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Posts from ‘December, 2013’

Corrib will cost €3.4 billion when completed

*”Over-Promise and Under-delivery”: TWELVE years behind its original completion schedule, the Corrib gas project’s costs have spiralled with €2.68 billion spent by December 2012.

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Aine Ryan: Tuesday, 31 December 2013 13:30

TWELVE years behind its original completion schedule, the Corrib gas project’s costs have spiralled with €2.68 billion spent by December 2012.

Reports in a number of national newspapers confirm that the bill for the project, which has been delayed due to a sustained community based campaign leading to a number of oral hearings and clashes with gardaí, will culminate in a €3.4 billion cost when completed by the end of next year.  That is four times the original projected cost.

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Energy renaissance in the US

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Author: Frank Holmes*: 31 December 2013

One of the most notable stories of the year.

As we come to the end of 2013, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the biggest resources stories of the year. One that immediately comes to mind is the U.S. energy resurgence and its tremendous effect on oil and gas.

Only a few years ago, we were contemplating the supply constraints facing the petroleum industry, as many major oil fields around the world were declining in production. Now, with the disruptive technology in shale oil and gas, we may be looking forward to decades of drilling.

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Brazil’s Petrobras Completes $1.6 Billion Oil-Field Sale

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December 30, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO–Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said late Monday that it had completed the sale of a 35% stake in an offshore oil field to partners Royal Dutch Shell PLC and India’s ONGC Videsh.

With completion of the deal, Shell raises its stake to 73%…

FULL ARTICLE

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Shell Completes Acquisition of Additional 23% Interest in BC-10 Project

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Royal Dutch Shell plc announced Monday that it has completed the acquisition of an additional 23 percent interest in the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project offshore Brazil for $1 billion.

Regulatory approvals have been obtained and Shell will now hold a 73 percent operating interest. The purchase is effective Jan. 1. Partner ONGC, previously holding a 15 percent working interest, will now hold a 27 percent working interest. This purchase is the result of pre-empting a third party’s bid for Petrobras’ 35 percent interest in BC-10.

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Shell officials: Recent extension for cracker plant will likely be the last

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By Rachel Morgan [email protected]: Monday, December 30, 2013

Last week’s land option extension granted to Shell Oil Co. regarding the proposed $2.5 billion petrochemical plant in Potter Township will likely be the company’s last, Shell officials said.

But the company isn’t saying just how long this extension — its third — will be.

“The details of the extension are confidential,” Shell spokeswoman Kayla Macke said Monday. The first two extensions were each six months long.

FULL ARTICLE

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Wake-up call to Shell India from a disgruntled retailer

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 10.44.02This is to get it to your notice what’s happening in Shell India. One of the worst management I have seen. Shell please wake-up and do save our retailer community in India. Some one please do exit-interviews of the retailers who have left and do justice to people who serve you. In India bribes are being taken and are being paid by the management in name of consultancy fees and incidental charges.

Introduction by John Donovan

Printed below is a comment received.  Given the length and content it seems appropriate to publish it as an article. Full contact information and related email correspondence with Shell has been supplied. The allegations suggest that Shell is continuing to ruthlessly exploit Shell petrol retailers/franchisees as it has done in other countries.

*Many years ago we conducted a series of ethical surveys involving up to 1500 Shell UK retailers and published the findings in whole page announcements in trade magazines such as “Forecourt News”. All of the sealed responses were opened and authenticated by an independent solicitor who supplied an affidavit testifying to the findings. If the allegations below have foundation, it appears that not much has changed.

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Voser wisely abandons an unstable ship

I have bad news for Shell. A whistleblower who has major safety concerns with the Prelude flagship vessel destined for Australia, has supplied me with potentially explosive information. I am in possession of a considerable amount of internal information and photographic material. The person in question has been intimately involved in the project at a high level and is deeply concerned that warnings issued to Shell (and other parties) have been ignored and financial considerations are taking priority over safety issues. The whistleblower is very concerned about mismanagement and the alleged use of totally unqualified personnel.   

By John Donovan

Peter Voser could not wait to ease Jeroen van der Veer out of the top job at Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

He was full of enthusiasm and itching to implement his plans, which included making hundreds of Shell executives reapply for their own jobs.

Mr. Voser now has only days left as Chief Executive, with Ben van Beurden about to receive what he may view as a poisoned chalice.

Voser’s sudden decision to jump ship for a “lifestyle change”, announced several months ago, took many by surprise.

