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Posts from ‘February, 2015’

SAKHALIN2: How many billions of dollars did Shell lose in Russian annexation?

Chris Finlayson representing Shell and Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s Vice Chairman

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell executive Chris Finlayson held a leadership position in Shell’s Sakhalin II project in Russia from September 2005 to September 2009.

The venture was described as “the Mother of all Projects” by the Financial Times.

When Finlayson joined the Sakhalin II project, Shell was the controlling stakeholder in the venture.

By the time he departed, Shell had lost its controlling stake and had become a junior partner in humiliating circumstances.

The Putin government found out that Shell had hidden information from them in a high level cover-up. As a Russian government minister, Oleg Mitvol, confirmed to the news media at the time, and more recently in a GERMAN TV documentary segment broadcast across Europe, I supplied that crucial insider information to him. I did so before the real nature of Putin had become apparent.   read more

Lynn Hughes and Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes

In an extremely rare move, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has removed a case from U.S. District Lynn Hughes’ docket after the Houston federal court judge declined to rule the way the appellate court wanted in a case involving Shell Exploration.

The recent decision in United States v. Shell Exploration involves a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) action brought by two individuals against Shell alleging that the company had failed to pay the U.S. government at least $19 million in oil royalties. read more

High Court dismisses Shell Centre challenge

From an article by Allister Hayman published 25 Feb 2015 by PropertyWeek.com

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High Court dismisses Shell Centre challenge

A judge has rejected a legal challenge to Eric Pickles’ decision to approve the controversial £1.2bn redevelopment of the Shell Centre.

The ruling today means joint venture developers Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar can now proceed with their redevelopment of the 27-storey Shell Centre tower, which includes eight new buildings and comprises 800,000 sq ft of office space, 80,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and cafés, and up to 790 new homes.

The ruling looks set to bring to an end a long battle over the scheme on the River Thames. read more

Houston We Have A Problem: Oil Workers Strike For Safety & Fair Labor

Article by Alvaro Rodriguez and Jane Nguyen published 25 Feb 2015 by MINTPRESS NEWS under the headline:

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Oil workers holding picket signs in front of the Shell oil refinery in the Houston Ship Channel

In the largest strike since 1980, oil workers who are members of United Steelworkers District 13 locals (Locals 13-1 and Local 13-227) are no longer on the job in the Houston Ship Channel, the largest petrochemical complex in the world. The strike kicked off on February 1, 2015.

The three plants impacted by the strike in Houston include Shell Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, LyondellBasell Refinery and Marathon (refinery and cogeneration facility).

The union is under attack in Texas, with USW members locked out at the Sherwin Alumina plant in Corpus Christi and the ASARCO facility in Amarillo. The attack on the union is occurring while the industry made record profits. Royal Dutch Shell announced earnings of $19 billion in 2014. LyondellBasell had record profits of $7.1 billion (EBITD) in 2014, cash generation of $6.0 billion. These profits in large part went to reward stock holders rather than repairs — with stock repurchases prioritized over worker safety —  to the tune of $7.2 billion in dividends. This largesse extended to a jump in compensation for their corporate officers. read more

That sinking Feeling

Financial Times article by Christopher Adams, Michael Kavanagh and Chris Tighe: 25 Feb 2015

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That sinking feeling

North Sea oil was a challenge before prices halved. Now the UK industry fears a fatal blow

The plunge in prices, a tax system that deters investment and a failure by producers to co-operate could lead to a wave of early field closures and accelerated moves to decommissioning.

FULL ARTICLE

Keystone and the Riddle of the Tar Sands

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BY MARK DOWIE 2/25/15 AT 10:49 PM

Late 21st-century graduate students of business studying the growing problem of stranded assets will almost certainly focus on the history of Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands (a.k.a. the tar sands). The case studies they read will either describe the gradual abandonment of the world’s largest reserve of bituminous crude or they will read about the tar sands’ miraculous last-minute escape from becoming the world’s largest stranded asset.

For either outcome, the turning point they will look back on is just about now. read more

Offshore oil drilling opponents scold Port of Seattle for Shell deal

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Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 22.42.39Article by Ted Land, KING 5 News: 24 Feb 2015

SEATTLE — The Port of Seattle got quite the earful, Tuesday from a group opposed to offshore oil drilling.

They’re irate that the port is doing business with Shell, which plans to use Terminal 5, near West Seattle, as a launching point as it prepares to drill in the Arctic.

