Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Rotating Header Image

Posts on ‘March 22nd, 2006’

Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C.: Slave Labor at Royal/Dutch Shell Group

Slave Labour at Royal/Dutch Shell Group

Statement posted on the website of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. in March 2006

Approximately 1,385 forced laborers worked at oil refineries and petrochemical plants owned and operated by the Royal/Dutch Shell Group during the Second World War. These workers, largely civilians from Eastern Europe and the Low Countries of Western Europe, were compelled to work on the grounds of Shell’s German and Austrian subsidiaries, Rhenania GmbH and Shell Austria AG, respectively. At these locations, the forced laborers toiled long hours under the watchful (and often brutal) guard of Hitler’s S.S. men. Deported from their home countries by force, these workers were housed in filthy barracks, and were denied freedom of movement and proper nutrition. For their work, which was contracted from the S.S., the laborers received no pay from Shell or the German Government. 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.

RussiaProfile.Org: The Other Side of Security

March 22, 2006
By Ian Pryde
Special to Russia Profile
Energy in the East Rarely Receives Enough Attention
Although the December-January pricing spat between Russia and Ukraine focused attention on Europe’s dependence on outside sources of gas, the political/energy security nexus in East Asia has been acute for decades. In the mid-1990s, Kent E. Calder published the book “Asia’s Deadly Triangle: How Arms, Energy and Growth Threaten to Destabilize Asia-Pacific,” referring to an “Arc of Crisis” stretching from the Taiwan Straits, across China and the Korean peninsula to Japan.
Little has changed. China’s energy sources are far from the booming south-eastern part of the country, while Korea, Japan and Taiwan lack significant oil and gas fields, making all of these countries highly dependent on outside sources for their ever-increasing energy needs. Japan has been a major energy importer for decades and long ago turned to nuclear power to reduce at least some of its then-total dependence on oil from the distant and volatile Persian Gulf. China has only been a net importer of oil since late 1993, but its booming economy and rapidly growing consumer sector will ensure that the country’s energy needs grow exponentially.
East Asia’s problems are compounded by the energy-intensive economies of China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, whose petrochemicals, fertilizer, plastics and steel sectors require significant inputs of energy. Paradoxically, North Korea also needs a lot of energy, partly because of its own steel and fertilizer production, but also because of its inefficient use of fuels such as coal. Needless to say, North Korea’s energy problems bear directly on issues of security in the area.
South Asia also faces similar difficulties, with India suffering from chronic power shortages and, like China, undergoing a rapid transition to an automobile-based consumer culture piggybacking on strong economic growth.
But it is not just the high and growing demand for energy that makes energy security in East and South Asia so much more problematic than in Europe, where many countries are well-integrated into security and economic organizations like NATO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union. No such regional networks are really present in East Asia. ASEAN has not achieved anywhere near the same degree of political and economic integration as the EU, and a real security framework is virtually non-existent.
The overall security situation in East Asia is fragile due to the position of three nuclear powers ? China, the United States and Russia ? on relations with North Korea, not to mention the wider security triangle created by China, Japan and the United States over the issue of Taiwan. All of this is taking place in a region where there should be serious concern over arms build-up, with South Korea and Japan having both the technological and financial resources to go nuclear quickly if they desire: Japan’s fast-breeder reactors, for instance, produce ample mixed-oxide plutonium, which can easily be converted into weapons-grade plutonium.
The countries of East and South Asia are therefore likely to compete for energy as their economies continue to grow. At the same time, while maintaining their supplies from the Persian Gulf, all are keen to diversify their energy sources away from the Middle East. This has led to fears in the United States of an Islamic-Confucian alliance and the development by China and Japan of blue-water navies to guarantee the continued flow of oil.
Enter Russia, which is not only a part of East Asia geographically, but also an energy superpower with huge oil and gas reserves conveniently located in Siberia and its Far East. Russia has proven oil reserves of 60 to 68 billion barrels, but President Vladimir Putin has stated on more than one occasion that the reserves are much larger than these figures, and many experts in the industry believe that Russia’s undiscovered reserves could be the world’s largest.
Russia is also the world’s gas “superpower,” with nearly twice the reserves of its closest rival, Iran, and a major producer of electricity from nuclear power. The latter consideration has led Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to state that his country is considering buying nuclear power plants from Russia in the future, a move that would build on the already close ties between the two countries. Grabbing much less attention is the potential for hydroelectric power in Siberia.
