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More info on events in Nigeria....


Shell to stay in Nigeria
From correspondents in Lagos
January 17, 2006

NIGERIA'S oil industry, the world's sixth biggest source of crude, was facing a security crisis after separatist militants overran a pumping station and gunned down soldiers and workers - but Royal Dutch Shell says it will not pull out of the country.

Shell "has no current plans to pull out of the Niger Delta", the company said overnight following reports that the firm might order a broader shut down.

The company has recently shut Benisede and three nearby plants, evacuating 326 staff from the delta swamps for safety.

"Following the general insecurity in the Benisede area, the company thought it prudent to minimise the risk to personnel by evacuating staff from the station and neighbouring fields," Shell said.

World oil prices have surged to around $US63 a barrel on the news that guerrilla fighters from a group seeking independence for the Niger Delta had raided the energy giant Shell's Benisede flow station, torched two houseboats and sabotaged equipment.

....Shell has cut production by 106,000 barrels per day following the blast.

....Nigeria produces 2.6 million of barrels of oil per day, and its low sulphur crude is highly prized by American refineries.....
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Interesting concept... putting the conversion plant on the ship without the need of Californian conversion plant...


Converting to gas onboard and offloading may take more longer to do though....


Woodside Plans to Skirt Californian LNG Concern With New Ships

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it plans to skirt concern among Californians about the safety of liquefied natural gas import terminals by delivering the fuel directly into pipelines from ships moored offshore.

Australia's second-biggest oil and gas producer will invest ``hundreds of millions of dollars'' to develop the new technology and get access to the most populous U.S. state, said Wendy Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Woodside in California. The company is based in Perth.

In June, Woodside withdrew from a plan to build a permanent LNG terminal in the state, which relies on imports for 87 percent of its gas. Larger rivals including BHP Billiton have so far failed to persuade Californians to accept construction of terminals on or near the mainland and ease a gas shortage that helped to boost prices more than fourfold since 2001.

.....  Melbourne-based BHP Billiton is seeking approval for a $650 million LNG plant 14 miles off the coast of Southern California. Houston-based ConocoPhillips and Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Corp. plan to build a plant at the port of Long Beach. Crystal Energy LLC has proposed a plant off the coast of Southern California and San Diego-based Sempra Energy has avoided Californian regulators by building a facility in Mexico.

..... Woodside plans to deliver the LNG on ships that can convert the fuel back to gas onboard, eliminating the need for an onshore plant that might raise concerns about safety and the environment, company executives said yesterday in Sacramento, California's capital. Deliveries from the project, branded OceanWay, may start in 2010.
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Iran warns of world oil crisis
From correspondents in Tehran
January 20, 2006

IRAN has warned of a world oil crisis if sanctions are imposed over its nuclear program even as the United States and Europe struggled to get support for UN Security Council action.

"In case of sanctions, other countries will suffer as well as Iran," Oil Minister Davoud Danesh-Jafari said, according to the official news agency, IRNA.

"One of the consequences will be the unleashing of a crisis in the oil sector and particularly a price hike."

Iran, the number two oil exporter in OPEC with oil revenue last year of $US42 billion, risks being referred to the United Nations Security Council over what the West suspects is a covert nuclear weapons drive.

World oil prices this week hit a near-four-month high in New York, partly on fears of Iran sanctions.

The nuclear standoff came to a head when Iran broke international seals last week to restart uranium enrichment research which had been suspended for two years under deals with the Europeans.

But the United States and Europe are facing resistance, particularly from permanent UN Security Council members China and Russia, to their push for a referral to the world body and possible sanctions.

"We have been very clear that we believe the time has come for a referral of Iran to the Security Council," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Washington.

Ms Rice said Iran had been given adequate opportunities to resolve the nuclear issue through negotiations and prove to the world that it was not seeking nuclear weapons.

Russia, which is Iran's main partner in the growing civil nuclear programme, has been trying to steer away from a UN showdown. China has also opposed such a step.

Britain, France and Germany, backed by the United States, have called for an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on February 2, a first step before possible UN Security Council referral.

Iran insists it is not seeking to build nuclear weapons and that it has the right to develop atomic energy. It has threatened to suspend inspections by the IAEA if it is brought before the Security Council.

But the Western powers have rejected Iran's call for a return to direct talks, Britain describing it as "vacuous", unless there is a return to the fuel cycle suspension.

French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy met with resistance when he held talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to get support for UN action.
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despite the rise in oil prices to over US$68 a barrel I don't think the oilers will perform on Monday due to the fall in general equity markets. With the rise in oil prices from around US$65 many oilers have failed to make much headway so I doubt they will start now.
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In reply to: theflasherman on Saturday 21/01/06 12:53pm

Hi Flash


Tend to agree. Interesting article with Woodside's CEO in FIn Review this week, who said he'd prefer to see Oil prices return to about $40-50/barrel as the current prices would hurt oil companies in the long run as it would lead to a dampening in Economic growth.



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In reply to: dee27 on Saturday 21/01/06 12:00pm

The other point to remember is that for 98% of the world, oil is actually owned by governments, and as the profitability of oil goes up, so does their cut, whether thats in PSCs, minimum bids to get the acreage, or cash payments of various sorts.


The other 2% is the bits of the US that have oil rights as real property, and in that case it's still the landowners who benefit most (mineral rights are what you want to own).


Ian WHitchurch

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