“It appears the port has forgotten that it’s a public agency entrusted with making decisions in the general public interest,” said Peter Goldman, an environmental attorney who was among more than a dozen people to testify at the port commission meeting. read more

Canada’s energy slump to wipe out $23-billion over two years

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Jeff Lewis published 24 Feb 2015 by The Globe and Mail under the headline:

Canada’s energy slump to wipe out $23-billion over two years

Extracts

The slump in Alberta’s energy sector is set to wipe out billions more in corporate earnings, complicating growth plans and putting investor dividends at greater risk.

An analysis of more than 30 major oil sands projects by consultancy Wood Mackenzie Group says as much as $23-billion (U.S.) of cash flow will disappear over the next two years – even if U.S. crude oil prices rise to $55 a barrel this year and $65 in 2016 from today’s lows.

Even as the energy sector reels from the sharp drop in oil prices, the Edinburgh-based consultancy said a series of expansions and new projects where investments were made long before oil prices hit the skids will add as much as 458,000 barrels per day of oil sands production over the next two years. read more

Salym Shell development in Siberia

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By Olga Ivshina, BBC News, Western Siberia, published 27 Nov 2014 under the headline:

Russian oil industry facing deep freeze

Without visiting a well in Western Siberia, you would never realise just how hard it is to extract oil in Russia.

Two hours’ drive from the nearest village of Salym, the snow banks are huge and the closest airport is over 300km (185 miles) away.

The temperature is down to -26C, but locals say winter temperatures normally drop to -40C, and Russia’s oil industry has more serious challenges than the cold.

Oil prices are falling and the cost of extraction is rising as resources are becoming exhausted. And then there are the Western sanctions imposed on oil companies as a result of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. read more

Matthias Bichsel Joining Petrofac


PETROFAX BOARD: Retirement destination of Shell has-beens?

Petrofac Board is recommending that shareholders approve the appointment of Matthias Bichsel at its 2015 Annual General Meeting. If approved by shareholders, Matthias, who has over 30 years’ relevant experience, most recently as Director of Projects & Technology at Royal Dutch Shell plc, will join the Board as an independent Non-executive Director on 14 May 2015. Matthias brings an extensive understanding of the oil and gas industry and the Board looks forward to working with him. In addition, Roxanne Decyk has notified the Board of her intention to step down as a Non-executive Director at the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting. The consequential changes to Board Committee memberships following these changes will be reviewed in due course. read more

Another nail in the coffin of tar sands

BBC NEWS: Obama vetoes Keystone oil pipeline bill: 24 Feb 2015

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US President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The Republican-led Congress sent the bill to the president on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama vetoed the bill “without any drama or fanfare or delay”.

The 875-mile (1,400km) pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the US state of Nebraska where it joins pipes running to Texas.

The project has pitted Republicans and other supporters, who say it will create much needed jobs, against many Democrats and environmentalists, who warn the pipeline will add to carbon emissions and contribute to global warming. read more

Oil Industry Blasts Latest Rules For Arctic Drilling

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18This article was written by Oilprice.com , the leading provider of energy news in the world.

Oil Industry Blasts Latest Rules For Arctic Drilling

The energy industry has been quick to criticize the Obama Administration’s proposed regulations for exploratory drilling in the US Arctic Ocean, calling them “unnecessarily burdensome.”

The Interior Department proposed Feb. 20 its first regulations ever for the US regions of the Arctic Ocean that would require energy companies to have contingency plans and spare equipment to contain any spills in the region. They would apply to the Beaufort Sea off the northern coast of Alaska and the Chukchi Sea over the Bearing Strait between Alaska and Russia.

An Interior Department report said in 2011 that an estimated 22 billion barrels of oil and 93 trillion cubic feet of gas – both technically recoverable – lie beneath these two seas owned by the federal government. read more

Groningen Gas Field Shock: Risk of earthquakes at 4.6 on the Richter scale

From an article published 24 February 2015 by DutchNews.nl under the headline:

Groningen facing stronger earthquakes as gas field empties: report

The province of Groningen will be hit hard with additional seismic activity hitting the gas fields by more and heavier earthquakes, according to a scientific report of Shell employees and NAM. Last week, the safety research council OVV said in a report that maximising profit was the main driver for the extraction of natural gas from underneath Groningen province and public safety took a back seat.

The province of Groningen will face more frequent and stronger earthquakes as the gas fields under the province empty, the AD reports on Tuesday.

The findings come in a scientific report from Shell and gas extraction company NAM and published in the the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.