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Shell paves way for share buyback in 2014

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 18.29.07The company has recently come under fire from major investors for allegedly not treating British investors on a par with Dutch shareholders. Shell cancelled a London event last year that provided a live TV link-up to its annual meeting in the Hague, angering British-based investors. Shell’s head of refining and marketing chief, Ben van Beurden is due to take over from Peter Voser as chief executive on January 1…

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By Andrew Critchlow: 27 Dec 2013

Royal Dutch Shell has said that it plans to continue with its share buyback programme in 2014.

Europe’s largest oil company by market value has already returned about $5bn (£3bn) to shareholders this year through the scheme.

In a stock market filing Friday the company said: “it has entered into an irrevocable, non-discretionary arrangement with an independent third party to enable the purchase of `B’ ordinary shares, for cancellation, during the period from 2 January 2014 up to and including 13 March 2014 which period includes the 2013 fourth quarter results close period.”

A spokesperson for Shell said that the announcement enables the company to extend its buyback scheme into next year, subject to board approval.

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Dancing with the Kulluk

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Carey Restino: December 27th 2013

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A year ago, a handful of mariners from private vessels, U.S. Coast Guard crews, and those contracted to work for Shell Oil headed into a tremendous storm in an effort to save a buoy-shaped oil rig from grounding off Kodiak Island. The Kulluk, a Shell Oil drill rig that had been working in the Arctic, was adrift off the coast of Kodiak Island and the tug that had been pulling it had lost all engine power as it attempted to tow the rig from Unalaska to Seattle through a winter storm. Now, a year later, Shell is applying for permission to return to the Arctic in 2014. As federal officials review the application, the magnitude of the attempt to rescue the Kulluk has only been told in pieces. Here is one man’s story of that effort as the chief engineer aboard the responding Crowley tug Alert.

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Shell Keeps Option On Pa. ‘Cracker’ Site

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Company says it will finally begin construction preparation

By CASEY JUNKINS Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register: December 27, 2013

WHEELING – Nearly two years after announcing intentions to bring a multibillion-dollar ethane cracker plant – and the thousands of related jobs – to Monaca, Pa. rather than to Ohio or West Virginia, Royal Dutch Shell is set to demolish structures at the Horsehead Corp. site.

Global oil giant Shell once again extended its option to purchase the 300-acre site along the Ohio River north of Pittsburgh, just as it did last December and again in June. This time, the company plans to pay for demolition and removal of the existing Horsehead zinc plant, with work scheduled to begin early next year.

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The future of natural gas production in Groningen

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Shell’s NAM joint venture with ExxonMobil submits a revised production plan for the Groningen gas field in the Netherlands, after a 2012 earthquake in the nearby village of Huizinge. In August 2012, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred in the village of Huizinge in the province of Groningen in the Netherlands. The local population experienced the event as prolonged and intense. The earthquake was the start of a series of developments that will culminate in a decision by the Netherlands’ Minister of Economic Affairs in early 2014 regarding a new plan for the production of gas in Groningen.

Posted 27 December 2013

Shell’s NAM joint venture with ExxonMobil submits a revised production plan for the Groningen gas field in the Netherlands, after a 2012 earthquake in the nearby village of Huizinge.

In August 2012, an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.6 on the Richter scale occurred in the village of Huizinge in the province of Groningen in the Netherlands. The local population experienced the event as prolonged and intense.

The earthquake was the start of a series of developments that will culminate in a decision by the Netherlands’ Minister of Economic Affairs in early 2014 regarding a new plan for the production of gas in Groningen.

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Merry Christmas from John Donovan

The vast majority of people at Royal Dutch Shell are decent hard working individuals. I would like to wish them and all of the contributors and visitors to this website, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

From John Donovan

Woodside stake may be split if Shell sells out

Bankers say the holding is an obvious selloff candidate for incoming Chief Executive Ben van Beurden, who takes the job on January 1 and will offer strategy pointers on January 30 along with fourth-quarter results.

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LONDON Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:09am GMT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) 23.1 percent stake in Australian oil and gas group Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX) is seen as more likely to be split up and/or sold to institutional shareholders than to go in one piece to a strategic buyer, bankers said.

The holding, worth about $6.4 billion (3.9 billion pounds) and left over from Shell’s abortive attempt to acquire Woodside in 2001, has long been viewed as non-core to Shell.

This year, the Anglo-Dutch company promised to accelerate asset sales to reflate a narrowing cushion between cash inflow and investment spending.

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Highlights of Marcellus Shale news in 2013

The biggest question mark for 2014 is whether Shell Oil Co. will continue to explore the possibility of building a huge natural gas processing plant in western Pennsylvania. In March 2012, Shell chose a possible site about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh for the so-called ethane cracking, or cracker, plant. Shell’s option to buy the site expires at the end of the year, but it could easily be renewed. Shell spokesperson Kimberly Windon said last week there’s no update on the plant.

