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Posts from ‘August, 2012’

Lawsuit for Release of Key Arctic Offshore Safety Data

Press Release

For Immediate Release:  August 30, 2012

Contact:  Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

Lawsuit for Release of Key Arctic Offshore Safety Data

Testing Results for New Blowout Capping System Sought

“Crucial” safety data on response to an offshore oil rig blowout in icy Arctic waters has not been released as required by law, according to a federal suit filed today by PEER.  The unreleased testing data would shed some light on whether there could be a repeat of the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico from the first wells to be drilled this summer on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf. read more

Shell Shuts-In Nigeria Pipeline To Nembe Creek Flow Station

By Obafemi Oredein: Published August 31, 2012: Dow Jones Newswires

IBADAN, Nigeria –Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s (RDSB.LN) Nigerian unit has closed off a pipeline into the Nembe Creek-2 flow station after a leak was discovered two days ago, a company spokesman said Friday.

The leak was observed on the flowline Wednesday, and booms quickly deplored to stop the spread of any spilled oil, said Precious Okolobo, a spokesman for Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., the Anglo-Dutch firm’s local joint venture. read more

Shell can start drill prep in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea

By DAN JOLING, Associated Press: 31 August 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC has been given a permit to begin preparation work at exploratory drilling sites in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast while it awaits certification for its oil spill response barge, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday.

“We are allowing certain limited preparatory activities that we know can be done in a safe manner,” he said in a teleconference with reporters. read more

U.S. to allow Shell to begin prep work for drilling in Arctic

WASHINGTON | Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:10pm EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) will be allowed to begin some “limited” drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, the U.S. government said on Thursday, as the company struggled to keep its Arctic exploration plans this year alive.

The U.S. Interior Department said Shell will be permitted to begin preparatory work in the Chukchi, but cannot tap areas containing oil until the government certifies its oil spill containment system.

Shell’s long-delayed $4.5 billion effort to drill for Arctic oil looked close to fruition this year but the company has run into snags. read more

Feds give Shell green light to launch Arctic drilling

Posted August 30, 2012 by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

The Obama administration on Thursday agreed to immediately allow Shell to launch drilling in Arctic waters, even though a critical oil spill containment barge is still a two-week trek away.

Administration officials stressed that the company would only be allowed to begin initial site work and drilling, without penetrating underground oil reservoirs until that emergency equipment has won Coast Guard certification and is on site.

But environmentalists accused the White House of bending over backwards to satisfy Shell and oil drilling advocates in an election year. read more

Exxon, Shell Said Seeking Control of $46 Billion Kashagan Field

By Nariman Gizitdinov on August 30, 2012

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) are seeking bigger stakes in the Kashagan oil field and operating control before starting to expand the $46 billion project, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Exxon and Shell also want Kazakhstan’s government to extend the production-sharing agreement for 20 years before investing more in the Caspian Sea field, touted as the world’s biggest discovery in four decades when found, the people said, declining to be identified as the talks are confidential. read more

U.S. To Allow Shell To Do ‘Preparatory’ Activities in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea

By Ryan Tracy: August 30, 2012

WASHINGTON–The U.S. Interior Department said Thursday it will allow Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) to do ” preparatory” work on an oil well in the Chukchi Sea while still holding back on a final permit for drilling deep enough to find oil.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the company still has to meet “many outstanding requirements” before it can drill into rock formations that hold oil, but that the agency felt it was safe to allow the company to begin work on the well. read more

Shell Causes Earthquakes in the Netherlands


BLOOMBERG: Shell Causes Earthquakes in the Netherlands

“Northern Netherlands Trembles as Gas Extraction Triggers Quakes: The entire area is sinking…”

Posted 30 August 2005

Northern Netherlands Trembles as Gas Extraction Triggers Quakes Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) — Arie de Langen says he never thought he’d have to worry about earthquakes in his northern Dutch village of Sappemeer.

Quakes were unheard of and homes in the dozens of towns and villages that dot the region were built with wooden frames and beamed roofs. Then a venture between Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s No. 2 oil company, and Exxon Mobil Corp. began extracting natural gas in the region, triggering land shifts. read more

Retired Shell engineer played central role in reserves scandal


Financial Times: Retired Shell engineer played central role

“the company had been engaged in accounting manoeuvres since 1997-98, including a flawed internal audit function”; “Shell had engaged as [group reserves auditor] a retired Shell petroleum engineer – who worked only part time and was provided with limited resources and no staff – to audit its vast worldwide operations.”

