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Posts on ‘May 8th, 2006’

Petroleum News: Beating the budget blues in Canada

Beating the budget blues in Canada

Nexen/OPTI Canada, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources find ways to soften impact of higher costs, but none escape challenges

Gary Park

For Petroleum News

Some oil sands operators are scrambling to escape Canada’s high-cost environment; others see the challenge as an opportunity.

Imperial Oil and Husky Energy have already flagged their reluctance to proceed with upgraders in Alberta while labor and equipment costs soar.

Now Shell Canada has signaled its concerns by reviewing the economics of plans for building stage two of its Athabasca project, which have climbed from the C$7.3 billion forecast nine months ago, although the company is not yet talking about shelving the plans. 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 Business Online: US could attack Iran next month

US could attack Iran next month

Tehran’s vow to hand nuclear technology to its allies gives Bush a powerful reason to act

WITH the re-referral of Iran to the UN Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA), the international community has signalled its concern – but no more.

There are even deep divisions over imposing meaningful sanctions. But US Vice President Dick Cheney has long spelled out quietly, but clearly, that Tehran will simply not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

It would be entirely out of character for Cheney and the US administration to issue threats and then back down on an issue they consider vital to US security, particularly in the face of Iran ratcheting up the rhetoric and going out of its way to be provocative, stepping up its limited uranium enrichment.

President Mahmoud Ahma-dinejad and other officials have also threatened to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; ban further IAEA inspections, and export nuclear technology to their allies. This last sinister threat was made by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to Sudan’s rulers. They have also threatened to launch attacks against US and allied interests – presumably in Iraq and possibly Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the West Bank – in retaliation for any American or Israeli attacks on nuclear facilities.

Iran has said it will cut back oil production, a threat that sent prices soaring in a speculative frenzy wholly unwarranted by current production levels, which comfortably exceed demand despite the refinery shortage.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric has been stepped up against Israel as a “failed regime” destined for destruction and a call issued for the return of Jews to Europe in deliberately anti-Semitic language.

Ahmadinejad claims that Iran has passed the point of no return in its uranium enrichment programme, and will operate 3,000 centrifuges by this time next year, with 50,000 eventually being assembled.

Few observers take this seriously. But some officials in Washington argue privately that the point of no return could be June, while the Israelis put it at the end of the year.

For internal reasons, Ahmadinejad craves an Israeli attack, or failing that, an American one, so as to seize complete power.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s more militant line is deeply ominous, suggesting that he is bending to the President’s views. Iran’s moderates, led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, have been uncharacteristically silent in recent weeks. The intricacies of Tehran’s power struggle are hard to analyse, but Ahmadinejad seems just as likely to be reinforced if the West gives way to his threats as if it stands up to him.

The threats from Tehran seem to give the Bush administration little room for manoeuvre if it is to retain its credibility without resort to military action. The British, under former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, have rejected military action as “nuts”, but Straw’s stance seemed aimed primarily at Prime Minister Tony Blair, who would back a US strike.

The outcry against Blair from his Labour party would be such that he would have to seek Conservative support, which might or might not be forthcoming under new leader David Cameron.

The US would not seek United Nations authorisation for such action, because it would have no need for a complex coalition-building process and military build-up that preceded the full-scale invasion of Iraq.

What is contemplated is an unexpected strike lasting a few days at most. This would be presented to the world as a fait accompli in a presidential broadcast stating the seriousness of the threat – as President Bush senior did for the invasion of Panama.

The American range of military options is limited. Recent talk of using tactical nuclear bunker-busting weapons can be dismissed as disinformation designed to unsettle the Iranians. Washington would not use such weapons against a non-nuclear target. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities is so crucial or so deeply embedded that nuclear arms would be required.

Conventional bunker-busting bombs would destroy the giant cave at Natanz, which is only 50 feet under ground. The Isfahan facility is on the surface. Others are too small to require nuclear attack.

The nuclear disinformation is just an answer to Tehran’s disinformation that it already has a bomb which it would use in the event of a conventional raid.

The options currently being considered by the US are:
* An overnight raid from carriers in the Gulf and air bases in Iraq, involving 600-1,000 sorties. While this would do damage, it would not be enough to justify the furore it would generate.

* More extensive raids lasting several days to cripple Iran’s nuclear effort for several years. This would involve substantial attacks against air defence facilities, and calibrated attacks on non-nuclear military targets such as military and intelligence headquarters. If Tehran retaliated, more attacks would follow.

* An option gaining support in the Pentagon involves paratroops landing to seize military installations and defend them while nuclear facilities were thoroughly destroyed.

