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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-16-34-00 By The Motley Fool  Dec 5, 2016

Today I’m looking at the critical reasons to sell out of Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB).

A drop in the ocean

The oil sector’s major players breathed a huge sigh of relief last week after OPEC — responsible for four-tenths of the world’s oil supply — confounded the expectations of many and agreed to cut its output.

Saudi Arabia brokered a deal that will see production fall by 1.2m barrels per day, to 32.5m barrels beginning in January. The news prompted Brent oil to top the $55 per barrel marker for the first time since the summer of 2016.

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Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war

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By Catherine Ngai and Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK/HOUSTON In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.

Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group’s ability to boost prices. OPEC ministers meet Wednesday to weigh output cuts to end a two-year glut that has pressured global oil prices.

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OPEC agrees first output cut since 2008, Saudis to take ‘big hit’

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By Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler and Rania El Gamal | VIENNA

OPEC has agreed its first limit on oil output since 2008, sources in the producer group told Reuters, with Saudi Arabia accepting “a big hit” on its production and agreeing to arch-rival Iran freezing output at pre-sanctions levels.

Brent crude futures jumped 8 percent to more than $50 a barrel after Riyadh signaled it had finally reached a compromise with Iran after insisting in recent weeks that Tehran fully participate in any cut.

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Not dead yet

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By Ed Crooks: November 19, 2016

The last rites have been read over the Age of Oil a few times recently, but this week the International Energy Agency suggested there was still plenty of life left in it yet.

In its 2016 World Energy Outlook, the IEA argued that even if the Paris climate agreement were fully implemented, demand for oil would keep rising until at least 2040.

The message was reassuring for oil producers worried that “peak demand” might condemn them to stagnation or decline, or even put them out of business. There was colder comfort, however, in a warning from Wood Mackenzie that big oil companies risked being left behind in the transition to low-carbon energy.

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Idemitsu founding family crosses a line with the Saudis

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HIROFUMI MATSUO, Nikkei senior staff writer

TOKYO — Idemitsu Kosan‘s founding family is treading on treacherous ground as it attempts to block a planned merger with Showa Shell Sekiyu.

The family’s opposition to the deal, struck last November, has baffled the rest of the Japanese oil industry and apparently riled Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. The future of Japan’s second-largest oil distributor hangs in the balance. 

Speculation about Saudi anger has swirled in the Japanese oil sector since the family’s stance came to light in late June. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., better known as Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, is Showa Shell’s No. 2 shareholder, after Royal Dutch Shell. The Saudi company intends to retain a stake in the new entity created through the Idemitsu-Showa Shell merger. Under the proposal, Idemitsu would buy Showa Shell shares held by Royal Dutch Shell.

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How the Breakup of Motiva Will Help Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) and Saudi Aramco

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By Staff Writer on Jul 5, 2016 at 9:04 am EST

Earlier in March, Saudi Aramco’s subsidiary, Saudi Refining, Inc (SRI) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), announced to dissolve their fuel partnership, Motiva Enterprise. Due to contradictory interests, both the entities signed a letter of intent (LOI), showing the division of assets held under joint venture (JV).

However, the disbanded venture has stuck another blow as Shell is seeking up to $2 billion as a part of breakup from its giant refining enterprise. The hefty compensation is due to Saudi Aramco’s retention of a larger stake in the venture for almost two decades.

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The new oil order

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Apr 23rd 2016

FOR generations, oil and stability have gone hand in hand in Saudi Arabia. The puritanically conservative kingdom has used its oil wealth to buy loyalty at home and friends abroad. But since King Salman came to the throne last year, his 30-year-old son, Muhammad, has injected unpredictability into the Middle East.

Critics consider the deputy crown prince a hothead, whose dangerous obsession with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival, is feeding sectarianism and fraying relations with America. At home, though, the impetuousness of Muhammad bin Salman may be just what Saudi Arabia needs to start weaning itself off oil, the price of which has fallen sharply over the past 18 months. A big test comes on April 25th, when the prince is due to unveil the kingdom’s long-delayed “Vision” reform plan.

