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Posts on ‘January 25th, 2006’

Business Times: Companies can find oil, but at a cost: Shell CEO

Business Times (Malaysia)
LONDON, Wed: World energy companies have plenty of remaining sources to tap for oil, natural gas and other fuels, yet tapping them will take big investments, Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc said today.
Writing in the Financial Times, van der Veer cited an International Energy Agency estimate that meeting global needs would take a US$17 trillion (US$1 = RM3.75) investment by 2030.
Companies are seeking to draw more oil out of existing reservoirs, the executive said. They will be drilling for natural gas, and trying to unlock more oil and gas from sand and shale, van der Veer said.
Coal gasification and other techniques can be used if problems of carbon dioxide emissions are minimised, the Shell official said.
The high levels of investment needed over the next few decades make government suggestions of levying windfall taxes “counterproductive” he said. – Bloomberg read more

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Canadian Press: Shell Canada posts $2 billion in profits for 2005

CALGARY — A lucrative earnings-report season for the Canadian oilpatch began Wednesday as Shell Canada Ltd. posted record annual profits of $2.01 billion, up 56 per cent over 2004 due to record energy prices and strong production growth in the oilsands.
Shell said it earned $614 million or 74 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2005 — more than triple the $182 million, or 22 cents per share, it earned in the same period of 2004.
Chief executive Clive Mather said breaking through the $2-billion barrier in annual profits was a “tremendous achievement.''
The year's cash flow from operations was $3.06 billion, a boost of more than 40 per cent from the previous year.
The company's revenues soared by nearly $1 billion in the fourth quarter alone to $4.04 billion. Full year revenues were $14.4 billion, compared with $11.3 billion in 2004.
Shell Canada, 78 per cent owned by British-Dutch multinational Royal Dutch/Shell Group, is one of Canada's major integrated oil companies with 4,000 employees in oilsands operations near Fort McMurray, Alta., natural gas production in Western Canada and off the East Coast, refineries and a chain of gasoline stations.
“We've got a full slate of projects right across the board,'' Mather said in an interview.
Last November, Shell announced plans to boost capital spending in 2006 by 60 per cent to $2.7 billion in order to develop its oilsands and natural gas operations.
And it expects to spend upwards of $17 billion over the next five years — with the lion's share going to oilsands expansions.
While record oil and natural gas prices were key to 2005's record profits, the company also set production records at its Athabasca oilsands mine and upgrader, in which it owns a 60 per cent operating stake.
For the full year, the Athabasca project averaged 159,900 daily barrels of bitumen, nearly 5,000 barrels above its design capacity. Fourth-quarter production was even higher at 178,000 barrels per day and the company's Scotford upgrader on the outskirts of Edmonton also achieved production records.
Energy analyst Wilf Gobert with Peters & Co. in Calgary said the extra oilsands production enabled Shell to post better than expected results.
Gobert said he expects the company to use the extra cash to continue expanding its heavy oil production.
“They've got a pretty ambitious plan for the expansion of oilsands production.''
Last year, Shell announced that its first major expansion at Athabasca would cost about $7.3 billion, nearly twice as much as initially expected. Mather said Wednesday that the company will make a decision on whether to go ahead with the expansion later this year.
The expansion would provide an extra 100,000 barrels per day of production, along with intentional “over-building'' of infrastructure to make further expansions cheaper and easier.
Shell's partners in Athabasca are Chevron Canada and Western Oil Sands (TSX:WTO), each holding 20 per cent.
Mather said Shell is interested in boosting its oilsands presence further.
“Of course we'd love to have more oilsands exposure if we could get it, but at a price that offers value, and therein lies the challenge.''
One of the only declining businesses for Shell was its downstream oil products division, which reported annual earnings of $438 million, down from 2004's record earnings of $451 million.
Strong refining margins and improved light oil yields were offset by lower refinery utilization and higher expenses.
Although the North American gasoline market was marked by hurricane-induced supply disruptions and fuel price volatility last fall, Shell said it was “able to maintain a reliable supply to customers at competitive prices throughout.''
Shell Canada shares declined 93 cents, or two per cent, to $44.32 during the down day for energy issues on the Toronto Stock Exchange. 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.

