Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
Tom's Feed
Jun 13, 2012

UK taxman criticized for Goldman tax deal

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – The UK’s public spending
watchdog has criticized the tax authorities for a series of
settlements that may have allowed companies including investment
bank Goldman Sachs and mobile phone operator Vodafone to avoid
paying millions of pounds in taxes.

A National Audit Office (NAO) report released on Thursday
highlighted procedural errors in five large tax settlements,
echoing earlier criticism of the deal from a parliamentary
committee which accused tax authority HMRC of being “too cosy”
with large companies.

Jun 13, 2012

World oil reserves up eight percent, supply fears persist

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s store of oil and gas jumped 8.3 percent last year, as exploration rose and record crude prices made marginal projects commercially viable, yet supplies will struggle to meet demand due to political factors, oil giant BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Wednesday.

BP said in its annual calculation of global oil and gas reserves – considered the industry’s most comprehensive – that oil reserves totaled 1,653 billion barrels at the end of 2011.

Jun 13, 2012

World oil reserves up 8 pct, supply fears persist

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) – The world’s store of oil and gas
jumped 8.3 percent last year, as exploration rose and record
crude prices made marginal projects commercially viable, yet
supplies will struggle to meet demand due to political factors,
oil giant BP said on Wednesday.

BP said in its annual calculation of global oil and gas
reserves – considered the industry’s most comprehensive – that
oil reserves totalled 1,653 billion barrels at the end of 2011.

Jun 1, 2012

BP puts giant Russian joint venture up for sale

LONDON (Reuters) – BP put its half-share of its huge Russian joint venture up for sale on Friday, a bold step that would abandon nearly a third of BP’s output, cut it loose from hostile partners and let the Russian state tighten its grip on the world’s biggest oil industry.

A sale of its half stake in TNK-BP could raise around $30 billion for BP, which would help to fund the ongoing cost of cleaning up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and allow it to invest in higher growth deals.

Jun 1, 2012

BP may sell stake in Russian venture TNK-BP

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) – BP said on Friday it was
considering a sale of its half-share of Russia’s third-largest
oil producer TNK-BP, possibly heralding the end of one of the UK
oil major’s most lucrative, audacious and troublesome ventures.

A sale could raise around $30 billion for BP, which would
help to fund the ongoing cost of cleaning up the 2010 Gulf of
Mexico oil spill, and the potential fines related to this.

May 25, 2012

European CEOs push back against investor activism

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – Fighting back in defence of their
lucrative pay deals, Europe’s company executives are targeting
the investor advisory groups they blame for inflaming
shareholder activism.

European CEOs are so angered by the rise of opposition to
gold-plated executive payouts that they have taken the unusual
step of pushing for more red tape, calling for regulation of the
advisory groups who advise fund managers on how to vote on
issues such as executive pay.

May 25, 2012

EU pipeline to cut Russian gas reliance is dead -BP

LONDON, May 25 (Reuters) – A proposed pipeline that would
cut Europe’s dependence on Russian gas by opening a route for
Central Asian and Middle Eastern supplies has been shelved
because it is not economically viable, anchor supplier BP
said.

The UK oil major is no longer considering the Nabucco
pipeline as an option for shipping gas from its Shah Deniz Stage
2 Gas field in Azerbaijan, Iain Conn, BP’s head of fuel refining
and marketing said in a speech circulated by BP on Friday.

May 23, 2012

PTT’s $1.9 billion bid for Cove trumps Shell

LONDON (Reuters) – Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production PTTE.BK has trumped Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) bid for Mozambique-focused explorer Cove Energy (COVE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) by offering 1.22 billion pounds ($1.9 billion), highlighting international interest in East African gas finds.

Cove management said on Wednesday, hours ahead of a deadline for investors to accept Shell’s bid, it now backed PTT’s 240 pence per share bid, after earlier supporting Shell’s 220 pence.

May 22, 2012

Shell set for wait to secure $2 bln Cove bid

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is
likely to have to wait to secure its $2 billion takeover of Cove
Energy as shareholders in the Mozambique-focused target
company look for potential counter-bidder Thailand’s PTT to show
its hand.

Some Cove investors said on Tuesday they expected Shell to
extend the tender period for its 220 pence a share offer, as
they said they would not offer their shares ahead of the 1200
GMT, May 23 deadline Shell has set for acceptances.

May 22, 2012

What’s a fair day’s pay for a British CEO?

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – To the directors of London-listed
oil services group Petrofac Ltd, a proposed “value
creation plan” seemed an appropriate way to reward executives
for success. Nearly a third of non-management shareholders
didn’t agree.

Put forward at the group’s annual shareholders’ meeting
earlier this month, the company’s plan could lead to top brass,
excluding the CEO, earning additional bonuses which could be
worth up to 10 times their base salaries.

    • About Tom

      "Tom leads our coverage of the oil and gas industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and is also author of 'Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP'. A former oil broker who turned to journalism 12 years ago, he is regularly interviewed on CNBC and other TV and radio stations on energy matters. Tom has reported from over twenty countries including Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Tanzania, the U.S. and Russia. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil & Gas Correspondent, he has chartered the rise in oil prices to record levels, interviewed oil ministers and the CEOs of ..."
    • Follow Tom