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Posts from ‘June, 2015’

Shell Secures New Authorization in Pursuing Arctic Drilling

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Shell Secures New Authorization in Pursuing Arctic Drilling

JUNEAU, Alaska — Jun 30, 2015: By BECKY BOHRER Associated Press

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Royal Dutch Shell has secured another federal authorization as it pursues plans to drill exploration wells in the Arctic waters off the Alaska coast.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday issued a letter of authorization allowing for the possible harassment of polar bears and Pacific walrus incidental to Shell’s drilling program work. Intentional harassment is not permitted.

The authorization includes measures that Shell must take to minimize the effect of its work on the animals, including a minimum spacing of 15 miles between all drill rigs or seismic survey vessels, something conservation groups had sought. Nonetheless, some of those groups still called on President Barack Obama’s administration to stop Arctic drilling.

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Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 21.06.27Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest

Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:33pm EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.

The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days.

The activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations during the past two months against Royal Dutch Shell’s oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said 21 protesters in kayaks took to the waters just beyond the Port of Everett north of Seattle where the oil rig launched for sea.

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Shell oil rig leaves Everett, kayaking protesters detained

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By Jennifer SullivanSeattle Times staff reporter: 30 June 2015

An oil-drilling rig that was protested by activists in kayaks pulled out of Everett early Tuesday morning, and some of the kayakers were detained by the Coast Guard.

Shell’s Noble Discoverer will join the Polar Pioneer to sink holes in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The Polar Pioneer drew the ire of protesters when it was moored at Terminal 5, in Seattle, before heading north earlier this month.

Coast Guard spokesman Dana Warr said they detained five kayakers off Mukilteo Tuesday morning. Warr said the rig pulled out of Everett at 4 a.m.

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Polar Pioneer: An Economic Boon For Dutch Harbor

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Polar Pioneer: An Economic Boon For Dutch Harbor

By Emily Schwing, KUCB – Unalaska | June 29, 2015

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Billions of dollars worth of drilling equipment and support vessels operated by Royal Dutch Shell are sitting out in the Bay in front of Dutch Harbor this week. The company has plans to take most of that equipment north for exploratory drilling operations later this summer. Many of the local businesses benefit from the oil giant’s presence.

Dutch Harbor is a busy place this time of year.

“The flights are all full, the hotel is full, vehicles – trucks for rent – companies that rent vehicles – they’re all rented.”

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Irish Company Freely Admits Distributing Bribes On Behalf of Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15PHOTO CAPTION FROM RECENT IRISH TIMES ARTICLE: Bríd McGarry, a Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were jailed in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Printed below is a comment on the Irish Times article received from OSSL, the Irish firm currently the subject of an investigation by the Irish police (the Garda) for alleged harassment of parties who received bribes distributed by OSSL on behalf of their disreputable employer, Irish Shell. 

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U.S. activists to protest against Shell Arctic oil rig

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U.S. activists to protest against Shell Arctic oil rig

SEATTLE: 30 June 2015

U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The Washington state activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations over the last two months against Royal Dutch Shell’s oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, said they expected the rig to leave a Seattle-area port in the early morning and were planning a water-borne protest.

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Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

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Shell says could begin Arctic oil exploration off Alaska in late July

SEATTLE/WASHINGTON | BY ERIC M. JOHNSON AND TIMOTHY GARDNER: Mon Jun 29, 2015

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Royal Dutch Shell could begin drilling for oil in the Arctic off Alaska as early as the third week in July, when it expects sea ice to begin clearing, a spokesman said on Monday.

The Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrived in Dutch Harbor, in Unalaska, off mainland Alaska, early on Saturday morning and will remain there until ice begins clearing over the area in the Chukchi Sea where the company plans to drill through late September, spokesman Curtis Smith said.

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Corrib gas cost overruns deprive State of €600m in tax

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Corrib gas cost overruns deprive State of €600m in tax

The €2.4 billion cost overrun is largely as a consequence of opposition to the project, which was stimulated in part by poor management of it at its outset.

