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"Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Vitol Group SA met Thursday with Iran's oil minister in Vienna, the minister said, as Tehran takes its first steps toward reopening its energy industry following decades of sanctions. As it tries to lure back oil companies, Iran also signaled it could offer production-sharing agreements in the Caspian Sea. Such deals are considered attractive to companies but haven't been awarded in Iran since the 1970s. Bijan Zanganeh, who was in Vienna for the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said he had met with executives from Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, the world's largest oil trader Vitol, Austria's and Italy's Eni SpA…In recent weeks, Tehran has resumed preliminary talks with European oil giants to invest in its oil fields in the event that the sanctions are eased…'With OMV, we discussed about many things and [with] Shell only about the general willingness for cooperation in future and placing the money that we have in account of Shell,' Mr. Zanganeh told reporters. Sanctions against Iran have meant Shell has been unable to pay billions of dollars it owes to Tehran." (Wall Street Journal, "European Energy Companies Meet With Iranian Oil Minister," 12/5/13)
"Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Iran's oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said, 'We have no limitations for U.S. companies.' Asked who he would like to see return or enter Iran, he named European giants Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Eni SpA, Statoil ASA and BP PLC…'I am talking to some of them,' he said, without saying which." (Wall Street Journal, "Iran Wants U.S. Companies to Develop Oil Fields," 12/4/13)
"Iran is courting international energy giants such as Chevron Corp., Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, eager to attract Western investment back to the oil industry if it wins sanctions relief in its troubled nuclear talks with Western countries. Iranian officials involved in the overtures, who described the talks, said the country is eager to start re-establishing ties with Western companies to speed more substantial talks about investment if the world powers negotiating with Iran in Geneva reach an agreement. The outreach has been low key and in some cases, unsuccessful…Talking with Iranian officials isn't always a violation of sanctions. U.S. sanctions specifically prohibit discussions over possible investments in Iran for American companies. Many European companies have kept up contact with Iranian officials and executives over the years, even as they've ceased operations and meaningful dialogue about projects. In 2010, Total, Shell and Spain's Repsol SA pulled out of talks to enter a giant Iranian natural-gas development to comply with EU sanctions…Chevron, Total and Shell all said that they were complying with sanctions, or declined to comment on talks with Iranian officials or didn't respond to calls requesting comment…Shell has been approached recently by NIOC about how to settle $2 billion in debt owed Iran, tied to oil purchases that Shell was unable to pay for because of EU sanctions, according to Iranian officials and people close to Shell. NIOC has also broached the subject of Shell helping to develop the West Karoon field, as the company is already present on the Iraqi side of the reservoir, called Majnoon, these people say." (Wall Street Journal, "Iran Courting Western Oil Companies in Case Sanctions Are Eased," 11/21/13)
"In anticipation of a thaw, Iran is preparing to capitalize on improved relations with the West. And to win skeptics over to the idea that crippling economic sanctions targeting Iran should be dropped, Tehran is floating a huge incentive -- the prospect of giving Western investors access to the country's vast oil and gas reserves. Western-friendly Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has been sending signals that the new spirit of openness being displayed by Iranian officials could extend to Iran's energy market...Major Western oil companies have been quick to show their interest in investing in Iran should sanctions be lifted. Peter Voser, chief executive of oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell, said during a press conference in London on October 1 that opening up Iran's energy sector to international companies is vital to meeting the world's energy needs. 'Longer term, Iran's oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand,' he said." (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, "Iran Floats Prospect Of Opening Energy Industry To West," 10/15/13).
