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Shell’s Arctic Drilling Adventure Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

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By Rebecca Leber: 15 July 2015

This month may mark the end of a decade-long saga that’s highlighted the lengths to which oil companies will go to drill in the Arctic—and the huge risks such endeavors entail.

If everything goes according to plan, Royal Dutch Shell will soon bury its first drill bit into the Arctic seabed since 2012. The exploration project, which began in 2005, has faced numerous setbacks—logistical issues, expensive equipment repairs, regulatory hurdles, environmental challenges. To date, Shell has sunk more than $7 billion into this hunt for oil and natural gas, and even if successful, it won’t see anything resembling financial success for more than a decade. But if it hits the substantial deposit of oil it believes to be under the Chukchi Sea, the payoff could be enormous.

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Environmentalists insist feds must block Shell’s Arctic drilling while icebreaker is away

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Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 21.06.27By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 15 July 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration cannot allow Shell to launch exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean — even initial site preparation — without the company’s two contracted icebreakers on site, environmentalists argue.

One of those icebreakers, the MSV Fennica, is headed to Oregon for repairs after its hull was gouged July 3, and it could be weeks before it is able to patrol the waters around Shell’s drilling site in the Chukchi Sea.

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We are engaged, Shell says after Iranian deal

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“Shell continues to comply with all relevant international sanctions”

By Daniel J. Graeber

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, July 14 (UPI) — With a nuclear deal in hand, Royal Dutch Shell said Tuesday it’s exploring the “immediate and long-term” implication of an opening Iranian oil door.

Representatives from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany and Iran announced the signing of a breakthrough agreement that pulls Iran back from the brink of developing a nuclear weapons program in exchange for sweeping and staged relief from economic sanctions.

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Shell to drop ‘Oil’ from its name? Um, no.

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By Tony Dokoupil: 15 July 2015

It seemed like a hopeful sign of the times: News that Shell Oil might soon drop the word “oil” from its name. British Petroleum made a similar move not long ago, rechristening itself as BP, a company with a vision “beyond petroleum.”

But alas, Shell is not changing its name. “We are not,” Shell spokesperson Curtis Smith told msnbc in a brief statement, the company’s first definitive denial of the rumor.   

As if to prove the point, Shell Oil—the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s biggest oil company—is right now amassing a multi-billion dollar team in Alaska. In the days to come, it plans to drill in the icy waters offshore, opening the largest untapped oil reserve on the planet. While in the area, it will not be putting up solar panels and praying to the sun gods.

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Here’s How Shell Can Restart Its Tar Sands Projects In Canada

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Exploring for new oil has now become a difficult task for the oil majors. Oil and gas are now mostly situated in the deep-waters, Canadian tar sands and the Arctic waters where the cost of exploration and production is very high. These high costs coupled with the lower crude oil prices make the task difficult for oil companies.

Crude oil prices last week fell again following claims by Iran to double its production if a nuclear deal was reached. The US benchmark for crude oil, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) which had gone high at $60 per barrel, has plunged again to less than $45 per barrel.

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George Clooney and Greenpeace take aim at Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 22.41.20Written by Rita Brown – 13/07/2015 7:55 am

George Clooney is leading a star-studded line-up in the latest round with Shell over plans for its Arctic drilling.

The Hollywood megastar has closed ranks with Dame Judie Dench, Jerry Hall, Chris Martin, Kate Moss and Peter Capaldi for a T-shirt campaign designed by Vivienne Westwood for Greenpeace. The images, which sport the slogan “Save the Arctic”, will be unveiled today at the London’s Waterloo station.

A total of 60 celebrities have lent their PR prowess to the campaign.

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Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support vessel will go to Oregon for repair

Shell’s damaged Arctic drilling support vessel will go to Oregon for repair

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Dan Joling | Associated Press: July 13, 2015

Shell oil company will send a damaged ship carrying equipment required for Arctic offshore oil drilling from Alaska back to the West Coast for repairs.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC ‘s drilling schedule for two exploratory wells this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast, however, shouldn’t be delayed by maintenance work on the 380-foot icebreaker Fennica, spokesman Curtis Smith said Monday.