At first glance, therefore, Russia’s oil, gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power resources would appear to be the easy solution to many of Asia’s energy problems and the path to reducing their dependence on the Middle East while at the same time enhancing Russia’s geopolitical role on the continent.
But closer examination reveals that the case isn’t so simple. Huge logistic, financial and political problems, not all of them within Moscow’s control, have to be overcome if Russia is to realize its full energy export potential to Asia.
With output recovering in recent years to Soviet-era production levels, Russia has been exporting more oil. The prospects for further increases, however, are heavily constrained, since pipelines are already operating at full capacity, forcing oil companies to resort increasingly to so-called “intermodal” transport ? by railroads and rivers ? which is significantly more expensive than pipelines. In 2005, Russia exported 80 million barrels of oil to China, but all of this was shipped by rail. Rail exports of crude to China are expected to increase by 50 percent in 2006, to 300,000 barrels per day.
Progress on building new pipelines in general, and to East Asia in particular, has been slow. Russia’s policy makers and oil companies have argued in the past over how to increase the country’s oil export capacity, differing both over the routes and destinations of the lines and the respective roles of state and private companies in their financing and construction. This is generally accepted to have been one of the contentious issues between Putin and former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky ahead of his arrest in 2004 and conviction last year, with Khodorkovsky advocating more market-oriented solutions and increased exports to the United States using supertankers loading crude from a privately-financed pipeline terminating at Murmansk.
In the Far East, two pipeline routes have been suggested: one to Nakhodka, on the coast opposite Japan, and one to Daqing, in China. In late 2004, after two years of official uncertainty, accompanied by intense lobbying from the Japanese and Chinese governments, Putin finally announced that Russia would build a pipeline from Taishet to Nakhodka via Skovorodino. One factor in the decision was that Russia wanted to avoid being tied to China, instead looking to maintain the option of exporting oil to the wider Asian market and, perhaps, North America. Keeping all the players in the game, officials from Transneft, the state-owned pipeline monopoly operator, said that a spur could still be built off the main line to run directly to China. Nakhodka is located a mere 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Chinese border.
The Kremlin and Transneft have since announced that the 2,500-mile (4,000-kilometer) Eastern Siberia Pacific Ocean Pipeline (ESPO) would be built in two stages. The first stage will reach the Pacific coast and include a new export terminal. Russia estimates that the project will cost from $11.5 billion to $18 billion and have a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day. The Kremlin has made the completion of the first stage a priority, saying that it wants this section finished by late 2008, but major financing problems remain.
Progress is also being made on an eastern pipeline from the massive Kovytka gas field, near Lake Baikal. In contrast to Europe, however, there is no regional gas grid in East Asia, so even with pipelines, Russia cannot easily supply China and Korea with gas. This lack of a regional gas grid means that East Asia relies heavily on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the Persian Gulf for the bulk of its supplies. As a result, East Asia is far less dependent on natural gas in its energy mix than Europe and the United States. This is despite the proximity of major gas reserves, and the efficiency and environmental friendliness of gas as an alternative to petroleum.
The future of Russia-China gas pipelines remains vague at this stage. Routes to South Korea have been proposed, but most would, of course, have to traverse the Korean peninsula, which is currently impossible given the political division between the North and South. However, an international feasibility study in 2003-2004 on the Kovytka field concluded that for $12 billion, a?3,000-mile (4,887-kilometer) pipeline could be built running under the Yellow Sea to South Korea, thus bypassing North Korea. Little in the way of concrete planning has come out of the study.
The six Sakhalin projects, identified, simply enough, as Sakhalin I to Sakhalin VI, however, are conveniently located on the island of that name, just off Russia’s eastern coast and north of Japan. These are much closer to East Asian markets than the oil and gas reserves of distant Siberia.
The projects at Sakhalin I and II are currently well underway; drilling at Sakhalin I began in May 2003, and planned total investment over the project’s lifetime is estimated at $12 billion. With development led by Exxon-Neftegaz, Sakhalin I holds estimated oil reserves of 2.3 billion barrels and 17.1 trillion cubic feet of gas. Onshore processing facilities are already in place, a gas pipeline is currently under construction, and commercial gas production is expected to commence in 2008. Both Sakhalin I and II are expected to export LNG to the United States, and Sakhalin II, where development is led by Shell, Mitsubishi and Mitsui, has been producing oil since 1999. Approximately $20 billion is due to be invested in Sakhalin II over the next four to five years, following up on the $4.5 billion invested during Phase I of the project. Phase II is expected to start year-round oil production by December 2007, with a daily output of 180,000 barrels. LNG production is slated to begin in summer 2008.
The remaining Sakhalin projects are promising, but remain in the preliminary stages.
http://www.russiaprofile.org/business/2006/3/22/3458.wbp 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.