By Adrian Michaels in New York and Carola Hoyos and Andrew Parker in London

Posted 30 August 2004

US and UK regulators on Tuesday went several steps further than Royal Dutch/Shell in their dissection of what went wrong.

The Anglo-Dutch oil group had already presented the main findings of an internal investigation in April into its reserves debacle.

That report heavily criticised dismissed senior executives – Walter van de Vijver, the former head of exploration, and Sir Philip Watts, former chairman. But it had less to say on how the company had been engaged in accounting manoeuvres since 1997-98, including a flawed internal audit function. The US’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Financial Services Authority delve into the origin of the problems. “ read more

Carson neighborhood calls on Shell to take action on underground oil

Elex Michaelson

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) — An environmental controversy surfaces again in Carson, where the city is locked in a legal battle with an oil giant.

Residents say oil and chemicals are oozing up again from the ground in their neighborhoods. AT&T crews came to look at a phone line and what they found underground was oil, just a few feet below the surface of the Carousel Tract neighborhood.

“I was speechless. I didn’t even know what to say because the oil was just oozing out of the sides of this hole,” said resident Barbara Post. read more

Africa Gas Rush Imperils $100 Billion in Australian LNG

By Eduard Gismatullin and James Paton on August 29, 2012

The discovery along Africa’s east coast of the world’s biggest gas finds in a decade threatens to undo investment plans on the other side of the Indian Ocean.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), BG Group Plc (BG/) of the U.K. and France’s Total SA (FP) may scale back projects to build liquefied natural gas export plants in Australia and switch to Tanzania and Mozambique, where the new prospects lie and will cost about half as much, according to Jefferies International Ltd.

The LNG boom in Australia, where $180 billion of planned investment was set to make gas the country’s fastest-growing export over the next five years, risks losing strength as labor and material shortages force up building costs. As energy companies consider the next $100 billion of projects, a switch to East Africa would hold back Australia’s market share in China and India, where energy consumption is forecast rise more than 60 percent by 2030. read more

Russia: Shell-Shocked From U.S. Shale Over Shtokman

Matthew Hulbert  By Matthew Hulbert, Contributor


It’s been coming for a long time, but Gazprom has finally canned its 3.9tcm Shtokman gas development in the Barents Sea. France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil can breathe a collective sigh of relief as Gazprom’s triumvirate partners, ducking out of an increasingly expensive $20bn Arctic development. But as far as Russian Inc. is concerned, this is a strategic shocker. Far from dictating global LNG dynamics as the ‘swing producer’, Moscow is going to be kicked from pillar to post trying to set prices in Europe, and far more importantly, in Asia. That applies not only to liquid molecules, but pipeline gas as well. The reality of this hasn’t fully dawned on President Putin yet. When it does, expect the Kremlin to go for the quickest political fix it has to hand: The 63bcm South Stream pipeline specifically designed to stitch up South East European markets as the target of choice. Pathetic politics, but a sure sign of where Russia’s limited regional ambitions now rest. read more

In Arctic, Greenpeace picks new fight with old foe

By Karl Ritter on August 29, 2012

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Global warming has ignited a rush to exploit Arctic resources — and Greenpeace is determined to thwart that stampede.

Employing the same daredevil tactics it has used against nuclear testing or commercial whaling, the environmental group is now dead-set on preventing oil companies from profiting from global warming by drilling for oil near the Arctic’s shrinking ice cap.

The campaign took off in May 2010, when oil was still gushing from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time, Greenpeace was startled by reports that a small Scottish energy firm was proceeding with plans to drill for oil and gas in iceberg-laden waters off western Greenland. read more

Shell: A shell game on drilling Arctic waters

By Joel Connelly: August 28, 2012

Shell Oil is asking the federal government to prolong the season for its exploratory drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea by at least two weeks, and to start work before a spill containment barge arrives in Arctic waters from its retrofit in Bellingham.

The oil giant has shelled out $4.5 billion on its planned drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, faced a year’s delay due to the Gulf of Mexico spill disaster, and is now planning just two exploratory wells instead of five.

Scientists from Shell predict that ice in the Chukchi Sea won’t be a factor until mid-November, weeks past the current September 24 deadline, the Anchorage Daily News reported. read more

High Stakes for Shell in Alaska

Shell’s containment barge waits to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska. Associated Press:

August 28, 2012

Oil companies are used to being hostages to fortune. Pumping crude out of the world’s volatile hotspots and undertaking prospecting in deep waters mean firms like Royal Dutch Shell are old hands at juggling risks.

