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A piss up at Christmas time courtesy of Shell

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Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 08.31.27Guardian/Observer Ed Vulliamy on Irish TV3: “And what worries me with this is okay this is the cops you know having a piss up at Christmas time courtesy of Shell and them unable to deny it.”

Unofficial Transcript of a Vincent Brown interview of Ed Vulliamy broadcast 3 April 2014 during Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3,

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 23.37.02VB: Ed Vulliamy who is really a very distinguished journalist with The Guardian and The Observer in London he has done really wonderful reporting from Bosnia, Mexico and elsewhere round the world. He came to Ireland recently and he reported.. he has an interest in the Corrib Gas issue and he … we interviewed him about this and he has interesting things to say about the Corrib issue and also about Irish journalism. Lets have a look.

ED: Where I grew up in journalism and I don’t mean where geographically… I mean how… if a massive multinational behemoth wants to come ashore with “attractive” licensing arrangements and so on and ram a pipeline into a fishing community and a farming community and to do so backed up by a police force and private security that teat people and beat people in that way, that’s a story. Well I mean that’s why we went into journalism to do this stuff. And as soon as I saw The Pipe I want to meet these people. What what more extraordinary image than a man bombing up and down on his fishing boat trying to lay lobster pots relaying radio messages to the biggest pipe laying vessel in the world. This is… this… is.. its epic in its way.

Why has it been not covered and why has it been covered in the way it has is anybody’s guess but if it is to do with the influence of corporate pubic relations and the cogency should we say to use the polite term of Shell within this kind of nexus that connects the media the corporate world and politics in this country, then that might go someway to explaining things and this is a general and wider point and this is what worries me is this sort of I think extremely unhealthy nexus this this this affiliation between corporate public relations on the one hand, political public relations and politics as corporate as PR on the one hand and the media not really not doing its job… we’ve journalists… we can’t go around trusting people for Christs state…

VB: And then of course that other nexus between the police force and the media or in our case the Garda and the media

ED: Yeah, I mean just looking at it as a reporter here is… it happens to be probably the most beautiful sea board in Europe … here is a giant coming in… here are the fisher and here are the farmers here are the fisherman and so on… they take it on… the the brutality was filmed… its there to see… the role the private security fills is there to see… the willingness of these people to go to jail to take the violence… their almost… its not carefree its almost devil may care attitude to getting physically hurt… I mean this is one the most important stories of its kind in Europe.. there is no film to record the equivalent of the anti-globalization demonstrations – the situations in Greece or Ukraine may produce one… I don’t know..

But I mean the nexus seems to be… the nexus as I understand it seems to be one whereby what the oil company says is taken to be a description of what is going on… what corporate public relations does and is is to represent the vested interests of the company, of the corporation, nothing else… now that doesn’t mean that their lying… it… sometimes they might do… it doesn’t mean that their telling the truth… sometimes they might do… They may be to use that phrase that came out of the Spycatcher trial… they may be being economical with the truth… it doesn’t matter which… what they are doing is being paid high salaries by huge companies to advance the interests of that company… a bit like the spokesman for a political party I mean if it turns out that party A is right and party B is wrong then the spokesperson for party B is not going to say that A was right. That’s the situation and what we have is their word their account of things being taken as gospel by journalists whose job is not to believe these people but to establish facts

VB: You were the journalist who broke the story about Shell funding a drinks party for the Gardia at Christmas… how did you come to get that story?

ED: The idea of sort of Shell deciding to order a contractor to delivery tens of thousands of Euro’s worth of booze to the cops at Christmas.. well it happened within a context, it happens with the context of the brutality that you can see in the film… it happens within the context of the UN Special  Rapporteur’s saying excessive force had been used by the police against peaceful demonstrators.. that’s the context… that’s nasty… that’s sick… Its a bagatelle in the grand scheme of things but its an indicative bagatelle as to what kind of people we are talking about in the police force and in the company. 

