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The truth about OSSL allegations

 By John Donovan

OSSL, the former Mr Fixit company for Shell EP Ireland, distributed sweeteners (bribes) on behalf of Shell to various parties to ease the tortuously slow progress of the controversial Corrib Gas Project.

The lucky recipients included a senior Irish Police Officer, Detective Chief Superintendent John Gilligan ([email protected])

OSSL has now supplied me with evidence confirming that their allegations against Shell are true.

The evidence comes from a person of high repute personally present when senior  representatives of Shell, including the Managing Director of Shell EP Ireland. Michael Crothers, carried out repeated negotiations in an attempt to agree a settlement of monies owed to OSSL for buying the sweeteners on Shell’s behalf, including alcohol.  

Why on earth would Shell negotiate a settlement of goods which never existed?

Given what he knows, it is appalling that Michael Crothers has allowed Shell to issue a series of press statements designed to deceive the public and cover-up the truth. 

I gave the name and contact information for the relevant witness to Johan Groenewald, the person from the Ombudsmans Commission supposedly tasked with carrying out a full investigation. I supplied him with related documentary evidence.

Mr Groenewald never even bothered to contact this important witness to highly material events. Groenewald eventually issued a verdict that there was no evidence to support OSSL allegations. The fact of the matter is that he never even bothered to look for it. 

It is perfectly plain from this covertly obtained digital evidence that this professional person of high repute is independent of OSSL and will only tell the truth.

The truth is damning for Shell, the Garda, The Ombudsman Commission and the Irish Justice Ministry. 

I am not the only party in possession of the evidence in question. 

At the last Royal Dutch Shell AGM the CEO, Ben van Beurden and the Chairman, Jorma Ollila, publicly discussed these matters with OSSL director Desmond Kane and promised to arrange a meeting with the objective of find a happy solution, so that the scandal  would not need to be raised at the next AGM.

Ben van Beurden and Jorma Ollila agree OSSL meeting to achieve ‘a happy conclusion’

Thus far, Shell has not honoured that pledge. 

I have no interest in the outcome of any such meeting, other than Shell facing up to the truth and abiding by its own claimed core business principles of honesty, integrity and transparency – all missing from Shell’s actions thus far. 

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Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Bootlicker: Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014, weeks after Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea

Ebola in Nigeria: Royal Dutch Shell issues warning to employees

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

I received an email from a regular contributor at noon today advising that “Ebola has reached Port Harcourt now. No doubt you are aware Shell has ‘some’ operations there…”

The contact also supplied a BBC News article: Ebola spreads to Nigeria oil hub Port Harcourt

Before I had time to decide whether to comment, Reuters published an article “Doctor dies of Ebola in Nigeria’s oil hub Port Harcourt”

Extracts

Port Harcourt lies at the heart of Nigeria’s two million barrels per day oil industry, Africa’s biggest, and is a hub for expatriate workers in major international oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, ENI, Total and Exxonmobil.

A spokesman for leading operator Royal Dutch Shell in London said the firm was “monitoring the Ebola outbreak very closely, and liaising with health authorities on the steps being taken to contain the disease.” The only actions he wished to make public were a “health education campaign for staff and contractors.” Shell also said it had advised against non-essential travel to Nigeria.

Shell employees in Nigeria already had to worry about the prospect of losing their jobs as a result of Shell’s asset firesale plans. They now also have to worry about Ebola. 

Royal Dutch Shell Files Arctic Drilling Plans

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 00.00.49A Shell spokesperson claims that the company’s latest Arctic exploration plan takes into account lessons learned from the 2012 operation (which turned into a dangerous farce after Shell engaged in reckless machinations in an effort to evade tax).

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has filed a plan with US federal regulators that could result in a resumption of its Arctic drilling campaign in the summer of of 2015.

However, the oil giant still has significant regulatory and legal issues to deal with in the meantime.