Financial Times: Mudlark: Traynor finds voice at Shell

JJ Traynor is completing his transformation from poacher to gamekeeper, writes Clay Harris. The former top-ranking oil and gas analyst at Deutsche Bank is to become the new head of investor relations at Royal Dutch Shell, one of the companies he used to test, occasionally torment, with searching questions.
Traynor joined Shell’s new business development group last year after Deutsche Bank dispensed with his services as part of the closure of its Edinburgh office. His new job is part of a crew change at Shell.
He replaces David Lawrence, who is moving from investor relations to become head of exploration, a more logical choice than it might sound since he is a geologist with long experience in exploration and development.
Lawrence, for his part, succeeds Matthias Bichsell, who takes over as head of exploration and production technical when John Darley retires in May. read more

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Accountancy Age: Shell fiasco haunts Boynton

On the frontline: lawsuit over reserves error could delay comeback for Judy Boynton
Paul Grant
Around this time last year, we posed the question of whether executives tarnished by corporate scandal, such as former Shell CFO Judy Boynton, would be able to shrug off the problems of the past and reclaim another top job.
Twelve months on and the answer, for Boynton at least, seems to be a resounding ‘no’.
Not only has Boynton disappeared from the corporate radar, but the problems of the past have come back to haunt her in the form of a lawsuit.
A group of 26 Dutch pension funds – led by £11.5bn civil servant fund ABP – is suing Shell, Boynton, four other Shell directors and joint auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG over the oil reserves scandal that cost Boynton her job.
APB’s claim is worth $150m (£84.9m), but the total value adding in the other claims could run much higher.
The pension funds argue that, because reserve levels were allegedly reported falsely, it paid inflated prices for Shell stock. Boynton, as the person responsible for preparing financial statements and internal controls, falsely certified Shell’s annual report and SEC filing the funds’ claim.
Should anything come of the action, the £1.5m severance package that Boynton walked off with, to much outrage from spectators, could suddenly seem like a drop in the ocean.
It is nearly two years since Boynton was forced to step down from her role at Shell after the Anglo/Dutch group was found to have overstated its proven oil and gas reserves by 20%.
An independent report into the scandal at the time found that the compliance role of the finance function ‘was not effective’ on the reserves, and although Boynton was responsible for ensuring that financial disclosures to the market and regulators were correct, she took ‘virtually no action’ to check the facts behind the figures.
Instead, she relied on Shell’s existing ‘checks and balances’, and was ‘reassured’ that its exploration and production department was ‘focused on issues’. This was not enough to safeguard her job. Boynton swiftly left Shell, £1.5m in pocket, and has yet to resurface.
Boynton had been the first female to join Shell’s board. Previously she had served as chief financial officer and executive vice-president of business development for camera group Polaroid in Massachusetts. Before that she had served at another oil group, Amoco, in a variety of finance, strategy and M &A roles in its upstream, downstream and chemicals businesses.
Now her exile from the public limelight, whether self-imposed or otherwise, looks like it will have to come to an end in order to fight this litigation. And while a court case could be very damaging for the former director, it may well provide the opportunity for her to put her side of the story forward and help restore some of the shine to her once brilliant reputation. read more

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Reuters: Shell Canada profit triples on surging oil prices

Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:21 PM ET
CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Shell Canada Ltd.'s (SHC.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) fourth-quarter profit more than tripled as the country's No. 3 oil producer and refiner benefited from surging oil and gas prices as well as rich refining returns, it said on Wednesday.
Shell Canada, which is majority-owned by oil major Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research), earned C$614 million ($534 million), or 74 Canadian cents a share, up from year-earlier C$182 million, or 22 Canadian cents a share.
The company is the first among major Canadian energy firms to report results for a fourth-quarter widely expected to set records due to unprecedented commodity prices.
Cash flow, a glimpse into an oil company's ability to fund development, more than doubled to C$930 million from C$437 million. Revenues were C$4 billion, up from C$3.1 billion.
Shell, best known for its national gas station chain, said earnings were also driven by sharply higher volumes at its northern Alberta oil sands project.
Oil sands production in the quarter averaged 106,800 barrels a day net to Shell's 60 percent interest, up from year-earlier 65,900, when half the plant was down for repairs, it said.
Full-year profit rose to a company-record C$2 billion, or C$2.44 a share, up 50 percent from C$1.2 billion, or C$1.56 a share, in 2004.
Shell Canada shares were off 60 Canadian cents at C$44.65 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Royal Dutch Shell owns 78 percent of its Canadian affiliate.
Early this year, in response to rampant market rumors, Shell Canada said it had no knowledge of a plan by its parent to buy out the minority stake.
($1=$1.15 Canadian) read more

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Urgent appeal to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Investors by U.S. Pirg Shell campaign regarding arctic national wildlife refuge

By Zack Brown
For the past seven years, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund has led a broad coalition of environmental groups, financial organizations, investors, religious groups, students, activists and citizens in a campaign targeting oil companies that have expressed interest in drilling in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The campaign has made progress with BP and ConocoPhillips, who have stopped lobbying in support of drilling in the Arctic Refuge, and have stated that drilling in the area is not a priority.
Our campaign continues to push Chevron and ExxonMobil on the Arctic, but in 2006 most of our attention will focus on Royal Dutch Shell. In March of 2005, Royal Dutch Shell bid $44 million for rights to explore for oil off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. With the acquisition of these leases, Royal Dutch Shell is now part of the contentious and controversial debate regarding the future of America’s Arctic.
Our organizations have repeatedly urged oil companies operating in Alaska to stay out of the Arctic Refuge and have often filed shareholder resolutions as part of this effort. We are currently working with concerned shareholders on the filing of a shareholder resolution for the Royal Dutch Shell 2006 annual meeting.
Our goal is to engage shareholders to call on Royal Dutch Shell to prepare a report on the negative impacts drilling in the Arctic Refuge would have on the environment, human rights of the Gwich’in and Inupiat peoples, and the company’s reputation. We believe that drilling in the Refuge would negatively affect the human rights of the Gwich’in and Inupiat peoples; cause irreparable harm to migratory birds, musk oxen, polar bears and the 130,000 member caribou herd; and negatively affect the company’s reputation for years to come.
As a part of our effort, we are building a large pool of individual Royal Dutch Shell common stock investors. If you, or anyone you know owns Royal Dutch Shell common stock (RDS-A or RDS-B) please contact Zack Brown at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund prior to February 22nd at [email protected]
Zack Brown
Arctic Wilderness Associate
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
218 D Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
202-546-9707 – 202-546-2461 fax read more

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AllAfrica.com: Oil Production in Danger, Shell Warns