But in taking on the Arctic — in some ways the final frontier of oil exploration — is Shell biting off more than it can chew?

Shell has placed big bets on its controversial U.S. Arctic oil exploration plans and its success there is an important part of its quest to find new hydrocarbon reserves. Shell has already spent around $4.5 billion to drill in the Arctic, becoming the first company in several years to explore for oil there. read more

Shell seeks extension of Alaska Chukchi drill season

Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:59pm GMT

* Company hampered by logistics

* Needs to make progress soon to beat Arctic ice

* Working toward first Chukchi drilling in two decades

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is seeking permission to extend its Arctic drilling season as it struggles with the logistics of exploring untapped oil reserves beneath icy waters off Alaska.

The oil giant, which so far has spent $4.5 billion on its Alaska exploration program, is seeking to drill the first wells in two decades in the remote Chukchi Sea, which sits between Alaska and Siberia. The effort is being closely watched by the energy industry. read more

Tar Sands – World’s Dirtiest Oil?


I read your article about the concern over the management of Royal Dutch Shell’s tailings ponds that result from the open-pit mining of heavy tar deposits in Alberta.
There are many lessons for the Canadian and Provincial governments to be learned about open-pit mining and reclamation operations from their nearby neighbors in the States.

The Canadian Rockies are not noted for their mineral deposits. In the United States however, vast deposits of coal, copper, zinc, gold, silver and molybdenum have been discovered and mined over the last 150 years. Many of these operations have been abandoned leaving behind heaps of toxic tailings that continue to pollute the environment today. read more

Shell ramps up Qatari gas-to-diesel money machine

Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:38am EDT

* Pearl GTL ramping up to full production

* Plant is world’s biggest gas-to-liquids facility

* Project development cost Shell $18-19 billion

* High oil price, free gas input make it a money-spinner

By Andrew Callus and Peg Mackey

STAVANGER/LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) – – A Qatari project that has been a drain on Royal Dutch Shell’s capital since 2003 is on the verge of turning into a unique asset that will produce billions of dollars a year in cash for the next 25 years. read more

NICE Shell Fizzback

NICE Fizzback Voice of the Customer Solution is Helping Shell UK Retail Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Across its Business

RA’ANANA, Israel, August 28, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ —

NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE) today announced that the retail division of Shell UK Oil Products (Shell), Royal Dutch Shell plc’s largest global group of energy and petrochemical companies, is using the NICE Fizzback Voice of the Customer (VoC) solution to help the company take a more customer-centric approach across its retail fuel business. The solution gathers feedback in real time from various channels, with a focus on mobile, from across the entire UK Shell-owned retail operation. This allows the company to gain valuable insights from the voice of the customer – driving operations teams to immediately take action to address the customer experience. read more

The Shell Show, a tragicomedy in an unlimited number of parts


The Daily Telegraph: The landslide bringing down Shell grandees

The SEC and FSA reports, however, go back to the previous regime, when Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was chairman.”: Even Shell fell for the “group bonding” mumbo-jumbo, and he was videoed stumbling blindfold around head office during one such session, talking of his desire to “encourage the creativity of people” around him. He seems to have succeeded.”

(Filed: 28/08/2004)

The Securities & Exchange Commission has announced its intention to pin the reserves scandal on individuals, writes James Moore

The Shell Show, a tragicomedy in an unlimited number of parts, featured a powerful double act this week.

On Tuesday America’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Services Authority both gave the company a good kicking for wrongly booking billions of barrels of oil and gas reserves as “proven”.

Now Harold Degenhardt, the director of the Securities & Exchange Commission’s office in Fort Worth, Texas, is hard at work on the sequel. “What people need to focus on is that companies only act through people,” he says. read more

Arctic sea ice hits record low, scientists say

By , Monday, August 27, 5:28 PM

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – This visualization shows the extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, the day the sea ice dipped to its smallest extent ever recorded in more than three decades of satellite measurements. The line on the image shows the average minimum extent from the period covering 1979-2010. Every summer the ice cap melts down to what scientists call its “minimum” before colder weather builds the ice cover back up.