This would involve US – and probably also British – forces on Iranian soil, though it would not amount to invasion as the forces would be withdrawn as soon as the job was done, preferably after only a few hours.

The military effort would be considerable, and the troops would be exposed to enemy fire and capture. The Iranians might use their old tactic of massing “human shields” against the allied forces. The military trade-off between doing the job less well with less risk, or more completely at more risk would come into play for Washington.

The Bush administration is concerned about the possibility of a retaliatory Iranian-backed Shia uprising in southern Iraq and Baghdad, as well as the prospect of Iranian air strikes to disrupt oil exports from the Gulf, and an Iranian oil embargo.

But some in the White House argue that these are empty threats because they would backfire much more on Iran. To counter oil moves, the US would release some of its strategic petroleum reserve, as the Saudis used some of their spare capacity.

While the Bush administration is sticking to its formula of “diplomacy for now, but all the cards are on the table”, Washington has quietly ratcheted up the rhetoric.

The latest report on terrorism by the US State Department describes Iran as the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, for the first time implicating its government and the military and intelligence services in supporting extremists in Iraq, Lebanon and the West Bank. There is more than an echo here of the allegations that Saddam Hussein had acquired nuclear technology and the claim that Iraq sponsored terrorism – which were both later discredited.

In Iran’s case there is no question that it is close to acquiring nuclear technology – peaceful, it claims – or that it boasts of seeking to export Islamic revolution and has links with extremist movements.

Israel has drawn attention to Iran’s recent acquisition of North Korean BM-15 missiles which have a range of 1,500 miles and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

That, coupled with Ahmadinejad’s pledge to hand nuclear technology to friends – perhaps including terrorists – would give Washington a powerful argument for acting. There are those in the White House who argue that Tehran is indulging in Cuban missile-style brinkmanship, but it appears perilously close to the edge. Some senior sources in Washington believe an attack could come as soon as June.

* This article appears on earlywarning.com, a global, predictive, daily news service edited by Jonathan Fenby. A free trial is available for readers of The Business at: www.earlywarning.com/subscribe_here

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.

TodayOnline.com (Singapore): Shell reports exploration success in Nigerian offshore field

Shell reports exploration success in Nigerian offshore field
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 8-May-2006 21:54 hrs
Royal/Dutch Shell's Awoba plant on the Sambreiro River in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, September 2005. Shell has reported an exploration success at its deep water Bonga North oil and gas prospect offshore Nigeria to boost output of Africa's biggest crude exporter.

Royal/Dutch Shell has reported an exploration success at its deep water Bonga North oil and gas prospect offshore Nigeria to boost output of Africa's biggest crude exporter. .

“We are happy with yet another exploration success in deepwater Nigeria,” said Chima Ibeneche, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) managing director, in a statement here on Monday.

.

“This discovery reinforces the trend of Shells successful exploration efforts in this challenging environment. We are proud of our contribution towards the realisation of Nigeria's oil and gas potential,” he said. 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: Shell keeps PIN ban after £1m fraud

Shell keeps PIN ban after £1m fraud Sandra Haurant and agencies
Monday May 8, 2006

Chip and PIN terminals at 600 Shell service stations remain suspended today as a fraud investigation continued.

Eight people, including one from Guildford and another from Portsmouth, were arrested last week in connection with the theft of more than £1m.

The criminals used scanning devices similar to those used by fraudsters targeting cash machine users to copy the cards' magnetic strips and record PIN codes.

Apacs, the card payment association, said it had heard of no other incident where chip and PIN terminals had been tampered with in this way. 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.

Silicon.com: Shell's £1m chip and PIN fraud 'an inside job'

Shell's £1m chip and PIN fraud 'an inside job'

“Without any doubt,” says payments body Apacs…

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By Will Sturgeon

Published: Monday 8 May 2006

A £1m chip and PIN fraud at a Shell petrol station was “an inside job”, according to UK payments body Apacs.

Shell suspended the use of chip and PIN payments at 600 UK petrol stations over the weekend as a precautionary measure following the theft of more than £1m from customer accounts. 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.

ECCR: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES GIVES STRONG SUPPORT TO SHELL SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES GIVES STRONG SUPPORT TO

SHELL SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTION 

 

NEWS RELEASE

from ECCR – the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility – www.eccr.org.uk

8 May 2006 for immediate release 

 

The World Council of Churches has made a strong statement in support of the responsible shareholder resolution to be brought by the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) to Royal Dutch Shell’s AGM on 16 May.

