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Royal Dutch Shell outmaneuvered, outsmarted, bullied and humiliated

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Vladimir Putin: The macho man former spy who has repeatedly outmaneuvered, outsmarted, bullied and humiliated Royal Dutch Shell, while simultaneously running rings round other submissive global players. Jeroen van de Veer prostrated himself before Vladimir Putin in the Sakhalin2 surrender and Ben van Beurden repeated the act of subservience in a cringe-making ill-timed audience with Putin on Good Friday. The king of corruption and master of polonium fueled assassination is treating them all with deserved contempt.


Russia says firms leaving over sanctions can’t return soon

BIROBIDZHAN, Russia, April 24 (Reuters) – Russia warned foreign companies working in the oil and gas sector that if they quit the country over Ukraine-related sanctions, they would not be able to return any time soon. Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden… came to Moscow and told President Vladimir Putin the company was committed to expansion in Russia.


Catastrophic bungling in Shell’s Alaskan debacle

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 09.49.25Extract from an article published by Environment News Service on 23 April 2014 under the headline:

“U.S. Not Ready for Oil Spill in Arctic Waters”

“Amazingly, Shell seems determined to attempt another assault on the Arctic, even after the catastrophic bungling of its 2012 foray. There is no clearer evidence that oil companies are not prepared enough, are cutting corners, and according to a recent U.S. Coast Guard Report, are committing multiple violations of the law in order to get to deep sea black gold, than Shell’s Alaskan debacle.” “Everyone from the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Government’s Geological Survey, Lloyds of London and CEOs of giant oil companies agree there is no such thing as safe Arctic drilling.”


Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance

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Extract from an article by Jess Davis published 23 April 2014 by LAW360 under the headline: “Jury Awards Texas Family $2.9M For Fracking Nuisance Claim”

Law360, Dallas (April 22, 2014, 5:25 PM ET) — A Texas jury on Tuesday awarded $2.925 million to a family who alleged they suffered health problems because of natural gas wells drilled in the Barnett Shale by Aruba Petroleum Inc. on neighboring property, finding Aruba intentionally created a private nuisance.



A Dallas jury’s Tuesday award of $2.9 million to a family in one of the first trials alleging fracking caused severe health problems doesn’t have energy companies quaking in their boots, but lawyers say it could spur copycat cases and affect settlement talks in similar litigation.


Brent Oil price benchmark ‘in urgent need of reform’

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 16.05.25Extract from an article by Roland Gribben published by The Telegraph on 22 April 2014

Brent Oil, the pricing benchmark for two thirds of the world’s oil supply, is “crumbling” and is in urgent need of reform, a new study into the market argues. The study emerges as oil companies, traders and agencies responsible for reporting and monitoring prices examine the scope for changes to restore confidence and limit EU or US intervention and regulation they fear would be damaging and costly. A European Commission team raided the head offices of BP, Shell and Statoil as well as the London offices of Platts, the leading price reporting agency, last year in the search for evidence of price fixing and business behaviour similar to the rigging of the Libor benchmark by banks.


Putin and Ben van Beurden negotiating a cosy relationship

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OSSL is known as Shell’s Mr Fixit, distributor of sweeteners (bribes). Alcohol a specialty.  Shell has built a company on handing out bribes, whenever needed. Putin and his cronies have become billionaires from corruption. So a real meeting of minds on Good Friday.

UK Govt ‘Caved’ In Pushing US Supreme Court To Prioritize Corporations Over Human Rights

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Extracts from an article by Carey L. Biron published 21 April 2014 by MINTPRESS NEWS

“In the cases against Shell and Rio Tinto, business interests won over the human rights interests of the plaintiffs in the cases who had legitimate claims of torture and murder…”

WASHINGTON — Newly released internal memoranda and emails detail the process behind the British government’s intervention in a landmark ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which limited a pioneering law that had allowed the U.S. legal system to be used to prosecute overseas corporate human rights abuses. The documents — 63 pages of which were released through Freedom of Information Act requests and made public earlier this month following years of requests — come from 2011 and 2012. They focus on a U.S. Supreme Court case called Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the company known in the United States as Shell Oil. The case was brought by communities in the Niger Delta, who claim that Shell-hired security groups, including the Nigerian military, tortured and killed environmentalists opposing the company’s operations during the 1990s.


Shell sweeteners (bribes) distributed in Ireland

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By John Donovan

OSSL is the former Shell “Mr Fixit” company best known for delivering Shell sponsored Christmas alcohol gifts to the Irish cops. The company has today circulated to Shell senior execs and partners in the controversial Corrib Gas Project (Statoil and Vermillion Energy), an interesting list of the sweeteners (bribes) it claims to have distributed on the express instructions of Shell EP Ireland.