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — The natural gas industry and environmentalists in Pennsylvania both had reasons to cheer and jeer in 2013 over the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Environmentalists were heartened by a state Supreme Court ruling at the end of the year that rejected significant portions of industry-friendly legislation. The state’s highest court ruled that Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration had gone too far in passing a law that gives the industry the right to operate almost anywhere it wants to, even if local municipalities object.

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Groningen Exxon/Shell gas field earthquakes rumble on

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 15.21.39The economic benefits of the gas produced by Groningen have been immense, but now some of the costs are becoming apparent. Rebuilding thousands of homes, and increasing the height of the dikes which protect Holland from flooding will be enormously costly – perhaps comparable to the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that drove BP to the financial brink.

By John Donovan

On Monday 16 December a Dutch public service TV channel, NCRV, aired a documentary about natural gas drilling in Northwest Groningen by NAM, a joint venture company owned by Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

The drilling is causing increasingly violent earthquakes.

A former engineer predicted in October 2013 that major earthquakes will soon occur.

“It’s only a matter of time before people will be injured or even die because of the earthquakes that afflict North Groningen says Adriaan Houtenbos in the NRC Handelsblad today.” (Translation)

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Gazprom, Shell Agree on LNG Plant Expansion

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Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom approved on Monday an expansion of the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant it co-runs with Royal Dutch Shell, bending to pressure from its Anglo-Dutch partner.

Gazprom said CEO Alexei Miller and Shell’s CEO Peter Voser had met in Moscow last Friday and had agreed to recommend that Sakhalin Energy operational company’s board discuss the design of the third line.

FULL ARTICLE

Don Marketing blockbuster promotions for Shell (images)

A promotional game devised for Shell by Don Marketing

A promotional game devised for Shell by Don Marketing

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SHELL MASTERMIND GAMEPIECE

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Don Redhead, Director of Don Marketing

Don Redhead, Director of Don Marketing

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Garda watchdog interviews OSSL about booze claims

Screen Shot 2013-08-22 at 14.05.39GÁRDA watchdog investigators have interviewed the former Shell contractor who claims his company, OSSL, supplied three loads of booze to Belmullet GárdaStation in 2005, 2006 and 2007, The Mayo News understands.

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Policing Corrib costs over €16 million

Áine Ryan

GÁRDA watchdog investigators have interviewed the former Shell contractor who claims his company, OSSL, supplied three loads of booze to Belmullet GárdaStation in 2005, 2006 and 2007, The Mayo News understands. The interview with co-owners Des Kane and Neil Rooney, which was held earlier this month, is part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations that have been rejected by Shell E&P Ireland.

Coincidentally, Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter revealed in the Dáil that the cost of policing the Corrib Gas project had now reached €16 million.

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Shell to sell off £18bn in assets after profits tumble

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52OIL giant Shell is to start a sale of up to $30bn (£18bn) of assets next year after weak refining margins and oil theft in Nigeria caused a sharp fall in profits, it can be disclosed. Mr Voser, a Swiss national, is to step down at the end of the year and will be succeeded in January by Shell’s Dutch refining and marketing chief, Ben van Beurden. The company came under fire from major investors over the weekend for allegedly not treating British investors on a par with Dutch shareholders. Shell cancelled a London event last year that provided a live TV link-up to its annual meeting in the Hague, angering British-based investors.

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By John Ficenec | Telegraph

OIL giant Shell (LSE: RDSB.Lnews) is to start a sale of up to $30bn (£18bn) of assets next year after a sharp fall in profits, it can be disclosed.

OIL giant Shell is to start a sale of up to $30bn (£18bn) of assets next year after weak refining margins and oil theft in Nigeria caused a sharp fall in profits, it can be disclosed.

Assets on the chopping block include a $7bn stake in Woodside Petroleum (Other OTC: WOPEFnews) , Australia’s second largest oil and gas producer; oil assets in the Niger Delta worth $2bn; and other assets totalling $20bn, according to oil and gas analysts from JP Morgan Cazenove.

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Big Oil sits out lobbying on Iran as Congress stands firm

The companies that have lobbied Congress this year have largely been U.S. divisions of larger international oil companies, such as BP America, part of London-based BP Plc and Shell Oil Co, the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

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By Timothy Gardner and Andy Sullivan: WASHINGTON Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:24am EST

(Reuters) – As debate rises in Washington over the first thaw in relations between Iran and the United States in decades, powerful oil companies are opting for an unusual tactic: silence.

Oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips could earn huge profits if the United States loosened economic sanctions on Iran, allowing access to its oil and natural gas fields, some of the world’s largest and least costly to produce.

