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Posts on ‘April 12th, 2007’

Daily Telegraph: Lord Browne gets pay package approved: quits BP to join Apax

Daily Telegraph Lord Browne Photo

(Lord Browne’s recent problems include the Thunder Horse oil rig delay after a hurricane and Prudhoe Bay where pipes were found corroded causing large oil spills in Alaska)

By Richard Blackden
Last Updated: 12:40am BST 13/04/2007

Lord Browne, chief executive of oil giant BP, has seen off a potential rebellion over his pay package by shareholders who claimed it wasn’t deserved given the company’s safety record.

BP said today that of the shareholders who have voted so far, 82.7pc have approved the resolution proposed at today’s annual general meeting – Lord Browne’s last as chief executive. 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.

Daily Telegraph: Risk of oil crunch as OPEC squeezes tightening market

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Friday 13/04/2007

The world faces the growing risk of an oil crunch this summer as OPEC supply falls to the lowest level in two years and stocks held by wealthy nations tumbled at the fastest rate in a decade.

The International Energy Agency said the oil-exporting cartel had taken 1.2m barrels a day off the markets since last September in a move to support prices through the unusually mild winter, but had now pushed the pendulum too far the other way.

Inventories held by the OECD club of rich states have fallen by 1.1m barrels a day over the first quarter, with continued falls in March, a time of year when countries normally replenish reserves. 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 Economist: A bear at the throat

The Economist - Russian Bear

Apr 12th 2007 | BRUSSELS AND MOSCOW
European energy security

The European Union is belatedly grasping the riskiness of its dependence on Russian gas, but it is disunited and short of ideas for how to reduce it

By Kevin Kallaugher

RUSSIA’S president, Vladimir Putin, must be feeling smug. His strategy of using the country’s vast natural resources to restore the greatness lost after the break-up of the Soviet Union seems to be paying off. If power is measured by the fear instilled in others—as many Russians believe—he is certainly winning. 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.

Pensions&Investments: Royal Dutch Shell, European investors settle

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and a group of 50 European investors, including the $230 billion Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP, agreed to a settlement of almost $455 million over claims that Shell overstated its proven oil and gas reserves from 1997-2003, according to Jay W. Eisenhofer, managing partner of the law firm of Grant & Eisenhofer, which represents the group, and a company filing with the SEC.

Royal Dutch Shell did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, according to the SEC filing. 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.

RIA Novosti: Sakhalin I, II operators post $857mln, $794mln earnings

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) – Large oil and gas projects on Sakhalin I and Sakhalin II off Russia’s Pacific coast last year brought in $857 million and $794.6 million, respectively, the Industry and Energy Ministry said Thursday.

Oil output at Sakhalin I, operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited, a subsidiary of U.S. oil major Exxon, under a product-sharing agreement with the Russian government, totaled 2.6 million metric tons (18.8 million bbl) in 2006. The operator began exporting locally produced crude to Japan, Korea and India last October, and has sold some 2.452 million tons (18.02 million bbl) to those countries since. 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.

RIA Novosti: Russia annuls Sakhalin II contract with PwC

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has annulled a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers, auditor of the Sakhalin II hydrocarbon project in the Far East for 10 years, and selected a new auditor, the Industry and Energy Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said the company’s assessment of spending under the production-sharing agreement was unsatisfactory and Russian authorities had selected a Russian auditor, FinExpertiza, at a tender. FinExpertiza has completed the audit, the ministry 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.

ComputerWorld Malaysia: Malaysia key to Shell’s VoIP rollout

By Phil Hochmuth

Malaysia will be home to a new Royal Dutch Shell IP (internet protocol) telephony facility under the oil giant’s plans to consolidate all call control, collaboration and messaging functions into three data centres worldwide.

Including Shell’s two centres in the US and the Netherlands, the three facilities will eventually handle all VoIP (voice over internet protocol) call control for more than 40,000 IP hard phones from Nortel and soft phones (personal computer-based VoIP software) based on Microsoft Office Communicator. 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.

