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Posts from ‘March, 2008’

Houston Business Journal: Shell awards $1.6B contract to AT&T

Monday, March 31, 2008 – 2:07 PM CDT

Some Shell employees in Houston will be affected by Royal Dutch Shell plc’s selection of AT&T Inc. as its global communications infrastructure manager.

Shell, based in The Hague, Netherlands, has its United States headquarters in Houston, where 60 employees have been given the opportunity to transfer to San Antonio-based AT&T (NYSE: T), according to Dan Feldstein, spokesman for AT&T. The move will ensure Shell continues to receive network support at its sites. read more

Reuters: Oil execs to take heat from lawmakers Tuesday

Monday March 31, 3:35 pm ET
By Chris Baltimore

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five U.S. oil company executives set to testify on Capitol Hill on Tuesday about soaring gasoline prices and record industry profits will likely offer a common defense: It’s not our fault.
U.S. average pump prices have risen steadily since the beginning of 2008 and recently hit a record above $3.20 a gallon, heaping yet more pressure on a U.S. economy beleaguered by an imploding housing market and recession fears. read more

The Register: Shell waves goodbye to 3,000 IT staffers in $4bn outsourcing gig

By Kelly Fiveash
Monday 31st March 2008 17:31 GMT

Royal Dutch Shell today inked three outsourcing deals – worth $4.2bn over five years – to spin out IT and telecoms operations.

In January, a leaked memo to staff revealed the oil company was in outsourcing talks with EDS, AT&T and T-Systems.

Today, Shell sealed separate agreements with those companies and said most of its 3,200-strong IT workforce will transfer to the service providers.

The contracts kick off on 1 July, and see AT&T scoop up network and telecommunications, T-Systems getting hosting and storage, and EDS tackling end user computing services. read more

Bloomberg: Centrica Hires Shell’s Hanafin to Replace Ulrich as Gas Chief

By Paul Dobson

March 31 (Bloomberg) — Centrica Plc, Britain’s biggest energy supplier, hired Mark Hanafin from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to replace Jake Ulrich as managing director for the natural-gas production business and European operations.

Ulrich will retire at the end of July after heading the company’s upstream business for 11 years, Windsor, England-based Centrica said today in a statement distributed by BusinessWire.

The company plans to increase the amount of gas it produces to supply consumers in Britain and northwest Europe. read more

Reuters: 1-T-Systems lands 5-yr, 1 bln-euro Shell contract

Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:18am EDT

FRANKFURT, March 31 (Reuters) – Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday its business client unit T-Systems has won an information technology contract from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) worth 1 billion euros ($1.58 billion) over five years.

T-Systems, which this month announced an alliance with U.S. IT services provider Cognizant (CTSH.O: Quote, Profile, Research), said the deal was the biggest in its history and would increase revenue from abroad by more than 20 percent. read more

NEW EUROPE: Kremlin Inc puts TNK-BP in its crosshairs

Author: Kostis Geropoulos
31 March 2008 – Issue : 775

UK oil giant BP downplayed the recent pressure piling on its Russian joint venture, TNK-BP. “What tension are you referring to? Where have you heard tension?” BP spokesman Toby Odone asked, laughing. The Russian Interior Ministry said the firm had violated immigration law by obtaining business visas instead of work visas for dozens of foreign employees. BP has temporarily withdrawn 148 staff working on secondment at TNK-BP because of visa problems. “They have not been recalled. They were asked not to go to work at TNK-BP until we get their visas. read more EDS Signs 5-Year, $1 Billion IT Outsourcing Pact With Shell

March 31, 2008: 06:47 AM EST


Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) Monday said it signed a five-year, $1 billion information-technology master services agreement with Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA).

EDS said the deal is one of three IT outsourcing agreements between Shell and three key suppliers, and is expected to deliver a substantial business improvement to Shell over the five-year initial term of the contract.

EDS will manage Shell’s end-user computing services. read more

International Herald Tribune: Shell awards $4 billion 5-year contract to AT&T, EDS and T-Systems

The Associated Press
Monday, March 31, 2008

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Europe’s largest oil company, says it will pay AT&T, EDS and T-Systems a combined $4 billion over the next five years to manage its computer and communications systems.