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Shell CEO says an Arctic offshore oil find would take years to bring on line

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By ALAN BAILEY: Petroleum News: December 20, 2013

Shell CEO Peter Voser said Dec. 11 that he anticipates oil production from the Alaska Arctic offshore to start during the second half of the next decade, if the company makes a discovery. For several years the company has been engaged in an exploration program on the outer continental shelf of the Alaska Chukchi and Beaufort seas but has yet to drill an exploratory well into a potential hydrocarbon zone.

Voser is leaving Shell in March and his remarks about his company’s Alaska plans came as part of an interview, posted on the Shell website, in which he commented on Shell’s business strategy and some of the issues facing the company as he prepares to hand over the management reins to his successor at the top.

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Russia starts pumping oil at Arctic rig raided by Greenpeace

Russia’s state-held energy giant Gazprom said Friday it had launched production at an Arctic oil rig raided in September by 30 Greenpeace activists whom the authorities later detained for two months.

The Japan Times

Dec 21, 2013

Russia’s state-held energy giant Gazprom said Friday it had launched production at an Arctic oil rig raided in September by 30 Greenpeace activists whom the authorities later detained for two months.

The landmark announcement marked the formal start of Russia’s long-planned effort to turn the vast oil and natural gas riches believed to be buried in the frozen waters into profits for its ambitious government-run firms.

But it also outraged campaigners who see the Arctic as one of the world’s last pristine reserves and say damage by oil spills and other disasters would be enormously difficult to contain.

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Corrib gas project sees costs spiral

Gas was originally expected to flow from the field in 2003 resulting in the project likely to be 12 years behind the original schedule and the outlay will be more than four times the initial estimate of €800 million. The company driving the project, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL) confirmed yesterday that the Corrib Gas Partners last year spent a further €250 million on the project.

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Gordon Deegan: Fri, Dec 20, 2013

The Corrib Gas partners are now counting the cost of a contentious An Bord Pleanála ruling as the bill for the project is set to hit almost €3.4 billion before the end of next year.

The company driving the project, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL) confirmed yesterday that the Corrib Gas Partners last year spent a further €250 million on the project.

The 2012 outlay brought the total spend on the project to €2.68 billion at the end of December last.

Work continues on the 5km tunnel to bring the gas ashore and a Shell spokesman confirmed yesterday that a further €380 million will be spent on the project this year with a projected €300 million to be spent on the scheme next year.

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Shell ‘is getting far too Dutch’

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 00.36.50A senior executive at a leading City institution, who asked not to be named, said British investors were not being treated on a par with their Dutch counterparts. He said this was symptomatic of a trend that has seen the company increasingly consolidating power in The Hague and forgetting its British heritage. The oil giant last year scrapped a London event that featured a live TV link-up to its annual meeting in The Hague, sparking outrage among investors.

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Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 00.26.46By Rob Davies: 

Shell is coming under growing pressure from shareholders to hold every other annual meeting in London, with one major investor warning that the firm is becoming ‘too Dutch’.

A senior executive at a leading City institution, who asked not to be named, said British investors were not being treated on a par with their Dutch counterparts.

He said this was symptomatic of a trend that has seen the company increasingly consolidating power in The Hague and forgetting its British heritage.

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St Fergus gas terminal improvements by Shell after HSE warning

Oil firm Shell has made safety changes after being warned that not all measures had been taken to prevent a major accident at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire.

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19 December 2013

Oil firm Shell has made safety changes after being warned that not all measures had been taken to prevent a major accident at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire.

The Health and Safety and Executive (HSE) had issued an improvement notice.

It had raised concerns about lifting operations being carried out close to equipment at the plant which contained gas.

The HSE said that notice had now been complied with.

A Shell Spokesperson said: “Shell can confirm that we received a improvement notice at our St Fergus gas plant, relating to our lifting procedures.

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Putin offers surprise pardon to Khodorkovsy, Pussy Riot, Shell 30

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In a surprise move, Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is to pardon his political arch-enemy, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been imprisoned for the last 10 years.

Putin’s amnesty bill has been approved by parliament, and includes pardons for Pussy Riot and the Shell 30 environmental protesters.

FULL ARTICLE

Corrib Gas bill heading for €3.4bn

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Gas was originally expected to flow from the field in 2003 resulting in the project likely to now be 12 years behind the schedule, and the outlay more than four times the initial estimate of €800m.

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Malabu Oil Deal: Delay in Circulating Report Stalls Consideration

That Shell Nigeria Ultra Deeps (SNUD) be censured or reprimanded by the House for its lack of transparency and full disclosure in its bid to acquire OPL 245

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Muhammad Bello: 18 Dec 2013

The delay in the circulation of the report of the ad hoc committee on the transaction involving the federal government, Shell, Agip and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited in respect of Oil Block OPL 245 yesterday stalled its consideration.