Sudan Tribune: University of California divests from Sudan

Wed, Mar 22, 2006 12:52 UT
Mar 16, 2006 (LOS ANGELES) — University of California regents voted Thursday to drop the system’s association with nine companies doing business in genocide-ravaged Sudan, its first socially based divestment since 1986.
The action requires the university to divest within 18 months, giving state legislators time to agree to defend UC against related lawsuits.
The decision was a victory for activists who built a grassroots campaign that started with a handful of UCLA students and grew to hundreds of students, faculty members and lawmakers from around the state.
In divesting, the University of California joined a number of other US institutions of higher learning that have divested in various forms, including: Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Brown University, Amherst College, Dartmouth College.
“That’s a bold statement,” said Regent Adam Rosenthal, a UC Davis law student who helped lead the effort. “This is a great day for the university.”
The university last divested itself of stocks for political reasons in 1986, when regents dropped South African investments to protest that country’s apartheid policies. UC also decided in 2001 to choose a portfolio free of tobacco-related stocks.
Before Thursday’s vote, students, professors and genocide survivors urged regents to take a vote of conscience. UCLA sophomore Cham Nan Chao tearfully told the board about relatives who were killed by the Cambodian government. “I couldn’t do anything about that then, but I can do something about this now,” she said. “It only takes one person to change the world, and I’m asking you to be those people.”
In order to address concerns that the divestment could harm civilians unintentionally, regents agreed to keep UC’s investments in several other companies that have projects in Sudan, but also said they would encourage those companies to ensure they don’t enrich the oppressive Sudanese rebels.
Some of the divested companies sell military equipment to the oppressors, UC leaders said.
Specifically, the nine companies named by the University of California are: Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (500103.BY), an India-based power generation company; PetroChina Co. (PTR) and Sinopec Corp, two Chinese oil companies; Nam Fatt Corp. (4901.KU), a Malaysian construction firm; Videocon Industries Ltd. (511389.BY), an Indian consumer electronics firm; PECD Berhard, a Malaysian construction company; Tatneft (TNT), a Russian energy company; Oil and Natural Gas Co., an Indian firm, and Sudan Telecom Co. Ltd. (SDTL.BH).
“The University of California has taken a principled stand against the tragedy in Sudan by severing its financial connections from those nine companies who aid the genocide,” said Gerald L. Parsky, chairman of the board of regents in a statement.
A great many other colleges and universities are actively considering divestment, and a number of decisions are expected this spring.
Further, a number of state legislatures have passed binding divestment legislation, obliging divestment from all companies doing “business as usual” with the genocidaires in Khartoum: these include Illinois, New Jersey, and Oregon. State legislation is pending in a dozen other states (the Maine Senate, for example, passed divestment legislation today, March 16, 2006).
The university also said it will send “letters of concern” about the role of business revenue in contributing to the violence to four additional companies: Finmeccanica SPA (FNC.MI), Harbin Power Equipment Co. Ltd. (1133.HK), Lundin Petroleum AB (LUPE.SK), and Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB).
The exact dollar amount involved will not be known until the divestment occurs. It will include all UC shares, including those combined in index funds. Divestment would be completed within an 18-month period, beginning after legislation to protect the university from legal concerns has been enacted.
Officials declined to say how much money is invested in the nine companies, but said they did not expect the university to be harmed financially by the divestment. In contrast, officials have said the tobacco decision has cost the university $109 million.