Parts of Groningen have for years been hit by earthquakes and there is mounting opposition to gas extraction in the province because of the damage to property. The quakes occur as the ground settles in areas where the gas has been removed. read more

Oil and gas industry in ‘bleak’ 2014, finds survey

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 08.53.48FROM A BBC ARTICLE PUBLISHED 24 FEB 2015

Oil and gas industry in ‘bleak’ 2014, finds survey

The UK offshore oil and gas industry has reported its worst annual performance for four decades.

Industry body Oil & Gas UK said falling oil prices and rising costs meant the sector spent and invested £5.3bn more than it earned from sales during 2014.

That outflow of cash was the biggest since massive investment in platforms in the 1970s preceded the flow of oil.

The body’s annual survey also indicated that investment in the industry is set to fall this year, as well as drilling.

Oil & Gas UK said the “bleak” findings emphasised the urgency of government action to secure the industry’s long-term future. read more

Shell Replaced Only 26% Of Its Produced Reserves In 2014

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 11.00.06From an article by Zoltan Ban published 23 Feb 2015 by Seeking Alpha under the headline:

Shell Replaced Only 26% Of Its Produced Reserves In 2014

Summary

  • Shell replaced only 26% of its produced reserves in 2014.

  • The three year average rate of reserve replacement is 67%.

  • Even with potential for growth in the downstream, Shell is likely to undergo a continued process of shrinkage as a company in the longer term.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) produced 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in 2014. Only 26% of that was replaced with new reserves, which means that just over 300 million barrels of oil equivalent were added. Over the past three years, 67% reserve replacement was achieved, which looks much better, but still suggests that Shell is a shrinking upstream producer (link).

Shrinking oil production has already been a well-established trend with this company since 2010, but the current low reserve replacement ratio suggests that there is much worse to come. read more

Groups derail Shell refinery plan

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Article by Gary Chittim published 23 February 23, 2015 by King5.com under the headline:

Groups derail Shell refinery plan

Seattle – Six environmental groups successfully challenged approval for a rail expansion that would bring oil trains directly to the Shell Oil Refinery in Anacortes.

The project was initially moved along by Skagit County through a Mitigated Determination of Non-Significance.

The groups Earth Justice, Sustainable Communities, Friends of the San Juans, ForestEthics, Washington Environmental Council, Friends of the Earth, and Evergreen Islands appealed that decision to the Skagit County Examiner. read more

Why Shell Withdrew Application For Pierre River Oil Sands Project

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN

Published: Feb 24, 2015 at 7:48 am EST

Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) indicated on Monday that it has withdrawn the application to develop Pierre River Oil Sands in northern Alberta. The oil sands mine was first proposed by Shell Canada in 2007.

The Pierre River oil sands are estimated to produce around 200,000 barrels of oil per day. The company had earlier expected to finish the project’s construction by 2010 and production was expected to initiate by 2018. Last year, Shell specified that it had to reassess the development timeline of the project and asked the regulatory authorities to halt the review for the time being. read more

Shell Canada withdraws oilsands mine application as a cost-cutting measure

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By Dan Healing of the Calgary Herald

Extracts

The Pierre River oilsands mine proposed by Shell Canada in 2007, split out of a joint application in 2009 and delayed indefinitely last year has been withdrawn entirely from the regulatory approval process.

“The Pierre River mine remains a very long-term opportunity for us but it’s not currently a priority,” said Lorraine Mitchelmore, president of Calgary-based Shell Canada, in a news release on Monday.

“Our current focus is on making our heavy oil business as economically and environmentally competitive as possible. We will continue to hold the leases and can reapply in the future when the time is right.” read more

Professionalism

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Email received 23 Feb 2015 – presumably meant for Shell

Subject: Professionalism 

Hey.

Can you please ask your subcontractor, Mike Gordon from Inverness, who is working for you guys offshore Gabon on board the Stingray to please refrain from posting updates on Facebook about the issues we have had onboard with welding.

He is starting to upset a few people.

Thanks

N Van Oord

FOUND ON THE MIKE GORDON FACEBOOK PAGE

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RELATED INFORMATION

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 10 november 2014 – Van Oord has been awarded the EPC contract for the replacement of a dual 10 km long oil export line. The client is Shell Gabon. The execution period runs from November 2014 to the summer of 2015. The export line runs from the Gamba terminal, 200 NM south of Port of Gentil, to a pipeline end manifold (PLEM). The existing 30 inch line will be replaced by a looped dual 22 inch sea line system with pigging facilities allowing for inspection and cleaning. Van Oord will deploy shallow water pipe lay barge Stingray. The project contributes to Gabon’s export of energy and is important for the economic development in the region. – See more read more

USW Negotiations with Royal Dutch Shell deadlocked

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN
Published: Feb 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm EST

Tensions between Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) and the United Steelworkers (USW) union rise as more union workers have walked out of three additional US refineries. The latest negotiations between Shell and USW took place on February 20. However, no agreement between the two parties could be reached.

