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Posts from ‘September, 2007’


Former Shell Production Geologist, Dr John Huong

Dr. John Huong – Former Shell Production Geologist of almost 30 years standing

(Photograph Courtesy of The Borneo Post)

(The following comments in the name of Dr John Huong were published prior to the defamation proceedings brought against him collectively by EIGHT companies in the Royal Dutch Shell Group. It is interesting to note the recommendation for the unification into a single company over  year before the merger into Royal Dutch Shell Plc)


I have integrated my personal insights as seen from the perspective of a former Shell employee – a Shell geologist for almost 30 years – who was unfairly axed by Shell management. I was punished because I insisted on working within the ethical boundaries of Shell’s “Statement of General Business Principles” (SGBP) which is supposed to protect shareholder, national and other stakeholder interests. read more

Free Research on Royal Dutch Shell Plc (over 22,000 articles)

We have the worlds largest online library of news articles and leaked documents about the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and related matters. They are all available FREE for educational and research purposes. Iran announces natural gas find

Iran has discovered in-place reserves of 11.4 trillion cubic feet of sweet gas in a southern field, a senior official was quoted as saying.

Mahmoud Mohaddes, head of exploration of the National Iranian Oil Company, said the Sefid Zakhour field in Fars province would have a daily production capacity of more than 1.15 billion cubic feet once it had been developed, state television said.

He predicted 17 wells would be needed for the field, the report said. Recoverable reserves are lower than in-place estimates. read more State Can Help Stop Iran’s Quest for Nukes

Sunday September 30, 2007

The president of Iran has stated publicly that it is his goal to attack the great Satan (referring to the U.S.), develop nuclear weapons and eliminate Israel from the face of the Earth.

We take him at his word, and more importantly, world leaders do, too. That’s why Americans should refuse to invest their taxpayer dollars in companies doing business with Iran’s defense and energy sectors.

To reduce the nuclear threat and stop the flow of American money to terrorism, local, state and federal governments should adopt “terror free investment policies” and divest public retirement funds from international companies that do business with Iran’s energy and defense industries. read more

Maeil News: ‘Black Rush’ in Sakhalin: For a Dramatic Discovery of Oil and Natural Gas

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The “black rush” for crude oil, which reminds us of the “gold rush” in the 19th century west, is now taking place in Sakhalin, Russia.

About 30 percent of Russian oil and natural gas have been reported to be buried under Sakhalin: 2.7 billion barrels of oil in 11 oil fields, 1.261 trillion square meters of natural gas in 18 gas fields and 2.5 billion tons of coal in 52 mines as confirmed until recently, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)’s office in Vladivostok, Russia. Such quantity of oil and natural gas can satiate demand of South Korea for three years and sixty years, respectively. read more

The Sunday Times: Hunt is on for new BP chairman

September 30, 2007
Louise Armitstead

BP has launched a search for a new chairman in a move that will draw a line under the turmoil that has engulfed the British oil giant for two years.

BP, which has a market value of £107 billion, has appointed a headhunter to find a replacement for Peter Sutherland, who has chaired the company for the past decade.

Anna Mann, doyenne of British headhunting, will conduct the international search.

The company has been rocked by a series of disasters. It faces lawsuits over an explosion at a Texas oil refinery in 2005 which killed 15 people. It has been attacked for lax safety standards in Alaska and for missing production targets. On top of this, its former chief executive, Lord Browne, was forced out earlier this year after admitting he lied in a court case. He has been succeeded by Tony Hayward. read more

Khaleej Times Online: Oman crude oil prices up 7.5pc for November (Bloomberg)

30 September 2007

NEW YORK — Oman crude oil’s official price for November on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange Ltd. rose 7.5 per cent from October on concerns of lower supply.

Oman was set at $73.49 a barrel, up from October’s $66.34, based on a Bloomberg calculation of the average closing prices for the past month’s trading. The November contract closed at $76.49 at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time, the exchange said in an e-mail.

Middle East crudes climbed this month as refiners snatched up cargoes on concerns that maintenance at fields in Abu Dhabi would limit supplies for October and November. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s buying of a record 310 Dubai partials contracts through the oil pricing system of Platts boosted prices. read more

The New York Times: Ethanol’s Boom Stalling as Glut Depresses Price

New York Times Corn Dump photo

Lincolnway Energy, a midsize distillery in Iowa, was once virtually alone in the region. Today, though, competing distilleries are operating and pouring even more ethanol onto the market.
Published: September 30, 2007

NEVADA, Iowa, Sept. 24 — The ethanol boom of recent years — which spurred a frenzy of distillery construction, record corn prices, rising food prices and hopes of a new future for rural America — may be fading.

