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After Mishaps, Shell Dials Back Arctic Oil-Drilling Plans

Christopher Helman

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff: 9/17/2012

I’m based in Houston, Texas, energy capital of the world.

For weeks now it’s been unlikely that Shell would have enough time before the sea freeze sets in to drill down to oil-bearing zones in its newly spudded well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

But today Shell made it official, announcing that it would seek only to finish “top hole” work on the Burger A well. It aims only to drill down to 1,400 feet beneath the seafloor, then plug and seal the hole for reentry next year. read more

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Shell’s delayed Arctic oil plans worrisome

Alaska Dispatch | Sep 05, 2012

Norwegian oil company Statoil has watched closely Royal Dutch Shell’s long and costly quest to sink exploratory oil wells in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. And that struggle has Statoil concerned, so much so that company officials say Statoil won’t be exercising its federal leases and drilling in Alaska’s Arctic until at least 2015, according to The Financial Times.
 
Instead, in the near term Statoil is headed to Canada for offshore oil exploration: “…in the coming months Statoil had plans to drill three wells offshore eastern Canada and nine in the Norwegian Barents Sea, where it has already made discoveries. But it will not be drilling in the Chukchi Sea before 2014,” The Financial Times reported this week.
 
In Alaska’s Arctic, Shell is on the verge of starting a limited drilling program that will entail sinking a drill bit up to 1,400 feet into the seabed — several thousand feet shy of the oil and gas deposits. Nonetheless, this partial drilling effort signifies a breakthrough for Shell, which has spent more than $4.5 billion and years to get to this point.
 
Tim Dodson, head of exploration for Statoil, told The Financial Times that the costs — many related to complying with regulations and fighting off lawsuits — that Shell has absorbed to get this far is worrisome. “Some of these regulations can make the costs of exploration prohibitive,” he told the newspaper.
 
One possible way to reduce the financial risks could be for oil companies to partner on offshore exploration wells in the far north. The Financial Times reports.
 
“You will see more shared equity on these wells, to spread the risk and limit the cost exposure,” (Dodson) said. He added that Statoil was already discussing this option with other companies that have leases in the northern seas, such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. read more

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Europe’s Oil Majors Plead for Patience

August 5, 2012

By ALEXIS FLYNN

Downbeat quarterly earnings from Europe’s major energy companies are a reminder that the bumper returns of two years ago are a long way from returning, as the sector expends time and money trying to secure new oil and gas fields.

While the market was braced for a drop in profits from a year ago, given that crude prices averaged 7% less than in the corresponding period in 2011, the scale of the future challenge faced by companies like BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Total SA and Eni SpA was yet again in evidence, analysts said. read more

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As the Arctic Opens for Oil, the Coast Guard Scrambles

By and on July 26, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS/A) has spent $4.5 billion since 2005 preparing to explore for oil off Alaska’s north coast in the Arctic. Shell, which may begin drilling next month, is one of at least six companies planning to extract oil, gas, and minerals from the Arctic as global warming melts ice and opens new sea lanes to commerce. The Arctic region holds about a fourth of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. About 84 percent of this treasure trove lies beneath the ocean floor. The U.S. has more than 1,000 miles of Arctic shoreline, and much of the country’s Arctic oil is there. read more

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Shell May Trim 2012 Alaska Drilling for Inspections, Ice

By Katarzyna Klimasinska on July 26, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) may have to scale back its Arctic oil-exploration this year after unrelenting ice and trouble passing U.S. Coast Guard inspections delayed the planned July start of drilling.

The company’s fleet remains in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, days away from the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the state’s north coast, waiting for ice to break up and the U.S. to issue final permits for drilling five test wells. Arctic conditions require Shell to quit work by late October, before ice reforms. read more

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Putin Pushes International Oil CEOs for Access to Assets

By Jake Rudnitsky and Ilya Khrennikov on June 22, 2012

President Vladimir Putin asked the chief executives of U.S. and European energy producers to grant Russian companies access to international assets, holding out some of the world’s biggest untapped resources as a prize.

Putin is hosting the heads of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), ConocoPhillips, BP Plc (BP/) and Eni SpA (ENI) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, using the three-day event to say Russia is one of the most welcoming countries for energy investments.

“Far from all countries allow such a broad involvement by foreign companies in the energy sector,” Putin said in a speech yesterday, pointing to Mexico and Norway as countries where state-owned companies dominate the energy industry. read more

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Obama Administration holds Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale

Source: U.S. Department of the Interior

Today, the Department of the Interior took the latest step as part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, holding a 39 million acre lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that today’s Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale attracted $1,704,500,995 in high bids for tracts on the U.S. outer continental shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. A total of 56 offshore energy companies submitted 593 bids on 454 tracts covering more than 2,402,918 acres. The sum of all bids received totaled $2,602,563,726. read more

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Statoil Asks Gazprom to Bring Shell Into Shtokman: RIA

By Marina Sysoyeva on June 21, 2012

Statoil ASA (STL) wants Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to become the main foreign partner in development of the Shtokman offshore natural gas project in Russia, RIA Novosti reported.