The USW workers on Friday midnight decided to impose a strike at the US Motiva Port Arthur refinery in Texas .On Saturday, the USW then decided to impose strikes in the Motiva Convent, Shell Chemicals Norco plants, and the Motiva Norco Refinery. Motiva Enterprises is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco. read more

News suppression allegations made by Peter Oborne

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By John Donovan

The Sunday Times has today published a whole page news story under the headline:

“READ ALL ABOUT IT”

The article is focused on sensational allegations by Peter Oborne, who has just resigned as the Chief Political Commentator of The Daily Telegraph.

The Sunday Times is understandably delighted to have a poke at one of its rivals, but is it being hypocritical?

Peter Oborne departed on the claimed grounds that the Telegraph has deliberately suppressed news coverage about the HSBC scandal because of concern that it might lose HSBC advertising revenue. The Swiss subsidiary of HSBC has admitted assisting wealthy clients to evade taxes and hide assets. read more

Ogoni People Reject Belema Oil, Express Fear of State Repression

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“We urge the government of Nigeria and the Shell Petroleum Company to clearly understand that the Ogoni problem is like an open wound, the issues have to be resolved and no amount of coercion, blackmail, backdoor conspiracy will subject the people to give up on this very costly struggle for survival.”

22 Feb 2015

An enlarged congress of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum has overwhelmingly rejected the take over of Ogoni oilfields by Belema oil. The decision was taken yesterday during the meeting of the representatives of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum from 126 communities in Ogoniland.

The congress condemned the Ogoni Supreme Council of Traditional rulers for ever contemplating the resumption of oil mining activities in Ogoniland in the midst of unresolved issues bothering on the future of the Ogoni. read more

Plea to Shell from students of the International School of the Stockholm Region

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Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 15.52.14Plea to Shell from students of the International School of the Stockholm Region 

COPY OF AN EMAIL SENT TO MICHIEL BRANDJES, JOHN DONOVAN AND OTHERS

Dear Shell,

We are students from the International School of the Stockholm Region and we are writing to express our concern about how your company is affecting our environment. Each year you release an enormous amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which lead to catastrophic consequences. It is predicted that in 15 years, mankind will have emitted enough carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to rise Earth’s temperature by at least 2 degrees Celsius; exceeding the limit agreed by several governments in the Copenhagen Accord. Petroleum companies are one of the major contributors of these emissions, and your corporation is likewise enriching the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, we have brought it upon ourselves to urge you to come forth with an applicable plan which could reduce greenhouse gases emissions. read more

U.S. refinery strike widening to include largest refinery

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.31.03HOUSTON Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:13am EST

(Reuters) – The U.S. refinery strike was widening on Friday night as workers at the nation’s largest refinery gave notice of a walkout beginning at 12 a.m. (0600 GMT) on Saturday, the United Steelworkers union (USW) said.

Shortly after talks between union and oil company representatives ended on Friday night, the union notified Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] of a strike by its members at the company’s 600,250 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. read more

New safety rules for offshore Arctic drilling proposed to avoid repeat of Shell disaster

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New safety rules for offshore Arctic drilling proposed to avoid repeat of Shell disaster

US officials want to make sure companies can handle a blow-out in remote and icy conditions – without inflicting an environmental disaster

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.51.59The Obama administration proposed new rules for Arctic oil drilling on Friday in an attempt to avoid repeating Shell’s disastrous foray into extreme waters. The proposals, shaped by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the grounding of Shell’s drill ship in the Arctic two years later, are aimed at making sure companies could handle a blow-out in remote and icy conditions – without inflicting an environmental disaster on the pristine seas.

FULL ARTICLE read more

BP loses bid to cut maximum $13.7 billion Gulf spill fine

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Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 20.54.03BY JONATHAN STEMPEL
Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:04pm EST

(Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected BP Plc’s (BP.L) attempt to reduce the maximum civil fine it could face for its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, leaving it potentially liable to pay $13.7 billion under the federal Clean Water Act.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans agreed with the federal government that the maximum civil penalty that BP could face is $4,300 per barrel spilled.

