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Exclusive: Shell seeks to sell Venezuela JV stake to France’s Maurel & Prom – sources

By Marianna Parraga and Alexandra Ulmer

MEXICO CITY/CARACAS (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc is negotiating the sale of its stake in a Venezuelan oil joint venture to Paris-based Maurel & Prom , three sources said this week, a move to scale down its crude business in the ailing OPEC-member country to focus on gas.

The Anglo-Dutch company is seeking to sell its 40 percent stake in Petroregional del Lago, a joint venture with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA in the western state of Zulia near Colombia. read more

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Venezuela says Shell to provide $400 million financing for oil venture

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will provide some $400 million in financing to boost oil output at Venezuela’s Petroregional del Lago, a joint venture with state-run PDVSA, the South American country announced on Tuesday.

Petroregional, which operates the Urdaneta oilfield in Venezuela’s western Maracaibo Lake, produces between 30,000 barrels per day and 35,000 bpd, according to Shell’s website. Shell holds a 40 percent stake in the venture.

The agreement aims to increase total production to 344 million barrels between the 2017 and 2035 period, PDVSA said in a statement, or an average of around 52,400 bpd. read more

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Shell re-enters coal with swaps trading

By Jacqueline Cowhig

LONDON | Thu May 17, 2012 12:16pm BST

May 17 (Reuters) – Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd this month resumed trading in coal derivatives more than a decade after parent Royal Dutch Shell exited the coal business and sold its mines, sources close to the company said.

Shell declined to comment.

Shell actively trades power, gas and carbon so the move back into coal fills a gap in the energy markets it trades and will enable more effective spread-trading and hedging, they said. read more

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Caribbean island Curacao faces oil refinery dilemma

Shell remained on the island for decades and became a major employer, especially in the 1950s and 1960s when the number of jobs at the refinery topped 10,000.

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Caesar Chávez drives campaign of oil seizures

Some 19 companies - including BP, Chevron, Shell, StatoilHydro, and Total - have expressed interest in bidding for the Carabobo projects that could collectively produce more than 800,000 bpd, and require investments of up to $30bn.

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Venezuela’s ‘Shell’ Game

Similarly, Shell will invest in a billion-dollar pipeline in Venezuela if it expects a billion-dollar payoff down the road. For Shell, this requires a leap of faith--a pipeline can't be taken apart and reassembled in Texas or Alaska if things don't work out under Chavez. It's in Venezuela for good, unlike a truck that can be driven across the border to deliver packages in Colombia or Peru instead. Once the expense has been incurred, or the investment has been made, what's to stop Chavez from sending in troops to nationalize Shell's assets, or jacking up the royalty fees that Shell pays to the government?

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Big Oil Can’t Resist the Chavez Charm

You'd think BP or Royal Dutch Shell, for instance, would be especially hesitant about cozying up to the strongman again. After all, BP saw one of its executives flee Russia to escape trumped up charges while having a power-sharing agreement forced on it. Shell was forced to sell its Sakhalin Island interests to Russian gas giant Gazprom. Such are the dangers of signing over your soul to the devil.

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EMBARGO – Quietly, Chávez opens the door to Western oil firms

...faced with the plunge in oil prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials here have quietly begun soliciting some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks, including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, in the hope of getting them to invest in Venezuela again.

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Venezuela reduces oil production

It says the cuts will be made from joint ventures between Venezuela's state oil company and foreign companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp. and France's Total

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Venezuela to Cut Chevron, BP, Shell Output for OPEC

Venezuela, a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, will cut output at joint ventures with Chevron Corp., BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc to help restrain oil supply and bolster prices.

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OPEC Plans Drastic Cut In Oil Production

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it will delay some of its planned expansion of expensive oil sands projects in Canada. Rob J. Routs, executive director of oil products and chemicals and a member of the board at Royal Dutch Shell, said that reaching the target of 700,000 barrels a day would be "pushed out at least two to four years."

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An Ode to Oil

Oil is, after all, a primary source of man-made global warming, while spillages and drilling have sometimes inflicted lethal environmental damage. Despite the sharp falls of recent months, dramatic price rises have also underwritten every postwar global recession, including the current economic malaise.

