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Posts on ‘February 13th, 2007’

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: February 13, 2007 5:02 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose to more than $59 a barrel, pushed higher by problems at U.S. oil refineries and after the International Energy Agency boosted its forecast for Chinese and global oil demand.

Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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CONFAB IN HOUSTON: Exxon Mobil and Shell executives, speaking at a seminar at the annual Cambridge Energy Research Associates conference in Houston, said educating the public about their industry is a high priority, the Houston Business Journal reports. At the weeklong conference that began Monday, dozens of the industry’s heaviest hitters were expected to discuss topics such as the tricky balance of supply and demand and initiatives to develop new sources of energy. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The Moscow Times: Exxon Told to Utilize

Wednesday, February 14, 2007. Issue 3596. Page 6.

Russia should persuade U.S.-based ExxonMobil and its partners working on Sakhalin to liquefy gas at Shell’s neighboring project instead of building a pipeline to China, the governor of Sakhalin said Tuesday.

Ivan Malakhov said he believed it would make more sense for Exxon’s Sakhalin-1 to sell gas to a liquefied natural gas plant on the island’s south, which is being built by Royal Dutch Shell as part of the Sakhalin-2 project. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The New York Times: S.E.C. Seeks to Curtail Investor Suits

February 13, 2007

WASHINGTON: The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun to take steps on two fronts to protect corporations, executives and accounting firms from investor lawsuits that accuse them of fraud.

Last Friday, the commission filed a little-noticed brief in the Supreme Court urging the adoption of a legal standard that would make it harder for shareholders to prevail in fraud lawsuits against publicly traded companies and their executives.

At the same time, the agency’s chief accountant told a conference that it was considering ways to protect accounting firms from large damage awards in cases brought by investors and companies. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article. Iran’s Oil Exports May Dry Up Without Foreign Help

Posted on Feb 13th, 2007 with stocks: RDS.A, REP, TOT, USO

Despite sitting on 11% of the world’s oil reserves, second only to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s current output is only 3.9 million barrels a day (of which 2.5m are exported), versus over 6m barrels in the ’70s. It recently reduced its 2010 production target from 5m b/d to 4.5m. Iran is facing a natural output decline of 8-10% per year, equal to 200-500,000 barrels a day, and lack of investment.

It has signed no firm oil or natural gas contracts with foreign investors since June 2005. Oil sales of $47 billion in 2006 generated half its government’s revenue, but lack of refining capacity means that Iran imports 40% of its gasoline. It spends $20b per year — 15% of its economic output — on gasoline subsidies to appease its population, resulting in a pump price of $0.35/gallon. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

National Post (Canada): Oil patch not filled with bogeymen

DON MARTIN in Ottawa

They huddle privately with Cabinet ministers, doing a poor-us whimper at the daunting challenge of being Canada’s greenhouse gas megaproducers amid the odd sniffle at the government’s hurtful income trust flip-flop.

And then Big Oil rolls out record profits and wonders why, amid the frantic greening of public consciousness, they’re wearing the black hat in Ottawa these days.

It’s subtle, except for the occasional swipe at capping the oil sands from the likes of Liberal MP Mark Holland, but the blue-eyed sheik’s reputation is taking a turn for the worse that goes beyond the usual angst of empty-tank motorists at a premium-priced gas pump. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Financial Post: Shell Canada share battle: “…you can smell the desperation of Royal Dutch Shell PLC…”

Headline: Parental warnings lack heft:

The Patch
Financial Post [email protected]

In Shell Canada Ltd. directors’ circular, you can smell the desperation of Royal Dutch Shell PLC in its bid to win the 22% of the Canadian company’s shares it doesn’t already own.

The telltale sign: The reserves-challenged parent kept increasing its bid price — from $40 a share to $43.50, to $44.50, to $44.75 and ultimately to $45, while warning repeatedly it wouldn’t pay a penny more, according to an account of a special committee of Shell Canada’s board headed by Derek Burney. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Bloomberg: Kaminski Says Oil Producers Have Energy-Trading Edge (Update1)

By Victor Epstein

(Bloomberg) — BP Plc, ConocoPhillips and other major oil companies will increasingly dominate energy trading because they have better access to information that affects commodities prices, said Vince Kaminski, former risk-management director at Enron Corp.

Hedge funds and investment banks, which filled the trading void created by Enron’s 2001 collapse, are at a disadvantage to integrated energy companies that have real-time information about such things as oil production and gas shipments, Kaminski said today in an interview in Houston. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

UpstreamOnline: Gazprom eyes $2bn loan

By Upstream staff

Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has mandated two banks, including ABN AMRO, to arrange a $2 billion dual-tranche syndicated loan, which will be used for general corporate purposes including acquisitions, a banking source said today.