RIA Novosti: Total rectifies oil deposit breaches – Russian official

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) -Total has rectified numerous violations at the Kharyaga oil deposit in northern Russia that the French energy giant is developing, the Russian Audit Chamber chairman said Thursday.

In January, the Audit Chamber found the project operator had committed a number of violations, including underproduction of crude and a failure to meet the schedule and requirement for development works.

“I should say Total has corrected the numerous violations that we registered,” Sergei Stepashin 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.

Time Magazine: Russia’s Natural Gas Mogul Speaks

Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2007

Russia’s Gazprom is a giant by every measure. The state-run corporation is the world’s second large energy company, controlling 26.6% of global natural gas reserves, producing one fifth of the world’s natural gas and supplying a quarter of what Europe consumes. Gazprom also controls 10.2 billion barrels of crude oil reserves. Critics see Gazprom as a monopolist monster but Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom’s Management Committee and General Director of Gazpromexport, sat down with Time’s Yuri Zarakhovich to espouse Gazprom’s view of itself as a benevolent giant. 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.

London Evening Standard: Shell ready to return to Iraq after 35 years

Nick Goodway, Evening Standard
12 April 2007

Shell is set to become the first oil major to return to war-torn Iraq since the nationalisation of the country’s oil industry 35 years ago. 

The Anglo-Dutch group is close to announcing a partnership with the Turkish state oil business TPAO to build a gas export pipeline and reopen gas extraction in the northern republic of Kurdistan.

The pipeline is believed to run alongside an existing one which connects the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan with the giant Iraqi oilfield in Kirkuk. A Shell spokesman said the company has yet to sign any contracts but admitted it had been in talks about re-entering Iraq. 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 Settles Investor Lawsuit

Posted by WSJ.com Staff

This is more a legal story than an energy story, but it involves one of the world’s biggest energy companies, so it’s worth noting: Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it would pay $352.6 million to settle claims brought in the U.S. by European shareholders, who accused Shell of defrauding them by overstating its reserves.

The Netherlands-based oil giant also agreed to pay $47 million in attorneys’ fees to three American law firms that represented the European investors.

The agreement marks the first time that an all-European cast of players has leveraged U.S. courts to settle stock-fraud allegations, marking a further step in a gradual migration of U.S.-style civil-litigation methods to Europe. 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.

MENAFN Press: Shell opens new car care center in Fujairah

April 12, 2007

Shell, a leading player in the global energy and petrochemicals industry, has announced that it has opened a new Shell Care Outlet in Fujairah .The Grand opening ceremony party was honored by the presence of H.H. Shaikh Saqer Bin Srour Al Sharqi and Mr. Abdullah Bin Haikel Al Bulushi the Emirates Bank Manager in Al Fujairah Bank.

Shell takes on the challenge of providing quality car care service to a rapidly growing automotive industry in the UAE. The move is response to a growing demand for a massive service support infrastructure with the UAE being recognized as having the world’s highest ratio of population to number of vehicles. 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.

Times Online: Shell strikes deal to extract Iraqi gas

April 12, 2007

TPAO, the Turkish state oil company, will work with the Anglo-Dutch group to extract gas from the Kurdistan region

Steve Hawkes

Shell is poised to become the first oil major to step back into Iraq after reports that it has signed a deal to extract natural gas in the northern republic of Kurdistan.

A Turkish news agency claimed that the Anglo-Dutch giant would work in partnership with TPAO, the Turkish state oil company.

The alliance is also expected to cover the construction of a gas export pipeline that would run alongside an existing pipeline connecting the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan and the massive Iraqi oil field in Kirkuk. 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.

Bloomberg: GasTerra 2006 Sales Rise 25 Percent, Boosted by Higher Prices

By Fred Pals

April 12 (Bloomberg) — GasTerra BV, a gas-trading venture between the Dutch state, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp., said 2006 sales rose 25 percent, boosted by worldwide increases in energy prices.

Revenue rose to 18.4 billion euros ($24.7 billion) last year from 14.7 billion euros in 2005, GasTerra said in its annual report published today. The amount of gas the company sold fell to 78.8 billion cubic meters from 80.4 billion, the Groningen, Netherlands-based venture said in its annual report. 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.