Daily Champion (Lagos)
By Ebere Nwoji, Vincent Adekoye and Napoleon Ehiremen
Lagos/Benin/Warri
SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has alerted that the oil status of the country could be severely affected by the resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta region.
The company raised this alarm just as the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC) yesterday said they are ready to negotiate the release of the four expatriate oil workers kidnapped by militant youths at SPDC facility two weeks ago.
The communities said this was in accordance with the mandate given to them by President Obasanjo to secure the release of the kidnapped oil workers.
Skirmishes in the region recently assumed frightening dimension. Penultimate Sunday about 14 people were feared killed when armed militants attacked SPDC's Benisede flow-station, burnt down two staff lodgings and damaged processing facilities.
SPDC acting External Relations Manager, Chief Charles Akeni, however, said that the raging crisis in the region is threatening the operations of the company on daily basis, thereby diverting its attention from other commitments that would have improved the nation's oil production capacity.
Akeni stated this while delivering a lecture on the operations of the company and problems confronting it, at a workshop organised for journalists in Asaba and Benin, Delta and Edo states respectively.
He identified some of the threats to include bunkering, (crude oil theft) pipeline vandalization which he said has assumed a fearful dimension of recent, threat by the Ijaw National Youth Congress and other militant groups across the country which often comes in form of invasion of flow stations, lock-outs, vehicles seizures, disruption of oil operations, hostage taking and kidnapping.
Others are arms build up in the Niger Delta and Supreme Court decision on the controversial resource control matter.
Chief Akeni observed that while other oil producing nations of the World are busy carrying out research on how they could improve their oil production, Nigeria is busy negotiating release of innocent oil workers abducted by some unknown militant youths on their work place.
While calling on stakeholders to appreciate the gestures of the SPDC which he said has taken the issue of the community relations seriously than any other oil producing company in the country, he disclosed that Shell has set up a functional department that is headed by a senior manager, to review the local content policy of the company with a view to making it more virile if need be. According to him, this will address some of the agitations relating to issues of employment and award of contracts to indigenous contractors.
He reiterated the policy of the company in support of the extractive transparency in the revenue generated by the extractive industries and called on the federal government to implement same to the letter.
On January 11, four expatriate workers of Tidex Drilling Company Limited, a corporate contractor to SPDC were kidnapped and their captors had earlier ruled out their immediate release despite pressure from government.
But in a statement signed by Hon. Bello Oboko, and Chief Government Ekpemupolo, president and director of mobilization respectively, it was stated that President Obasanjo had mandated them to negotiate and secure the release of the oil workers.
According to the statement, “Following increasing pressures from presidency officials and a direct instruction of Mr. President, in a telephone conversation relayed on January 18, 2006 mandating FNDIC to act as chief negotiators, we (FNDIC) obliged to accept the weighty responsibility”.
It stated that their readiness to take up the task was because of the gravity of the consequence a government action against the Ijaw nation could be, and being a representative of the people, swift action to resolving the issue would be to the advantage of the Ijaw nation.
The FNDIC commended President Obasanjo for his wise decision in which a peace committee led by Governor Good- Luck Jonathan of Bayelsa State is already in place.
It however appealed to the Ijaw people to eschew violence as only peaceful environment can bring about development and growth urging all parties to the crisis to cease-fire.
However, in an effort to boost supply and ease distribution of petroleum products in the Niger Delta, President Obasanjo has approved the establishment of six depots in the region.
In a related development, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Mechanised Division, Ibadan, Maj. Gen. Nuhu Bamali, has commended the activities of men of the Niger-Delta Force codenamed “Operation Restore Hope” deployed by the Federal Government to counter the resurgent militia attacks on oil workers, installations and search for the kidnapped foreign oil workers in the region.
He said that the action of the military as at now is satisfactory and in line with the new call for professionalism rather than the use of excessive force.
The GOC who spoke in the office of the Edo State governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion in Benin yesterday during his three-day visit to military formations in the state said though the soldiers involved have been trained to adapt to the new development in the region and adopt dialogue in their dealings with the restive youths, the Federal Government's position on the development would be respected by the Niger-Delta Force with utmost display of professionalism.
Bamali disclosed that military authorities had done a lot in ensuring that peace and orderliness are maintained in the region, knowing the importance of the region as the oil belt of the nation, and that the renewed efforts of professionalising the activities of the Force was geared towards it.
Earlier in his speech, the governor expressed satisfaction with the relationship existing between the state government and 4th Mechanised brigade in the area of warding off cases of violent crimes in the past in the state and said that though many persons may be trying to advocate for the return of the military in governance.
Meanwhile, President of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Adams Oshiomhole has called for the release of the four oil workers held hostage by some groups in the Niger Delta since January 11.
Oshiomhole, in a statement yesterday said that the NLC remains firm in its belief that there were compelling local concerns in the Niger Delta which require urgent political and constitutional solutions.
He however said that oil workers, whether Nigerians or expatriates were not in any way responsible for that state of affairs, while their abduction will not solve the problem.
According to him, the NLC is opposed to violence and hostage-taking as means to pursue grievances no matter how justified they may be. 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.