Recent divestment announcements, most of which have limited divestment to a handful of companies, may be just the tip of the iceberg, according to statistics and divestment advocates who say many more pension funds are considering exiting from a much broader list of names.
U.S. companies are prohibited from doing business in Sudan by a trade rule that bars business in six countries deemed state sponsors of terrorism. But some U.S. companies still do business there legally through subsidiaries, and many U.S. pension or institutional funds invest in a broader number of foreign-based companies that do business in Sudan.
According to Boston-based KLD Research, which compiles and sells lists of companies involved in other activities of interest to socially responsible investors, 130 publicly traded companies, nine of which are U.S.-based, do business in Sudan.
Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) is one of the U.S. firms on the list. According to KLD, the company has continued to renew its oil interests in Sudan, though it hasn’t operated or conducted business activities in the country since 1985.
Marathon spokesman Paul Weeditz said an agreement, signed in December 2004, only allowed the company to protect its long-held interests in the country, and said there were no plans to relinquish those.
Randy O’Neil, managing director of global sales for KLD Research, declined to name the companies on the list, which he said the firm has sold to more than 125 clients. O’Neil said Sudan has been one of the most popular issues his group has researched, adding that the list has grown by about 10 companies since its first edition in November 2005 and is updated twice monthly.
Funds agreeing to divest have approached the issue differently so far, depending on the findings of their research and the size of their holdings. For example, Yale University said Feb. 16 it would sell stock in an unnamed oil company that was one of seven oil companies it determined were providing “the lion’s share of the revenue to the Sudanese government.” The seven companies were Bentini SpA, an Italian construction company that builds pumping stations; Higleig Petroleum Services and Investment Co. Ltd., a Sudanese company; Hi-Tech Petroleum, a Sudanese company; Nam Fatt Corp.; Oil and Natural Gas Corp., PetroChina Co; and Sinopec. The university doesn’t publish a complete list of its investments.
Amherst College passed a resolution Jan. 14 to ban investment in 19 companies, stating it didn’t have an investment in them at the time. The 19 companies included some European firms such as Alcatel SA (ALA), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA), Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), Siemens AG (SI), and LM Ericsson (ERICY) and Weir Group PLC (WEIR.LN)
An estimated 180,000 Africans have been killed in Sudan’s Darfur region since 2003, by Arab militia groups known as Janjaweed. Human rights groups, the U.S. Congress and U.N. officials have accused Sudan’s government of backing the Janjaweed, but the government has denied involvement. The killings have been recognized as a genocide by the U.S. and other nations. The theory behind the divestment campaign is that in the face of fleeing U.S. shareholders, companies will pull out of business in the region, as they did in the university-spearheaded campaign to divest from companies complicit in South African apartheid in the 1980s.
The United States and international humanitarian groups have accused the Sudanese government of using its oil wealth to wage genocide against the people in the western Darfur region.
On the Net:
For more information on the University of California decision, see:
http://www.inosphere.com/sudan/home.asp
http://www.international.ucla.edu/darfur/-
www.international.ucla.edu/africa
For a broader range of information on the divestment campaign, see http://www.sudanreeves.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=14
(CCT/Dow Jones/ST) 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.