Sheep pens…. cash…. holidays…. kitchens….. televisions…… double glazing….. police booze…. barbecues….. cars….. mowers….. block paving….. bed and breakfast signs…. carpets…. gas cookers ….. house make overs…. pick up trucks…. Septic tanks…. garden centre visits…. school fees….

Shell also distributed sweeteners (bribes) directly to the Irish news media at Christmas time.

Such a remarkably generous company.

Union protest at Royal Dutch Shell Plc Dutch HQ

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

More than a 1,000 cleaners are on strike today so that they can participate in a protest at Shell’s Dutch headquarters at 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan in The Hague. The action is organized by the FNV union and is part of a nationwide campaign by the cleaners seeking better working conditions. The union is threatening to mount a long term strike. Not even a deep clean would erase the dark history associated with the address.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE: Photograph shows Swastika flag flying at the head office of Royal Dutch Petroleum, 30 Carel van Bylandtlaan, The Hague, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II (From Image Database Hague Municipal)

Shell’s bad missteps all but killed off US Arctic oil program

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 15.20.51Extracts from an article by Nick Cunningham published Sunday 20 April 2014 by under the headline:”Russia’s Arctic Prize Won’t Be As Big As Many Think”

While Royal Dutch Shell’s bad missteps have all but killed off the Arctic oil program in the United States, Russia is moving ahead, and Putin clearly believes that the Arctic is an essential ingredient in its ability to maintain its position as one of the world’s largest oil producers. In early April, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Canada and the U.S. should form a “united front” against expansionist moves by Russia in the Arctic. She warned against Russia’s military buildup in the region.


Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden Bows to Putin

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

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin: Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29For ever a 100 years, Shell has been driven by unscrupulous greed as its sole motivator. Shell funded Hitler and the Nazis party and has subsequently done business with a string of evil regimes, including General Sani Abacha, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and the Mad Mullahs of Iran. Putin is but the latest  power mad egomaniac to be treated like royalty by Shell. Bowed to and fawned over on Good Friday by the overpaid bootlicker, Ben van Beurden. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

By John Donovan

The New York Times newspaper published an article today under the headline: In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin


Just as the United States resolved in the aftermath of World War II to counter the Soviet Union and its global ambitions, Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making it a pariah state.

Extract ends

The article goes on to claim that Mr. Obama’s aides believe his actions “have sent a message to international businesses, and that just the threat of broader measures has produced a chilling effect.”

The actions of Royal Dutch Shell PLC – the biggest business on the planet in terms of revenue generated, provide proof that the message is being treated with contempt, just as the oil giant did with U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran.

Shell is not interested in morals, ethics, human rights, the safety of it employees, the public, or any other consideration, except money.

For over a 100 years, Shell has been driven by unscrupulous greed as its sole motivator.

Shell funded Hitler and the Nazi party, and has subsequently done business with a string of evil regimes, including General Sani Abacha, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and the Mad Mullahs of Iran. Putin is but the latest  power mad egomaniac to be treated like royalty by Shell. Bowed to and fawned over on Good Friday by the overpaid bootlicker, Ben van Beurden. 

In June 2001, the claim by President George W Bush that he had looked Putin in the eye and “was able to get a sense of his soul” was greeted with bemusement given the sinister pedigree of Putin as a KGB Colonel. To be fair, this was long before the polonium fueled assassination in London, the annexation of Crimea and the recent estimates that as a result of being the leader of perhaps the most corrupt regime in history, Putin has amassed a $40 billion dollar personal fortune.

None of this matters to Shell. Basically, the company is willing to deal with the devil if that is what it takes to generate multiple million dollar financial packages for its fat cat executive directors, irrespective of their performance, honesty and all moral considerations.


Is Vladimir Putin Another Adolf Hitler?: Forbes Magazine 16 April 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Fooling About With Numbers

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29So a 5 minute look inside the reported numbers paints a different picture, certainly a clearer picture and a picture that despite the hot air,  from a risk analysis viewpoint clarifies that there has been no significant reduction in risk despite the credit being taken by the industry and the Regulator.


Fooling about with numbers.

As a shareholder I received a letter from Shell UK Country Chairman recently.  Under Health and Safety he takes credit for an important milestone achieved in April 2013 when he states our upstream business in the North Sea achieved an important milestone in a 50 per cent reduction in the number of hydrocarbon releases over the last three years in line with the industry commitment made in 2009.  In 2008 there were 83 major and significant releases and this reduced to 72 in 2009.  The Energy Minister and the HSE pronounced this at the time as a significant reduction but actually it only reduced mean time between releases from circa every 4 days to circa every 5 days, hardly a significant reduction. From formal risk analysis a significant risk reduction could only be claimed by an order of magnitude reduction that is from 83 to 8.  However, the politics of any reduction is to blow your trumpet whether the reduction is actually reducing risk or not.