A Glut of Ethanol

Only last year, farmers here spoke of a biofuel gold rush, and they rejoiced as prices for ethanol and the corn used to produce it set records. read more

The Sunday Telegraph: Share tips: Oil’s well at BP despite setback

Edited by Iain Dey
Last Updated: 11:37pm BST 29/09/2007

Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP (567.5p), was caught off guard last week when comments from a staff meeting leaked into the public domain. He warned that third-quarter results from the oil major would be “dreadful” and a strategic overhaul is imminent.

While the news knocked BP’s shares, there was nothing in Hayward’s comments that came as much of a surprise. Analysts had been anticipating awful results from BP in Q3 – with production targets and profit targets all missed – and had already factored this into the share price. read more

Buenos Aires Herald: Article plus related correspondence including letter from the President of Shell Argentina published 29 Sept 2007

Article published 7 September 2007: Shell to appeal refinery closure
Shell CAPSA will appeal an order issued late Wednesday night that will lead to the closure of its refinery in the Dock Sud area for alleged pollution, company president Juan José Aranguren announced yesterday. 

By Peter Johnson
Herald staff

The closure, the latest in a series of clashes with the government over the pricing of the company’s fuels and alleged failures to meet the requirements of the so-called Supply Law, will take at least a week and “is the first time that the refinery has been shut down since 1977, or at least since I have been with the company,” Aranguren stated. read more

San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Another form of gasoline price deception

By Thomas Elias

It’s one thing for consumer advocates to argue endlessly that oil companies are guilty of long-running collusion in setting prices. There’s plenty of evidence they are correct in that contention – the similarly of prices offered by different companies at the same intersections is one indicator. But no one has yet produced a smoking gun to prove such a conspiracy.

Yet, there’s another form of gas pricing deception for which there is plenty of proof, even including defiant admissions from some oil company executives in congressional testimony. read more

The Wall Street Journal: How Economy Could Survive Oil At $100 a Barrel

Wall Street Journal chart

The Wall Street Journal: How Economy Could Survive Oil At $100 a Barrel

Compared to 1980, U.S.
Is More Able to Handle
Once-Unthinkable Rise
September 29, 2007; Page A1

The world economy has managed, with some indigestion, to swallow the rise of oil prices past $80 a barrel. How well could it survive $100 a barrel?

The answer is quite well — so long as several conditions still hold true. The price rise would probably have to be gradual. Inflation couldn’t get so bad as to force big interest-rate hikes. Oil-rich nations would need to pump their profits back into U.S. and European economies.
All of this has happened so far. The happy confluence may continue, though fears remain strong that high energy prices will tip the U.S. into recession. read more

Daily Telegraph: Shell Wildlife Photographer winners reveal nature’s grand illusions

Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

A silky shark closes in on a pilot fish. Pilot fish often swim in front of sharks to feed on scraps

By Gordon Rayner
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 29/09/2007

The subject matter may be familiar, but this stunning image of a shark beautifully captures nature’s infinite ability to surprise and delight us.
In pictures: Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The photograph has been highly commended by judges in the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The overall winners will be announced next month before an exhibition of more than 100 of the best entries goes on display at the Natural History Museum in London. read more

The Times: Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Wildlife photos go on display

The Times; Shell Photographer of the Year Contest

*Shell and famed whistleblower Dr John Huong…

September 29, 2007

LONDON Whether spooked, sinister, watchful or plain comical, wildlife features in all its guises in the prestigious Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. More than 32,000 pictures have been entered; 49 have been highly commended and 107 will go on display at the London’s Natural History Museum next month. One of the highly commended pictures is of wildebeest stampeding in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. It was taken by a Swedish teenager, Liisa Widstrand. read more

Petroleum News: Protecting Arctic waters

Joint program researches aspects of responding to oil spill in ice-infested waters