Shell says AT&T Inc. will manage its telecommunications; T-Systems, an arm of Deutsche Telekom AG, will provide “hosting and storage;” and Electronic Data Systems Corp. will provide employee computer services and infrastructure starting in July. read more

Toronto Star: Oil firms are caught in a squeeze play: Exxon has avoided faked-reserve scandals that have plagued rival Royal Dutch/Shell PLC

ExxonMobil Chairman Rex Tillerson

Exxon Mobil chair and CEO Rex Tillerson has put his company on top of the corporate world with sound investment decisions. May 30, 2007.
Investor-owned oil majors like Exxon will no longer be able to increase their reserves, say analysts, because of new attitudes in oil-producing nations

Mar 31, 2008 04:30 AM
David Olive
Business Columnist

The performance and strategy of Exxon Mobil Corp. is a good place to start in grasping the twilight years of the investor-owned oil sector that has dominated the extraction of petroleum resources since the industry began in the 1850s. read more

International Herald Tribune: In gas-rich Gulf, supplies fall short

By Neil Partrick
Sunday, March 30, 2008

DUBAI: According to BP’s latest “Statistical Review of World Energy,” Iran and Qatar sit on 30 percent of the world’s total natural gas reserves.

Yet within the Gulf, the ability to meet the growing local demand for natural gas is being frustrated by underdeveloped supply mechanisms and limited regional cooperation.

The state-dominated Qatari gas provider, QatarGas, aims to be the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas, LNG, by 2010. But concentrating on securing the most favorable terms for its gas exports internationally, it has given top priority to supplying Europe, the United States and Asia, rather than its Gulf neighbors. read more

American Chronicle: Successes Sneaking Up on Us?

David Swanson
March 30, 2008

Did you realize that…?

Residents of Norco, La., poisoned by a Shell oil refinery and a Shell chemical plant, forced the company to pay the cost of residents relocating.

A housewife in Niagara Falls, N.Y., organized her community against local pollution in a campaign that led to the creation of the U.S. EPA Superfund program.

Over 100 towns in the United States have denied corporations legal personhood and constitutional rights in a campaign growing out of anger at the dumping of toxic sludge on farms. In Humboldt County, Calif., voters have chosen in a referendum to deny corporations civil and political rights, in response to a corporation-funded campaign to recall an elected official. read more

UpstreamOnline: NWSV gives North Rankin B thumbs up

By Upstream staff

Australia’s North West Shelf Venture (NWSV) has decided to press ahead with the A$ 5 billion development of the North Rankin 2 project off Western Australia, operator Woodside Petroleum said today.

The final investment decision by the joint venture’s partners gives the green light for the installation of a second platform on the project, to recover gas from the North Rankin and Perseus gas fields, Woodside said in a statement.

The development is expected to cost about A$5 billion, the Perth-based player said. read more

UpstreamOnline: Gabon oil workers threaten to widen strike

By Upstream staff

Oil industry unions in Gabon threatened to call a nationwide strike if they fail to reach a deal to end a strike at Shell’s subsidiary in the country, where 60,000 bpd of production is shut in.

“We are calling for the mobilisation of all ONEP members,” Guy Roger Aurat Reteno, secretary-general of Gabon’s National Organisation of Petroleum Workers (ONEP), told reporters in the capital Libreville on Friday.

Gabon’s forecast production in 2007 was 240,000 barrels per day, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). read more

Associated Press: US demands to see Swiss-Iran contract

By BALZ BRUPPACHER, Associated Press Writer
Sun Mar 30, 8:00 PM ET

BERN, Switzerland – The U.S. has demanded to see a Swiss contract for natural gas supplies from Iran to see whether it violates an American sanctions law against Tehran, the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland said Sunday.

A posting on the U.S. Embassy Web site raises the question of whether neutral Switzerland’s position as representative of American interests in Iran and Cuba could be affected.

“At this time, the Swiss have a mandate as our protecting power in Cuba and Iran,” the Web site said in response to a “frequently asked question” on whether the Swiss role was “in jeopardy.” read more

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: As Gas Prices Soar, Limited Supply Makes Old Pump Wars Scarce

March 31, 2008; Page B1

In 1923, William McMaster, then governor of South Dakota, called the price of gas in his state — 26.6 cents a gallon (equal to about $3.16 today) — “no less than highway robbery.” Late that summer, he asked Standard Oil Co., which supplied most of his state’s gas, to reduce its price. When Standard said no, Mr. McMaster decided to cut out the middleman.

