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Posts on ‘February 6th, 2006’

Forbes/AFX News: Shell, Sonatrach sign MoU to jointly explore investments in Algeria

AFX News Limited
Shell, Sonatrach sign MoU to jointly explore investments in Algeria
LONDON (AFX) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Algerian state-owned energy group Sonatrach to jointly explore investment opportunities in Algeria and elsewhere.
Upstream development projects, including a possible asset swap, are among the key areas they will be looking at, Shell said in a statement.
They will also be studying potential alliances in the LNG and marketing and distribution businesses.
[email protected]
mbe/slm 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.

Business Week Online: S&P Cuts Royal Dutch Shell ADRs to Hold from Buy

Analyst Tina Vital says the company faces higher costs.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A ) : Cuts to 3 STARS (hold) from 4 STARS (buy)

Analyst: Tina Vital
Based on valuation, we are lowering our opinion on the American Depositary Receipts (ADS) of Royal Dutch Shell to hold. While the fourth quarter current cost of supplies (CCS) earnings rose by 3.4% to $5.4 billion, or $1.64 per ADS, it missed our estimate by 31 cents on increased costs and narrowed marketing and chemical margins. Hydrocarbon production fell 8.8% on Gulf storm losses; we expect growth of 2 to 3% in 2006 and 2007. We are reducing our 2006 operating earnings estimate per ADS by $2.06 to $6.00, and 2007's by $2.09 to $5.75. We are lowering our 12-month target by $3 to $70 per ADS, a discount to peers. 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.

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOM OF SPEECH: PR HYPE & SPIN VS. REALITY

By Alfred Donovan (All of the underlining below is mine…)

THE HYPE & SPIN

THE RIGHTS OF NOBEL LAUREATE *KEN SARO-WIWA TO FREELY HOLD AND AIR HIS VIEWS (ABOUT SHELL):
EXTRACTS FROM Shell.com website:

“We did, however, speak out both publicly and privately about human rights issues on a number of occasions. For instance, during the trial of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis, we publicly stated that the accused had a right to a fair legal process. Before the trial, we said Ken Saro-Wiwa had a right to freely hold and air his views.”

THE RIGHTS OF ALFRED DONOVAN TO EXPRESS HIS OPINIONS (ABOUT SHELL)
FROM SHELL INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY LIMITED LEGAL SUBMISSION TO THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION REGARDING THE WEBSITE OF ALFRED DONOVAN: 18 MAY 2005
“The Complainant and the Group it represents have been aware of the site since the beginning and whilst they would not endorse or agree with many of the comments made by the Respondent on the website, they have taken the view that the Respondent is entitled to express his opinions and to use the Internet as a medium for doing so.”
SHELL’S SUPPORT FOR THE UN UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (FROM THE SHELL DOCUMENT – BUSINESS AND HUMAN RIGHTS: A MANAGEMENT PRIMER: © Shell International Petroleum Company (SIPC) 1998)
“We have also lent our support to international declarations and standards that were developed to foster human rights, including the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights…”
3.12. So what does all this mean for Shell companies and the individuals within those companies?
The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

(The document republishes the entire text of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights or UDHR – reproduced in full on pages 27-31)
Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference
and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of
frontiers.”
2.1 What Are Human Rights?
The key document providing an answer to this question is the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR consists of a preamble
and thirty articles, which list both “civil and political rights” (such as the
right to a fair trial, freedom from torture, freedom of conscience

