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Shell Ukraine head moves on after challenging tour of duty in Ukraine

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Shell Ukraine head moves on after challenging tour of duty in Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Apr. 02, 2016

After four years in Kyiv, Graham Tiley, Shell’s country chairman in Ukraine, is moving on to a new post in London.

Peter Kerekgyarto, Shell’s operations manager for Central and Eastern Europe, will assume the post of Ukraine country head as well as general manager of the retail business as of April 1.

Tiley was also the chairman of the board of the American Chamber of Commerce, and was replaced by Steven Fisher, CEO of Citibank Ukraine, on March 31.

Before the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2013, Ukraine was poised to become the world’s next exploration success story. Some of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, Shell, Chevron, Eni and ExxonMobil, entered the market, committing to invest millions of dollars into the industry. read more

Royal Dutch Shell makes deeper cuts

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By Daniel J. Graeber: Dec. 23, 2015

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec. 23 (UPI) — With the company expecting improved efficiency after merging with BG Group, Royal Dutch Shell said it plans to cut spending for next year more than expected.

Shell published a prospectus and circular related to its $7 billion tie-up with BG Group, one of the largest mergers of its kind since Exxon and Mobil joined in the 1990s.

“The combination with BG is a strong platform to refocus the company, to create a simpler and more competitive Shell,” Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said in a statement. “At the same time, Shell is pulling multiple levers to manage through the current oil price downturn.” read more

Kiev says Shell withdraws from shale gas project in Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Xinhua News Agency: Oct 27, 2015 

KIEV, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — Ukrainian Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn confirmed here Tuesday that Royal Dutch Shell plc, the Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company, had completed a procedure of withdrawal from a shale gas exploration project in eastern Ukraine.

“Shell has withdrawn from the treaty. The operations on the Yuzovska field are frozen,” Demchyshyn told reporters during a media conference.

He said that Shell has pulled out of the project, whose total cost has been estimated by the government at 3.95 billion U.S. dollars, because of “unfavorable conditions on the global energy markets.” read more


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Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 08.38.13English translation below of the text shown on the centre section of the above German road map published by Shell in Nazi Germany after Hitler came to power in January 1933. Shell boasted about its contribution to the German economy stretching back to 1924. We assume the map provided directions to the Polish border.

In the years approaching WW2, the ardent Nazi, Sir Henri Deterding, was in control at Shell along with likeminded Group Managing Directors (two of whom subsequently became Director Generals of Shell), all willing to get into bed with the Nazis. read more

Putin to blame for MH17 shootdown, but Dutch oil interests (SHELL) will thwart any prosecution

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Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 22.09.48“The Dutch have a company that everybody knows, called Royal Dutch Shell, and Russia has some projects that Shell could make lots of money from,” Koshiw says. Royal Dutch Shell is teaming up with Russian Gazprom on several projects despite Western sanction on Russia, and at the beginning of 2015 they signed a memorandum to build two new Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea. “Shell is the Netherlands’ number one company, so they will be very careful in attacking Putin,” Koshiw explained. “They have an important relationship with Gazprom, and that’s key.” read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Delivers Latest Blow To European Shale

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Royal Dutch Shell may be looking to exit Ukrainian shale as conditions in the region have prompted a delay

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has delivered the latest blow to European shale, as it considers withdrawal from its last Ukrainian exploration well.

With Nadra Yuzivska as its partner, the European oil major signed a production sharing agreement (PSA) to explore the Yuzivska shale gas field, which was discovered in 2010.

However, the recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine has prompted Shell to put the project on hold for almost a year, as it has not been able to fulfill its commitments for the Yuzivska project. read more

Shell considers pulling plug on final Ukraine exploration well

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Shell considers pulling plug on final Ukraine exploration well

Commodities | Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:11pm BST

Oil major Shell is considering withdrawing from its last exploration well in Ukraine as the project has been on hold for nearly a year due to the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Shell said it has been unable to perform its commitments in relation to the Yuzivska production sharing agreement (PSA) with project partner Nadra Yuzivska LLC due to a force majeure that has been in place since last July.