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OPEC to Discuss Another Round of Production Cuts

Having failed twice in two months to calm plunging oil markets, OPEC ministers are set to weigh another round of steep production cuts as the world's economic travails continue to drive crude prices to levels unseen in years.

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From the Kremlin to Caracas, how oil collapse changes everything

As the price of a barrel falls to below $50 for the first time in years - to a third of its value just a few months ago - petrol will be cheaper but the shockwaves mean crisis for oil-producing nations and further instability for a battered global economy

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The bravest woman in oil

 

PHOTO: VANESSA VICK/REDUX: Ann Pickard at a gas plant near the Niger Delta

Ann Pickard at a gas plant near the Niger Delta

Ann Pickard, Shell’s chief in Nigeria, knows the true meaning of oil crisis.

By Jon Birger, senior writer

NOVEMBER 21, 2008: 7:13 AM ET

(Fortune Magazine) — Ann Pickard’s title sounds normal enough – she’s regional executive vice president in Africa for Royal Dutch Shell’s exploration and production division. But there’s nothing normal whatsoever about Pickard’s job. Indeed, as Shell’s top official in Nigeria, Pickard may well hold the most dangerous executive post within the oil industry.

A 53-year-old Wyoming native who helped organize battered women’s shelters before entering the energy biz in the late 1980s – “making $7,000 a year doesn’t quite cut it,” she says of her former life – Pickard is the first woman to run Shell’s African operation. She talks a lot about reducing accidents, and by accidents, she’s not talking about the industrial variety. read more

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From boom to glut

If sustained, the lower price level will have further repercussions. Big producers such as Russia and Venezuela will struggle to exert political influence through energy policy. Resource nationalism, where oil-rich governments impose tougher terms on independent companies and – notably in the case of Shell in Russia – force them to cede control of assets, may soon be a spent force.

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Time is ripe for greater public control of the oil industry in Europe

But, as we have seen, the pursuit of personal reward by top executives, driven by a pursuit of profit above everything else, can lead to disaster – as it has in the banking sector and as it did for Enron and very nearly for Shell as well at the time of its “reserves crisis” a few years ago.

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OPEC Plans Supply Cut as Crude Oil Heads Toward $50 (Update1)

The prospect of OPEC cuts, slowing economic growth and falling prices drove theDow Jones Europe Stoxx Oil & Gas Index down 25 percent in the past five weeks. Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil, the world's biggest oil company, fell 37 percent this year, while The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the second-biggest, lost 33 percent.

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Environment: Tar sands – the new toxic investment

Shell and BP have been warned by investors that their involvement in unconventional energy production such as Canada's oil sands could turn out to be the industry's equivalent of the sub-prime lending that poisoned the banking sector and triggered the current financial crisis.

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BP’s troubles in Russia show Big Oil’s clout fading

Gone are the days when BP manhandled reserves out of foreign countries, as it did in Iran the early years of the last century. Once the lion of British enterprise, Russia has brushed it aside like a kitten.

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The Russia-Venezuela Alliance: Using Energy for Geopolitical Advantage

When Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez touches down in Moscow on July 22 to meet with the duumvirate of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev, he will be ready for more than the usual diplomatic photo-op. This odd trio will be well-positioned to plan substantial international mischief.

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Canadians ponder cost of rush for dirty oil

Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Total, Occidental, Imperial and most other oil majors have so far invested nearly $100bn Canadian dollars (£50bn) in the 1,160 square mile (3,000 square kilometre) "bitumen belt", which is being called the "new Kuwait".

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Price acts as catalyst for switch

That leaves the companies sitting on huge piles of cash. Even with a generous buy-back policy and consistent dividend payment plan, ExxonMobil, the biggest of the bunch, holds more than $40bn

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Deals with Iraq are set to bring oil giants back

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total and BP ? the original partners in the Iraq Petroleum Company ? along with Chevron and a number of smaller oil companies, are in talks with Iraq's Oil Ministry for no-bid contracts to service Iraq's largest fields, according to ministry officials, oil company officials and an American diplomat.

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Oil price edges closer to $140 a barrel

Richard Savage, head of energy research for Mirabaud, the Swiss bank, said: “This increase won't help bring prices down. If anything, it has made people slightly nervous because the rise is so small that it makes you wonder how close to capacity the Saudis now are. There is a sense of: ‘Is this all they can really do?'”