I actually didn’t break the story… it was there for anybody to see on a Shell watchdog website and on Shell to Sea’s website… there it was… it was out there… I just happened to see it  pick up I thought it was interesting… and you know I put it to the Garda.. to the Garda  Síochána and I put it to Shell and you go into this fudging… We held an inquiry blah blah blah we did this… No I didn’t ask this… that’s not what I asked… did this happen or not is what I asked… and they kept saying we have held an inquiry… no no no… can I ring you up? Are the officers concerned denying this or not? We have held an inquiry, we found no evidence… No that is not my question… my question was did this happen or did these people make it up??? and they won’t answer that… they won’t deny it.

And I ended up by saying if you don’t ring me up and tell me you are deny this I’m going to take it as being the truth

And so we published…

Shell was the same you know… Did this happen? We had an inquiry (there was an investigation)… or can I see the investigation? no you can’t.. Can I interview the person who conducted it in The Hague, Mrs Van Dam? No you can’t. Well I am not going to take that as a denial.

That, that’s the nexus.

And what worries me with this is okay this is the cops you know having a piss up at Christmas time courtesy of Shell and them unable to deny it.

But but you know, so far one worker has died on that project… a young German engineer… we pray and we hope there won’t be any more but what if do get Niger Delta or even an echo of that going on in County Mayo… what if there is an explosion… what is something awful does go on does happen… we hope not please God… we get some instinct of the fudging and Amnesty International is not gospel they often get things right and according to them and when it came to the real catastrophes in the Niger Delta, Shell were not truthful about the oil spillages – they called it sabotage – it turned out not to be… so its not the medias job to take what the company says is a description of the facts.. they are paid to advance the companies interest and nothing else. 

VB: That was Ed Vullaimy.. it would be great to have him on the programme regularly wouldn’t it.


As of 16 April 2014 the interview can currently still be viewed here

Yet More Problems Hit the World’s Largest Oil Project

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 21.01.34Extract from an article by Rupert Hargreaves published 16 April 2014 by The Motley Fool

Simply put, H2S is eating away at the undersea pipelines, causing cracks and fractures. Gas needs to travel through these lines for the project to start production, and engineers can’t just patch the system up; the whole pipeline network may need to be replaced. Not only are ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, and Eni going to have to fork out more cash to get the project into production, but the Kazakhstan government is now starting to lose patience and has threatened to impose financial penalties on the companies if production does not commence soon.


Safety at risk under Malcolm Brinded

Entirely the wrong man to entrust with an oversight function in relation to the safety of rail passengers. He was shunted out of Shell under a cloud. If that is a model of the Shell Prelude in the background of the photograph, it is not an encouraging omen.

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Mining giant BHP Billiton has appointed former Royal Dutch Shell executive Malcolm Brinded to its board as a Non-executive Director.  He is also a Non-executive Director of the Network Rail Board in the UK, where he chairs the Safety, Health and Environment Committee. (Information published today)

Ironic bearing in mind the evidence assembled by Bill Campbell, the highly respected former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International confirming that Brinded already has the blood of Shell offshore employees on his hands. The evidence relating to Shell’s notorious “Touch F*** All” safety culture on the Brent Bravo North Sea Platforms while Brinded was in charge, includes tape recorded conversations with senior Shell officials.

Entirely the wrong man to entrust with an oversight function in relation to the safety of rail passengers.

He was rightly shunted out of Shell under a cloud.

If that is a model of the Shell Prelude in the background of the photograph, it is not an encouraging omen.

Royal Dutch Shell plc Notice of 2014 Annual General Meeting

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Royal Dutch Shell plc (the “Company”) announces that its 2014 Annual General Meeting will be held at the Circustheater, Circusstraat 4, The Hague, The Netherlands at 10:00  (Dutch time) on Tuesday May 20, 2014. The Notice of Annual General Meeting  (the “Notice”) can be viewed and downloaded from

The AGM will be webcast on the day so shareholders unable to attend in person can still follow proceedings. Details of the webcast arrangements can be found in the Notice of Annual General Meeting.


A presentation has been arranged for shareholders at 11:00 (UK time) on Thursday May 22, 2014 (two days after the 2014 AGM) at The Mermaid Conference & Events Centre, Puddle Dock, Blackfriars, London, UK. The Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer will be present, along with the Company Secretary and the Chairman of Shell UK Limited.