“We have begun discussions with the Ukrainian government and our partner Nadra Yuzivska LLC on the way forward with the PSA,” Shell said in a statement. read more

Shell calls ‘Force-Majeure’ on Ukraine project

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Shell calls ‘Force-Majeure’ on Ukraine project

Sources familiar with the situation said Ukraine’s government received a “Notice of Withdrawal” from Shell on a project that they had hoped could raise up to $10bn of investment and further diversify gas imports away from Russia, Roman Olearchyk reports from Kiev.

Shell said it “has been prevented from performing its commitments under Yuzivska [a production sharing agreement] for an extensive period of time due to Force-Majeure, i.e. circumstances beyond Shell’s control.” Due to the said events, project implementation conditions have been materially changed. Therefore, we have begun discussions with the Ukrainian government and our partner Nadra Yuzivska LLC on the way forward with the PSA, pursuant to its terms. read more

Shell starts supplying natural gas to Ukraine

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Shell starts supplying natural gas to Ukraine

Ukraine will be receiving gas via Slovakia 

Royal Dutch Shell will start gas supplies to Ukraine via Slovakia in April 2015, according to Ukrainian media. 

The company plans to provide at least 120 to 130 million cubic meters this month at a cost of USD 253 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Ukraine is receiving gas from a number of European suppliers including Statoilgas (Norway), RWE Supply & Trading (Germany), GDF Suez, E.ON Global Commodities (Germany) and other traders.

As was reported earlier this week, Russia does not plan to extend its gas transit contract with Ukraine after the existing deal expires in 2019. Some 40 percent of Russian gas supplies to Europe go through Ukraine, while Moscow has been cutting on gas exports via the neighbouring country. read more

Shell abandons two exploration wells in east Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 21.18.30LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned two natural gas exploration wells in eastern Ukraine after they were deemed uneconomical, the oil major said on Thursday.

Shell and Ukrainian state-run gas company Ukrgasvydobuvannya jointly started exploration at the wells in the province of Kharkiv Oblast in 2012 but after evaluating geological data, the sides decided to drop the project.

“Based on the exploration results, the parties agreed that further activity within the project was not economically viable and agreed to terminate the agreement,” Shell said in a statement. read more

Quakes force Dutch lawmakers to cut gas production

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Article by Keith Findlay published 11 March 2015 by


Dutch communities rattled by earthquakes are upending Europe’s energy market.

Towns in the northern province of Groningen sit atop the continent’s biggest gas field, where the Dutch government says exploration by oil and gas majors Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil has triggered 196 earthquakes since 2013, damaging buildings and making home sales difficult.

Lawmakers, seeking support in provincial elections next week, have responded to residents’ complaints with a proposed cut in gas production – the second since December – in the hope that less output means fewer tremors. 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

Shell admits fracking failure in Ukraine

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

The Russian News Agency Tass is reporting that Graham Tiley, the country manager of Shell Ukraine has admitted in a meeting with a local high-ranking official that Royal Dutch Shell has failed to achieve the desired progress in the Yuzovka gas field in Ukraine’s east.  Tiley blamed the fracking failure on the situation in the neighbouring Donetsk region.


Oil prices continue to fall

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 00.11.12Shell, BP and Petrofac shares close down as Opec decides not to cut oil production. Stocks of major oil producers were in the firing line as their profits are hugely dependent on the price of oil they extract. Royal Dutch Shell, for example, fell 4.3 percent while Total SA dropped 4.1 percent.

LONDON — Oil companies saw their shares take a beating Thursday as crude prices slid to their lowest in more than four years after OPEC’s decision to maintain production levels even though prices have fallen sharply in recent weeks.

Unsurprisingly, the stocks of major oil producers were in the firing line as their profits are hugely dependent on the price of oil they extract. Royal Dutch Shell, for example, fell 4.3 percent while Total SA dropped 4.1 percent.


Oil prices have fallen 30 per cent this year, as a glut in supply was exacerbated by a boom in shale gas in the US. read more

Shell backs out of Russian oil projects

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In April 2014, following the Russian Annexation of Crimea, Shell COE, Ben van Beurden, was still bowing to Putin and full of ambition for Russian oil and gas projects. 

By John Donovan

In April 2014, Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden claimed that the company had no plans to change its work with its Russian partners, despite the conflict in Ukraine.

