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Posts from ‘June, 2010’

Vultures circle BP over fears its days are numbered in US home

Oil firm’s shares surge 9% after speculation prompts takeover talk

Terry Macalister: Wednesday 30 June 2010 18.57 BST

A protester demonstrates at a BP petrol station in Manhattan. The company has been vilified in the US. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

In the past an almost double-digit percentage increase in the BP share price would have signalled a spectacular oil strike. It is a measure of the decline in the company’s fortunes that such a surge was triggered by hopes of a takeover or break-up.

The company’s stock soared 9% to 331p at one point as a growing list of companies from China to Russia were linked with potential mega-mergers that could see the end of independence for what was once Britain’s biggest firm. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

A warning about Aviva car insurance

By John Donovan

A couple of days ago I made a telephone call to Aviva to notify the company I was switching to another car insurer.

I had discovered that similar, although not identical comprehensive cover, could be obtained from a competitor at a lot less than half of the comprehensive insurance premium I was paying. Basically both policies allowed me to drive my car under comprehensive cover.

I had not bothered to check comparable prices for may years.  I had left myself in the hands of a major insurer, Aviva, formally known as Norwich Union Direct, trusting they would remain competitive. Huge mistake on my part. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Exxon or Shell should buy BP for £88bn, says analyst

Daily Telegraph: BP’S share price fell by a further 2pc, after a prominent City expert suggested it should be bought by US rival Exxon Mobil in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

By Rowena Mason, Energy Correspondent
30 June 2010

A sea turtle covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill swimming off the Grand Terre Island.

Fred Lucas, an energy analyst at JP Morgan Cazenove, speculated that Exxon or Shell could swoop on the beleagured British oil giant for approximately £88bn. Exxon is the most financially strong oil company, he said, adding that it could make a cash and stock offer while spinning off $50bn (£33bn) of refining and marketing assets.

“We must emphasise,” Mr Lucas adds in the note, “that this is our idea and it is only an idea.” read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Will BP be bought by a US rival? I doubt it

Daily Telegraph

Given America’s dislike, nay hatred, of BP it would be ironic if a US company ended up buying it.

By Damian Reece, Head of Business
Published: 7:00AM BST 30 Jun 2010

US oil company Exxon Mobil has been touted as a possible buyer of BP

But that’s exactly what analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove have been postulating in a research note published on Tuesday. They describe a $133bn (£90bn) bid versus BP’s current value of $89bn (£60bn). The suitor? Exxon Mobil.

I’m sure Exxon’s boss, Rex Tillerson, has been watching events in the Gulf more closely than most. Likewise Peter Voser, his opposite number at Royal Dutch Shell. The value on offer at BP’s current stockmarket price is as obvious to them as it is to JP Morgan Cazenove. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

BP takeover talk resumes, bolstering shares

"In theory, either Exxon Mobil or RD Shell could consider a bid for BP" the analyst added. "They have similar business models and similar global asset structures. They also bear the lowest political risk to a potential combination with BP." and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell Brazil Unit Finds Oil In Campos Basin Presalt Well

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones)--The Brazilian unit of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA, RDSA.LN) discovered oil in the Campos Basin's presalt region, the company said Tuesday. and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Exxon, Shell May Consider Possible Bid for BP, JPMorgan Says

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By Fred Pals

June 29 (Bloomberg) — Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc may consider bidding for BP Plc after the London-based oil company lost more than half of its market value in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, JPMorgan Cazenove Ltd. said.

Exxon Mobil has the stronger balance sheet and proven ability to integrate a large transaction, according to Fred Lucas, a London-based analyst at JP Morgan. It could make a cash and share offer, valuing BP at 473 pence a share compared with yesterday’s close of 308.25 pence, and including a $50 billion spin-off of BP’s downstream assets, according to JPMorgan. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Iraq Cabinet Approves Shell Gas Deal In S Iraq-Official


JUNE 29, 2010


The Iraqi cabinet Tuesday approved a deal with Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) and Mitsubishi Corp. (8058.TO) to develop a gas-structure project in southern Iraq, paving the way for a final signature of the multibillion deal, a government spokesman.

Ali al-Dabbagh said that Shell and Mitsubishi Corp. would hold 49% stake in the venture while Iraq’s state-owned South Gas Co. would hold 51%.

