March 23, 2023

Daniel J. Edelman, a Publicity Pioneer, Dies at 92

The cause was congestive heart failure, said his son Richard, president and chief executive of the company.

Daniel Edelman started the company, Edelman, in a small office in Chicago in 1952. It now has 63 offices in 26 countries with more than 4,600 employees and revenue of $660 million last year.

Steve Barrett, editor of the trade publication PRWeek, called Edelman “easily the biggest agency in the world.”

Over the years, Mr. Edelman helped build leading brands like Sara Lee and KFC. The firm’s current clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, General Electric, Wal-Mart Stores, Abbott Laboratories, Samsung, Royal Dutch Shell, Kraft, Johnson Johnson and Unilever.

In the 1950s, Mr. Edelman arranged for Businessweek and Life magazines to publish articles about the manufacturing and distribution processes at Sara Lee, the baked goods company.

When the California wine industry turned to him in 1966 to promote its products nationwide, Mr. Edelman hired Vincent Price as a spokesman and had him appear on “The Tonight Show.”

Beyond promoting his clients, Mr. Edelman had a significant influence on the methodology of public relations.

“When I teach the modules on the history of public relations, I tell my students that Mr. Edelman was one of our pioneers,” said Maria P. Russell, chairwoman of the public relations department at Syracuse University’s S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. “Specifically, he helped public relations professionals move away from being order-takers to respected counselors to business executives and government leaders.”

As an example, Richard Edelman cited his father’s work in the firm’s representation of the Mormon Church for a decade, starting in the mid-1990s. The idea of the publicity campaign, he said, “was that this religion has made a very important contribution to America and had changed from some of its original precepts.”

Daniel Joseph Edelman was born in Manhattan on July 3, 1920, one of five children of Selig and Selma Edelman. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a concert pianist. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx and from Columbia University in 1940, then earned a master’s degree in journalism there.

After a stint as a sports reporter at a newspaper in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he served in an Army psychological warfare unit in World War II, broadcasting in Europe. After the war, he was a night news reporter for CBS in New York, but he soon took a job as a publicist for Musicraft Records, helping to promote jazz stars like Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan and Artie Shaw.

By 1947, Mr. Edelman had moved to Chicago to become public relations director for Toni, a home hair care company. The company had an ad campaign featuring identical twins, one with a beauty salon permanent, the other with curls from a Toni do-it-yourself kit. Women were challenged to determine “which twin had the Toni.”

Mr. Edelman’s idea was to send six sets of twins on a media tour to 72 cities. After four years at Toni, he started his own public relations company, with Toni as his first client.

Besides his son Richard, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Ruth Ann Rozumoff; another son, John; a daughter, Renee; and three granddaughters.

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DealBook: PTT Outbids Royal Dutch Shell for Cove Energy

A PTT Exploration and Production facility in Amphur Muang, Thailand.Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg NewsA PTT Exploration and Production facility in Amphur Muang, Thailand.

LONDON — The oil and natural gas exploration company Cove Energy said on Wednesday that it had accepted a takeover offer from PTT Exploration and Production of Thailand.

The announcement of the deal, which values Cove at £1.22 billion ($1.91 billion), allowed PTT to trump a bid from Royal Dutch Shell, whose previous offer of £1.12 billion had been accepted by Cove Energy’s board.

Earlier this week, Cove Energy, based in London, had sent a letter to shareholders recommending Shell’s bid. Investors had until Wednesday to accept the all-cash offer from Shell.

But at the last minute PTT, which is owned by Thailand’s state-backed oil company, raised its bid, which is 9.1 percent higher than Shell’s takeover offer.

PTT and Shell have been battling for control of Cove Energy’s 8.5 percent stake in a major natural gas field in Mozambique. The field, called Rovuma Area 1, is estimated to hold up to 30 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and is operated by Anadarko Petroleum.

Last week, Anadarko and Cove Energy announced they had discovered another large source of natural gas in Mozambique, which could almost double the existing discovered resources.

Owing to growing demand and continued high prices for energy in Asia, the world’s oil and natural gas companies have started to invest billions of dollars in East Africa in a search for new sources of energy.

“The bid from PTT represents significant value for shareholders and confirms the world class nature of Cove’s East African assets,” Cove’s chief executive, John Craven, said in a statement.

Cove Energy’s shares rose 10.9 percent in morning trading in London on Wednesday.

UBS is advising PTT on the deal, while Standard Chartered is advising Cove Energy.