However back to the recent letter from the Chairman. What we are not made aware of is what Shell’s contribution to the 50 per cent reduction was.  That aside, the 2012/13 figures listed 46 major and significant releases or mean time between releases circa every 8 days and as I have attempted to hammer home, over and over, that any one of these releases has the potential, are likely, to cause a major accident event.  Also not covered in the numbers is that 9 releases of the 46 were defined as major up from three the previous year or the largest number of major releases recorded in the last 14 years.

So a 5 minute look inside the reported numbers paints a different picture, certainly a clearer picture and a picture that despite the hot air,  from a risk analysis viewpoint clarifies that there has been no significant reduction in risk despite the credit being taken by the industry and the Regulator.  Certainly a reduction is always better than an increase but we only need one of these releases to ignite, perhaps it will be the next one, so the North Sea has still got a long way to go.

When fooling around with numbers you can communicate to the man in the street a false sense of the realty of the situation when or if it is in your vested self interest so to do.

Bill Campbell

Royal Dutch Shell bets on LNG, on an epic scale

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By John Donovan

The comments below are from a Motley Fool article that draws attention to the fact that Shell’s Prelude FLNG project represents a bet “on an epic scale.”  The author is right. The project is an uninsured, uninsurable risk, which like Shell’s Alaskan ambitions, could potentially destroy Shell. 

As to the likelihood of the project being “on schedule and on budget,” we know Shell’s atrocious “misfires” track record on that score e.g. the Corrib Gas project in Ireland: 13 years behind schedule and four times over budget. And “Cash All Gone” (Kashagan), another white elephant.

Perhaps if Shell has managed to obtain any contingency risk insurance for Prelude, it will kindly let me know.

Extract from an article by Adam Galas published 18 April 2014 by The Motley Fool under the headline: “Why Dividend Growth Investors Should Avoid Royal Dutch Shell and Total”

Royal Dutch Shell is attempting to forge a comeback after several years of misfires. An example of this was the $5 billion spent at Beaufort, Alaska. After eight years (with no oil production), the company abandoned the project. Now a new CEO, Ben van Beurden, is at the helm and determined to steer a better course. 

The company is planning on selling $15 billion in assets between 2014-2015 and focusing on LNG exports and offshore drilling. This includes the construction of the largest ship in history, the Prelude, to act as a floating LNG liquefaction and tanker loading terminal. The estimated cost is 20% lower than land-based LNG export facilities, assuming the project can be accomplished on schedule and on budget.


Putin, Ukraine and Royal Dutch Shell

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Sir Henri was fanatically anti-Soviet as a result of the confiscation of Shell oil fields in Russia. Might be best if Ben does not mention this past history to his new chum, Vlad the Bad, who is rather keen to restore the Soviet empire. “Had Putin asked ‘and now you kiss my ass’, I am sure van Beurden would have complied.”

18 April 2014

By John Donovan

There are a number of news reports about a meeting earlier today between President Putin and Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, in which the sensitive subject of Ukraine was discussed.

Interesting to note that the same subject was also discussed at a high level by Shell in the 1930′s, on that occasion with Hitler, who like Putin, also had territorial ambitions. 

Printed below are extracts from a book, “Hitler As Frankenstein” by Johannes Steel (born Herbert Stahl,1908-1988), the son of a German-Dutch landowner. When the Nazis took power in Germany he fled to the USA working as a journalist for the New York Post. Because of his prescience, which included predicting World War 2, he became widely followed as a popular radio commentator in the U.S. during the war. (Information taken from Wikipedia)

The “Deterding” mentioned in the extracts was Sir Henri Deterding, the founder of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and its undisputed leader for many years. He became an ardent Nazis. 