Using public funds, Gov. McMaster bought 160,000 gallons of cut-rate gas from a Chicago distributor and began selling it at a state depot for 16 cents a gallon ($1.94 now). He also announced that he planned to buy an additional half-million gallons and pump them at cost from several other state-owned stations. read more

The Guardian: Anger at HSBC plan to make bonuses easier to earn

Jill Treanor
Monday March 31 2008

HSBC is preparing to publish a potentially controversial pay scheme that could allow its top executives to earn larger bonuses.

Britain’s largest bank has consulted its biggest shareholders and is thought to have failed to reach a consensus of opinion among investors who will vote on the plan at the May annual general meeting.

Details of the consultation were revealed by activist investor Knight Vinke, which this weekend published an eight-page document sent to investors and signed by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, the former head of Shell who now chairs the remuneration committee at HSBC. The outcome of the consultation is expected to be published shortly. read more

The Guardian: Oil slides to $105 as Iraq tensions calm

Monday March 31 2008
By Fayen Wong

PERTH, March 31 (Reuters) – Oil fell more than $1 to less than $105 a barrel on Monday, extending Friday’s decline, after the restart of a crude pipeline system in Iraq eased fears of an extended exports disruption from the country’s oil-rich south.

U.S. light crude for May delivery fell $1.04 cents to $104.58 a barrel by 0053 GMT.

The decline brings total losses since Friday to nearly $3, erasing the gains made on Thursday after the attack on the pipeline feeding the Basra export terminal interrupted flows from southern Iraq for the first time since 2004.
London Brent crude fell 55 cents to $103.22. read more

The Aspen Times: Does humanity’s future include a ‘very large extinction spasm’?: Expert suggests that might be the case if things don’t change

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
March 30, 2008

ASPEN — Some scientists say the Earth is headed for “a very large extinction spasm” if current trends continue, moderator Michael Totten told a panel of experts at the Aspen Environment Forum on Saturday.

That prediction, he said, is based on estimates of how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be pumped into the atmosphere in the coming decades, and the level at which the scientists believe the animal and plant life on Earth will begin to die off in massive numbers. read more Nigeria: FG Slams Tougher Sanction On Gas-Flaring Firms

This Day (Lagos)
30 March 2008
Festus Akanbi With agency report

Federal Government has threatened to increase fines on energy companies that continue to release natural gas into the air when producing oil, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Odein Ajumogobia (SAN), has said.

“We certainly will increase the penalty for gas flaring,” Ajumogobia, was quoted by Bloomberg News as telling reporters during a conference in Yaounde, Cameroon on Friday. “However, we are more interested in utilisation and monetisation of gas than penalties.” read more

Daily Telegraph: Fears that ‘eco-towns’ will recycle bad planning

EXTRACT: It points to bids such as Carrington, in Trafford, Greater Manchester, as the way forward. There the oil company Shell has submitted a bid to build 5,000 homes on the 400-acre disused site of a petrochemical plant.


By Patrick Sawer
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 30/03/2008

Developers are threatening to concrete over acres of British countryside under the guise of building environmentally friendly eco-towns, it is being claimed.

Suspicions are growing that many of the 56 bids submitted by building companies to construct the Government’s 10 eco-towns are little more than old-fashioned commuter dormitory settlements with a “green spin”. read more

The Aspen Times (Colorado): Experts say oil is slippery situation: Clock ticking on the world’s supply

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
March 29, 2008

ASPEN — Experts might disagree about exactly when the world will run out of the oil that is easily found and extracted, but most agree that it will happen at some point and that humanity should be preparing for that day.

That was one of the messages to come out of the second full day of The Aspen Institute and National Geographic Magazine Aspen Environment Forum, at a panel discussion featuring energy-efficiency guru Amory Lovins, green technology specialist Randy Udall, and Marvin Odum, executive vice-president of Shell Oil. The forum concludes Saturday. read more

Argus Media: Analysis — TNK-BP left in limbo following FSB raid Link

Time:  28 Mar 2008 10:26 GMT

TNK-BP is facing fresh problems in the wake of last week’s raids by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on company offices in Moscow.

BP this week recalled 148 of its secondees to TNK-BP, citing visa problems. “The process of clarifying new visa regulations is taking a little longer than we expected. We took this step as a precaution until new work visas have been obtained under the new regulations,” a BP spokesman says, referring to recently introduced changes to Russian legislation on work permits for non-Russian residents. read more

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Democrats to Press Oil Executives On Tax Incentives — and Polar Bears

March 29, 2008; Page A2

Big Oil will be making an appearance on Capitol Hill this coming week as congressional Democrats open hearings on two topics important to the industry.