The extent of Arctic sea ice reached a record low Monday, according to the University of Colorado National Snow and Ice Data Center, and is on track to decline further in the next two weeks.The news that the Arctic sea ice cover had shrunk to 1.58 million square miles (4.1 million square kilometers) on Sunday came two days after Royal Dutch Shell’s drill ship, the Noble Discoverer, took advantage of reduced sea ice and started sailing from Alaska’s Dutch Harbor to the Chukchi Sea, in anticipation of final federal approval for oil exploration activities there. The area covered by Arctic summer sea ice usually reaches its low point around Sept. 13, when the region begins to cool. But it has been melting at an unprecedented 38,600 square miles (100,000 square kilometers) per day, and it is likely to decline even further before the ice begins to re-form. The last minimum sea-ice record of 1.61 million square miles (4.17 million square kilometers) was set in September 2007.Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said long-term warming coupled with recent weather conditions account for the new low. He noted that the long-term warming trend has produced more open water, which in turn absorbs more heat and makes the ice thinner.

“The thinner ice cover is then more easily melted during the summer, and more easily broken up by winds and waves from storms, which leads to more melting as well,” Meier wrote in an e-mail. “This year we had a pretty strong storm go through the Arctic in early August, and that certainly has been a big factor in the rapid loss during August. But before that storm, we were already tracking along the 2007 trajectory, so a record may have happened even without that storm because of the long-term trend.” read more

Shell Seeks to Extend ’12 Oil-Drilling Time in U.S. Chukchi Sea

By Katarzyna Klimasinska on August 27, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is seeking additional drilling time in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska as delays have cost the company about two months of exploration this year.

Shell has spent $4.5 billion to obtain drilling rights, purchase equipment and procure permits from various federal agencies in pursuit of an underwater supply of oil estimated at more than 20 billion barrels.

While the company initially planned to begin in July, ice that remained longer than usual and Coast Guard concerns with a spill-containment barge, the Arctic Challenger, delayed the start and caused Shell to cut the number of wells planned for this year from five to one or two. read more

Federal scientists still wary of Shell’s Jackpine oilsands expansion

Documents reveal concerns ahead of fall public hearings into northern Alberta mine expansion

The Canadian Press: Posted: Aug 27, 2012 12:18 PM ET

A demonstration tailings pond in Shell’s Muskeg River oilsands mine in northern Alberta. The company’s ability to store the byproducts of oilsands extraction in a manner that doesn’t harm the environment is one of the concerns raised by federal scientists worried about Shell’s plans to expand another of its mines, the Jackpine facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta., . (Handout/Reuters)

Regulatory documents indicate federal scientists still have significant concerns over Shell’s proposed Jackpine oilsands mine expansion north of Fort McMurray, Alta., even as the project heads into public hearings. read more

Shell seeks more time to drill exploratory well in Chukchi Sea

Shell says the Arctic Challenger will likely complete renovations in Bellingham, Wash., this week and set sail for Alaska (Handout photo / August 26, 2012)

By Kim Murphy: August 26, 2012, 4:24 p.m.

GIRDWOOD, Alaska — With its bid to launch offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean running up against a deadline to protect against sea ice, Shell Alaska has requested an extension in its window for drilling in the Chukchi Sea.

Peter E. Slaiby, vice president of the Alaska venture, said Sunday that the company has proposed extending the time allowed for drilling in the Chukchi by slightly less than two weeks beyond the Sept. 24 deadline set by the U.S. Department of Interior to allow time for cleanup of any oil spill before the onset of winter sea ice. read more

Report claims Shell paid warlords and militants not to attack its pipelines in the Niger Delta

By Rob Davies: PUBLISHED: 21:53, 26 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:54, 26 August 2012

Shell paid warlords and militants not to attack its pipelines in the Niger Delta, contributing to armed violence in the troubled region, according to a new report.

According to evidence obtained from leaked US Embassy cables and interviews with local people, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant paid ‘protection’ money to dangerous militant groups.

Shell fights a daily battle against oil theft and the threat to its staff from kidnappers, forcing it to go to great lengths to resolve the security situation. read more

Exclusive: Iraq pipeline delays threaten Shell’s Majnoon

Published: Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | 9:40 AM ET BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Delays in Iraq’s pipeline construction threaten to stall production at Royal Dutch Shell’s <RDSa.L> Majnoon oilfield for at least three months, forcing the field to miss a 2012 target of 175,000 barrels per day, oil ministry documents showed.Wary of losses, Shell has asked Iraq for a waiver to start recovering costs if Majnoon does not meet its first commercial production target by year-end – a contract requirement before costs can be retrieved, according to documents seen by Reuters.

Shell’s troubles illustrate infrastructure hurdles facing oil operators in the OPEC nation. Some oil majors have begun signing deals with Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, which they say offers more attractive conditions than the country’s federal government in southern oilfields.

