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Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion

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FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

The former owners of the Frontier drilling company sold their rigs to Noble for $2.16 billion in 2010. Given that their fleet of five vessels consisted of ancient rust buckets which were fit only for the scrapyard, this has always seemed like an inordinately large sum. The five vessels had been acquired by Frontier for about $100 million. The only client of Frontier was Shell. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/28/us-noblecorp-idUSTRE65R2C520100628 . (See below)

Noble operated two rigs for Shell in Alaska (Discoverer and Kulluk) during the disastrous 2012 drilling campaign. In spite of their performance in 2012, Noble will once again be operating the Discoverer (now over 50 years old) during the upcoming drilling campaign. Discoverer is one of the rust buckets that Noble acquired from Frontier.  

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Shell Executives Visit Tehran for Projects If Sanctions End

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by Javier Blas 24 June 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives have visited Tehran to discuss possible partnerships, the latest sign that the largest oil companies are serious about returning to Iran once a deal on the country’s nuclear program is done.

The meeting with Iranian officials covered its outstanding debt to National Iranian Oil Co. and possible areas of business cooperation, the company said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Shell owed $2.16 billion as of the end of 2014 for oil it wasn’t able to pay Iran for because of sanctions, according to its annual report.

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Shell flotilla begins assembling in Dutch Harbor

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BY TIM BRADNER, ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE: 24 June 2015

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“Once again, Shell is up to their old tricks, deliberately ignoring federal regulations. We urge President Obama to cancel Shell’s lease and prevent them from drilling in the Chukchi Sea,”

Dutch Harbor will be busy in the next couple of weeks as Shell’s Arctic drill fleet converges on the Aleutians port, prior to heading north for the Chukchi Sea.

Shell’s spill containment barge Arctic Challenger is already in Dutch Harbor, having arrived June 14, and the semi-submersible mobile drill rig Polar Pioneer is now en route from Seattle, Shell spokeswoman Meg Baldino said June 23.

A second drilling vessel, Noble Discoverer, is meanwhile still in port at Everett, Wash., making preparations to sail to Dutch Harbor.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.03.05Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

The Dutch government has decided to cut production from its Groningen gas field after a series of earthquakes led to heightened safety concerns

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 24, 2015

Responding to a series of earthquakes in the northern parts of Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to slash the gas production at the gas field in Groningen, according to Reuters.

Production at Holland’s Groningen oil field, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will be restricted to 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) for the calendar year 2015, according to the country’s Economy Minister, Henk Kamp. The government had previously planned production of 39.4 bcm during the current year.

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

By Carl Surran: 23 June 2015

  • The Dutch government has ordered a further tightening of production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, in response to earthquakes that have caused extensive property damage in the Netherlands’ northernmost province.
  • Production at the field will be capped at 13.5B cm in H2 of this year and at 30B cm for all of 2015, after output was cut to 16.B cm for H1 which made for an annualized rate of 33B cm, down from 39.4B cm previously.
  • The Groningen field is operated by a joint venture including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and the Dutch government.

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Shell’s Arctic drilling plans may hit permitting snag

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June 23, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell’s plans to bore two wells in the Arctic Ocean this summer may be jeopardized by an obscure permitting requirement that effectively bars drilling operations close to each other in waters off Alaska.

The restriction highlighted by environmentalists opposed to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign could be a major stumbling block for the company, which has spent $7 billion and seven years pursuing oil in the region.

The provision is embedded in the government’s rules for obtaining a “letter of authorization” allowing companies to disturb walruses, seals and other animals in the region — among the last permits Shell needs to launch activities in the Chukchi Sea next month. Under a 2013 Fish and Wildlife Service regulation, those authorizations are precluded for drilling activities happening within 15 miles of each other.

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Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

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“There does not appear to be any way that the federal government can allow Shell to proceed as the company has planned…”

23 June 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

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BG-Shell takes first step towards Brazilian blessing

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The £47bn blockbuster deal has been officially filed with competition regulators in Brazil, a key hurdle and strategic area for Shell’s interest

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Shell’s £47bn plan to become the world’s biggest gas producer has moved a step closer to reality after the oil giant officially filed its takeover of BG Group with Brazilian competition regulators.