His resolve seems to have crumbled following the imposition of further sanctions by the USA and Europe against the Putin regime.

A number of news articles are reporting that Shell has followed Exxon in suspending tight oil projects in Russia.

According to Reuters, “Oil major Shell has suspended development of hard-to-recover oil in Russia’s Bazhenov formation with Gazprom Neft, Interfax cited Gazprom Neft’s head as saying on Friday, after the West imposed sanctions on Russia over Ukraine.” read more

Royal Dutch Shell News Thursday 11 Sept 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 00.56.29By John Donovan

The US and EU are ready to impose new sanctions on Russia arising from events in Ukraine. See extract from a article published under the headline: “Sanctions threaten Putin’s oil deals with Exxon Mobil, Shell”

Other vulnerable international operators include Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second-largest energy company by market value. Multiple investments by The Hague-based company in Russia include ventures to use advanced reservoir-management techniques to revive and increase crude output from Soviet-era fields and to explore some of the nation’s vast, untapped shale formations. “We are continuing to review the latest sanctions to assess the potential impacts on our business, and engaging with the respective authorities to gain further clarity,” Kayla Macke, a Shell spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We are taking action to ensure we comply with all applicable sanctions or related measures. We’re keeping the situation under close review.” read more

Shell CEO on global turmoil’s impact

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 21.14.49Screenshots from a Fox Business video of an interview with Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden on 4 Sept 2014 shows the uncertainty that surrounds Shell. Mr van Beurden bluntly made it clear at the May 2014 Shell AGM that Shell’s priority is what is in the economic interests of Shell shareholders, not geopolitical concerns i.e. the invasion of Crimea. That explains why he happily bowed to Putin days after the annexation. Whatever the spin, ethics and moral issues are ruthlessly put to one side. The lack of scruples by companies such as Shell, has encouraged the Putin regime. Driven by the same motive, access to hydrocarbon reserves, Shell also connived with Hitler in his territorial ambitions. More recently, Shell traded with Iran despite US sanctions and Shell spin to the contrary. Like in relation to Shell’s claimed business principles, it is Shell’s deeds, not the mixed messages, which count. read more

Potential Bad News for Royal Dutch Shell and BP

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

An article by Matthew Smith published by Seeking Alpha warns about the potential adverse impact on the share value of companies with “exposure” in Russia, such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, is well aware of the risk to Shell’s Russian assets and future prospects, which explains his humiliating bowing to President Putin when they met just weeks after the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. Obviously a believer in appeasement.  read more

Shell stops shale gas production in Eastern Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell says that it has suspended shale gas production in eastern Ukraine due to security concerns. 

A Shell spokesperson said:

“Currently we are not conducting drilling in eastern Ukraine. The security situation is such that we are not able to carry out certain activities scheduled by the shale gas production agreement for reasons beyond our control. Hence, we took a step specified in the contract to announce force majeure regarding certain obligations set in the agreement on gas production at the Yuzivka field. Shell’s interests in shale gas production in Ukraine remain the same, and we will continue to execute all kinds of operations that we can carry out safely.”  read more

Big Oil Could Be In Big Trouble

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00By John Donovan

A number of current articles warn of falling oil prices. A article says that oil prices have fallen below $100 to the lowest level this year and that natural gas has fared even worse. reports that the price of oil has plummeted, and that the fall is accelerating. It also points out that big oil has taken on $106 billion in new debt. A related article warns of $96 Billion of High-Risk Oil Megaprojects. The Russia/Ukraine crisis is partly responsible for the uncertainly and anxiety. read more

Roundup of Royal Dutch Shell News 16 August 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41SHELL’S USA FIRE SALE

The New York Times reports that the Blackstone Group, a private equity company, is paying Royal Dutch Shell $1.2 billion for a stake comprising more than 107,000 net acres in Louisiana. MORE

A related article by features a quote from Marvin Odum, president of Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. division, Shell Oil Company. Marvin said in a statement: “We are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions.” MORE read more

Russia Sanctions Failing to Stanch Energy Deals With Japan

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By John Donovan

Nato says that Russia has amassed 20,000 combat-ready troops on the border of eastern Ukraine.