ShellNews.net: ECCR seeks Shell shareholder support for shareholder resolution

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility intends to bring a shareholder resolution to Royal Dutch Shell plc’s 2006 AGM.

ECCR believes that Shell’s impacts on `frontline’ communities and the environment in County Mayo, Ireland, the Niger Delta, and at Sakhalin II in Russia merit urgent attention.

The resolution calls for a major improvement in Shell’s performance in terms of community and stakeholder consultation, risk analysis, and social and environmental impact analysis. read more

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RTE News: Shell delegation in Co Mayo for pipeline talks

25 January 2006 15:28
A four-man delegation from the Royal Dutch Shell Company is in Co Mayo for discussions on the controversial €900 million Corrib Gas Project.
The four non-executive directors include the former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, the chairman of the company's Social Responsibility Committee, which travels to locations where Shell projects are the subject of local controversy or opposition.
The delegation met the Chairman of Mayo County Council, Henry Kenny, and seven local councillors behind closed doors in Belmullet this morning.
They are hoping to meet local residents and landowners not opposed to the pipeline in the afternoon.
It is understood that the Shell to Sea campaign group, which is opposed to the building of a high pressure gas pipeline from the Corrib field, has declined an invitation to meet the Shell board members.
The group said it decided not to meet the delegation as formal mediation talks had not yet got under way with Shell and any meeting today would be premature.
A spokesman for Shell said the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to get a deep understanding of local attitudes to the project and would be reporting back to the company.
He stressed that, as non-executive directors, the men had no decision making function, but would be outlining the views of all of those they met in Belmullet today.
The delegation will travel to Dublin tomorrow where it hopes to meet Mayo TDs in Leinster House. 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.

ShellNews.net: Global Floodgates Open on Shell Reserves Fraud Class Action

By Alfred Donovan

On Friday 20 January, we exclusively broke the news that the global floodgates are now open for qualifying non-US Shell shareholders to join a US class action lawsuit which has already been given permission to go ahead by a US District Chief Judge.

The Judge has ruled that Shell has a case to answer for alleged securities fraud and has decided that for the first time in US legal history, non-US shareholders can join a US class action. The lead plaintiffs are the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System. The class action seeks to recover damages on behalf of all investors worldwide, no matter where they bought shares. 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.

TMC.net: $2m being spent by Shell on security measures including staff training following 34 robberies last year

(IRN News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
TMC.Net USA: Shell is taking extra security measures at its service stations around the country after 34 robberies last year.
Spokesman Mark Forsyth says more than $2 million is being spent on a staff safety training programme and equipment such as digital cameras and monitored alarms.
He says intelligent safes are being installed which not only reduce the amount of cash staff have access to on site, but also scan every note handed over the counter to detect forgeries. 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.

Tax-News.com: Shell Succeeds In Appealing Venezuelan Tax Bill

By Mike Godfrey,
Washington 25 January 2006
After an appeal, Shell's retroactive tax bill in Venezuela for 2001-2004 has been cut to US$13m from US$130m. 22 companies had been assessed with more than US$650m in back taxes in total.
The government said that the companies had failed to comply with the terms of a 2001 law which imposed 16.6% royalties and 50% income tax on oil producers.
In mid-August, the authorities briefly shut down Shell's offices for 48 hours. Shell entered a new commercial agreement with state-owned Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, last month, but it is not clear whether this has helped the company to obtain better treatment from the government.
It remains to be seen whether other companies are successful in appealing their assessments. Repsol, Petrobras, Japanese group Teikoku, and China National Petroleum Corp have signed similar agreements with PDVSA.
Last week, the head of Venezuela's tax agency revealed that foreign oil companies had so far paid $125.6 million in back taxes. last year as a result of the country's widespread audit of overseas firms operating in the nation's oil industry.
Earlier in the mon th, the agency said it was considering widening its audit of the oil companies to cover years back as far as 1993.
Before Hugo Chavez took power in Venezuela, the government offered tax incentives to oil firms in order to encourage investment at a period when oil prices were relatively low. These policies have been sharply reversed under the new regime.
However, the government of President Hugo Chavez has begun to roll back these liberal policies and force foreign companies into joint ventures with the nationalised Petroleos de Venezuela.
. read more