The second-biggest oil and gas deal ever on record still requires the blessing of a number of regulators across the world. Sources have already flagged potential hurdles could come from China’s notoriously opaque Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) and Brazil’s beefed up authority, the Administrative Council of Economic Defence (CADE), as well as European regulators. The companies have indicated that they expect the deal to close by the first quarter of 2016.

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How the European Oil Industry Decided to Save the Climate

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By Javier Blas: June 23, 2015

By the time the convention chat turned into action, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc, Total SA, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and BG Group Plc published an unprecedented open letter on climate change. Breaking with their biggest U.S. competitors, they announced their support for efforts to put a cost on polluting, acknowledging they were on the wrong side of history.

“They have massively changed the rhetorical position,” says Charlie Kronick, senior climate adviser at Greenpeace in London. “They know that if you are not at the table, you could end up being lunch.

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Warning on Shell megadeal

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Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 14.20.29JOHN DAGGE: HERALD SUN: MELBOURNE: JUNE 24, 2015

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ONE of Australia’s biggest plastic makers has added its voice to concerns about Shell’s planned takeover of BG Group, saying further consolidation in the gas industry will likely harm manufacturers. 

Melbourne-based Qenos has also attacked Victoria’s ban on onshore oil and gas drilling, saying the restriction put at risk a new wave of major investment in the nation’s petrochemical and plastics industry.

Chief executive Jonathan Clancy told BusinessDaily Royal Dutch Shell’s $91 billion push to swallow British rival BG ran the risk of increasing consolidation among gas producers at a time when manufacturers needed more suppliers.

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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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Anchorage Residents Hold ‘Keep Shell Out of the Arctic!’ Rally

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Anchorage Residents Hold ‘Keep Shell Out of the Arctic!’ Rally

Kirby Spangler Jun 22, 2015

Anchorage, Alaska – Following weeks of demonstrations in Seattle protesting Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic Drilling program, Anchorage residents gathered on the corner of Northern Lights and Minnesota at a local Shell gas station to join the international chorus speaking out about the controversial oil exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. A 30ft long banner held by protesters read “Shell Drills, Oil Spills : 75% chance of Arctic Spill”. 

A coordinated event was also held in Juneau with a hand-built replica of Shell’s drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, parked in front of the Federal Building, where it dwarfed the gathered protesters. Both events were planned by participating grassroots and non-profit groups concerned about drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic. 

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Coast Guard clears Shell drillship bound for Arctic

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Coast Guard clears Shell drillship bound for Arctic

Posted on June 22, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

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The drillship Noble Discoverer undergoes sea trials off Singapore in November 2014.

WASHINGTON — As one of Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs makes its way to Alaska, a second is waiting in the wings.

The Noble Discoverer, now docked in Washington state waters, has received a critical “certificate of compliance” from the U.S. Coast Guard verifying it meets a host of safety and security requirements. Since a May 20 Coast Guard inspection, Shell and Noble cleared more than a dozen violations documented at the vessel.

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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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Then & Now: Launching a ‘Mind Bomb’ to save the Arctic

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Then & Now: Launching a “Mind Bomb” to save the Arctic

By Emily Hunter – 22 June, 2015 

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Staring out at the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, I feel a sense of past and present colliding. Forty-four years ago in these same waters off Canada’s west coast, my father Robert Hunter and a group of Greenpeace co-founders sailed to stop nuclear testing on the Alaskan island of Amchitka. Today, we have just taken a similar passage on the west coast to disrupt Shell’s plans for drilling in the Arctic this year.

For me, staring back at the same waves my father once encountered reminds me that we live a common story. While these events are separated by time, they are essentially the same struggle. For these are the defining issues of our eras and we are the dreamers that believe we can change them.

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Shell clears regulatory hurdles for cracker

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By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 22 June 2015

Overcoming what might be Royal Dutch Shell’s most significant regulatory hurdle, the oil and chemicals giant has been granted an air permit by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a potential petrochemical complex in Beaver County.

The company has been mulling a cracker plant to turn ethane found in Appalachian shales into a building block for chemicals since 2012. Although it has spent millions of dollars in property acquisitions in Beaver County and funded the demolition of the former Horsehead Holdings Corp. zinc smelter, Shell has yet to make its final decision to build.