The transaction includes a three-year and a five-year tranche. Syndication is expected to launch within the next week.

The new deal is the company’s first since it was upgraded to A3 by Moody’s in December, and as such is expected to set a new pricing benchmark. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

UpstreamOnline: Ramos-Horta sets gas pact date

By Upstream staff

East Timor’s parliament is due to ratify a deal with Australia next week that will pave the way for development of resources in the Greater Sunrise area, Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta said today.

Oil and gas producers are waiting for the deal to be ratified before committing to develop Greater Sunrise area, estimated to hold 8 trillion cubic feet of gas and up to 300 million barrels of condensate.

“I’m confident the parliament will ratify them,” Ramos-Horta said of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea and the International Unitisation Agreement, adding that they are due to be voted on by Dili on 19 February. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Russia in Gobal Affairs: The Evolution of the Global Energy Market

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The Evolution of the Global Energy Market
© “Russia in Global Affairs”. ¹ 1, January – March 2007

This material was prepared as part of the project The World Around Russia: 2017. The project is being implemented by a group of experts, headed by Sergei Karaganov, from the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, the Department of International Economics and International Politics of the Higher School of Economics, the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis (ISSA), the Institute of Europe and other organizations, with the support of Rio-Center. The main authors of this material are Vagif Guseinov, ISSA Director; Alexei Denisov, ISSA Deputy Director; and Alexander Goncharenko, expert with the Socio-Economic Information Bureau.



The global energy market is going through large-scale changes, some of which may reach their final phase by 2017. There are increasing signs that the traditional code of relations between energy producers and consumers, established in the last quarter of the 20th century, is becoming a thing of history. Mechanisms for regulating the global energy market no longer work. Competition between consumers, fueled by the emergence of new powerful players, like China and India, is obviously increasing.

Oil fields that are situated close to the developed countries, where oil price-hikes in the 1970s-1980s prompted oil production, are now near exhaustion. Today, large-scale investment is required in new oil-bearing areas in West Africa, Central Asia, the Caspian region and Russia in order to replace depleting oil fields. A new energy reality is taking shape in the world.


The world’s key energy players include:

The United States – the world’s largest oil consumer (24.6%). It imports more than one half of the oil that it consumes. The United States is also the world’s leading importer of natural gas (16% of global imports);

The Middle East accounts for 61% of global oil and 40.1% of natural gas reserves, which makes it a crucial regional factor in the energy strategies of the world’s largest consumers;

The largest oil producers in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia (22% of global proven oil reserves, 13.5% of global oil output), Iran (14.9% of proven natural gas reserves, 11.5 of proven oil reserves), Iraq (9.6% of proven oil reserves), and Qatar (14.3% of proven natural gas reserves);

Russia possesses 26.6% of global natural gas reserves, 6.2% to 13% (according to different estimates) of global proven oil reserves, and about 20% of known coal reserves. The country is the world’s leading pipeline gas supplier and the world’s No. 1 oil exporter (together with Saudi Arabia). More than 90% of Russian energy exports today go to European countries;

China, the world’s fastest growing energy consumer, accounts for 31% of global oil consumption growth in 2004. In the past 40 years, oil consumption in China has grown more than 25 times over and is now at 8.55% of global consumption;

The EU, which accounts for only 3.5% of global proven gas and less than 2% of proven oil reserves (mostly in Norway and the UK). At the same time, oil and gas deposits in Europe are exploited far more intensively than in other parts of the world, which leads to the rapid depletion of reserves. Western Europe consumes 22% of the world’s oil supplies, while Germany is the world’s second largest gas importer (14%). The main problem for the EU is its growing dependence on energy imports: by 2030, oil imports to the EU will grow from 76% to 90%, gas imports from 40% to 70%, and coal imports from 50% to over 70%.

Today, the situation on the global energy market is characterized by the following factors:

  • oil is a global source of energy, and natural gas is primarily a regional source, while coal is a local source of energy;
  • while consumption of hydrocarbons is growing rapidly, there will not be alternative energy sources in the foreseeable future;
  • a rapidly rising need for energy resources in the emerging Asian economies amidst their ongoing economic development, rapid population growth, and the extremely high energy usage of national economies;
  • the widening gap between the volume of hydrocarbon consumption (growth) and production (decline) in developed countries;
  • limited production growth opportunities increase market destabilization risks;
  • the global economy is experiencing a shortage of oil and natural gas;
  • a shortage (temporary) of oil refining and transport facilities, together with a lack of additional oil production capacities;
  • large industrial consumers are showing a marked interest in alternative energy sources;
  • the growing importance of liquefied natural gas production and delivery projects;
  • interest in nuclear energy is reviving in some countries;
  • in the past few years mergers have been occurring exclusively within the limits of one country or a common geopolitical space as assets available for mergers and acquisitions are decreasing; and growing political risks in hydrocarbons-rich regions.[1]

The global energy situation is marked by a deepening of contradictions that will remain throughout the period under review.

