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Shell deal forges new links with China

Times Online

May 19, 2010

China’s biggest energy company has agreed to take a stake in Royal Dutch Shell’s oil and gas unit in Syria in a deal estimated to be worth $1.5 billion (£1 billion).

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has acquired a 35 per cent interest in Syria Shell Petroleum Development.

Shell has been eager to foster closer links with China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer after America, and to team up in exploring and producing in the Middle East.

Shell signed a 30-year deal with CNPC on Sunday for joint gas exploration and production in Qatar. read more

Anti-Shell adverts and articles pulled just before publication

EXTRACT: “It is fair to conclude that Shell is allergic to criticism, and has no qualms about ruthlessly using its financial muscle to manipulate the news media, brainwash shareholders, greenwash motorists and censor critics who wish to point out the inconvenient truth.”

By John Donovan

Interesting to note the controversy over the last minute decision by the Financial Times against publishing a powerful anti-Shell advert by Amnesty International, who must be left wondering whether Shell brought some influence to bear?

I was left in the same position after The Sunday Times in 2007, aborted a half page article about us and our unique relationship with Shell.

At 11am on a Saturday morning, 3 February 2007, I received a phone call from a Sunday Times journalist, Steven Swinford. He read out the entire article to check on accuracy, particularly in respect of quotes attributed to me. Our involvement in the Sakhalin2 affair was described as the “ultimate revenge” costing Shell £11 billion UK pounds ($22 billion USD). read more

Overblown BP sell-off may damage industry

“In Washington, a fresh impetus to pursue alternative forms of energy and a renewed hostility towards Big Oil will not be directed solely at BP.”

Times Online

May 5, 2010

David Wighton

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a tragedy — for the families of those who died, for the environment and for local communities.

It is a huge challenge for the company and its chief executive, Tony Hayward. But in cold, cash terms, is it really so bad as to warrant the £20 billion that has been wiped off BP’s market value?

The broken well, which is leaking 210,000 gallons of oil a day, could flow for a year and still be dwarfed by earlier incidents. The Ixtoc 1 blowout in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche disgorged 140 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 1979 before it was finally halted. Even that was a fraction of the 1991 spill when Iraqi forces allowed 36 billion gallons of crude to bleed into the Persian Gulf. read more

Higher oil prices lift Royal Dutch Shell’s profits by 60 per cent

Times Online

April 28, 2010 Robin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor

Royal Dutch Shell announced a 60 per cent increase in profits this morning, propelled by higher oil and gas prices and growth in production.

Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company, said that the current cost of supply profits, a key industry measure which strips out fluctuations in the price of energy, reached $4.8 billion in the three months to March 31, up from $3 billion a year ago.

The performance was boosted by a 6 per cent increase in the Anglo-Dutch company’s oil and gas production, which hit 3.59 million barrels per day after the ramp-up of the Sakhalin II project in Russia and Parque das Conchas in Brazil. read more

Shell drafted letter Tony Blair sent to Gaddafi while Prime Minister

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“In the draft, Shell tells Mr Blair to discuss positive progress on weapons of mass destruction as well as the investigation into the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984.”

David Robertson, Business Correspondent

Tony Blair lobbied Colonel Muammar Gaddafi on behalf of Shell in a letter written for him in draft form by the oil company, documents obtained by The Times reveal.

The correspondence, written while Mr Blair was Prime Minister, bears a striking resemblance to a briefing note by Royal Dutch Shell weeks earlier promoting a $500 million (£325 million) deal it was trying to clinch in Libya.

While it is common for government ministers to champion British interests abroad, Shell’s draft reveals an unusual assurance in its ability to dictate Mr Blair’s conversation with the Libyan leader. It also raises questions about the motives behind Britain’s improved relations with Libya and the subsequent release of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber. Lockerbie victims have claimed that the Government paved the way for al-Megrahi’s release as part of a deal with Libya to give British companies access to Libya’s lucrative oil and gas industry. read more

Shell gets ready to start Arctic drilling within weeks after Obama go-ahead

Times Online

The Times April 2, 2010

Robin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor

Only hours after President Obama opened up vast tracts of America’s coastline to exploration, Royal Dutch Shell said yesterday that it plans to start drilling for oil in the Arctic Sea, north of Alaska, within weeks.

Marvin Odum, the chief executive of Shell’s North America business, said that Shell was “absolutely ready to drill in terms of infrastructure and manpower” in Alaska and signalled that activity could begin within ten weeks. read more

Russians prepare £1bn grab for UK fuel supplies

The Sunday Times: March 28, 2010

GAZPROM, Russia’s state-owned gas giant, is preparing an audacious bid to become one of the biggest fuel suppliers in Britain.