Had the process sailed through without the problem that arose, Muhammad Abacha, son of the late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha and  Kweku Amafegha, perhaps standing in for  a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Dan Etete, as well as Pecos Energy Limited, would have been beneficiaries of the committee’s work.

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Is our federal government too close to Big Oil?

Environment Canada’s recent approval of the Jackpine oilsands mine expansion appears to prove, once and for all, that the current federal government works for corporations, not for the benefit of this country.

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By

Environment Canada’s recent approval of the Jackpine oilsands mine expansion appears to prove, once and for all, that the current federal government works for corporations, not for the benefit of this country.

The Jackpine oilsands mine expansion is a project that would increase the current extraction of bitumen by 100,000 barrels per day, making the total extraction from that mine around 350,000 barrels per day.

Shell, who is spearheading the project, by its own environmental assessment, has declared that 185, 872 hectares of wetlands will be permanently lost or altered and that there will be 40-60 per cent loss of habitat for migratory birds and some species at risk.

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Fracking realities

BP and Shell are globally known, many would think, not for responsible management and regulation of the oil industry but rather for huge oil pollution in the USA and Africa…

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Thursday 19th December 2013

From (Prof) Andrew
Watterson

Your illuminating report on the fracking map for Scotland (18 December) highlights a number of major issues.

AMEC, the consultancy firm chosen by the UK government to assess the effects of fracking, is one that has done much work for oil companies such as BP and Shell.

BP and Shell are globally known, many would think, not for responsible management and regulation of the oil industry but rather for huge oil pollution in the USA and Africa and, in the former company, for ­lethal health and safety failures. Former BP staff are at the centre of the move to develop fracking.

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Shell ‘broke safety rules at St Fergus’

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By Ryan Crighton Business Editor: Published: 19/12/2013

OIL giant Shell has been accused of breaking safety rules at the St Fergus gas terminal.

The Health and Safety Executive has acted over the methods used to lift material in areas near equipment filled with gas.

It is understood inspectors feared a major accident – and that not enough was being done to protect staff and the environment if there was an incident.

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Showa Shell Solar Unit to Invest 13 Billion Yen in Panel Plant

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By Chisaki Watanabe Dec 19, 2013 7:13 AM GMT

Solar Frontier K.K., a unit of Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (5002), will invest 13 billion yen ($125 million) to build a solar panel plant north of Tokyo.

The plant in Miyagi prefecture will have annual production capacity of 150 megawatts and will begin operating by March 2015, the company said in a statement today.

Solar Frontier’s largest plant, which can produce 900 megawatts per year, is in the southwestern prefecture of Miyazaki. The company makes panels using copper, indium, gallium and selenium, known as CIGS.

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Motiva Convent Plant Said to Mothball Catalytic Cracker by 2016

Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to shut the fluid catalytic cracker at the Convent, Louisiana, refinery, by October 2016 because it’s unprofitable to operate…

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By Barbara Powell Dec 18, 2013 6:07 PM GMT

Motiva Enterprises LLC plans to shut the fluid catalytic cracker at the Convent, Louisiana, refinery, by October 2016 because it’s unprofitable to operate, a person familiar with operations said.

The refinery’s crude units don’t produce as much feedstock, such as vacuum gasoil, as the unit can process. Motiva found it too costly to purchase additional feed, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. A catalytic cracker upgrades vacuum gasoil into gasoline and other fuels.

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Shell dicing with disaster in US Arctic waters

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 23.32.34BP was partly or even mainly responsible for the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but the oil giant has been well and truly screwed while in a prone position by a combination of morally challenged politicians, a blatantly flawed legal system and picked clean by shyster lawyers and their equally greedy and dishonest clients. It is under these same adverse background circumstances that Shell intends to roll the dice again in US Arctic/Alaska waters despite the run of misfortune already encountered. It could potentially result in an environmental calamity for the entire planet and the end of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

By John Donovan

Some readers may wonder why we have today featured a New York Times article about BP’s litigation problems in the USA – “BP Accuses Texas Lawyer of ‘Brazen Fraud’ in Workers’ Claims Over Gulf Oil Spill” – when this website is focused on Shell?

We have also published an editorial by The Seattle Times: “Editorial: A cold, hard look needed for Shell’s Arctic drilling plans”

Both subjects are connected.

They provide a warning of what could happen to Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its shareholders if a disaster befalls Shell’s drilling plans in the Arctic within US jurisdiction. 