Majnoon is shut for maintenance. But lagging development could put off completion of the new pipeline until the first quarter of next year, according to a Shell document filed with the oil ministry. read more

Nigeria hits Shell with $1.5bn bill

Daily Telegraph: Nigeria hits Shell with $1.5bn bill

“Shell and Nigeria’s state oil company would ultimately be forced to increase environmental spending in the country.”

By James Moore (Filed: 26/08/2004)

Shell faced fresh regulatory difficulties yesterday as the Nigerian Senate called on it to pay $1.5 billion (£840m) in compensation to pollution-hit communities living near its oil field in the Niger delta.

The move comes a day after the US Securities & Exchange Commission and UK Financial Services Authority issued damning reports spelling out the reasons for imposing penalties of $120m and £17m after Shell overstated proven oil and gas reserves from 1998 until this year by nearly five billion barrels. read more

Federal scientists still concerned over Shell’s Jackpine oilsands expansion

 By Bob Weber, The Canadian Press  | August 26, 2012

EDMONTON – Regulatory documents indicate federal scientists still have significant concerns over Shell’s proposed Jackpine oilsands mine expansion even as the project heads into public hearings.

Five years after Shell Canada first proposed the 100,000-barrel-a-day project, it has been finally scheduled to go before a joint federal-provincial environmental hearing Oct. 29.

In their final submissions to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, several federal departments say they still have questions about Shell’s plans. They include how growth in the industry has outpaced the company’s assessment of cumulative effects, how changing flow in the Athabasca River will affect contaminant levels and how well Shell is able to control effluent from artificial lakes that will be used to store tailings. read more

Nigeria: Shell’s Oily Friendship With Human Rights Abusers

The leak of documents from Shell reveal its deep financial ties to human rights abusers.

Shell spent at least $383 million on security in Nigeria between 2007 and 2009, or a substantial 40% of the company’s billion-dollar global security spending, according to internal financial data leaked to oil watchdog Platform. Shell’s leaked data is analysed in a new Platform briefing, Dirty Work: Shell’s security spending in Nigeria and beyond.

The briefing, as reported in the Guardian and Data Blog, reveals the extent of Shell’s financial support for Nigerian government forces and other armed groups during a period of intense conflict in the Niger Delta. It follows Platform’s 2011 report, Counting the Cost, which showed how Shell’s reliance on government forces in Nigeria and its routine payments to armed militant groups had exacerbated human rights abuses. Amongst this report’s findings, contracts implicated Shell in the funding of militants; funding that helped to perpetuate ongoing conflict in the Delta region. The new briefing confirms the vast scale of Shell’s security expenditure and its devastating consequences. read more

Why Libya’s ‘sweet’ crude oil is not enough to tempt BP or Shell

Libya is now producing 1.5m barrels of high-quality oil a day. But with exploration by BP and Shell so far disappointing, British involvement in the country remains slow

: The Observer,

A decade ago Libya was at the centre of dramatic stories alleging cloak-and-dagger diplomacy between then-BP boss Lord Browne, Colonel Gaddafi and MI6 agents. And barely 12 months ago British warplanes were in action over Tripoli – this time fighting to topple the North African dictator former prime minister Tony Blair had previously decided to embrace.

But if these two events were seen by critics as the UK manoeuvring for an “oil boom” that would benefit both countries and an energy-hungry Blighty economy, it must be deemed a bit of a failure. read more

Discoverer drillship sets sail for Shell’s Arctic leases

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Alaska

The Noble Discoverer began a one-week trek to the Chukchi Sea on Saturday afternoon, moving Shell one step closer to drilling for oil in Arctic waters this summer.

The drillship, which left Dutch Harbor for Shell’s Chukchi drilling site on Saturday afternoon, comes one week after the company’s Kulluk drilling rig launched its own two-week journey north.

The vessels’ departure marks the first time that working drilling rigs have chartered a course for the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in roughly two decades, during the last era of oil exploration in U.S. Arctic waters. read more

Obama Admininstration Backs Shell in Supreme Court Case

by Puck Lo, CorpWatch Blog
August 24th, 2012

The Obama administration is backing Shell Oil after abruptly changing sides in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that could make it even more difficult for survivors of human rights abuses overseas to sue multinational corporations in federal courts. The case will be heard on October 1.

