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Arctic drilling: Groups challenge Shell oil spill response plans

By Kim Murphy: July 9, 2012, 6:41 p.m.

SEATTLE — In an effort to hold oil companies to a higher standard in the Arctic Ocean, a coalition of conservation groups announced Monday that  they are suing to challenge the federal government’s approval of oil spill cleanup plans for Shell Alaska’s upcoming operations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

The lawsuit, which is being filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, seeks to invoke the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, a tough law passed in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. That law sets a high bar for offshore oil and gas operations — a bar that Shell officials say they are already meeting for exploratory drilling scheduled to get underway in August. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell may be ready for the Arctic, but its oil spill barge isn’t

By Kim Murphy: July 5, 2012, 8:04 p.m.

SEATTLE — A unique ice-class barge designed to clean up any oil spills that might result from Shell Alaska’s upcoming operations in the Arctic Ocean has so far failed to acquire final U.S. Coast Guard certification. Engineers from the oil company say it’s no longer appropriate to require them to meet the rigorous weather standards originally proposed.

Further, sea trials for the Arctic Challenger — a 37-year-old barge undergoing a multimillion-dollar retrofit — have been delayed in Washington state as federal  inspectors insist on improvements to electrical, piping and fire protection systems, a senior Coast Guard inspector confirmed Thursday. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell injunction forces Greenpeace to get creative

With a judge ordering its boats to stay away from the oil firm’s Arctic rigs, the anti-drilling organization turns to social media and other means of getting its message out.

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times: June 10, 2012 SEATTLE — One day last week, guests from various engineering and shipping companies around Seattle were invited to a reception at the Space Needle, supposedly hosted by Royal Dutch Shell to celebrate the upcoming debut of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

But most of the guests, it turned out, were actors and activists merely posing as drilling enthusiasts.

They looked on in mock horror as a giant ice sculpture emblazoned with Shell’s corporate logo began spraying a stream of Diet Coke on an elderly woman who was the supposed guest of honor. The woman, who gained fame last year when she was pepper-sprayed by police at an Occupy Seattle protest, shrieked as the emcees grabbed stuffed polar bears to help mop up the spill.

A video of the ensuing chaos quickly gained half a million views on YouTube. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Human rights and U.S. courts

latimes.com

The U.S. Supreme Court shouldn’t give corporations a pass in human rights cases involving foreign victims.

March 1, 2012

If foreign victims of human rights abuses can use U.S. courts to seek justice from their tormentors, it shouldn’t matter whether they were mistreated by an individual or a corporation. But the Supreme Court was urged this week by an international oil company to insulate it from a law against torture and other violations of the “law of nations.”

In 1789, Congress enacted the Alien Tort Statute, which gave federal district courts jurisdiction over “any civil action by an alien for a tort committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” Apparently Congress had in mind a small number of torts — or civil wrongs — including piracy and attacks on ambassadors. The law gathered dust for almost 200 years until it was rediscovered by lawyers for victims of human rights abuses. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

LA TIMES EDITORIAL: OIL AND THE ARCTIC MIGHT NOT MIX

latimes.com A family of polar bears on the Beaufort Sea, where Shell plans to drill for oil and gas. One of the remaining obstacles for the oil company is the plan’s potential effect on polar bears in the region. (Reuters)

August 10, 2011

Shell Oil’s proposal to drill three exploratory wells in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope received a conditional go-ahead last week from the Obama administration even though the Interior Department has not yet approved the company’s plan for responding to a catastrophic oil spill. That plan fails to adequately address many of the harsh realities of drilling in Arctic seas. It’s too early for any approval, conditional or otherwise.

Exploratory offshore drilling in the Arctic doesn’t present the same potential for danger as, say, BP‘s offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The hazards of drilling in the Arctic are quite different and in ways worse.

Shell’s wells would be just 160 feet underwater, as opposed to the 5,000-foot depth of BP’s Deepwater Horizon well, source of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. That, at least theoretically, would make the Arctic wells easier to cap. But there are other important differences. BP’s rig was located in generally calm waters that happen to contain oil-degrading bacteria. The gulf’s concentration of oil rigs also makes it a hub for Coast Guard rescue equipment and drilling expertise. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Is Arctic drilling safe? Scientists aren’t sure

latimes.com June 24, 2011 Escalating oil prices and diminishing supplies around the world are focusing more attention than ever on the vast petroleum reserves under the Arctic seabed, and in the relatively pristine shoreline areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.The Obama administration is moving to speed up drilling where possible, but the nagging problem with a wholesale move into the Arctic is how much we don’t know about the remote, fragile region. How much more drilling can safely be accommodated?