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BP Accuses Texas Lawyer of ‘Brazen Fraud’ in Workers’ Claims Over Gulf Oil Spill

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 10.04.21BP on Tuesday accused a Texas lawyer of fraudulently driving up its settlement costs in the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill by claiming to represent tens of thousands of clients who turned out to be “phantoms.” The company, citing “brazen fraud,” is asking the court to allow it to stop payments and reclaim some of the unspent money. The more than 40,000 deckhands claimed as clients by Mr. Watts constituted nearly 80 percent of the people projected to file claims under the program, the company said in court papers. In July 2012, Mr. Watts hosted a $35,800-a-plate event for President Obama at his home.

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By  

A version of this article appears in print on December 18, 2013, on page A14 of the New York edition

BP on Tuesday accused a Texas lawyer of fraudulently driving up its settlement costs in the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill by claiming to represent tens of thousands of clients who turned out to be “phantoms.”

In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in New Orleans, the oil giant, which has been fighting the administration of a settlement with plaintiffs in the courtroom and in the news media, claimed that it relied on the client count supplied by the lawyer, Mikal C. Watts, in 2010 when it put $2.3 billion into a special compensation program for the seafood industry. The company, citing “brazen fraud,” is asking the court to allow it to stop payments and reclaim some of the unspent money.

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Editorial: A cold, hard look needed for Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18Skepticism by this Department of the Interior agency is the least to be expected after Shell’s troubled launch of Alaska oil exploration and drilling plans in 2012 in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Trouble with oil rigs and a new tug caused Shell to punt on the 2013 season, and now it is back asking to try again in 2014… The bureau wants to know if Shell has addressed and corrected issues of noncompliance cited by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency. The information was missing from a November filing by Shell.

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An agency of the federal Department of the Interior needs more details about Shell’s plans before another try at oil exploration in Alaska.

Originally published December 17, 2013

Seattle Times Editorial

DAYS after Shell Oil turned in revised proposals for oil exploration in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management responded with 10 pages of questions to answer.

Good. Skepticism by this Department of the Interior agency is the least to be expected after Shell’s troubled launch of Alaska oil exploration and drilling plans in 2012 in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

Trouble with oil rigs and a new tug caused Shell to punt on the 2013 season, and now it is back asking to try again in 2014 in the Chukchi Sea, between Siberia and the top of Alaska, west of Barrow.

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Shell E&P Ireland to seek review of pollution prevention licence in early 2014

The High Court quashed the EPA’s decision to grant the licence to Shell Exploration & Production Ireland Ltd (Sepil) in October following an application brought by Martin Harrington, who successfully argued that the agency had not followed the correct process in reaching its decision.

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High Court quashed EPA decision to grant permit in October

Tue, Dec 17, 2013

The Corrib natural gas field developer will apply to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review of its pollution prevention and control licence early in 2014.

The High Court quashed the EPA’s decision to grant the licence to Shell Exploration & Production Ireland Ltd (Sepil) in October following an application brought by Martin Harrington, who successfully argued that the agency had not followed the correct process in reaching its decision.

A company newsletter published yesterday states that it plans to apply a for a new review of the licence early in 2014. In 2007, the EPA granted it a licence that covered the discharge of treated produced water – that is naturally occurring water coming into the terminal in the gas stream – at a point 2km from Erris Head.

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U.S. Oil Production Projected to Surge, Leading to Lower Prices at Gas Pump

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HOUSTON — Domestic oil production will continue to soar for years to come, the Energy Department predicted on Monday, scaling to levels not seen in nearly half a century by 2016.

The annual outlook by the department’s Energy Information Agency was cited by experts as confirmation that the United States was well on its way — far faster than anticipated even a year ago — to achieving virtual energy independence.

The report predicted that the increase in United States production would contribute to a decline in the world oil benchmark price over the next few years to $92 a barrel in 2017 from a 2012 average of $112 a barrel, which should translate into lower prices at the pump for consumers.

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Senate Dems press for delay in Arctic drilling

“The Department of Interior‘s proposals to allow drilling activity in the Arctic Ocean have generated significant controversy and litigation, with opposition from local communities, Members of Congress, scientists, the conservation community, and the American people,” the senators wrote in a letter finalized on Friday.

They pointed to the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, which experienced a series of mishaps last year while drilling in the Arctic — which included the grounding of a drilling rig and violations of air pollution permits. The administration is weighing whether to let the company resume its exploration activities.

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Shell cloud use

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Many major organisations are now fully embarking on cloud strategies and the latest evidence of this came from HP’s Discover event in Barcelona.

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Garda rotten from the top down

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GARDA OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATION OF POLICE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SHELL IS STILL IN PROGRESS

Terence Conway stated “It was good to finally meet a Garda who is trying to deal with the corruption within An Garda Siochana.  Unfortunately senior Garda management are content with corruption within the force”. Speaking at the protest Maura Harrington stated that policing in the country is “rotten from the top down”.