“We do not anticipate any impact to the (drilling) season as we do not require the vessel until August,” Smith said.

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Birds illegally and cruelly killed at Shell station in Norway

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It appears that a Shell employee in Norway has been filmed illegally killing and maltreating birds and the matter is pursued by NOAH, the Norwegian animal rights organization. 

NOAH was tipped off about the movie clip which shows violations of the Animal Welfare Act and the draft Act, writes NOAH in a statement.

NOAH has identified distinct offenses and serious animal cruelty. A man is seen in the film clip walking around with the handle of a rake poking and in all probability, killing fledgling gulls on the forecourt canopy.

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Stand down, Greenpeace; Shell can sabotage Arctic drilling just fine on its own

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22The most powerful argument against Shell in the Arctic is Shell in the Arctic.

Shannyn MooreJuly 11, 2015

Shell Oil is going to save the Arctic from oil drilling.

That’s not to dismiss the efforts of environmental activists organizing “Shell No” gatherings or chaining themselves to a drilling rig to protest Arctic oil exploration. I share their fears of what could go wrong in the fragile ocean.

The administration of our uber-liberal, socialist, Muslim president doesn’t seem to think there’s any chance of a blowout under ice. It has greased Shell’s wheels all along the way (because Obama’s so anti-oil, you know).

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Celebrities get shirty to freeze Shell out of Arctic

Article published by The Sunday Times

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 09.05.35Extract from article by Gareth Rubin Published 12 July 2015

DAME Judi Dench, George Clooney, Kate Moss and Peter Capaldi are among 60 celebrities lending their faces to a campaign to shame Shell over its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

They have been photographed in a T-shirt designed by Vivienne Westwood for Greenpeace bearing the slogan “Save the Arctic”. The photographs will form an exhibition to be unveiled tomorrow at the London Underground station serving Shell’s headquarters in Britain.

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Royal Dutch Shell plc Confirms Deal With Morgan Stanley: Shares Up 2%

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Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) plans to establish a strong footing in the natural gas sector. In April 2015, the company finalized its $70-billion deal with BG Group plc (OTCMKTS:BRGYY). If approved by the regulatory authorities, the merger will give Shell access to BG Group’s valuable assets in Brazil and several other countries.

According to Reuters, Shell has purchased the European gas and power trading book from Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). The acquisition is expected to help the company achieve a strong footing in gas industry. In addition to the BG deal, the company is also colluding with Russia’s Gazprom OAO (OTCMKTS:OGZPY). Currently, Gazprom is considered the world’s top gas producer.

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Shell’s vessel Fennica took short cut through shallow water?

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22Shell’s vessel Fennica took short cut through shallow water?

Damaged Arctic icebreaker’s route questioned

Posted on July 10, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — New marine tracking data shows a Shell-contracted icebreaker may have crossed through shallow waters that offered little clearance between the vessel’s bottom and the ocean floor before a 3-foot hole was discovered in its hull.

The Automatic Identification System data — location information captured every minute from the MSV Fennica — shows its July 3 route away from the Alaska Port of Dutch Harbor before a leak identified by a marine pilot and other crew onboard the icebreaker forced it to turn back.

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Trial shown footage of protesters at Shell compound

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Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 13.17.38Footage appeared to show some protesters and security officers involved in scuffles

The jury in the trial of two Shell protesters were shown video footage of the protest where up to 70 protesters entered a Shell compound in north Mayo.

The video footage was captured by CCTV at the compound and by security officers policing the site when the protesters entered the Shell compound at Aughoose, Pollathomas in Co Mayo on June 23rd, 2013.

Gerry Bourke of Aughoose, Pollathomas Co Mayo and Liam Heffernan of Kilnagear, Belcarra, Castlebar, Co Mayo are on trial in Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court both charged with violent disorder and criminal damage as a result of the protest.

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Approval requested for repairs to icebreaker in Shell’s Arctic quest

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Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 21.06.27By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 9 July 2015

WASHINGTON – Shell is making plans to repair an icebreaker that plays a pivotal role in its Arctic drilling program, even as clues emerged Thursday about what might have torn a meter-long gash in the vessel.