BP had sought a $3,000 per barrel maximum, equal to a maximum $9.57 billion civil fine. Barbier has not decided how much BP should pay, and it is unclear when he will. read more

Why Stocks Of Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, And ConocoPhillips Should Be Avoided

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Why Stocks Of Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, And ConocoPhillips Should Be Avoided

Bidness Etc looks at why Barron’s Asia advises new investors against buying stocks of the four Big Oil companies, namely, Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and ConocoPhillips

By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN

Published: Feb 18, 2015 at 6:36 am EST

Extracts

Crude oil price have dramatically decreased more than 50% since June 2014. Amid the low-price scenario, Barron’s Asia believes that new investors should avoid placing their bets on the four Big Oil companies, comprising, Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP).

Barrion’s Asia terms these stocks as the most defensive energy stocks mainly due to minor changes in the value of these stocks since mid-October. The West Texas Intermediate has fallen more than 35% over the same period. read more

Shell and Exxon ignored seismic dangers at Groningen Gas Field

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Danger of earthquakes at Groningen gas field ignored – Dutch safety board

Feb 18 (Reuters) – The dangers caused by gas extraction at the massive Groningen field were ignored for years by operators Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp and government agencies, the Dutch Safety Board said in a report on Wednesday.

A correlation between gas extraction and earthquakes in the region was clear in 1993, the board said, but “the risks to residents were not recognised”.

Maximising profit was prioritised over safety issues, said the board.

(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Pravin Char) read more

BP plc And Royal Dutch Shell Plc Perilous Investment Traps?

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.51.59From an article by Royston Wild published 18 Feb 2015 by The Motley Fool under the headline:

“BP plc And Royal Dutch Shell Plc Are Perilous Investment Traps”

Extracts

Needless to say, the effect of an eroding oil price has proved catastrophic for the world’s fossil fuel specialists in recent months.

Indeed, a 47% decline in the Brent benchmark since June has been followed by heavy share price declines at both  and Royal Dutch Shell during this period.

Earnings picture does not merit premium prices

Prices in the oil producers have regained much ground since mid-December’s troughs, however, when reports first emerged that US shale producers have begun aggressively scaling back output in response to nosediving black gold prices. But this strong share price recovery has again cast doubt on whether the scale of the risks facing the two oil majors are not baked into the price. read more

ExxonMobil could snap up BP in a single bite

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Information sourced from an FT article by Energy Editor Christopher Adams published 15 February 2015 under the headline:

“BP’s battles leave it vulnerable to major move”

Extract

If ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson really wanted to, he could snap up BP in a single bite. Of all the UK major’s rivals, Exxon, the world’s biggest energy company, has the firepower to swallow BP whole. Could it happen? Some industry insiders think yes.

The article sets out the reasons already highlighted by many other industry experts and observers.

  • The financial fall out from Deepwater Horizon disaster
  • BP’s “languishing” share price
  • The collapse in the price of oil

It points out that as a result of the combined factors, BP’s continuing membership of the “the Big Five” is doubtul and sets out the benefits of a takeover by ExxonMobil, including the potential for Exxon to manipulate U.S. courts to bring down costs arising from Deepwater Horizon and from taking over BP’s stake in the Rosneft/Putin Arctic drilling project. read more

Shell Denies Abandoning New Bonga Project

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article published 16 February 2015 by The Tide under the headline:

Shell Denies Abandoning New Bonga Project

Extracts

The Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) has denied recent reports that it has stopped the development of the strategic Bonga South West/Aparo (BSWA) project due to the slump in international oil price.

In a statement signed by Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Precious Okolobo, and made available to The Tide, SNEPCo restated its commitment to the implementation of the BSWA project, designed to boost oil and gas production to increase national revenue generation capacity. read more

Fracking Earthquakes

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From an article by AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein published 14 Feb 2015 by Associated Press under the headline: 

“STUDY: OKLAHOMA’S DAILY SMALL QUAKES RAISE RISK OF BIG ONES”

SAN JOSE, California (AP) — Small earthquakes shaking Oklahoma and southern Kansas daily and linked to energy drilling are dramatically increasing the chance of bigger and dangerous quakes, federal research indicates.

This once stable region is now just as likely to see serious damaging and potentially harmful earthquakes as the highest risk places east of the Rockies such as New Madrid, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina, which had major quakes in the past two centuries.