A Shell spokesperson claims that the company’s latest Arctic exploration plan takes into account lessons learned from the 2012 operation (which turned into a dangerous farce after Shell engaged in reckless machinations in an effort to evade tax). 

Related articles with more detail:

Shell formally launches 2015 Arctic drilling bid

Extract

Environmentalists warn that drilling in Arctic waters is too risky and insist that any spill at the top of the globe would be impossible to clean up. While Shell plans to stash booms, skimmers and other spill response gear nearby, conservationists note that most of that equipment is geared toward warmer, calmer waters.

Shell formally launches 2015 Arctic drilling bid

Extract

The exploration plan filed with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage keeps the door open for Shell to resume its Arctic drilling campaign as soon as summer 2015, and is the strongest evidence yet that new CEO Ben van Beurden wants to keep pursuing a big discovery in the U.S. Arctic after an ill-fated exploration campaign in 2012.

Shell Submits a Plan for New Alaskan Arctic Oil Exploration

Extract

After years of legal and logistical setbacks and dogged opposition from environmentalists, Royal Dutch Shell submitted a plan to the federal …

THE FARCE IN 2012

Shell’s Arctic Ambitions on the Rocks: 2 Jan 2013

The Kulluk and Shell’s Arctic reputation both need salvaging: 2 Jan 2013

SHELL’S SHIPWRECKED AMBITIONS IN THE GULF OF ALASKA: 1 Jan 2013

Shell’s jinxed Arctic drilling farce: 29 December 2012

Shell risked offshore workers lives to dodge Alaskan tax bill: 9 April 2014

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ‘TOUCH F*** ALL’ APPROACH TO OFFSHORE DRILLING

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.59.38A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified. The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell. It seems from recently published articles that despite all the pledges and the appointment of a so-called safety Czar, nothing has changed.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.44.48By John Donovan

In 2005, Shell received a record breaking fine of £900,000 at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, for a series of safety failings on the Brent Bravo platform, which led to a gas leak inside the giant platform’s utility leg and the tragic avoidable deaths of offshore workers.

A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified.

The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell.

A subsequent report in 2008 by upstreamonline revealed that even the oil rig lifeboats were not seaworthy.

It seems from articles published in the last 24 hours that despite all the pledges by Shell senior management and the appointment of a so-called safety Czar, nothing has changed.

Gas leak lands Shell safety warning: upstream online.com: 27 August 2014

Extract

Shell has been served with a serious safety warning by UK authorities following a gas leak on its Brent Bravo platform in the northern North Sea.

Notice from HSE for Shell after Brent Bravo gas leak off Shetland: 27 August 2014

Extracts

The incident happened on the Brent Bravo, off Shetland, on 9 June. Production on the Brent Bravo was shut down at the time, to allow maintenance work to be carried out.

Safety watchdog launches investigation after gas leak on oil platform: STV News 27 August 2014

Extract

In its prohibition notice, the HSE reported: “Appropriate measures not taken to prevent uncontrolled release of hydrocarbon gas from gas export system including the pig traps and crossover arrangements. “Unwanted and unnecessary accumulation of hydrocarbon gas in the pig traps could not easily be blown down in an emergency.”

Shell hit by safety warning for North Sea gas leak

Extract

The HSE is still wrapping up its investigation and said it should reach its final conclusion soon.

RELATED

SCOTTISH OIL RIGS IN DIRE STRAITS

See also: Rusting rigs spark fears of oil tragedy

Shell rapped by Norway’s offshore safety watchdog

COMMENT RECEIVED

John,

It seems that Malcolm Brinded’s legacy of TFA is alive and kicking on Brent B. The issuing of a Prohibition notice by the HSE is a very serious matter which reflects yet again at the failure of Shell in Aberdeen to be able to eliminate gas leaks.

Just one question:- Why do Shell continually shoot themselves in the foot?