The decision was taken at the cabinet’s weekly meeting, Dabbagh said in a statement, a copy of which emailed to Dow Jones Newswires, read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

BP, Arts sponsorship – and the fat cats…

Paddy Briggs’ letter, published in “The Guardian” 28th June 2010

It is understandable that, as you report, many artists and green groups are protesting against arts institutions receiving sponsorship from BP – but it is important to describe what such corporate charitable donations are – and what they are not. They are not in any way ever a meaningful contributor in a company’s overall obligations to its stakeholders. The amounts are collectively too small and the selection of recipients is far too random for the largesse to be anything than incidental in the context of a big company’s finances.null read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Deepwater Horizon – an independent assessment

My compliments to Panorama and your programme “How on earth did this happen”

Please see the attached analysis sent to the US investigators and Professor Robert Bea who according to CBS News 60 minutes has a role in collating survivors testimony and the Chemical Safety and Investigation Board (CSB) tasked I understand to investigate the disaster.

I have no connections whatsoever with BP, your people in Aberdeen are aware of who I am and I took part in 2006 in the BBC Frontline Scotland Programme the Human Price of Oil.  I have from time to time supplied Channel 4 with technical input on questions re offshore safety also. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell declines to comment on alleged industrial espionage targeting U.S. Navy Dept

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

Printed below is email correspondence with Mr Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. I am grateful to him for his response.

It seems reasonable to conclude in view of his response, that there is substance to astonishing allegations of Shell industrial espionage in the USA directed at the US Navy Department, involving classified military information.

Mr Wiseman must have checked with his American colleagues before replying, yet has been unable to issue the requested denial – see below – which would have resulted in non-publication. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Shell protects interests in drilling rig takeover

Daily Telegraph

Shell has protected crucial oil drilling interests in a deal involving two of the biggest companies in the business.

By Roland Gribben
Published: 5:30AM BST 29 Jun 2010

Noble, the most important in the market after Transocean, is paying $2.16bn (£1.43bn) cash for Frontier, a Norwegian rival which has been developing a powerful new drilling vessel for operations in deep water and the Arctic in conjunction with Shell.

The deal comes against the background of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the freeze on further offshore US drilling development imposed by President Obama in the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

New York Fed probes Wall Street exposure to BP: sources


Joshua Schneyer and Kristina Cooke NEW YORK Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:59pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been probing major financial firms’ exposure to BP Plc to ensure that if the oil giant buckles under the costs of the Gulf oil spill, it won’t put Wall Street or the global financial system at risk, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

After poring over documents and asking banks about their exposure to BP over the past two weeks, the Fed found no systemic risk, and hasn’t asked firms to alter their credit relationships with BP, the sources told Reuters. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Spain’s Repsol pulls out of Iran gas project


MADRID June 28 (Reuters) – Spain’s largest oil company Repsol (REP.MC: Quote) has pulled out of a contract it won with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote) to develop part of the South Pars gas field in Iran, a spokesman said on Monday.

A spokesman for Shell declined to confirm whether the company will remain to develop phases 13 and 14 of the South Pars project, but noted that Shell will comply with any international trade restrictions which are placed on Iran.

A growing number of oil companies, trading houses and other international companies have stopped doing business with Iran this year amid a U.S. drive to isolate Tehran and international efforts to impose tougher sanctions. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Stock and bond markets nervous about a possible BP bankruptcy

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BP’s Corner-Cutting Extends to Its Finances: Alice Schroeder

Commentary by Alice Schroeder

June 28 (Bloomberg) — Once perceived as a fortress built on low leverage and strong cash flows, BP Plc seems to have managed its balance sheet much the way it ran exploration projects — dangerously. Projections the company is feeding investors about how much cash it will have to pay claims are finally getting the skepticism they deserve.

It’s obvious why the stock and bond markets are nervous about a possible BP bankruptcy. Last week BP abandoned its no- worries stance that its cash reserves would cover cleanup costs and announced that it had put together a war chest of $20 billion, including lending commitments from banks. This shift didn’t occur because cleanup costs are rising. BP didn’t have enough funds in the first place. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan

Total joins petrol embargo of Iran as sanctions loom

Financial Times

By Carola Hoyos and Javier Blas in London and Daniel,Dombey in Washington

Published: June 28 2010 03:00 | Last updated: June 28 2010 03:00

Total has become the latest big oil company to halt petrol sales to Iran, just days before Barack Obama, the US president, signs into law sanctions targeted at Tehran’s reliance on imported petroleum. read more and its sister websites,, and are all owned by John Donovan
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