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Posts from ‘September, 2006’

The Observer: What is the greenest way to get around?

For those who prefer not to cycle or walk, the eco answer to getting from A to B is to mix and match, says Lucy Siegle

Sunday October 1, 2006

I concede that the clean, green mobility charms of the push bike won’t seduce everyone. Unfortunately nobody has come up with such an easy, cheap and benign means of getting from A to B (other than walking), although the conundrum continues to occupy the world’s best minds.

Conversely, millions approach the topic completely mindlessly, which explains why transport accounts for 60 per cent of all CO2 emissions, and emissions from private cars in the UK are projected to reach 88.2m tonnes of CO2 (MtC) by 2010. The worst opprobrium, as ever, should be saved for those who have undone any slight fuel efficiency gains by swanning about in gas guzzlers (formalise your distaste at read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Radio New Zealand: Pohokura gas field now producing commercial quantities

Posted at 2:37pm on 01 Oct 2006

The operators of the Pohokura gas field in Taranaki say it is producing commercial quantities of gas for the first time.

Shell Exploration says gas and condensate are now flowing from three completed onshore wells through a production station at Motunui near New Plymouth.

A spokesman, Ajit Bansal, says it is a significant milestone for the companies developing the field as a joint venture, and for their customers.

The companies are: Shell, Todd and OMV. OMV is an Austrian gas and oil company. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Huffington Post: Vladimir Inspired by Hugo’s Oil Drama. Should We Be Watching?

By Raymond J. Learsy

This April the Chavez government seized oil fields operated by two European oil giants- Italy’s ENI and France’s Total.

This, after the two companies declined to convert their contracts to joint ventures with the state. “These two multinational companies resist adjusting to our law. Our sovereignty isn’t under negotiation”, bellowed Rafael Ramirez Venezuela’s oil minister.

Chevron and Shell and fourteen other companies did agree to the terms giving Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, at least a 60 percent stake.  read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Neftegaz.RU: Energy Ministers From 11 Countries Say Russian Energy Policy Raises Risks for Europe

Eleven energy ministers warned of rising political and commercial risks to Europe’s energy markets as President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to “unconscientious” investors, Agence France Presse reported on Thursday.

“The ministers note the recent developments in energy markets and the ever increasing potential risks of a political and commercial nature,” the 11 Black Sea-region ministers said.

“The reliability of access to energy (is) subject at this stage to challenges and threats of both a short-term and long-term nature,” they said in a statement. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Petroleum News: Clash of Canadian heavyweights

Leading producers do battle over TransCanada plans to switch gas pipeline to oil sands; disagree over outlook for gas supplies

Gary Park
For Petroleum News

In the red corner we have, among others, EnCana, Shell Canada, Nexen and Devon Canada.

And in the blue corner, ConocoPhillips Canada, Canadian Natural Resources and Suncor Energy.

It’s one of those very rare showdowns in the Canadian oil patch.

At stake is the future of almost 500 miles of natural gas pipeline in Canada which has many of the largest oil and gas producers locked in combat and, in the process, feuding over the outlook for Western Canadian gas supplies. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Ogoni author Ben Wuloo Ikari argues that Shell should be classified as a terrorist organisation

Introduction by Alfred Donovan.

Robert Aouad, a guest columnist in a U.S. College publication, recently took issue with a suggestion that Shell Oil should be included in a list of terrorist organisations: the following is an extract from his article published on 22 September 2006.
EXTRACT: As for Shell Oil, who you suggested should be included in a list of terrorist organizations with extremist groups like Hamas, I have trouble equating an unfortunate oil spill with a terrorist attack. Shell Oil did not set out to Nigeria with 56 million gallons of oil to intentionally spill it onto the farmland of the Ogonis. It was a very unfortunate incident indeed, but definitely not a terrorist attack. Furthermore, how do we expect Shell Oil to get into areas such as these for cleanup when the volatile Nigerian military government and the protesting Ogoni people are at each other’s throats?
read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

The Times: Oil explorer that struck water in the desert

September 30, 2006 
WATER is vital to the recovery of oil — it is used to force the black liquid from hard-to-reach parts. Water is also essential to the survival of the 2.5 million people living in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India, the world’s most populous desert.

Cairn Energy, the Scottish mining company, combined its own search for natural resources in the desert with a water supply project that has received plaudits in human rights circles. 
While mining its 7,000 sq km site, Cairn developed an excellent knowledge of the region’s water table, which it passed on to the Indian Government. The information is currently being used to sink wells for local people. The company also donated 600 tanks so that women do not have to carry water as far as before.
read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Financial Times: Sakhalin-2 fell foul of zealous official

By Arkady Ostrovsky
Published: September 29 2006 03:00 | Last updated: September 29 2006 03:00

What do a Soviet pop diva, small country cottage owners and one of the world’s largest oil and gas projects have in common? The answer is simple. They have all become a target for a mid-level official who has built up an image as a fearless defender of the environment against the rich and powerful.

