Posts Tagged ‘Shell Oil’

Protestors occupy Shell plant in Nigeria

August 12, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Although Shell was forced to quit oil production in the area in 1993, the company still runs a network of pipelines criss-crossing the area

WARRI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Hundreds of protesters have occupied a Nigerian oil facility owned by Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, demanding that a local company take over its operations, a community leader said Saturday.

“We want Shell to hand over the operations of the flow station to Belema Oil Company because it appreciates our challenges and needs,” community leader Godson Egbelekro told AFP.

Protesters from the Kula and Belema community in Nigeria’s restive southern Rivers state said the community has suffered through decades of poverty and neglect.

At the same time they say the owners and workers of multinational oil firms operating in the area are living a life of affluence thanks to abundant oil and gas resources.

“We will be here for as long as it takes until Shell meets our demands,” youth leader Alfred Epedi said, adding that “over 800 protesters” were occupying the flow station.

Security guards at the facility did not try to disperse the crowd as it entered the flow station on Friday.

The station, operated by Shell subsidiary the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC), feeds crude oil into its Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day of oil.

The flow station’s output remained slow on Saturday.

Company officials “have been engaging representatives of the community (in) talks but nothing tangible has come out from the said talks,” Epedi said.

In a statement, SPDC spokesman Joseph Obari denied the protesters’ allegations of neglect and said the company was working to resolve the situation.

The company “has spent several millions of naira on social investment projects and university scholarship programmes for students of the area,” Obari said.

“SPDC has informed the authorities of the illegal occupation and is working towards resuming safe operations,” he added.

Community unrest in Ogoniland, in Nigeria’s oil rich south, is not uncommon.

Although Shell was forced to quit oil production in the area in 1993, the company still runs a network of pipelines criss-crossing the area.

In July, SPDC had to shut down its Trans Niger pipeline because of a “leak” — the preferred euphemism in Nigeria for crude oil theft.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter, accounting for some two million barrels per day. It relies on the sector for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.

Nigeria: Hundreds of protesters storm crude oil flow station owned by Shell

August 11, 2017

AKUKU-TORU, Nigeria — Hundreds of Nigerian protesters stormed a crude oil flow station owned by Shell in the restive Niger Delta on Friday, demanding jobs and infrastructure development, a Reuters witness said.

The protesters complained they did not benefit from oil production in their area, a common refrain in the impoverished swampland that produces most of Nigeria’s oil. They also demanded an end to oil pollution in the area.

Soldiers and security guards did not disperse the crowd as they entered the Belema Flow Station in Rivers State, which feeds oil into Shell’s Bonny export terminal.

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The Agbada oil flow station, operated by Shell in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Photographer George Osodi for Bloomberg

Shell had no immediate comment, and it was not immediately clear whether there was an impact on oil production.

While Bonny Light crude oil is currently under force majeure due to the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline, exports continue via another export line.

(Reporting by Tife Owolabi; additional reporting by Libby George; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Image result for Shell's Bonny export terminal, Nigeria, photos

Shell operated Bonny oil terminal

Image result for Shell's Bonny export terminal, Nigeria, photos

Obama defends Shell Arctic drilling decision

August 29, 2015

AFP

The Obama administration’s green light for the Anglo-Dutch oil giant angered environmental groups which have decried the “hypocrisy” of the president, who in recent months has stressed the need for aggressive actions against climate change

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two days before heading to Alaska to raise climate change awareness, US President Barack Obama on Saturday defended his controversial decision to allow Shell to drill in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea.The Obama administration’s green light for the Anglo-Dutch oil giant angered environmental groups which have decried the “hypocrisy” of the president, who in recent months has stressed the need for aggressive actions against climate change.

Opponents note how the decision comes in the run-up to the UN climate conference in Paris in December. The meeting is seen as crucial in efforts to forge an agreement to curb international emissions.

“I know there are Americans who are concerned about oil companies drilling in environmentally sensitive waters,” Obama said in his weekly address, noting that the drilling leases had been purchased before he took office.

“I share people’s concerns about offshore drilling,” he added. “I remember the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico all too well. That’s precisely why my administration has worked to make sure that our oil exploration conducted under these leases is done at the highest standards possible … We don’t rubber-stamp permits.”

Obama on Monday begins a three-day trip to Alaska, the largest state in America which is already seeing the effects of climate change, including melting glaciers and the thawing of permafrost.