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Oil explorers find new fields to conquer

Companies are also dipping into “unconventional” hydrocarbon deposits — the sticky mountains of tar sands in Alberta, Canada and on the banks of Venezuela’s Orinoco river, the “tight sands” gas reserves of western Australia, and the methane trapped in long-disused European coal mines.

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Is Oil the Next ‘Bubble’ to Pop?

But don't count on a price plunge just yet. While oil has eased off its record of just over $133 nearly two weeks ago, to $124.31 currently, there are still strong reasons to believe that the benchmark U.S. crude could hover at about $120 a barrel well past summer.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Has Oil Production Reached a ‘De Facto’ Peak?

I’m not sure what to call the peak we have now reached. Maybe it should be called “Peak Practical Production.” Or “De Facto Peak Oil.” Or just, “Th..Th..That’s All, Folks.”

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Shell warns Nigeria of threat to confidence

Shell voiced its concerns shortly after agreeing, in a separate move, to lend the government $3.1bn (€2bn, £1.6bn) to help kick-start stalled projects in their Niger Delta joint venture - the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

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Is Invading Venezuela a Good Way Out of an Oil Crisis?

.....The obvious place to invade is Venezuela. Since the 1.8 trillion barrels of Venezuelan oil deposits consist largely of the Orinoco tar sands, a Venezuelan oil-related invasion would impose an additional requirement: to keep the environmentalists away, in order that reserves could be exploited with maximum efficiency.........

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Oil price rise makes fools of us all: “apologies to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart for reminding him of this little gem…”.

The key players are no longer the oil majors such as Shell. Resource-rich countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran are sufficiently confident to do without their help (or, at least, they demand a bigger slice of the spoils). The balance of power has shifted.

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Energy Watchdog Warns Of Oil-Production Crunch

The world's premier energy monitor is preparing a sharp downward revision of its oil-supply forecast, a shift that reflects deepening pessimism over whether oil companies can keep abreast of booming demand.

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Big companies rue loss of ‘easy oil’

Never have so many oil and gas companies spent so much to produce so little. That's the challenge facing Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron, Total SA and ConocoPhillips, which will spend a record US$98.7 billion ($127.41 billion) this year on exploration and production, Lehman Brothers Holdings estimates.

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Running on empty?

So are the peak oilists right? A series of recent events certainly appears to lend credence to those who argue that the world's ageing oilfields are being sucked dry amid China's and India's determination to lift themselves out of poverty and the west's reluctance to give up the luxuries of modern oil-dependent life.

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The Majors Look West, Again

After years of shunning North America and Europe in favor of exotic locales that promised oil in far greater quantities at a much lower cost, the industry's largest players have come crawling back. The reason? Those big projects have been difficult to pull off and haven't made up for declining production in more mature regions like the U.S. Last year the five largest U.S. and British oil companies—ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), BP (BP), Chevron (CVX), and ConocoPhillips (COP), which together account for 11% of worldwide output—saw their oil production slide 3%, to 10 million barrels per day. Those shrinking supplies are one reason that oil now tops $125 a barrel.

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Venezuela windfall tax to delay investment: Shell

The imposition of a new windfall oil profits tax will delay a planned expansion of Royal Dutch Shell Plc's operations in Venezuela, a Shell executive said Tuesday.

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The End of OPEC

Churchill’s assessment applies to the current oil situation: this is the beginning of the end of OPEC. That much is obvious; the more interesting question is “why?”

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Oil smashes through $126 all time record

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil rose above $126 a barrel for the first time Friday, bringing its advance this week to nearly $10, as investors questioned whether a possible confrontation between the U.S. and Venezuela could cut exports from the OPEC member. Gas prices, meanwhile, rose above an average $3.67 a gallon at the pump, following oil's recent path higher.

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Shell executive to chair state’s oil and gas association

Frank Glaviano Sr., Shell's vice president of exploration and production, has been selected as the new Chairman of the Louisiana Mid Continent Oil and Gas Association, the group announced this morning.

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Exxon must act to keep an enviable reputation

Whether viewed over the past five years or past 20, Exxon's total shareholder returns have comfortably exceeded the average of its peers: Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron.

But nobody is perfect...