Bloomberg: Inpex Faces Environmental Opposition to Australian LNG Project

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

April 12 (Bloomberg) — Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest oil explorer, faces opposition from environmental groups to a potential A$10 billion ($8.3 billion) liquefied natural gas project it plans to build off the northwestern Australian coast.

Environs Kimberley Inc. and Cultural Heritage and Environmental Advocacy for the Kimberley, or CHEAK, are among groups that made submissions to a Western Australian environment agency voicing fears about the potential effects on wildlife and Aboriginal heritage sites. Australian Conservation Foundation said it has “grave concerns” about the project. 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 Scotsman: Restoration masterclass

MARTIN FLANAGAN
 
SHELL pink is a nice colour. And it is astonishing that oil major Royal Dutch Shell is in the pink again just three years after a scandal ripped out the boardroom, sent the share price plunging, woke up the regulators, provoked unprecedented internal navel-gazing, and led to nearly a century of corporate history being consigned to the bin.

The oil reserves overstatement scandal of 2004, when the company admitted it had overstated this touchstone of an oil group’s health by 20 per cent and then tried to cover it up, devastated the British-Dutch group’s reputation for probity. 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.

PR Newswire (Europe): Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP Announces US$352 Million Settlement With Royal Dutch Shell

Published: Apr 12, 2007

Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP Announces US$352 Million Settlement With Royal Dutch Shell on Behalf of European and Other Non-United States Shareholders

RADNOR, Pennsylvania, April 12 /PRNewswire/ —

The following statement was issued today by the law firm of Schiffrin Barroway Topaz & Kessler, LLP:

A landmark US$352 million settlement was achieved by European investors with Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE: RDS.A, RDS.B; LN: RDSA, RDSB; EN: RDSA, RDSB) relating to Shell’s(1) 2004 restatement of reserves. The European settlement of securities fraud claims on a class-wide basis, the first of its kind, seeks to resolve claims exclusively on behalf of European and other non-United States investors. 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.

Financial Times: Shell pays $353m to settle reserves lawsuits

By Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent
Published: April 12 2007 03:00 | Last updated: April 12 2007 03:00

Royal Dutch Shell yesterday took a significant step towards closure on the biggest scandal in its 100-year history. The Anglo-Dutch energy group announced it would pay $353m (£178m) to settle non-US investor lawsuits that sprang up after it was forced to cut its stated oil and natural gas reserves in 2004 by more than a quarter.

The investor groups include institutional investors, such as pension funds, as well as VEB, which represents individual shareholders in the Netherlands, and the Shell Reserves Compensation Fund, a settlement foundation for individual shareholders. 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.

Financial Times: A necessary evil: ‘The lawyers have cleaned up again’

By Chris Hughes

Published: April 12 2007 03:00 | Last updated: April 12 2007 03:00

The lawyers have cleaned up again. It is hard to see any other winners from Shell’s agreement to pay $353m (£179m) to European investors to settle claims relating to the restatement of its reserves in 2004.

The payment is simply a transfer of value from Shell’s current shareholders to previous shareholders, many of which overlap. Current shareholders will also foot the legal bill for the settlement.

But it would be unfair to criticise the investors who participated in the settlement too harshly. They probably had little choice. 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.

Financial Times: Dutch consider disclosure change

EXTRACT: Alongside investor revolts at Stork, Ahold, the food retailer, ABN, Royal Dutch Shell, the energy company, and VNU, the business information group, the Netherlands has seen a rash of private equity buy-outs – the biggest involving VNU, units of technology company Philips and TNT, the post group.

THE ARTICLE

By Ian Bickerton in Amsterdam
Published: April 12 2007 03:00 | Last updated: April 12 2007 03:00

Dutch regulators said yesterday they were considering lowering the threshold for disclosure of share ownership to one per cent – the lowest level anywhere – as they sought greater insight into the activities and motives of activist investors. 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.