Arctia Offshore, the owner of the Shell-contracted MSV Fennica, has asked the U.S. Coast Guard to approve plans for sealing the hole in the ship’s hull. As of late Thursday, a final ruling had not been made.

But there was new information on what might have gouged the vessel as it traveled away from the Alaska port of Dutch Harbor on July 3.

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Shell U.S. Unit May Drop ‘Oil’ From Name in Sign of Times

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by Gerrit De Vynck: 9 July 2015

The U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc may soon drop the word “oil” from its name in a move that would symbolize its transition to other sources of energy, an executive said.

With Shell Oil Co.’s parent focusing more on natural gas and looking at other energy alternatives, the oil in the name “is a little old-fashioned, I’d say, and at one point we’ll probably do something about that,” Marvin Odum, director of the company’s upstream Americas business, said Thursday at the Toronto Global Forum.

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Oil price: five reasons why oil has re-entered a bear market

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Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 21.10.55The oil price has fallen by more than a fifth since it hit a year-high of $69.63 a barrel in May

Jul 8, 2015

Oil re-entered a bear market yesterday as the price for Brent Crude, the international benchmark, recorded its largest one-day loss since February.

On Monday, the oil price fell by six per cent and it has continued to dwindle, reaching $55.40 a barrel at around 8am BST today. The price of Brent has now fallen by more than a fifth since it hit a year-high of $69.63 a barrel in May. Bear markets are commonly defined as occurring when prices fall 20 per cent from their peak.

So what is causing the slide?

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City manager says repairs underway on vessel

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City manager says repairs underway on vessel

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22BY TIM BRADNER, ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE

Shell is being cautious on whether damage to an ice-handling vessel near Dutch Harbor will affect the company’s 2015 Chukchi Sea exploration. The 380-foot Fennica hit a submerged object, possibly World War II debris, while departing July 3 and was returned to port.

“Repairs may be possible on site (in Dutch Harbor) but that’s still being determined,” Shell spokesman Luke Miller said.

However, Unalaska city manager Don Moore said that the damage can be repaired by a local firm, Resolve Magone Marine Service, and that work has already started on the Fennica at the company’s dock.

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Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years

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Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years

Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent

Last modified on Thursday 9 July 2015 

ExxonMobil, the world’s biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change – seven years before it became a public issue, according to a newly discovered email from one of the firm’s own scientists. Despite this the firm spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial.

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Following Explosion, Shell Moerdijk Criticised by Dutch Safety Board

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell has therefore not fulfilled the high expectations of safety management within the company.

Shell Moerdijk should be more critical of security risks in the company.

Thus concludes the Safety Board in a report on the explosion at the company’s plant on June 3 last year, which was published Thursday.

“Shell was not aware of the chemical reaction that eventually led to an explosion,” according to the study.

”As a result, employees were not able to intervene in time. Especially in the implementation of changes in production processes, equipment and raw materials the company must do better to consider new risks that arise here.”

According to Shell the explosion resulted from pressure in the reactor of the plant.This was in one of the factories where the raw materials for the production of plastics are produced.

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Brazil clears Shell’s $70 bln purchase of BG

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Brazil clears Shell’s $70 bln purchase of BG

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By Ron Bousso and Stephen Eisenhammer

(Reuters) – Brazil gave the green light to oil major Royal Dutch Shell to buy smaller rival BG, advancing the $70 billion merger — the largest of the past decade — closer to completion in early 2016.

Shell is set to become the largest foreign operator offshore Brazil after it buys BG, so the clearance from the country was a crucial step to complete the merger on time.

Brazil’s competition authority CADE said on Wednesday it had given preliminary approval to the transaction “without restrictions.” BG said that if no appeals were lodged or referrals made in the next 15 days, CADE’s clearance would become final. A spokesman for Shell confirmed the approval and the 15-day appeals period.

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Icebreaker key to Shell’s Arctic drilling program damaged, returns to port

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Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 13.24.59Alex DeMarbanAlaska Dispatch News: July 7, 2015

In another hurdle for Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic drilling program, an ice-handling vessel playing a key role in the operation has returned to Dutch Harbor after a gash was discovered in its hull.