News release – Issued by Shell to Sea – Monday 16th December 2013

A group from Shell to Sea – Erris travelled to Limerick on Friday 13th December to attend a Justice 4 All protest outside Henry Street police station.  This was a follow-on from the recent Peoples’ Forum – “Who Polices the Police?”, which was addressed among others by Mick Wallace TD and Clare Daly TD [1].

John Wilson, one of the two garda whistle blowers, who raised the penalty points scandal addressed the protest and castigated both the Commissioner Martin Callinan and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter saying that the force, as found by the Smithwick tribunal, still places loyalty above honesty [2].

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Shell Exiting Woodside Opens Door to China Bids: Real M&A

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSA) long-awaited sale of its $6.4 billion stake in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. may open the door for Asian buyers to grab a slice of Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, or even the whole company.

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By Angus Whitley and James Paton Dec 15, 2013 7:00 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s (RDSA) long-awaited sale of its $6.4 billion stake in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. may open the door for Asian buyers to grab a slice of Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, or even the whole company.

Shell, which said last month it was entering “a divestment phase,” may exit its 23 percent holding in Woodside as soon as 2014 as its importance to Europe’s largest oil company fades, said Nomura Holdings Inc. While Shell may opt to sell the stock back to Woodside and institutional investors, China’s Cnooc Ltd. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. might pursue the stake or a full takeover, Morningstar Inc. said.

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Activists Prank Shell, Hijack ‘Science Slam’ in Berlin

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Every day in Nigeria, approximately 350,000 litres of oil are spilled, destroying the livelihood of much of the population. Shell pays off warlords and corrupt governments to continue drilling there,” the group said on a website it made for the campaign.

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Nigeria: Oil Spill in Nigeria – Activists Prank Shell, Hijack “Science Slam” in Berlin #Slamshell

Some young environmental activists, pretending to be scientists, on Wednesday pulled off a creative and subversive prank on Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, in Berlin to demand cleaner business practices in Nigeria and elsewhere.

The group, Peng! Collective, pretended to be scientists who had created a machine to reduce carbon dioxide only to turn around to expose Shell for the “evil” spills they cause in Nigeria. They also asked the oil company to stop drilling plans in the Arctic.

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Biggest Ship in the World Might Not Even Be a Ship

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John,

I found the following article your readers might be interested in reading. Shell’s Prelude LNG ‘ship’ is not really a ship, per se, because it has no means of self propulsion.

It will be towed to location and anchored, supposedly for the life of the gas field exploitation project.

This vessel is nothing more than a giant production and processing barge masquerading as a ship.

The Biggest Ship in the World Might Not Even Be a Ship

Revisions Required For Shell’s 2014 Chukchi Exploration Plan

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18Johnston said the 2012 drilling season showed that Shell needs to be more prepared for the Arctic conditions and have more contractor oversight. Until Shell provides the agency with the answers for dozens of requested revisions, BOEM will not consider their application complete.

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By | December 12, 2013 – 5:40 pm

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking more information from Shell about their 2014 Chukchi Exploration Plan.

Until Shell provides the agency with the answers for dozens of requested revisions, BOEM will not consider their application complete.

The Regional Supervisor for the Office of Leasing and Plans within BOEM, David Johnston, said the ball is now in Shell’s court. The agency is seeking more details on Shell’s ships, the Noble Discoverer and the Polar Pioneer. They also have questions about Shell’s plans to deal with air quality issues, among other things.

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Federal government questioned over leaking tailings ponds in Alberta

The secretariat asked Canadian environment officials to explain documented cases of contaminated tailings water being discharged into Jackpine Creek, Beaver Creek, McLean Creek and the Athabasca River, and noted that Environment Canada expressed concern that tailings ponds would be discharged into fish-bearing waters during an assessment of Shell Canada’s Jackpine project. As part of that assessment, Shell acknowledged “some seepage” would occur, the commission said.

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By Marty Klinkenberg, Edmonton Journal December 12, 2013

EDMONTON – A North American trade body has asked Ottawa to respond to allegations that it has failed to enforce its own laws when it comes to oilsands tailings ponds.

The environmental secretariat has given the government 30 days to respond to allegations that it has failed to enforce the federal Fisheries Act by allowing the ponds to leak contaminants into the Athabasca River watershed.

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a body created to monitor enforcement of environmental regulations in Canada, the United States and Mexico, could launch a formal review of the federal government’s procedures if dissatisfied with its response.

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THE CAMPAIGN TO END APARTHEID

Why did international sanctions work on South Africa but not other dictatorships?