Top executives from Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips are expected to testify Tuesday before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, in an event designed by Democrats to tap voters’ frustration with high gasoline prices.

With Exxon Mobil and Chevron recently reporting record profits, House Democrats are pushing legislation that would repeal $18 billion of tax incentives for oil and gas producers and use the savings to finance tax credits and other incentives for wind-power projects, solar panels and more energy-efficient cars. Their measure isn’t likely to become law anytime soon, however. A similar proposal died in the Senate in December, and the White House has threatened a veto of the current legislation. read more Union: Shell Gabon Oil Strike To Spread Through Indus -AFP

March 28, 2008: 07:15 PM EST

LIBREVILLE (AFP)–An oil workers strike which has paralyzed production at a Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) subsidiary in Gabon is set to become an industry- wide dispute, union officials warned Friday.

Industrial action at Shell’s Gamba terminal has halted 60,000 barrels a day of crude production since the strike began on March 20, with another 30,000 barrels exported by France’s Total Gabon (EC.FR) and Perenco also on hold.

Now unions negotiating for staff at America’s Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO), who account for a further 20,000 barrels per day, have issued a strike warning, calling for parent company employment contracts for intermediary staff, a union official said. read more

The Times: Regal Petroleum boss David Greer has come in from the cold

March 29, 2008
Robin Pagnamenta

Most people would shudder at the prospect of being sent to Siberia. Not David Greer. He spent four years on the bleak Russian plains as director of a vast oil and gas project for Shell and, although life was tough, it was not all about hardship.

“Sometimes you’d get up in the morning and a metre of snow would have fallen – you couldn’t even open the door,” he says. But there was snow-mobiling and in summer, shooting, riding motorcycles, even jetskiing. “I like to work hard and play hard . . . and drive anything fast,” grins Mr Greer, a rumbustious Glaswegian. read more


By John Donovan

We have printed below our recent email correspondence with Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The subject is explained in the correspondence.

John Donovan email to Mr Brandjes on 19 March 2008

From: John Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 19 March 2008 15:56
To: ‘[email protected]
Cc: ‘[email protected]; ‘paddybriggs’; ‘[email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: read more

Star-Telegram (Texas): GM plans to increase ethanol fleet

Posted on Fri, Mar. 28, 2008
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

The fuel additive ethanol has been blamed lately for ills such as escalating food prices, global warming and the widening dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

But don’t tell that to General Motors Corp., which is pushing forward with its plan for half its new-car fleet to run on a high ethanol-blended fuel. Company representatives, in town Thursday to promote the grand opening of a new ethanol fuel station at the Classic Chevrolet/Hummer dealership in Grapevine, said ethanol’s benefits far outweigh any negative impacts. read more

Shell licenses petrochemical technology to Petro China

Friday, March 28, 2008 (China) 

Shell Global Solutions International announced the signing of a licensing contract with PetroChina International Company Ltd and PetroChina Sichuan Petrochemical Company Limited (PSP), which are subsidiaries of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), for the application of Shell’s Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol (EO/EG) process in a new petrochemical plant near Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

Under the contract, Shell’s leading EO/EG process and CRI Catalyst Company’s EO catalyst will be used in the plant that PSP is building to produce 380,000 tonnes of mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and 50,000 tonnes of EO. The plant is expected to commence production by the end of 2010. read more Gazprom to jump on booming LNG market

RussiaToday Gazprom HQ image

Gazprom headquarters, Moscow

March 28, 2008, 10:33

Gazprom is looking to cash in on booming global LNG demand with its liquefied natural gas production strategy covering up to 2030. LNG is set to be the future of gas transportation system.   Russia`s natural gas giant has announced it has ambitions to become one of the leading LNG suppliers. The company has two big future gas projects – Shtockman and Sakhalin-2.

The company’s spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov stressed that after Sakhalin-2 starts production, Gazprom will control over five per cent of global LNG supplies.

“LNG market is developing very quickly. It will allow Gazprom to enter other markets that are not available through pipeline transportation systems. We expect to receive the first supplies from Shtockman field by 2014,” Kupriyanov said.

