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Posts on ‘March 11th, 2006’

IrishTrucker.com: Shell sued over pollution

27 February 2006
Irish Shell Ltd have had a court proceedings brought against them by Meath County Council, who are seeking damages of up to €5 million over a leakage at one of their filling stations adjacent to the council’s new offices in Trim.
Shell Ireland has admitted that the leakage of petrol and diesel was their fault and accepted responsibility for cleaning up the site after the incident in January 2001.
However, Meath County Council believes that the site has not been cleaned to a standard that was agreed upon by the concerned parties and have brought the case to court.
The Council has also brought the case against Patrick Kavanagh and Sons Ltd (Trim), who were leasing the site at the time of the incident, although they denied liability. 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.

Petroleum News: Lease sales attract broad interest

Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, North Slope areawide sales attract bids targeting a wide variety petroleum plays across northern Alaska
Alan Bailey
There’s nothing to beat high oil and gas prices to stimulate lease bidding. Add in the prospect of a North Slope gas line and you have the necessary ingredients for the State of Alaska’s March 1 humdinger Beaufort Sea and North Slope areawide lease sales. (See sales results in the March 5 edition of Petroleum News.)
Just a few days before the sales geologist Paul Decker from Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas spoke at the Pac Com conference in Anchorage about oil and gas plays in northern Alaska. Decker explained how the plays relate to three major rock sequences: the Mississippian through Triassic Ellesmerian sequence; the Jurassic to lower Cretaceous Beaufortian sequence (also known as the rift sequence); and the Cretaceous and Tertiary Brookian sequence. Each of these sequences contains a major petroleum system and supports a variety of existing oil fields.
After the lease sales Decker speculated with Petroleum News about the types of petroleum play that the lease purchasers might be targeting.
Chevron/Unocal highest total amount bid
Union Oil Company of California (now owned by Chevron) took a swath of 48 inland leases south of the Kuparuk River Unit. At $6.95 million Unocal achieved the highest total amount bid of any company at either of the lease sales.
The southern part of the Unocal lease area lies around the Heavenly 1, Malguk 1 and Amethyst wells, Decker said. A mid-Brookian deepwater sandstone, 800 to 900 feet thick, forms a prominent feature in these wells, he said. These sands correlate broadly to the reservoirs of the Tarn and Meltwater oil fields to the north, but are fine-grained with relatively low permeability and porosity. Oil and gas shows are common, although the fine-grained nature of the sandstone may be more appropriate to gas production.
The northern sector of the Unocal leases lies on the same general trend of mid-Brookian rock deposition, Decker said.
Eni Exploration
Eni Exploration Co. bid $5.62 million for a block of 11 tracts to the east of the northern part of the Unocal leases. Eni appeared to be consolidating its central North Slope lease position — the company purchased a nearby group of leases, south of the Kuparuk River unit, from Armstrong Alaska in 2005.
Like Unocal, Eni appears to be targeting Brookian plays, Decker said — the lower Cretaceous unconformity at the base of the Brookian sequence lies at a depth of around 10,000 feet in the area of the Eni leases. The nearby State Pipeline No. 1 well revealed some interesting Brookian Cretaceous sands, Decker said.
ConocoPhillips Alaska purchased three tracts to the west of the Unocal leases, near the Kuparuk Uplands Ekvik No. 1 well, and is probably also targeting Brookian plays. The notable thing about the Ekvik well is that it found especially good Brookian reservoir quality sands of Cretaceous age, Decker said.
ConocoPhillips’ other purchases in the North Slope areawide sale consisted of six tracts at the southwest corner of the Kuparuk River unit. To the southwest of these tracts Pioneer Natural Resource purchased a single tract just west of the Meltwater field and Cronus unit — Pioneer is drilling in the Cronus unit this winter.
Native corporation Arctic Slope Regional Corp. bid on a block of tracts in a trend between the Cronus unit and the Atlas 1 and 1A wells, southwest of the Kuparuk River unit. This trend may involve a Brookian deepwater sand play, akin to that targeted in the Atlas wells, Decker said. The regional corporation also bid on a second block of tracts that lies west of the recently added Palm drill site extension of the Kuparuk River field, in the area of the Placer No. 1 and Placer No. 2 wells.
AVCG LLC bid on a block of tracts to the northwest of the first block of ASRC tracts. The AVCG tracts lie in an area of complex lease ownership but appear to be close to AVCG’s Titania and Cronus prospects.
AVCG also bid on one tract that fills in a block of leases that the company holds in Gwydyr Bay, north of the Prudhoe Bay unit. In January Ken Thompson, the company’s managing director, told the Alaska Industry Support Alliance that Gwydyr Bay is a Kuparuk sands play, with some deeper horizons of interest.
Cross Island area
Offshore, in the Beaufort Sea sale, ConocoPhillips purchased acreage north of Point Thomson that Decker said seemed most prospective for Tertiary Brookian turbidites. The company also appeared to be consolidating its offshore position by its purchase of nine tracts in the Cross Island area of the Beaufort Sea — the company already owns some neighboring federal leases on the outer continental shelf.