They are mostly in areas with energy drilling, often hydraulic fracturing, a process known as fracking. Many studies have linked the increase in small quakes to the process of injecting wastewater deep underground because it changes pressure and triggers dormant faults. read more

A world awash in cheap crude

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Malcolm Berko published 14 February 2015 by Columbian.com under the headline:

“Berko: Oil prices bound to rise again”

The enormous implosion in oil prices has left the globe awash in cheap crude. And the highly paid, brilliant oil analysts at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, UBS, JPMorgan, etc., never saw it coming. Never in a million years did they believe that oil would trade at $40 a barrel or that there’d be excess production of between 1 million and 2 million barrels a day. Smart traders are searching for storage solutions to warehouse the overflow and competing among themselves to lease tankers that can store crude at sea. Meanwhile, shipbrokers and agents who match lessors with lessees are having a dandy time leasing very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, which can hold 2 million barrels. read more

Refinery operator Shell Canada charged for January 2013 incident at plant

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer: Friday, February 13, 2015 11:57:12 EST AM

Refinery operator charged for January 2013 incident at plant

Extracts

Representatives of Shell Canada made a brief court appearance in Sarnia on Friday on environmental charges the company faces following an incident Jan. 11, 2013 at its plant near Corunna.

Shell is scheduled to appear again on April 10 at 9 a.m. in Provincial Offences Court at Bayside Centre.

Friday’s appearance was the first for the company since charges were laid in early January by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

The charges allege Shell Canada committed the offence of discharging, or causing, or permitting a discharge of a contaminate into the environment that caused or was likely to have caused an adverse effect, contrary to Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act. read more

Exxon Mobil Preparing to Buy BP? (More Speculation)

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN

Published: Feb 13, 2015 at 8:00 am EST

According to the recent reports from several financial media outlets, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) is in the market to hunt.

The multinational oil giant is one of the strongest defensive companies in the energy sector. It performs fairly well in low-price environments. The American company has an exceptionally strong cash position, which allows it to beat competition by acquiring it.

Exxon has a history of acquiring energy companies when commodity prices are low. During 2009, natural gas price plummeted 70%. Exxon Mobil acquired XTO Energy Inc, an oil and gas company, in an all-stock deal, putting the Texas-based company’s valuation at $41 billion. read more

Shell one step closer to resuming exploration in the Chukchi Sea

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18From an article by Tim Bradner published by Alaska Journal of Commerce on 12 Feb 2015 under the headline:

“One regulatory hurdle cleared for Arctic OCS drilling”

Shell is officially one step closer to resuming exploration in the Chukchi Sea. On Thursday the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management released its final supplemental environmental impact statement for a 2008 Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf Lease Sale.

It is a move that is hoped to clear legal and regulatory hurdles facing Arctic offshore drilling.

The document was published on schedule after the draft SEIS was completed last fall. A Record of Decision will likely be issued in 30 days, which will allow BOEM to resume work on Shell’s revised exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea, BOEM said in a statement. read more

Britain’s ties with Abu Dhabi threatened by oil deal deadlock

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.51.59From an article by Andrew Critchlow published by The Telegraph on 13 Feb 2015 under the headline:

“Britain’s ties with Abu Dhabi threatened by oil deal deadlock”

Danger of Shell and BP walking away from historic oil agreement which has underpinned Britain’s broader historic relationship with the United Arab Emirates

Extracts

BP and Royal Dutch Shell are in danger of making a strategic error should they decide to walk away from a historic oil deal with Abu Dhabi, which has provided the commercial foundations for Britain’s broader relationship with the sheikhdom.

Negotiations have dragged on for more than a year and now appear to have reached an impasse over the emirate’s demands for upfront payments. The money amounts to about $7bn (£4.5bn) for rights to operate some of the world’s biggest onshore oilfields including Bu Hasa, Bab and Asab. At stake is rare upstream access to the deserts of Abu Dhabi, which hold close to 6pc of the world’s proven oil reserves, and Britain’s overall political and business influence in one of the region’s most potent sheikhdoms. read more

HSBC Tax Scandal: Revelations pending about a major oil company

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38HSBC whistleblower: There are ‘more revelations’

By John Donovan

We know that Royal Dutch Shell has a long track record of tax dodging.

The most recent example occurred during its Arctic Drilling debacle, when it recklessly sent a drilling ship to sea in the face of a storm, trying to avoid a tax bill. 

According to a BBC News article published today, based on information from the HSBC whistleblower Herve Falciani, a major oil company could be next to feel the effects of a major data leak about how it operates.

