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Posts on ‘February 5th, 2008’

Financial Times: Petrol pumps at dawn over strategy

By Ed Crooks
Published: February 5 2008 19:46 | Last updated: February 5 2008 19:46

Tony Hayward at BP and Jeroen van der Veer at Royal Dutch Shell have a great deal in common.

Both chief executives took over when their companies were in crisis; Shell after the reserves misreporting scandal that emerged in 2004 and BP after the fatal explosion at the Texas City refinery in 2005 and other problems that drew attention to deep operational weaknesses.

Both face the same challenge of how big international oil companies – challenged by ever more assertive governments and national oil companies – can gain access to the resources they need to survive. They have found some of the same answers, in terms of trying to restrain cost inflation and making it a priority to secure access to resources. read more

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Times Online: Nigeria scraps Shell’s oil bonus scheme

February 5, 2008

The row between the Anglo-Dutch giant and the Nigerian Government over financing has taken a turn for the worse

Carl Mortished, World Business Editor

The Nigerian Government has scrapped an oil bonus scheme that rewarded Royal Dutch Shell in a further escalation of the confrontation over the financing of Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta.

Shell confirmed today that it had received a letter from the Nigerian Government notifying the oil company that it intended to cancel a memorandum of understanding between them. The MOU, which was signed in 2000, created an incentive regime awarding Shell a premium of $2.50 per barrel of oil discovered. In its place, the Nigerian Government said that Shell would be subject to the “regular Petroleum Profits Tax Act regime”. read more

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REUTERS: UPDATE 2-BP profits fall but div, cost cuts boost shares

Tue Feb 5, 2008 3:37am EST(adds details)
By Tom Bergin

LONDON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Oil giant BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) reported a big drop in profits due to refining losses, service station write-downs and rising costs, but higher production, planned cost cuts and a more generous dividend policy helped push its shares higher.

The third-largest Western oil company by market capitalisation said on Tuesday that full-year replacement cost (RC) profits fell 22 percent to $17.29 billion, despite a big rise in crude prices. read more

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Bloomberg: Australia to Pick Single Site for Kimberley LNG Plant (Update2)

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — The Australian federal and Western Australian state governments will identify one site in the far northwest for a shared liquefied natural gas plant in a move environmental groups said throw doubt on existing project plans.

The move, part of a “strategic assessment” of the Kimberley region, will avoid “piecemeal” development of projects in the region, federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett and Western Australia’s Acting Minister for State Development John Kobelke said today in an e-mailed statement. read more

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Bloomberg: Shell Says `Tripped’ Coker Unit at Deer Park Causes Flaring

By Trisha Huang

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, said it has cut supply of raw material to the coker unit at its Deer Park, Texas, refinery after the unit malfunctioned, resulting in flaring of gases.

The coker unit “tripped” after the anti-surge valve opened, Shell said in a filing to the Texas Natural Resource Conversation Commission. Shell reduced raw material supply to the unit in order to stabilize operations and curb flaring, the refiner said. read more

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Financial Times: BP to cut 5,000 jobs as profits fall

By Ed Crooks, Energy Editor
Published: February 5 2008 08:26 | Last updated: February 5 2008 08:26

BP, Europe’s second biggest oil company, has raised its quarterly dividend by 31 per cent to reflect “the company’s increasingly robust view of the future”, in spite of fourth-quarter profits well below analysts’ expectations.

The company announced that it added to its reserves more than 100 per cent of the oil and gas it produced last year, when its leading rivals have either reported poor performance or said nothing about their reserves replacement. read more

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THE INDEPENDENT: The world’s rubbish dump: a garbage tip that stretches from Hawaii to Japan

The Independent front page 5 Fe 2008

By Kathy Marks, Asia-Pacific Correspondent, and Daniel Howden
Tuesday, 5 February 2008

A “plastic soup” of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting “soup” stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan. read more

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The Guardian: BP positions itself for share of Iraqi oil

· Talks with Baghdad officials held in Jordan
· Campaigners say oil law will cost country billions

Terry Macalister
Tuesday February 5 2008

BP has been holding meetings with Iraqi oil officials as it speeds up plans to re-enter one of the biggest but politically most controversial oil provinces in the world, five years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein by the British and US military.

The move comes as BP is drawing fire for abandoning any pursuit of green credentials. Environmental groups accuse the new chief executive, Tony Hayward, of “recarbonising” a once enlightened oil group. read more

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The Guardian: The great fuel folly

Oil firms’ output is down, yet profits skyrocket. It all points to the crisis predicted by the peakists

Jeremy Leggett
Tuesday February 5, 2008

Records tumble as the oil majors release their annual results. The most profit made by a European company: Shell’s $27bn. The most profit made by any company ever: ExxonMobil’s $40bn. Amid the noise about capital allocation and windfall taxes, there is a danger of missing the most important results of all. The oil and gas production of Shell, BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron is going down, not up. When BP announces its results today, industry insiders expect them to be down too. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

The Times: Ban all cars that do under 35mpg, ex-Shell boss says

February 5, 2008
Ben Webster

The former chairman of Shell has called for the European Union to ban the sale of new cars that do under 35 miles to the gallon.