"Several western oil companies also supply jet fuel to the airport - Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Chevron - but they say they source it outside the UAE and in full compliance with sanctions on Iran." (Reuters, "Dubai flights rely on fuel refined from Iranian oil," 4/24/2013)
"Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, and Christophe de Margerie, his counterpart at France’s Total, used the Oil & Money conference in London on Tuesday to highlight the potential energy windfall if sanctions preventing international oil companies from dealing with Tehran were lifted. 'Longer term, Iran’s oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand,' Mr Voser said... In 1999, Shell defied a US sanctions threat to sign an estimated $800m (£492m) deal with Iran to develop two offshore oil fields in the Persian Gulf known as Soroosh and Nowrooz... Shell was reportedly blocked earlier this year from settling a $2.3bn debt with Iran through the supply of grain and medicine." (The Telegraph, "Tapping Iran’s oil and gas vital for world demand, say Shell and Total," 10/1/2013)
"Britain has blocked efforts by oil major Royal Dutch Shell to settle a $2.3 billion debt it owes Iran by paying in kind with grains or pharmaceuticals, industry sources said. Shell has been trying for months to find a way to work around international sanctions that prevent it paying in currency for crude it bought from the National Iranian Oil Company before a European Union embargo on Iran that started last July... A government spokesman declined comment on the Shell case but said: 'The government fully backs the tough regime of EU sanctions that have been put in place against Iran.'... The industry sources said Shell in February explored with the British government the possibility of asking British pharmaceuticals maker GSK to deliver medicines to Iran in a payment-in-kind deal known as an offset agreement... 'Politics come and go but it's in the interests of Shell and its shareholders to pay its debts and maintain a relationship with a leading oil producer like Iran,' said one of the sources. Shell revealed in a March filing to U.S. regulatory authorities that it owed Tehran $2.3 billion and made a net loss of $6 million trading Iranian oil in 2012. Unlike its rivals, Shell continued trading with Iran under a provision for pre-existing contracts close to the EU's June 30 deadline before the embargo. The debt is for oil purchased in 2011 and 2012." (CNBC, "UK blocks Shell paying Iran oil debt in food, medicine," 4/22/2013)
"But on Saturday, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said that Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell was among the firms that owes Tehran petro-dollars which the Islamic republic can not repatriate due to sanctions. 'Currently, we have approximately $2.336 million payable to and $11 million receivable from National Iranian Oil Company. We are unable to settle the payable position as a result of applicable sanctions,' Shell said in its 2012 annual report." (AFP, "Oil buyers owe $4bn to Iran: top official," 4/21/2013)
"Oil major Royal Dutch Shell lost money trading Iranian crude in 2012 shortly before a European Union embargo and still owes $2.3 billion to Tehran for oil purchases. The details, revealed in Shell regulatory filings, is the first disclosure of its dealings with Iran in 2012, when it kept buying Tehran's oil right up to the mid-year EU embargo deadline. The loss raises questions about Shell's decision to continue trading with Iran in the first half of 2012, taking advantage of an exception for pre-existing contracts, when many of its rivals had stopped. The firm said its trading division generated a gross revenue of $481 million in 2012 on Iranian oil purchases and a net loss of $6 million. Condensate and fuel oil purchases from Iran generated a gross revenue of $631 million and a net profit of $4 million, failing to compensate for the loss in crude."(Reuters, "Shell reveals Iranian oil trade loss, $2.3 bln Iran debt," 3/20/13)
"One of the biggest of the holdings, between $50,000 and $100,000, according to Rice's disclosure statement for 2011, is Royal Dutch Shell. The international oil giant stopped buying crude oil from Iran early this year as sanctions were tightened to block oil exports by Iran and to stop financial transactions with its central bank. A company spokesman said officials dealing with Iran could not be reached, but a person familiar with the company, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of a lack of authorization to discuss the topic, said Royal Dutch Shell owes Iran about $1 billion." (The Washington Post, "Rice holds stakes in firms that have done business in Iran," 11/29/2012)
"Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) is struggling to settle the over $1 billion it owes Iran for oil purchases after options such as financing a gas pipeline or paying for food shipments were rejected, people familiar with the matter said over the weekend... Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell's $1 billion plus debt to Iran is due to a European Union embargo that started July 1, which prevents the transfer of payments to the Islamic Republic. Shell's failure so far to find a way to repay the debt isn't only bad news for Iran, which is facing a steep economic crisis amid mounting sanctions over its contested nuclear program but also for the Anglo-Dutch major... In a recent attempt, Shell contacted U.S. commodities trader Cargill Inc. to pay for its deliveries of cereals to Iran in order to settle the debt, the people familiar with the matter said. 'But Cargill declined. It has its own financial channels to get paid and doesn't need Shell,' one person said. Shell hasn't ruled out the option of food bartering to pay its debts, sources familiar with the matter said. Earlier, Iran had asked Shell to repay the debt by financing a natural gas pipeline, the people said... But Shell refused that proposal, they added. Shell declined to comment. But a person familiar with the company said it 'complies with all applicable sanctions.'" (Fox News, "Shell Struggles to Repay Iran Oil Debt," 10/28/2012)