 

In a letter from the WCC’s headquarters in Switzerland, Dr Aruna Gnanadason of the Justice, Peace and Creation Team has told ECCR: “The Justice, Peace and Creation Team of the World Council of Churches commends ECCR for the shareholder resolution and the supportive statement, urging Shell to introduce appropriate measures and regulations in order to improve its social and environmental records.” 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 Canada to Acquire BlackRock Ventures For $2.17 Billion

The Wall Street Journal

May 8, 2006 5:34 p.m. EDT

Shell Canada to Acquire
BlackRock Ventures
For $2.17 Billion

By TAMSIN CARLISLE and BENOIT FAUCONMay 8, 2006 5:34 p.m.

Shell Canada Ltd. agreed to acquire BlackRock Ventures Inc. for 2.4 billion Canadian dollars (US$2.17 billion) in a deal that boosts its long-term potential for oil production from Canada's big oil-sands resource.

The acquisition comes as Shell Canada, parent Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other Western oil companies have been under pressure to add to their stockpile of oil and natural gas. read more

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AFX Europe (Focus): Sibir/Shell venture says Vadelyp in Salym fields to come on stream in Q4

Sibir/Shell venture says Vadelyp in Salym fields to come on stream in Q4
AFX Europe (Focus); May 08, 2006

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LONDON (AFX) – Sibir Energy PLC's joint venture with Shell in the Salym group of fields in western Siberia, said Vadelyp, one of the Salym fields, will come on stream in the fourth quarter of 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.

Irish Times: Corrib battle needs political leadership

Corrib battle needs political leadership
John McManus
Irish Times; May 08, 2006

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Business Opinion : It's pretty clear from the report that the pipeline proposed by Shell was safe. So what went wrong? read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Irish Times: Shell hopes to avoid pipeline dispute

Shell hopes to avoid pipeline dispute
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Irish Times; May 08, 2006

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Shell E&P Ireland says it hopes to have reached a “negotiated settlement” on the future of the Corrib gas onshore pipeline before its continued legal action against objecting landowners reaches a full hearing. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

THE NEW YORK TIMES:

Oil Prices Fall Amid Stagnant Gas Demand

 

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 8, 2006

Filed at 10:22 a.m. ET

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — Crude-oil prices sagged below $70 a barrel Monday as a stagnating gasoline market temporarily pushed persistent worries about Iran's nuclear ambitions into the background.

Crude futures lost more than $4 a barrel last week after U.S. government data showed an increase in gasoline supplies. But geopolitical concerns, including unrest in Nigeria, violence in Iraq and rising resource nationalism in South America, still underpin oil prices. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Exxon Says Gorgon Decision May Be Delayed Into 2007

Exxon Says Gorgon Decision May Be Delayed Into 2007

By REUTERS
Published: May 8, 2006

Filed at 3:00 a.m. ET

Skip to next paragraph Reuters

GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) – Oil and gas producer ExxonMobil (XOM.N) said on Monday a final investment decision on its Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) joint-venture in Australia could be delayed into 2007 because of increasing costs.

ExxonMobil Australia chairman Mark Nolan told reporters at an energy conference the delay would not necessarily put back first production from the field, which claims certified gas reserves of 12.9 trillion cubic feet, currently scheduled for 2010. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Shell Canada to Offer C$2.4 Bln for BlackRock

Shell Canada to Offer C$2.4 Bln for BlackRock

By REUTERS
Published: May 8, 2006

Filed at 10:01 a.m. ET

Skip to next paragraph Reuters

TORONTO (Reuters) – Shell Canada Ltd. (SHC.TO) said on Monday it will offer C$2.4 billion ($2.2 billion) in cash for BlackRock Ventures Inc. (BVI.TO) as the country's No. 3 producer and refiner intensifies its focus on heavy oil projects.

Shell Canada, 78-percent owned by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), said in a statement it is offering BlackRock C$24 a share, which represents a 27-percent premium to BlackRock's closing price on Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

AFX Europe (Focus): Shell Canada launches 2.4 bln cad bid to buy Blackrock Ventures

Shell Canada launches 2.4 bln cad bid to buy Blackrock Ventures
AFX Europe (Focus); May 08, 2006

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LONDON (AFX) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiary Shell Canada Ltd has agreed to buy fellow Canadian oil group BlackRock Ventures Inc in a deal that values Blackrock at 2.4 bln cad. read more

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Financial Times: Pumping cash rather than oil and gas

Pumping cash rather than oil and gasPublished: May 8 2006 03:00 | Last updated: May 8 2006 03:00

The oil majors are suffering an embarrassment of riches. Last year Exxon/­Mobil enjoyed the largest profit in US corporate history, while Shell, BP and Total all broke their own earnings records. Investors and customers would like to know whether the money will go towards finding more oil.


//

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.