From pages 88 & 89 of “Hitler As Frankenstein”

Dr. George Bell was present at several of these conferences as a delegate of Hitler and Deterding jointly. For Dr. Rosenberg, who at that time had been just two years naturalised in Germany, had become Hitler’s expert in foreign affairs, and he had advised Deterding, through the medium of Dr. George Bell, who brought about the contact, as to the attitude the Hitlerites would take in regard to the question of the Polish Corridor and the Soviet Ukraine, where there are rich supplies of oil. Rosenberg suggested to Deterding, through Bell, that at an appropriate moment unrest should be fostered in the Ukraine, and an attempt be made with the aid of Germany to wrest the Soviet Ukraine away from the Soviet Union and give it back to Poland, to whom it had belonged at the time of the ancient Polish kingdom. Germany in return should receive the Corridor back, so satisfying the Hitlerites’ nationalistic ambitions, and Sir Henri Deterding should be rewarded with mineral concessions for his efforts to persuade responsible British quarters to give tacit support to such an undertaking. Anyway, from the day of the Ukrainian Conference, Deterding has been supporting Hitler with considerable sums of money (which found their way into the Hitler exchequer through Dr. Bell), hoping that in case the Hitlerites should come into power, they would pursue at any rate an anti-Soviet policy. 

Extracts end.

Sir Henri was fanatically anti-Soviet as a result of the confiscation of Shell oil fields in Russia. Might be best if Ben does not mention this past history to his new chum, Vlad the Bad, who is rather keen to restore the Soviet empire and like Hitler, is delighted to have the fawning totally unprincipled support of Shell.

Shell’s collaboration is being seen as a hugely important event to be fully exploited for propaganda purposes by Putin. View this Russian video clip.


Posting on Shell Blog by shellwaarbenjijnu on 2014/04/19 at 09:04: “Shell welkom in Rusland”: van Beurden – shame on you!

van Beurden – shame on you! The front page of the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf shows you bowing your head to Putin while he looks straight ahead. “Shell welkom in Rusland”. Where is your pride man? Have you forgotten the humiliation heaped on Shell over Sakhalin based on trumped up charges of environmental vandalism? All originated by a ruthless kleptocrat who at the same time willfully ignores the environmental catastrophy of nuclear waste leaking from abandoned former Soviet navy submarines rotting away in the arctic. Putin is so bent he cannot lie straight in bed at night and you bow your head to him? Shame, shame, shame.

Comment by John Zwiebel on 2014/04/19

Do we need any other evidence showing the betrayal of humanity by capitalists?

Comment posted by Ian Blauu on Apr 19th, 2014 

Shellwaarbenjijnu, Shell is a business. Ben has to keep the share price high. Exiting Ukraine’s unconventional would be the right thing to do too.

Comment received from an old EP hand 2014/04/19

Shellwaarbenjijnu: completely agree, I saw him on TV, ‘Thank you very much, Mr President, for being able to see me here today. It seems that you know our business in Russia as well as I do.’ Also follow this link for the full text. I am almost certain I heard him say two or three times ‘thank you Mr President’. This grovelling made my stomach turn. Had Putin asked ‘and now you kiss my ass’, I am sure van Beurden would have complied. Anything for the shareholder! Somehow I cannot see the boss of Exxon behave like this!

Further comment posted by shellwaarbenjijnu on 2014/04/19

@Ian Blauu – I was not implying Shell should exit Russia. My observation relates to van Beurden’s body language. There is no requirement in Dutch / European / Russian culture to bow unless you are acknowledging a “superior” which is akin to groveling. The CEO of Shell does not have to grovel. He is at the top of an energy company which by any measure is the superior of anything Russian. As for Putin knowing Shell’s business better than van Beurden – of course. Van Beurden has to rely on reports from Shell staff which will have been spun and shaped to convey the message “everything is in great shape”. Putin will have his spies everywhere feeding him the undiluted truth.

Further comment by Ian Blauu on 2014/04/19 at 16:15

Shellwaarbenjijnu, you know very well Shell has to rely on Sakhalin In Russia, China, Nigeria, and few others to continue to fund the Shell pension in Holland. By the way , ” Bowing” means respect in many countries.

Further comment from an Old EP hand on 2014/04/19 at 22:10

Ian Blauu: small correction, the Dutch pensionfund is handled by Shell Nederland and the bulk of the money comes from the NAM and more specific: Groningen. The Dutch pensioners are therefore quite safe for the next 20 years or so.

I prefer a CEO who keeps up the standards of decency and technical superiority. In words and actions. Grovelling to the dictators of the world is just not on! Jeroen v.d. Veer did the same when Putin stole half the Shell share. He thanked him for that. And if you behave like a serf you get treated like a serf!

I fear van Beurden has the wrong advisors in this matter. Probably americans, they get it wrong all the time!


Shell stokes tensions by pressing ties with President Putin: The Times 19 April 2014


While urgent international talks were under way in Geneva in an attempt to defuse tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the boss of Shell visited the Russian leader’s official residence outside Moscow yesterday to discuss expanding the group’s $20 billion Sakhalin oi and gas venture in Siberia.

Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions Reuters article 18 April 2014

Shell tells Putin gas project not derailed by Ukraine RT article 18 April 2014


Royal Dutch Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, signaling Ukraine tension has not affected investment in Russia, and that energy contracts won’t be derailed by international politics.

Shell Plans Russian Expansion With Putin Support for Sakhalin-2 BloombergBusinessweek 18 April 2014


“We are very keen to grow our position in the Russian Federation,” van Beurden said to Putin today. “We look forward with anticipation and confidence on a very long-term future here in Russia.” 

Shell chief committed to Russia despite Ukraine: The Telegraph 19 April 2014

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Extract: “Putin said he was happy that Shell is continuing its work in Russia.”

Financial calamity could engulf Shell in event of a Prelude FLNG or Arctic Disaster

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29To the best of my knowledge, both Shell projects are fraught with danger, are pushing the bounds of technology, have attracted risk warnings from experts and are self-insured by Shell because no commercial contingency insurance specialists are willing to provide cover. 

By John Donovan

An article published today by Reuters gives some idea of the financial calamity that could engulf Shell in the event of  a Prelude FLNG or Shell Arctic drilling disaster, with potential for even more dire consequences. 

Extract from Reuters article published 18 April 2014 under the headline: “Compensation battle rages four years after BP’s U.S. oil spill

The oil company has spent over $26 billion on cleaning up, fines and compensation for the disaster, which killed 11 people on the rig and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days after the blast on April 20, 2010.  That is more than a third of BP’s total revenues for 2013, and the company has allowed for the bill to almost double…

To the best of my knowledge both Shell projects are fraught with danger, are pushing the bounds of technology, have attracted risk warnings from experts and are self-insured by Shell because no commercial contingency insurance specialists are willing to provide cover. 

If any of this information if inaccurate, then Shell only has to advise me accordingly and corrections will be published. 

Ben van Beurden dragged into Irish Cops Bribery Scandal

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By John Donovan

Printed below are self-explanatory extracts from an email I sent on 16 April to Johan Groenewald, the senior officer at the Garda Ombudsman Commission investigating allegations made by OSSL about Shell corrupting the Irish police force.

I am arranging  for OSSL directors to attend the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Annual General Meeting in May, as they did last year (as reported in The Observer).


The Donovans had secured places for Kane and Rooney at Shell’s annual meeting last month, to raise their grievances. Cornered, the company’s CEO, Peter Voser, suddenly ordered a further inquiry, a move echoed by the Garda.

This time they intend to publicly confront Ben van Beurden, the successor to Peter Voser, who according to OSSL, made promises he did not keep.

OSSL have already notified Ben van Beurden of their plans.


From: John Donovan <>
Date: 16 April 2014 20:22:16 BST
To: Johan Groenewald <>
Cc: THE OSSL COMPANY <>, neil rooney <>

Dear Mr. Groenewald

I would respectfully like to draw your attention to an unofficial transcript of the Vincent Browne TV3 interview with Ed Vulliamy of the Guardian/Observer newspaper that took place on 3 April 2014.

A piss up at Christmas time courtesy of Shell

Its accuracy can currently be confirmed by viewing the actual interview via the link provided at the foot of the transcript.

In the course of investigating these matters Mr Vulliamy has interviewed OSSL directors Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney, plus various officials at Shell, and another knowledgeable source whose identity has never been publicly revealed in relation to this matter. He has also had direct communication with the Garda Press Office on a number of occasions.

Mr Vulliamy went on public record during the interview, without any legal preamble/disclaimer, stating his unequivocal finding that Shell did provide tens of thousands of Euro’s worth of booze to the cops at Christmas. That’s an indication of how certain he is about the matter.


We also know for certain that Shell also gave alcohol as Christmas gifts to the Irish news media.

One editor returned his free wine pack after deciding that it would be unethical to accept.

Such activity is totally at odds with SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES as downloaded today, 18 April 2014 from

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It is interesting to note that although the handover from Peter Voser to Ben van Beurden took place several months ago, it is still the signature of Peter Voser displayed on the document, not Ben van Beurden. That fact provides a good indication of the importance that Shell attaches to the SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES.

Out of date and disregarded.


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  • g. avoid any relationship with a contractor or supplier that could compromise the ability to transact business on a professional, impartial and competitive basis or influence decisions to be made by any Shell company; and

The Garda was a supplier of security in Rossport and cops were well rewarded by Shell for their brutality towards Corrib Gas Project protestors with a free Christmas time piss up, as memorably and accurately described by Ed Vulliamy.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.09.55COMMENT RECEIVED FROM “AN OLD EP HAND”

Just looking through the Shell websites. Came across many business principles signed by Jeroen van der Veer…. It appears that each operating company or country has its own business principles!
Different principles in different companies? For a global company? Signed by v.d.Veer who has left Shell ages ago. So is it window-dressing and not maintained?
How come external auditors don’t pick this up? The business principles are what drives the whole business. But KPMG et all are themselves under investigation. It shows that just making some statements in nice brochures are meaningless if the people who are behind it are not interested.

Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer. Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer. Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Extract from an article by Alexei Anishchuk published by Reuters on Friday 18 April 2014

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions imposed on the country after its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. Shell plans to expand Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom, he said at a meeting at Putin’s residence.




Shell Pledges to Continue Projects in Russia


Ben van Beurden praised the oil giant’s cooperation with Russia state-controlled natural gas monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.RS) at the Sakhalin II project and with its oil arm Gazprom Neft (SIBN.RS).



Shell tells Putin gas project not derailed by Ukraine

Chief executive Van Beurden met with the president at his residence outside of Moscow and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to develop Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Gazprom.

“We also know that this is going to be a project that will need strong support to succeed. So one of my purposes of meeting with you, Mr. President, is to also secure support for the way forward on this project,” Van Beurden said.


More on Shell’s Shenanigans in Alaska

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 10.23.23Extract from an article by , published 17 April 2015 by Epoch Times under the headline: “Big Oil, Bad Decisions: Coast Guard Report Sheds More Light on Shell’s Shenanigans in Alaska”

…this report shows what we have known for a long, long time: that the fundamental problem isn’t faulty equipment or technical issues. No, the real problem is that for Big Oil, internal pressures to make a profit are simply more powerful than the need for proven and dependable procedures to ensure that operations like these are safe. And no matter how state-of-the-art the equipment is, it’s worthless without proper risk assessment. Shell cared more about protecting its bottom line than protecting its ships’ crews or the surrounding environment. There’s no excuse for such blatant disregard for safety.



Louisiana Benzene Case against Shell settled

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 13.47.36“Shell’s potential exposure to litigation throughout the US for benzene exposure claims may now be very significant – this could be a repeat of the asbestos claims of a few years ago.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article published 11 April 2014 by under the headline: “Parties Remaining in Louisiana Benzene Case Scheduled for June 2014 Trial Reach Settlement Agreement”

NEW ORLEANS –– Benzene plaintiffs and remaining defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical LP have reached a settlement agreement in a case that had recently been scheduled for a June 2014 trial. The parties filed a joint motion on April 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana noting that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against Shell had been settled…


Extracts from a related legal document

This matter arises out of wrongful death, survival, and product liability claims under Louisiana state law.1 Elise Leslie (“Ms. Leslie”) brought this action both individually and on behalf of her father, Bruce W. Leslie, (“Mr. Leslie”) against Defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical…

Ms. Leslie alleges that, because of this actual or constructive knowledge, Defendants actions and inactions give rise to numerous bases for her wrongful death and survival claims, including: negligence; gross negligence; negligent misrepresentation; and concealment, suppression, and/or omission of material information about the health hazards associated with benzene.


The article about the case against Shell in Federal Court in Louisiana is interesting – as you may have noted the judge is Carl Barbier, who is also dealing with BP’s compensation payments! It is interesting to see that while Barbier ruled partially in Shell’s favour regarding the validity of the claim, he left open the product liability claim and effectively said that claims are not time limited because victims (and their families) would not have been aware of the links between benzene exposure and certain illnesses. Shell’s potential exposure to litigation throughout the US for benzene exposure claims may now be very significant – this could be a repeat of the asbestos claims of a few years ago. The rulings of Federal Courts tend to have national significance, whereas a ruling of a Louisiana State Court are really only significant in Louisiana.

Shell Prelude: A cause for celebration or concern?

Prelude stores thousands of tonnes of LNG and LPG with an almost constant and simultaneous operation of loading this product onto carrier vessels moored alongside. So any Safety Case has to look at the combined risks of Prelude and the carrier vessel moored alongside.

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 19.59.29

BP Texas City Refinery Explosion March 2005

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 20.41.26Fourth in a series of articles by Bill Campbell (right), retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, about safety issues relating to the Shell Prelude FLNG project


Hope you find this interesting, perhaps your contributors can answer the question posed at the end.