ENTRACTS FROM SHELL DOCUMENTS ENDS
THE REALITY i.e. WHAT SHELL MANAGEMENT DOES AS OPPOSED TO WHAT IT SAYS
EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies collectively obtained a HIGH COURT INJUNCTION and RESTRAINING ORDER against a former employee, Dr John Huong, a Malaysian who, driven by his conscience, blew the whistle on Shell management misdeeds including the fabrication of hydrocarbon reserves and health and safely issues which put Shell employee lives at risk. The sole purpose of the draconian litigation against this unemployed Malaysian, who was sidelined, humiliated and ultimately sacked for speaking the truth, was to prevent him exercising HIS RIGHTS to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression following his wrongful dismissal.
We also have evidence that Shell has succeeded in using the action against Dr Huong to frighten former Shell Malaysian employees from speaking out against the injustices heaped upon them by Shell. Several hundred of them, many elderly, sick, and dying, recently won a retirement funds case against Shell when a Judge ruled that Shell had acted “unlawfully” in making inappropriate deductions. Shell is however ruthlessly dragging out the case by appealing the judgment based on a legal loophole relating to time limits.
In June 2005 Shell had five Irishman – now known as the “Rossport Five”, jailed for 3 months for engaging in an entirely peaceful campaign against the Corrib pipeline project on entirely valid health and safety grounds. They were released after thousands of Irish people engaged in street protests in response to such oppressive behaviour by an arrogant multinational giant whose actions are dictated by a bungling management drunk on power and corrupted by greed.
This scandal ridden company has a reputation for incompetence, misjudgement and dishonesty (and as indicated above) blatant ruthlessness towards some Shell employees. Led by a CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, himself facing fraud allegations in the US courts, Shell has recently demonstrated breathtaking arrogance by indulging itself in a fleet of luxury jets. This is at a time when according to The Sunday Times, other multinationals are getting rid of their executive planes. It seems that the rights of some Shell employees – its ego driven bosses – are more important than others.
Thus the reality of Shell management actions is totally at odds with their Spin & Hype.
* Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged by the evil Nigerian military regime which was closely associated with Shell at that time. Sir Philip Watts is being sued in connection with allegations that while head of Shell in Nigeria he personally helped to create and arm a 1400 strong private spy force. Furthermore, Shell has admitted that an undercover agent working for them carried out operations in Nigeria. His cover story involved making a film in Nigeria called “Business as Usual: the Arrogance of Power”, during which he interviewed friends of Ken Saro-Wiwa. Shell’s spy, German-born Manfred Schlickenrieder, engaged in espionage missions involving deception, sabotage, betrayal and intelligence gathering. Schlickenrieder was known by the code name Camus and had worked for the German foreign intelligence service gathering information about terrorist groups, including the Red Army Faction.
How such activities are compatible with Shell’s supposed commitment to ethical trading, human rights and its STATEMENT OF GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES is beyond my comprehension. The right of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the most basic human right of all – the right to live – was taken away from him in the most terrible circumstances. We wonder if anyone at Shell management has a conscience about what happened to this courageous Nigerian who always insisted on peaceful campaigning against Shell's activities? His voice might have been useful in the Nigerian Delta these days. 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.

Louisiana Weekly: Shell back in downtown New Orleans after five months

February 6, 2006
(AP) – About 250 employees of Shell Exploration & Production Co. returned to the firm's downtown New Orleans offices Monday for the first time since Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29.
Another 750 Shell employees will be back at the One Shell Square building during the week of February 20. Shell employs about 1,400 people in southeastern Louisiana, with most of the rest working offshore.
After Katrina struck, Shell ran its southeastern Louisiana operation from temporary offices in Robert, La., and Houston, Tx.
“These individuals and their jobs represent important contributions to the emerging economic recovery and its community fabric,” said Frank Glaviano, Shell's vice president for production in the Americas region.
As part of its coming home celebration, Shell donated $500,000 to address housing needs for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel.
Shell is a major white-collar employer in the New Orleans area, which has suffered from a shift of many oil production offices in recent years to consolidated locations in Houston.
“New Orleans has steadily been returning to business,” said Kurt Weigle, executive director of the Downtown Development District. “But the Shell return to One Shell Square is an exclamation point for us.” 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:

Revenue Sharing Can Aid Our Energy Independence
February 6, 2006; Page A19
In regard to “Presidential Energy” by Ronald Bailey, editorial page, Feb. 2:
For almost 30 years I served in Congress and worked on the issue of offshore oil and gas revenue sharing. There, I saw firsthand the connection with the activities in my state of Louisiana and the ability to provide for a secure domestic energy supply. Little changed over those 30 years with the exception of a less reliable energy marketplace in the world, more dependency on foreign imports, and a less stable infrastructure in Louisiana to protect the production and delivery of our oil and gas supply.
Last week we heard the president's call for alternative energy sources. While we would all agree with him that alternative energy sources are a positive step, we should know that part of the path to achieving energy independence is also shoring up our domestic oil and gas supplies. Just last week, as Shell Oil Co. reopened its New Orleans headquarters in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it announced its support for sharing revenues from offshore production — revenues are to be re-directed to all coastal states, and it's expected others in the industry will join this important cause.
The U.S. Commission on Oceans has concluded that sharing revenues with producing states is a sound business solution for the nation. This is an unbiased, nonpartisan recommendation that all political leaders should follow.
Let's take up the president's challenge, but at the same time remember those states willing to shoulder the responsibility for keeping our nation moving until such time as we have alternative energy supplies.
John Breaux
Former U.S. Senator
State of Louisiana
New Orleans 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 Telgraph:

Hilton warns investors of tax bill
By Christopher Hope (Filed: 06/02/2006)
Hilton Group is risking the wrath of shareholders by warning that the £3.3 billion sale of its hotels to America's Hilton Hotels Corporation could leave them with a big income tax bill.
The company's prospectus discloses on page 8 that “it is possible that any return of cash to shareholders will be in a form that would be taxed as income, rather than capital, in the hands of shareholders”.
While no final decision has been taken, Hilton company secretary Mike Noble warned in a private letter to shareholder James Farquhar that “it will be impossible to satisfy all shareholders' wishes”.
He added: “This decision will consider the best interests of the company and the shareholders as a whole. Inevitably there are different implications for the various categories of shareholders.”
Dr Farquhar, who lives in Ayrshire, said: “I am shocked that Hilton is so indifferent to the interests of shareholders that it proposes to return what amounts to our own money in a manner which will result in 40pc being in tax.
“I can see no reason why Hilton has chosen to pay out our money in a manner which provides the maximum sum to Gordon Brown to squander on his pet projects. Does Hilton wish to cause the maximum disadvantage to the shareholders who have supported it over many years?”
A Hilton spokesman said: “The capital structure review is still on-going. We will be able to talk more on February 23 at our preliminary results.”
Private investor groups claim such a tax bill can be avoided by offering alternative B shares or loans notes which can spread the bill. However, City advisers complain that these can be costly to administer and take-up can be low.
The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers has already written to all FTSE 350 chairmen urging them to be mindful of tax bills arising from large transactions.
Angela Knight, chief executive, said: “It beggars belief we continue to have these things happen. The finger of blame has to be pointed at the advisers. Company chairmen are now aware of this problem.”
Alan Perryman, of the UK Shareholders Association, said the “most popular option” to mitigate capital gains tax was the strategy to issue B shares which could be redeemed at a specific time at the choice of the shareholder. 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: A guide to company results and meetings, and economic statistics

Bumper earnings are anticipated for BP's fourth-quarter results tomorrow on the back of high oil prices when investors will be looking to share in the bonanza through more share buybacks.
Analysts' consensus forecast for profit in the quarter ending December is $5.6billion (£3.2billion), up from $4.76billion a year earlier. Fourth quarter earnings will have been held back by charges of $1.3billion relating to its UK gas contracts and $400m from the restructuring of its European gas business.
Full-year cost of supply profits is expected to come in at $21billion to $22billion just behind Shell's $22.9billion last week which is a record for a UK listed company.
Both oil companies have undertaken large share buybacks in the last few years but BP's have been more generous despite lower earnings. Last year's figure is expected to come in at $12billion. 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.

Kuwait Times: Kuwait inks energy deal with Philippines

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec), Shell, and South China Resources (SCR) signed a contract with the Department of Energy in the Philippines for offshore oil and gas explorations in Northeastern Palawan, Kufpec announced yesterday.
Kufpec said the contract covered an area that exceeds one million hectares, 30 per cent of which is assigned for Kufpec, while 55 per cent is assigned for Shell, and 15 per cent for SCR.
The contract includes exploration and drilling three oil wells within the next seven years, noting that if oil or natural gas discoveries were made, the production contract will be extended for nearly 25 years.
The company noted that the Secretary of Energy Raphael Lotilla signed the contract on behalf of the Philippines, while Head of Operations Abdallah Baroon represented Kufpec.
The signing ceremony was attended by Kuwait Ambassador to the Philippines Bader Al-Houti, Director of Middle East and Australia Departments in the company Adel Al-Khayyat, in addition to officials from Shell and SCR. – Kuna 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.