The Fennica, a 380-foot Finnish vessel, was damaged Friday as it headed for the drilling grounds in the Chukchi Sea off the northwest Alaska coast, with a state-certified marine harbor pilot on board handling it. The vessel is one of 29 Shell plans to send to the area this summer. 

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Shell Arctic Screw Part 2: Fennica Mishap, Negligence or Torpedoed by Greenpeace?

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Shell Arctic Screw Part 2: Fennica Mishap, Negligence, or Torpedoed by Greenpeace?


The significance of the damage to the Fennica is made clear in the article below. It is carrying the “Capping Stack” which is required in order for drilling to proceed. A capping stack is an auxiliary blow out preventer (BOP) system which can be installed if a blow out occurs and the drilling blow out preventer is disabled for any reason. A capping stack was used to finally shut in BP’s Macondo blow out. 


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As can be seen from the Irish Times article printed below, an Irish Shell manager was cross-examined under oath yesterday in court, about the free Shell alcohol used to reward Irish cops for their services (brutalising protesters) 

By John Donovan

The Irish Police (the Garda) are currently investigating allegations of harassment by recipients of bribes made on behalf of Shell by its then “Mr Fixit” company, OSSL.

The directors of OSSL are the subjects of the investigation, which the Garda warns may result in criminal charges.

I note that the recipients of the bribes are not suing for defamation on the grounds that the bribery allegations are untrue, but instead are complaining bitterly about being constantly reminded by OSSL that they caved in to Shell corruption. They accepted valuable gifts to smooth the path of the troubled Corrib project. 

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Shell’s ice management vessel damaged in Alaska

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Wed Jul 8, 2015 12:46am IST

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s icebreaker vessel Fennica returned to the Dutch Harbor in Alaska with a small breech in the hull, raising concerns about the company’s plan to resume drilling in the Arctic later this month.

Shell said in June it plans to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week of July after a conditional approval by the United States.

“Any impact to our season will ultimately depend on the extent of the repair,” spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh said in an e-mail to Reuters.

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Hull damage forces Shell Arctic support ship in for repairs

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22BY MARK THIESSEN: Associated Press: July 7, 2015

An icebreaker carrying a key piece of equipment for Arctic drilling planned by Royal Dutch Shell off the northern coast of Alaska was forced to return to dock after a hole more than three feet long was discovered in its hull, the company said Tuesday.

It was unclear if the mishap would delay Shell’s plan for drilling this summer.

The crew of the Fennica discovered the leak in a ballast tank on Friday as the ship was leaving the channel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on its way to the Arctic, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The company had not determined if repairs can be made to the breach measuring about 39 inches long and a half-inch wide while the ship remains in Dutch Harbor or if it will have to go to drydock for the work.

Smith said bad weather had kept Shell from getting an inspector to Dutch Harbor for almost two days.

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Shell’s Arctic icebreaker damaged in Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 7 July 2015

WASHINGTON — Shell’s drive to resume Arctic drilling this summer has hit another speed bump, with the discovery of a hole in the hull of an ice management vessel meant to safeguard the company’s operations in the Chukchi Sea.

The MSV Fennica was on its way from Dutch Harbor, Alaska to the Chukchi Sea on Friday when a ballast tank leak was discovered by crew members and a certified Alaska marine harbor pilot on board the vessel.

The 22-year-old icebreaker has since returned to the port in Dutch Harbor and is being examined by marine experts, but it is uncertain how quickly the breach in its hull can be repaired and whether this will delay Shell’s hopes to begin drilling an oil well in the Chukchi Sea later this month.

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ExxonMobil Indonesian Villagers Human Rights Abuse Case to Proceed in Federal Court

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 16.09.32ExxonMobil Indonesian Villagers Human Rights Abuse Case to Proceed in Federal Court

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 14.58.54In the interim, in 2010, the Supreme Court restricted the types of claims that could be heard under the Alien Tort Statute in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, a case involving allegations of human rights abuses by Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria.

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a significant victory for families of Indonesian citizens who were killed or abused by security personnel hired by Exxon Mobil Corporation, a Federal court has ruled the Alien Tort Statute claims against Exxon Mobil for human rights violations can proceed. Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC serves as counsel for the plaintiffs.

