Europe, Middle East and Africa Oil and Gas Correspondent
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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.

May 20, 2012

East Africa to join world gas giants

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – To East Africa’s assets of
spectacular wildlife, abundant land and shimmering beaches you
can now add gas – so much gas it could transform global energy
flows along with some of the world’s poorest countries.

Finds announced just last week off Tanzania and Mozambique
are estimated to hold enough gas to supply France, Germany,
Britain and Italy for at least a year – possibly much more.

May 15, 2012

New Anadarko find may stoke battle for partner Cove

LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) – U.S. explorer Anadarko Petroleum
Corp has discovered a major new gas field offshore
Mozambique in a move that could stoke a bid battle for one of
its partners, Cove Energy.

Anadarko said on Tuesday the Golfinho discovery in northern
Mozambique may hold more than 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of
gas, and would underpin a plan to develop a world class
liquefied natural gas export operation in Mozambique.

May 11, 2012

Qatar buys ‘major’ stake in oil giant Shell

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) – Gas-rich Qatar is ploughing more
of its commodity wealth back into the sector with the purchase
of a major stake in Royal Dutch Shell while also
reportedly eyeing a chunk of Italian oil major ENI.

A Shell spokeswoman confirmed the purchase while declining
to detail its size but the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES)
reported earlier that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund (QIA) was
looking at a 3-5 percent stake.

May 8, 2012

Insight: When the Exxon way stops working

London (Reuters) – When Exxon boss Rex Tillerson walked into a meeting with the President of Ghana on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, he thought he was set to strike a deal with an important new oil producing nation.

Instead Tillerson – who had flown into town aboard an executive jet bigger than those used by many heads of state – was rebuffed by an irritated John Atta Mills, who had expected to be wooed rather than given a tough contract to rubber-stamp.

    • 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 ..."
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