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How Saudi Arabia Turned Its Greatest Weapon on Itself

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By ANDREW SCOTT COOPER: A version of this op-ed appears in print on March 13, 2016

FOR the past half-century, the world economy has been held hostage by just one country: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vast petroleum reserves and untapped production allowed the kingdom to play an outsize role as swing producer, filling or draining the global system at will.

The 1973-74 oil embargo was the first demonstration that the House of Saud was willing to weaponize the oil markets. In October 1973, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia abruptly halted oil shipments in retaliation for America’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The price of a barrel of oil quickly quadrupled; the resulting shock to the oil-dependent economies of the West led to a sharp rise in the cost of living, mass unemployment and growing social discontent.

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Oil Prices Could Collapse To $20

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By Tyler Durden

Extracts from extracts…

Could oil prices collapse to $20? 

The short answer is ‘yes.’

We believe that crude oil prices could fall further unless global oil production is reduced. As shown in Table 2, we estimate that the global oil market could be oversupplied by roughly 920,000 bpd in 2016. The key assumptions are year-over-year growth in global demand of 1.2 million bpd, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya hold production at current levels, Iran ramps up production at moderate pace over the course of the year and the U.S. rig count remains at current levels.

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Motiva to trade refined products apart from co-owner Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Motiva to trade refined products apart from co-owner Shell

HOUSTON, JUNE 11 | BY KRISTEN HAYS AND ERWIN SEBA

Motiva Enterprises said on Thursday it aims to trade its own gasoline, diesel and the components needed to make them in a new organization separate from its co-owner, Royal Dutch Shell.

Motiva, a 50/50 joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco , said in a statement that the move will more closely connect the company with fuels markets, customers and trading partners.

But Motiva said it will still rely on Shell to trade crude oil.

“With this change, we hope to provide greater value to them through more active participation in the market,” Motiva Chief Executive Dan Romasko said in the statement.

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Motiva plans in-house trading organization for refined products

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.31.03Motiva plans in-house trading organization for refined products

Markets | Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:13pm EDT

(Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises said on Thursday that it was planning to form its own products trading organization for transport fuels and refinery intermediates to enhance its market participation through direct dealings with customers.

The company said it started negotiating term contracts for its gasoline and diesel products in late 2014. It now intends to expand its focus to include all trading activities for refined products starting on Jan. 1.

Motiva said there would be several job opportunities within the new trading organization.

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Prices Are Down, but Saudis Keep Oil Flowing

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 15.02.26Article by CLIFFORD KRAUSS and STANLEY REED published 1 June 2015 in the New York edition of The New York Times under the headline

Prices Are Down, but Saudis Keep Oil Flowing

HOUSTON — The international cartel of oil producers has long followed the same basic strategy. When the market was soft, the group slashed production to raise prices.

But Saudi Arabia, the heavyweight of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has a new agenda. It is now less concerned about the price of crude oil in the global markets and more concerned about delivering fuel to its growing economy.

The shift is upending the traditional market dynamics that have influenced the direction of oil prices for decades.

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Prices Fall to a Six-Year Low for U.S. Oil

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 23.38.17Article by Stanley Reed published 17 March 2015 in the New York edition of the New York Times

Prices Fall to a Six-Year Low for U.S. Oil

Oil prices fell to six-year lows on Monday in the face of concerns that a glut in the United States was outpacing already-brimming storage facilities.

Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries published a report suggesting that the cartel remained reluctant to intervene to prop up prices.

The direction of oil prices, which had risen sharply from January lows, has fallen back in recent days. Traders are now focused on the second quarter of the year, when demand for oil is traditionally weak because of the end of winter and scheduled refinery shutdowns for maintenance.

On Monday, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude, the main United States benchmark, fell about 2 percent to about $44 a barrel, a six-year low, while Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell by about 2 percent to about $53 a barrel.

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Price of crude oil resumes its descent

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Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 09.07.31Article by Stanley Reed published New York Times New York Edition 14 March 2015under the headline:

Oil Prices Drop as Production Hums Along Despite a Brimming Supply

LONDON — Just as the oil market appeared to be stabilizing, the price of crude resumed its descent on Friday.