The new leases in the Cross Island area lie on the edge of a high fault block on the north side of the Barrow Arch, the major geologic structure that underpins the petroleum geology of most of the producing oil fields around the central North Slope. Public seismic data suggests Beaufortian potential associated with faults along the north side of the faulted block in the Cross Island area, where the edge of the block inclines down towards a deeply sunken fault block known as the Dinkum Graben, Decker said.
“You’d be preserving the section at or just below the lower Cretaceous unconformity,” he said.
Play concepts in the area would be similar to the Niakuk and Point McIntyre fields, he said.
About 20 miles to the southeast of the Cross Island area, BP Exploration (Alaska) moved to consolidate its position around the Liberty field, a play involving the same Ellesmerian reservoir as the nearby Endicott field. The company bid more than $5 million for a tract off the northeast corner of Liberty and more than $130,000 for a tract on the southwestern edge of the field. However, the lease on the first of these tracts is now subject to a legal dispute involving the partnership of Craig and Zamarello, who also bid on that lease.
The Craig and Zamarello group appears to be the highest bidder on another tract offshore the Colville River Delta adjacent to Pioneer’s Oooguruk unit. And another partnership, Stepovich and Gilberston, took two tracts between the Colville River Kuparuk River units, to the south of the Craig and Zamarello lease.
Alaska newcomer Patterson Shaw, from Denver, Colo., bid on seven tracts adjacent to the Liberty field and extending east towards the Badami field. The geology of that area suggests interest in either an Ellesmerian Endicott play or a Badami-style Brookian play, Decker said.
Smith Bay
Decker sees some particularly interesting exploration possibilities in Smith Bay, where FEX has taken 25 tracts some 140 miles west of Prudhoe Bay.
“It’s a nice crestal position on the Barrow Arch, with shallow water and logistically connected to their onshore exploration program in NPR-A,” Decker said.
People have long known about four oil seeps on the coast at Cape Simpson, just west of Smith Bay. It’s a natural oil trap where Brookian topset sands come up against shale in an ancient incised canyon, Decker said. The oil from the Cape Simpson seeps likely originates from an “oil kitchen” to the north, in a lower Cretaceous source rock system known as the HRZ, he said.
“That would put this (Smith Bay) area squarely in between the kitchen and the seeps,” Decker said. “So you probably have a pretty good plumbing story to be able to charge this with nice light oil.”
In addition to a possible Brookian play, there are potential Ellesmerian plays below the lower Cretaceous unconformity (ancient erosion has probably scoured out the Beaufortian middle and upper Jurassic sands that are found in nearby onshore wells). The East Simpson No. 1 and No. 2 wells on the coast near Smith Bay found some interesting Sadlerochit and Endicott sands below the lower Cretaceous unconformity, Decker said.
Complements other positions
In addition to complementing the company’s land position south of Cape Simpson, FEX’s new lease position in Smith Bay could line up with a possible exploration fairway across the northern part of NPR-A to the company’s existing leases on the west side of Harrison Bay.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. bid on six tracts on the eastern edge of Smith Bay and may be pursuing the same Barrow Arch plays. Anadarko also appears to be consolidating its position around the Jacob’s Ladder trend on the east side of the state’s lease sale area, where the company bid on seven leases. Jacob’s Ladder has an Ellesmerian play, somewhat analogous to the Lisburne field in the central North Slope, involving oil reservoirs in fractured and eroded limestones of the Lisburne group.
In the southwestern corner of the North Slope lease sale area Anadarko bid on a single tract in the area of the Gubik gas field, near Umiat. Anadarko already has some oil and gas options on adjacent Arctic Slope Regional Corp. land, Decker said.
Arctic Falcon Exploration LLC, owner of some leases in the neighboring Umiat oil field, bid on another tract at Gubik.
Bidding group Cade and Donkel also bid for a tract at Gubik. And Cade and Donkel picked up a tract on another known gas accumulation at the Kemik well, to the east of the Haul Road. Additionally Cade and Donkel bid on a series of tracts near the northern end of the trans-Alaska pipeline, and in the Beaufort Sea near the area of the existing North Slope oil fields.
Another bidding group, Bachner, Forsgren and Feddersen, bid on a series of tracts that fill in the area between the Point Thomson unit and the Jacob’s Ladder trend at the northeast corner of the North Slope sale area. This group may be anticipating future developments at Point Thompson and Jacob’s Ladder.
Sun-West Oil and Gas Inc. bid on a single tract next to the shore on the east side of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The tract is in the area where the State of Alaska has proposed a stratigraphic test well and is adjacent to the Angun Point oil seep, Decker said. In the March 30 Mineral Management Beaufort Sea lease sale Shell took some leases several miles farther out on the Beaufort Sea continental shelf from the Sun-West lease. 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.