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U.S. to Offer Oil Leases in the Gulf

President Obama’s relations with the oil industry have suffered since the BP spill, with many executives accusing him of choking off domestic petroleum supplies and suppressing job creation. But it is unclear whether the resumption of lease sales will affect the rate of oil production in the gulf or improve relations.

The department said Friday that it was more than doubling the minimum bid for the right to drill in deep water in the gulf, to $100 an acre from $37.50 an acre in the proposed sale, which is scheduled for Dec. 14. The auction encompasses more than 20 million acres of the western gulf.

Officials said the change was based on an analysis of the last 15 years of lease sales in the gulf, which found that leases that received high bids of less than $100 per acre have experienced virtually no exploration and development.

The American Petroleum Institute said it was pleased to see the lease sale going forward but questioned the rationale for raising the minimum bid. “We are hopeful that this does not discourage investment in these vital domestic resources,” said Erik Milito, a senior official at the petroleum lobby.

Resuming leasing fulfills a promise President Obama made earlier this year to encourage more domestic oil and gas exploration in the gulf, off the shores of Alaska and in the Atlantic. Last week the Interior Department also granted tentative approval to Royal Dutch Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean starting next year.

Friday’s announcement of new rules is a bit like calling the oil industry’s bluff on its resolve to drill more.

Administration officials have complained that billions of barrels of domestic oil have gone untapped because oil companies have locked up millions of acres both onshore and offshore at bargain prices but have failed to develop the resources.

The gulf sale will be the first in 21 months, avoiding making 2011 the first year since 1958 that a lease sale has not been held. It will be the first sale in the part of the gulf bordering Texas since the summer of 2009 and the first sale of any kind in the gulf since March 2010.

President Obama suspended leasing in the gulf after the Deepwater Horizon accident in April 2010, which killed 11 workers and spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the gulf. In May he said that lease sales would resume this year but that all drilling would be conducted under stricter environmental and safety regulations.

Ken Salazar, the Interior secretary, said the agency was comfortable with resuming large-scale deepwater operations in the gulf because rigorous new standards were now in place.

“This sale is an important step toward a secure energy future that includes safe, environmentally sound development of our domestic energy resources,” he said in a statement. “Since Deepwater Horizon, we have strengthened oversight at every stage of the oil and gas development process, including deepwater drilling safety, subsea blowout containment and spill response capability.

“Exploration and development of our western gulf’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy,” he added.

The lease offering includes parcels from nine to 250 miles offshore and in water depths from 16 to nearly 11,000 feet. The Interior Department estimates that the tract could produce 222 million to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.49 trillion to 2.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement is raising the minimum bid on leases in water deeper than 1,312 feet to encourage companies to actively explore those areas and to compensate for the high costs of dealing with a spill.

Regulators said they concluded that raising the minimum bid would discourage companies from purchasing leases and then sitting on them for years. 

The regulatory bureau “is proposing this increase in an effort to ensure that areas with the greatest resource potential are developed, and to decrease the amount of leased acreage that is warehoused and goes unexplored,” said Michael R. Bromwich, director of the regulatory agency.

Officials said they could not yet gauge industry interest in the parcels to be offered. Nor could they estimate how much money the government would reap from the auction, known as lease sale 218.

The last western gulf sale, held in August 2009, covered 18.4 million acres and brought in $111 million.

The last lease sale before the BP blowout and spill was for the central Gulf of Mexico in March 2010. It covered almost 37 million acres and yielded $920 million.

Some environmentalists said it was too soon after the BP disaster to resume large-scale leasing and drilling in the gulf and urged the government to delay the announced sale.

“Rushing this lease sale puts marine ecosystems at risk before the ink is even dry on the impacts of the BP spill,” said Jacqueline Savitz of the international conservation group Oceana. She added that the ocean energy bureau “appears to be caving to intense pressure from the oil industry to return to ‘business as usual,’ without regard for the extraordinary risks to already imperiled marine animals.”

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Chevron Helped by Oil Prices and Better Refinery Margins

Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, had a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit, beating estimates as high oil prices and increased refinery margins offset weaker output.

The numbers released on Friday were the latest in a string of huge profits from the industry, which got a lift from the highest oil prices in nearly three years. Exxon Mobil, the country’s largest oil company, and Royal Dutch Shell earlier in the week reported profits that also benefited from acquisitions and shifts into new projects.