The drop, of about 4 percent, came after a report from the International Energy Agency warning that oil pouring into tank farms in the United States might “soon test storage capacity limits.”

The agency, whose reports are closely monitored by oil traders, said that overflowing storage “would inevitably lead to renewed price weakness.” American production of oil continues to increase despite recently announced cutbacks in new drilling by producers.

The price of West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark, fell to around $45 a barrel on Friday, while Brent, the international benchmark, fell below $55 a barrel.

The Department of Energy has proposed adding five million barrels of oil to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The purchase, which requires congressional approval, would be added in June and July. But 9.4 million barrels of oil a day are being produced in the United States. Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners, said that the proposed purchase was not an attempt to support falling prices but instead “appears to derive from a statutory obligation.”

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Latest Development Regarding The USW Refinery Strike

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Mar 7, 2015 at 10:04 am EST

The biggest oil refinery strike in the US in over three decades has entered its 35th day, with no agreement between the United Steelworkers (USW) union and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) been reached so far.

The two parties had a meeting on Wednesday, but the talks ended without reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Towards the end of the meeting, the two parties decided to hold talks next week. Further negotiations can start as early as March 9.

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Inside Shell’s earnings report: Proof that the Saudis’ oil market strategy is working

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Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 12.02.38By Puneet Kollipara January 29 at 5:43 PM

Saudi Arabia shocked the world last fall in breaking from its traditional mold of keeping oil production artificially low to prop up oil prices. Instead, the Saudis and other OPEC nations voted to keep oil output steady even in the face of a global supply surplus, a move seemingly designed to respond to the threat that the Saudis see from rising output from non-OPEC producers — from U.S. shale plays to Russia’s Arctic to Brazil’s deep offshore waters.

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Repercussions Of Lower Oil Prices On Energy Sector

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Published: November 29, 2014 at 11:11 am EST
By: Micheal Kaufman

The decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to maintain production at 30 million barrels of oil per day came as a shock for most oil companies. As a result crude oil prices fell drastically and West Intermediate Texas (WTI) was down 10% yesterday, to $66.15.

The fall in oil prices has severely affected numerous economies and companies. It was far more than what was expected by experts. Last month, before deciding to take on investment projects, BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) assumed Brent crude oil prices would be at $80. Goldman Sachs had predicted the price of WTI would hover around $75 for the first three months of next year. Russia had expected average crude oil prices to remain at $100 and had planned its budget accordingly.

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OPEC IN DISARRAY AS OIL PRICE TUMBLES

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00Major Opec nations, Russia and US shale oil drillers now appear on the brink of a price war as these three giant producing blocs fight for a greater share of global demand. (Potentially disastrous news for Big Oil – ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron and Total)

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The Telegraph: World on brink of oil price war as Opec set to keep pumping

Extracts

Oil slumped on Wednesday as expectations that Opec will cut production faded following dovish remarks by cartel kingpin Saudi Arabia, which could signal the beginning of a price war. Crude traded in the US fell to as low as $74 per barrel as traders bet that Opec will allow the price to fall further amid growing signs of a global price war amid producers.

Major Opec nations, Russia and US shale oil drillers now appear on the brink of a price war as these three giant producing blocs fight for a greater share of global demand.

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OIL, OIL, TOIL AND TROUBLE

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 23.08.21ARTICLE BY STEVEN HAYWARD, PUBLISHED BY POWERLINE 25 NOVEMBER 2014

The fall OPEC meeting is under way right now in Vienna, and all eyes are on the Saudis, to see whether they will lead a strategy to stop the fall in oil prices, which is putting the crimp on Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, among other worthies. We’ve commented previously about what the Saudis may be up to (here and here), and today Business Insider reports that the Saudis show no interest in curtailing production to shore up the price, and in fact may be willing to go for two years or more with falling prices, with some Saudi insiders saying the real objective is to retard the shale oil revolution in the United States and elsewhere…

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Shell ending investments in gas development project in Saudi Arabia

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Reuters article published by ArabNews.com Monday 7 July 2014

DUBAI: Royal Dutch Shell is ending investments in a gas development project in Saudi Arabia, complicating the top oil exporter’s efforts to exploit its huge gas reserves.