Peter Murtagh: Tuesday 30 June 2015

The huge cost overrun on Corrib gas, the single most expensive energy infrastructure project in Ireland and the largest since the Ardnacrusha hydroelectric scheme on the Shannon in the 1920s, will deprive the Government of an estimated €600 million in tax revenue.

The €600 million represents 25 per cent of the project’s likely cost overrun of €2.4 billion, much of which was incurred because of changes made to the project since it began.

Had this additional €2.4 billion not been spent on development costs, an extra €600 million would have been paid to the exchequer as tax on profit, which for exploration companies is levied at 25 per cent. However, like all companies, Shell Exploration and Production Ireland, which is a partner with Statoil of Norway and Vermilion Energy of Canada, can write off capital development costs against taxation.

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Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

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Sea ice could keep Shell away from the Arctic until mid July

Posted on June 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Thick sea ice could clog the site of Shell’s planned oil wells in the Arctic Ocean until late July, potentially shaving a week off the company’s already narrow window for exploratory drilling in the region.

Shell Oil Co. is still waiting for four federal authorizations to launch any of the work, including drilling permits for two wells in its Burger prospect about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coastline. With all approvals in hand, the company could begin moving drilling rigs and other vessels through the Bering Strait and toward the Chukchi Sea as early as July 1 and begin boring a well as soon as July 15.

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Royal Dutch Shell Seeks Funding For Carbon Capture Project

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMAN: Jun 29, 2015 

Global warming concerns have been receiving more and more media attention, as major oil companies also plan to address the issue, considering its potentially adverse effect on the environment.

Goldeneye, an abandoned offshore natural gas production platform that is connected to the Scottish coast via a 100 kilometer long pipeline, could soon be used to deposit carbon dioxide well below the Earth’s surface. Once operated by Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), the project could become the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project that uses a power station, fuelled by natural gas. The European energy major is looking to the UK government to release one billion GBP in funds for the company to develop the project, the Financial Times has reported.

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Activists deploy against Shell’s arctic plans

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Activists deploy against Shell’s arctic plans

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By Daniel J. Graeber: June 29, 2015

MUKILTEO, Wash., June 29 (UPI) — Activists said Monday they took to the water off the Washington state coast in kayaks to try to slow progress of a Shell drilling rig bound for arctic waters.

“We know we can’t stop them,” Carlo Voli, a campaigner from advocacy group 350 Seattle, said in an emailed statement. “But we can’t just watch them go; we have to do all we can to slow them down, and get people to focus on what a disaster Arctic drilling would be.”

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UK fracking application rejected

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An application to start fracking at a site on the Fylde coast in Lancashire has been rejected by councillors.

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Energy firm Cuadrilla wanted to extract shale gas at the Little Plumpton site between Preston and Blackpool.

Lancashire County Council rejected the bid on the grounds of “unacceptable noise impact” and the “adverse urbanising effect on the landscape”.

Cuadrilla said it was “surprised and disappointed” and would consider its “options” regarding an appeal.

A spokesman added: “We remain committed to the responsible exploration of the huge quantity of natural gas locked up in the shale rock deep underneath Lancashire.”

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Shell’s Arctic oil drill platform Polar Pioneer heaves into Dutch Harbor Alaska

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Information and magnificent copyrighted photograph’s kindly provided by Gary Braasch, Photographer & Journalist from World View of Global Warming.org  Please see copyright notice at foot of article. Use your browser to enlarge images. 

Shell’s Arctic oil drill platform Polar Pioneer heaves into Dutch Harbor Alaska — its first port of call in the North for Shell’s plan to drill the Chukchi Sea this summer.

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.22.13The 300 foot high floating oil rig that Royal Dutch Shell intends to install in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea this summer arrived in Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Is, Alaska, early on June 27, 2015. Pulled by two ocean-going tugs, the huge machine appeared off Unalaska Island in the pre-dawn, 13 days after it left Seattle WA. In contrast to the active protests, “kayaktivist” flotillas and native American opposition in Puget Sound, there were no apparent protestors at the arrival in the Aleutian Islands. The Polar Pioneer now floats well off the Dutch Harbor airport in front of the steep mountains of Unalaska, the volcanoes like Mt Makushin that make up these islands. Strong winds formed lenticular clouds over the peaks in the dawn light.