Gazprom says there will be competition on the Russian market in terms of LNG production, but it will all depend on the right cooperation between the gas companies. read more Collection of articles relating to David Greer David Greer image

Sakhalin’s governor confirms LNG delays

Sakhalin Island Governor Aleksandr Khoroshavin has confirmed that the start-up of liquefied natural gas deliveries from the Gazprom-led Sakhalin 2 project could be delayed by at least six months, writes Vladimir Afanasiev.

Khoroshavin said he expects Sakhalin 2 operator Sakhalin Energy to start first shipments of LNG from the project off Russia’s far east in the “spring of 2009”.

The operator was adamant throughout almost the whole of 2007 that first LNG carrier would leave the plant in September 2008. read more

UpstreamOnline: Sakhalin Energy in spotlight

Russian environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor has tackled Sakhalin Energy over its refusal to pay $17 million in compensation for environmental damage caused during work on the Sakhalin 2 oil and gas project in the country’s far east, writes Vladimir Afanasiev.
Rosprirodnadzor submitted the claim to the company in December to make restitution for the destruction of forests during the building of oil and gas pipelines on Sakhalin Island.

However, the operator has refused “to pay it voluntarily”, a Rosprirodnadzor official was reported as saying. read more Shell in Brazil leap: Consortium targets solution for two fields inSantos basin image Malcolm Brinded

Malcolm Brinded: Executive Director Shell EP

By Gareth Chetwynd

A Shell-led consortium has opted for a tension-leg platform solution to develop two heavy oil fields in Brazil’s Santos basin, and regulatory approval for the develoment plan is understood to be close.

Shell declared commerciality on the Atlanta and Oliva fields in December 2006 and was given up to 180 days to present its development plan to Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP).

“This plan has already been presented and studied and we are now waiting for Shell to respond to some observations that we made. The project is moving along toward approval,” said a source in the ANP’s technical department. read more


March 28, 2008; Page A12

A senior executive at TNK-BP told us a few months ago that the oil company was “a poster child” for foreign investment in Russia. So it is turning out to be, only not in the way he intended.

Blessed by Vladimir Putin at its creation in 2003, BP’s Russian joint venture is now getting the standard Kremlin treatment. This week a “bureaucratic” visa problem forced the British company to send home 148 expatriate workers. Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry launched a “tax evasion” probe into a TNK-BP unit. And last week, the (renamed) KGB raided the oil company’s Moscow offices and arrested a Russian employee for “industrial espionage.” read more

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Violence Imperils Iraq’s Oil Progress

Wall Street Journal graphic

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Violence Imperils Iraq’s Oil Progress

Attacks in Basra
Come Amid Talks
With Western Firms
By HASSAN HAFIDH in Amman, Jordan, and JOHN D. MCKINNON in Washington
March 28, 2008

The resurgent violence in Iraq is threatening nascent efforts to enlist foreign companies in developing its immense oil wealth, a goal President Bush pushed Thursday as crucial to rebuilding the country.

Fighting in Iraq’s oil-rich south raged for the third straight day Thursday in Basra, the country’s oil capital, in other southern cities and in parts of Baghdad. The violence crossed over into the oil industry after a bomb detonated under a crucial export pipeline near Basra. read more Peak oil? Consider it solved

It won’t be easy but we can fix our oil and climate problems at the same time.

By Joseph Romm
March 28, 2008

For more than a decade, a fierce debate about peak oil has been raging between those who think a peak in global oil production is at hand and those who think the world is not close to running out of oil. The debate is moot for two reasons. First, the growing threat of global warming requires deep reductions in national and global oil consumption starting now, peak or no peak. Second, relying on unconventional oil like tar sands and liquid coal to make up a supply shortage, as the oilmen say we must, would be climate catastrophe. More supply is not the answer to either our oil or our climate problem — reducing consumption of oil is. And right now we have two feasible solutions: greatly increase our vehicle fuel economy and find alternative fuel sources that are abundant, low-carbon and affordable. read more

Financial Times: Gazprom chief casts doubt on Kiev gas deal

By Lionel Barber, Catherine Belton and Neil Buckley in Moscow
Published: March 27 2008 23:03 | Last updated: March 27 2008 23:03

The intermediary at the heart of the strategically sensitive gas trade between Russia and Ukraine will remain in place for now, according to the man in charge of exports at Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy group.

