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Posts on ‘July 22nd, 2005’

Western People: No sign of resolution to Rossport impasse

Western People: No sign of resolution to Rossport impasse

Posted Friday 22 July 2005

By Orla Hearns

Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIL) is in ongoing negotiations to try to get the personnel involved in the Corrib gas project back to work.

In the region of 350 workers employed in various aspects of the project have not been working since supporters of the Rossport 5 mounted a protest at Bellanaboy on Monday, July 4 last.

A spokesperson for Shell said its priority was to ensure those workers could return to work imminently. He pointed out that while Shell has offered to cease all works on the onshore pipeline there are still many other aspects to the Corrib gas project that can proceed. The construction of the gas terminal itself is one such aspect. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Ireland On-Line: Protestors seek boycott of Shell and Statoil stations

Ireland On-Line: Protestors seek boycott of Shell and Statoil stations

“Supporters of the so-called Rossport 5 are calling on the public to boycott Shell and Statoil filling stations today.”: “Five of the residents have been in jail for more than three weeks for breaching an injunction ordering them not to obstruct work on the pipeline, which is being laid on their land.”

Friday 22 July 2005

22/07/2005 – 07:30:33

Supporters of the so-called Rossport 5 are calling on the public to boycott Shell and Statoil filling stations today.

The move is part of a campaign by local residents against the construction of a gas terminal and high-pressure pipeline in north Co Mayo.

Five of the residents have been in jail for more than three weeks for breaching an injunction ordering them not to obstruct work on the pipeline, which is being laid on their land.

They want Shell to build an offshore terminal rather than pumping gas directly onshore from the Corrib field. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Globe and Mail ( Canada): Shell’s latest fiasco rooted in critical skills shortage

The humiliation of last week’s surprise confession seems almost cruel, a descent from the sublime to the ridiculous. Shell touted its excellence in project management only to be caught with its pants down. To make matters worse, the Shell chief had shared a platform only the previous week in London with Alexei Miller, the chairman of Gazprom. The two men agreed to a swap under which Gazprom would take a quarter of Sakhalin Energy, reducing Shell’s interest to 30 per cent and, in turn, give Shell a half share in Zapolyarnoye, a huge onshore gas field in Western Siberia. Astonishingly, Gazprom had not been told that costs had doubled because, the Shell chief said, he had not yet been made aware of the figures himself. Flummoxed analysts in the City wonder which is more bizarre: Shell’s failure to inform its new partner of the cost increase or the chief’s apparent ignorance of the numbers.

Globe and Mail ( Canada): Shell’s latest fiasco rooted in critical skills shortage

Posted Friday 22 July 2005

By CARL MORTISHED

Thursday, July 21, 2005 Page B12

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell had its debut on the London Stock Exchange this week but trading in the shiny new merged shares was overshadowed by yet another management fiasco: the revelation that the cost of Shell’s biggest and most prestigious project, Sakhalin Energy, a Siberian liquefied gas facility, had doubled from $10-billion to $20-billion (U.S.).

It’s another blow to the company’s reputation, shredded in last year’s reserves scandal, but which had been on the mend with a concerted effort by Jeroen Van der Veer, the chief executive officer, to get Shell back to its roots of solid, no-nonsense engineering. Only weeks previously, the Dutch chief had assembled the international media in London for a cozy briefing in which he spelled out his vision. It was about skills, technological excellence and science. By 2010, the company would grow from three major infrastructure projects, multibillion-dollar schemes that he called elephants, to no less than 10 such projects. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

EXTRACTS FROM WOOD MACKENZIE JULY 2005 REPORT: Upstream Insights: Has Gazprom finally got a share of Sakhalin-2 LNG?

EXTRACTS FROM WOOD MACKENZIE JULY 2005 REPORT: Upstream Insights: Has Gazprom finally got a share of Sakhalin-2 LNG?