The search for gas has been a priority for Saudi Arabia as it struggles to keep pace with rapidly rising domestic demand.

But the emergence of the shale gas industry has opened up more lucrative opportunities for energy companies elsewhere.

“Shell has decided to end further investment in the Kidan development,” it said in a e-mailed statement.

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Saudi Arabia gas project has failed, admits Shell

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article by Andrew Critchlow published 6 July 2014 by The Sunday Telegraph

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Royal Dutch Shell Saudi relationship in serious danger?

The Washington Post has reported today that the Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans is considering flying to Saudi Arabia in an attempt to defuse the situation, which includes threats of looming sanctions against Dutch interests, including Royal Dutch Shell.

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell Group has had a long relationship with the Saudi regime.

In the USA, Motiva Enterprises is a joint project of Shell and Saudi Aramco. The company owns three refineries and 35 refined product terminals.

Extract from the Motiva website

Motiva markets Shell gasoline in 49 states and the District of Columbia together with Shell Oil Products US. Together we lead the industry in national retail volume and market share in one of the world’s best known gasoline brands. We also refine and market gasoline and other petroleum products under the Shell brand across the eastern and southern parts of the US, providing product to over 8,200 Shell-branded retail outlets.

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The Dark Side of Energy Independence

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A version of this op-ed appeared in print on April 28, 2013, on page SR5 of the New York edition

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JUST as the world was writing off America as a declining power, the country now finds itself on the cusp of realizing one of its longstanding goals: energy independence.

A wave of new technologies has made it possible to extract oil and gas from shale rock formations, and the results have been astonishing. By some estimates, the United States is on track to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer as early as 2017, start exporting more oil and gas than it imports by 2025, and achieve full energy self-sufficiency by 2030.

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Is Shell STILL anti-Semitic?

“So is Shell STILL anti-Semitic, or is it simply because doing business with Israel would upset the rulers of Saudi Arabia, yet another tyrannical regime in bed with Shell? One Country swims in oil. The other doesn’t. Perhaps that has something to do with it?”

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By John Donovan

In March 2011 we published an article under the headline: Is Royal Dutch Shell STILL anti-Semitic?

SOME EXTRACTS

A Shell insider asked if we were aware that “there is one country in the world that Shell will not do business with?”

This was a reference to Israel. The insider explained events that had led them to ponder the question in our headline.

We suspected that Shell was a racist company. We did not know that it was still anti-Semitic, if that is the case. Israel is not included in the global list of Countries on shell.com where Shell does business. I cannot find any reference by Shell to Israel on Shell’s website. There is no reference to anti-Semitism in its Business Principles. It seems to be a taboo subject?

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Judge Fines Motiva $10M in Tank Explosion

Screen Shot 2012-12-05 at 22.49.02FROM OUR 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE:“Motiva, a joint supply venture between Shell and Saudi Refining…”: “…pleaded no contest to state charges of criminally negligent homicide…”: “The company… has paid more than $60 million to settle lawsuits”: “It is still the subject of a federal lawsuit…”

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Judge Fines Motiva $10M in Tank Explosion

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By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Posted 18 March 2005

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Refineries operator Motiva Enterprises LLC was fined $10 million Thursday after the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to a fatal tank collapse and explosion at a refinery in 2001.

Motiva, a joint supply venture between Shell and Saudi Refining, pleaded guilty to negligently endangering workers at its former refinery in Delaware City as well as discharging pollutants into the Delaware River and negligently releasing sulfuric acid into the air, both in violation of the Clean Air Act.

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Shell licenses gas technology to Saudi project

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Shell Global Solutions International has signed a gasification licensed technology agreement with Saudi Aramco, the fully integrated energy and chemicals company, for the largest residue gasification unit to ever be built.

The Jazan Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project (IGCC) agreement includes the licensing of Shell gasification and acid gas removal technologies and the provision of engineering services. Shell’s CRI/Criterion catalysts and a sulphur recovery unit (SRU) will also treat the off gases from the acid gas removal unit.