In remarks that cast doubt on a recent deal between Moscow and Kiev over a dispute that threatened gas supplies to Europe, Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s deputy chief executive, said the group had long-term contracts under international law with Rosukrenergo, the Swiss-based trader, and therefore could not immediately cut it out of the trade. read more

Financial Times: Entente cordiale for City bigwigs

By Emiliya Mychasuk and Emiko Terazono

Published: March 27 2008 23:06 | Last updated: March 27 2008 23:06

function floatContent(){var paraNum = "3" paraNum = paraNum - 1;var tb = document.getElementById('floating-con');var nl = document.getElementById('floating-target');if(tb.getElementsByTagName("div").length> 0){if (nl.getElementsByTagName("p").length>= paraNum){nl.insertBefore(tb,nl.getElementsByTagName("p")[paraNum]);}else {if (nl.getElementsByTagName("p").length == 3){nl.insertBefore(tb,nl.getElementsByTagName("p")[2]);}else {nl.insertBefore(tb,nl.getElementsByTagName("p")[0]);}}}} The Lord Mayor’s banquet for Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni on Thursday night brought together a wide range of executives from Britain and France to toast the presidential couple with Ruinart champagne and sip Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac 2001.

It went with a main course of British beef served with globe artichoke souffle and Dauphinoise potatoes.

Among the French executives on the guest list were EMI’s Jean-François Cecillon, Chanel managing director Olivier Nicolay, KKR’s Jacques Garaïalde, Jean-François Decaux, the co-chief executive of JC Decaux and Pascal Boris of BNP Paribas, reinforcing his party-loving reputation.

The legion of bankers in the room included Morgan Stanley’s Franck Petitgas and his soon-to-retire colleague Michael Zaoui. Also invited was Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, as well as the rainmakers who are ubiquitous at such events, Bob Wigley of Merrill Lynch and John Studzinski of Blackstone. read more

Financial Times: Big already

Published: March 27 2008 20:11 | Last updated: March 27 2008 20:11

CNOOC, the Chinese offshore oil and gas producer, indicated on Thursday that it wanted to turn into a super-major like ExxonMobil or BP or Royal Dutch Shell to improve shareholder returns in the long run.

Fu Chengyu, chairman and chief executive, said the company’s price-to-earnings ratio would not be higher than its larger and more diversified rivals’ because investors thought a pure upstream company, such as CNOOC, would not be able to shoulder risks better than the big guys. read more

Bloomberg: Shell Gabon Workers Want Management Change Before Ending Strike

By Clare Spencer

March 27 (Bloomberg) — Employees of Shell Gabon who began a strike last week that halted oil production won’t return to work until there are changes to the company’s management, a labor union official said.

Officials from the National Organization of Oil Workers held talks with Shell Gabon Managing Director Hans Bakker overnight to discuss changes to the working hours and holidays, Arnauld Engandji, national secretary of the labor union, said in an interview today from the capital, Libreville. read more

Seeking Alpha: Corn Ethanol Can Never Replace Meaningful Quantities of Motor Fuel

posted on: March 27, 2008
Scott Benson: Bio & more articles

Corn ethanol will never replace any meaningful quantities of gasoline nor diesel.

Bloomberg: Shell Gabon Says Strike Continues After Talks With Union Fail

By Clare Spencer

March 27 (Bloomberg) — Talks aimed at ending a strike by Shell Gabon workers demanding better working hours and changes to management have failed, said Roger Ralanga, the company’s spokesman.

“The strike is continuing,” Ralanga said in a telephone interview today in the capital, Libreville.

Hans Bakker, the managing director of Shell Gabon, held talks with representatives of the National Organization of Oil Workers until the early hours of this morning in a bid to resolve the dispute, Ralanga said earlier. read more

The Guardian: BP faces Kremlin tax investigation·Russian joint venture may face £21m evasion charges

·Move follows spying arrest and row over staff visas

Terry Macalister
Wednesday March 26 2008

BP is facing a criminal investigation into the tax affairs of its Russian joint venture, TNK-BP. It has been forced to recall nearly 150 staff to the parent group amid mounting speculation that the Kremlin is using the strong-arm tactics it used against Shell to press the venture into handing over part-control to the state.

The Russian interior ministry said last night it was looking into a possible tax evasion worth 1bn roubles (£21m) at Sidanco, a business that was merged into TNK-BP in 2005. TNK is owned 50/50 by the British group and three local oligarchs. read more

STATEMENT BY ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: Conserving biodiversity is a business opportunity, say IUCN and Shell

27 Mar 2008 

The business case for conserving nature is strong and getting stronger, according to a new report published today by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Shell International Limited. 