[1] The growth of prices for hydrocarbons has shown consistency since 2000,  when a new Arab-Israeli conflict broke out. Since then, periods of high oil prices have always echoed increases in tensions in this region: the U.S. intervention of Iraq, th worsening of the situation involving Iran’s nuclear program, th thirty day war in Lebanon, etc.

The conflict potential inherent in the distribution of oil resources in the world is the primary cause of geopolitical tensions. While the main consumers of oil are highly developed countries or emerging giants, the bulk of global hydrocarbon reserves is concentrated in a relatively small group of developing countries or transitional economies. This contradiction is a basic factor in the behavior of key market players. Such large consumers as the U.S., the EU and China are concentrating both economic and political resources on expanding on the same market, which leads to competition between them. The fact that the majority of resource-rich countries are politically unstable sets the stage for future upheavals on the world energy market, while opening some opportunities for Russian expansion. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Bloomberg: New Zealand Will Require Biofuel Sales Starting April Next Year

By Gavin Evans

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) — New Zealand’s government will require the nation’s oil companies to begin selling biofuels next year to reduce emissions and cut the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

The country’s fuel retailers, including the local units of Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp. and BP Plc, will have to sell biofuel blends starting April 2008, Energy Minister David Parker said in a statement today. The new fuels must account for 0.5 percent of sales that year, rising to 3.4 percent by 2012. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Asia Pulse: The shares of Western Oil Sands carry on heaving

Published: Feb 13, 2007

Western Oil Sands Inc. shares continued to rise on Friday amid rumors the company is about to be sold. The shares, which closed at $33.09 in Toronto, briefly touched $34.60 – within striking distance of a 52-week high of $38.09.

Also fuelling conjecture was an independent evaluation of Western’s senior partner in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) – Shell Canada Ltd. – as Royal Dutch continued to offer $45 a share for the portion of the company it doesn’t already own. Western, along with Shell and Chevron Canada, holds 20 per cent of AOSP, which is currently producing 150,000 barrels of synthetic crude oil per day (bpd). read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Irish Independent: Oil giant asks for advance talks with planners

Published: Feb 13, 2007

SHELL Oil is to meet officials from An Bord Pleanala to discuss its plans to build a controversial gas pipeline in north Mayo.

The planning board confirmed it had received a request for talks from Shell ahead of the energy giant applying for planning permission for its gas pipeline in north Mayo.

The company asked for the pre-application consultation last week and a spokesman for An Bord Pleanala said it would be a few weeks before a meeting could take place.

The company will engage in “pre-application discussions”, allowed under the new Strategic Infrastructure Act, and will ask the board about the procedures it must follow before it lodges a planning application later this year. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

New York Times: West Adds to Strains on Iran’s Lifeline

Published: February 13, 2007

EXTRACT: Shell and Repsol announced last month a preliminary deal for South Pars, the world’s largest natural gas field. But the project, estimated at $10 billion, has been delayed for more than a year. A final investment decision is not due until at least the end of 2007. Asked about the project at a news conference this month, Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Shell, expressed some embarrassment, saying, “We have a dilemma.” Iran’s oil and gas reserves are too big to ignore, he said, but “we have all the short-term political concerns, as you can see.” read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The Wall Street Journal: Russian for Chutzpah

EXTRACT: Perhaps you define the words “market principles,” “transparent” and “blackmail” differently in Russia than we do in the West. In December, the Russian government offered transparently phony environmental reasons — “unauthorized tree felling” — to force Royal Dutch Shell to relinquish control of its $20 billion Sakhalin-2 oil-and-gas project.


February 13, 2007; Page A24

The nearest equivalent the Russian language has for the word chutzpah is naglost. In you, Vladimir Putin, the Russian nation has found the embodiment of naglost. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: February 12, 2007 4:21 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled more than $2 a barrel Monday as frigid Northeast temperatures started to moderate and as Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said OPEC might not cut output at a meeting next month.

Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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WHITE OIL AND RED OIL IN CHINA: These are the names given to illegal or unregistered oil products smuggled into and out of China every day. Analysts and traders believe they amount to only a tiny part of China’s huge consumption of oil. Still, such contraband sales, combined with a lack of data on domestic oil stock levels, which the Chinese government keeps secret, mean analysts don’t have a clear picture of China’s overall oil use. That can have a clear impact on world oil prices. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.