“Alaskans are already living with (climate change’s) effects. More frequent and extensive wildfires. Bigger storm surges as sea ice melts faster. Some of the swiftest shoreline erosion in the world,” he said.

After landing in Anchorage on Monday, Obama’s visit will include a meeting with fishermen in the town of Dillingham, a tour of the Northwest Arctic city of Kotzebue, a visit to glaciers and the GLACIER international conference on the Arctic in Anchorage.

Related:

Russian nuclear icebreaker Yamal in the Arctic

Russian nuclear icebreaker Yamal in the Arctic. The scramble to secure resources in the high north as the Arctic ice melts has already produced international tensions. Photo: Getty
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Oil Industry Fueled Anger At “Fracking”

July 29, 2013

PITTSBURGH (AP) – The boom in oil and gas fracking has led to jobs, billions in royalties and profits, and even some environmental gains.

By Kevin Begos

But some experts say arrogance, a lack of transparency and poor communication on the part of the drilling industry have helped fuel public anger over the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“It’s a big issue for the industry. I have called for greater transparency. That is the only way to have an honest conversation with the public,” said John Hofmeister, a former Shell Oil Co. president and author of “Why We Hate Oil Companies.”

As an example, Hofmeister said, some industry leaders have suggested that the fracking boom has never caused water pollution. But while the vast majority of wells don’t cause problems, “everybody knows that some wells go bad,” Hofmeister said.

In this Aug. 22, 2006, file photo, then-Shell Oil Co. president John Hofmeister addresses a conference to discuss the protection of and potential threats to national and global critical infrastructures in Washington. In a recent interview with AP, Hofmeister says oil and gas companies often do a terrible job at communicating. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Over the last five years, advances in technology have led to a surge of drilling in states such as Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas and North Dakota. Previously inaccessible deposits of shale oil and gas have been unlocked by fracking, a process in which large amounts of water and sand along with chemicals are injected deep underground to break apart the rock.

One of the biggest promoters of the Marcellus Shale drilling boom in Pennsylvania says that while fracking opponents have exaggerated some risks, the industry hasn’t always handled key issues well, either.

Terry Engelder, a Penn State geologist, cited the highly publicized case in Dimock, Pa., where 18 families began complaining in 2009 that nearby drilling had polluted their water supply with methane gas and toxic chemicals.

State environmental regulators ultimately agreed, imposing large fines on Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Co, and temporarily banning the company from drilling in a 9-square-mile area around the town. Cabot paid the fines but denied responsibility for the contamination.

Engelder said at least some of the industry’s missteps have been unintentional and come from inexperience.

In Dimock, the land had so many layers of rock and the drilling boom was so new that both the industry and regulators struggled to understand and explain the problems with the water wells, Engelder said.

Cabot spokesman George Stark said that in retrospect, the company realized that the geology around Dimock was “highly unusual” and that pre-drilling tests for methane would have helped determine which wells had natural contamination of methane.

In 2010, Cabot began holding summer picnics in the Dimock area to answer questions about the industry, drilling and local geology, Stark said. More than 8,000 people attended last week’s event, up from about 2,000 the first year, he said.

While many issues were at play, Engelder said, experts came to believe that the well construction techniques used in the early years of Pennsylvania’s drilling boom “were just inadequate to the task” of protecting groundwater in that area. Regulations for well cement jobs were later strengthened considerably, but by that time, anger and negative publicity had started building, and the damage was done.

Engelder and Hofmeister say that to the industry’s credit, the drilling boom has brought many benefits. Many communities haven’t had major problems and welcome the jobs and the royalty payments that can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars for a single landowner.

But Engelder said the industry can’t just focus on positives.

“There never will be a risk-free gas industry in Pennsylvania, just like there never will be risk-free driving a car,” he said.

Engelder said he believes the industry should work more closely with opponents and give them detailed explanations of the geology, the risks and the benefits of drilling. “I would do whatever it took to try and engage these people over a period of time,” he said.

But some industry critics are skeptical.

“You can’t change the spots on a leopard,” said Jim Switzer, a Dimock resident who says drilling ruined his water. “They would spend a billion dollars to say they weren’t responsible for something rather than spend a couple million dollars of taking care of who they screwed.”

Another drilling critic who battled Colorado’s Encana Oil & Gas for 10 years over its work around his property said he was angered not only by noise and pollution but also by industry attitudes.