Petroleum News: Chevron goes big time in oil sands

Chevron Canada is taking the all-or-nothing route in the oil sands, setting the stage to become operator of five leases that it believes have 7.5 billion barrels of oil-in-place.
Covering 180,000 acres the leases have been assembled over recent months at a cost of less than C$70 million, rated a bargain basement price alongside some of the successful bids at Alberta government land sales over the past two years.
Maverick Land Consultants, acting for Chevron Canada, paid an average C$838 per hectare for three of the leases covering 16,128 hectares (39,852 acres) last August, a steal alongside the average C$3,684 paid at a February auction.
“One of the big advantages is the price of entry,” said James Bates, vice president of operations and asset development at the Canadian unit of Chevron.
But the price may also reflect Chevron Canada’s decision to push development farther west than any existing project.
If appraisal drilling, expected to start in next winter, confirms the quality and scope of the estimated resources, the company will have found a “very cheap way” of capturing the bitumen assets, Tristone Capital analyst Tom Ebbern told the Calgary Herald.
However, Chevron Canada said it had no part in a February land sale when a company registered as 1122131 Alberta forked over C$464 million for 10 leases west of existing oil sands operations and has yet to disclose its principals or its intentions.
Bates said the company has been looking for a chance to grow in the oil sands after taking a 20 percent stake in the Shell Canada-operated Athabasca project.
The company believed it could find good quality acreage at a government sale and is happy to have landed the acreage it did.
Cost may have been 1 cent per barrel
Depending on the results of drilling, Chevron Canada may have paid only 1 cent per barrel for its reserves, compared with the 75 cents per barrel paid last summer by France’s Total when it acquired Deer Creek Energy for C$1.67 billion and the current trading values of C$2 per barrel of oil sands start ups such as UTS Energy and Connacher Oil and Gas.
If the Ellis River project goes ahead, possibly on the scale of 100,000 barrels per day, it could involve Athabasca’s three existing partners — Shell Canada 60 percent, Chevron Canada and Western Oil Sands (20 percent each). They hold options on any new development, with Chevron Canada as 60 percent operator and the other two spitting the balance, but Shell Canada said it has yet to decide whether to join a new operation.
The new leases are 24 miles southwest of the Athabasca site, but are too deep to be exploited by the mining methods used at Athabasca.
Bates said the initial view is that Ellis River would be a candidate for steam-assisted gravity drainage technology, which injects steam to melt the bitumen, forcing it to the surface.
While conceding the challenges that lie ahead, Bates noted that parent company Chevron has acquired considerable expertise operating heavy-oil projects on a global scale, notably Indonesia’s 212,000 barrel per day Duri field, the world’s largest steam-flood project.
Chevron Canada President Alex Archila said the purchase of leases puts the company in an excellent position to “pursue in-situ oil sands development” by building on “our existing thermal and oil sands knowledge and capabilities.”
George Kirkland, Chevron’s executive vice president, upstream oil and gas, said the Alberta opportunity “expands our efforts to develop high-quality, large-scale resources to enhance our production growth profile.”
—Gary Park read more