The US and the EU have stepped up sanction measures on Russia moving from targeted to sector sanctions. 

Unfortunately for Royal Dutch Shell its current business and future prospects depend on maintaining good relations with Putin.

Hence the bootlicking by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden when he met with Putin following the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. 

The Sakhalin II project in which Shell used to be the majority stakeholder still remains an important asset to the oil and gas giant. Sanctions may yet impact on Sakhalin II. read more

FT: 12 Shell staff and family members killed on flight MH17

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from FT “Week in review” published 2 August 2014

Majors brace as sanctions against Russia tighten read more

Shell has declared force majeure on gas exploration in eastern Ukraine: CEO

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Extracts from a PLATTS article published 31 July 2014

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Thursday, July 31 that the recent events around the Ukraine crisis, including the crash of flight MH17 and the subsequent US and EU sanctions against Moscow, were a “game-changer” from an international political, economic and trade point of view. Shell, which has assets in both Russia and Ukraine, has also declared force majeure on its unconventional gas exploration operations in eastern Ukraine, van Beurden said on a Q2 earnings conference call. Van Beurden said it was too early to know exactly what the impact of the latest international sanctions against Russia would be for Shell. read more

The grief of Ben van Beurden

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a Daily Mail/This is MONEY” article by Rob Davies published 31 July 2014 under the headline: “Energy lift boosts shares in Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group after both post strong second quarter results”

Boss Ben van Beurden has vowed to sell underperforming assets and be more selective about spending, after beginning his tenure in January with the firm’s first profit warning in a decade. Van Beurden said Shell was ‘less exposed than some of our rivals’ to the impact of sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. But he focused on the emotional impact on Shell, which lost four staff and eight members of their families. ‘As a Dutchman, of course, I grieve for the many compatriots who lost their lives in this crash,’ he said. ‘Then, as CEO of Shell, I grieve together with the other 92,000 Shell staff for the colleagues we lost, together with so many of their family members.’ read more

BP: Russian sanctions could hurt us

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 10.04.21Extract from a Guardian Business Blog article by Graeme Wearden published 29 July 2014

Oil giant BP has warned the City this morning that it could suffer if fresh sanctions are imposed on Russia.

In its latest results, BP cautioned that it would suffer an “”adverse impact” if Western powers hit Moscow with fresh economic restrictions — in response to the crisis in Ukraine.



By John Donovan

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden was straightforward in what he publicly stated at the 2014 AGM of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said that Shell puts the interests of its shareholders first, above any geopolitical considerations. That is his excuse for Shell’s dealings with evil regimes in Iran and Russia, irrespective of sanctions. You can tell all you need to know about Ben’s priorities from his failure to sign the document “SHELL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES” – it is still signed by his predecessor Peter Voser, who abandoned ship long ago.  read more

Shell Leaves Business Strategy for Russia Unchanged Despite Sanctions

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29British oil giant is determined to continue its work in Russia and will not change its business strategy in the country, despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow by the United States and European Union, representative of Shell’s press service told RIA Novosti on Friday.

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MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – British oil giant is determined to continue its work in Russia and will not change its business strategy in the country, despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow by the United States and European Union, representative of Shell’s press service told RIA Novosti on Friday.

“Shell continues to run business in Russia both in the upstream and downstream without any changes. We monitor the situation regarding the sanctions. But so far there have been no changes in either the business itself or in the business strategy,” the source said. read more

The world is being held hostage

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a NewsDay article by MARTIN SCHRAM published 23 July 2014 by McClatchy-Tribune News Service under the headline: “Schram: The world is being held hostage” read more

Royal Dutch Shell Playing Politics with Human Lives?

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29What is even more appalling is the fact that the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, is the one behind the scene steering the affairs of the Dutch Government and practically playing politics with ‘human lives.’