Oleg Mitvol, deputy head of Russia’s inspectorate for the use of natural resources, with a staff of two, is a colourful figure. A former entrepreneur in chemicals and the media, he earned himself a reputation in some business circles as a corporate raider. He was a business partner of Boris Berezovskybefore turning against the former oligarch who went into self-imposed exile in London. In 2004 he surprised many when he joined the civil service as an environmental inspector. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Buenos Aires Herald: Shell shock

Saturday 30 September 2006
The successful government pressure on Shell to suspend its new V-Power diesel pending government authorization of the product sets an alarming precedent for any market economy — would Alexander Graham Bell have felt obliged to seek government authorization before inventing the telephone or the Wright brothers to invent the aeroplane?

The government’s motivation for suppressing Shell’s new product is obviously its anxiety to tame fuel prices, suspecting this fuel innovation of being a backdoor price increase (V-power cost 15 more cents a litre on the basis of upgrading purity by 10 percent). read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Daily Yomiuri: Russia’s economic roulette: Gazprom wants more than 50% of Sakhalin II

Saturday 30 September 2006
Yoshikuni Sugiyama

The government compiled in May an energy policy outline titled “New National Energy Strategy,” with the aim of increasing its ratio of independent oil development. However, its plan has already taken a battering thanks to a unilateral Russian ruling.

The Russian Natural Resources Ministry has decided to cancel the permit for the Sakhalin-2 natural gas development project off the coast of Sakhalin Island, citing problems with environmental conservation. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Banking Business Review: French loyalty cards: S’Miles better for Shell

28th September 2006
By Anne Marie Davis

Groupe Caisse d’Epargne has joined Shell in S’Miles, a major syndicated retail loyalty card scheme in France. The French retail bank will represent a welcome addition to the scheme for Shell, increasing the number of card touch points for its customers in a market where an independent loyalty card may not be the best route for the fuel retailer.

Groupe Caisse d’Epargne bank serves 26 million customers in France and has one of the largest distribution networks, with around 4,300 branches and 5,900 ATMs across the country. Now that it has joined the S’Miles scheme, members of the bank’s Satellis service will be offered free membership to the scheme. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Inter Press Service: Sakhalin II brings prostitution, human trafficking, poverty, HIV/AIDS…

Headline: Social Setbacks as Big Oil Expands Pipelines

Emad Mekay

WASHINGTON, Sep 29 (IPS) – Predominantly foreign male workers who relocated to build massive oil and gas projects, combined with feeble gender policies, have brought  and greater burdens for local communities around those projects, new research finds.

This array of problems was found at two of the world’s largest pipeline projects, the 3.2-billion-dollar Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Russia’s 20-billion-dollar Sakhalin II. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

The Idaho Observer: Ruthless Exploiters, Inc.: A little poverty never hurt anybody


EXTRACT: According to an article written for Amnesty International: “It’s 10 years since the Nigerian Government executed the well-known Ogoni writer and human rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa. But little has changed for the people of the Niger Delta, reports Seth Jordan…

“…Oil was discovered in the Ogoni region in the late 1950s by the Royal Dutch/Shell Group….by the 1990s an estimated US $30 billion worth of oil had already been extracted, and oil revenues accounted for over 98 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings; the 550,000 local farmers and fishermen who inhabited the coastal land had received little except a ravaged environment. Once fertile farmland had been destroyed by uncontrolled pollution, and virtually all fish and wildlife had vanished. Only a handful of local people were employed by the oil companies or benefited economically in any way…. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan hardly surprising Putin is questioning the viability of Sakhalin II

29 September 2006

Expert comments on the Sakhalin II situation by a Shell Insider…

The costs of Sakhalin have doubled, so the payback time is approximately doubled. If 2013 is the new estimate for breakeven, based on a start up in 2008 and $22bn costs, then it is fair to assume that the date should have been 2009, based on $10bn costs and start-up in 2007 – as per the PSA.

(1) Apart from the $12bn in extra costs to be paid by the Russians (how much of this is Shell “overhead”?) an NPV calculation shows that the value of the future income stream due to the four year delay, and assuming a discount rate of 12% (typical for upstream E&P projects) is reduced by 60%. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

The Russia Journal: Sakhalin Energy violated pipeline route plan – ecology watchdog

Posted By Newsroom On 29th September 2006 @ 10:15 In Home, Economy, Companies,

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK – A stretch of a pipeline in the Sakhalin II energy project has been illegally laid through the territory of a national preserve, Russia’s environmental watchdog said Friday.

Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources, who is currently leading a probe into the project on the island of Sakhalin, said part of the Sakhalin II pipeline near the village of Sovetskoye passed through the Zubrovy nature preserve in violation with the original route plan. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Bloomberg: Chevron’s Gorgon Venture Design Work to Finish in `Few’ Months

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) — Chevron Corp. said design work on the $10.4 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas venture, which has been delayed, is due for completion in the “next few months” in advance of an investment decision in 2007.

The number of contractors working on the project is set to fall over the next few weeks as the initial engineering and design work nears completion, Chevron said today in an e-mail from the San Ramon, California-based company’s Perth office in Western Australia. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have stakes in the venture. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan
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