Could it be Royal Dutch Shell Plc? read more

The credibility of Royal Dutch Shell oil demand forecasts

By John Donovan

Forecasts of future oil demand and oil prices made by Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden have been widely reported.

See syndicated Reuters article.

He is not exactly a disinterested independent observer, as his personal income and the well-being and profitability of the oil company he leads, depends on these issues.

Some might consider his forecasts to be wishful thinking.

It is an appropriate moment to look back on directly related forecasts made 7 years ago by one of his predecessors. read more

Europe gas supply in focus as Dutch debate giant Groningen field

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Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 20.37.24The Groningen field is the largest natural gas field in Europe and the 10th largest in the world. It is operated by government-owned Gasunie and output is jointly exploited by the government, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon. Extraction has resulted in increasingly strong tremors, some measuring as much as 3.6 on the Richter scale, which have cracked buildings and led to widespread damage claims.

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(Reporting By Anthony Deutsch, editing by David Evans)

Extracts

Feb 12 (Reuters) – Gas supplies to Europe from the massive Groningen field in the Netherlands could be curtailed as Dutch lawmakers debating on Thursday face public protests over earthquakes blamed on the site ahead of elections next month.

The parliament debate comes as the Netherlands and the European Union seek to diversify energy needs in the wake of the worst confrontation with Russia since the Cold War.

The Dutch, the EU’s largest gas exporter, can supply their households and power plants for years, but supplies will start dwindling in 2025, and they will soon become a net importer. read more

Successful campaign to change the name of worlds biggest ship, Pieter Schelte

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 00.20.35The campaign waged on this website to persuade Edward Heerema to rename the worlds biggest ship, The Pieter Schelte – which he named after his late father, Pieter Schelte Heerema, a former Officer in the German Waffen-SS – has been successful. On Friday 6 February 2015, Allseas announced that it was changing the ships name, and on 9 February announced the new name – Pioneering Spirit.

FORBES MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Big Oil’s $3 Billion Homage To A Nazi War Criminal: 20 Dec 2014

JOHN DONOVAN PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG: Out of respect to the victims of Nazi war crimes, please change the name of your gigantic new ship, the Pieter Schelte, named after your father, a former officer in the murderous Waffen SS and diehard member of the Nazi party: 22 December 2014

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC .com: Lloyd’s Register PR Fanfair Saluting Nazi named mega-ship The Pieter Schelte: 22 Jan 2015

THE JEWISH CHRONICLE: World’s biggest ship named after Nazi: 22 Jan 2015 read more

Cleanup operations continue for oil spill at Shell Wharf in Martinez

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38From an article by Joseph R. Fonseca published Thursday, February 12, 2015 by MarineLink.com under the headline:

Cleanup, Response Operations continue at Shell Wharf

Extracts

At approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday Shell personnel reported a leak from a crude oil line at the Shell Martinez Wharf and confirmed the leak was stopped within 30 minutes. Shell personnel estimated the leak to be approximately two barrels of oil (approximately 84 gallons), and two issues related to the pipeline were repaired. Shell engaged all appropriate agencies for the response, and a Unified Command was established Tuesday evening.

Resources and personnel have been deployed to the affected area as a precaution to guard against any potential impact. Resources include absorbent boom, skimmers and a helicopter for aerial assessments, as needed. Residents may continue to notice extra activity at the wharf and the Carquinez Strait area throughout the evening as cleanup operations are conducted. read more

Port of Seattle hosts Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55From an article by Joe Connelly published 11Feb 2015 by Seattlepi.com under the headline:

Port of Seattle quietly signs homeport lease for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet

Extracts

The Port of Seattle has quietly inked a two-year lease under which Shell Oil will use Terminal 5 on the Seattle waterfront as the base for its efforts to drill in Arctic waters of Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

With rapid authorization, negotiation and signing of the lease — reminiscent of how decisions on the waterfront used to be greased — the port has secured a $13.17 million deal and forestalled efforts by the region’s environmental groups to stop it.

“This year we are planning on drilling in Alaska,” Simon Henry, chief financial officer at Royal Dutch Shell, told a stockholder briefing two weeks ago. read more

Shell chief: oil to stay at current lows for rest of year

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 08.45.23From an article by Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor, The Telegraph, published 12 Feb 2015 under the headline: 

Shell chief: oil to stay at current lows for rest of year

Oil prices are set to remain at the current six-year lows for the rest of 2015, the boss of the country’s largest oil and gas company will warn tonight.