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Corrib gas: Black starts, intelligent pigs and the mechanics of extraction

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Corrib gas: Black starts, intelligent pigs and the mechanics of extraction

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Peter Murtagh: Monday, 29 June 2015

The mechanics of extracting gas from the Corrib field appear simple enough. It is only when one gets into the detail of the engineering that the complexities emerge.

This is an environment in which a relatively small number of people can spend years – in remote places such as Sakhalin Island in the far east of Russia, in the Middle East, or on rigs in the North Sea – living intense lives in dangerous conditions and sometimes speaking a language alien to others.

They talk about “slug catchers” and “intelligent pigs”, about Christmas trees at the bottom of the sea, and about “black starts” – no one wants a black start, but if you are going to operate a terminal like the one now being tested at Bellanaboy in Mayo, someday for sure, you are going to have to do a black start.

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The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

A rerouting of the pipeline and greater public awareness of how Ireland treats its natural resources were among the positive outcomes of the Shell to Sea, campaigners say

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Bríd McGarry, a Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were jailed in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lorna Siggins: Monday June 29, 2015

“You’ve gone very quiet up there.” North Mayo resident Mary Corduff reckons that if she had a euro for every time she heard this remark over the past few months, her purse could be pretty full. “People think because they don’t see us on protesting on the television that we have accepted this, but we haven’t,” Corduff says, looking out of her farmhouse window towards the Corrib gas refinery several miles away.

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EFCC quizzes former minister, Etete, over alleged oil deal

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Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 08.49.52EFCC quizzes former minister, Etete, over OPL 245 oil deal

By Abosede Musari, Abuja on June 29, 2015

FORMER Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, was yesterday quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in continuation of an investigation that had been stalled for several years.

A source told The Guardian that the former minister was granted administrative bail to provide more documents on the alleged $1.1 billion oil deal transfer that was made to Switzerland under his company, Malabu Oil and Gas.

It was reported in the media last week that the EFCC has revived investigations into the Malabu oil deal when Etete was questioned and released to report back last Monday.

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Polar Pioneer arrives in Dutch Harbor for Chukchi Sea drilling

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, [email protected]; June 28, 2015

The first of two drilling rigs, scheduled to conduct exploratory drilling for Shell in the Chukchi Sea this summer, has arrived in the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor this weekend.

The federal government has given Transocean’s Polar Pioneer, contracted by Shell, a green light to drill in the Chukchi this year along with the drillship Noble Discoverer. Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino said Sunday morning that the Polar Pioneer reached Dutch Harbor at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

“It arrived there safely,” Baldino said.

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The Shell Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

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The Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

As the gas is about to be brought onshore, Peter Murtagh takes a tour of the Corrib gas plant and speaks to people affected by its arrival.

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SAT, Jun 27, 2015

Gas is expected to come later this year to the Shell terminal in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, through the controversial pipeline that rises from the Atlantic seabed 83km offshore. The terminal is currently being commissioned and tested. As gas passes through the terminal, impurities will be removed and pressure adjusted before the gas is pumped into the Bord Gáis network.

Outside the terminal, at Glengad and Aghoose, the start and end points of the 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay, work to restore the landscape is under way.

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Malcolm Brinded still connected with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 12.55.27Brinded speaks out on sustainable and accessible energy

Written by  OE Staff: Friday 26 June 2015

Speaking this week as the 2015 recipient of the Energy Institute (EI)’s Cadman Award, Malcolm Brinded, chairman of Shell Foundation, has called for increased focus on breakthrough technology and business innovations to respond to the challenges of international development, climate change and urbanization – while meeting the world’s growing demand for energy.