Lawyers at EarthRights International, a Washington-based human rights law nonprofit, say they suspect that a new legal submission  – which was signed only by the U.S. Justice Department – reflects tensions inside the government on how to deal with multinational corporations do business in the U.S. Significantly, neither the State nor the Commerce Department signed on to the brief, despite their key roles in the case. read more

Solitary part-timer conducted group audit


The Guardian: Solitary part-timer conducted group audit

“The FSA makes clear that Shell’s reserves difficulties began in 1997”

Terry Macalister

Wednesday August 25, 2004

The crucial auditing of Shell’s global oil and gas reserves was undertaken by one part-time engineer.

The revelation comes in the report by the Financial Services Authority, which describes group reserves auditing (GRA) of a key value indicator as “deficient and ineffective”.

Shell’s decentralised structure needed a robust internal reserves auditing function. Instead, it “had engaged as GRA a petroleum engineer – who worked only part-time and was provided limited resources and no staff – to audit its worldwide operations,” the FSA says. read more

Shell settles fraud case for $150M


CNN: Shell settles fraud case for $150M

Oil company agrees to pay SEC for overstating reserves, also settles market abuse case in Britain.

August 24, 2004

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – Royal Dutch/Shell has agreed to pay about $150 million to settle charges by U.S. and British regulators that it vastly overstated oil reserves.

Under the settlement, Shell has also agreed to commit another $5 million to establish an internal compliance program under the direction and oversight of the company’s legal director, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.

The company units cited by the SEC, Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport, neither admitted to or denied any wrongdoing, the commission said. read more

Shell still wrestling with its moment of shame


The Independent: Shell still wrestling with its moment of shame

“Shell is bluntly accused of making false and misleading statements about its oil reserves over a five-year period, of doing so despite internal warnings that the statements were false”


United Kingdom; Aug 25, 2004

SHELL CAN only hope that yesterday’s parallel statements from the Financial Services Authority and the US Securities and Exchange Commission on the reserving debacle that threatened to engulf the company earlier this year finally closes the chapter on one of the darkest and most disreputable periods in its history.

The statements themselves make humiliating reading for a company that invests so heavily in public trust. Where once you could be sure of Shell, there seems very little you can be sure of now. Shell is bluntly accused of making false and misleading statements about its oil reserves over a five-year period, of doing so despite internal warnings that the statements were false, and then of blithely failing to correct the misleading impression given. read more

Shell hoping for big returns in offshore oil exploration

CTV Atlantic Published Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 7:10PM ADT

A company that pioneered exploration off Nova Scotia in the 1960s is back in a big way, but Shell isn’t interested in natural gas. It wants oil, and it plans on spending $970-million looking for it as part of the second largest exploration project in the world.

Today, Shell executive Erik Goodwin drew a sold out luncheon crowd to hear about the company’s offshore exploration plans, which were first announced in January.

“We really are bringing our best technology to this venture and bringing significant deepwater experience,” says Goodwin. read more

Shell: security spending or dirty work?

Shell: security spending or dirty work?

Published on : 23 August 2012 – 11:49am | By Saskia Houttuin (Photos: AFP/ANP)

Leaked documents show that Dutch-British oil and gas company Shell financed Nigeria’s security forces, which are often seen as corrupt and involved in human rights violations. A Dutch political party raised questions, calling Shell’s financing ‘irresponsible and unacceptable’.

The data, which was leaked by a former Shell employee, has been analysed by the British organisation Platform, in a document entitled “Dirty Work: Shell’s security spending in Nigeria and beyond”. The report writes that Shell spent over a billion U.S. dollars on global security between 2007 and 2009. It says that, out of that amount, 383 million went to Nigeria, including the notorious ‘kill and go’ police, a nickname for the Nigerian Mobile police, says the report. read more

John Donovan and Sakhalin Energy

By John Donovan

23 August 2012

Interesting to note that within hours of the Shell’s Enemy No. 1 feature being published on YouTube and this website earlier today, comment about the development was widely circulated by an enigmatic third party to senior people at Sakhalin Energy, Gazprom, the Russian Federal Government and other  major Sakhalin/Russia players apparently deemed to be interested in such matters.

My activities are self-evidently still being closely monitored by this spooky third party (until recently connected with Sakhalin Energy) whose motives for an apparent obsession with my online activities is unknown.
read more

WIPO panel allows use of SHELL trade marks in domain names of gripe websites


Practical Law Company: WIPO panel allows use of SHELL trade marks in domain names of criticism websites

“Tuesday 23 August 2005

The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Arbitration and Mediation Centre has refused to order the transfer of the domain names, and from a registrant who used the names to link to a website critical of Shell’s activities, holding that the registrant had a legitimate right to use the domain names to exercise his freedom of expression and had not registered them in bad faith. read more

Shell’s Enemy No. 1


Feature about John Donovan in European Journal  TV programme broadcast in English language across Europe in May 2012

European Journal is a 30 minute magazine on DW that delivers the inside take — reports on important political, economic and cultural developments in the EU with a strong focus on the European integration process. European Journal features issues that move Europeans and shows Europeans on the move.