By Zik Gbemre


We find it rather appalling that the custodians’ of society, in this case; the Netherlands, Russia and other European states plus the oil giant-Royal Dutch Shell, are more interested in ‘their pockets,’ thirst for power politics and their economy/business rather than ‘human life’ and high moral values enshrined in the rule of law and rights of its citizenry. That is how best we can describe the pathetic situation playing out between some European nations and Russia and Shell in the middle. Like the above article has noted, it is really sad that “despite anger over downed Jetliner, Europe is shying away from sanctions against Russia.” What is even more appalling is the fact that the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, is the one behind the scene steering the affairs of the Dutch Government and practically playing politics with ‘human lives.’ read more

Europe fails to impose tough sanctions on Russia

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Seeking Alpha article published 23 July 2014

EU foreign ministers failed to impose any tough sanctions against Russia during a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers yesterday, NYT reports.

Dependent on Russia’s energy and wary of confrontation, Europe’s leaders have largely decided they will have to live with a newly assertive Russia.

The Netherlands lost at least 193 victims in the Malaysian Airlines crash over Ukraine, but Royal Dutch Shell  is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia; if Shell loses money, the pensions of Dutch teachers, civil servants and many others suffer. read more

Death of 193 Dutch Strains Russian Relations for Shell, Heineken

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At one point the largest foreign investor in Russia, Shell declined to comment on whether its business would be affected after the downing of the plane. The company lost four employees in the incident, it said yesterday.

BloombergBusinessweek article by Celeste Perri, Maud van Gaal and Fred Pals published 22 July 2014

For centuries, the fortunes of the Netherlands, the wind-swept country carved out of North Sea wetlands, have relied on preserving the peace with its global trading partners. Last week’s downing of an airliner carrying 193 Dutch nationals is testing one of its most important relationships, involving companies from Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to Heineken NV. (HEIA)

The Netherlands was Russia’s third-biggest trading partner last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The Dutch, home to the busiest container port in Europe and the region’s biggest energy company, send dairy products, meat and machinery to Russia, which the U.S. says is complicit in the attack. read more

Impact on Royal Dutch Shell from Putin’s Missile

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The whole geopolitical situation has now become even more precarious following the deliberate shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17. If that was not bad enough, it transpires that over 170 of the people on board the ill-fated flight were Dutch and three of the passengers were Shell employees. What will Ben van Beurden do if it is confirmed that the Sun front page headline today is accurate, bearing in mind that Putin has already annexed Crimea and is behind the rebels/terrorists trying to grab an even larger slice of the Ukraine for him?  

By John Donovan

Shell’s relationship with Russia and the Ukraine became more difficult earlier this week when the USA escalated sanctions against Russia, targeting in particular Russian energy giant Rosneft and Gazprombank, the financial arm of Gazprom. 

Rosneft and Gazprom are controlled by the corrupt and aggressive Putin regime. Both companies have important business dealings with Shell.

Shell has already pledged to comply with all international sanctions against Russia, but the pledge seems at odds with grovelling comments made to Putin on 18 April 2014 by Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden.  read more

Shell sails ahead without UK shale

Extracts from an article by Andrew Critchlow published in The Sunday Telegraph on 6 July 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Shale gas is likely to play an increasingly important role in powering Britain’s growth but don’t expect the country’s largest oil and gas company, Royal Dutch Shell, to help create a fracking-led energy revolution. Andrew Brown, director of upstream international business and the man responsible for the main revenue-generating side of Britain’s most valuable company, is sceptical about the potential for shale oil and gas development in Britain. Outside North America, Shell’s main focus on what Brown calls “unconventional” oil and gas is in China and Russia. The company is also looking at Ukraine and drilling in Turkey, but using North America as a benchmark, the UK is nowhere near the Anglo-Dutch company’s list of viable prospects. read more

Ukraine Discomfort for Shell and Chevron

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Shell entered into the deal in 2013 with then Putin puppet President Viktor Yanukovych, before he was ousted. As can be seen in the FT article, Shell and Chevron are now both trying to hide behind claimed business principles. Its a bit late for that.

By John Donovan

The Financial Times has published an article about the uncomfortable position of Shell and Chevron in the Ukraine crisis.


Getting caught up in a war zone ranks among the worst-case scenarios for an oil company. This has happened to Royal Dutch Shell in eastern Ukraine, where heavy fighting between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian military forces continues.

What is even worse is that both energy giants have Ukrainian partners in shale gas deals with dubious connections to the former regime, in a country famed for corruption.  read more

Chevron Cancels Bulgaria Fracking, Shell Postpones Ukraine Plans

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Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Extracts from a CorpWatch article by Richard Smallteacher publish 12 June 2014

Fracking for oil and gas across Europe has suffered a series of setbacks with Chevron closing its offices in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Shell postponing fracking plans in the Ukraine by at least two years. Meanwhile the French government is standing firm in its opposition to fracking. Shell announced that it would take a respite from drilling for gas in the 8,000-square-kilometer Yuzivska field in the eastern Ukraine in early June. The company was awarded the concessions by the government of Viktor Yanukovych in January 2013, a year before he was ousted from office by violent protests this past February. Since then, clashes between government forces and pro-Russian militias have caused Shell to reconsider, not least because Shell has other lucrative energy deals in Russia. “We obviously need to assess the future security situation as it develops because the safety of our own people is our first priority,” Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, told Bloomberg TV. “Russia is a major holder of hydrocarbon reserves, possibly the largest in the world. So in the long term it really does matter.” read more

The Real Reason Shell Halted Its Ukrainian Shale Operations

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article by Igor Alexeev published 19 June 2014

Royal Dutch Shell has blamed air strikes by the government in Kiev against its own citizens in southern Ukraine as the reason it decided to declare a halt to its shale oil projects in the troubled region. In reality, the truth may be closer to the fact that company is disappointed with the economic viability of what it once thought was a large shale deposit and is looking for a way out. According to a recent statement by the former head of Royal Dutch Shell, Peter Voser, “the company is now analyzing its business in shale,” which, translated from the streamlined language of press releases, means: The project is not earning its keep and we need to do something (Read: write off expenses).
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For Western Oil Companies, Expanding in Russia Is a Dance Around Sanctions

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive bows to President Putin during a meeting in Moscow April 2014: Maxim Shipenkov/European Pressphoto Agency

Extracts from a New York Times article by ANDREW E. KRAMER and STANLEY REED published in print 10 June 2014

Despite the push by Western governments to isolate Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine, energy giants are deepening their relationships with companies here by striking deals and plowing more money into the country. Royal Dutch Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, met with Mr. Putin in April and told him, “Now is the time to expand,” referring to a liquefied natural gas plant project. The companies are taking a calculated risk, given the threat of further sanctions. The risk for energy companies is that the next stage of sanctions, called the third phase, will be broader, cutting off dealings with major sectors of the economy like finance, metals and energy. The United States and its allies proposed such sanctions at a Group of 7 summit meeting in Brussels last week, to be carried out if the violence in Ukraine did not subside within a month. read more

Ukraine Crisis Forces Shell to Halt Shale Wells in Restive East

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Bloomberg/Businessweek article by Ladka Bauerova and Will Kennedy published 3 June 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) has halted drilling for shale gas in eastern Ukraine to protect its personnel from clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Shell is taking a “time-out” on exploration work after drilling two wells since the Hague-based explorer signed a production-sharing agreement last year, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in London.  “We obviously need to assess the future security situation as it develops because the safety of our own people is our first priority,” Henry said. “There’s no pulling out, but we take a time out on the actual drilling activity on the ground.” read more

Sanctions fear forces Shell to end all new Russian investment

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article by Ben Hoyle and Lily Hyde published May 1 2014 by The Times

Europe’s biggest oil company froze all future investment in Russia over the Ukraine crisis yesterday as the IMF said that the Kremlin faced an imminent recession because of Western sanctions. Royal Dutch Shell, one of the biggest foreign investors in Russian energy, warned that it would not “be jumping into new investments anytime soon” because sanctions beefed up by America and Europe in the past week could curtail its own operations.  read more

Big Oil dollars flow into Ukraine, despite conflict

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a CNBC article by  published 1 May 2014

Yuriy Boyko, an ethnic Ukrainian and former energy minister under ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, told CNBC that he has met with senior executives of Royal Dutch Shell about investments or potential investments in the country. Royal Dutch Shell is currently the biggest player in the Ukrainian market. The company declined to comment on specific dollar figures, but said that it has ongoing operations in the region.  Shell spokesman Curtis Smith told CNBC that it employs about 2,500 people in Ukraine, many as contract workers. The company is involved in two exploration projects, both in eastern Ukraine, including in the Donetsk and Kharkov regions, the most troubled in the country. To date, the company said operations have not been affected despite rising tension in those areas. “We continue to prepare for exploration activities on Yuzivska area,” Smith told CNBC. “We monitor trade controls and sanctions closely and will respond appropriately to ensure that we comply with all applicable international sanctions and related measures.”    read more