Can polar bears survive the twin threats of shrinking sea ice and greater ship traffic? What about fish stocks and an acidifying ocean? Bowhead whales might be able to migrate around new oil platforms, but will they be stressed out by drilling noise? And what if their food supplies are shrinking as well?

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in March 2010 ordered up a report on what we don’t know, and need to know, about what is happening to the Arctic environment. This week, the answer finally arrived, in the form of a long-awaited new report from the U.S. Geological Survey on what science gaps need to be filled to safely carry on the march into one of the coldest and least-understood places on the planet. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell proposes to move forward in Beaufort Sea

latimes.com

October 6, 2010 |  8:56 pm

With the BP oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico successfully contained, Shell Alaska announced that it has filed an application to proceed with exploratory offshore drilling in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.

The Obama administration suspendedall offshore operations in the remote, fragile Arctic seas this year in the wake of the BP spill, but Shell officials said they have prepared a more robust oil blowout containment plan and are ready to proceed next summer with a single well 17 miles off the North Slope. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Former FBI chief defends flow of money to Saudi ambassador

Excerpts: Freeh said that a 1985 treaty between Britain and Saudi Arabia allowed the trade of oil for weapons. BAE signed an $86-billion contract with the Saudis under the provisions of the treaty, and the funds that flowed between Britain and the Bandar-controlled bank accounts in the U.S. may have come from the sale of Saudi oil under the terms of the contract. "We did not invent corruption," Prince Bandar bin Sultan tells Bergman. "This has happened since Adam and Eve. . . . This is human nature."

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Controversy boils at idled refinery: Accusation against Shell Oil by union and consumer activists

Shell Oil Co. is putting the squeeze on a financially troubled Bakersfield refinery it sold in 2005 to Big West Oil, which could lead to the closing of the operation and potentially higher gasoline prices for California motorists, according to consumer activists and a union representing plant workers.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Appeals court rules against Arctic drilling plan

"The U.S. faces an energy supply crisis, and delays like this only extend and aggravate it. In times of shrinking global supply and ever increasing reliance on imported oil, the Alaska offshore could be a significant resource for national energy security," Shell said in a statement.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Oil and politics

Washington's fear and confusion over high gasoline prices has come to this: Democratic Party leaders, who have dismissed Republican calls to end the federal ban on offshore oil drilling as a political stunt, have suddenly decided it may not be such a bad idea after all.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Cheney’s office tried to alter greenhouse gas testimony, former official says

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney's office worked to alter sworn congressional testimony provided by a federal official in order to play down the threat of global warming and head off regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, a former government official said in a new accusation Tuesday.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Levy is needed on oil profit windfalls

From The Los Angeles Times: It seems quaint to think of it now, but it was only three years ago that lawmakers in Washington were debating whether to impose a windfall profits tax on the oil industry for all oil sold above $40 a barrel.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Group Parent Cos. to Trade As 1 Stock

Los Angeles Times: Shell Group Parent Cos. to Trade As 1 Stock

19 May 2005

By Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The two parent companies of multinational oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell Group said Thursday they will trade as a single stock, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, from July 20.

The Hague-based Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. and London-based Shell Transport & Trading Co. PLC will have been listed independently for nearly a century.

Unification plans were revealed on Oct. 28 that will create a management board with a U.S.-style chief executive and a non-executive chairman. Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading will propose to their shareholders, who respectively own 60 percent and 40 percent, to become subsidiaries of the new parent company. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Los Angeles Times: Texaco Aims to Regain Star Status in U.S.

Los Angeles Times: Texaco Aims to Regain Star Status in U.S.

2 May 2005

By James F. Peltz, Times Staff Writer

Odd as it sounds, the U.S. arm of ChevronTexaco Corp. is getting back into the business of Texaco.

The Texaco brand of gasoline had withered in the U.S. market since 2001, when Chevron Corp. bought Texaco Inc. for $39 billion.

To get their merger cleared by antitrust authorities, the companies sold exclusive rights to the Texaco brand for three years to a group led by the Shell division of Royal Dutch/Shell Group. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

FTC Probing Shell’s Plan to Shut Refinery

Los Angeles Times: FTC Probing Shell’s Plan to Shut Refinery

“We’re looking at any possible antitrust violations associated with the closure,”

The antitrust inquiry heightens scrutiny surrounding proposed closure of the oil firm’s Bakersfield plant.

By Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a formal antitrust investigation into Shell Oil Co.’s plan to close its Bakersfield refinery, an agency official said Wednesday, stepping up scrutiny of a move that California officials believe will worsen the state’s gasoline supply woes.

Meanwhile, the oil company on July 1 reduced crude oil processing at the refinery to levels 19% below capacity, according to an internal Shell document obtained by The Times and a plant employee who asked not to be identified. A Shell spokesman would not say whether the facility was running at full capacity. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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