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JPMorgan UK Strategic Growth fund sells Shell

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By Eleanor Lawrie

The JPMorgan UK Strategic Growth fund has sold out of Royal Dutch Shell as the oil and gas sector is hit by weak prices and disappointing earnings.

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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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Shell returns to Unalaska with first of fleet arriving

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June 19th 3:57 pm | Jim Paulin

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Most of Shell’s ocean-going fleet will be anchored offshore, while laying over in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, before departing to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean; …the Shell fleet includes two drill rigs, and another 25 vessels for supplying the rigs and for oil spill response.

Shell is back in Unalaska, and trying to be a good neighbor in by not inconveniencing air travelers at the local airport. That’s why Shell has a separate boarding and security area, constructed at the local airport, to accommodate oil company passengers flying on chartered Ravn Alaska flights, according to Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino.

The charter flights were put in place so Shell employees did not take up too many seats on the daily Alaska Airline flights operated with small Pen Air commuter planes.

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Shell’s blowout response tests hailed a success

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Written by Keith Findlay – 19/06/2015 5:02 pm

Royal Dutch Shell has successfully used and tested emergency equipment meant to respond to a well blowout in the Arctic Ocean, US regulators said today.

Officials with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oversaw exercises, carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state.

They focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.

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Former Shell worker says rush to prepare for Arctic drilling resulted in unsafe conditions

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By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press JUNE 19, 2015

SEATTLE — A woman who was permanently injured while working on one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support ships has sued, saying the company compromised safety in its rush to drill for oil.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday by Anita Hanks said Shell and its contractor maintained dangerous work conditions on the Arctic Challenger as it prepared to drill in the Arctic in 2012. The oil spill containment vessel is part of Shell’s drilling fleet. It was docked in Bellingham at the time of an accident.

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Government hides fears over Shell’s Arctic spill safety

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Government hides fears over Shell’s Arctic spill safety

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk: 19 June 2015

As Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig sails from Seattle into the north Pacific, Christine Ottery discovers that US federal regulators had serious concerns about the company’s safety equipment designed to contain any oil spill.

A US government department hid its concerns about Shell’s test of its containment dome system, which would be deployed if there was an oil well blowout.

Earlier this year, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said that the March 2015 test of the dome in the waters of Puget Sound, off the Washington coast, was “successful”.

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Shell starts moving fleet north for Chukchi drilling; permits slot into place

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15The season approaches: Shell starts moving fleet north for Chukchi drilling; permits slot into place

Alan Bailey: Petroleum News: Week of June 21, 2015

Elements of Shell’s Chukchi Sea fleet are on the move, heading north in preparation for drilling during this season’s Arctic open water season.

The barge Arctic Challenger, holding Shell’s Arctic oil containment system, a part of the company’s oil spill response capability, arrived in the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor on June 14, Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino told Petroleum News in a June 16 email. The semi-submersible drilling platform Transocean Polar Pioneer is en route for Alaska, having left Seattle on the U.S. West Coast at around 6 a.m. on June 15, Baldino said. Shell’s other drilling vessel, the Noble Discoverer, remains at the Port of Everett to continue its load out, she said.

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Former Shell Worker Cites Unsafe Conditions on Oil Ship

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 09.05.39Former Shell Worker Cites Unsafe Conditions on Oil Ship

SEATTLE — Jun 19, 2015, 3:07 PM ET

By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press

A woman who was injured while working on one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support ships has filed a federal lawsuit saying the company compromised safety in its rush to drill for oil.

Anita Hanks says Shell maintained dangerous work conditions on the Arctic Challenger as it prepared to drill in the Arctic in 2012.

The oil spill containment vessel is part of Shell’s drilling fleet. It was docked in Bellingham at the time of an accident.

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Juneau Protesters Rally Against Shell’s Arctic Plans

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Juneau Protesters Rally Against Shell’s Arctic Plans

By Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau | June 18, 2015

A crowd of about 40 gathered in the drizzling rain outside Juneau’s federal building this afternoon to protest Royal Dutch Shell’s oil rig, the Polar Pioneer. The vessel left Seattle on Monday after weeks of public outcry.