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Motiva Reports Compressor Shutdown at Port Arthur, Texas, Refinery – Filing

Published December 31, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC reported that a wet gas compressor at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery experienced an emergency shutdown Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company reported that charge rates were reduced to help stabilize operations for the restart of the compressor.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Motiva is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

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Saudi Arabia Doubles Tankers to U.S. as Motiva Unit Seen Opening

By Rob Sheridan – Oct 8, 2012 2:25 PM GMT+0100

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. doubled the number of crude tankers booked to ship oil to the Gulf of Mexico this month as two people familiar with its U.S. refinery operations said a damaged crude unit may restart in December.

The company’s shipping unit booked eight very large crude carriers to load about 16 million barrels in October, compared with four ships a month so far this year, according to data from Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers Ltd. Motiva Enterprises LLC, which the state-controlled oil producer owns with Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), will open the 325,000 barrels-a-day unit as early as the first week of December, the people said Oct. 5.

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Another PR blunder from the House of Shell or a tragic piece of misreporting?

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE OCTOBER 2005

The Guardian: Shell shows cracks: “Another PR blunder from the House of Shell or a tragic piece of misreporting?

“Ian McCredie, head of global security services at Shell, is reported to have told a Chatham House conference a tale of how up to 70 staff have been kidnapped over the last year in Nigeria. Mr McCredie then went on to slag off the royal family in Saudi Arabia, where Shell is desperately trying to ingratiate itself, before moving on to Russia – another key market for the Anglo Dutch giant.”

Thursday 6 October 2005

Another PR blunder from the House of Shell or a tragic piece of misreporting? Following on from a Shell press officer telling a TV reporter on camera not to bother to listen to its then-UK chairman Ron Oxburgh about climate change because he will soon be gone, comes a front page belter in yesterday’s FT.

Ian McCredie, head of global security services at Shell, is reported to have told a Chatham House conference a tale of how up to 70 staff have been kidnapped over the last year in Nigeria. Mr McCredie then went on to slag off the royal family in Saudi Arabia, where Shell is desperately trying to ingratiate itself, before moving on to Russia – another key market for the Anglo Dutch giant.

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Motiva to restart damaged unit in early 2013

Motiva to restart damaged unit in early 2013

By Simone Sebastian: Published 07:31 p.m., Thursday, July 19, 2012

Motiva Enterprises plans to restart the new crude distillation unit at its Port Arthur refinery early next year, after damage from a chemical leak shut it down last month, the company said Thursday.

Weeks after the May 31 ceremonial opening of the $10 billion Motiva expansion, a chemical leaked through the unit, corroding pipes and causing small fires.

At the time, officials of Royal Dutch Shell, which jointly owns the facility with Saudi Aramco, said the unit would be sidelined for an unspecified time as the damage was inspected and repaired.

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Motiva prepares Texas refinery for long shutdown

Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:39pm EDT

By Erwin Seba

(Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises LLC moved to prepare half its giant Port Arthur, Texas, refinery for an extended shut-down this week after a major glitch with a new unit, closing down other units and reducing oil shipments from Saudi Arabia.

In the first public acknowledgment of the severity of the problem at the plant, Motiva co-owner Royal Dutch Shell Plc said late on Wednesday that the stricken 325,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) unit was shut due to “corrosion problems,” as originally reported earlier this week by Reuters.

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Giant Port Arthur refinery unit seen shut for months

COMMENT POSTED ON OUR SHELL BLOG 12 JUNE 2012

Texvette: Is anyone surprised with the current issues with the new crude unit at Port Arthur. Word has it that: 1) the problems are much more severe than being reported, and 2) this is just “the tip of the iceberg”. Some wonder if the new $13 billion worth of units will ever start-up