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Petroleum News: Going for the glory: Shell excavating ‘well cellars’ in Beaufort in August; four ice vessels coming

Kay Cashman
Shell is planning to excavate “well cellars” on the floor of the Beaufort Sea outer continental shelf offshore Alaska this coming summer to get a jump on the 2007 drilling season, a state official told Petroleum News March 9.
Also known as glory holes in offshore situations, the purpose of the cellars is to protect well equipment, such as blowout preventers, from ice scouring, said Bill Hutmacher, industry preparedness manager for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
Four Shell officials and two representatives from ASRC Energy Services, under contract with Shell, were present at a March 9 meeting with Hutmacher, which was led by Kent Satterlee, Shell’s regulatory development manager, and Tommy Hutto, Shell’s emergency response coordinator.
Although the actual permitting will be handled by the U.S. Minerals Management Service which has jurisdiction over the OCS, the state will be making a consistency determination to be sure that Shell’s exploration and spill plans are “consistent with the laws and regulations of the state … under the Alaska Coastal Management Program,” Hutmacher said.
Open water drilling only, four ice vessels
Shell plans to drill only in open water seasons – “in the summer and shoulder season, fall, with 2006” excavations starting in August, he said.
The company has acquired one drillship, the Kullu (see part one of this article in PN’s March 5 issue), but Shell officials told him they will also need a second drilling vessel as back up for the Kullu, Hutmacher said.
“Exploration drilling will start in July 2007 through 2009. They said they would be bringing in a fleet of vessels for ice management, including two Russian ice breakers and two Finish anchor handling vessels,” he said.
Even though drilling will be primarily in open water, by fall new ice will start to form and chunks of pack ice are present all through the summer in the Beaufort.
Shell officials said most of their Beaufort OCS leases “off Prudhoe and Kaktovik” were in 100 feet of water.
They did not discuss the number or depth of the well cellars with Hutmacher, but a PN source said they would likely be 30 to 40 feet into the seafloor, protecting “wellheads and Christmas tree equipment from ice keels. …”
“First year ice, called fast ice, won’t hurt anything. Shore-fast ice forms in place. It’s attached to the coastline or large floes. But the permanent pack ice, which is multi-year ice, often sticks out at the bottom and the top. Those are called ice keels. When they drill a glory hole to protect well equipment from these keels, they stick a steel culvert in it to keep the hole from falling back on itself.”
Glory holes have been drilled in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas; they are also used in “Iceberg Alley” off Newfoundland
Development funding 2008-09
In its permit application to the North Slope Borough to do geotechnical shallow boring starting this month in state waters in the Point Thomson area, Shell referred to potential pipeline routes from its OCS Kaktovik prospect leases (formerly called Hammerhead prospect) to shore in the Point Thomson unit, saying the work was being done “in support of proposed preliminary development.”
Shell officials told Hutmacher a funding decision to develop Kaktovik, which needs further evaluation, was expected in 2008 or 2009.
Pleased with Shell’s efforts
Hutmacher said he was “very pleased” with Shell’s apparent commitment to environmental, cultural and safety concerns. “They seem absolutely … committed to safety, to using the best available technology, the best management practices, and they’re very committed to understanding and dealing with stakeholder concerns,” he said.
“They’ve committed to working with us (DEC), to putting a significant amount of time in pre-application meetings, which is very good,” Hutmacher said.
“They had just come back from Barrow to meet with stakeholders there. … They’ve met with Alaska Clean Seas, recognizing they may have to beef up ACS capabilities in open water. They’re looking at a number of different response techniques and oil spill prevention measures.”
And, he said, company officials were planning further meetings with the North Slope Borough and residents of North Slope communities such as Nuiqsut and Kaktovik.
Kaktovik, MMS sign MOU
On a separate, but related, front, the Native Village of Kaktovik and MMS said March 7 that they have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining how the federal and tribal governments will work together to ensure that the Inupiat Eskimo village is consulted whenever OCS activities may occur near the village or may potentially impact their traditional use of the area’s natural resources.
“MMS is aware how important subsistence is to the residents of Kaktovik and other villages on the North Slope,” said MMS Alaska Regional Director John Goll. “This agreement, developed jointly with the Native Village, ensures that the process used by MMS and NV Kaktovik in working together on OCS issues will be conducted in a culturally sensitive manner respectful of tribal sovereignty.”
Kaktovik residents will be notified early of any MMS activities that may have “a direct, substantial effect on the village” and tribal leaders will be consulted “throughout the decision-making process,” MMS said.
Most of Kaktovik’s 284 residents rely on a subsistence lifestyle that includes hunting caribou and bowhead whales. read more

