Europe's biggest member of Big Oil, Royal Dutch Shell
For starters, working in partnership with Norway's StatoilHydro
But the world isn't completely hunky-dory for Shell. In Nigeria, it's recently been beset by a series of attacks on its facilities by members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). During the past several years, MEND has attacked the operations of several oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil
And then there's offshore Brazil, where, as Foolish energy fans know, the state oil company, Petrobras
But a well just drilled by the same pair apparently hasn't shown oil or gas, perhaps taking some of the bloom off this energy rose. And while Exxon continues to study the results, Shell, which also has leases in the area, must be paying rapt attention, along with the likes of Spain's Repsol
Finally, we're barreling in on decision time in energy-rich Iraq, where 35 oil companies, including Shell and Exxon, are after the opportunity to develop six big oil fields and a pair of gas fields. The highly awaited decisions are expected early next week.
For now, I'd look to give Shell a somewhat wide berth for investment purposes. I believe you would be better served resting your gaze on the second-biggest of Europe's Big Oil contingent, BP
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does, however, welcome your questions or comments. Petroleo Brasileiro and StatoilHydro ASA are Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Fool has a rock-solid disclosure policy.