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Geelong Advertiser: Shell refinery cops a bucketing

SIMEON BENNETT
RESIDENTS living near the Shell refinery armed themselves with buckets yesterday in an effort to get the oil giant to reduce its emissions.
The buckets contained a cheap air-sampling device which, the residents said, they would use to prove the air around the plant was unclean.
Yesterday they were testing the buckets outside the refinery with the help of American activist Denny Larsen.
Mr Larsen described the buckets as a “mechanical lung'' that was cheap and easy to use.
“The idea is to train the residents to catch that pollution and actually have data to back up their complaints,'' he said.
“Right now we've got residents breathing toxic gas, they have no idea what they're breathing, they're getting sick and nobody's doing anything about making Shell clean that stuff up,'' he said.
The residents belong to the Geelong Community for Good Life group, which today will launch a “bucket brigade'' to monitor air quality around the refinery.
Corio resident Bill Aitken said he had lived in the area for 35 years and hoped the buckets would help prompt local and state governments to do something about pollution in Geelong's northern suburbs.
Shell yesterday defended its environmental record, saying it consistently met standards set for it by the Environmental Protection Authority. 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.

New Straits Times: Eco-camp to help locals earn a living

Joniston Bangkuai
New Straits Times (Malaysia):
KINABATANGAN, Tues. – Young residents of Kampung Batu Puteh here can look forward to a sustained income through an eco-camp project.
The eco-camp, located within the rich flora and fauna valley of the Lower Kinabatangan, will provide local and foreign tourists a place to stay in the forest. Its focus is on nature education, ecotourism and research.
Construction on the Tungog Rainforest Eco-Camp (TREC) began last year and is expected to be completed soon.
It is funded by Shell Malaysia and implemented in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia, Raleigh International and a co-operative set up by the Batu Puteh youths, Koperasi Pelancongan (Kopel).
“It is like a dream come true for the youths involved in the project,” Kopel chairman Mohd Hashim Abdul Hamid said.
Nestled next to an ox-bow lake, the eco-camp, designed to accommodate up to 30 guests at any one time, will be managed by Kopel as a source of income for its members.
It forms part of the wider sustainable tourism project initiated by WWF-Malaysia, known as “Model Ecologically Sustainable Community Tourism” (Mescot).
Mescot has seen the Batu Puteh community getting involved in ecotourism activities such as homestays, cottage industries and boat and guide services since 1997.
Hashim, the project's prime mover, sees a brighter future for the many unemployed youths of Batu Puteh once the camp and its ancillary infrastructures are completed.
Shell Malaysia gave Kopel a seed grant of RM220,000 when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the project in February 2002 with WWF-Malaysia and Raleigh International, a UK-based charity.
Following months of planning and securing the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, construction finally began some two months ago.
Designed jointly by local youths, the eco-camp was planned to minimise its effect on the surrounding forests through all aspects of its design, construction and operation.
No trees are being felled for the construction of the eco-camp; the buildings are scattered amid the existing vegetation onsite. Other basic eco-design principles include minimising energy and water usage.
No chemicals are used on site and all waste is removed, while construction materials are natural products sourced from the villages.
Expected to be a hit among local students and foreign eco-tourists, the eco-camp makes full use of the rich forest environment to enhance the visitors' experience.
Hashim said the eco-camp is designed as a platform to test the latest eco-technology such as solar power, composting toilets and alternative energy supplies.
Shell Malaysia chairman Datuk Jon Chadwick said the project was in harmony with the company's core value of helping people build a better world for themselves on a sustainable basis.
“We are further motivated because of the obvious benefits the project can bring to the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife of the Kinabatangan flood plain,” Chadwick said.
WWF-Malaysia chairman Tengku Zainal Adlin said the eco-camp would enhance the attractiveness of ecotourism in the Lower Kinabatangan area.
What inspired Shell Malaysia, WWF-Malaysia and Raleigh International to support the effort was the whole-hearted involvement of the Batu Puteh community throughout the Mescot initiative.
“The eco-camp is not only an avenue for employment but is tied closely to the ongoing community based ecotourism activities of the area,” said Raleigh International country director for Malaysia Rory Hall.
The project is showing the way for multi-stakeholder approaches on conservation and economic development. 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.