When I started to write these articles I was struck by the manner in which Prelude FLNG as a hazardous substances plant turned the conventional wisdom of plant design and layout on its head.  Could such an installation be approved in the offshore UK for example?  A hypothetical question but one worthy of an answer.  I don’t believe it could. After all the Health and Safety Regulator in the UK, the custodian and owner of the many British Standards and codes for the design and layout of onshore hazardous substances plants, is the same Regulator for the offshore oil and gas industry. This is also the same Regulator that followed up on Cullen’s recommendation and put in place a suite of legislation requiring offshore installations to restrict the heat energy in an emergency, so ensuring hydrocarbon events could not escalate to threaten the newly installed temporary refuges. Prelude stores thousands of tonnes of LNG and LPG with an almost constant and simultaneous operation of loading this product onto carrier vessels moored alongside. So any Safety Case has to look at the combined risks of Prelude and the carrier vessel moored alongside.

I covered all this in an earlier article in more detail.  There appears to be something absurd about the abandonment of these design conventions (developed as they were post catastrophic incidents) because of expediency. Particularly placing hundreds of workers at risk because they will constantly occupy a building resting on the hull where the LNG and LPG are stored.

In looking for an example to support my concerns, again a factual example, not a figment of imagination, we should refer to the March 2005 Texas City Refinery Explosion.  The plant was built in 1934 and by all accounts it was not in good condition.  It was at the time the third largest US refinery however and took up a considerable surface area.  The loss of life when heavier than air hydrocarbon vapours ignited should have been restricted to the operator who got out of his pick-up truck, leaving the engine running, (thought to be the source of ignition) to go up the tower to see what the problem was.  There was a significant distance between the seat of the explosion and permanently installed occupied buildings, very few souls should have been at risk if the plant had been operating in compliance with the applicable laws.

Why then were there 185 casualties, some 15 fatalities and 170 injured, many seriously?

Well it’s all down to expediency, a means to an end, the plant needed major modifications, it needed large numbers of staff with contractors, workshops etc, air conditioned trailers so these were assembled, a sort of gypsy encampment only 350 feet from the seat of the explosion in a hazardous area.  The change control process which allowed the siting of the contractors trailers in this location was issued in 2004 and justified on the grounds that the risks were acceptable given the unlikely probability of a loss of containment and an ignition of same.

BP, the owner and operator of the plant at the time, was heavily criticised for many aspects of this disaster, charged with criminal neglect including allowing this unlawful assembly so near to the hydrocarbon process.  This is a perfect example of why the rules related to separation distances between hazardous substances modules and equipment, storage tanks, occupied buildings etc were put in place. Looking back at this incident it is almost unbelievable that the decisions to locate 200 or so contractors in ever present danger could have been considered, but when the job needs to get done, and time is money, and setting up within the plant would ensure better progress, then humans react to the pressures they are under, getting on with the job drives behaviour.

So if these isolated gas reserves have to be extracted we turn design conventions on their heads. Prelude FLNG/FLPG will not only be the biggest offshore installation in the world, it will be by an order of magnitude the most complex.  Gas treatment and compression prior to the gas going to the refrigeration process, probably a twin process to handle the volumes, LNG, when in the tanks constantly maintaining its cryogenic state by constantly venting the evaporating gas, auto refrigeration meaning this process is constantly live, LPG with its own intrinsic dangers, 6 gas fired boilers, 100 MW of installed capacity and all on an installation that will remain fully manned even under cyclone conditions.

Makes me wonder if Prelude should be a cause for celebration or concern.  What do you think?

Bill Campbell

Shell Prelude FLNG: loss of containment of hydrocarbons almost inevitable: 21 Feb 2014 (first Prelude article by Bill Campbell)

Tales of the Unexpected and Royal Dutch Shell Prelude FLNG: 28 March 2014 (Second Prelude article by Bill Campbell)

Shell Prelude: Tales of the Unexpected – When the party ended with a bang!: 2 April 2014 (Third Prelude article by Bill Campbell)

Shell risked offshore workers lives to dodge Alaskan tax bill

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 07.03.50Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety. Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska. It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill. Personally, I do not believe enough attention has been drawn to the ethical issue of Shell deliberately putting peoples lives at risk in a calculated gamble.

Royal Dutch Shell Safety Last, not First

By John Donovan

Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety.

Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska.

It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill.

This extract from a US News & World Report article published yesterday is typical of the many comments published elsewhere:

Notably, in September 2012, a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig ran aground in Alaska as workers attempted to tow it beyond the state’s waters. A Coast Guard report released Friday found that the Anglo-Dutch oil company decided to move the rig – and insisted on doing so through dangerous stormy weather – to avoid paying new Alaskan taxes. The report also detailed myriad safety issues.

Personally, I do not believe enough attention has been drawn to the ethical issue of Shell deliberately putting peoples lives at risk in a calculated gamble.

For years, Shell senior management has maintained that safety is the number one priority at Shell.

Let me provide a prime example.