Giant Port Arthur refinery unit seen shut for months

Published: Monday, 11 Jun 2012 | 4:15 PM ET HOUSTON (Reuters) – Output at the biggest U.S. refinery could be cut by more than half for up to five months after Motiva Enterprise’s <MOTIV.UL> failed to restart a major new crude unit at the Port Arthur, Texas, plant over the weekend, sources familiar with operations said on Monday.Just two weeks after partners Saudi Arabia and Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> cut the ribbon on the new 325,000 barrel per day crude distillation unit that pushed the plant’s capacity to 600,000 bpd, jointly owned Motiva shut the unit to fix what was thought to be a leaking valve impairing production.After the CDU twice failed to restart over the weekend, the refinery found major issues that will take at least two months and potentially up to five months to repair, the two sources who have knowledge of the refinery’s operations said.The news pushed up cash fuel prices and lent support to gasoline futures, traders said. It weighed on oil prices in expectations that other buyers in the United States — which saw a spike in imports from Saudi Arabia this year — would have to absorb additional supplies the kingdom had already booked into the market.”The Saudi loadings to the U.S. had risen massively a few months ago, as they wanted to show they could put barrels in the market when requested — and they were very vocal about it — as well as starting to supply Motiva,” said Katherine Spector, commodity strategist at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in New York.

“The question now will be how much storage space at Motiva was already filled, and will they need to divert barrels to other customers.”

The entire refinery has not been shut by the outage because the pre-expansion 285,000 bpd crude distillation unit, continues to operate. CDU units perform the initial refining of crude oil coming into the refinery and provide feedstock for all other production units.

While it is not unusual for new refinery units to experience operational teething pains when they are first commissioned, a shut-down lasting months would be a major embarrassment for Motiva and its owners after a landmark $10 billion upgrade.

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Motiva upgrade makes it largest U.S. refinery

Replacing the traditional ribbon cutting, officials turn a symbolic valve to signal the opening of Motiva’s expansion project in Port Arthur. It’s a joint venture of Shell and Saudi Aramco. Photo: Guiseppe Barranco / The Beaumont Enterprise

Motiva upgrade makes it largest U.S. refinery

By Emily Pickrell,By Emily Pickrell: Houston Chronicle

Published 08:23 p.m., Thursday, May 31, 2012

PORT ARTHUR – With the turn of a ceremonial valve Thursday, dignitaries marked the startup of an expanded Motiva refinery – underscoring Royal Dutch Shell‘s commitment not to imitate rival oil giants that have spun off their refining operations.

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Royal Dutch Shell still furtively buying Iranian oil

…Shell has avoided public comment on its position… The Anglo-Dutch major is one of the biggest consumers of Iranian crude worldwide… Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser declined to elaborate on how much Iranian crude the company was still buying…

Exclusive: Europe’s big buyers cut ties with Iran oil

By Alex Lawler and Peg Mackey

LONDON | Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:50pm EST

(Reuters) – Iran’s top oil buyers in Europe are making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of European Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third – or over 300,000 barrels daily, industry sources said on Thursday.

France’s Total (TOTF.PA) has already stopped buying the crude, which is subject to European Union sanctions from July 1 and market sources say Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has scaled back sharply.

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Weaning Royal Dutch Shell off Iranian Oil

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser is reluctantly considering how best to wean Shell off the supply of blood tainted Iranian oil. Shell is one of the biggest consumers of Iranian oil – see article below.

The relationship between Shell and Iran has continued unabated for many years, while the fanatical Iranian regime has been busy using the funds generated to supply roadside bombs to kill and maim Nato soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and fund its Nuclear Bomb program. The oil revenue is crucial to Iran. Hence the sanctions and sanctions busting by Shell.

Trying to avoid the odium of its association with the mad mullahs, Shell resorted to subterfuge to disguise its shipments of Iranian crude.

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North America: US has its eye on oil independence

FINANCIAL TIMES

By Ed Crooks

For decades, America has worried about Saudi Arabia’s plans for oil production; now Saudi Arabia is starting to worry about the US.

In a reversal of roles, US oil production has begun to rise, and expectations are growing that North America (including Canada, where production is growing even faster) will become an increasingly potent force in world oil markets.

FULL ARTICLE

Big Oil Heads Back Home

Energy companies are shifting their focus away from the Middle East and toward the West—with profound implications for the companies, global politics and consumers

DECEMBER 5, 2011

By GUY CHAZAN


Big Oil is redrawing the energy map.

For decades, its main stomping grounds were in the developing world—exotic locales like the Persian Gulf and the desert sands of North Africa, the Niger Delta and the Caspian Sea. But in recent years, that geographical focus has undergone a radical change. Western energy giants are increasingly hunting for supplies in rich, developed countries—a shift that could have profound implications for the industry, global politics and consumers.