Alan Bailey
Vol. 12, No. 39  Week of September 30, 2007

Worldwide interest in the petroleum potential of the Arctic seas has triggered a corresponding focus on the practicalities of responding to an oil spill, were disaster to strike an offshore oil operation. As part of the ramped-up interest in how to deal with an Arctic spill, a joint industry program coordinated by Norwegian research company SINTEF is engaged in a series of research projects covering most aspects of offshore Arctic spill response. The program’s objective is continuing development of tools and technologies for oil spill response in the Arctic and ice-infested waters. read more

Petroleum News: Repsol partners with Eni, Shell off Alaska in Beaufort Sea

Vol. 12, No. 39  Week of September 30, 2007

Repsol YPF has joined Shell and Eni in a block of 64 leases in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s North Slope. It’s the Spanish oil and gas major’s first acquisition in the state.

Shell and Eni exchanged working interests in the contiguous outer continental shelf leases last November. At that time Eni had a 60 percent interest in the acreage and Shell had 40 percent. Repsol picked up its 20 percent interest from Eni.

The exploration block is operated by Shell in the federal waters north of the Oooguruk, Nikaitchuq, Northstar and Kuparuk units, extending east to midway above the Prudhoe Bay unit. read more

Petroleum News: Shell: proven techniques

Vol. 12, No. 39  Week of September 30, 2007

Given the amount of research being done on Arctic oil spill response, Petroleum News asked Shell, a participant in the SINTEF Arctic oil spill response joint industry program, to comment on the viability of the techniques and technologies that the company has specified in its oil discharge prevention and contingency plan for its proposed Beaufort Sea drilling program off Alaska.

For example, Shell sees in-situ burning of spilled oil as a particularly valuable part of its arsenal of response tactics. But, has in-situ burning actually been demonstrated to work in Arctic waters or in sea ice? read more

Gulf-Times (Qatar): Shell hoovers up Nov Dubai crude exports


Shell is the first company in over three years to openly absorb an entire month’s slate of Dubai crude cargoes, say traders

Published: Saturday, 29 September, 2007, 02:08 AM Doha Time 

SINGAPORE: European major Shell has purchased all available November-loading benchmark Dubai crude cargoes after an unprecedented buying spree on the partials market this month, traders and industry sources said yesterday.

On Thursday, US trader Phibro, declared physical delivery of a Dubai cargo to Shell after selling it 19 partial 25,000-barrel lots – the fourth such declaration. read more

UPI Energy Watch: Sakhalin-2 faces construction problems under Gazprom

Sakhalin-2 will not begin exporting oil and gas from the new terminals until the first half of next year due to construction and commissioning delays on Russia’s largest offshore project.

The Gazprom-led Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. continues to build and commission the oil and gas pipelines that run along the length of the east Russian island, but construction has been more complex than anticipated.

The consortium, which includes Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, has installed two new platforms and built two export terminals and offshore pipelines as part of the Sakhalin II project. read more

ARTICLE BY FORMER ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EXECUTIVE, PADDY BRIGGS: The myth of Corporations’ commitments to Human Rights

Wikipedia image of former Shell Executive Paddy Briggs 

Friday, September 28, 2007
Business and Human Rights

The myth of Corporations’ commitments to Human Rights

“Shell supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and believes that business, as an integral part of society, can make an important contribution to furthering these rights”. Shell statement

“Business doesn’t have to choose between profits and principles, Royal Dutch/Shell Group Managing Director Jeroen van der Veer told the Globalisation, Ecology and Economy conference in the Netherlands today.” read more

Business Week: Bush’s Climate Meeting: Talk, But No Action

The President’s summit shows a willingness to take global warming seriously. But don’t expect much more than that

by John Carey
September 28, 2007, 12:01AM EST

For President George W. Bush, climate change is one of those pesky issues that he would love to see just go away. International diplomats say that when the topic of global warming comes up, Bush appears annoyed and has expressed exasperation that the issue still garners so much attention. After all, the White House position has been consistent from the very start of Bush’s tenure: The U.S. will not require mandatory reductions in emissions of the so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that scientists say are warming the Earth. Bush, the self-proclaimed decider, has decided. read more

Broward Times: Profile on Kimatni Rawlins: Coming Out of His Shell

Friday, September 28, 2007 1:04:30 PM  

When young urban consumers are in the market for a new car, many turn to a popular website that has quickly gained a reputation for showcasing the latest vehicle releases.