Market Wire Incorporated: Delta Oil & Gas to Raise $2,000,000 in Private Placement at $4.40 per Share

Delta Oil and Gas, Inc. (OTC BB: DOIG) is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has authorized management to undertake an equity financing of $2,000,000 through a private placement of its securities to two investors. The equity financing is expected to be comprised of approximately 454,000 shares of restricted common stock at the price of $4.40 per share.
Management expects the equity financing to be completed within ten business days. The placement is designed to strengthen the Company's balance sheet and is expected to be used to finance the Company's upcoming capital expenditures including Delta's drilling in the Hillspring and Todd Creek areas in the Southern Alberta Foothills, the completion of the Company's potential Devonian gas well on its Strachan prospect and potential additional drilling in and around the Cache Slough prospect located in the Sacramento basin in California. The Company is also actively pursuing other exploration opportunities both in North America and overseas. A commission of 7.5% will be paid on the private placement.
The following are Delta's current projects:
Hillspring Prospects
Earlier this year, Delta Oil & Gas acquired a 10% working interest in 640 gross sections of land in the Hillspring area of Alberta. The operator of the Hillspring prospect has drilled 4 wells adjacent to the lands Delta has acquired. The operator is currently reviewing the data on these 4 wells along with additional seismic testing, and it is anticipated that a well will be drilled on Delta's land in 2006.
Todd Creek Prospect
Delta's Todd Creek Well located in 13-28-9-2W5 in the Southern Foothills area of Alberta, Canada, has been drilled, completed and classified as a new natural gas pool discovery. Log analysis shows that the well has intersected two gas formations with a combined net pay of over 80 feet. Preliminary natural gas reserve estimates for this well exceed 700 Million Cubic Feet of gas.
Construction of a new gas processing plant just south of this Todd Creek discovery has commenced, and Delta expects to tie its anticipated gas production into this gas plant by spring of 2006. The gas plant is initially capable of accommodating 10 million cubic feet of gas per day with significant expansion capabilities. While Delta will have no direct interest in the plant, the immediate access to market for its anticipated production from the area is of substantial benefit.
Strachan Prospect
Total depth of 13,650 feet has been reached on Delta's potential natural gas well in its recently acquired, highly prospective property in the Deep Basin along the edge of the Alberta foothills belt approximately 80 miles Northwest of Calgary Alberta. (“Strachan Prospect”). Preliminary results indicate the presence of a potential Devonian gas well. Casing has been inserted to total depth, and a full testing program is underway.
The original Strachan gas pool was discovered 35 years ago; however, in November 2004, Shell Oil announced a new Leduc Pool discovery at Ricinus with potential one trillion cubic feet gas reserves.
Cache Slough Prospect
Delta's Cache Slough Well, located near Sacramento, California, has been drilled, completed and classified as a significant new natural gas pool discovery. Review of the preliminary data indicates that the well tested at flow rates exceeding our expectations. Delta and partners have elected to tie-in the well to a nearby gas pipeline to accommodate the natural gas production. Despite a setback suffered as a result of recent heavy flooding in the area due to higher than average rainfalls, the pipeline is expected to be completed before the end of February 2006. Results are expected to be announced after the well has commenced commercial production. Future drilling plans with regards to the Cache Slough prospect will be announced in the first quarter of 2006.
About Delta Oil and Gas
Delta Oil and Gas is a growing exploration company focused on developing North American oil and natural gas reserves. The Company's current focus is on the exploration of its land portfolio comprised of working interests in highly prospective acreage in the Southern Alberta Foothills area, its interest in the Cache Slough Project in California and its newest interest in the Strachan Prospect. Delta Oil & Gas is seeking to expand its portfolio to include additional interests in Canada and the USA.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
DOUGLAS N. BOLEN, B.A., LL.B., President
Safe Harbor Statement
This news release includes statements about expected future events and/or results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to time frames, expectations for completion; the analysis of results and the intention to drill. Actual outcomes and the Company's results could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause results to differ materially include general factors that affect all companies that explore for oil and gas, such as the uncertainty of the requirements demanded by environmental agencies, the fact that oil and gas extraction and production is risky, the potential that no commercial quantities of gas are found or recoverable, the price of oil and gas, geological problems that prevent us from reaching drilling targets and specific risks such as the Company's ability to raise financing.
Distributed by Filing Services Canada and retransmitted by Market Wire
Contact Info: Andrew Hay 1.866.355.3644 Email Contact 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: BP looks to keep up with its smaller rival

