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Shell’s massive investment in China

The country is sitting on huge untapped shale gas reserves, and Shell senses opportunity.


One of the world’s biggest energy companies, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +0.12%) is planning to invest $1 billion per year in China’s massive shale gas reserves. This natural gas, which has long been considered uneconomical to produce, has in the last decade captured investor attention due to a combination of cost effective modern drilling and extraction methods, such as fracking.

Earlier this year, China’s resource ministry revealed that it had discovered 25.1 trillion cubic meters of untapped shale gas reserves, which could fuel the country’s current natural gas needs for 200 years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has also confirmed that China has at least 50% more shale gas in its reserves than the U.S. does, officially. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Online pranksters target Shell’s drilling plans

Greenpeace’s latest attack on the company’s Arctic drilling is a little too effective.

By Kim Peterson 19 July 2012 Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +0.40%) has a problem on its hands: a little website that looks authentic and for weeks has called attention to the company’s Arctic oil exploration plan.The website, at, was expertly crafted to look like a Shell company site. But it doesn’t take much investigating to realize there are hijinks afoot. The picture of a polar bear carrying the bloody head of a baby polar bear in its mouth might give a clue.The site is an elaborate setup by Greenpeace, which has clearly learned that online protests can make more of an impact than some of its other methods. The site is funny, viral, and so effective that it keeps coming back to haunt Shell weeks after it was exposed as a Greenpeace stunt.

The centerpiece of the site is a fake ad generator that lets people add their own captions to photos of the Arctic (the ad generator appears to be down now). You can see the gallery here. The captions that people have added are harsh, and sometimes hilarious. Here are some examples:

  • Birds are like sponges… for oil!
  • We’d drill a crippled orphan’s spine if there was some oil in it.
  • Because you can’t afford to visit pristine wilderness anyway.
  • End polar bear attacks in our lifetime.
  • This fox will murder you unless we kill it first.
  • Because your gas should come from someplace beautiful.

Shell clearly wants all of this to go away — so much so that it said it won’t take legal action against Greenpeace. The company is looking to launch its first offshore Arctic drilling in two decades, and continues to be hammered by environmental groups as a result read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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