"Oil major Royal Dutch/Shell is seeking to work around international sanctions by repaying a $1.4 billion oil debt to Iran with a grain barter deal via U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill CARG.UL, industry sources said. Shell wants to repay a debt that is growing larger because of unpaid interest, having failed to settle its accounts with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) ahead of a European Union embargo on oil imports that started on July 1... 'Shell wants to repay what it owes NIOC (National Iranian Oil Corp). They want to maintain amicable relations for the day when sanctions are lifted,' said an industry source... Shell and Cargill declined to comment. In the run-up to the July 1 EU oil embargo deadline Shell kept buying Iranian crude after its competitors had called a halt. In the summer it was denied permission by the UK government to pay Tehran direct via bank transfer. Sanctions bar European banks routing payments for oil back to Iran. (Reuters, "Exclusive: Shell seeks Iran sanctions workaround via Cargill grain barter," 10/26/2012)
"The drop has been caused by several European companies, including Royal Dutch Shell and Spain's Repsol deciding to halt imports from Iran even before the sanctions took effect." (Reuters, "Eni suspends Iran's debt payments in oil," 5/31/2012)
"Refiners in South Africa include Shell, BP, Total, Chevron, petrochemicals group Sasol , and Engen, majority-owned by Malaysian state oil group Petronas." (Reuters, "S.Africa keen to replace Iranian crude with Nigerian," 5/24/2012)
"An Iranian supertanker loaded with crude that traders had speculated Tehran was struggling to sell due to tightening sanctions is now moored at Shell's Singapore refinery to discharge its cargo, according to Reuters data and sources. The 270,000-tonne tanker Delvar arrived late on Thursday at Bukom island, where Shell's 500,000 barrel-per-day refinery is located, Reuters Freight Fundamentals Database showed... 'Yes, Shell bought it. There is no other reason for it to be anchored at Bukom,' said a Singapore-based ship broker... Anglo-Dutch Shell, which industry sources say is one of the biggest consumers of Iranian crude worldwide, said: 'We do not comment on our trading activities. Shell complies with all applicable sanctions.'... Industry source say Shell takes around 100,000 bpd of Iranian crude into Europe and a similar quantity into Japan under a deal with Japanese company Showa Shell that expires in March. Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser declined to detail Shell's Iranian crude purchases when speaking on Feb. 2 in a company earnings briefing. 'Shell will comply with the sanctions and we will therefore get our crude from somewhere else,' Voser said... Shell's Bukom refinery, the oil major's largest, makes up the biggest share of this volume, industry sources said." (Reuters, "Iran tanker to discharge 1.5 mln bbls at Shell Singapore," 3/2/2012)
"According to Mehr several companies have neglected their contractual obligations, including France’s Accent Oil And Gas Corp., the UK’s Cross & Simon, The Start, UOP LLC, and SW companies, and British-Dutch Shell, all of which held licenses for developing refinery projects in Iran." (Tehran Times, "Minister bans foreign firms from Iranian petrochemical sector," 2/7/2012)
"Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi has ordered five European companies, including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, to be put on a blacklist for failing to meet their commitments in the nation’s refinery projects, Mehr reported... Shell and UOP LLC, a unit of U.S.-based Honeywell International Inc., were among the companies named in the report published today by the state-run news agency." (Bloomberg, "Shell, UOP Among Companies Put on Blacklist by Iran, Mehr Says," 2/6/2012)
"Royal Dutch Shell and some Italian and Spanish refiners buy Iranian barrels with finance coming from Chinese and Italian banks, traders have said." (Reuters, "Credit hurdles remain hindrance to Iran oil trade," 11/18/10)
"Total SA (TOT) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) discreetly contacted Iranian authorities last week, seeking to reassure the Islamic Republic after telling the U.S. they have no plans for further investments for now, people familiar with the matter said in recent days. Total and Shell contacted Iran as the U.S. announced commitments by the companies "to terminate their investments and avoid any new activity in Iran's energy sector." The disclosure was made by the State Department in a Sept. 30 press release, which also said Statoil ASA (STO) and Eni SpA (E) had made similar commitments. Though the two companies are not breaching any sanctions in communicating with Iran, the contacts suggest they have not renounced their long-term ambitions in Iran, which hosts the world's second-largest natural gas resources and stands as the fourth-largest global oil exporter....Total and Shell still do some direct business with Iran, regularly buying crude oil from the Middle Eastern country. But the Anglo-Dutch oil company has come under pressure for the trades, which are not prohibited under European sanctions." (Wall Street Journal, "Total, Shell Keep Line Open With Tehran Despite US Claim," 10/8/2010)
"Open sources reported that Royal Dutch Shell sold gasoline to Iran in 2009, but subsequently stopped in 2009." (U.S. Government Accountability Office, Report: "Firms Reported in Open Sources to Have Sold Iran Refined Petroleum Products between January 1, 2009 and June," September 3, 2010)
On September 30th, Shell made a "pledge to stop investing in Iran's energy sector" as a result of pressure from American sanctions (AP, "US hits Iranian energy firm with sanctions," 9/30/2010).
"Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, paid the state-owned Iranian oil company at least $1.5bn (£0.94bn) for crude oil this summer, increasing its business with Tehran as the international community implemented some of the toughest sanctions yet aimed at constricting the Islamic republic's economy and its lifeline oil business." (The Guardian, "Shell increases oil trade with Iran -- despite sanctions," 9/27/2010)
"Royal Dutch Shell resumed its gasoline shipments to Iran, International Oil Daily reported this morning. The company got back into business with the Iranian regime after a six-month hiatus. The move is a slap at the U.S. Congress, which has been working to develop energy sanctions that could curtail the regime’s nuclear weapons program, human rights abuses, and support for terrorism.
Shell delivered three 30,000-ton shipments of gasoline last month to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port. The company’s last known shipment to Iran was recorded in October 2009.
Shell now appears to be exploiting Congress’ delay [in imposing sanctions], and is perhaps betting that the United Nations, the Europeans, or indeed the Obama administration will never pull the trigger on meaningful sanctions.
The Dutch firm’s calculus appears to be based purely on profits. Shell is trying to squeeze as many petrodollars it can from the Iranian regime before sanctions take hold. According to The New York Times, the company is still profiting from a 1999 deal signed to develop two oil fields in Iran that became fully operational in 2005.
Shell should come under intense scrutiny by the Obama administration and Congress once sanctions are passed. In 2009 alone, Shell received $2.4 billion in contracts from the Federal government."
(Forbes.com, "Inside Shell's Iran Game," 6/3/2010).
"An oil tanker named Front Page, chartered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, left this port on March 17 and reported it was going to another U.A.E. port, then on to Saudi Arabia, ship-tracking data show.
But the tracking information reveals that Front Page also made an unreported stop—to the coast of Iran. There it loaded Iranian oil, according to records obtained by oil traders and shipping sources.
The incident, some oil-industry experts say, is an example of how some companies these days are hiding their business dealings with Iran, even when they are perfectly legal because they aren't subject to any sanctions...
Still, given all the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, many companies decline to discuss their Iranian oil purchases. Companies like Shell and BP have said they have stopped selling gasoline to Iran.
But they rarely mention that they continue to buy crude or other Iranian oil products, which generally is a much larger and more lucrative business than gasoline deliveries." (The Wall Street Journal. "Oil Trade with Iran Thrives, Discreetly," 5/20/10)
"Royal Dutch Shell signed an $800 million deal in 1999 to develop two huge oil fields expected to produce 190,000 barrels a day, and while that project was completed in 2005, it continues to receive payments as a result of its work. Shell has a second Iranian natural gas development projects in the works, but officials said they are awaiting the results of a feasability study before determining whether they will go forward with it. In the meantime, the company continues to supply oil lubricant to Iran, and until recently, had been a large supplier of gasoline to Iran. Shell is also a huge supplier of gasoline to the American military, won drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Western United States, and shares with a company in China a $200,000 Export-Import Bank loan to build a petrochemical plant in that country. A Shell spokesman, David R. Williams, said that while the company would comply with any new international sanctions, Shell's activities are not prohibited by European countries, adding that when the rules of different countries conflict "it makes compliance difficult." From 2000-2009, the company was the recipient of $11.2 billion US federal funds. Their investments in Iran are currently active. They have been listed as a potential violator of the Iran Sanctions Act. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)
“Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday it is no longer selling gasoline to Iran, the latest oil company to make such a move during threats of tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic.
‘Shell is not currently selling gasoline to Iran,’ a company spokesman said. He declined to comment on whether it was related to sanctions against Iran.
Shell's move comes as a number of Western oil companies have decided to stop trading with Iran as international pressure bites deeper into its oil and gas industry. Traders Vitol Holding BV and Glencore International AG, historically key fuel-oil suppliers to Iran, recently decided to halt sales of gasoline to the country.” (The Wall Street Journal, “Shell Stops Gas Sales to Iran,” 3/10/10)
“Royal Dutch Shell signed an $800 million deal in 1999 to develop two huge oil fields expected to produce 190,000 barrels a day, and while that project was completed in 2005, it continues to receive payments as a result of its work. Shell has a second Iranian natural gas development projects in the works, but officials said they are awaiting the results of a feasability study before determining whether they will go forward with it. In the meantime, the company continues to supply oil lubricant to Iran, and until recently, had been a large supplier of gasoline to Iran. Shell is also a huge supplier of gasoline to the American military, won drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Western United States, and shares with a company in China a $200,000 Export-Import Bank loan to build a petrochemical plant in that country. A Shell spokesman, David R. Williams, said that while the company would comply with any new international sanctions, Shell's activities are not prohibited by European countries, adding that when the rules of different countries conflict ‘it makes compliance difficult.’”