Ben van Beurden, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, is expected to say that the oil industry should not expect a quick rebound in the price of crude, just the day after another North Sea oil operator reported its first loss in 15 years.

“The market will remain volatile in 2015, if only because for now, Opec (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) shows no sign of wanting to resume its role as swing supplier”, Mr van Beurden is set to say. read more

Man’s fight to change ship’s Nazi-linked name succeeds

Daily Gazette 12 February 2015

Man’s fight to change ship’s Nazi-linked name succeeds

John Donovan, 67, of Colchester, launched an online petition calling for the vessel, the world’s largest crane ship, to be re-named.

The 403,342 gross tonne vessel had been named by the owner The Pieter Schelte after his father.

He was a Dutch officer in the Waffen-SS who eventually became an informant for the Dutch resistance in 1943.

But the name sparked outrage among leaders of Jewish communities and Holocaust memorial groups in Britain and in the Netherlands.

Mr Donovan, a retired contract worker for Shell, said: “Shell was signed up as one of the first customers and these companies knew this ship was going to be named in this way.. read more

Shell criticised after Brent Delta worker hurt by flying cylinder

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 07.34.47From a BBC News article published 11 February 2015

Oil firm Shell has been criticised after an offshore worker was seriously injured when a compressed gas cylinder flew through the air and hit him.

The incident happened on the Brent Delta platform in the North Sea on 10 November.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Shell did not have a safe system of work, and issued the company with a prohibition notice.

Shell said action had been taken to address the issues raised by the HSE.

RELATED BBC NEWS ARTICLE PUBLISHED 14 June 2006

Shell ‘ignored accident warning’

Oil giant Shell has been accused of operating platforms in the North Sea at dangerously high risk levels.

Former senior manager Bill Campbell, who led a safety review, claimed the company ignored his warning in 1999 that an accident was bound to happen. read more

Shell boss calls fossil fuel critics ‘naive’ but admits Big Oil has ‘credibility issue’

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From an article by Terry Macalister published by The Guardian 12 February 2015

Ben van Beurden urges oil industry to be more assertive, arguing that debate is about balancing moral obligation of energy access for all with fighting climate change

Extract

Ben van Beurden urged fellow industry leaders meeting in London to be “more assertive” in debates over the future of energy. But Shell’s chief executive admitted that the oil sector had its own credibility problem, enhanced by the fact that too many energy industrialists had been slow to acknowledge global warming.

FULL ARTICLE

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38RELATED REUTERS ARTICLE

Oil sector must take lead in climate debate – Shell CEO

(Reuters) – The oil industry needs to take a leading role in the fight against climate change to introduce “realism and practicality” into the debate, the head of Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday. read more

Man’s fight to change ship’s Nazi-linked name (Pieter Schelte) succeeds

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CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE (SUBJECT TO BROWSER)

Daily Gazette 11 FEB 2015

Man’s fight to change ship’s Nazi-linked name (Pieter Schelte) succeeds

Shell and Cyber Security: Victim or Sinner?

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What Shell has not disclosed is that Shell internal spooks have spied on Shell employees via Shell servers all around the world, tracking both internal and external communications, as part of a top secret espionage project. I have irrefutable Shell internal evidence to prove it.

By John Donovan

Cybersecurity has become a major problem with highly embarrassing security breaches at many businesses such as Home Depot, Target and Sony Pictures. Royal Dutch Shell (Global Employee Data Breach) was one of the first victims.

Yesterday, the White House announced the formation of a new federal agency “to analyse threats to the nation’s cybersecurity and coordinate strategy to combat them.”

The Obama administration is launching the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center as a central place to coordinate cyber threat intelligence from the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies. The center will operate under the guidance of the director of national intelligence and will work with the private sector since many cyber attacks are directed at businesses. read more

Dutch cabinet acts in response to Groningen gas field earthquakes

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Dutch cabinet limits gas extraction in Groningen

The field is operated by the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil with each company owning a 50 percent share.

THE HAGUE, Feb. 9 2015 (Xinhua) — The Dutch government has temporarily limited the lucrative gas extraction in Europe’s largest natural gas field Groningen in the first half of the year, pending further research on the safety and quality of life in the northern province.

The increasing earthquakes caused by the gas extraction have led to growing complaints among the residents of Groningen.

Although the minor earthquakes haven’t caused any injuries, people feel unsafe and houses are damaged. The government decided last January to cut the gas extraction and compensate those affected by the earthquakes. read more

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