Lloyds List: Shell remains the world's leading tanker charterer

Oil firm wins 'the double' yet again, writes Tony Gray
Shell comfortably retained the title of the world's leading charterer of spot clean tankers in 2005, according to figures released by New York shipbroker Poten ' Partners.
As a result, the oil major has again won 'the double,' being also last year's largest charterer in the dirty tanker trades.
Shell was responsible for 409 reported spot fixtures, an 8.4% slice of the market.
UK oil major BP was a distant runner up, retaining second place with 276 fixtures and a 5.7% share.
Oil trader Vitol, a growing force in the dirty tanker market, was once again in third position with 256 fixtures and a 5.3% share.
Although the charterers holding the gold, silver and bronze medals remained unchanged, Poten ' Partners' statistics show some interesting movement in the next seven positions in the top 10.
Citgo moved up to fourth from seventh position, and Glencore from the ninth to sixth spot.
The biggest 'loser' was Chevron, which dropped from fourth to eighth position.
The shipbroker's league table shows one newcomer, commodity trader Trafigura, in at number nine.
Poten ' Partners notes that the cumulative activity of the top 10 charterers accounted for 39% of all fixtures.
Of last year's 5,135 aframax spot fixtures, less than 10% (418) involved clean tonnage. Shell and Vitol in that order were by far the largest charterers, while the top 10 collectively produced 46% of aframax clean spot fixtures.
Of the 418 fixtures, 64%, or 268, involved cargoes from the Middle East Gulf. In 2005, Poten ' Partners lists 1,487 panamax spot fixtures, of which 549 were in the clean market.
In this segment, Shell and Vitol swapped positions, with the oil trader leading the way at 43 fixtures. The 10 leading charterers booked 43% of all panamax clean spot fixtures during 2005.
Of the total 549 fixtures, 298, or 54%, were for Middle East Gulf liftings. Last year produced 3,028 spot handymax fixtures, of which 2,661 were clean. Shell led the way with 238 fixtures, followed by BP with 153, and Citgo with 149 fixtures.
In this category, the top 10 charterers also accounted for 43% of all fixtures.
Poten ' partners comments: 'The US dominates handymax employment with 432 fixtures between the UK'Continent and the US, and 414 fixtures between the Caribbean and the US, accounting for nearly a third of all fixtures.'
Meanwhile, there were 1,087 clean spot fixtures involving small product carriers, with Shell and BP out in front.
Overall, Poten ' Partners points out that the total number of clean spot fixtures in 2005 increased by a relatively small number about 70 fixtures.
'Looking ahead in 2006, the number of fixtures is expected to be well above 2005 levels as refining capacity in the US remains at full capacity, requiring increased imports to meet incremental demand,' the broker concludes.
'Moreover, continued growth in clean products demand in India and China will account for more cargoes, although future expansion of refinery capacity may eventually have an impact on the product supply' demand balance.' 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 Times: Shell to seek Mayo views on gas project