Regards

Royal Dutch Shell Retreat from Nigeria

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The FT states: “Shell’s phlegmatic chief executive Ben van Beurden will need to hold his nose when he takes the money…” and in a related article, describes Shell’s actions as a “retreat from the Niger Delta” (triggered in part by militancy, violence and bunkering).

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 08.53.45By John Donovan

The global firesale of Shell assets continues with the sale of four oil fields in Nigeria for $5 billion

The FT states: Shell’s phlegmatic chief executive Ben van Beurden will need to hold his nose when he takes the money… and in a related article, describes Shell’s actions as a “retreat from the Niger Delta” (apparently triggered in part by militancy, violence and bunkering). 

Extract from latter article: 

“…a militant uprising in the Niger Delta last decade led to severe supply disruptions, and though the worst of the violence has subsided, criminal gangs continue to cause havoc, siphoning off huge volumes of oil from the pipelines that criss-cross the delta.”

Information about the sale by Shell and its partners, Total and Eni, is vague.

A Shell spokesman said: “We have signed sales & purchase agreements for some of the Oil Mining Leases, but not all that we are seeking to divest.” 

However, according to Reuters, no details were available on the value of the deals signed, nor when the full process will be completed.

As Rupert Hargreaves correctly points out in a Motley Fool article: “Shell has already sold $8bn worth of underperforming assets so far this year and there are more sales to come. That being said, the group continues to struggle within North America, where Shell has found it hard to compete with local producers.”

Potential Bad News for Royal Dutch Shell and BP

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

An article by Matthew Smith published by Seeking Alpha warns about the potential adverse impact on the share value of companies with “exposure” in Russia, such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, is well aware of the risk to Shell’s Russian assets and future prospects, which explains his humiliating bowing to President Putin when they met just weeks after the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. Obviously a believer in appeasement. 

Extract from article

In what could be more bad news for Russian stocks and those with Russian exposure, such as BP (NYSE:BP) and Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B), we are seeing stories that indicate Russia could be making a move on further naval infrastructure on the Black Sea. News out of the region has not always added up, but with Ukrainian military forces closing in on Russian supported separatists elsewhere, a move on the southeast would make sense from a strategic point of view, as it not only increases the space which Ukraine must cover but also gives Russia very strategic real estate.

Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014

RUSSIA

Jeroen van der Veer, the former Royal Dutch Shell CEO who evaded responsibility for his role in the cover-up of the Shell reserves fraud, claims that the sanctions against Russia are not working and are counter-productive. This analysis comes from the man who badly misjudged the Putin regime in 2006 and as a result, ended up meekly surrendering Shell’s majority stake in the Sakhalin 2 project. 

UK

The British government has just introduced a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies registered in the UK to disclose all payments made to the governments of countries in which they operate. The new rule, which comes into force in 2015, is designed to result in greater transparency, something alien to oil companies such as Shell. Problems may arise in relation to Nigeria where Shell has a decades long history of corruption involving a succession of odious regimes.

AUSTRALIA

Woodside Petroleum boss Peter Coleman has indicated that Woodside will not help Shell reduce its stake in the company. Coleman says there is no plan B and the next move is up to Shell. A recent buyback plan embarrassingly failed to receive shareholder approval so Shell is stuck with its unwanted reduced stake in Woodside. And Woodside is stuck with Shell.

Shell smashed to bits across Adelaide, South Australia?

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29“Printed below is an email received from a Mr Bruce Hubbard. Does Shell wish to comment? If you tell me that its is all false, or contains false information, then I will not publish it. If I receive no response within 7 days I will assume Shell does not take issue with the allegations and has no comment to make.”

By John Donovan

I have printed below the content of an email I received from Mr. Bruce Hubbard together with a related email I sent to Mr. Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. As can be seen, I gave Shell the opportunity to deny the allegations. I have not received any response. 