“Those people moved into our valley like a conquering army,” said Thomas Thompson, who complained that the heavy equipment that accompanied drilling in Rifle, Colo., created endless dust storms that caused health problems for him and his wife.

Thompson said he’s never said the U.S. shouldn’t develop natural gas resources, just that it should be done responsibly. After years of asking government agencies and the industry to address the problems, Thompson and his wife relocated to Texas and settled a lawsuit over his claims.

The company said Thompson essentially “did not like having oil and gas activity on his property.”

“We realize that this is sometimes the case, particularly if an individual doesn’t have mineral rights and receives no economic benefit from our presence and activity,” Encana spokesman Doug Hock said in an email. “Generally, we’re able to reach some sort of accommodation. In other cases, such as this one, it’s not possible.”

Despite the anger from some critics, Hofmeister thinks many in the industry are “rather unemotional” about the opposition.

“It’s a big world,” Hofmeister said. “The industry will move on to where it will be successful.”

Obama’s global-warming folly — and a counter view from Thomas Friedman

July 6, 2013

By Charles Krauthammer

The economy stagnates. Syria burns. Scandals lap at his feet. China and Russia mock him , even as a “29-year-old hacker” revealed his nation’s spy secrets to the world. How does President Obama respond? With a grandiloquent speech on climate change.

Climate change? It lies at the very bottom of a list of Americans’ concerns (last of 21 — Pew poll). Which means that Obama’s declaration of unilateral American war on global warming, whatever the cost — and it will be heavy — is either highly visionary or hopelessly solipsistic. You decide:

Global temperatures have been flat for 16 years — a curious time to unveil a grand, hugely costly, socially disruptive anti-warming program.

Now, this inconvenient finding is not dispositive. It doesn’t mean there is no global warming. But it is something that the very complex global warming models that Obama naively claims represent settled science have trouble explaining. It therefore highlights the president’s presumption in dismissing skeptics as flat-earth know-nothings.

On the contrary. It’s flat-earthers like Obama who refuse to acknowledge the problematic nature of contradictory data. It’s flat-earthers like  Obama who cite a recent Alaskan heat wave — a freak event in one place at one time — as presumptive evidence of planetary climate change. It’s flat-earthers like Obama who cite perennial phenomena such as droughts as cosmic retribution for environmental sinfulness.

For the sake of argument, nonetheless, let’s concede that global warming is precisely what Obama thinks it is. Then answer this: What in God’s name is his massive new regulatory and spending program — which begins with a war on coal and ends with billions in more subsidies for new Solyndras — going to do about it?

The United States has already radically cut carbon dioxide emissions — more than any country on earth since 2006, according to the International Energy Agency. Emissions today are back down to 1992 levels.

And yet, at the same time, global emissions have gone up. That’s because — surprise!  — we don’t control the energy use of the other 96 percent of humankind.

At the heart of Obama’s program are EPA regulations that will make it impossible to open any new coal plant and will systematically shut down existing plants. “Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal,” explained one of Obama’s climate advisers. “On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.”

Net effect: tens of thousands of jobs killed, entire states impoverished. This at a time of chronically and crushingly high unemployment, slow growth, jittery markets and deep economic uncertainty.

But that’s not the worst of it. This massive self-sacrifice might be worthwhile if it did actually stop global warming and save the planet. What makes the whole idea nuts is that it won’t. This massive self-inflicted economic wound will have no effect on climate change.

The have-nots are rapidly industrializing. As we speak, China and India together are opening one new coal plant every week. We can kill U.S. coal and devastate coal country all we want, but the industrializing Third World will more than make up for it. The net effect of the Obama plan will simply be dismantling the U.S. coal industry for shipping abroad.

To think we will get these countries to cooperate is sheer fantasy. We’ve been negotiating climate treaties for 20 years and gotten exactly nowhere. China, India and the other rising and modernizing countries point out that the West had a 150-year industrial head start that made it rich. They are still poor. And now, just as they are beginning to get rich, we’re telling them to stop dead in their tracks?

Fat chance. Obama imagines he’s going to cajole China into a greenhouse-gas emissions reduction that will slow its economy, increase energy costs, derail industrialization and risk enormous social unrest. This from a president who couldn’t even get China to turn over one Edward Snowden to U.S. custody.