In an opinion issued on July 6, Judge Royce C. Lamberth, of the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, held that the plaintiffs’ claims sufficiently “touch and concern” the United States to satisfy the test recently set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum for when suits arising out of injuries inflicted overseas can be heard in U.S. courts.

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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.”

July 7, 2015, 2:33 p.m. | Ukraine — by Pablo Gabilondo

A mixture of Big Oil and big politics could ultimately stymie any attempts to bring to justice those responsible for the downing of
over Ukraine last year, the author of a new book on the tragedy believes.

But Jaroslav Koshiw, a former Kyiv Post editor who lives in the United Kingdom, says the world should still recognize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the person ultimately responsible for the downing of the plane, killing all 298 passengers on board.

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Shell cleared to lift Brent Delta topside in one go

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 20.32.37Worlds biggest ship, Pioneering Spirit, formerly a Nazi named vessel, the Pieter Schelte, is cleared to lift Brent Delta topside in one go

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Oil giant Shell is to press ahead with plans to remove the topside of the Brent Delta platform in a single lift after its decommissioning project was cleared by the UK government.

Shell will use a heavy-lift vessel to remove the 24,200-tonne structure once preparations have been completed.

Work has already started on strengthening the topside in anticipation of a 2016 lift.

UK ministers cleared the project following a 30-day public consultation.

The lift will be carried out by the Korean-built vessel Pioneering Spirit after “thorough preparations and weather assessments”, Shell said.

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Not Deterred By Huge Risks, Shell Opts For Megaprojects

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It is curious then that Royal Dutch Shell is not ready to give up on the huge complex oil project. It is only a few weeks away from starting to drill in the Chukchi Sea, a campaign that has cost the company somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion so far, with very little results to show for its troubles. Shell is committing another $1 billion this year, and it appears that it will only be able to drill one well.

By Nick Cunningham: 6 July 2015

U.S. shale has offered the oil industry a business model that is different from conventional drilling of the past.

High initial decline rates, especially compared to conventional wells, requires companies to continuously drill to keep up production. But with lower upfront costs and shorter ramp up times, shale drilling is arguably less risky than a multibillion-dollar megaproject that the oil majors had become accustomed to over the past decade. And in a period in which prices are relatively weak, shale could allow exploration companies to increase drilling or throttle back depending on market conditions, providing a degree of flexibility over conventional drilling that often has longer lead times.

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In the Race to Control the Arctic, the U.S. Lags Behind

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It was just after Christmas 2012, and the Kulluk, a 250-foot-high, floating oil-drill rig, swung like a metronome in gale-force winds blowing through the Gulf of Alaska. The tug that had been towing the rig bobbed helplessly in 50-foot waves, her four diesel engines flooded with seawater as the rig’s skeleton crew of 18 drifted toward a barrier island. If the Kulluk hit, it might split open, spilling 143,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 12,000 gallons of hazardous fluids into the waters.

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Shell set to begin Arctic oil drilling within two weeks

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Environmentalists took to kayaks to protest Shell’s Arctic exploration plans (Source: Getty)

by Clara Guibourg: 6 July 2015

Oil giant Shell is set to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic within the next two weeks, as 30 ships have left Alaskan harbours towards two exploratory wells.

The Arctic is one of the planet’s most oil and gas-rich places, and the company’s oil exploration was given the go-ahead by the US Department of Interior in May.

Although environmentalists oppose the controversial project, Shell says oil can be extracted safely from the area.

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World’s Largest Turret Mooring Ready for Prelude

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By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-05 

Drydocks World has marked a major milestone by completing the world’s largest turret mooring system.

At almost 100 meters high, weighing over 11,000 tons and with a diameter of 26 meters, the turret will ensure Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. 

The FLNG will be stationed in the Prelude gas field off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be Shell’s first FLNG deployment. The technology allows for the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea, as well as the ability to process and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

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Shell Kicks off Grassroots Campaign against Crude Oil Theft in Ogoniland

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has kicked off the second phase of its grassroots campaign against crude oil theft and illegal oil refining activities in Ogoni land, Rivers State. The first phase of the campaign in 2014 reached over 7,000 community people from Eleme, Gokana, Khana, and Tai Local Government Areas.