Brief extract from narration by Nina Haase read more

The Kulluk Leaves Dutch Harbor for the Beaufort Sea

Shell Oil Pushes Ahead with Arctic Drilling: The Kulluk Leaves Dutch Harbor for the Beaufort Sea

Rhonda McBride11:14 p.m. AKDT, August 21, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

Shell Oil could be gambling big with its latest move. Its Kulluk drilling ship left Dutch Harbor on Monday, heading to the Arctic on an uncertain journey. Shell says its second ship, the Noble Discoverer, should also leave Dutch Harbor sometime this week.

Despite this, federal permits are not yet in hand to drill individual wells — and an oil spill response barge, the Arctic Challenger, sits in a Bellingham, Washington shipyard. Drilling cannot begin until it’s stationed in the Arctic. read more

Demand an end to Shell’s human rights abuses‏


Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:24:21 +0100
Subject: Demand an end to Shell’s human rights abuses
From: [email protected]

Dear friends,

Over the past 48 hours, Shell’s active role in human rights abuses in Nigeria has been exposed in a new Platform briefing: Dirty Work: Shell’s Security Spending in Nigeria. The briefing analyses financial data from Shell’s security department, leaked to Platform by a concerned ex-Shell manager.    The leaked data covers three bloody years of conflict in the Delta between 2007 and 2009. It reveals Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in the Niger Delta, including soldiers, militants and other armed groups who perpetrated human rights abuses during this period. Shell’s data leak shows that people within Shell feel deeply uncomfortable about the devastating social impact of its operations.   So far, we’ve had an overwhelming response. We made frontpage news in the Guardian, as well as reports by Reuters and AFP (see round up below). We gave several live TV interviews on Al-Jazeera (watch both here). The story has caught Twitter by storm and has been constantly tweeted about since Sunday night.   But we can do much more.    Our friends at the US online action site for corporate accountability, Sum Of Us, have launched an e-action demanding that Shell stop funding armed conflict and human rights abuses in Nigeria. Please add your name to their action. Together, we can hold Shell to account for its abuses.   This is a historic moment to demand that Shell stops pouring money into the hands of human rights abusers. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is currently whether or not to require big oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the payments they make on a country and project level. Shell has enormous payments to hide in Nigeria, and is lobbying hard to defeat these legal changes.    Let’s demand an end to what writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa called the “slick alliance” between oil companies and the repressive regime in Nigeria.   As soldiers from Nigeria’s Joint Task Force (JTF) continue to deny human rights and block environmental justice, we stand firm in our opposition to the militarisation of the Niger Delta. Furthermore, we are appalled at the decision of the UK government and its allies to provide escalating levels of military aid to Nigeria to ‘secure’ Shell’s oil fields.   Please share this story with anyone who may be interested.   With your support, we can push back against the oil giant’s harmful activities.   In hope,

Ben, Mel, Kevin, Mika, Emma and the Platform team

Platform |   Tel: +44(0)207 403 3738, +44(0)207 357 0055 Platform is on facebook and twitter @platformlondon

Recent media coverage:

AFP, Shell paid Nigeria millions to guard oil facilities: group

Guardian, Shell spending millions of dollars on security in Nigeria, leaked data shows

Telegraph, Shell ‘paying tens of millions to Nigerian security forces

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Shell spends $383m on security in Niger Delta read more

Royal Dutch Shell flags Australian cost pressure

By Ross Kelly

SYDNEY–A senior Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDS.B -0.08% executive said Wednesday the cost of building energy projects in Australia is becoming “very worrisome” as the European oil giant prepares to decide whether it will spend billions more dollars in the resource-rich nation.

Shell has already committed almost US$30 billion to Australian gas-export projects being built over the next five years. The company’s Australian head, Ann Pickard, said the figure is poised to become US$50 billion if final decisions are made on other projects that Shell has on the drawing board. read more

Arctic rig departs, Shell meets with US regulators on change of plans

Alex DeMarban | Aug 21, 2012

Attempting to salvage a shortened drilling season in the Arctic, Royal Dutch Shell is working with federal regulators on a plan that might allow it to do some preparatory drilling soon, according to Financial Times. In anticipation, on Monday Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk, departed Dutch Harbor, in the Aleutian Islands, heading for Arctic waters.