“Today five billion people consume less than one third of the world’s energy, whilst two billion of us consume more than two thirds,” said Brinded, while addressing 180 energy professionals in London. “Two billion poor are completely without reliable and affordable energy. And 1.2 billion live entirely without electricity.”

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Shell Heads for Alaska While Awaiting Final Drilling Permits

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.26.53ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Jun 26, 2015, 3:42 PM ET

By DAN JOLING Associated Press

One Royal Dutch Shell offshore drill rig is headed to Alaska and a second is poised to leave, despite lacking final federal permits that would allow exploratory drilling and possible confirmation of rich oil reserves under the Chukchi Sea.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC said that’s routine. But an attorney for Oceana, one of dozens of groups objecting to Arctic offshore drilling, said seeing Shell’s flotilla sail north puts pressure on federal agencies to sign off on the permits.

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Shell’s Secret Sale of Oil, Gas Reserves In Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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Shell’s Secret Sale of Oil, Gas Reserves In Bayelsa State, Nigeria

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“We just woke up one morning and started reading in the newspapers and the electronic media that our oil fields have been sold by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) and acquired by an unknown company – Aiteo Eastern Exploration and production company limited…”

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: JUN 26, 2015

The Elders and Traditional Rulers of Nembe Kingdom, in Nembe Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State, have sent a protest letter to President Muhammad Buhari. The letter exposes secret sales of oil and gas reserves from the Area by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) without the involvement of the indigenes. The Nembe kingdom is one of the biggest on-shore oil producing communities in the Niger Delta, with the oil mining lease (OML) 29 producing over 150, 000 barrels of crude oil per day. The oil block covers an area of 983 square kilometres.

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Curious coincidence involving Shell, Iran, Noble Corp and $2.16 billion

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FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

The former owners of the Frontier drilling company sold their rigs to Noble for $2.16 billion in 2010. Given that their fleet of five vessels consisted of ancient rust buckets which were fit only for the scrapyard, this has always seemed like an inordinately large sum. The five vessels had been acquired by Frontier for about $100 million. The only client of Frontier was Shell. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/06/28/us-noblecorp-idUSTRE65R2C520100628 . (See below)

Noble operated two rigs for Shell in Alaska (Discoverer and Kulluk) during the disastrous 2012 drilling campaign. In spite of their performance in 2012, Noble will once again be operating the Discoverer (now over 50 years old) during the upcoming drilling campaign. Discoverer is one of the rust buckets that Noble acquired from Frontier.  

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Shell Executives Visit Tehran for Projects If Sanctions End

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by Javier Blas 24 June 2015

Royal Dutch Shell Plc executives have visited Tehran to discuss possible partnerships, the latest sign that the largest oil companies are serious about returning to Iran once a deal on the country’s nuclear program is done.

The meeting with Iranian officials covered its outstanding debt to National Iranian Oil Co. and possible areas of business cooperation, the company said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Shell owed $2.16 billion as of the end of 2014 for oil it wasn’t able to pay Iran for because of sanctions, according to its annual report.

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Shell flotilla begins assembling in Dutch Harbor

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BY TIM BRADNER, ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE: 24 June 2015

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“Once again, Shell is up to their old tricks, deliberately ignoring federal regulations. We urge President Obama to cancel Shell’s lease and prevent them from drilling in the Chukchi Sea,”

Dutch Harbor will be busy in the next couple of weeks as Shell’s Arctic drill fleet converges on the Aleutians port, prior to heading north for the Chukchi Sea.

Shell’s spill containment barge Arctic Challenger is already in Dutch Harbor, having arrived June 14, and the semi-submersible mobile drill rig Polar Pioneer is now en route from Seattle, Shell spokeswoman Meg Baldino said June 23.

A second drilling vessel, Noble Discoverer, is meanwhile still in port at Everett, Wash., making preparations to sail to Dutch Harbor.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.03.05Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

The Dutch government has decided to cut production from its Groningen gas field after a series of earthquakes led to heightened safety concerns

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 24, 2015

Responding to a series of earthquakes in the northern parts of Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to slash the gas production at the gas field in Groningen, according to Reuters.