The company is expected to lodge an offer this week for a network of 800 petrol stations and the Lindsey oil refinery at Killingholme, Lincolnshire. The assets have been put up for sale by Total, the French oil group. It has hired JP Morgan, the investment bank, to sell its UK business, which employs 5,000 people. The business is expected to fetch more than £1 billion.

The prospect of the Kremlincontrolled giant owning key parts of the UK oil infrastructure could worry the government. When Gazprom was rumoured to be looking at a bid for Centrica, owner of British Gas, in 2006, ministers met to examine the “possible consequences resulting from any takeover of a major UK energy supplier”. read more

Shell to sell petrol stations around the world

Times Online

March 17, 2010: Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor

Royal Dutch Shell will sell full or part-stakes in as many as 9,000 petrol stations worldwide and cut a further 1,000 jobs as it intensifies its global cost-cutting.

The announcement came as Shell appeared to be edging closer to a deal with Arrow Energy to bolster the group’s position in Australia’s fast-growing industry supplying coal-seam gas to China and South-East Asia.

Peter Voser, the chief executive, said that Shell intends to leave about 30 of the 90 countries in which it operates petrol stations. The move, which is already under way, is part of a focus on more profitable markets and on exploration and production. read more

More Shell job cuts – 7,000 announced under Voser

Times Online

// March 16, 2010

Comment: cracking Shell

Robin Pagnamenta

After seven years of year-on-year declines in oil production, Shell’s return to volume growth represents a significant turnaround for the Anglo-Dutch oil giant.

For Peter Voser, eight months in to his role as chief executive, it also reflects a new phase in the drive to rebuild the company’s fortunes.

Since his appointment last summer, he has announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs and reorganise the group to strip out costs and excessive bureaucracy.

Today he announced plans to intensify that drive by trimming a further 1,000 positions, mostly in middle management and the group’s downstream operation. read more

Shell abandons HQ to decade of development

Times Online

The company has agreed terms for a ten-year lease with Canary Wharf on 200,000 sq ft of Docklands offices

February 24, 2010

A view of the London Eye, located along the Thames River at County Hall, is seen across from the Shell Oil Centre building.

Carl Mortished, World Business Editor

Staff at Royal Dutch Shell will be moved next year from the Shell Centre at Waterloo to Canary Wharf as part of a huge redevelopment of the oil company’s historic London headquarters.

The company has agreed terms for a ten-year lease with Canary Wharf on 200,000 sq ft of Docklands offices at 40 Bank Street, a building close to the tower at One Canada Square. read more

Trouble on the Russian front as BP offshoot faces loss of big gasfield

TNK-BP and BP declined to comment yesterday on the decision from RosPrirodNadzor, which was reminiscent of the manouvering by Russian agencies that resulted in Shell losing control of its Sakhalin project in the Russian Far East in 2006.

Shell tries to appease investors with caps on pay

Times Online

The Times
February 17, 2010

Robin Pagnamenta and Robert Lindsay

Royal Dutch Shell said that it would freeze the salaries of its top directors and reform a generous bonus scheme as the oil giant moved to soothe shareholders’ anger over excessive boardroom pay before its annual meeting.

In a letter to investors, Hans Wijers, the new chairman of the Anglo-Dutch company’s remuneration committee, said that the changes were being made after extensive talks with shareholders, 60 per cent of whom voted down the executive pay plans at a stormy annual meeting last year. read more

BP risks investor outrage at ‘dirty’ oil deal

TONY HAYWARD, BP’s chief executive, has set the FTSE 100 oil group on a collision course with investors and environmentalists over a blockbuster oil sands deal.

The stove that won’t kill the world’s poor

A company funded by the charitable arm of Royal Dutch Shell, the oil giant, has developed a cheap and efficient stove that it says could save carbon and lives.

Stealthy Shell sales could bag $10bn

PETER VOSER, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, is selling $10 billion (£6.4 billion) of assets as part of his drive to revitalise the oil giant.

Shell investigates posting of personal data

Times Online

The Times
February 13, 2010

The leaked list includes the names and telephone numbers of 170,000 staff

Robin Pagnamenta, Energy Editor

A full-scale investigation was under way last night into a security breach at Royal Dutch Shell as the oil company faced explaining to staff how the personal details of 170,000 employees and contractors had made their way on to the internet.

The Times has learnt that seven non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who were e-mailed a database of all Shell staff this month have been dragged into the row. read more

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