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Interfax (Russia): Shell ready to provide price analysis for Sakhalin-2

MOSCOW. (Interfax) – Royal Dutch Shell, the main shareholder in the Sakhalin-2 project, will next week provide the Russian Industry Ministry with materials evaluating economic efficiency and a price analysis based on the forecast increase in project spending.
The ministry's PR center reported the news after Deputy Industry Minister Ivan Materov met with Shell Russia Chairman Chris Finlayson.
Sakhalin-2 funding issues were discussed at the meeting and it was decided that the project's supervisory council should meet. Materov proposed a meeting in Sakhalin in order to monitor the progress of the project. The meeting is due to be held at the end of March – beginning of April.
The upcoming meeting will cover liquefied natural gas sale contracts and assigning specialized port status to the terminal built within the Sakhalin-2 project. This is necessary to remove the border barriers companies face when exporting LNG.
me read more

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DemocracyNow.org: The Next Gulf: London, Washington & the Oil Conflict in Nigeria

In recent months, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta – MEND – has intensified its conflict with the Nigerian government and its largest commercial partner, the oil giant Shell. Government forces have bombarded villages and oil rigs in its attacks on MEND’s ethnic Ijaw rebels.
We speak with James Marriot, author of “The Next Gulf.” [includes rush transcript]
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Several unarmed civilians have been reported killed in the attacks. Meanwhile, MEND has kidnapped foreign workers, killed Nigerian troops and attacked major oil installations. Their incursions have led to a 20% decline in Nigeria’s overall oil production.
MEND is demanding the release of imprisoned political leaders, an end to government corruption, a greater share of oil revenues, and compensation for environmental damage caused by Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta. Last month, a Nigerian court ordered Shell to pay $1.5 billion dollars in environmental damages. But the oil giant refused to pay the fine and is now appealing the ruling. Rebels have also made similar demands of oil conglomerate ExxonMobil.
Last week, MEND released six kidnapped foreign oil workers. Three other hostages – two Americans and a British citizen – remain in captivity. One of the freed workers, U.S. citizen Macon Hawkins, was released on his 69th birthday. Hawkins said, “I think the U.S. needs to keep up the pressure on the Nigerian government to pay attention to these people, and do something about their poor conditions.”
The rebels’ complaints of government corruption were bolstered Wednesday with the announcement the top military commander in the Niger delta has been removed for his alleged involvement in the theft of crude oil. Rebel groups have long accused Brigadier General Elias Zamani and other top military officials of being key actors in the $100 million-dollar stolen oil trade. Analysts say the market for stolen oil is one of the leading issues at the heart of the region’s conflicts.
Despite the country’s oil wealth, most of Nigeria’s citizens live in abject poverty. Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest oil supplier and the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S. President Bush has said he wants to see oil exports from the region increase. The Nigerian government recently asked Britain and the U.S. for military help in its fight against the rebels. Today, we take a look at the situation in the Niger Delta and how the British and the United States governments have become involved in its fate.
James Marriott, Co-director of Platform, a social and ecological justice group based in Britain. Co-author of the new book “The Next Gulf: London, Washington & the Oil Conflict in Nigeria.”
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RUSH TRANSCRIPT
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate – $25, $50, $100, more…
AMY GOODMAN: We're joined by James Marriott. He is co-author of the book, The Next Gulf: London, Washington and Oil Conflict in Nigeria. He's a part of the group, Platform, which is a social and ecological justice organization based here in London. Welcome to Democracy Now!
JAMES MARRIOTT: Hi.
AMY GOODMAN: It's great to have you with us. Talk about what we're seeing right now in the Niger Delta.
JAMES MARRIOTT: One of the things that I think is very striking is the exactitude of the rebels' actions. Just today, there's a news release of rebel action that's been stopped, ceased to carry forward in the east of Niger Delta. Most of the stuff that we've seen in the recent period has been in the Western Niger Delta, near Warri. The most recent stuff that's been happening is in the Eastern Niger Delta. And there, the rebels have ceased holding kidnaps and restraint and acts on a terminal called Qua Ibo.
And one of the things that's most interesting about it is that their demand — they have a clear, specific demand to Exxon, that they should pay compensation for an oil spill that was made in 1998. So here they were, they were making an action, which was for compensation to be paid for something which was eight years ago.
A lot of the media representation of the rebels, and so on and so forth, in the West, in London and Washington, tends to be of people, you know, crazed kids with AK-47s running around. But, actually, if you look at the detail of the thing, you realize just how exact their actions are, and you can see that they're demanding very specific things.