New York Times: Shell Settles With Europe on Overstated Oil Reserves

EXTRACT: If, however, the Federal District Court in Trenton, where the class-action suit is being heard, decides at a hearing in June that it has jurisdiction over European investors, the settlement is null. 
By G. THOMAS SIMS
Published: April 12, 2007

FRANKFURT, April 11 — Royal Dutch Shell agreed Wednesday to pay European and other non-American shareholders about $450 million in a settlement to help resolve legal disputes stemming from its overstatement of oil reserves.

The money will compensate shareholders for losses incurred when the company’s stock dropped after it disclosed in early 2004 that it had greatly overstated its reserves, a closely watched indicator of an energy company’s health. 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: Leader: Standing up to the west

EXTRACT: Gazprom can earn its reputation as an honourable and secure energy supplier by acting as such. Enforcing the rule of business law and honouring contracts with Shell over Sakhalin and BP over Kovykta would also help.

THE ARTICLE

Thursday April 12, 2007

It should come as no surprise that Russia is preparing its own military response to US plans to build a missile defence system in eastern Europe. As the Guardian reports this week, missile defence is emerging as one of the big issues driving Russia and America apart once more. Behind both the missile issue and the use of Gazprom as a tool of foreign policy, is a nagging question: what is Russia’s relationship with the west? 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: Russia’s power play in Europe

In the second of three reports looking at Russia’s growing financial muscle at home and abroad, we focus on Gazprom, its biggest company, and to many in the west a tool of the Kremlin’s expansionist ambitions

Terry Macalister in Moscow
Thursday April 12, 2007

The neon-topped tower block surrounded by guard posts and 12-ft high steel fencing is a fitting environment for an energy behemoth that is feared and respected in equal measure. Inside the building the atmosphere is equally intimidating. More security checks – more reluctant cooperation – and then a procession of long corridors and silent lift journeys to the top floors. Welcome to Gazprom, a company with the biggest gas reserves in the world and the biggest public relations headache on the planet. 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: Gazprom targets key UK names in drive for expansion

EXTRACT: More recently, Gazprom has caused unease because it has pushed its way into a lucrative Shell gas project on Sakhalin Island in the east of Russia after the Anglo- Dutch company came under atttack from the state over alleged environmental violations of its operating licence.

THE ARTICLE

Terry Macalister
Thursday April 12, 2007

The Russian gas group, Gazprom, is making a determined effort to increase its influence in Britain by targeting landmark buildings as customers. It has started supplying power to York Minster, Headingley cricket ground and the City Point tower in London. Other targets include the National Health Service as it seeks to increase market share in Britain from 2% now to 10% by 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.

TheWeekly.com: Dep. of Agriculture seals Pumps at Shell service stations

Department of Agriculture seals several Pumps at three Shell service stations
due to water found in storage tanks

ATLANTA, GA (April 11, 2007) – Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin confirms today that Shell service stations, in three different parts of the state have had gasoline pumps seals because they contained water mixed with the gasoline.

At the Shell station at 157 Highway 61 in Villa Rica, mid-grade pumps were sealed due to water in the storage tank.

In Forsyth, just north of Macon, the Shell station at 295 Gee Parkway had its regular unleaded gasoline pumps shut-down because inspectors found water in its storage tank. 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 Independent: Shell settles reserves lawsuit for $353m

By Saeed Shah
Published: 12 April 2007

Shell is to pay European investors $353m (£177m) in compensation over the reserves overbooking scandal that hit the oil giant in 2004.

A group led by 50 European institutional shareholders, including UK fund managers, are also in line for $96m from a fine already levied by the US Securities & Exchange Commission. Yesterday’s out-of-court settlement is likely to lead to a deal with US investors which would mean a further pay-out of $80m.

It is believed to be the largest financial recovery in Europe for a European-based securities claim. The law firm that brought the action, Grant & Eisenhofer, said: “It is certainly the first class-wide settlement of a securities claim by European investors.” Shell said it struck the settlement “without admitting any wrongdoing”. The company’s general counsel Beat Hess said: “For us, it is an important step in closing legal proceedings related to Shell’s recategorisation of reserves.” 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.
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