The report calls for policy reforms to increase the commercial rewards for conserving biodiversity, increased penalties for biodiversity loss and better information on the biodiversity performance of business. A key challenge facing all biodiversity businesses is the lack of accepted indicators to measure positive and negative contributions to biodiversity conservation. read more

Reuters: Shell and Virent work on green petrol alternative

Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:21am GMT 
By Tom Bergin

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil company Royal Dutch Shell and U.S. bioscience firm Virent Energy Systems are to research a petrol alternative from non-food crops that would reduce CO2 emissions without driving up food prices.

Shell said in a statement that unlike ethanol, currently the main biofuel alternative to gasoline, the fuel it and Virent aim to develop will be able to run in existing vehicles without the need to modify their engines.

Today’s gasoline engines can usually only run on a small amounts of ethanol blended with gasoline — typically 5 percent. Much higher percentages can be used with modification. read more

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: International Ambulance Chasers

March 27, 2008; Page A14

March has been a rough month for the tort bar, and not only because two of its standard-bearers — Dickie Scruggs and Mel Weiss — have both copped to felonies. A judge in California has put a damper on the efforts of plaintiffs lawyers to drum up lawsuits abroad and have them tried in the U.S.

In a case we first wrote about last summer, a state court in Los Angeles found itself adjudicating a lawsuit brought by farm workers who alleged that exposure to the pesticide DBPC in the 1970s had left them sterile. What made the case noteworthy is that the plaintiffs are all foreign nationals with no links to the U.S. civil justice system. Prior to the trial, they’d never set foot on American soil. The claims brought on their behalf concerned conduct that took place in Nicaragua more than 30 years ago. read more

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell, Virent Unite on Sugar Biofuels

March 27, 2008; Page B4

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is developing sugar biofuels suitable for standard car engines with fuel-technology company Virent Energy Systems Inc., in a move to bring new energy sources closer to mass consumption.

Shell said it started a five-year joint research-and-development effort with the Madison, Wis., company to convert plant sugars directly into gasoline and gasoline-blend components, rather than ethanol.

The development of biofuels has been hindered by the need for special fuel-distribution infrastructure and vehicle engines. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. read more

Reuters: Feds probe Shell Oil’s dealings with freight firm

Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:59pm EDT 

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) – U.S. Justice Department is looking into Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) U.S. unit concerning possible violations of U.S. corruption laws in its use of Swiss freight-forwarding firm Panalpina (PWTN.S: Quote, Profile, Research).

The U.S. Justice Department in July contacted Shell Oil concerning its use of Panalpina, Royal Dutch Shell said in its annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 17. read more

Financial Times: Nigerian ministers sacked in graft probe

By Matthew Green in Lagos
Published: March 26 2008 17:11 | Last updated: March 26 2008 17:11

Umaru Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s president, has sacked two ministers on suspicion of stealing public funds, a sign he is adopting a more assertive style after surviving a legal challenge last month to his election victory.

The ministers were the first to be forced out since Mr Yar’Adua appointed his cabinet in July, three months after winning elections so badly flawed that many Nigerians believed they barely merited the name. read more

Financial Times: Shell hopes for sweet smell of success

By Ed Crooks
Published: March 26 2008 21:58 | Last updated: March 26 2008 21:58

Royal Dutch Shell is working on a process to turn sugars into a synthetic petrol, rather than ethanol, with the aim of moving to a commercial demonstration plant in two years’ time.

Europe’s biggest oil company on Wednesday announced a joint venture with Virent, a US biotech business based in Wisconsin, saying that results from early research over the past year had been better than expected in terms of costs and yields. read more




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From the President’s desk

March 22, 2008


Fellow Ogonis and Supporters of the Ogoni Cause,

I salute you!

Few weeks back we were jolted by the news of Shell’s purported return to operation in our land, Ogoni. It made major headlines in Nigerian national dailies. At the same time, we saw a rebuttal to Shell’s claims from the Rivers State government, with a shift in burden of proof on the issue to the federal government. Thereafter, Shell reconstructed and concentrated its argument on two fronts: that it has only come into Ogoniland not to resume operation but to “secure dormant wells” and that this exercise came on the heels of “immediate past administration” permission. Really? read more

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