(PUBLISHED BEFORE SHELL’S SHOCK $10 BILLION OVERRUN ANNOUNCEMENT) Posted 22 July 2005

The deal is progressing…but not yet concluded

After months of negotiation and speculation, Russian gas giant Gazprom and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 7 July 2005 on swapping a 25% share of the Shell-led Sakhalin-2 project for 50% of the deep reservoirs at Gazprom’s prize Zapoiyarnoye field. Whilst this is a major step forward for both sides, MoUs are far from conclusive and much significant detail is yet to be thrashed out. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Cnooc’s Ambitions Stunted

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Cnooc’s Ambitions Stunted: “Cnooc could face stiff competition from other bidders if it tried to grab Woodside, which is 34%-owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC.”: Friday 22 July 2005

Unocal’s Assets of Oil and Gas
In Asia Will Be Hard to Replicate

By PATRICK BARTA, KATE LINEBAUGH and JASON DEAN
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
July 22, 2005; Page C14

A possible defeat of Cnooc Ltd.’s bid to acquire Unocal Corp. would do little to blunt the Chinese company’s global ambitions. But it would throw up a major roadblock to Cnooc’s ability to realize them.

The bid for Unocal has highlighted how Cnooc’s management — and Chairman Fu Chengyu, in particular — has tired of the company’s earlier piecemeal approach to overseas expansion: opportunistic acquisitions of minority stakes in oil and natural-gas assets, mostly in Asia.

Cnooc’s predicament comes as Unocal, of El Segundo, Calif., has shown greater financial strength. This could make it easier for its suitors to justify sweetening their bids, a step Chevron Corp. of the U.S. took this week.

Unocal’s improved financials are due to high oil prices and the proposed sale of its Canadian properties for $1.8 billion — about 9% more than investors expected. This month, Unocal said it expected to end the second quarter with $1.8 billion in cash, a 55% jump from six months earlier, when both Chevron and Cnooc began pulling together bids. It also said it expects its debt to be about $2.5 billion, 18% less than six months earlier. Altogether, Unocal has strengthened its financial position by $1.2 billion, combining the additional cash and lower debt level.

Should Cnooc’s bid for Unocal fall through — which still is far from certain — its options for picking up sizable oil and gas assets in Asia will be limited, say analysts and people familiar with the company.

So far, its biggest successful acquisition is the $585 million purchase in 2002 of Spain’s Repsol YPF SA’s gas and oil fields in Indonesia, which made Cnooc Indonesia’s largest offshore oil producer, but did little to raise its global profile.

Many of Asia’s best oil and gas prizes are owned by oil companies in countries that harbor the same desire for long-term energy security as China, and therefore would be reluctant to sell. Meanwhile, attempts to make other big U.S. acquisitions would expose Cnooc to the same political backlash that has battered its Unocal bid.

That doesn’t mean Cnooc would abandon its international ambitions in the face of a possible Unocal defeat. “I think the overall strategy will continue. They want to grow in Asia. They want to be the premier Asian energy company,” says a person close to the company.

Its limited options suggest Cnooc may want to press forward with its effort to win Unocal. The Unocal board’s endorsement Wednesday of a sweetened $17 billion offer from Chevron dealt a substantial blow to Cnooc’s bid, which, though still pricier at $18.5 billion, has been beset by criticism from U.S. politicians.

Yesterday’s move by Beijing to loosen the yuan’s peg to the U.S. dollar could ease some of that political tension.

The Unocal decision represented a broader setback for corporate China’s much-trumpeted international aspirations, coming on the heels of Chinese appliance maker Qingdao Haier Co.’s decision to drop out of the bidding to acquire Maytag Corp., of Newton, Iowa.

Plays for Maytag and Unocal were supposed to herald the arrival of Chinese state-controlled companies in the U.S. But as tests of China’s mergers-and-acquisitions prowess, both Maytag and Unocal have proved perilous.

Cnooc is already exploring other international options, as are most energy-industry companies, which have deep pockets from soaring oil prices. Cnooc’s parent, government-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., is still in negotiations on the Gorgon liquefied natural-gas project in Australia, led, ironically, by Chevron.

The company also is in acquisition talks with another party in a separate deal, say people familiar with the matter who declined to disclose details.

Still, if Cnooc backs down or fails in its Unocal bid, similar opportunities will be hard to come by, analysts say. Other possible targets in the U.S. that have the kind of assets in Asia, or even Africa, that Cnooc wants — such as Murphy Oil Corp. and Marathon Oil Corp. — also have significant operations in the U.S.

That would subject any attempt by Cnooc to acquire these companies to the same national-security review process through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States as it would face in a successful Unocal bid.

Other good energy assets in Asia are controlled by international “super majors.” Even if not U.S.-owned, they are loath to give up good prospects when they already are struggling to maintain reserves, analysts say. And national oil companies in countries such as Malaysia — which, like China, are concerned about securing long-term energy sources — are unlikely to sell.

That leaves a handful of regional oil companies or smaller Western independents that Cnooc could acquire, if it wanted to. One oft-cited possibility is Woodside Petroleum Ltd., an Australian oil and gas company with huge gas reserves off the coast of western Australia.

Woodside could be a good fit for Cnooc: Its gas could easily be shipped to China and the company has promising new exploration ventures in Africa and elsewhere.

Cnooc could face stiff competition from other bidders if it tried to grab Woodside, which is 34%-owned by Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Moreover, the same political issues that have hindered Cnooc in the U.S. could be even more pronounced in Australia. Woodside’s reserves are viewed as key strategic assets for Australia’s resource-rich economy. Four years ago, the Australian government blocked an effort by Shell to take over Woodside on the grounds that it wasn’t in the national interest.

“The same would happen with Cnooc,” says David Hurd, an analyst at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong.

Those challenges highlight the difficult position China’s oil majors are in — and why Unocal is so attractive.

“The fit for them [with Unocal] is perfect,” says Fereidun Fesharaki, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. “What do they want? They want a company that is very established, has good people and has huge Asian oil and gas assets. There is nobody except [Unocal] at this level.”

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell Doubles Cost Projections of Sakhalin II, Project Critics Redouble Opposition

SocialFunds.com: Shell Doubles Cost Projections of Sakhalin II, Project Critics Redouble Opposition

Friday 22 July 2005

By William Baue

The largest oil and gas project in the world meets resistance over concerns about its social and environmental impacts, as well as its economic sustainability.

SocialFunds.com — Last year, Shell (ticker: RD) rocked the business world when it revised its proven oil reserves by 20 percent, later revealing that top executives had foreknowledge of mistakes in reserve statements. Last week, Shell again sent out shock waves when it revised cost projections twofold for its Sakhalin II project, upping estimations from $10 billion to “the order of $20 billion” while simultaneously announcing delays to the project timeline. Sakhalin II is an oil and gas extraction project taking place off of the east coast of Russia that is already producing oil. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries will begin in the summer of 2008, and drilling will continue through 2014. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Waterford News: Trade union movement urged to take lead in fighting Shell

Waterford News: Trade union movement urged to take lead in fighting Shell

Friday, July 22, 2005

THE Waterford branch of the Socialist Workers Party has called on the trade union movement to take the lead in supporting the campaign to force Shell to build their Mayo pipeline at sea and for the release of the Rossport 5.

The call comes as the five men — Philip McGrath, Willie Corduff, Vincent McGrath, James Brendan Philbin and Michael O’Seighin — are entering their third week in prison. The SWP joined others in staging pickets on Shell and Statoil stations in Waterford over the weekend in support of the Rossport 5. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Irish Independent: No u-turn on pipeline – Dempsey

Irish Independent: No u-turn on pipeline – Dempsey

Friday July 22, 2005

COMMUNICATIONS, Marine and Natural Resources Minister Noel Dempsey has insisted there will be no renegotiation of the lease between the Irish Government and Shell which has led to the controversial Shell Corrib gas pipeline.

At the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, yesterday, the minister faced a hostile crowd who demanded that he take the steps necessary to secure the release of five men from the north Mayo village of Rossport who were jailed over their opposition to the onshore pipeline. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell shares slide on second day of training

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell shares slide on second day of training

Friday 22 July 2005

There was further selling of Royal Dutch Shell stock yesterday as the merged group fell on its second day of trading. The B shares eased a further 8p to £17.98½p and the A shares slipped 13½ to £17.53p.

Former Shell Transport and Trading investors will receive 28 B shares for every 100 Shell shares. A certificate of entitlement will be sent out within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Petroleum shareholders will be given two A shares for every one Royal Dutch share held. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Jacobs hints at succession concerns within Shell

Financial Times: Jacobs hints at succession concerns within Shell

By Thomas Catan

Published: July 22 2005

Aad Jacobs, Royal Dutch Shell’s interim chairman, said the company was seeking a successor for him who was neither British nor Dutch to avoid upsetting the power balance within the oil major.

“The preference would be that the next chairman – my successor – would be non-British or non-Dutch,” Mr Jacobs said yesterday.

His comments contradicted earlier statements by Shell executives that nationality would not be a factor in the succession. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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