Shell: not entering new Russia investments

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extracts from an article by AP Business Writer TOBY STERLING published 30 April 2014

AMSTERDAM (AP) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it will not be entering new investments in Russia anytime soon as tensions rise over the country’s confrontation with Ukraine. Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said the company, Europe’s largest oil company, will continue to oversee its existing operations and will cooperate with any sanctions placed upon Russia by Western powers. Amid the uncertainty, however, it will hold back on starting new projects. Meanwhile, Henry defended a meeting this month between Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it should not be interpreted as the company taking sides in the Ukrainian crisis. read more

BP And Shell Have Problems, But Manageable Ones, With The Russian Sanctions

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extract from a Forbes article by Tim Worstall published 29 April 2014

The imposition of sanctions on various Russian people and organisations over the Ukraine threatened to pose a number of problems for the big energy companies, especially BP and Shell. If Rosneft itself were placed on the list, for example, or Gazprom, the the respective situations for BP and Shell would change markedly. …obviously neither of them is going to flout the law of a country where they have such considerable interests, as they do in the US.  read more

BP and Shell to be exposed as G7 plans for sectoral sanctions against Russia

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 15.57.58

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 10.44.49Extract from Forex Live article by Mike Paterson published 28 April 2014

…part of the US plans looks likely to have a serious impact on UK energy giants BP and Shell The US Treasury is also eyeing some form of sanction against Gazprombank, the financial arm of the gas monopoly Gazprom. This would greatly complicate Shell’s joint operations with Gazprom…


RELATED: U.S. Sanctions Target Putin’s Inner Circle 


The Obama administration imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle involved in banking, energy and infrastructure. The list includes Igor Sechin, OAO Rosneft chief executive officer… read more

BP and Shell exposed as US prepares first warning shot against Russia’s oil and gas industry

Firms may be forced to curtail operations as G7 Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 00.47.49powers prepare to launch new sanctions   

Extract from an article by  published1:28PM BST 27 Apr 2014 by The Telegraph

Britain’s top energy companies face an extremely delicate situation as the world’s G7 powers prepare to launch the next wave of sanctions against Russia, and may be forced to curtail operations or freeze certain commercial ties with the country. The US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada have agreed to “intensify targeted sanctions to increase the costs of Russia’s actions” – possibly as soon as Monday… The G7 is for now holding back Iranian-style “stage 3” sanctions against the whole Russian banking system, mining industry, or the oil and gas nexus. This nuclear option… Both BP and Shell said they remain committed to their long-term investments in Russia but are monitoring the situation closely.   read more

Posing with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extract from a New York Times article by 

European Firms Seek to Minimize Russia Sanctions

BERLIN — With the showdown over Ukraine escalating and President Obama warning Moscow of a tough new round of sanctions, Russia and its allies in the European private sector are conducting a separate campaign to ensure that they can maintain their deep and longstanding economic ties even if the Kremlin orders further military action. No European industry has been as open in its support of Russia as the energy industry. Executives have publicly voiced skepticism about the effectiveness of sanctions, lobbied behind the scenes to head them off and traveled to Russia, on at least one occasion to pose with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin. read more

Sanctions not enough to deter hydrocarbon-hungry firms

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Extract from a BusinessDay article published 26 April 2014

Shell also expressed commitment to its expansion projects in Russia. Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell told Russian President, Vladimir Putin at a meeting recently. Shell plans to expand Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom. Van Beurden said that Shell “are very keen to grow our position in the Russian Federation and we look forward with anticipation and confidence on a very long-term future here in Russia.” He confirmed that Shell had agreed with Gazprom to expand the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant which produces 10 million tonnes of LNG per year. The expansion plan is in line with Putin’s demand to boost production of LNG and double Russia’s global market share to around 10 percent by 2020. Putin said in his response said; “We, of course, will pledge all the necessary administrative guidance and support.” read more

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