In July 2006 we published a leaked email from the then Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Jeroen van der Veer in which he refers to the “tragic deaths on the Brent Bravo in September 2003.”

The subject of his email was: “Safety is Job No.1.”  (The red highlighting is mine.)

Some extracts…

The first key topic is safety. Why safety, you may ask. Are we not focusing on Delivery and Growth, Operational Excellence and a First Quartile Mentality? True, but frankly – without a further improved safety performance, little else matters.

There are good reasons for focusing on safety that go beyond the recent week everyone in Downstream devoted to the topic. Safety is a right and an obligation. Safety embodies our values – honesty, integrity and respect for people. And achieving better safety performance is Enterprise First in action. Without a strong safety culture, all other aspects of our culture will erode. To me, safety is one main driver and indicator of higher performance.

Let’s be perfectly clear. Our safety performance has reached a plateau – and remains below best-in-class in our industry. Our statistics show it. We know it. What does this mean? Are we not trying hard enough, focusing hard enough, or haven’t we accepted that we have a problem? I think it is a mixture. All these aspects are probably part and parcel of the safety problem. The solution rests on willpower, behaviour and taking action.

In Shell, safety awareness rightly should be “first” nature, since we have been involved in hazardous, complex and challenging activities for more than a hundred years. Many of our people are technical experts, and know how to control the hazards of operating a platform, a refinery, a chemical plant, or a fuel depot and fuel transport. And yet, despite the experience and expertise, things can go wrong. And when things go wrong people can be hurt, or, even worse, lose their lives, which is very distressing for everyone.

And the world around us sees us as not safe enough.

In the past weeks, there have been media reports focusing on our safety performance in the North Sea, especially the Brent field. Part of the background is a debate around whether we, as a company, acted in sufficient depth and breadth on recommendations made in our own 1999 review of platform safety management. We genuinely believe we did. Nonetheless, there were two tragic deaths on the Brent Bravo in September 2003.


Despite all of these comments, Shell was still adding to its atrocious safety track record, as was highlighted in a Guardian article published in March 2007 under the headline: “Van der Veer – a safe pair of hands.”


The one big area where he has fallen down is safety. This month Shell admitted that 37 employees and contractors had died on company business last year. As the Guardian revealed a few weeks ago, Shell has continued to receive warnings from the Health and Safety Executive that it is acting illegally with regard to safety in the North Sea. Mr van der Veer needs to bring a halt to this…

Several months later another article published by the Guardian about Van der Veer contained the following reference to the Brent Bravo scandal and Bill Campbell:

He also makes clear he was hurt by the coverage of another fiasco – when a Shell consultant, Bill Campbell, blew the whistle on safety breaches in the North Sea.

Still nothing changed.

In 2008, Upstreamonline published an article revealing that lifeboats serving Shell Brent field North Sea platforms were unseaworthy. Two had to be removed from service.

In 2013, fuelfix published an article under the headline: Former Shell CEO: Safety must come first. And second. And third.

In his foreword to the just released Sustainability Report, Shell’s current Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said: “Running a safe and efficient business is at the core of good operational performance.” Shell assured shareholders that its safety and management operations are stronger that ever.

However, it is not words, but deeds that count and in relation to safety issues, Shell’s promises had proven hollow.

Bill Campbell,  the retired Group HSE Auditor of Shell International, is a regular much valued contributor to this website. He led the team which carried out a safety audit on Brent Bravo in 1999 that discovered what was known as a “Touch F*** All” policy in relation to safety issues. Safety records were routinely falsified to cover up what was going on. Bill presented the audit findings to Shell senior management and was promised the problems would be fixed. This did not happen and the explosion took place four years later. Shell subsequently admitted breaching three health and safety regulations and had to pay a record breaking £900,000 fine ($1.4 million USD approx). Bill Campbell had a face-to-face meeting with Van der Veer and reached the conclusion that the then Shell CEO was engaged, along with his colleagues, in a cover-up of the truth and is untrustworthy.

Bill and I mounted a joint campaign to draw attention to Shell offshore safety issues. Shell responded by secretly setting up a crisis team with hostile intent to go on the offense against us. Shell also commenced a global corporate espionage operation directed at this website, Shell employees and me.

What a shame that it did not instead devote the time and resources to tackle safety issues.

Here we are in 2014 and still nothing has changed. Shell still puts monetary consideration (tax dodging) before the safety of its employees, contractors and others innocently drawn into its accident prone self-insured activities.


Shell fined £900,000 over deaths BBC New 27 April 2005

Corporate killing anomoly remains BBC NEWS 25 July 2006

Shell Oil Boss Marvin Odum Should Resign after Alaskan Debacle: 4 April 2014

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