EMAIL RECEIVED BY JOHN DONOVAN FROM BRUCE HUBBARD

From: Bruce Hubbard <[email protected]>
Subject: Shell smashed to bits across Adelaide, South Australia
Date: 6 August 2014 04:32:17 BST
To: [email protected]

Corporate crime by Shell, its solicitors and the Government of South Australia.

I destroyed the Shell company right across Adelaide.

Treasurer Stephen Baker shut the lot down.

Shell were asked to return the service station they stole from my father Colin Hubbard and his widow Mrs Lucy Hubbard at 422 Pulteney Street.

In a meeting at Shell office Hindmarsh Square with Leon Holmes chairman’s representative, and Richard Osmotherly “network development” manager, they were demonstrated Shell’s fraud.

Richard Osmotherly found that he no longer had a “network” to develop.

Leon Holmes found himself working at the RAA.

Shell lawyers came into court off the street without summons and took $500 from my mother Mrs Lucy Hubbard, her pension money, thanks to the magistrate.

It cost Shell 10 site closures and more, estimated value and site pollution remediation $10 million.

Estimated revenue loss for Royal Dutch Petroleum for the past 17 years for these 10 sites plus others across Adelaide is well in excess of $1 billion.

You don’t mess with me.

RELATED EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO MICHIEL BRANDJES

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: Fwd: Shell smashed to bits across Adelaide, South Australia
Date: 6 August 2014 15:51:32 BST
To: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brandjes

Printed below is an email received from a Mr Bruce Hubbard.

Does Shell wish to comment?

If you tell me that its is all false, or contains false information, then I will not publish it.

If I receive no response within 7 days I will assume Shell does not take issue with the allegations and has no comment to make.

Yours sincerely
John Donovan

THESE PHOTOGRAPHS SUPPLIED TO ME BY MR HUBBARD WERE ALSO FORWARDED TO MR BRANDJES

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Shell one of 5 Companies Al Gore Says Are Doomed

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26“Royal Dutch Shell is another company with a doomed oil sands project, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative. Its Carmon Creek project needs oil prices to hit $157 per barrel in order to be profitable. On top of that, Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to drill for oil in the Arctic, which has already wasted $5 billion of investors’ capital and would waste more money if drilling restarted.”

By John Donovan

According to an article by Matt DiLallo published by The Motley Fool on 23 August, former US VP Al Gore believes that the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ConocoPhillips, Total SA and BP plc include $7 trillion of worthless ‘unburnable” carbon assets. 

Extract

“This unburnable carbon is the oil, gas, and coal that is still in the earth that, if extracted and burned, would push the globe over the edge in terms of climate change. Because this is an edge we can’t cross, it would suggest that the companies owning the assets are all but doomed.”

Gore draws particular attention to Canadian oil sands and deepwater oil projects claiming that a recent study indicates that oil prices have to be higher than $150 per barrel for the projects to be viable. 

Extract

“Royal Dutch Shell is another company with a doomed oil sands project, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative. Its Carmon Creek project needs oil prices to hit $157 per barrel in order to be profitable. On top of that, Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to drill for oil in the Arctic, which has already wasted $5 billion of investors’ capital and would waste more money if drilling restarted.”

THE MOTLEY FOOL ARTICLE

Robert Writt vs. Shell Oil Company – Update

Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 15.27.50

The litigation relates to a corruption case in which Shell was ordered to pay $48 million (£29.4m) in civil and criminal fines after its contractor (Panalpina Inc.) bribed Nigerian customs officials. It appears Shell decided  to make Robert Writt the fall guy for Shell’s involvement in the massive corruption scheme (targeting officials of a host country) by turning Writt in to the US federal authorities in the belief that Shell was safe from legal retribution by him. The Appeals Court decided otherwise.

By John Donovan

The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to hear Shell Oil Co.’s argument it shouldn’t have to face defamation charges from a former Shell Project Manager, Robert Writt who the company reported to federal authorities as potentially responsible for a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation at a Nigerian oil and gas project.