Europe’s largest oil company had hoped to be drilling in the US Arctic Ocean in July, but it now appears it’ll be lucky if it’s drilling next month. Shell had originally hoped to drill up to five wells in the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas this season, but the company has scaled back plans to just one to two wells. read more

Shell Canada to go ahead with Kitimat LNG projects despite billion-dollar Chinese gas investment

By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver Sun: August 21, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to invest $1 billion a year in shale gas exploration in China has not changed Shell Canada’s plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat aimed at the Chinese market.

Despite China’s potential for shale gas production, demand there is expected to outstrip supply, Shell Canada said Tuesday in a statement.

“The exploration and development of shale gas is expected to grow in China and Shell’s investments, largely with PetroChina, are reflective of that growth,” Shell Canada spokesman Stephen Doolan said. “However, the demand for energy in China and throughout Asia is expected to exceed domestic production. read more

Article by Charles Wiwa – Governor Amaechi and the War on Ogoni

Governor Amaechi and the War on Ogoni – by Charles Wiwa

Published 21 August 2012 

“Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”

These were Martin Luther King Jr’s summation on the injustice suffered by Blacks in America during the Civil Rights era. To many, such an era may be a thing of the past & history, and better imagined; but as of fact, some of the lives lived today in the 21st century are worse than the treatment or freedom enjoyed by domestic pets, particularly in Africa. Ironically, nations like Nigeria that boast of being sovereign and endowed with natural resources treat their citizens in sub-human conditions, thus placing such nations and their citizens at the mercy of other more serious minded polities. read more

Shell achieves production milestone at oil sands operations

By Shell Canada Limited Published: Monday, Aug. 20, 2012 – 10:06 am

CALGARY, Aug. 20, 2012 — /CNW/ – Shell, as operator of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), today announced that its oil sands operations have achieved the production milestone of 500 million barrels since production began in 2003.

“This is a tremendous achievement for Shell’s oils sands business,” said John Abbott, Executive Vice President, Heavy Oil. “This milestone is the result of the hard work and dedication of many thousands of employees and contractors. The oil sands are a secure, reliable source of energy for North America and an economic engine which drives employment, training and business development across Canada and beyond.” read more

Shell plans at least $1 billion a year China shale gas investment

Chen Aizhu and Judy Hua Reuters: 6:27 a.m. CDT, August 21, 2012

BEIJING (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell plans to spend at least $1 billion a year exploiting China’s potentially vast resources of shale gas, the firm’s top China executive said, part of an aggressive strategy to expand in the world’s biggest energy market.

Shell in March secured China’s first product sharing contract for shale gas, hoping that getting in early will allow it to be a big beneficiary from the sort of boom in shale that has transformed the U.S. energy market. read more

Data leak reveals Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in Nigeria

By Ben Amunwa: August 19, 2012

Shell spent at least $383 million on security in Nigeria between 2007 and 2009, according to company data leaked to oil watchdog Platform.[1] Shell’s leaked data is analysed in a new Platform briefing, Dirty Work: Shell’s security spending in Nigeria and beyond, which shows that a substantial amount of Shell’s security spending went into the hands of known human rights abusers in the volatile Niger Delta region.[2]

The briefing, as reported in the Guardian today, reveals the extent of Shell’s financial support for Nigerian government forces and other armed groups during a period of intense conflict in the Delta. It follows Platform’s 2011 report, Counting the Cost, which showed how Shell’s reliance on government forces in Nigeria and its routine payments to armed militant groups had exacerbated specific cases of human rights abuse. The new briefing confirms the vast scale of Shell’s security expenditure and its devastating consequences. Key findings include: read more

Shell paid Nigeria millions to guard oil facilities: group

US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks indicated some of the company’s funds were channelled to militant groups in the Delta, according to Platform’s report.

20 August 2012

LAGOS — An oil industry watchdog said Monday that Shell paid Nigeria’s military and police $65 million over two years to secure company facilities, alleging the firm had bankrolled forces widely accused of rights abuses.

Citing leaked company documents, London-based Platform said Shell spent a total of $383 million (310 million euros) on security in Nigeria between 2007 and 2009, when a rebel insurgency in the oil-rich Delta region was at its peak.

Those funds partly paid for the Anglo-Dutch company’s own 1,200-member force as well as the protection provided by some 1,300 government forces who guarded Shell’s facilities, Platform said. read more

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