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Shell Says in Joint-Venture Talks with the Venezuelan government

FORBES: Update 1: Shell Says Joint-Venture Talks With Vene: “Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Monday that it was open to negotiating with the Venezuelan government on a new arrangement for using oil fields where the company has been operating under contract.”

Posted 4 October 2005

Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Monday that it was open to negotiating with the Venezuelan government on a new arrangement for using oil fields where the company has been operating under contract.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reiterated over the weekend that all contracts with foreign petroleum companies for pumping oil must be converted into joint ventures with Venezuela’s state-controlled Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., or PDVSA.

The government intends to take as much as 80 percent stakes in the new arrangements, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez has said. read more

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Venezuela tax office threatens to halt Shell ops over 130 mln usd tax – report

AFX Europe (Focus): Venezuela tax office threatens to halt Shell ops over 130 mln usd tax – report

“Venezuela’s Seniat tax office has threatened to halt production at Royal Dutch Shell…”: “The Seniat previously ordered the temporary suspension of Royal Dutch Shell’s administrative activities in the country over VAT irregularities and requested from a local court an injunction to impound Shell’s “assets and rights”…:

Friday September 30, 2005

CARACAS (AFX) – Venezuela’s Seniat tax office has threatened to halt production at Royal Dutch Shell and other oil companies sites, reports Venezuela’s El Universal.

Head of Seniat Jesus Vielma Mora says these oil companies have refused to pay a new energy tax, approved in 2001.

Seniat is demanding 130 mln usd, the highest asked from foreign oil companies, for back taxes between 2001-04.

The Seniat previously ordered the temporary suspension of Royal Dutch Shell’s administrative activities in the country over VAT irregularities and requested from a local court an injunction to impound Shell’s “assets and rights” for the amount of 280 bln bolivars (around 130 mln usd) as part of its attempt to recover these back taxes. read more

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Chavez squeezes oil companies

The Washington Times: Chavez squeezes oil companies

“More than 20 foreign companies including Chevron Corp., British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell are being targeted in an effort to collect more than $3 billion.”

Thursday 25 August 2005

By Jens Erik Gould

Published August 25, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez is taking advantage of soaring oil prices and a weak opposition movement to squeeze private oil companies and regain what he calls “petroleum sovereignty.”

More than 20 foreign companies including Chevron Corp., British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell are being targeted in an effort to collect more than $3 billion.

“Oil riches have given the Venezuelan government huge negotiating power,” said one lawyer, who is representing the oil companies in talks with the government. “And they are using it.” read more

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Oil minister says Shell, Exxon Mobil out of Venezuela gas project

MarketWatch: Oil minister says Shell, Exxon Mobil out of Venezuela gas project

Posted Saturday 20 August 2005

CARACAS (MarketWatch) — Venezuela’s oil minister said Friday that Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil Corp. will no longer participate in the Mariscal Sucre natural gas project.

Venezuela will begin to develop the project’s initial two fields on its own, Rafael Ramirez told reporters.

Venezuela had been in talks with the two companies for the Mariscal Sucre project but had reached no agreement. The minister said the government will use its own resources to launch the project. read more

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Shell’s office closed for 48 hours in tax dispute

New Zealand Herald: Shell’s office closed for 48 hours in tax dispute

“Venezuela’s tax authority has closed a Royal Dutch Shell office for 48 hours and put a hold on some company assets as part of a US$131 million ($188 million) back tax dispute with the oil company.”

Saturday 13 August 2005

13.08.05

CARACAS: Venezuela’s tax authority has closed a Royal Dutch Shell office for 48 hours and put a hold on some company assets as part of a US$131 million ($188 million) back tax dispute with the oil company.

Shell is appealing against a claim by the Seniat tax authority for taxes it says the Anglo-Dutch firm did not pay during the 2001 to 2004 period.

The investigation is part of a wider probe of foreign oil companies in the world’s No 5 crude exporter.

Seniat said it had forbidden Shell from selling or exporting US$131 million worth of goods and equipment the agency has earmarked as collateral in the dispute. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

BBC NEWS: Venezuela-Shell tax row heats up

BBC NEWS: Venezuela-Shell tax row heats up

“Venezuelan tax authorities have closed a Royal Dutch Shell office for 48 hours and asked for an injunction on some of the oil firm’s assets in a tax dispute. The row centres on a $131m (£74m) bill for back taxes covering 2001-2004, presented to the oil giant in July.”