Driving the change is the boom in unconventionals—the tough kinds of hydrocarbons like shale gas and oil sands that were once considered too difficult and expensive to extract and are now being exploited on an unprecedented scale from Australia to Canada.

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Saudi, Shell gas JV gets approval to assess Kidan

Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:32am EST

* Appraisal to be completed by end-2013

* Kidan is rich in sour gas

KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, Nov 16 (Reuters) – A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco has won approval from the Saudi government to study the possible development of Kidan area, in Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, the South Rub al-Khali Co (SRAK) venture said on Wednesday.

Kidan is rich in sour gas and is near the 750,000 barrels per day (bpd) Shaybah oilfield, one of the biggest in the world’s top oil exporter. Sour gas has high levels of potentially deadly hydrogen sulphide and therefore is tougher to produce than conventional gas reserves.

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Motiva Texas expansion 90 pct complete – Shell

Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:09am EDT

* Port Arthur refinery will be 600,000 bpd

* Will be deep conversion plant

* Refinery to process wide variety of crude oils

NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The expansion of the Motiva Port Arthur, Texas refinery is 90 percent complete and start-up procedures are slated to begin in the first half of next year, Shell officials said on Thursday.

The officials made the remarks about the refinery, jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco, in a third-quarter earnings conference call.

The refinery is currently rated at 325,000 barrels per day of input capacity and will expand to 600,000 bpd once the expansion is complete.

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Grieve must not terminate UK-Saudi bribery investigation

Transparency International

10 October 2011

In the wake of serious bribery allegations involving GPT, the UK subsidiary of European defence company EADS, and the Saudi Royal family, Transparency International UK is calling on the Government to support a full investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The Attorney General is reportedly deliberating over whether the SFO should continue to investigate allegations that GPT made illicit payments to the Saudi Royal family in order to secure a contract worth £2 billion.

The Attorney General’s decision will face a high level of international scrutiny because the UK’s anti-corruption record is currently under review by the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OECD. Under Article 5 of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, to which the UK is a party, a state cannot allow political, economic or diplomatic considerations to interfere with the investigation and prosecution of foreign bribery cases. This echoes the BAE Systems case in 2006, when the Blair government caused an international outcry by forcing the SFO to drop an investigation into allegations of bribery in the Al Yamamah UK-Saudi defence contract.

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Saudi Arabia To Be Motiva Texas Refinery’s Sole Supplier – Source

By Ben Lefebvre, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- Saudi Arabia will be the sole supplier of crude oil to Motiva Enterprises LLC’s refinery in Texas after the facility finishes expanding its capacity to 600,000 barrels a day next year, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

The expansion of the Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) and Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (SOI.YY), is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2012. The boost in its intake of Saudi crude oil would coincide with Saudi Arabia’s pledge to boost its oil production despite opposition from fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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Tony Blair, Royal Dutch Shell and Corrupt Regimes

By John Donovan

Today The Guardian newspaper published an outspoken article by Ian Birrell about the “breathtaking hypocrisy” of Tony Blair.

It discusses his role in bringing “the maverick Muammar Gaddafi in from the cold as he brokered oil deals and oversaw prisoner transfer agreements that led to the release of the Lockerbie bomber.”

Shell drafted a letter that Tony Blair sent as UK Prime Minister to Gaddafi as part of the brokering process.

The article also covers “Blair’s appeasement of the Saudi royal family in perhaps the most disgraceful episode of his time in office, when his pressure led to the halting of the landmark BAE bribery case.”

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Shell money laundering of Al-Yamamah proceeds

By John Donovan

In September 2009, we published an article headlined: BAE Systems whistleblower accuses Shell & BP of money laundering Al-Yamamah proceeds

Al-Yamamah was the Saudi/UK corruption scandal investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office until the investigation was stopped in its tracks by the then PM, Tony Blair, a man not known for being incorruptible or honest. Blair gave in to threats from the repressive Saudi regime. In my lifetime, this was a low point in the UK’s international reputation, along with the Suez fiasco.