What you mentioned before about $1.5 billion claim for oil compensation against Shell, the senate, it was passed through the senate, the Nigerian senate, that this should take place. Shell said, as they have in many, many other cases, “Well, we're going to appeal against this. We want something to do.” The rebels said, “No, we need this paid now.” So it's very, very precise actions that are being taken by the rebels in the Delta.
The thing that strikes us, the writers of the book, in the work that we do at Platform is one needs to emphasize the complicity of the oil companies in this process. There's often the case that we tend to dress up the way in which we look at Nigeria as being a chaotic state, even a failed state in the southern part of Nigeria. And there's nothing to be done, and the poor oil companies are, you know, at the mercy of the winds there. But they are fundamentally actors in this process. They're fundamentally part of the problem.
This year is a significant year. It's 50 years since oil was commercially discovered in Nigeria. Shell/BP, in fact, struck oil commercially in 1956. 50 years this year. 50 years, $300 billion estimated worth of oil coming out of the Niger Delta. And as you say, people live in abject poverty. And the companies are complicit in that, not just the government of Nigeria, and so on.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you think needs to happen now, and how organized is the resistance? And in the British press, I'm wondering if it is like the U.S. press, in vilifying those that take a stand against. It’s always militants, kidnappers, thugs. That's usually how — vagabonds.
JAMES MARRIOTT: Yeah, absolutely. What needs to happen? Well, the first thing that needs to happen is that the corporations, the oil corporations, particularly Shell and then Chevron and Mobil and so on, need to be held accountable for what they've done, need to be held accountable for 50 years of environmental despoilation, human rights abuses that they've been implicated in. They need to be held accountable, and there needs to be a just process by which the revenue from the oil that’s extracted from the Delta is distributed. But first and foremost, I think, is that the accountability of the companies, and also the individuals within the companies. Let us think specifically about the individuals who have made these choices. To give a specific example, after the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa, which I’m sure your listeners will know about —
AMY GOODMAN: Ken Saro-Wiwa, who died just over ten years ago, who was a spokesperson for the Ogoni people, who were taking on Shell in the early 1990s.
JAMES MARRIOTT: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And executed in a military tribunal with other minority rights activists in Nigeria.
JAMES MARRIOTT: Just after that, Shell instituted a whole series of what some people call Greenwash, the company called “social responsibility processes.” And one of those was that there should be a series of letters, whereby the heads of the oil company in Nigeria, for example, would write to the head of the exploration and production unit in the Hague and London, and say that the company was abiding by the principles of the company — the good — the basic principles, which was respect for human life, respect for the environment, etc., which was laid down in a set of new principles published in 1997.
So every year the head of Shell Nigeria had to write a letter saying, “We're going to apply – we’re applying to those, we’re abiding by them.” And every year, the head of Shell would say, “Good, we've received this letter. That's good.” One of the interesting things about this new principle is that they had to accept personal responsibility for the accuracy of those letters. So, how come the heads of Shell in Nigeria, who we can name as Philip Watts, Basil Omiyi, Chris Finlayson, how come they can have written those letters in the circumstances that we’ve seen over the last ten years and get away with it? It's appalling.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you have any hope, as we wrap up right now?
JAMES MARRIOTT: Yes, I think there is. There is hope, if we can keep the momentum of public view on this. We need to get public understanding of the situation in the Niger Delta. That's one of the reasons we've been organizing a project called the Remember Saro-Wiwa Project, which is to create a living memorial for Ken Saro-Wiwa and all the people in the Delta who have been affected by our oil production over the last 50 years, in London. It’s a sculpture and an education project to educate citizens here in London.
AMY GOODMAN: You've talked about Shell. There's also, of course, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill and I went in 1998 to Nigeria and produced the documentary, Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria's Oil Dictatorship, but in ten seconds, the whole group of oil companies in the Niger Delta.
JAMES MARRIOTT: Yes, I mean, one needs to look at this as a web. One of the ways, I mean, we understand this work is it’s a carbon web. It’s a web of all these companies working together and all the security agencies and the advertising agencies, and so on and so forth. The whole lot needs to be looked at.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you, James Marriott, co-author of The Next Gulf: London, Washington and Oil Conflict in Nigeria.
To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (888) 999-3877.
What needs to happen? Well, the first thing that needs to happen is that the corporations, the oil corporations, particularly Shell and then Chevron and Mobil and so on, need to be held accountable for what they've done, need to be held accountable for 50 years of environmental despoilation, human rights abuses that they've been implicated in. They need to be held accountable, and there needs to be a just process by which the revenue from the oil that’s extracted from the Delta is distributed. 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.

Unison.ie: 50 third level students descend on Rossport Solidarity Camp

06:26 Saturday March 11th 2006
Over fifty third level students from around the country are descending on County Mayo this weekend to join the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The camp was set up last month on the site where the Shell gas pipeline is to come onto land to highlight opposition to the controversial pipeline planned for the area.
A spokesman said the weekend has a number of objectives, including showing people around the local area, and meeting the residents affected by the development.

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 Tide Online (Nigeria): Underdevelopment: We’re still dialoging with Shell – One-eh Ebubu

• Saturday, Mar 11, 2006
The discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity in the Niger Delta region in 1956 and its attendant environmental impact on the lives of the people has no doubt given room to the recent agitation by the host communities for better deals. This development is due largely to the long neglect and debilitating state of infrastructures and poverty level in the oil producing communities, whereas the people are sitting on wealth.
Some Nigerians still believe that the communal crisis and other anti-social activities of the youths of the region especially the taken of oil workers into hostages was to some extent tracable to the long neglect and suffering of the oil bearing communities such that poverty, unemployment, environmental hazards and absence of basic amenities threaten the people daily.
Although the present administration at the centre has taken both executive and legislative measures aimed at addressing the excruciating experience and cries of oil bearing communities in the country.
Similarly, the governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili has not failed to associate himself and the government with the concerns of his people on the vexed issues of neglect, poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment in the area.
It is against this backdrop that His Royal Highness, Emmanual Bebe, the traditional ruler of Ebubu oil rich clan in Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, suggested that the best way to address the problems in the oil bearing communities is for the oil prospecting establishment and other multi-national companies to make themselves more relevant to the host communities.
His Royal Highness Emmanuel Bebe who is the One-eh Ebubu posits that the lack of basic amenities in the oil producing areas has stalled the cordial relationship between the communities and the oil firms in the South-South zone.
According to him “my clan (Ebubu) which has about 50 oil wells and an oil production centre besides being a land-lord to several multi-national firms and their workers cannot boost of functional and standard market, neighbourhood water scheme and good network of roads among others.
The traditional ruler also decried a situation in which his clan parades educated sons and daughters and yet unemployment and poverty ravage the land, adding that even in the government establishment and other sectors of the economy, the people are not given opportunity to serve their fathers’ land.
He further stated that his greatest worry is that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) which is a major oil prospecting and exploring firm in Ebubu clan has not shown a enough interest in the development and empowerment of the people.
The One-eh Ebubu clan who is frank to a fault said that the market and water projects initially promised the Ebubu clan by Shell Petroleum Development Company are yet to be executed stressing that the people would continue to use dialogue to ensure that standard of living of the people changed for better.
Consequently, the One-eh Ebubu has appealed to the Rivers State government and its agencies to prevail on the management of the firms operating in his clan to come to the rescue of the community.
He said that they could achieve this by offering employment opportunities to the sons and daughters of the community and embarking on projects that would put smiles on the faces of the people as to cushion the negative impact of oil activities in the area.
Commenting on the educational needs of the area, the Ebubu Monarch said that Ebubu Community Secondary School needs to be fenced as to wall –off the activities of cultists and encroachment into the land of the school.
In the same vein he called for the establishment of a General Certificate Examination (GCE) centre in the area as to compliment the efforts of WASC and NECO examination centres already in the area to address the educational needs of the youths in the clan.
On the abandoned old Bori road which cut across Eleme Local Government through Ebubu and ends at Eteo junction, Bebe urged the government to urgently start work on the project because of its importance in evacuation of food items produced in the area to urban cities where they are highly needed, pointing out that non-completion of the road has cut-off Eubu people from the neighbouring communities.
On the agitation for creation of local government councils in the country, the Royal father described such move as legitimate demand.
He therefore wants the Federal State governments to create a local government councils for Ebubu people to be called Odido local government council out of the present Eleme with its headquarters at Ebubu.
The One-eh Eubu is also of the opinion that Eleme deserves more second class chieftaincy stools and appealed to Rivers State government to accord such recognition to the people.
On the achievements of the executive governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, Bebe said the present administration in the state has brought succor to the people through people oriented projects.
He expressed satisfaction over the government’s welfare packages to traditional rulers in the state which according to him has helped the custodians of the people tradition to perform their functions.
Besides, he was happy with governor Odili’s youths empowerment policies and programmes, free education, independent power generation and new government house among others, saying that more attention should be given to grassroots people where more that 80% of the citizen reside.
Commending Justice Mrs Mary Odili, wife of the executive governor of Rivers State for rolling out The Adolescent Programme (TAP) aimed at equipping the youths with various skills and vocation, the One-eh Ebubu also said the programme has directed the energies of youths into positive activities.
However, he spoke on the need to create more enlightenment on such programme in rural areas for their greater participation.
Commenting on the performance of the chairman of Eleme local government council, chief Ejor Ngowah Ejor, the Ebubu Monarch lauded the chairman for his achievements, adding that people of Ebubu are happy for the construction of a six classroom block in the community secondary school in the area.
While urging the council boss not to relent on his good works, he implored him to ensure that cultism, examination-malpractice were eliminated in the schools in the Local Government Area. read more

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Reuters: UPDATE 2-Shell shortlists final bidders for LPG unit-source

LONDON, (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc. has shortlisted bidders for its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) unit, which it plans to sell in two parts, a source close to the talks said on Friday.
Brazilian conglomerate Ultrapar Participacoes (UGPA4.SA: Quote, Profile, Research) and a joint team of private equity firms PAI and Bain have been shortlisted for Shell's UK, French and Benelux LPG assets.
French oil major Total and privately owned Dutch firm SHV, the world's largest LPG distributor, have been shortlisted in the sale of Shell's LPG assets in the rest of the world, the source said.
Final bids for the assets, which analysts said could be worth in total over $2 billion, are due in on Friday and winning buyers may be announced next week, the source added.
Shell declined immediate comment. The firm said last month that it hoped for a sale in the coming months.
The Anglo-Dutch firm originally planned to sell the unit in one part but after failing to achieve an attractive price it decided on a sale in two parts, industry sources said.
Total would have had regulatory problems with buying the French assets while SHV's operations in the UK and Benelux would have also aroused competition issues, bankers said.
The split allowed them to bid more competitively for the assets where there is less overlap.
Total declined to comment. SHV was unavailable for comment.
Spanish oil firm Repsol YPF (REP.MC: Quote, Profile, Research) said in January that it had bid for the LPG assets but is no longer in the process, the source said. A Repsol spokesman declined to comment.
Repsol said previously that it hoped to combine Shell's operations with its already significant LPG business to create a company that it could float.
Analysts said the decision to split the LPG business into two parts would have made it less attractive to Repsol. 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 Times: Need to Know

Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, is understood to have shortlisted the bidders for its liquefied petroleum gas division.
Amerada Hess, the US energy group, is seeking shareholder approval to change its name to Hess and increase the number of shares it can issue.
The bank creditors of Yukos, the Russian oil group, have filed a petition at a Moscow court to have the company declared bankrupt.

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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