Alaska Climate Action Network organizer Elaine Schroder is passing out a rainbow of signs to people arriving at the rally. Handwritten slogans in splashes of yellow and blue.

“Let’s take a look at them,” she says. “This says ‘Alaska moms for a renewable future: there is no creature more dangerous than a mother bear protecting her cubs’ so that’s one of our more adorable signs. ”

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Shell Oil Foots Bill for Environmental Disaster Greenpeace Created Protesting Shell Oil

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Emily Zanotti on 6.18.15 

A group of Greenpeace “kayaktivists” took to the waters of the Puget Sound a few short weeks ago in an attempt to stop the Polar Pioneer, Shell Oil’s newest Arctic drilling rig, from taking a breather in port on its way up to Alaska. They were ultimately thwarted by the Coast Guard’s concern for their safety and Shell Oil’s determination to continue on its mission, and just a few short days ago, the last kayaks finally pulled back.

Little did we know, as they left, Heartland’s story on Greenpeace’s hypocritical opposition to Arctic drilling – they get plenty of funding from their own team of petroleum profiteers – wasn’t the end of coverage of the odd ironies of #ShellNo. As Greenpeace pulled away, they left behind an environmental disaster, littering a popular dive site and rolling over a marine wildlife habitat, causing around $10,000 in damage to a protected locale, and angering local environmental groups who had been working to save the natural resource and its inhabitants.

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Feds say Shell completed test for blow-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Feds say Shell completed test for blow-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

Posted on June 18, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell employees and contractors successfully deployed and tested emergency equipment meant to respond to a blown-out well in the Arctic Ocean, federal regulators said Thursday.

The exercises, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state, focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.

Officials with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oversaw the deployment of the equipment Tuesday in waters slightly deeper than Shell’s proposed drilling sites in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska. Specifically, they watched as workers maneuvered the capping stack up and off the rear deck of the MV Fennica and 150 feet below the surface of the water.

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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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Can You Really – Really – Be Sure Of Shell?

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By Owain Bennallack – Thursday, 18 June, 2015

Making glib comments about the flaws of tracker funds – or even more so the foolishness of those who invest in them – is a mug’s game. 

The evidence shows that over the long term, tracker funds beat most actively managed ones, not least because of the far higher costs of keeping a fund manager in Ferraris, versus plugging an old PC into the mains and dusting it now and then. 

Okay, I exaggerate… but only a little. 

However strange it may seem, warts-and-all tracker funds holding a seemingly sub-optimal mix of shares tend to beat the majority of carefully chosen portfolios – even though a fund manager is free to avoid the basket cases and double-down on the good companies that seem cheap. 

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Greenpeace protesters confront Shell Arctic drilling rig off B.C. coast

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Greenpeace protesters confront Shell Arctic drilling rig off B.C. coast

Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig left Seattle Monday en route to offshore oil drilling in Alaska

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Protests against Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program continued Wednesday, with Greenpeace activists confronting the drilling rig off the coast of B.C. on its trip north from Seattle, Wash.

First Nations activist Audrey Siegl, who lives in Vancouver, wore traditional Musqueam regalia while drumming in front of the 90-metre tall rig, according to photos and video provided by Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace video also showed swimmers in wetsuits, holding a protest sign that said “People vs. Oil,” appearing close to the massive rig as it kept plowing through water about 40 nautical miles west of Vancouver Island.

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Shell-led Canadian LNG deal gets environmental approvals

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell-led Canadian LNG deal gets environmental approvals

Thursday Jun 18, 2015

By Julie Gordon

(Reuters) – Canada’s environment ministry said on Wednesday it approved a Royal Dutch Shell Plc-led liquefied natural gas export terminal on British Columbia’s coast, contingent on the project meeting 50 environmental, social and operational conditions.

In her decision, federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq concluded that the effects of the proposed LNG Canada project “are justified in the circumstances.”

She said the project would create thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

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Shell Cleared For Exploration Off Nova Scotia

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15By Andy TullyPosted on Wed, 17 June 2015

Shell Canada Ltd. is ready to begin exploratory drilling off the coast of Nova Scotia now that it has received conditional approval for the project from the country’s environmental minister.