For the past five years, has built a following of car buffs looking for transportation, ranging from economy vehicles to luxury wheels of steel.

With a few clicks of the mouse, anyone can experience this web portal, which is the brainchild of Kimatni Rawlins, 33, of Burtonsville, Maryland. read more

Falls Church News-Press (Virginia): The Peak Oil Crisis: Has the Media Become the Message?

Written by Tom Whipple    
Thursday, 27 September 2007 

With every passing month, evidence peak world oil production has either passed or is getting very close becomes stronger.

Last week, the world peak oil conference in Ireland, heard that the best available data now suggests there may only be about 250 billion barrels of oil left to find rather than the generally accepted figure of 700 billion barrels put forth by the USCGS in 2000. Keep in mind that 250 billion barrels is only about eight years worth at our current 31 billion barrel per year rate of consumptions and that, should these billions of barrels actually be found, they will be extremely difficult to find and exploit. read more Competition For Oil And Gas Reserves Heating Up

28 Sep 2007    
A race is on to access the world’s remaining gas and oil reserves that is pitting new players in the global market against the tradition conglomerates from industrialized nations, according to a world body.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), says with crude oil prices staying well above $70 a barrel, traditional transnational corporations are losing bargaining power to oil-producing countries “eager to use climbing demand to capture a larger share of the rents.” read more

San Francisco Chronicle: Chevron campaign tries to balance need for oil with global warming

David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, September 28, 2007
Stumble onto Chevron Corp.’s latest television ad and you might think you’re watching outtakes from “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The camera swoops low over oceans and freeways, glaciers and gleaming cities. A warm but solemn voice proclaims energy and the environment to be the greatest challenges of our time. The voice, however, soon takes off in a direction Al Gore’s global warming documentary never did. read more

Bloomberg: Brazil Ethanol Boom Belied by Diseased Lungs Among Cane Workers

Bloomberg image

A migrant worker cuts sugar cane for a plantation near Piracicaba, Brazil, that supplies Costa Pinto, a sugar and ethanol mill owned by Cosan, the world’s biggest ethanol exporter, in May, 2007. Photographer: Claudio Perez/Bloomberg Markets via Bloomberg News

By Michael Smith and Carlos Caminada

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — Manuel Rodrigues da Silva stoops over, wielding a machete to slice through bamboolike sugar cane stalks in a field that stretches to the horizon in southeastern Brazil. Dressed in a frayed T-shirt and dirt-coated blue work pants, he perspires in the 90-degree-Fahrenheit heat. read more

Financial Times: Woodside begins to pull up drills in Africa

By Leora Moldofsky in Sydney
Published: September 28 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 28 2007 03:00

Australia’s Woodside Petroleum has begun to dispose of its underperforming African asset interests with the announcement yesterday of the sale of its assets in Mauritania to the Malaysian state-owned group Petronas.

Woodside said it had sold its 47.4 per cent stake in the Chinguetti project to Petroliam Nasional Berhad for $418m. The A$990m ($871m) project, off the coast of Mauritania, is also operated by Woodside. read more

The Wall Street Journal: ConocoPhillips to Sell Chinese Onshore Block

September 28, 2007

BEIJING — U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips is offering its Chuan Zhong block in China’s Sichuan province to potential buyers in a rare sale of a Chinese onshore oil and natural-gas asset by a foreign company.

The Chuan Zhong block, which covers an area of 118 hectares in southern China and includes the Ba Jiao Chang gas field, produced an average of 10.3 million cubic feet of natural gas a day in 2006.

By disposing of the Chuan Zhong block, ConocoPhillips will be able to focus more resources on the offshore Peng Lai field in northern China’s Bohai Bay, which is China’s largest oil discovery by a foreign company to date. read more

Bloomberg: Shell India LNG Terminal to Receive September, October Cargoes

By Dinakar Sethuraman

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s liquefied natural gas import terminal in India may receive at least three cargoes of the fuel this month and next, according to transmissions from ships captured by AISLive on Bloomberg.

