped giant reserves in a part of the world where territorial boundaries remain unclear. No wonder some fear a new cold war.

FULL ARTICLE WELL WORTH READING

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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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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Exclusive – Gazprom building global alliance with expanded Shell

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Exclusive – Gazprom building global alliance with expanded Shell

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. Gazprom, which is under U.S. but not EU sanctions…

Fri Jun 19, 2015

Gazprom (GAZP.MM) is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) 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 (EONGn.DE) and Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) – 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 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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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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News suppression allegations made by Peter Oborne

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By John Donovan

The Sunday Times has today published a whole page news story under the headline:

“READ ALL ABOUT IT”

The article is focused on sensational allegations by Peter Oborne, who has just resigned as the Chief Political Commentator of The Daily Telegraph.

The Sunday Times is understandably delighted to have a poke at one of its rivals, but is it being hypocritical?

Peter Oborne departed on the claimed grounds that the Telegraph has deliberately suppressed news coverage about the HSBC scandal because of concern that it might lose HSBC advertising revenue. The Swiss subsidiary of HSBC has admitted assisting wealthy clients to evade taxes and hide assets.

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Shell backs out of Russian oil projects

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In April 2014, following the Russian Annexation of Crimea, Shell COE, Ben van Beurden, was still bowing to Putin and full of ambition for Russian oil and gas projects. 

By John Donovan

In April 2014, Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden claimed that the company had no plans to change its work with its Russian partners, despite the conflict in Ukraine.

His resolve seems to have crumbled following the imposition of further sanctions by the USA and Europe against the Putin regime.

A number of news articles are reporting that Shell has followed Exxon in suspending tight oil projects in Russia.

According to Reuters, “Oil major Shell has suspended development of hard-to-recover oil in Russia’s Bazhenov formation with Gazprom Neft, Interfax cited Gazprom Neft’s head as saying on Friday, after the West imposed sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.”

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Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Project ‘A Step Too Far’

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 17.11.37By John Donovan

I have received a comment about the most recent Bill Campbell Prelude article from another expert, a former Shell executive. 

I refer to Hans Bouman, the retired Groningen Gas Field Asset Manager for NAM, a joint Royal Dutch Shell/ExxonMobil operation.

Mr Bouman is the expert who in 2002 warned Shell/Sakhalin Energy internally of his concerns over the Sakhalin2 project, including an unforgiving schedule, a theme he returned to a number of times. 

Extract from a May 2002 internal email from Hans Bouman to Engel van Spronsen, Technical Director, Sakhalin Energy:

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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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Potential Bad News for Royal Dutch Shell and BP

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

An article by Matthew Smith published by Seeking Alpha warns about the potential adverse impact on the share value of companies with “exposure” in Russia, such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, is well aware of the risk to Shell’s Russian assets and future prospects, which explains his humiliating bowing to President Putin when they met just weeks after the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. Obviously a believer in appeasement. 

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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014

RUSSIA

Jeroen van der Veer, the former Royal Dutch Shell CEO who evaded responsibility for his role in the cover-up of the Shell reserves fraud, claims that the sanctions against Russia are not working and are counter-productive. This analysis comes from the man who badly misjudged the Putin regime in 2006 and as a result, ended up meekly surrendering Shell’s majority stake in the Sakhalin 2 project. 

UK

The British government has just introduced a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies registered in the UK to disclose all payments made to the governments of countries in which they operate. The new rule, which comes into force in 2015, is designed to result in greater transparency, something alien to oil companies such as Shell. Problems may arise in relation to Nigeria where Shell has a decades long history of corruption involving a succession of odious regimes.

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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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Russia Sanctions Failing to Stanch Energy Deals With Japan

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By John Donovan

Nato says that Russia has amassed 20,000 combat-ready troops on the border of eastern Ukraine.

The US and the EU have stepped up sanction measures on Russia moving from targeted to sector sanctions. 

Unfortunately for Royal Dutch Shell its current business and future prospects depend on maintaining good relations with Putin.

Hence the bootlicking by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden when he met with Putin following the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. 

The Sakhalin II project in which Shell used to be the majority stakeholder still remains an important asset to the oil and gas giant. Sanctions may yet impact on Sakhalin II.

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FT: 12 Shell staff and family members killed on flight MH17

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from FT “Week in review” published 2 August 2014

Majors brace as sanctions against Russia tighten

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Shell has declared force majeure on gas exploration in eastern Ukraine: CEO

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Extracts from a PLATTS article published 31 July 2014

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Thursday, July 31 that the recent events around the Ukraine crisis, including the crash of flight MH17 and the subsequent US and EU sanctions against Moscow, were a “game-changer” from an international political, economic and trade point of view. Shell, which has assets in both Russia and Ukraine, has also declared force majeure on its unconventional gas exploration operations in eastern Ukraine, van Beurden said on a Q2 earnings conference call. Van Beurden said it was too early to know exactly what the impact of the latest international sanctions against Russia would be for Shell.

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The grief of Ben van Beurden

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a Daily Mail/This is MONEY” article by Rob Davies published 31 July 2014 under the headline: “Energy lift boosts shares in Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group after both post strong second quarter results”

Boss Ben van Beurden has vowed to sell underperforming assets and be more selective about spending, after beginning his tenure in January with the firm’s first profit warning in a decade. Van Beurden said Shell was ‘less exposed than some of our rivals’ to the impact of sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. But he focused on the emotional impact on Shell, which lost four staff and eight members of their families. ‘As a Dutchman, of course, I grieve for the many compatriots who lost their lives in this crash,’ he said. ‘Then, as CEO of Shell, I grieve together with the other 92,000 Shell staff for the colleagues we lost, together with so many of their family members.’

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC AND RUSSIA: BUSINESS AS USUAL

By John Donovan

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden was straightforward in what he publicly stated at the 2014 AGM of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said that Shell puts the interests of its shareholders first, above any geopolitical considerations. That is his excuse for Shell’s dealings with evil regimes in Iran and Russia, irrespective of sanctions. You can tell all you need to know about Ben’s priorities from his failure to sign the document “SHELL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES” – it is still signed by his predecessor Peter Voser, who abandoned ship long ago. 

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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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The world is being held hostage

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a NewsDay article by MARTIN SCHRAM published 23 July 2014 by McClatchy-Tribune News Service under the headline: “Schram: The world is being held hostage”

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Europe fails to impose tough sanctions on Russia

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Seeking Alpha article published 23 July 2014

EU foreign ministers failed to impose any tough sanctions against Russia during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers yesterday, NYT reports.

Dependent on Russia’s energy and wary of confrontation, Europe’s leaders have largely decided they will have to live with a newly assertive Russia.

The Netherlands lost at least 193 victims in the Malaysian Airlines crash over Ukraine, but Royal Dutch Shell  is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia; if Shell loses money, the pensions of Dutch teachers, civil servants and many others suffer.

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‘Shell will try to prevent any sanctions against Russia’

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a New York Times article by Thomas Erdbrink published 23 July 2014 in the New York edition under the headline: “Despite Anger Over Downed Jetliner, Europe Shies Away From Sanctions on Russia”

Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, which has its head office in The Hague, is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia. Shell is the largest corporation in the Netherlands, and its stock is widely held in the nation’s pension funds. If Shell loses money, the pensions of Dutch teachers, civil servants and many others suffer.

As a result, the ties between Shell and the government are extremely close, and the company’s welfare inevitably influences policy, analysts 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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