Chevron’s profit rose to $7.7 billion, or $3.85 a share, from $5.4 billion, or $2.70 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had expected $3.56 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue rose 30 percent to $69 billion.

Chevron reported 2.69 million barrels per day of oil-equivalent output, compared with 2.75 million a year-ago.

Chevron trimmed its 2011 production forecast to 2.76 million barrels per day because of a slower acceleration of its Perdido project in the Gulf of Mexico and a pipeline problem in Thailand. Chevron had strived for 2.79 million barrels per day, or 1 percent growth.

“The full-year production impact of these two items is about 30,000 barrels per day and they are approximately split between the two,” said George Kirkland, Chevron’s vice chairman and executive vice president for upstream and gas.

The company stuck to its 2011-2014 average annual production growth target of 1 percent, and 4 to 5 percent for 2014-2017.

On Thursday, Exxon reported a 41 percent rise in quarterly profit, missing forecasts.

Exxon has pushed into natural gas, but Chevron has made more deliberate moves with two deals in the Marcellus shale in the last year.

Though some operators have expressed frustration at the pace of permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. Kirkland said Chevron’s near-term drilling program was on track as two deepwater rigs would soon join the three working there now.

Shares of Chevron were down $1.01 to $104.02.

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Royal Dutch Shell Profit Nearly Doubles

Opinion »

Op-Ed: Justice? Vengeance? You Need Both

In Norway, a 21-year prison term doesn’t seem long enough to avenge the deaths of 76 people.

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BP Profit Falls Despite Higher Oil Prices

But there are signs that the high prices have started to hurt demand in the United States and other developed countries, which could start pushing prices down again. Lower prices could make the rest of 2011 more difficult for BP and other big oil companies.

BP’s rivals, including Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, are still expected to report strong results when they release their first-quarter performances on Thursday.

But some analysts said oil prices could drop about $20 a barrel in the near term, raising questions about whether such companies could keep up the stellar profit growth of last year.

“Concern about supply might fade, and there is a possibility that the world economy will slow,” putting pressure on the price of oil, said Julian Jessop, chief international economist at Capital Economics in London.

But “the future is still bright for oil companies,” he added. “Oil prices will fall back but remain historically high.”

An improving world economy returned oil prices to higher levels in 2010 after a sharp drop in 2009. Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, reported a 53 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter of last year. Chevron earnings in that period rose 72 percent, and ConocoPhillips reported a 46 percent rise.

On Wednesday, BP was the first of the largest publicly traded oil companies to report first-quarter earnings.

For BP, a higher oil price was offset by asset sales to pay for the repercussions from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Earnings were $5.48 billion in the first three months of this year, down from $5.6 billion in the period a year earlier.

The company has sold more than $24 billion of assets to raise money to cover the oil spill costs, and production fell as a result. Including lost production from the Gulf accident, production fell 11 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

BP set aside an additional $384 million for the oil spill in the first quarter, bringing the total to $41 billion.

BP’s shares have fallen 23 percent over the last 12 months, while those of its largest competitors have risen at least 18 percent.

To win back investors, the company focused on exploration and signed cooperation agreements in India and Russia. But its Russian deal with the government-owned Rosneft had to be held up this year because of a legal challenge from its Russian shareholders, a group of billionaires.

Other oil companies, including Shell, considered cooperation agreements with national oil companies as one of the few options for obtaining access to unexplored areas like the Russian Arctic. Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. New oil from the region could play an important part in ensuring sufficient supplies and the future level of oil prices.

Those analysts who predict a decline in the price of oil said concerns about political tensions in North Africa and the Middle East had increased oil prices but were likely to fade. At the same time, there are signs that high oil prices discourage consumers from filling their tanks just as the summer vacation season starts in the northern hemisphere.

“The oil price is, to an extent, too high at the moment,” said Christopher Wheaton, a director at the asset management firm RCM in London. “We are at the point at which we get demand destruction.”

Still, oil prices are expected to remain high enough for companies to increase investments in new drilling projects aimed at increasing production in the longer term. Exxon Mobil said last month that it planned to spend about $100 million a day for the next six years on new oil and gas projects.

The drilling for reserves in more remote and harder-to-reach areas has increased costs for oil companies as they compete for talent and technology. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill also led regulators to tighten safety rules and delay decisions on exploration permits, often further increasing costs for oil companies.

One year after the rig explosion that led to the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is still seeking to resume drilling in the region’s waters, and investors continue to wait for BP to give a total figure for the costs of the spill.

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