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From our Shell News Archive 2 November 2004

Tuesday 2 November, 2004

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Crude Futures Hover Near $50 a Barrel: “In Nigeria, Oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group opened a court action Monday to try to block a strike targeting oil exports. It failed in a first-round bid to block wildcat strikes or other union action in the meantime. The case came one day after Nigeria’s unions called the Nov. 16 strike over rising fuel prices and promised to target Shell. Purvin & Gertz oil analyst Ken Miller said the potential loss of production in Nigeria, which pumps the light, sweet crude most desired by refiners, is “a real concern.”

THE TIMES (UK): THE POWER 100: SIR MARK MOODY-STUART, No. 2 IN “THE TIMES” LIST OF BRITAIN’S 100 MOST POWERFUL BUSINESS LEADERS

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: Nigeria Senate May Probe Natl Oil Co For Graft –Media: “…committee, which met Monday, threatened to hand Funsho Kupolokun, managing director of the corporation, over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, if he fails to explain in a month how and why the money was used. “Reports say Kupolokun traveled to Ghana with some Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria staff, to borrow the extra $600 million.”: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group (SC, RD), which owns part of SPDC, was not immediately available for comment.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip’s reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received — and dallied over — warnings about the accounting problems.”: ” In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.”: “Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can’t seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

Daily Express (UK): Shell slims down in £lbn gas pipeline sale: “OIL giant Shell is selling a gas pipeline business for nearly £1 billion as part of moves to focus on more profitable exploration and production.”: “The sell-off follows a series of shock downgrades to the company’s oil reserves since January this year.”

Financial Times: ChevronTexaco looks back to the future: “Chevron is the only one of the six supermajors to have found more new oil than it has produced over the past four years.”: “We’ve got tremendous asset positions in key areas around the world,” says Mr O’Reilly, shrugging off concerns expressed by some analysts that it lacks the strength in depth of rivals such as ExxonMobil, BP and the newly merged Shell group.

Asia Pulse: MITSUI TO BUY STAKE IN MEXICAN LNG TERMINAL FROM SHELL:  TOKYO, Nov 2 Asia Pulse – Mitsui & Co. (TSE:8031) has agreed with Royal Dutch/Shell Group to purchase a 25 per cent stake in a Mexican liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal project from the Anglo-Dutch oil company for about US$100 million…”

The Times (UK): Shell fights unions as strike call hits Nigeria: “SHELL locked horns in a legal battle with its main Nigerian unions yesterday in a dispute that risks embroiling the oil multinational in growing labour unrest in the troubled African country.”: “Shell’s court action against the two unions… drew a fiery response from Adams Oshiomhole, the NLC leader, who labelled Shell “an enemy of the people” and said: “Shell does not have the muscle to control our people, even if it controls our political leaders.”

The Guardian: Dutch state takes over gas network: “Shell has embarked on a programme to sell about £6bn worth of assets over two years as it seeks to rebuild investor confidence after the oil and gas reserves scandal.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): City diary: A word in their Shell-like. . .: “I phone to check whether Marcus Samuel Jr, son of the founder, was chief executive in the 1890s. “Well, on background. . .” begins the clueless PR, before concluding with an admission of ignorance. At Shell, even history lessons are off the record.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Dutch pipe sale earns Shell £960m: “Shell, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, yesterday put its troubles temporarily behind it with the news that it was netting €1.39billion (£967m) from the sale of its share of the Netherlands’ gas pipeline networks.”

Financial Times: Royal Dutch/Shell’s Dutch disposal: “Royal Dutch/Shell is selling its share in the Netherlands’ domestic gas grid to the Dutch state for €1.39bn (£967m).”

Financial Times: Nigerian court refuses to ban Shell strike: “Royal Dutch/Shell yesterday failed to win a court order preventing industrial action by its workers in Nigeria.”

China Daily: Shell starts drilling to regain confidence: “BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhuanet) — Royal Dutch Shell Group, after uniting its parent companies and boards, must find the next generation of oil fields to rebuild reserves and gain investor trust, Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer said in an interview.”: “Shell is having to run twice as fast to keep up with the Exxon Mobils and BPs of this world,” said Fadel Gheit, a senior vice-president of oil and gas research at Oppenheimer & Co in New York. “They are putting in a lot more resources to get lower results. Most other companies are much more efficient.”: “Shell said on Thursday it may have to write off another 900 million barrels of reserves, or 6.3 per cent of its holdings…”: “That would be a fifth cut this year.”

Lloyds List: Last Word: By any other name…: “Royal Dutch/Shell’s corporate changes are going to require a large volume of investment in new letter heads and logos just to remove a forward slash.”: “…van der Veer told delegates his company was ashamed of the reserves slashing and the scandal of over optimistic bookings in the past. He said his management had felt like naughty school boys being sent to the corner to think about what they had done before repenting. We guess the fines from the US and UK regulators were enough punishment for the group then.”

The Independent: Shell to sell Netherlands gas stake: “SHELL IS to raise just under pounds 1bn by selling its shareholding in the Netherlands gas transmission system.”: “Shell has embarked on a two-year programme to raise pounds 10bn-$12bn from asset sales.”

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