Production at Holland’s Groningen oil field, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will be restricted to 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) for the calendar year 2015, according to the country’s Economy Minister, Henk Kamp. The government had previously planned production of 39.4 bcm during the current year.

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

By Carl Surran: 23 June 2015

  • The Dutch government has ordered a further tightening of production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, in response to earthquakes that have caused extensive property damage in the Netherlands’ northernmost province.
  • Production at the field will be capped at 13.5B cm in H2 of this year and at 30B cm for all of 2015, after output was cut to 16.B cm for H1 which made for an annualized rate of 33B cm, down from 39.4B cm previously.
  • The Groningen field is operated by a joint venture including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and the Dutch government.

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Shell’s Arctic drilling plans may hit permitting snag

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June 23, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell’s plans to bore two wells in the Arctic Ocean this summer may be jeopardized by an obscure permitting requirement that effectively bars drilling operations close to each other in waters off Alaska.

The restriction highlighted by environmentalists opposed to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign could be a major stumbling block for the company, which has spent $7 billion and seven years pursuing oil in the region.

The provision is embedded in the government’s rules for obtaining a “letter of authorization” allowing companies to disturb walruses, seals and other animals in the region — among the last permits Shell needs to launch activities in the Chukchi Sea next month. Under a 2013 Fish and Wildlife Service regulation, those authorizations are precluded for drilling activities happening within 15 miles of each other.

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Shell’s Arctic plan counters U.S. walrus protections -green groups

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“There does not appear to be any way that the federal government can allow Shell to proceed as the company has planned…”

23 June 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency’s conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses.

A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service, a bureau of the Interior Department, prevents energy companies from exploring for oil simultaneously at wells in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska that are within 15 miles (24 km) of each other.

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BG-Shell takes first step towards Brazilian blessing

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The £47bn blockbuster deal has been officially filed with competition regulators in Brazil, a key hurdle and strategic area for Shell’s interest

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Shell’s £47bn plan to become the world’s biggest gas producer has moved a step closer to reality after the oil giant officially filed its takeover of BG Group with Brazilian competition regulators.

The second-biggest oil and gas deal ever on record still requires the blessing of a number of regulators across the world. Sources have already flagged potential hurdles could come from China’s notoriously opaque Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) and Brazil’s beefed up authority, the Administrative Council of Economic Defence (CADE), as well as European regulators. The companies have indicated that they expect the deal to close by the first quarter of 2016.

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How the European Oil Industry Decided to Save the Climate

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By Javier Blas: June 23, 2015

By the time the convention chat turned into action, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc, Total SA, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and BG Group Plc published an unprecedented open letter on climate change. Breaking with their biggest U.S. competitors, they announced their support for efforts to put a cost on polluting, acknowledging they were on the wrong side of history.

“They have massively changed the rhetorical position,” says Charlie Kronick, senior climate adviser at Greenpeace in London. “They know that if you are not at the table, you could end up being lunch.

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Warning on Shell megadeal

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Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 14.20.29JOHN DAGGE: HERALD SUN: MELBOURNE: JUNE 24, 2015

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ONE of Australia’s biggest plastic makers has added its voice to concerns about Shell’s planned takeover of BG Group, saying further consolidation in the gas industry will likely harm manufacturers. 

Melbourne-based Qenos has also attacked Victoria’s ban on onshore oil and gas drilling, saying the restriction put at risk a new wave of major investment in the nation’s petrochemical and plastics industry.

Chief executive Jonathan Clancy told BusinessDaily Royal Dutch Shell’s $91 billion push to swallow British rival BG ran the risk of increasing consolidation among gas producers at a time when manufacturers needed more suppliers.

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Gazprom lays bare West’s vulnerability

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Royal-Dutch Shell is teaming up with Gazprom on several projects despite Western sanctions on Russia.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48The expanded partnerships fly in the face of European and American sanctions which ban joint ventures with Russian energy companies.