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Former Dutch prime minister Wim Kok is among a high-level delegation from Royal Dutch Shell's board which is canvassing local opinion in north Mayo today on the 900 million Corrib gas project.
The delegation, representing Royal Dutch Shell's social responsibility committee, will also meet western TDs in the Dail tomorrow during its two-day visit to Ireland.
Travelling with Mr Kok are Nina Henderson, former president with US food company Bestfoods, and Maarten van den Bergh, a managing director with Shell, chairman of the board of directors of Lloyds TSB group and non-executive director of BT group and British Airways plc.
In a related development, the final report by Advantica consultants on the safety of the project's high-pressure onshore pipeline has been given to Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey, but the Minister has deferred plans to publish it until he receives advice on its recommendations. 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 Times: Shell to seek Mayo views on gas project

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Former Dutch prime minister Wim Kok is among a high-level delegation from Royal Dutch Shell's board which is canvassing local opinion in north Mayo today on the 900 million Corrib gas project.
The delegation, representing Royal Dutch Shell's social responsibility committee, will also meet western TDs in the Dail tomorrow during its two-day visit to Ireland.
Travelling with Mr Kok are Nina Henderson, former president with US food company Bestfoods, and Maarten van den Bergh, a managing director with Shell, chairman of the board of directors of Lloyds TSB group and non-executive director of BT group and British Airways plc.
In a related development, the final report by Advantica consultants on the safety of the project's high-pressure onshore pipeline has been given to Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey, but the Minister has deferred plans to publish it until he receives advice on its recommendations. 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 New York Times: Nine Killed in Nigeria Oil Company Attack

By REUTERS
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (Reuters) – Eight policemen and one civilian were killed on Tuesday when an armed gang in military fatigues attacked the offices of Italian oil company Agip in Nigeria and robbed a bank.
It was not clear if the attack in the southern city of Port Harcourt was by the same group which has kidnapped four foreign oil workers and crippled a tenth of Nigerian oil output during a month-long campaign of violence in the world's eighth largest exporter.
“An armed gang in military attire attacked the Agip offices,'' a security source said.
The group of 20 to 30 men, armed with AK-47 assault rifles, arrived at the company's compound in two speed boats, engaged police in a lengthy shootout and robbed a bank on the premises, he added.
A Reuters eyewitness who arrived at the scene shortly after the gunfight saw the corpses of eight police and one civilian being loaded into ambulances. Others were injured.
In Milan, the company confirmed the nine deaths and said in a statement that it had “temporarily evacuated staff and contractors from the area of the base affected by the incident and situation is currently under control.''
The raid on Agip, a unit of Italy's ENI, came at a time of heightened alert in Western multinationals in the Niger Delta, which pumps almost all of Nigeria's 2.4 million barrels a day.
Militants from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta have attacked two major oil pipelines and abducted four workers ago from a Royal Dutch Shell platform. Output is down by 221,000 barrels a day.
SECRET AGENTS
Nigerian secret agents detained two government officials suspected of helping the kidnappers on Monday, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the case.
Government officials have expressed confidence the hostage crisis would soon end as negotiations progress on a ransom payment with a person whom they believe to be a credible representative of the kidnappers.
However, the militants have said they are not in talks to release their American, British, Honduran and Bulgarian captives and denounced the negotiators as bounty hunters.
“The hostages are going nowhere!'' the group said in an email on Tuesday.
An Ijaw activist said the previously unknown movement contained two different groups: a politicised faction carrying out the attacks on oil installations and a more commercially minded gang holding the hostages.
With nine days since its last confirmed raid, the group has repeated threats to broaden its attacks on oil workers and installations across the delta. Dozens of people have already been killed in a campaign which helped pushed world oil prices to four-month highs last week.
Unions have threatened to withdraw workers from the restive region if the security situation deteriorates.
The militant group said it was preparing for an assault by the Nigerian army and had moved the four hostages deeper inside the delta's maze of mangrove swamps for their own safety.
It reiterated that it would keep the hostages until it wins the release of two high-profile Ijaw prisoners: militia chief Mujahid Dukubo-Asari and former Bayelsa state governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, impeached for money laundering last month.
It is also seeking $1.5 billion from Shell to be paid to delta villages in compensation for oil spills. 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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