Here’s Why Royal Dutch Shell is Walking a Dangerous Tightrope

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Extracts from an article by Bob Ciura published 14 April 2014 by The Motley Fool

Heading into 2014, new Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden set rigorous capital discipline as his firm’s top priority. Over the past few years, Shell was led on an ambitious growth strategy that involved several high-profile resource acquisitions. Many of those decisions turned out to be ill-advised… Essentially, returns from new projects unimpressed, and cost over-runs were eroding margins. In response to dwindling returns and spiking costs, Royal Dutch Shell has embarked on a series of asset disposals this year, particularly on the downstream side of the business.


Head-to-Head: BP vs Royal Dutch Shell

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article by Holly Cook published 14 April 2014 by MorningStar

Investor sentiment on Shell today is decidedly negative after years of poor execution. Shell’s big shale bets have been a huge bust, crushing the profits and returns of its upstream operations in North America. This is likely to be a drag on returns for years unless gas prices rebound or impairments are taken. Europe is a terrible region for refining and Shell is heavily exposed.


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.

CNPC, Shell strengthen global cooperation

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 00.11.53Extracts from an article published 10 April 2014 by Oil & Gas Journal

China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have reached an agreement to deepen their strategic partnership by increasing cooperation in the development of both companies’ global projects. The agreement—China Petroleum & Shell Global Cooperation Agreement—was signed by the two companies Apr. 8 in Beijing, according to CNPC.


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.

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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)

Under oath admission of tax dodging in Alaska by Shell executive

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 17.10.39Extracts from an article published by Sit News on 9 April 2014 under the headline: ‘Under Oath’ Request Unprecedented

(SitNews – Ketchikan, Alaska) – Yesterday Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage) sent a letter to Resources Chair Senator Cathy Giessel requesting that she use her statutory authority to swear in the oil industry witnesses who were scheduled to appear before the Resources Committee today (Wednesday, April 9, 2014). The investigation surrounding the grounding of Royal Dutch/Shell’s Arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, had a role in French’s decision to make the request. Through a series of problems the Kulluk went aground. Questions arose about whether Shell took the risky move of a mid-winter tow to avoid paying millions in state property taxes. A Shell executive told the press that tax considerations had nothing to do with the move. The same executive later admitted under oath that Alaska tax laws influenced the move.


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

Worlds leading source of information about Royal Dutch Shell

Free access to over 36,000 articles, comment, historical information and news archive relating to corporate tax dodgers Royal Dutch Shell, the worlds largest company by revenue. A TV documentary feature about our co-founder John Donovan, has aired in many countries. A related article was published in 10 languages. This non-profit website is tacitly endorsed by Shell. Site “viewed traffic” AWstats for Jan 2014: 7,065,548 hits and 1,144,700 page views.

For nearly a decade, we have operated under the Royal Dutch Shell Plc top level domain name, dealing on Shell’s reluctant behalf with redirecting job applications, business proposals, Shell pension enquiries, shareholder enquiries, complaints, invitations to speak at conferences, contact from the Dutch Defence Ministry and even terrorist threats. All meant for Shell. A humiliation that Shell continues to endure. We provide a global platform, on a responsible basis, for Shell whistleblowers to put confidential information, including insider information and leaked documents, into the public domain e.g. Sakhalin2

Greenpeace campaigners considering protest at new Sevenoaks Waitrose

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article by Alex Drury published 14 April 2014 by Sevenoaks Chronicle

Sara Ayech, the pressure group’s Arctic campaign spokesman told the Chronicle: “In 2012 Waitrose put a halt to plans to build stores on Shell forecourts. By partnering with Shell, Waitrose is endorsing Shell’s destructive quest for Arctic oil.”

Ukraine Crisis Forces ‘Wait-and-See’ Approach to Arctic Oil

Extract from an article by published 14 April 2014 by

“Wait and see” is the order of the day for western oil and gas companies that have partnered — or hope to partner — with Russia to explore the Arctic’s enormous energy reserves. And with good reason. As Russia, Europe and the United States trade threats and sanctions in the wake of Russia’s armed takeover last month of Crimea in Ukraine, energy companies with Arctic designs have plenty of time to cool their heels.