Shell is appealing a lower court ruling that cleared the way for Writt to continue pursuing a defamation claims against Shell. 

Shell had managed to have the case blocked on a legal technicality, but the Court of Appeals of the first District of Texas overturned the decision.

The case is:

NO.01-11-00201-CV ROBERT WRITT, Appellant

V.

SHELL OIL COMPANY AND SHELL INTERNATIONAL, E&P, INC., Appellees

I have provided access to a bundle of court documents running to 143 pages, which includes a judgement and opinion rendered on 25 June 2013.

The appeals court ruled that Shell Oil Co could potentially be held liable for defaming Robert Writt when it informed federal authorities that he had violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act while working for Shell.

The litigation relates to a corruption case in which Shell was ordered to pay $48 million (£29.4m) in civil and criminal fines after its contractor (Panalpina Inc.) bribed Nigerian customs officials.

Extract from Daily Telegraph article from November 2010 headlined: Shell to pay $48m Nigerian bribe fine

Four of Panalpina’s other clients in addition to Shell were also fined, including Transocean, Tidewater, Pride International and Noble Corp.

“These companies resorted to lucrative arrangements behind the scenes to obtain phony paperwork and special favours, and they landed themselves squarely in investigators’ crosshairs,” said Robert Khuzami, the director of enforcement at the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shell contended that the report it supplied to the US Dept of Justice after conducting a two year long internal inquiry at Shell, which cost the company $10 million, was protected by absolute privilege and consequently it was immune from the defamation law suit brought against the company by Robert Writt.

However, the Appeals Court decided that Shell could not evade Writts defamation suit on these grounds. 

Writt filed his suit against Shell Oil Co in 2009, alleging wrongful termination and defamation arising from the companys report to the Dept of Justice that had implicated him in the Panalpina bribery scheme.

It appears that Shell decided to try to make Robert Writt the fall guy for Shell’s involvement in the massive corruption scheme (targeting officials of a host country) by turning Writt in to the US federal authorities, in the belief that Shell was safe from legal retribution by him. The Appeals Court decided otherwise.

Panalpina agreed to pay $11.3 million in the SEC case and $70.6 million in the DOJ case. It had allegedly paid out bribes totaling over $27 million to officials in countries including Angola, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Russia.

Shell and its affiliates paid $18.1 million in the SEC case plus a $30 million criminal fine for its role in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations that  included supplying $2 million to subcontractors to fund Panalpina bribes paid to Nigerian customs officials.

RELATED

13-0552 — Shell Oil Co. v. Writt — The U.S. Department of Justice made an inquiry of Shell about possible bribery related to a Shell project in Nigeria. Shell then performed an interal investigation, and later gave the DOJ a copy of Shell’s internal report, in which Shell accused the plaintiff (who was a Shell employee) of unethical behavior. The plaintiff sued for defamation. The principal issue on appeal is whether Shell is protected by the absolute privilege even though the DOJ had not brought formal charges when Shell produced the internal report. The court of appeals held that Shell was entitled only to a conditional privilege.

Update on OSSL Corruption Allegations Against Shell

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.29.11By John Donovan

A contributor to the Shell Blog has requested an update on the long running OSSL saga. OSSL is the former “Mr Fixit” company working for Shell in Ireland that blew the whistle on alleged corruption surrounding the controversial Corrib Gas Project.

There have been two internal investigations by Royal Dutch Shell and three by the Irish police authorities. All reached the conclusion that there is no evidence to support the OSSL allegations.

In fact, there is evidence but for obvious reasons, neither the police nor Shell want to reveal the truth.

OSSL directors are continuing to bombard Shell, the Garda and other parties with emails every day. That aspect has turned nasty and I completely disassociate myself and this website with the emailing campaign and demands for payment by OSSL from Shell.

My sole interest is in the truth being exposed, as it will be.

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