Canada’s Environmental Assessment Agency issued the decision the night of June 15 after the environmental minister, Leona Aglukkaq, found that the project in the Shelburne Basin, 125 miles south of Nova Scotia’s southwestern coast, would not have a major impact on the local environment.

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Low oil price hits $200 billion in mega-projects

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Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 21.10.55* Ernst and Young say more project delays likely

* Say at least 24 projects worth more than $1 bln put on ice

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) – Deepwater oil projects and complex gas facilities worth around $200 billion have been cancelled or put on hold worldwide in recent months due to the sharp drop in oil prices over the past year, consultancy Ernst and Young said on Tuesday.

Further project cuts and delays are likely as the industry braces for an extended period of lower oil prices as a result of a supply glut.

“The mind set in the industry at the moment is that prices are unlikely to be bouncing up materially in the near term,” the consultancy’s Andy Brogan said in a presentation. “There is an expectation that volatility is with us for a reasonable period of time to come and companies need to cope with that.”

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Shell Arctic Drill Rig Confronted at Sea by Indigenous Activists and Greenpeace Canada

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Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 22.51.53Press release from Greenpeace

June 17, 2015 – 4:51pm – By The Arctic Journal

Indigenous artist and activist Audrey Siegl today approached the 300-foot-tall Polar Pioneer drill rig in an inflatable boat launched from the MY Esperanza, while two Greenpeace Canada swimmers spread out in the water behind her to put their bodies in the way of the rig heading to the Arctic to drill for oil.

Siegl, dressed in the traditional regalia of the Musqueam people, stood at the front of the inflatable boat with her drum and feather out in front of her, signaling the Polar Pioneer to stop. Speaking from the action, she said:

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Judge Likens Shell Oil Rig Boarding to Piracy

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 08.37.01Article by PHILIP A. JANQUART published by Courthouse News Service, Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Judge Likens Shell Oil Rig Boarding to Piracy

(CN) – A federal judge refused to dismiss Shell Offshore’s lawsuit accusing Greenpeace protestors of illegally boarding its Alaska-bound oil rig on the high seas.

The protestors, including lone U.S. citizen Aliya Field, used inflatable boats launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza to chase down and scale Shell’s transport vessel the Blue Marlin, and chaining themselves to the oil rig Polar Pioneer.

They boarded the ship on April 5 to protest Shell’s Arctic exploration drilling this summer in the Chukchi Sea about 75 miles northwest of Alaska.

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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 Arctic Approval Near as Regulator Sees No Show Stopper

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.26.53Bloomberg.com article by Mark Drajem published 16 June 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has received U.S. permission to disturb marine mammals as part of its plan to resume oil exploration off Alaska’s Arctic coast as it neared final sign-off from regulators to drill this summer.

The last step in the process, approval of a specific drilling plan from the Interior Department, could come soon, clearing the way for Shell to resume operations that were halted after offshore mishaps in 2012. The Arctic exploration season begins on July 15.

“There is nothing to indicate any show stoppers” in Shell’s application, said Brian Salerno, the director of the Interior Department’s offshore safety bureau. The back-and-forth between the company and regulators “are proceeding,” he told reporters Tuesday after testifying to Congress about Arctic issues.

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Shell-led B.C. LNG project nears environmental approval

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Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 07.59.01BRENT JANG: KITIMAT, B.C. — The Globe and Mail: Published Tuesday, Jun. 16, 2015: Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2015

Shell and BG Group PLC announced plans in April to merge, sparking speculation that the combined entity will focus on Kitimat while placing BG’s Prince Rupert LNG project on the back burner.

A liquefied natural gas consortium led by Royal Dutch Shell PLC is expected to receive B.C. environmental approval within days as the group positions itself to be one of the first LNG exporters in the province.

LNG Canada’s plans to export from Kitimat are being reviewed by two B.C. cabinet ministers, who are slated to announce by Monday whether they will grant a provincial environmental assessment certificate.

LNG Canada, backed by Shell and three Asian partners, submitted its environmental assessment application last November to the provincial regulator. The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office referred the file in early May to Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman and Environment Minister Mary Polak.

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