Simaisma, owned by Greece’s Anangel Shipping Enterprises SA, reached the Hazira terminal on India’s west coast yesterday and Seri Angkasa, owned by Malaysia’s MISC Bhd., will reach the terminal on Oct. 21. Nigeria LNG Ltd.’s Bayelsa tanker reached the 2.5 million metric tons-a-year import terminal on Sept. 19, according to the data. read more

STATEMENT BY ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: Tatneft and Shell to develop strategic partnership

27 Sep 2007 

On September 27, 2007 JSC Tatneft (Tatneft) and Shell Exploration Company (RF) B.V. (Shell) concluded Agreement on Principles of Strategic Partnership. The agreement was signed by General Director of Tatneft Shafagat F. Takhautdinov and Shell Country Chairman in Russia Chris Finlayson in the presence of R.N. Minnikhanov, Prime Minister of Tatarstan and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tatneft. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will devise a program for heavy oil development in Tatarstan. They will conduct a feasibility study and assess technologies for extraction and processing (upgrading) of heavy oil, which is part of existing exploration and production licenses held by Tatneft. read more

Derek Brower: Crude realities

A new film, “A Crude Awakening”, leaves out too many inconvenient truths

By Derek Brower, journalist

OIL IS a finite resource, so the more of it the world’s energy companies extract, the less will remain. On that, everyone agrees. One day, we will reach the mathematical peak of the world’s reserves. When that day will be – or if it has already passed – is a question that continues to divide opinion.

“A Crude Awakening” claims to be a documentary about Peak Oil, as the theory is known, and follows the success of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), another movie for the green generation. In “A Crude Awakening” investigation and exposition of the facts are both casualties of the rhetoric, which seeks to tell us one big thing: the world has reached peak oil and civilization as we know it is about to end. The remaining 83 minutes want to scare viewers into accepting the dark prophecy. read more

Reuters: Shell signs heavy oil deal with Russia’s Tatneft

Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:26 PM BST

MOSCOW, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and Tatneft signed on Thursday a deal which can strengthen the oil major’s position in Russia’s energy sector and help Tatneft tap hard-to-extract oil.

Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop vast heavy bitumen oil deposits in the Volga region of Tatarstan, the home-base of Tatneft.

“(The companies) will conduct a feasibility study and assess technologies for extraction and processing (upgrading) of heavy oil, which is part of existing exploration and production licenses held by Tatneft,” the companies said in a statement. read more Shelling Out for More Refinement

By David Lee Smith September 26, 2007

It appears that Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) (NYSE: RDS-B) is about to become more refined. And it has to venture to Port Arthur, Texas, to do so.

Shell and its Saudi Aramco partner, the principals in Motiva Enterprises, which owns a Port Arthur refinery with a current 275,000 barrels-per-day capacity, will spend about $7 billion and three years to expand the facility to a capacity near 600,000 bpd. This will make the facility the U.S.’s largest, besting ExxonMobil’s (NYSE: XOM) 557,000 bpd Baytown, Texas, unit. read more

MarketWatch: Shell signs deal with Tatneft on Russian tar sands project

By Benoit Faucon
Last Update: 8:19 AM ET Sep 27, 2007

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) Thursday signed a deal with OAO Tatneft, Russia’s sixth-largest oil producer by volume, to develop a major tar sands project in Tatarstan, its home region, and paved the way for other potential projects.

The deal follows an alliance signed by Shell in July with Russian state-controlled oil company OAO Rosneft for oil and gas production and refining in Russia and abroad.

Under the agreement setting the principles of a strategic partnership, the two companies will devise a program for heavy oil development in Tatarstan, Shell said. read more

Malaysia: Judiciary and corruption (For obvious reasons the legal jurisdiction of choice for Shell)

Introduction by Alfred & John Donovan

We recently published an article about the corruption crisis in the Malaysian judiciary.


We pointed out why EIGHT Royal Shell companies preferred to prosecute its defamation action against Dr Huong in Malaysia even though the alleged libellous comments posted on our website were posted by us, not by him.

The plain fact is that in Malaysia justice is available to the highest bidder and since Shell has considerably deeper pockets than Dr Huong, it will win the case even though Shell submitted false facts and has known this since July 2004 and that Dr Huong is completely innocent. read more


MELBOURNE, Sept 27 Asia Pulse – Woodside Petroleum Ltd’s (ASX:WPL) existing African portfolio is facing the chop after the oil and gas producer decided to sell its troubled Mauritania assets to Malaysian-government owned group Petroliam Nasional Berhad.

The oil and gas producer said the $US418 million ($A477.52 million) sale would include all of Woodside’s onshore and offshore producing, development and exploration interests in the African country.