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By Joshua Keating – Slate: Thursday, December 12, 2013

Extracts

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 13.53.02Today, the international sanctions against South Africa, along with the public divestment campaign in the United States and other countries, are remembered as the textbook examples of how international economic pressure can create the impetus for political change in repressive regimes. Of course, it would go too far, and give far too little credit to Nelson Mandela and his allies, to argue that international pressure was the main reason that apartheid fell. In the years since, some economists have even questioned just how much impact they really had.

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Nigeria ranks high on Shell’s disappointment list

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 10.15.24Peter Voser, chief executive officer, Shell, in an interview published on Wednesday on the company’s website indicated that Nigeria contributed significantly to the slump in its performance in the past one year. Voser, who will step down at the end of this year as the company’s CEO, said they were working on the performance issues. Shell’s second-quarter profit slumped to $4.6 billion from $5.7 billion a year earlier partly due to disruptions in Nigeria.

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Global oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has reaffirmed the negative impact the surge in oil theft and sabotage in Nigeria has had on its performance in the past 12 months.

Peter Voser, chief executive officer, Shell, in an interview published on Wednesday on the company’s website indicated that Nigeria contributed significantly to the slump in its performance in the past one year.

“Things have been difficult in Nigeria, due to ongoing sabotage and security issues. We have seen underperformance at various production sites, such as those in the North Sea and at refineries in the USA,” he said, when asked what the disappointments of the past 12 months were.

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Shell to produce Arctic oil and gas from 2025: CEO

In one of his last interviews as CEO of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant, Voser said, “The Arctic is rich in oil and gas and the region will be developed. “Shell is making preparations to potentially start exploratory drilling in 2014 or 2015, but this has not yet been decided,” Voser said. “If we make a discovery, I would envisage possible production during the second half of the next decade.”

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THE HAGUE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — Shell could produce oil and gas from the Arctic from 2025, Peter Voser stated on Wednesday.

In one of his last interviews as CEO of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant, Voser said, “The Arctic is rich in oil and gas and the region will be developed.

“Shell has significant acreage in Alaska and is equipped to develop the resources there in a sustainable manner,” he said.

After a number of setbacks and incidents during exploration drilling activities in the Arctic in 2012, Shell announced a pause for 2013 in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi Seas to prepare equipment and plans for a resumption of activity at a later stage.

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111 complaints made against gardai in 2007/8 about Shell Corrib gas

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 16.31.52The sharp exchanges developed during justice question time in the Dáil when Mr Wallace raised the general practices, policies and procedures of the Garda in relation to Corrib gas. Mr Wallace said: “It is within the remit of the Minister to check that tendency and to hold the Garda to account. Sadly, his track record to date has been weak and bordering on cowardly.” He said 111 complaints were made against gardaí in 2007 and 2008 in relation to Corrib gas but no charges were brought.

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Shatter rejects claims over Garda accountability

Wallace accuses Minister of being ‘weak bordering on cowardly’

Marie O’Halloran: Wed, Dec 11, 2013 Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has rejected claims by Independent TD Mick Wallace that he has been “weak and bordering on cowardly” in holding gardaí to account in their policies and procedures. Mr Shatter insisted he expected “members of An Garda Síochána to behave appropriately and to do their duty without fear or favour”.

He said: “Where there are issues that need to be dealt with they will be addressed, but unlike the deputy, I do not labour under the illusion that the gardaí as a group do no public good.”

Mr Shatter said gardaí as a group were under continuous attack in the Dáil, with no recognition given for the important work they did in combating subversion, dealing with criminal gangs, providing community protection and engaging in crime investigation.

The sharp exchanges developed during justice question time in the Dáil when Mr Wallace raised the general practices, policies and procedures of the Garda in relation to Corrib gas.

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Four Remarkable Revelations About Big Oil in 2013

Perhaps the most surprising disclosure of them all came earlier this month, when Shell made its rift with the global coal industry public, admitting to an Australian newspaper that its lobbying efforts may have influenced the World Bank’s decision in July to restrict financing of new coal power stations, except in “rare circumstances.”

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Recent disclosures show powerful industry adjusting to uncertain future.

By Geoff Dembicki, Today, TheTyee.ca

In some ways 2013 will be remembered as a year of stalemate for one of North America’s richest and most influential industries. It marked 12 more months that President Barack Obama was unable — or unwilling — to make a decision on TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. In Canada the political and economic fate of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline remained equally uncertain.

Yet the past few months have also yielded rare glimpses into the preparations major oil and gas companies are making for a disorienting future. The four headline-making disclosures listed below show them reckoning like never before with increasingly powerful opponents, a global energy system in transition, the financial risk of rising carbon emissions and bitter economic rivalries.

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