I’m not against a global pact to reduce CO2. Indeed, I favor it. But in the absence of one — and there is no chance of getting one in the foreseeable future — there is no point in America committing economic suicide to no effect on climate change, the reversing of which, after all, is the alleged point of the exercise.

For a president to propose this with such aggressive certainty is incomprehensible. It is the starkest of examples of belief that is impervious to evidence. And the word for that is faith, not science.

Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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By Thomas L. Friedman          

President Barack Obama delivered his most important national security and jobs speech last week. I think he also mentioned something about climate change.

The headline from Obama’s speech was his decision to cut America’s carbon emissions by bypassing a dysfunctional Congress and directing the Environmental Protection Agency to implement cleaner air-quality standards. If the rules are enacted – they will face many legal challenges – it would hasten our switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation. Natural gas emits about half the global-warming carbon dioxide of coal, and it is in growing supply in our own country. As a result of market forces alone, coal has already fallen from about one-half to one-third of America’s electric power supply.

But I would not get caught up in the anti-carbon pollution details of the president’s speech. I’d focus on the larger messages. The first is that we need to reorder our priorities and start talking about the things that are most consequential for our families, communities, nation and world. That starts with how we’re going to power the global economy at a time when the planet is on track to grow from 7 billion to 9 billion people in 40 years, and most of them will want to live like Americans, with American-style cars, homes and consumption patterns.

If we don’t find a cleaner way for them to grow, we’re going to smoke up, choke up and burn up this planet so much faster than anyone predicts. That traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet highway in 2010 that stretched for 60 miles, involved 10,000 vehicles and took 10 days to unlock is a harbinger of what will come.

“In reducing coal’s historic dominance, the president is formalizing a market trend that was already taking shape,” remarked Andy Karsner, who was an assistant secretary of energy in the last Bush administration. His bigger message, though, was “no matter where you find yourself on the political spectrum, it’s useful for the nation to discuss, debate and consider a strategy for climate change. The consequences of inaction are potentially greater than all the other noise out there.”

Sadly, many Republican “leaders” rejected Obama’s initiative, claiming it would cost jobs. Really? Marvin Odum, the president of the Shell Oil Co., told me in an interview that phasing out coal for cleaner natural gas – and shifting more transport, such as big trucks and ships, to natural gas instead of diesel – “is a no-brainer, no-lose, net-win that you can’t fight with a straight face.”

But, remember, natural gas is a fine gift to our country if, and only if, we extract it in a way that does not leak methane into the atmosphere (methane being worse than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming) and if, and only if, we extract it in ways that don’t despoil land, air or water. The Environmental Defense Fund is working with big oil companies, like Shell, to ensure both.But there is one more huge caveat: We also have to ensure that cheap natural gas displaces coal but doesn’t also displace energy efficiency and renewables, like solar or wind, so that natural gas becomes a bridge to a clean energy future, not a ditch. It would be ideal to do this through legislation and not EPA fiat, but Republicans have blocked that route, which is pathetic because the best way to do it is with a Republican idea from the last Bush administration: a national clean energy standard for electricity generation – an idea the GOP only began to oppose when Obama said he favored it.Such a standard would say to every utility: “Your power plants can use any fuel and technology you want to generate electricity as long as the total amount of air pollutants and greenhouse gases they emit (in both fuel handling and its electricity conversion) meet steadily increasing standards for cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gases. If you want to meet that standard with natural gas, sequestered coal, biomass, hydro, solar, wind or nuclear, be our guest. Let the most cost-effective clean technology win.”By raising the standard a small amount every year, we’d ensure continuous innovation in clean power technologies – and jobs that are a lot better than coal mining. You can’t make an appliance, power plant, factory or vehicle cleaner without making it smarter – with smarter materials, smarter software or smarter designs. Nothing would do more to ensure America’s national security, stimulate more good jobs and global exports – the whole world needs these technologies – than a national clean energy standard. And, of course, the climate would hugely benefit.Improving our energy system plays to our innovation strength. Clinging to our fossil-fuel past plays to the strengths of Russia and Iran. Why would we do that? Why would the GOP? It’s already losing young voters. Question: How many college campuses today have environmental clubs and how many have coal clubs?

“The Germans and the Chinese are already in this clean energy race, and we’re still just talking about it,” said Hal Harvey, the chief executive of Energy Innovation. “The question is: Do we want to control our energy future, or continue to rent it from other countries?”

The New York Times