Statoil sent a letter to OAO Gazprom proposing the change, the Russian news agency reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter. Gazprom owns 51 percent of Shtokman Development AG, Statoil owns 24 percent and France’s Total SA (FP) owns 25 percent. The report didn’t say if Statoil is seeking a replacement for Total or to reduce the company’s stake in the project. read more

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‘The Pipe’ Norwegian premiere

The project is currently 10 years behind schedule, projected costs have risen from $800 million to $2.5billion, Statoil has had to sell off its retail outlets in Ireland because of the damage to its reputation and internationally the reputation of Statoil has suffered due to its partnership in the Corrib field.

CORRIB GAS PROJECT

The award winning documentary film about the controversial Corrib Gas pipeline – ‘The Pipe’ – will have its Norwegian premiere this Monday in Oslo at the Cinemateket presented by the Neptune Network:
http://www.neptunenetwork.org/.

Attendees will include people from industry, politics, media and academia, who will participate in a post screening discussion with director of the film Risteard Ó Domhnaill and County Mayo fisherman Patrick O’Donnell

(see photo right, courtesy of John Monaghan).

http://www.neptunenetwork.org/profiles/blogs/cinemateket-statoils-overgrep-mot-irsk-befolkning-vises-frem-i-pr
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

Collection of links relating to drilling in the Arctic Ocean

Articles and links supplied by a former employee of Shell Oil USA.


ARTICLES

The Arctic and Shell

What happens if Statoil is involved in major Arctic Ocean blowout?

Statoil, Shell and the Arctic Ocean

LINKS

Shell Chukchi Sea Application 2010 Application for Incidental Harassment Authorization for the Non-Lethal Taking of Whales and Seals in Conjunction with Planned 2010 Exploration Drilling Program Chukchi Sea, Alaska: April 2010

(IF SHELL WISHES TO EXPLAIN HOW YOU “TAKE” A WILD MULTI -TON WHALE IN A “NONE LETHAL” FASHION, WE WILL HAPPILY PUBLISH THAT INFORMATION HERE – I HAVE CHECKED THE 50 PAGES IN THIS SHELL DOCUMENT AND CANNOT FIND AN EXPLANATION?)

I have lifted some text from the NOAA EIS that relates to the bureaucratic definitions of ‘take’ and ‘harassment’. As can be seen, they are not benign definitions. These folks talk about ‘temporary loss’ of hearing. How did they determine this with cetaceans (whales)? Do these people know what they are talking about? 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

Statoil, Shell and the Arctic Ocean

From a former Shell employee…

This follows up on my article… What happens if Statoil is involved in major Arctic Ocean blowout?

I am absolutely certain that senior level Statoil management is fully aware of the potential ‘political consequences’ if any of their exploration or production operations in US Arctic waters were to suffer from a major ‘environmental incident’. The BP fiasco has sensitized the entire industry to that issue. I am also certain that the Norwegian government is likewise aware of the potential consequences.

(I am also certain that the Dept. of Interior and MMS are in over their little heads and clueless about how to deal with such a situation.) read more

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What happens if Statoil is involved in major Arctic Ocean blowout?

Comment by former Shell employee on the article: Shell, Statoil to Conduct Seismic Studies in Chukchi Sea

It is my understanding that Statoil, which just received permission from a Federal court to proceed with seismic exploration studies in the Chukchi Sea, was at one time wholly owned by the Norwegian government. Today it is a privatized company but the Norwegian government still holds a majority of the stock in the company. It is my understanding as well that Statoil is the last of the three Norwegian oil/gas production companies established by Norwegian government policy in the early 1970’s to develop their oil and gas resources in their sector of the North Sea. As such it is the ‘flagship’ oil company of Norway and responsible for the development of Norwegian oil and gas resources, which are quite substantial. read more

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Norwegian Oil Firm Goes to Energy’s Last Frontier

Last year, in a record lease sale, Royal Dutch Shell PLC paid $2.1 billion for exploration blocks in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska.

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Statoil chief says mergers likely as industry faces turbulence

The oil industry faces several years of turbulence that could trigger a new wave of consolidation, according to Helge Lund, chief executive of Norway's national oil company StatoilHydro.

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Ormen Lange Gas Field Now Has 6 Wells Online – Shell

Norway's giant Ormen Lange gas field is now producing gas from six wells, after three new wells were brought online earlier this month, a spokeswoman for operator Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) said Friday.

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Corrib oral hearing before Christmas

During their address, Rossport Five’s Vincent McGrath and John Monaghan outlined the history of the Corrib project, its impact on the local community, environmental and human rights concerns, and positive ways forward for all stakeholders – ‘concentrating on community input and local consent’.

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