“The 2015 campaign is targeted at Ogoni youths for whom we have designed some alternative empowerment programmes such as the ‘Ogoni LIVEwire’ which in January trained 105 Ogoni youths in different skills and offered them start-up funds and support,” the Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said.

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Logistics and Lizards Disrupt Chevron’s Project Off Australia

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Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 13.26.18Chevron agreed to share the cost with Exxon Mobil, Shell and three Japanese power companies, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric Power. “This is probably the last of the megaprojects for the oil companies for a while…”


SYDNEY, Australia — Getting anything to Chevron’s gas-processing plant on Barrow Island is a bit of a trick.

Some supplies travel 15 hours from Perth to a supply base for shipping. En route, trucks cannot stop under trees, to avoid picking up bugs and bird droppings. When people and cargo finally make it to the island, an army of 300 enforces a quarantine: Every Velcro strap on clothing and bags is checked for seed pods, boots are scrubbed free of dirt and pants with cuffs never even make it ashore.

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Shell embarks on controversial Arctic exploration programme as part of £4.5bn quest for oil

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Shell has kicked off its controversial Arctic exploration programme as part of a £4.5billion search for oil under the region’s freezing, pristine seas.

After being forced to embarrassingly abandon its plans in 2012 and pulling out after finding gas in the 1990s, Shell’s convoy of 30 boats and associated craft set sail from Alaska’s Dutch Harbor. The plan is to drill two wells this summer – as soon as the ice clears.

But if its initial wells do not strike oil, Shell could pull out of the programme and walk away. By the end of the summer it will have spent £4.5billion on the programme and will have to spend another £700million in next year’s search.

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Shell Arctic oil drilling to commence within weeks

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…if the initial wells do not find oil, Shell will contemplate walking away from the region entirely.Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 19.45.22

By Richard Anderson: Business reporter, BBC News: 3 July 2015

Oil and gas giant Shell is expected to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic within the next two weeks.

Thirty ships left Dutch Harbor in Alaska on Thursday for the Arctic to support two initial exploratory wells.

The company has already committed about $7bn (£4.5bn) to the controversial project, and is confident it will find huge quantities of oil in the region.

But if the initial wells do not find oil, Shell will contemplate walking away from the region entirely.

The US Department of the Interior gave the green light to Shell to commence Arctic oil exploration in May this year, and the Anglo-Dutch group clearly believes it will get the remaining necessary permits in the next week or two.

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EPA turns down oral hearing request on Corrib gas project licence

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EPA turns down oral hearing request on Corrib gas project licence

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Lorna Siggins: Friday, 3 July 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has turned down requests for an oral hearing into a revised licence sought by Shell E&P Ireland for the Corrib gas project in north Mayo.

The revised licence covering atmospheric and marine emissions from the Corrib gas refinery is one of the last State authorisations required before the project becomes fully operational.

Shell had received its original EPA licence in 2007, but sought a review after it agreed to a demand by Erris fishermen that “treated produced water” from the refinery be discharged out at the well head, rather than some 12 km offshore.

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Shell awards contracts for its $40bn Browse project

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Written by Rita Brown – 03/07/2015

Shell has awarded the Technip Samsung Consortium two contracts for its $40billion natural gas project in Australia.

Shell’s Browse project covers the installation of three FLNG units to develop the Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields in the Browse Basin.

Shell, which has a 27% interest in the scheme, will use its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) technology to leveraging the site’s 15.4 trillion-cubic-feet of gas.

The Technip Samsung Consortium will manage the front-end engineering design (FEED) elements of the Browse FLNG project, taking into account the composition of the gas, local weather conditions and factors specific to each of the three fields.

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After Settlement, Relief at a Diminished BP

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LONDON — BP’s future no longer has a giant cloud ahead. But it will take years, if not decades, for the company to approach its size of five years ago, before the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Since the 2010 blowout of the Macondo well killed 11 rig workers and dumped millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has vigorously fought in court and on American television to salvage its image and minimize the costs. But in preparation for a settlement to resolve legal wrangling over economic and environmental damages, in which it eventually agreed to pay $18.7 billion, the British-based company also had pruned its global operations to save itself.

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