Saturday 13 August 2005

Venezuelan tax authorities have closed a Royal Dutch Shell office for 48 hours and asked for an injunction on some of the oil firm’s assets in a tax dispute. The row centres on a $131m (£74m) bill for back taxes covering 2001-2004, presented to the oil giant in July.

Venezuela’s tax authority said it had put a hold on Shell goods worth $131m and shut its office in Lake Maracaibo.

Shell is challenging the demand, which is part of a wider clampdown on alleged tax avoidance by foreign firms. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Forbes: Venezuela Tax Agency Closes Shell Office

Forbes: Venezuela Tax Agency Closes Shell Office

“Shell has decided to challenge a US$130 million (euro104.8 million) claim for unpaid taxes in Venezuela, and the tax agency has said Shell will lose out if the case goes to court.”:

Posted Friday 12 August 2005

Associated Press

Venezuela’s tax agency has ordered a two-day closing of Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s office in the western city of Maracaibo amid a tax audit, the company said.

The company’s oil production in Venezuela has not been affected, as only around 150 employees at the Maracaibo office have been affected by the move, company spokeswoman Bettina Steinhold said.

“Our main production platform is still working,” she said, adding that Shell’s offices in the capital of Caracas were still open. read more

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The Guardian: We have been here before: the price of oil will fall

The Guardian: We have been here before: the price of oil will fall

“One piece of conventional wisdom which is hardening into a truism is that oil prices will continue to rise. Recent headlines include: “Shell predicts two decades of rising oil prices” and “Oil will hit $100 by winter”.

Monday August 8, 2005

Vincent Cable

One piece of conventional wisdom which is hardening into a truism is that oil prices will continue to rise. Recent headlines include: “Shell predicts two decades of rising oil prices” and “Oil will hit $100 by winter”.

The futures markets are expecting prices to continue to rise from just over $60 a barrel to $64-$65 in six months. The mainstream forecasters anticipate continued high prices in the short and even long term.

We have been here before. At the peak of the 1979/80 oil shock, when prices reached $80 a barrel in today’s terms, a poll of forecasters showed a consensus expecting prices to rise indefinitely. The forecasts were underpinned by the belief that supplies were becoming exhausted or that the Opec cartel had limitless capacity to adjust supply to maximise revenue. Little account was taken of the supply and demand response which led to the collapse of prices within five years. The old adage of all commodity markets that high prices lead to low prices was forgotten. It is being forgotten again. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan

Financial Times: Shell to answer Venezuela tax charges

Financial Times: Shell to answer Venezuela tax charges

“Royal Dutch Shell must on Friday answer allegations by Venezuela that it has failed to pay $130m in back taxes…”

Posted Friday 5 August 2005

By Andy Webb-Vidal in Caracas

Royal Dutch Shell must on Friday answer allegations by Venezuela that it has failed to pay $130m in back taxes, a response that could have critical implications for several oil companies operating in the country.

The tax claim on Shell forms part of a campaign led by President Hugo Chávez to tighten control over private oil companies, which pump about 40 per cent of the output from the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter.

Mr Chávez and other officials have publicly claimed that multinationals owe as much as $3bn (€2.4bn, £1.7bn) in unpaid taxes, and in recent months Venezuela has increased tax and royalty rates on various types of oil ventures. read more

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Venezuela Hits Oil Firm With Back-Tax Bill, Fine

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Venezuela Hits Oil Firm With Back-Tax Bill, Fine

“Last week, Royal Dutch Shell was the first foreign oil company to receive a tax bill and fine from the Seniat.”

Monday July 25, 2005; Page A13

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

July 25, 2005; Page A13

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s tax authority presented Harvest Natural Resources Inc. with an $85 million retroactive income-tax bill along with a fine — the second levied on a foreign oil company this month.

In a statement Friday, the tax authority, the Seniat, said the bill was for unpaid income taxes from 2001 to 2004. If Harvest pays the taxes within 15 days, it will be fined an additional 10% above the 180 billion bolivars it owes. Otherwise, the U.S. company could face fines of as much as 250% of the amount, the Seniat said. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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