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Is Royal Dutch Shell STILL anti-Semitic?

By John Donovan

We have received interesting email following our posting of the threats made against us by Royal Dutch Shell Plc . The threats related to our publication of relevant pages from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”, focused on the Nazi past of the oil giant. The question of our continued mortality was raised.

A Shell insider asked if we were aware that “there is one country in the world that Shell will not do business with?”

This was a reference to Israel. The insider explained events that had led them to ponder the question in our headline.

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Shell: Saudi Arabia May Benefit From LNG Imports

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

JUNE 24, 2010

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest energy producer, may benefit from importing liquefied natural gas to boost domestic supply and maximize profits from oil exports, a Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) executive said Thursday.

“In an environment where much crude and fuel oil is being burnt up for power, there’s a strong case to bring in more gas and free up some of that [oil] for export,” De la Rey Venter, Shell’s global head of LNG, said at the National Oil Companies congress in London.

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Shell Confirms Worker’s Death At Motiva Port Arthur Refinery

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

APRIL 19, 2010

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell said Monday that a worker died at the Motiva Port Arthur refinery it operates in Texas.

The worker’s death “can be confirmed, and we are investigating what the cause was,” a Shell spokeswoman said. No further details were available, but the company said a statement will be issued soon.

The Motiva Port Arthur refinery, 50% joint venture between units of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) and Saudi Aramco, has the capacity to process 275,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

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BAE reaches $450 million settlement with U.S., Britain

An previous investigation by Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into reports BAE paid about 1 billion pounds over a decade to Prince Bandar bin Sultan in connection with the al-Yamamah arms deal had been halted in December 2006 by former Prime Minister Tony Blair after the probe angered Saudi Arabia.

Secrets of MoD deal are revealed (Shell a key player in al-Yamamah scandal)

The Sunday Telegraph

November 15, 2009

Ministry cannot account for where £1bn went in Saudi oil-for-jets affair

DAVID HENCKE

DETAILS OF a damning secret report into Britain’s biggest ever arms deal, which raises questions over how the Ministry of Defence spent more than £lbillion, can be disclosed for the first time by The Sunday Telegraph.

A National Audit Office (NAO) investigation into the controversial £20 billion al-Yamamah arms deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia found that:

  • The MoD could not properly account for nearly £1billion of cash it paid to British Aerospace (now Bae Systems) at the time of the deal;
  • Bae also “failed to account” for the £1billion;
  • A£30.3 million management fee was paid to Bae even though there was no “legal or contractual obligation” to do so – a payment described by auditors as “irregular”.

Documents also outline how auditors demanded that the Govemment investigate Bae accounts to find out what had happened to the money, and reveal the fears that led to the report being kept secret for 17 years.

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BAE Systems whistleblower accuses Shell & BP of money laundering Al-Yamamah proceeds

IDscan-finalUPDATED DECEMBER 2010

A BAE Systems insider from the AL-Yamamah and AL-Salam Projects in Saudi Arabia, is supplying internal BAE, Saudi, and UK MOD documents to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) which is carrying out an investigation into alleged corruption.

The samples we have seen include correspondence between high ranking officers in the British and Saudi military responsible for administering the Al-Yamamah oil-for-arms barter deal.

One example is a letter marked”SECRET” from Brigadier General Prince Turki Bin Nasser Bin Addul Aziz, Royal Saudi Air Force Al-Yamamah Project Officer, to an MOD Air Marshal within Project Al-Yamamah.

Extract from a Guardian newspaper article “Prince Turki: The man with everything“:

“The man who allegedly received most from BAE’s £60m slush fund, Turki bin Nasser, is a rich man. He has nearly 200 classic cars, a £20m private Boeing business jet, a large yacht called the Sarah, a sumptuous mansion in Beverly Hills and houses in Barcelona, Riyadh, Dharan and London. His London home is in Sussex Square, near Hyde Park.”

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BAE Systems Serious Fraud Office deal could include settlement of al-Yamamah oil-for-arms scandal involving Shell

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL INVOLVEMENT IN SAUDI ARABIA / AL YAMAMAH BAE ARMS SCANDAL