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FT: Oil majors gear up for wave of climate change liability lawsuits

, environment and clean energy correspondent

Taken together, these lawsuits amount to a legal onslaught that climate activists hope will have a profound financial impact on oil and gas producers, by imposing huge penalties.

Most lawsuits name the biggest producers — such as Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron — as defendants, though the number of companies named ranges from five to 37.

FULL FT ARTICLE

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LNG tanker poised to load first cargo at Prelude FLNG, Australia

PLEASE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH FURTHER EXPERT COMMENT AND THE INVESTIGATIVE RESULT DOCUMENT AT THE FOOT OF THIS ARTICLE…

Singapore — The 97,730 dwt LNG tanker Valencia Knutsen has been circling near Shell’s Prelude FLNG vessel to load the first LNG cargo from the facility in Western Australia, according to Platts trade flow software cFlow.

The Spanish-flagged Valencia Knutsen departed the port of Darwin on June 2 and has been in the vicinity of Prelude FLNG since June 3, Platts cFlow showed.

The loading of the first LNG cargo will mark the startup of exports from one of the world’s most anticipated LNG projects, also the world’s largest floating LNG platform, adding to Australia’s LNG export capacity. read more

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Forbes: How Royal Dutch Shell Is Setting A Bad Example Amid The Peak Oil Demand Hysteria

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden speaks at a full year results conference in London on January 31, 2019. – Royal Dutch Shell today said that net profit surged 80 percent to $23.4 billion in 2018, thanks to higher oil prices and cost: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Senior Contributor: In 2004, a mania grew in the financial and energy circles around the idea of peak oil. The notion that the world was running out of oil became a commonly held belief, which, in turn, helped push oil prices well above $100 per barrel.

Fifteen years later, peak oil is still talked about by some, but most industry insiders pay it no heed. Instead, over the last few years, the increasingly popular concept has been peak demand. Peak demand is the idea that the demand for oil will reach an apex and then start to decrease, especially as government regulations require more use of alternative energies and as battery-powered machines, like electric vehicles, will presumably become more popular.

Peak demand may or may come to pass—that is not the concern here. What we do know is that if the peak demand idea continues to gain popularity it will lead to a shortage of oil in the coming years and decades. The idea of peak demand threatens the global oil supply because it incentivizes and even excuses oil companies to stop exploring for and producing (E&P) more oil. read more

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Court Adjourns Nigerian Govt’s $406.7 Million Debt Recovery Suit Against Shell Until June 19

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday adjourned until June 19, hearing in a debt recovery suit filed by the federal government against Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd, over an alleged $406.7 million shortfall in crude oil shipment.

The suit numbered FHC/L/CS/336/16 was filed by FG’s counsel, Fabian Ajogwu, a professor and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

It has as defendants, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd and its subsidiary, Shell Western Supply & Trading Ltd. read more

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Report of current court proceedings in OPL 245 criminal case against Shell and ENI

It appears, according to court documents, at the request of ‘Royal Dutch Shell plc’ and four suspected former Shell employees who are mentioned by name and by name in the Italian summons. These are two former British secret agents, hired by Shell as oil men whose main task was to make the inscrutable Nigerian policy more transparent. And two senior Shell managers: former board member Malcolm Brinded and former Africa director Peter Robinson. The foursome is said to have been closely involved in preparing the bribes payments…: “He is a former head of the British secret service MI6, but really no more than a junior employee at Shell in Nigeria.

…in the Netherlands, the FIOD invaded the head office in 2016 and a criminal case for corruption seems imminent. 

Translation of an article published today by the Dutch broadcaster NRC Handelsblad.

“By Nigerian standards, this was a great oil deal”

Shell lawsuit: After months of waiting, Shell took the floor on Tuesday in the court case about possible bribery at the unexplored Nigerian oil field OPL245.

By Merijn Rengers, Carola Wood Room, June 4, 2019

Room 7, where the largest corruption case in Dutch company history is fought, is bursting at the seams. It is warm and noisy and the available seats are already set aside early in the morning for at least 25 Italian lawyers, their crowd of assistants and prosecutors. The other listeners – Shell representatives, activists, interested parties – are forced to sit and sit in the back, or cage in two paying cells on either side of the courtroom where normally detained suspects await their verdict. read more

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The Washington Post: Sunset for Oil Is No Longer Just Talk

By David Fickling | Bloomberg: June 5 at 7:03 AM

Greenwashed rhetoric is such a staple of the oil industry that it’s easy to assume every energy executive talking about climate and the transition to a zero-carbon economy is just mouthing words.

Barely a year after BP Plc Chief Executive Officer John Browne promised “action and solutions” on climate change in a 1997 speech, he led the then-biggest oil takeover in history with the acquisition of Amoco Corp. On his retirement a decade later, after years of rebranding about moving “beyond petroleum,” he left a base of oil and gas reserves more than twice the size of the one he inherited. read more

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Bloomberg: Nigeria’s Oil Thieves Roar Back Even as Militants Kept in Check

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo: 5 June 2019, 01:00 BST

About 100,000 barrels of crude are being taken daily: SBM

Oil-theft is now an industry employing thousands in Nigeria

Just as Nigeria gets to grips with militants who brought the nation’s oil industry to its knees a few years ago, another group of longstanding foes are slowly making a comeback: thieves.

Saboteurs including thieves caused an 80% increase in the number of spills in 2018, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the largest international producer in the West African country, said in a report last month. By contrast, there have been no militant-related halts to operations since 2016. read more

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Reuters: Shipping of first LNG cargo from Australia’s Prelude project is “imminent” – Shell

JUNE 4, 2019

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Shipment of the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo from the long-awaited Prelude floating production project in Australia is “imminent”, Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday.