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of the coal mining giant Anglo American, said car manufacturers would adapt to cope with stricter rules.

Despite driving a Toyota Prius petrol/electric hybrid, which achieved 65mpg in tests, he was accused of hypocrisy for chairing a company with at least one private jet.

Anglo American said it had a Gulf-stream jet which was used by senior staff, including Sir Mark. read more

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The Times: Oil majors discuss oil for expertise deal with Iraq to boost output

February 5, 2008
Robin Pagnamenta

The West’s biggest oil companies are in talks with the Government of Iraq to boost the country’s oil and gas output.

Under a specially designed technical services agreement, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell would be paid in oil rather than cash to help to develop the fields.

The decision, which is politically highly charged in Iraq, would involve the oil majors taking on the role of special contractors to the Government. The agreements would cover a variety of oil and gasfields in western, southern, central and northern Iraq. Shell, for example, is interested in the Akkas gasfield in Anbar and another gasfield in the south of the country. read more

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The Times: In the know: Bet of the day

February 5, 2008

Today BP reports full-year earnings after Shell announced Britain’s biggest corporate profit last week. BP, steady at 542p, is expected to report profit of £15 billion, below initial forecasts but smashing Shell’s record and confirming its status as the biggest company in Europe. Capital Spreads is quoting a rolling price of 541.2p-542.8p

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/markets/article3308344.ece

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The Times: Need to know; February 5, 2008

Natural resources

ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhilips and Shell are in talks with Iraq’s Government about a plan to boost the country’s oil and gas output before the introduction of a new law governing distribution of the country’s oil wealth.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/markets/article3308618.ece

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BBC News: BP annual profits fall by a fifth

BBC News BP logo image

BP’s chief executive Lord Browne resigned in May

Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 07:49 GMT  

The oil giant BP has reported a big fall in profits at the end of a tough year for the company.

It still managed to achieve replacement cost profits of $17.29bn (£8.76bn), but that was 22% below its 2006 level.

Despite the rising price of oil, the money BP makes from refining has been squeezed and two of its US refineries have seen output reduced.

The profits are dwarfed by the record annual figure of £13.9bn, which was announced by its rival Shell last week. read more

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Bloomberg: BP Must Wait to Resolve Charges in Texas Blast Plea (Update3)

By Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Margaret Cronin Fisk

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — BP Plc will have to wait at least two weeks to learn how much it must pay to resolve criminal charges linked to 15 death in a 2005 explosion at its Texas refinery.

Blast victims urged U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal in Houston today to reject the plea, calling the $50 million deal inadequate to deter BP, Europe’s second-largest oil company, from further safety violations. They’re seeking as much as $3.2 billion in fines and court supervision of safety improvements at the refinery, BP’s largest. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: BP Pleads Guilty, But Judge Listens To Blast Victims

ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 5, 2008; Page A11

HOUSTON — Oil giant BP PLC formally entered a guilty plea yesterday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors for its criminal conduct in a deadly explosion at its Texas City, Texas, plant in 2005. But a federal judge said she would listen to blast victims and their attorneys, who have been highly critical of the agreement, before deciding whether or not to accept the plea.

Texas City plant manager Keith Casey entered a guilty plea on behalf of BP. “The result is a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided. We deeply regret the choice we made and are profoundly sorry for the harm we caused,” said Mr. Casey, who wasn’t the plant manager at the time of the blast. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Nigeria Plans to Cancel Investment Deal, Shell Says

February 5, 2008; Page A10

Nigeria has notified a Royal Dutch Shell PLC joint venture that it intends to cancel a memorandum of understanding signed with foreign companies in 2000 to encourage investment in the country, a Shell spokeswoman said. Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources sent a letter to Shell’s 30%-owned venture, Shell Petroleum Development Co., saying it is terminating the agreement and replacing it with a regular profits-tax regime, she said. Oil-rich Nigeria has been seeking better terms for joint-venture contracts and is in negotiations with foreign corporate partners. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Crude Oil Reclaims $90 Mark

Wall Street Journal image

By GREGORY MEYER
February 5, 2008; Page C12

Crude oil futures gained to close above $90 a barrel yesterday after traders reconsidered a selloff last week and reacted to fresh violence in Nigeria’s tumultuous, oil-rich southern region.
 
Light, sweet crude for March delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled up $1.06, or 1.2%, to $90.02 a barrel.

Analysts searched for definitive reasons behind the rally. One explanation was that front-month crude’s 3% pullback Friday on the back of economic fears went too far. read more

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil Sands Are Shifting in Alberta

Wall Steet Journal image

Costs, Regulation
Are Slowing Boom;
Game for Big Players
By GUY CHAZAN
February 5, 2008; Page A8

CALGARY, Alberta — After years of headlong growth, Canada’s oil sands have hit a speed bump.

Escalating costs, labor shortages, tax increases and the threat of tighter climate-change laws are clouding the prospects of one of the world’s biggest sources of oil. And while multinationals can cope with the tougher operating environment, smaller companies are struggling.
 
“About a dozen of the smaller oil-sands players are coming to me saying we can’t make this work,” says Brian Maynard, vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, an industry group. “Their economic model is no longer viable.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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