From 2000 through March 2010, Royal Dutch Shell has been the recipient of $11.2 billion in U.S. federal funds, despite being a “possible violator of the Iran Sanctions Act.” (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the U.S.", 3/6/10)
"New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli also announced Tuesday the $110 billion fund would freeze an additional $300 million in seven other companies...The decision comes after two years of reviewing these companies, the potential risk of the investments and, in some cases, humanitarian efforts in these countries. 'We don't expect our investments to benefit regimes that support genocide and terrorism,' said DiNapoli...The fund also plans to monitor and prohibit further investment in ENI (E), Repsol YPF (REP), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA), Total SA (TOT), ABB Ltd. (ABB), Alstom (ALO.FR) and Snam Rete Gas (SNMRY). Additionally, it plans to focus on other industries including telecommunications." (Dow Jones Newswires, "NY Comptroller To Divest $86.2M In State Pension Fund Investments," 6/30/09)
"Another step the Obama administration should take is to sustain American pressure on foreign banks and oil companies to halt their dealings with Iran's energy sector. This effort has led such major firms as Germanys Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, Englands HSBC, Credit Suisse and Royal Dutch Shell to halt or limit their business with Iran." (The Baltimore Sun, "Facing the Iranian Threat," 12/9/08)
"U.S. outreach to foreign banks and to oil companies considering investing in Iran's energy sector has reportedly convinced more than 80 banks and several major potential oil-field investors to cease all or some of their business with Iran. Among them: Germanys two largest banks (Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank), London-based HSBC, Credit Suisse, Norwegian energy company StatoilHydro, and Royal Dutch Shell." (The Wall Street Journal, "How To Put The Squeeze On Iran," 11/13/08)
"William Burns, U.S. Under Secretary of State for political affairs, pointed out that several big energy companies, including Total, Shell, ENI and Repsol, have scaled back their business in Iran over the past few years." (Reuters, "US to review if Statoil violates Iran sanctions law," 7/9/08)
"Total, Shell and Repsol of Spain are hanging back from signing contracts, which the Iranians are desperate for them to sign, said Simon Henderson, an oil expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy." (Associated Press, "Iran looks to tap key oil field with homegrown crews," 5/11/08)
"In January , Shell and Spains Repsol signed a preliminary deal with Teheran jointly to develop two phases of South Pars. At the time, Shell said it might be a year away from knowing whether to proceed, a timescale that Shell chief executive Jeroen van de Veer repeated six months later." (The Daily Telegraph, "Shell delays decision on Iran project again," 12/29/07)
"The Teacher Retirement System of Texas investment portfolio includes 19 companies that do business with Iran. The most familiar company names: Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry and Samsung Engineering." (San Antonio Express-News, "TRS, ERS miss 30-day deadline to formulate Iran-divestment plan," 11/18/07)
Listed by U.S. Government as doing business in Iran. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, “List of Companies Doing Business With State Sponsors Of Terror,” Removed from the Internet in July 2007)
"While U.S. companies have long been barred from operating in Iran, more than 200 multinationals have investments there, from British-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC and French telecommunications-equipment company Alcatel SA to Swedens electronics company Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson." (The Wall Street Journal, "Should states sell stocks to protest links to Iran," 6/14/07)
"GIANTS WITH A FOOT IN TEHRAN: Total, Shell, Statoil, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, MTN, UPS, Linde, Technip, Nokia, Ericsson, Peugeot, Renault, OMV, Societe Generale, ENI, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Siemens, LG, Samsung, Bosch, Valeo, Nestle, Unilever, BAT, Japan Tobacco." (The London Times, "American pressure threatens UK firms," 5/27/06)
"Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said. Four sources said the oil major owes a large sum to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for deliveries of crude, with one putting the figure at close to $1 billion. A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels. "Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC," said an industry source, who requested anonymity. "It's very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions."" (Reuters, "Shell scrambles to pay huge bill for Iran oil," 3/25/12)
- UANI Letter to Royal Dutch Shell on February 12, 2010
- Royal Dutch Shell Letter to UANI on January 14, 2010
- SEC Letter to UANI on December 29, 2009
- UANI Letter to Royal Dutch Shell on December 17, 2009
- Press Release on September 28, 2010
- Press Release on March 10, 2010
- Press Release on January 12, 2010