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Posts on ‘May 7th, 2006’

The Sunday Times: Shell presses on with injunction against Rossport Five

The Sunday Times May 07, 2006

Shell presses on with injunction against Rossport Five

Aine Ryan

SHELL is still seeking a permanent injunction to stop the Rossport Five and two other landowners in north Mayo from closing off their land.

Despite offering an olive branch and apology to locals last week, the company wants a court order allowing its personnel to enter the objectors’ land. The High Court case is due for mention on Tuesday before Justice Mary Laffoy.

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“We do not anticipate a situation where people would go back to jail and we are determined to find a negotiated solution to this issue,” said Susan Shannon of Shell.

“However, like any other large infrastructural project, we do need to have legal protection.”

Shell says the continued court action does not contradict the spirit of last week’s concessions by the company. But Maura Harrington, of protest group Shell-to-Sea, insists the company is speaking with a “forked tongue” by pursuing the injunction. 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 Sunday Times: Comment: Matt Cooper: Rossport Five bury their heads in the sand and the tide turns

The Sunday Times May 07, 2006

Comment: Matt Cooper: Rossport Five bury their heads in the sand and the tide turns

The organisers of the Shell to Sea protest must be pretty pleased with themselves. Formed with the aim of preventing the construction of a pipeline bringing gas from the Corrib field in the Atlantic onshore to Mayo, the group has had an unexpected degree of success. But the tide of public opinion is about to turn.

Locals in Rossport, a rural area of Mayo under whose land the pipe is supposed to run, have won much public sympathy for their opposition to the pipeline. This was helped by a largely understanding media and blundering tactics by Shell, the operator of the gas field.

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The protest group’s finest hour — or 94 days, to be precise — came when five local men went to jail rather than give the High Court an undertaking not to obstruct construction of the pipeline. Beatified by their supporters for standing up to a “rapacious” oil giant, the men were seen as selfless in sacrificing their personal liberty to secure the safety and freedoms of others.

After that, how could the movement fail? It seemed as if the trump cards they possessed, most of them dealt by Shell, gave them an unbeatable hand. It was surely only a matter of time before Shell, despite claiming it was not feasible, was forced to construct a more expensive off-shore gas refinery. 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 Observer: Enron: a master class in hubris and raging greed

Enron: a master class in hubris and raging greed

Simon Caulkin
Sunday May 7, 2006
The Observer

Those of a timorous disposition may want to avoid Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Most Hollywood horror is ultimately comforting, since you can tell yourself it never happened. Not so the events recounted in this blood-curdling, neatly constructed documentary on the rise and fall of the notorious Houston energy giant, culminating in the world's biggest bankruptcy.

As the film progressively reveals, principally through the mouths of the protagonists, they really were as bad as they seemed. We see the hubris (one of the shell companies set up to shelter the firm's mounting losses was called M. Yass – OK, move the full stop to the right), the self-serving and the rampaging greed. In retrospect, though, what should send shivers up every spine is that if Enron and Arthur Andersen were business's Twin Towers (40,000 jobs and $100bn of capital were lost between them), the fundamentalism that brought them crashing down was not some external malevolence: the enemy was, and is, within. 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 Sunday Telegraph: Buy Shell for the long term

Equity view
Edited by Sylvia Pfeifer
(Filed: 07/05/2006)

Buy Shell for the long term

More than two years after it was forced to downgrade its proven oil and gas reserves by about a third, Royal Dutch Shell (£18.73) is still dogged by the same problem.

Last week it announced record first-quarter profits of $6bn (£3.2bn), a rise of 12 per cent, but the gloss was taken off the results by the admission that it might miss its target of replacing its reserves over the coming years.

Oil companies need continually to replace the oil they pump out of the ground and Shell had previously promised to raise its reserve replacement ratio to 100 per cent between 2004 and 2008, compared with a 72 per cent average over the past five years.

Shell's chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, blamed the drop on the US Securities & Exchange Commission's strict rules for defining proved reserves. The rules do not allow the inclusion of “unconventional” reserves such as oil sands and gas-to-liquids, which are likely to feature increasingly in Shell's explor-ation.

On the face of it, the news doesn't look good. Nevertheless, Shell is not the only oil company to have fallen foul of the SEC's strict guidelines in recent years. On the plus side, Shell remains committed to opening up some 20bn barrels of resources by the end of this decade and is increasing capital investment from $19bn this year to $21bn next year. It also still plans to lift production from 3.8m to 4m barrels equivalent a day by 2009.

Relative to its peers, Shell's shares are undervalued. Critics argue that the discount is warranted given the chance of few medium-term catalysts to boost the shares. Nevertheless, we believe investors should be comforted by the company's progressive dividend policy.

The shares, which are yielding 3.5 per cent, are likely to be supported by a continuation of the strong macro envir-onment.

Although securing reserves from unconventional resources is more expensive, it is a bet that could pay off handsomely if oil prices remain high. Buy for income.

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 Observer: Investors to attack Shell over environment

Investors to attack Shell over environment

John Madeley
Sunday May 7, 2006
The Observer

Royal Dutch Shell will come under pressure from shareholders at its annual meeting in The Hague and London on 16 May to clean up its environmental act.

A strongly worded shareholder resolution calls for 'a major improvement in Shell's performance in terms of community and stakeholder consultation, risk analysis, and social and environmental impact analysis'.

And the oil and gas company is facing a double whammy over its performance: an EU-funded project, Advance, has assessed the environmental performance of 65 European manufacturers for 'sustainable value', or non-financial corporate performance in monetary terms. The highest ranked company at present, getting a sustainable value of more than €26.1bn, is DaimlerChrysler. Shell ranks lowest on the list, with a negative value of €180bn. 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.