23 June 2015

Europe’s efforts to reduce dependence on the Russian energy have been dealt a new blow after reports that the Anglo-Dutch energy behemoth Shell was teaming up with Gazprom on several projects. 

Shell as well as Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum with Gazprom last week to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to Germany. They hope to ship 55 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe each year.

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Anchorage Residents Hold ‘Keep Shell Out of the Arctic!’ Rally

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Anchorage Residents Hold ‘Keep Shell Out of the Arctic!’ Rally

Kirby Spangler Jun 22, 2015

Anchorage, Alaska – Following weeks of demonstrations in Seattle protesting Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic Drilling program, Anchorage residents gathered on the corner of Northern Lights and Minnesota at a local Shell gas station to join the international chorus speaking out about the controversial oil exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. A 30ft long banner held by protesters read “Shell Drills, Oil Spills : 75% chance of Arctic Spill”. 

A coordinated event was also held in Juneau with a hand-built replica of Shell’s drilling rig, the Polar Pioneer, parked in front of the Federal Building, where it dwarfed the gathered protesters. Both events were planned by participating grassroots and non-profit groups concerned about drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic. 

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Coast Guard clears Shell drillship bound for Arctic

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Coast Guard clears Shell drillship bound for Arctic

Posted on June 22, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

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The drillship Noble Discoverer undergoes sea trials off Singapore in November 2014.

WASHINGTON — As one of Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs makes its way to Alaska, a second is waiting in the wings.

The Noble Discoverer, now docked in Washington state waters, has received a critical “certificate of compliance” from the U.S. Coast Guard verifying it meets a host of safety and security requirements. Since a May 20 Coast Guard inspection, Shell and Noble cleared more than a dozen violations documented at the vessel.

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Gazprom-Shell Partnership Flies In The Face Of Sanctions

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Charles KennedyMon, 22 June 2015

Russian energy giant Gazprom is building up a global portfolio with a western oil major.

Gazprom and Royal Dutch Shell are teaming up on several energy projects that will benefit both. The two energy companies have agreed to build an expansion of the Nord Stream Pipeline, a major natural gas pipeline that travels beneath the Baltic Sea. The pipeline is a priority for Russia, which will allow it to expand its natural gas exports to Europe while also cutting out Ukraine from the mix.

Gazprom, Shell, along with E.ON and OMV – two gas importers in Western Europe – have agreed to build the $11 billion expansion of Nord Stream.

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Then & Now: Launching a ‘Mind Bomb’ to save the Arctic

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Then & Now: Launching a “Mind Bomb” to save the Arctic

By Emily Hunter – 22 June, 2015 

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Staring out at the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, I feel a sense of past and present colliding. Forty-four years ago in these same waters off Canada’s west coast, my father Robert Hunter and a group of Greenpeace co-founders sailed to stop nuclear testing on the Alaskan island of Amchitka. Today, we have just taken a similar passage on the west coast to disrupt Shell’s plans for drilling in the Arctic this year.

For me, staring back at the same waves my father once encountered reminds me that we live a common story. While these events are separated by time, they are essentially the same struggle. For these are the defining issues of our eras and we are the dreamers that believe we can change them.

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Shell clears regulatory hurdles for cracker

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By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 22 June 2015

Overcoming what might be Royal Dutch Shell’s most significant regulatory hurdle, the oil and chemicals giant has been granted an air permit by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a potential petrochemical complex in Beaver County.

The company has been mulling a cracker plant to turn ethane found in Appalachian shales into a building block for chemicals since 2012. Although it has spent millions of dollars in property acquisitions in Beaver County and funded the demolition of the former Horsehead Holdings Corp. zinc smelter, Shell has yet to make its final decision to build.

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JPMorgan UK Strategic Growth fund sells Shell

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By Eleanor Lawrie

The JPMorgan UK Strategic Growth fund has sold out of Royal Dutch Shell as the oil and gas sector is hit by weak prices and disappointing earnings.

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Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48Are European Companies Ignoring E.U. Sanctions On Russia?

Kenneth Rapoza: 22 June 2015

…some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions. For example, Gazprom, Shell, E.ON and Austria’s OMV Group signed a memorandum last Thursday…

It’s been nearly a year since sectoral sanctions were slapped on Russia for its involvement in helping create a frozen conflict in Eastern Ukraine. European and American companies banned financing of Russian energy firms, and banks. They banned any joint venture deals with Russian oil and gas companies that involved exploration and production, or the selling of technologies used in E&P. But if a string of memorandum of understandings signed during last week’s St. Petersburg International Forum puts anything in the spotlight this week it is this: some very powerful entities in the E.U. have had it with sanctions.

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Gazprom set to build global strategic alliance with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48A Gazprom logo is displayed above its headquarters in Moscow. Gazprom is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell that will include asset swaps and allow the Russian gas giant to penetrate new markets.

The deal with Shell is a coup for Gazprom at a time when many Western companies are reducing their exposure to Russia because of Western sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Reuters/St Petersburg, Russia

Gazprom is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell that will include asset swaps and allow the Russian gas giant to penetrate new markets, its chief executive told Reuters.

Gazprom, the world’s top gas producer, said on Thursday that Shell and its long-time gas buyers in Europe – Germany’s E.ON and Austria’s OMV – had agreed to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic sea to Germany.

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Shell returns to Unalaska with first of fleet arriving

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June 19th 3:57 pm | Jim Paulin

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Most of Shell’s ocean-going fleet will be anchored offshore, while laying over in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, before departing to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean; …the Shell fleet includes two drill rigs, and another 25 vessels for supplying the rigs and for oil spill response.

Shell is back in Unalaska, and trying to be a good neighbor in by not inconveniencing air travelers at the local airport. That’s why Shell has a separate boarding and security area, constructed at the local airport, to accommodate oil company passengers flying on chartered Ravn Alaska flights, according to Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino.

The charter flights were put in place so Shell employees did not take up too many seats on the daily Alaska Airline flights operated with small Pen Air commuter planes.

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Shell’s blowout response tests hailed a success

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Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 09.26.53Shell’s blowout response tests hailed a success

Written by Keith Findlay – 19/06/2015 5:02 pm

Royal Dutch Shell has successfully used and tested emergency equipment meant to respond to a well blowout in the Arctic Ocean, US regulators said today.

Officials with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oversaw exercises, carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state.

They focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.

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Former Shell worker says rush to prepare for Arctic drilling resulted in unsafe conditions

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15UPDATED

By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press JUNE 19, 2015

SEATTLE — A woman who was permanently injured while working on one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support ships has sued, saying the company compromised safety in its rush to drill for oil.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday by Anita Hanks said Shell and its contractor maintained dangerous work conditions on the Arctic Challenger as it prepared to drill in the Arctic in 2012. The oil spill containment vessel is part of Shell’s drilling fleet. It was docked in Bellingham at the time of an accident.

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Government hides fears over Shell’s Arctic spill safety

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Government hides fears over Shell’s Arctic spill safety

Christine Ottery / Greenpeace Energydesk: 19 June 2015

As Shell’s Polar Pioneer drilling rig sails from Seattle into the north Pacific, Christine Ottery discovers that US federal regulators had serious concerns about the company’s safety equipment designed to contain any oil spill.

A US government department hid its concerns about Shell’s test of its containment dome system, which would be deployed if there was an oil well blowout.

Earlier this year, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said that the March 2015 test of the dome in the waters of Puget Sound, off the Washington coast, was “successful”.

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Shell starts moving fleet north for Chukchi drilling; permits slot into place

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15The season approaches: Shell starts moving fleet north for Chukchi drilling; permits slot into place

Alan Bailey: Petroleum News: Week of June 21, 2015

Elements of Shell’s Chukchi Sea fleet are on the move, heading north in preparation for drilling during this season’s Arctic open water season.