By Maija Palmer
Published: February 6 2006 02:00 | Last updated: February 6 2006 02:00
MONDAY
*Autonomy will report its first figures since the £282m acquisition of much bigger US rival Verity. The turmoil of such a large acquisition will make numbers relatively meaningless and the focus will be getting a flavour of what the search software company plans to do with the 16,000 new customers it has acquired through Verity. The company trades on an extremely aggressive forward multiple of about 50 times and investors need reassurance their growth expectations are justified.
TUESDAY
*Amvescap, the London-listed fund manager, which is due to report its full-year results, will be under pressure to announce plans to stem flows of investors' money from its assets under management. The Anglo-US business, embroiled two years ago in a US scandal over mutual funds and which has been suffering fund outflows for about five years, is expected to reveal a new business strategy under its new management team. In his first set of annual results as chief executive, Marty Flanagan, who was appointed last year from Franklin Templeton fund managers, is likely to face questions about how he plans to invigorate the retail division of the business and increase investment performance. Consensus forecasts are for pre-tax profitof $251.2m (£141.1m) on revenues up from $1.16bn in 2004 to $1.19bn for 2005.
*Royal Dutch Shell's record highest corporate profit in the UK, set on Thursday, could prove short-lived. The deciding factor will be whether BP can beat Shell's $22.9bn profit of 2005 when it reveals its figures. Shell's bigger rival will not only have benefited from higher oil prices that hit a record $72.85 a barrel after Hurricane Katrina this summer but also from its exposure to US refining, which enjoyed stellar margins in 2005. The company is expected to have earnt $5.6bn (£3.2bn) to $5.8bn in the fourth quarter, up from $4.8bn in the last quarter of 2004 and from $5.3bn in the third quarter of 2005. The figures could have been better had BP last month not warned that it would have to take aone-off $1.3bn charge, largely because of new UK gas contract accounting rules. But big profit does not woo investors, especially if the gains have more to do with the impact of storms and geopolitics on oil prices than with the prowess of the company. Key for analysts will be how well BP did in increasing production and replacing the reserves it used up in 2005. Rising oil prices and increasingly aggressive governments of petrostates wanting a larger slice of the pie could have impacted BP's reserves last year, analysts said.
WEDNESDAY
*Those expecting further updates from BOC about Linde at the first-quarter results presentation are likely to be disappointed. Instead, the group will point to good trading in the core gases division driven by strong performance in the Americas and Asia that will offset weakness in the UK. But first-quarter earnings per share growth could be down due to the disposal of the Afrox Healthcare business last year. More positively, BOC Edwards, the semiconductor equipment supplier, should show some improvement. First-quarter sales are expected tobe about £950m, with virtually flat pre-tax profit of £127m.
*Reckitt Benckiser's full-year figures are unlikely to cause surprises, given the company's skill at keeping the market updated. In October, it said it was on track to increase net income by a percentage in the mid-teens in 2005, from a base of £563m, suggesting a figure close to £650m. Net income rose 16 per cent in the first nine months of the year. Interest is likely to centre on plans to extract benefits from the £1.93bn purchase of Boots' healthcare business, a deal that completed last Wednesday. Investors will also be looking for reassurance that higher input costs are not putting pressure on margins.
THURSDAY
*ICI should demonstrate that it has successfully passed on higher raw material costs to customers when it reports full-year results. The health of the petro-chemical sector and restructuring in paints should impact on underlying profit. But it will face further raw material price pressure this year, which could hit margins depending on customers' willingness to take further price rises. Also, observers will be expecting an update on the group's pension deficit and possible funding arrangements. Underlying profit should come in at about £440m, with earnings per share at about 26.5p.
THURSDAY
*When Unilever reports full-year results, it is likely to show an improvement in organic sales growth relative to the previous year. But analysts say growth has been spurred by price cuts. Analysts are still looking for Unilever to prove that it can compete not just with its branded competitors but also with retailers' own-label brands – which have stolen market share from branded companies by selling products at cheaper prices. Goldman forecasts full-year pre-tax profit of £3.25bn compared with £2.49bn in 2004 but only a marginal increase in sales to £26.8bn. 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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