This Day (Lagos): Nigeria: Chevron, Shell Relinquish Deep Offshore Oil Block

By Mike Oduniyi
Lagos
Crude oil exploration in Nigeria's deep offshore region has suffered a set back after multinational oil companies including Chevron and Shell, joint owners in Block OPL 250, relinquished the asset to the Federal Government over poor results from a five year drilling campaign.
Nigeria's oil production has again been further cutback by 75,000 barrels per day (bpd) after unknown persons blew up Friday night, a crude oil pipeline belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Tebidaba-Brass, Bayelsa State. This has now taken the country's total production loses to 631,000 bpd of oil, representing 25 percent of Nigeria's daily oil production.
The stakeholders in OPL 250, which also included US firm ConocoPhillips and Brazil's Petrobras, said they had an unsuccessful exploration campaign in the block for which they paid the Federal Government signature bonus of $75 million.
OPL 250 was among the eight oil blocks awarded in December 2000, when the government held the first open bidding round for the allocation of oil licenses.
Chevron, appointed the operator of the block after a bitter quarrel with Shell (which originally believed it owned the block), drilled one well, Iroko -1, in the block to a water depth about 2,300 meters.
However, the acreage, which first hold much geological prospects and attracted interest from major oil companies that participated in the 2000 licensing round, results obtained from the well drilled fell short of expectations.
“After drilling Iroko-1 well and we evaluated the hydrocarbon potential, what we saw was short of commercial discovery,” a source close to the joint venture partners, disclosed to THISDAY.
“The result was too short to justify deepwater development. So the stakeholders in block OPL 250 agreed to relinquish,” the source said, adding that the decision had been communicated to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation ((NNPC) under the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) agreement.
The decision climaxed the bitter struggle for the possession of OPL 250, then believed to be rich in oil reserves compared to seven other offshore oil blocks, OPLs 214, 229, 242, 244, 318, 320 and 324, the Federal Government put on offer in March 2000 in the first of its open and competitive licensing rounds in the country to encourage a shift to the offshore by foreign companies.
Shell had offered $200 million for the block, while US-based Ocean Energy put in $210 million, Petrobras $100 million and Chevron $75 million. The Ministry of Petroleum Resources, however, announced Chevron as the operator, joining Shell, Ocean Energy and Petrobras as partners.
In November 2001, Chevron and its partners signed a 30-year PSC agreement with NNPC for the exploitation of OPL 250.
The exploration setback in OPL 250 has left Chevron, Nigeria's second biggest oil producer still with no deep offshore production although the US oil major now looks up to drilling in Agbami, Usan and Aparo fields for a successful foray into the deep offshore region. Shell on the other hand, has the huge Bonga field already producing for it some 200,000 bpd of oil.
“The fields in the deepwater are never the same. One may have a good geological feature but poor in accumulation of oil, it is only when you drill that you can really say,” a Chevron official explained.
Meanwhile, oil production from the country has further reduced by 75,000 bpd after unknown persons attacked an Agip oil pipeline in the swamp of Bayelsa State on Friday night, signifying that insurgence in the Niger Delta was now moving eastward. Agip officials told THISDAY yesterday that there was an attack on the company's trunk line. “Some persons yet to be identified blasted the pipeline. Right now we are moving to curtail the oil spilled from the attack on the line,” said an official. He said that no group has yet come out to claim responsibilities for the attack.
A militia group known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) had launched series of attacks on Nigeria's oil producing facilities since January, to press demand for increase in the share of oil revenue for oil-producing states, release of two Ijaw leaders from detention and payment of $1.5 billion compensation by Shell to Ijaw communities.
THISDAY had reported recently that oil companies with operational bases mainly in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states could be next on the firing line as the militants planned an eastward proliferation of their attacks on facilities in the area.
Companies prominent in this area are Italian oil firm, Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), US oil major ExxonMobil and French firm Total.
It was revealed then attacks on the oil firms based in the east of the Niger Delta, might further worsen the production and revenue losses. Mobil, Total and Agip account for a total of 1.1 million bpd of oil production. 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.

Oil & Gas Journal: Investigation begins into cause of North Sea platform fire

Offshore staff
(UK, North Sea) – An investigation has been launched into the cause of a blaze that led to nearly 130 oil workers being airlifted from a North Sea platform. An electrical fire on Shell's Tern installation, 105 miles northeast of the Shetland Islands, caused the evacuation of 128 non-essential personnel last Thursday.
A team of investigators from the UK Health and Safety Executive are on the platform looking into the fire, and Shell has also launched its own internal investigation.
Shell said no one was hurt and all personnel have been accounted for. 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.