The barge Arctic Challenger, holding Shell’s Arctic oil containment system, a part of the company’s oil spill response capability, arrived in the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor on June 14, Shell spokeswoman Megan Baldino told Petroleum News in a June 16 email. The semi-submersible drilling platform Transocean Polar Pioneer is en route for Alaska, having left Seattle on the U.S. West Coast at around 6 a.m. on June 15, Baldino said. Shell’s other drilling vessel, the Noble Discoverer, remains at the Port of Everett to continue its load out, she said.

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Former Shell Worker Cites Unsafe Conditions on Oil Ship

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SEATTLE — Jun 19, 2015, 3:07 PM ET

By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press

A woman who was injured while working on one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support ships has filed a federal lawsuit saying the company compromised safety in its rush to drill for oil.

Anita Hanks says Shell maintained dangerous work conditions on the Arctic Challenger as it prepared to drill in the Arctic in 2012.

The oil spill containment vessel is part of Shell’s drilling fleet. It was docked in Bellingham at the time of an accident.

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Juneau Protesters Rally Against Shell’s Arctic Plans

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Juneau Protesters Rally Against Shell’s Arctic Plans

By Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau | June 18, 2015

A crowd of about 40 gathered in the drizzling rain outside Juneau’s federal building this afternoon to protest Royal Dutch Shell’s oil rig, the Polar Pioneer. The vessel left Seattle on Monday after weeks of public outcry.

Alaska Climate Action Network organizer Elaine Schroder is passing out a rainbow of signs to people arriving at the rally. Handwritten slogans in splashes of yellow and blue.

“Let’s take a look at them,” she says. “This says ‘Alaska moms for a renewable future: there is no creature more dangerous than a mother bear protecting her cubs’ so that’s one of our more adorable signs. ”

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Shell Oil Foots Bill for Environmental Disaster Greenpeace Created Protesting Shell Oil

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Emily Zanotti on 6.18.15 

A group of Greenpeace “kayaktivists” took to the waters of the Puget Sound a few short weeks ago in an attempt to stop the Polar Pioneer, Shell Oil’s newest Arctic drilling rig, from taking a breather in port on its way up to Alaska. They were ultimately thwarted by the Coast Guard’s concern for their safety and Shell Oil’s determination to continue on its mission, and just a few short days ago, the last kayaks finally pulled back.

Little did we know, as they left, Heartland’s story on Greenpeace’s hypocritical opposition to Arctic drilling – they get plenty of funding from their own team of petroleum profiteers – wasn’t the end of coverage of the odd ironies of #ShellNo. As Greenpeace pulled away, they left behind an environmental disaster, littering a popular dive site and rolling over a marine wildlife habitat, causing around $10,000 in damage to a protected locale, and angering local environmental groups who had been working to save the natural resource and its inhabitants.

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Feds say Shell completed test for blow-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Feds say Shell completed test for blow-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

Posted on June 18, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell employees and contractors successfully deployed and tested emergency equipment meant to respond to a blown-out well in the Arctic Ocean, federal regulators said Thursday.

The exercises, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state, focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.

Officials with the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement oversaw the deployment of the equipment Tuesday in waters slightly deeper than Shell’s proposed drilling sites in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska. Specifically, they watched as workers maneuvered the capping stack up and off the rear deck of the MV Fennica and 150 feet below the surface of the water.

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Exclusive – Gazprom building global alliance with expanded Shell

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Exclusive – Gazprom building global alliance with expanded Shell

The deal with Shell is a coup for Gazprom at a time when many Western companies are reducing their exposure to Russia because of Western sanctions over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine. Gazprom, which is under U.S. but not EU sanctions…

Fri Jun 19, 2015

Gazprom (GAZP.MM) is building a global strategic alliance with energy major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) that will include asset swaps and allow the Russian gas giant to penetrate new markets, its chief executive told Reuters.

Gazprom, the world’s top gas producer, said on Thursday that Shell and its long-time gas buyers in Europe – Germany’s E.ON (EONGn.DE) and Austria’s OMV (OMVV.VI) – had agreed to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic sea to Germany.

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