Prelude – the world’s biggest floating LNG production unit and the biggest maritime vessel ever built – is expected to have an annual LNG production capacity of 3.6 million tonnes.

It will also produce 1.3 million tonnes a year of condensate and 400,000 tonnes a year of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). read more

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INDEPENDENT: Shell promises investors a gusher of money but what about climate change?

The market greeted the oil major’s latest update with a sceptical shrug 

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden’s attempt to power up the company’s share price with a much-ballyhooed strategic update didn’t do much to energise the markets.

The oil giant held out the prospect of a gusher of money for investors between 2021 and 2025, promising to return $125bn (£99bn) in dividends and share buybacks, more than double the number of a decade earlier. It also increased its capital investment estimate a bit, to an average of $30bn in the five years to 2025.

A neat looking trick the company says it can pull off with oil at $60 a barrel, with cash expected to flow freely from new projects. But the shares still fell in response. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

BBC News: BP to pay billions in suspicious Senegal gas deal

03 JUNE 2019

BP has agreed to pay around $10bn (£8bn) to a businessman involved in a suspicious energy deal.

The energy giant bought Frank Timis’ stake in a gas field off the coast of Senegal for $250 million in 2017.

But documents obtained by BBC Panorama and Africa Eye reveal that BP will also pay his company between $9bn and $12bn in royalties.

Both BP and Mr Timis deny any wrongdoing. read more

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MOSOP Cautions Against Forceful Oil Resumption in Ogoniland

The MOSOP president said the Ogoni struggle for justice in Nigeria has consumed over 4,000 lives and currently endangers the lives of over 1,000,000 people owing to Shell and Nigeria’s unjust practices and unfair laws that oppress indigenous communities like the Ogoni people. read more

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Shell Say Dutch Tax Break Not Politically Viable

May 29, 2019, 7:59 PM

Senior executives from Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Koninklijke Philips NV have admitted the tax regimes that allowed them to pay no, or very little, tax are no longer publicly palatable—but they want to work with lawmakers to improve investment appeal.

“If people in this country are unwilling to accept that the outcome of the laws that you have made is that companies like mine don’t pay taxes, then I think you have an obligation” to think about what… read more

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Reuters: Shell pledges to reveal the taxes it pays in every country

“I understand that for many people… being seen to make profits here in the Netherlands and not having any profit to pay tax on can be odd.”

29 MAY 2019: AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC will disclose how much tax it pays in every country in which it operates, an executive told a Dutch parliamentary panel on Wednesday, in a report to be published later this year.

Shell’s vice president for taxation Alan McLean made the promise at a hearing on taxation of multinationals called by parliament after reports emerged last year that Shell does not pay any corporate tax in the Netherlands, despite being headquartered in The Hague.

Ahead of Wednesday’s panel, Shell disclosed that it does not pay Dutch corporate taxes apart from at its NAM gas subsidiary, a joint venture with Exxon.

Worldwide, Shell reported it paid $10 billion (7.92 billion pounds) in corporate tax in 2018 and that it had an effective tax rate of 33 percent.

However, in the relatively small Dutch market it was able to use deductions on loss-making operations elsewhere to reduce its corporate tax bill to zero.

“When there’s a loss there’s no profit tax to be paid, so the arithmetic is simple,” Alan McLean told sceptical lawmakers. read more

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Seeking Alpha: Dutch regulator wants Groningen gas production cut faster than planned

|About: Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A)| By , SA News Editor

Production at the Groningen natural gas field in the Netherlands needs to be cut faster than planned, Dutch gas sector regulator SodM says after a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit the region last week.

“From a safety perspective, SodM recommends that not more than 12B cm be extracted from the Groningen gas field in the following gas year in the event of an average winter,” the regulator says. read more

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OilPrice.com: Shell Vows Not To Return Pumping Oil In Troubled Nigerian Region

Earlier this month, a Dutch court ruled that it had the jurisdiction and would hear a damages lawsuit against Shell brought by the widows of activists executed by Nigeria’s government after the protests in Ogoniland in the 1990s.

By Tsvetana Paraskova May 27, 2019, 4:00 PM CDT

The Nigerian unit of Royal Dutch Shell doesn’t have any plans to return to exploring or producing oil in Ogoniland in Nigeria’s Rivers state after it ceased operations there in the 1990s, Igo Weli, General Manager, External Relations, at the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) said this weekend at the release of Shell Nigeria’s 2019 Briefing Notes.

SPDC, as operator of the SPDC Joint Venture, carried out exploration and production operations in Ogoniland from the 1950s until the early 1990s. Production ceased in 1993 following a rise in violence, threats to staff, and attacks on facilities, Shell said. read more

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Shell Prelude, suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo

Reading Rob Jäger, who I knew in Shell many years past, is like listening somewhat to my comments about Prelude starting way back in 2012 or so being replayed and replayed………suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo. Think it’s telling that this historically proud, nay boastful and confident project so sure and aware of itself in the past is so reluctant to give a firm start-up date for LNG and so reluctant to just tell the world why?

By retired Shell Global Safety Consultant, Bill Campbell

Just some background thoughts, we all wish this project well but there is a lot that doesn’t appear to stack up in the Jager piece

Reading Rob Jäger, who I knew in Shell many years past, is like listening somewhat to my comments about Prelude starting way back in 2012 or so being replayed and replayed………suddenly, everything is not so tickety-boo.  Rob talks about safety and risk so underplayed before, he talks about large vessel but small area for LNG plant so underplayed before, he talks about risk almost discounted before because Prelude was so safe , now Safety, safety is the key, its the first project by the way in the long history of Shell that is in his words NOT driven by milestones and schedule, sorry don’t believe a word of it. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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