BBC NEWS: Putin hints at China oil pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a pipeline carrying Siberian oil could be built through China.
If the project goes ahead it would be the biggest trade deal between Russia and China and would cast doubt on an alternative plan to pump oil to Japan.
Energy-hungry China and Japan have been competing for years for a direct link to Russian oil supplies, but Moscow has so far refused to commit to a route.
On Tuesday, China and Russia signed a separate deal to double gas to China.
The deal on the gas pipeline could see China receive up to 80bn cubic metres of Russian gas annually within five years.
Mr Putin is currently visiting China with a 90-member delegation, including business leaders and representatives of Russia's oil and gas industries.
Japanese offer
President Putin's hint that Russia now favours a Chinese route for the oil pipeline will come as a surprise, says the BBC's Quentin Somerville in Shanghai.
The Japanese had offered to pay most of the construction costs and the contract had previously appeared to be going their way, our correspondent says.
Russia stressed on Tuesday that a feasibility study must be completed before a final decision is made on the route of the oil pipeline.
If a deal goes ahead with Beijing, the pipeline will bring 600,000 barrels of oil daily from eastern Siberia to north-eastern China.
Moscow's energy minister told Russian news agency, Tass, that the link to China could be constructed before the end of 2008.
Russia's oil supplies, though plentiful, are not inexhaustible and building a Japanese and a Chinese pipeline is not a likely option, our correspondent says. 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: Shell Buys Rights To Oil-Sands Field For $400 Million

By CHIP CUMMINS
March 22, 2006; Page A14
Royal Dutch Shell PLC said it paid 465 million Canadian dollars (US$400 million) for the rights to explore 219,000 acres in Alberta, Canada, betting big on the company's ability to find and produce heavy, difficult-to-extract oil there.
The move is the latest by Shell to shore up its store of future oil and natural-gas projects around the world. It also underscores the oil industry's enthusiasm for Canada's vast oil sands, tar-like deposits of petroleum that are much more difficult and costly to extract from the ground than conventional reserves in places like West Texas or the Middle East.
The big initial outlay, paid out in an Alberta government auction, must be followed by billions of dollars in capital investment if initial exploration and development planning succeed. But amid today's superhigh oil prices and fewer prospects elsewhere for big oil companies, Canada's oil sands have attracted significant new investments.
Shell is already a big oil-sands player. The lease turns Shell into “one of the biggest, if not the biggest, land owner in the oil sands,” says Tom Ebbern, executive managing director of Tristone Capital, a Calgary-based investment adviser, who says he doesn't own Shell shares. Moreover, the scale of Shell's new acreage acquisition is eye-popping compared with recent deals. Chevron Corp. said earlier this month it would spent C$70 million for 75,000 acres in the area. Shell has the right to acquire a 20% interest in that project.
Shell, The Hague, Netherlands, said it established a new subsidiary to proceed with the exploration and development work.
—- Russell Gold contributed to this article.
Write to Chip Cummins at [email protected] 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 Guardian: The disappearing petrol station

TERRY MACALISTER
United Kingdom; Mar 22, 2006
Oil companies are shutting petrol stations and even outsourcing accountancy services to Poland in a drive to cut costs despite making record profits.
Eleven forecourts a week are now being closed and the number owned by oil companies – rather than supermarkets or other retailers – fell by more than 300 last year, figures from the Energy Institute show. Its retail marketing survey reveals that Britain now has fewer forecourts than in 1914 – even though combined diesel and petrol sales set a record last year.
Oil companies complain that volumes might be high but margins are pitifully small and Shell has been putting pressure on its forecourt managers to take on “clusters” of stations to save costs. The company is also planning a huge new billing centre in Poland, in an unusual move that could lead to hundreds of job losses throughout its European operation.
The move surprised oil industry ex perts but Shell said it was part of a wider global move to develop regional centres for some back office functions.
“As a global company, operating in over 140 countries, we use service centres to provide support functions for our business. We continually keep the provision of these service centres under review to provide high quality and cost competitive support functions,” said a spokesman.
Final agreement is still being sought from Polish authorities about setting up an office in Krakow where 400 jobs will be created initially. Eventually 800 Polish staff could be hired to handle certain billing functions for continental Europe. Other countries were considered before Shell decided on Poland, partly on the basis of cost. Sources close to the company insisted no British jobs would be lost because the billing functions for the UK and Ireland are handled in Glasgow.
Both Shell and BP have announced record annual profits this year. 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.
%d bloggers like this: