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Posts on ‘January 4th, 2006’

ShellNews.net: 2 YRS AFTER RESERVES FRAUD, SHELL REPUTATION STILL RANKED ALONGSIDE ENRON

Updated: Wednesday 4 January 2006: 05.00am EST

By Alfred Donovan

In 9 January 2004 – almost two years ago – the bombshell news of the Shell reserves fraud broke on an unsuspecting world. Negative news about the scandal inundated the media in the following days and months with the sackings of senior executives, regulatory and criminal investigations, class action law suits, followed eventually by multimillion dollar fines and settlements.

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ShellNews.net: Shell Insider News on Walter van de Vijver

Wednesday 4 January 2006 22.45 GMT
By Alfred Donovan
According to a Shell insider, Walter van de Vijver, the Shell director who was given a £2.5m payoff after admitting he was 'tired of lying' about Shell’s oil and gas reserves, is a partner in a new private equity firm with Maarten Scholten, formally Chairman & President of the Schlumberger Foundation Board & Staff and currently a director of Axalto.
I have some sympathy with Walter van de Vijver because he was caught in the middle of a situation created to a large extent by Sir Philip Watts and his predecessor as Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart.
I also hear that Shell’s Chairman in Malaysia, Datuk Jon Chadwick is leaving his post within a matter of days. The timing could be fortuitous in view of increasingly heated litigation involving several hundred thoroughly disenchanted former Shell Malaysian employees who are suing Shell, including whistleblower Dr John Huong. Dr Huong is in turn being sued for defamation by eight Royal Dutch Shell companies. No doubt Chadwick will be pleased to get out of the kitchen.
ARTICLE ENDS
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Daily Independent (Nigeria): No terms of reference for Ogoni, Shell reconciliation

Daily Independent (Nigeria): No terms of reference for Ogoni, Shell reconciliation: Wednesday 4th January, 2006  
By Odudu Okpongete
Senior Correspondent,
Port Harcourt
Despite the interest of several stakeholders towards ending the protracted rift between the Ogoni people and Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell, the Federal Government has not produced any clear-cut terms of reference to guide its reconciliation process.
Facilitator of the Presidential Committee on Reconciliation of Ogoni/Shell, Rev. Father Mathew Kukah, who disclosed this last weekend during a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, said all he was asked to do was to reconcile the two parties and bring peace back to Ogoniland.
The cleric stated that his committee had produced a framework guiding the reconciliation where no individual or party would feel inferior, adding that the committee since its appointment in May 2005 has spent four months doing the underground work.
Stressing that the Rivers State government was bearing the financial burden for the process, he urged the Ogoni to take advantage of the situation by articulating their common position, adding that such opportunity might not remain with them for a long time.
“You have the opportunity, the challenge to more or less produce a template that can be replicated across Nigeria,” Kukah said, and thanked the youths in particular for their decision not to continue with the ways of the past.
In his speech at the meeting, the state governor, Dr Peter Odili, said since 1993 when the unfortunate events happened in Ogoniland, the people had lost some of her cherished sons to the struggle, and challenged the people to ensure that those who lost their lives would not have gone in vain.
Odili said the state government had no problem accepting Kukah as head of the committee considering his fearless stand on issues, stressing that as secretary of the defunct Oputa Panel, he is well abreast of issues concerning the Ogoni matter.
Earlier, the Gbenemene Tai, King Godwin Gininwa, Chief Barinua Wifa (SAN), and president of the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr Ledum Mitee, pledged the cooperation of the Ogoni to the reconciliation efforts. According to them, conflicts had brought no progress to the area, and expressed regrets that such past efforts were marred by lack of trust and insincerity and thanked the president for setting up the committee. read more

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Sify (India): Shell LNG terminal loses only customer

Wednesday 04 January, 2006
 
Ahmedabad: Shell's LNG terminal at Hazira has lost its only customer, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC), but the company says that the facility is still “fully operational.”
“Shell has fulfilled the terms of its contract with GSPC and the contract has been completed. We are in discussion with a number of potential customers for short, medium, and long-term supplies of gas,” the Shell India Chairman, Vikram Singh Mehta, told Business Line.
Mehta confirmed that the terminal received its last consignment of LNG in October 2005 and that the port's tug boats have been “temporarily redeployed.”
GSPC sources said that the company last took gas from Shell Hazira on December 8, 2005.
“Tug boats are required only when a vessel is to be guided into the jetty. It is normal practice to redeploy them elsewhere when they are not required,” Mehta said.
The LNG terminal is, however, fully operational and can receive an LNG consignment as and when required, he added.
Asked why Shell was not able to find any customers despite opening the terminal eight months ago, Mehta said it was more to do with the “decision-making process” of Indian consumers.
“We certainly have had difficulty in convincing the Indian customer that our prices are globally competitive. That is unfortunate as LNG is at a discount to liquid fuels that are still being used by certain consumers.
“Our prices are higher than legacy domestic gas prices, but we think it is a temporary phenomenon and Indian consumers will soon be willing to pay international rates.”
LNG prices stayed above $12 per mmbtu (million metric British thermal units equivalent) in 2005 while prices of gas in India range between $3.30 and $4.85 per mmbtu.
Reliance and ONGC have already announced prices in the same range for gas from their new finds in Krishna-Godavari basin and Rajasthan that will start flowing in two years.
Temporary phenomenon: Mehta believes that higher international gas prices are a temporary phenomenon.
Referring to lower prices being offered by Indian companies, he said: “We will be able to match those prices at that time, but there is no gas available today and there is a shortage of domestic supply. We are trying to convince our prospective customers that natural gas is not only cheaper than liquid fuels, it is abundant and is environment-friendly.”
HPCL due diligence: Meanwhile, HPCL has carried out due diligence for picking up an equity stake in the Shell Hazira venture.
“HPCL has carried out due diligence. We are in talks with several players and we encourage all companies that can bring value to the Hazira venture. But Shell will always be the operator and we have absolutely no intention to sell out the terminal,” Mehta said.
Asked what “value” Shell was looking for, Mehta said that in the case of Total Gaz Electricite Holdings of France, which picked up 26 per cent equity in the Hazira asset, the value was in terms of LNG supplies and experience.
For prospective Indian partners, value would come in the form of knowledge of the domestic market and relationships with customers, he said, adding that no decision has been taken yet on the partner. read more

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The Associated Press: Shell Subsidiary Agrees to Settle Charges

The Associated Press: Shell Subsidiary Agrees to Settle Charges: “WASHINGTON – Federal commodity-trading regulators on Wednesday announced that a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty to settle charges of making “fictitious” trades of crude oil futures contracts.”: Jan. 4, 2006
By BRAD FOSS AP Business Writer
C 2006 The Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Federal commodity-trading regulators on Wednesday announced that a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to pay a $200,000 penalty to settle charges of making “fictitious” trades of crude oil futures contracts.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Shell International Trading and Shipping Co. of London engaged in prearranged “noncompetitive” trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange with a U.S.-based Shell subsidiary, Shell Trading US Co., on five occasions between November 2003 and March 2004.
“In each instance, the traders prearranged the trade by agreeing on the quantity and the settlement month, and agreeing to take the opposite positions of the trade. There was no prearrangement as to price,” the CFTC said in an order detailing the case against Shell.
The head trader at Shell Trading, Nigel Catterall of Sugarland, Texas, will pay an additional $100,000 to settle the charges. Catterall was involved in three of the five instances of alleged abuses, the CFTC said.
As part of its agreement to pay the fines, Shell neither admitted nor denied the CFTC's findings. Shell spokeswoman Darci Sinclair said in an e-mail that “we are pleased that this matter has been brought to a close.”
Stephen Obie, a staff attorney at the CFTC's New York office, said that while the trades were agreed to before Nymex opened, and without a prearranged price, the transactions may very well have influenced the market.
“It's done at the market price and this has the potential to affect the fairness and integrity of the market,” he said.
Obie would not provide a possible motive, describe the size of the trades, nor reveal the name of the brokerage that executed them. 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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