Woodside’s $1 billion Chinguetti project in Mauritania has been a constant thorn in the side for the company since it began production early last year. read more

Lloyds List: Construction problems set to postpone Sakhalin oil

Martyn Wingrove, Lloyds List
Published: Sep 27, 2007

OIL and gas exports from the new terminals on Sakhalin Island will not begin until well into the first half of next year due to construction and commissioning delays on Russia’s largest offshore project.

The Gazprom-led Sakhalin Energy Investment company continues to build and commission the oil and gas pipelines that run along the length of the east Russian island, but construction has been more complex than anticipated.

The consortium, which includes Shell, Mitsui and Mitsubishi, has installed two new platforms and built two export terminals and offshore pipelines as part of the Sakhalin II project. read more

Financial Times: Kazakh legislators push new oilfield contract

By Isabel Gorst and Ed Crooks in London
Published: September 27 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 27 2007 03:00

Lawmakers in Kazakhstan have approved a bill to empower the state to annul natural resource contracts, strengthening the oil-rich Central Asian republic’s hand in its dispute with foreign oil groups led by Eni of Italy at the Kashagan field in the Caspian Sea.

The Majilis, Kazakhstan’s parliament, yesterday voted unanimously for an amendment to the natural resource law to allow the government to cancel or introduce retrospective changes to contracts perceived to harm the national economic interest. read more

Financial Times: Chevron moves to spend $15bn on its own shares

By Ed Crooks in London
Published: September 27 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 27 2007 03:00

Chevron, the second-largest US oil company, is to spend $15bn on its own shares within the next three years, extending a $5bn-a-year programme that began in 2005.

The move reflects big oil companies’ difficulties in finding uses for their large cash flows, boosted by high oil prices.

Some of Chevron’s rivals among the “big five” international oil companies have been returning even larger sums to shareholders. read more

The New York Times: Kazakhstan Moves to Alter Oil Company Contracts

Published: September 27, 2007

ALMATY, Kazakhstan, Sept. 26 — The Kazakhstan Parliament took steps on Wednesday to grant the government the right to alter or cancel international energy contracts unilaterally should they run counter to the country’s interests.

The lower house of Parliament — in which all elected seats belong to the Nur Otan Party of President Nursultan A. Nazarbayev — voted unanimously to amend an existing law on subsoil use, spelling out the steps the government could take if a contract failed to live up to its economic promise. The upper house is also dominated by the president’s party and is expected to follow suit. read more

Daily Telegraph: ‘Half of Zimbabwe will soon need food aid’

Daily Telegraph photograph 

Zimbabweans line up to receive food aid 

By Sophie Arie
Last Updated: 2:28am BST 27/09/2007

Half of Zimbabwe’s people will be dependent on emergency food aid next year, a senior British diplomatic source has said, in a damning indictment of President Robert Mugabe’s regime.

Of an estimated eight million Zimbabweans still in the country, “we know we’ll be feeding four million people by January or February, possibly more”, the official said.  

He estimated that since Mr Mugabe began seizing white-owned farms in 2000, the population has fallen from 12 million to eight million. read more PetroChina starts building LNG project in Dalian – report|

27 Sep 2007 | 01:13 AM ET

BEIJING (XFN-ASIA) – PetroChina Co Ltd (HK 0857), the country’s largest oil and gas producer, has started building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Dalian, in northeastern China’s Liaoning province, the Dalian Daily reported.

The project includes an LNG terminal, a wharf and a gas pipeline, and will involve a total investment of over 10 bln yuan, the paper said.

Of the total, the LNG terminal will require investment of 6.86 bln yuan. It has initial receiving capacity of 3 mln tons per year. read more

Business Week: Big Oil’s Big Stall On Ethanol

OCTOBER 1, 2007 
By David Kiley

Even as it pockets billions in subsidies, it’s trying to keep E85 out of drivers’ tanks

For some industries, the prospect of $3.5 billion in federal subsidies now, and double that in three years, might be a powerful incentive. But not, apparently, for the oil industry, which is seeing crude oil prices soar to record highs. Despite collecting billions for blending small amounts of ethanol with gas, oil companies seem determined to fight the spread of E85, a fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gas. Congress has set a target of displacing 15% of projected annual gasoline use with alternative fuels by 2017. Right now, wider availability of E85 is the likeliest way to get there. read more

Financial Times: BP moves to clarify ‘dreadful’ comment

By Ed Crooks
Published: September 26 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 26 2007 03:00

BP shares fell yesterday after the Financial Times reported that Tony Hayward, chief executive, had told staff that thecompany’s revenues in the third quarter had been “dreadful”.

He also told employees at a “town hall” meeting in Houston to expect a restructuring of the company to reduce its complexity and raise efficiency.

His comments were reported in an internal note of the meeting that was leaked to the FT. The shares fell 17p to 572½p. read more

Financial Times: BP chief learns lesson one in the PR cookbook

By Chris Hughes
Published: September 26 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 26 2007 03:00

Tony Hayward, the new chief executive of BP, was naïve when he lambasted a hundred senior executives for the company’s “dreadful” operating performance and assumed the comment would not leak out. But this should not be a hanging offence.

Details of Mr Hayward’s frank pep-talk were revealed in the FT yesterday. BP’s share price duly slid as investors feared that he was conveying new information about the company’s forthcoming third-quarter results. Had that been true, Mr Hayward would have committed a serious gaffe. Price-sensitive information should be conveyed to the market in an orderly way – not in ad hoc briefings of senior staff. read more

Reuters: Iranian firms feel the heat as sanctions bite

Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:17 AM ET
By Fredrik Dahl and Edmund Blair

TEHRAN (Reuters) – When a Western bank suddenly suspended the account of her family freight firm, Nazila Noebashari revived a financial practice she thought long gone: she sent staff to the Afghan border to collect $50,000 by hand.

With foreign banks increasingly closing down business with Iranian customers in the face of U.S.-led sanctions, such physical transactions are the only way Traf Co Ltd and many other firms in Iran are staying in business. read more

International Herald Tribune: A new Kazakh law is a threat to contracts with foreign oil companies

ReutersPublished: September 26, 2007

ASTANA, Kazakhstan: Kazakh lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday allowing the government to unilaterally break contracts with foreign companies, potentially threatening an Italian-led consortium developing a giant oil field.

Kazakhstan has already stopped operations at the huge Kashagan oil field, run by the Italian energy firm Eni, in a conflict over mounting costs and project delays, but the legislation raises the stakes still further.

The unanimous vote in the lower house of Parliament gave the state extra leverage over Eni and its main partners, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips as talks over Kashagan enter their final stage ahead of an Oct. 22 deadline. read more

Bloomberg: Kazakh Parliament Amends Subsoil Law Amid Eni Dispute (Update3)

By Nariman Gizitdinov

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — Kazakhstan’s lower chamber of parliament approved changing a law to let the government cancel contracts with oil companies, raising the stakes in a dispute with Eni SpA over the Kashagan venture.

“The new amendments were approved unanimously without any changes,” Yerlan Nigmatulin, a lower-chamber deputy and member of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s NurOtan party, said today in an interview from the capital, Astana. The amendments are expected to be approved by the upper chamber tomorrow and then signed by the president, he said. read more

Bloomberg: Nuclear, Biofuel, Oil Sands Needed to Cut Emissions, Shell Says

By Mathew Carr

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) — Governments must allow energy companies to produce fuels from all sources as lawmakers find the best solution to curb emissions blamed for climate change, a Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive said.

Wind farms are expensive, nuclear stations have difficulty dealing with waste, biofuels boost food prices and oil sands produce even higher emissions than oil, James Smith, chairman of Shell’s U.K. unit, said yesterday in Oxford, England.

“Energy demand is going to continue to accelerate,” Smith told a climate debate held by the Association of Masters of Business Administration, an educational and networking group. If lawmakers reject some energy sources, “we won’t get anything left.” read more

MalaysianBar.Org: Walk for Justice: ‘When lawyers walk, something must be very wrong’

Malaysian Bar photograph

Contributed by Web Reporter    
Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 04:41pm 

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PUTRAJAYA, Wed: “Lawyers don’t walk everyday. Not even every month. But when they walk, then something must be very wrong,” said Chairman of the Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan when addressing a strong crowd of more than 2,000 members of the Malaysian Bar and some concerned citizens at the Palace of Justice before the commencement of the walk to the Prime Minister’s office to hand over the Bar’s memorandum urging the government to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe the state of judiciary and memorandum on the establishment of a judicial appointments and promotion commission. read more

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