6 Horrible Oil Spills Since Deepwater Horizon That You Probably Didn’t Hear About

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article by Kristine Wong published 15 April 2013 by

Bonga Oil Field, Nigeria

On Dec. 21, 2011, Royal Dutch Shell’s Bonga oil field in Nigeria leaked 1.24 million gallons of oil into the Niger Delta. The Guardian reported that satellite watchdog organization Skytruth posted photos indicating that the spill was 43.5 miles long and covered 356 square miles. Nigerian activist organization Environmental Rights Action told the newspaper that it did not believe Shell’s 1.24-million-gallon claim, saying that the “company consistently under reports the amounts.” Ever year Shell and other companies spill the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez tanker capacity into the Niger Delta.


Big Oil Bets on LNG For Emerging Market Growth

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article by Bob Ciura published 16 April 2014 by The Motley Fool

Chevron, Anadarko, and Royal Dutch Shell each have huge LNG operations that are ideally suited to supply the emerging markets. Royal Dutch Shell announced it had reached a five or six year agreement to supply Kuwait with its own LNG. Shell, along with European major BP, have been contracted to supply Kuwait approximately 2.5 million tonnes per year over the course of the agreement, according to Reuters. Shell is no stranger to LNG. It actually provided the technology for the world’s first liquefaction plant in 1964, according to the company.


Royal Dutch Shell plc Wasn’t Kidding About Cutting Costs.

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Article by Arjun Sreekumar published 16 April 2014 by The Motley Fool under the headline: “Royal Dutch Shell plc Wasn’t Kidding About Cutting Costs. But Will It Pay Off?”

The company recently sold off key downstream assets in Australia, including a major oil refinery and network of some 870 retail gasoline stations, due to weak margins. It also put up for sale numerous North American shale assets last year, including acreage in Texas’ Eagle Ford shale and Kansas’ Mississippi Lime play, because of disappointing drilling results and poor expected returns. Shell has also scrapped plans to construct a massive facility in Louisiana that would have converted natural gas into higher-value liquids because of the project’s high expected costs and uncertainty over long-term price differentials. Lastly, it is also currently marketing oil-producing properties and oil infrastructure in Nigeria, where persistent theft and sabotage continue to plague its operations.


Extractive industries: will they ever publish what they pay?

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Extracts from an article by Oliver Balch published by The Guardian Tuesday 15 April 2014

Though corrupt regimes may be reluctant to disclose payments, progressive voices from the oil industry are making change happen. Oil giants such as Shell and Chevron have signed up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s pro-disclosure guidelines, requiring them to detail who they have paid – and how much.


Greenland in transition

Extracts from an article by Nick Snow published 14 April 2014 by Oil & Gas Journal

Greenland expects its oil, gas, and minerals to be crucial as it continues its gradual transition to independence, its first US representative said on Apr. 3. “We have begun developing our oil and gas,” noted Inuuteq Holm Olsen, who began a 5-year assignment at the Danish Embassy in Washington 2 months ago. The US Geological Survey estimates there are billions of barrels of oil equivalent offshore Greenland, although there have been no commercial finds… ExxonMobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron Corp., BP PLC, and other multinationals have been partners in consortiums buying offshore licenses there.


Shell to discuss possible western Pennsylvania shale gas plant at public meetings

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an Associated Press article published 15 April 2014 by THE REPUBLIC

PITTSBURGH — Shell Chemical LP plans to hold meetings in western Pennsylvania to discuss the possibility of building a huge natural gas processing plant there. In early 2012 Shell chose the site for a possible ethane cracking plant, but cautioned a final decision would take years. It would convert ethane from bountiful shale natural gas into more profitable chemicals which are then used to produce plastics, tires and other products.


U.S. eyes European safety standards for oil refineries

Extracts from an article by Susan Buchanan published 14 April 2014 in “The Louisiana Weekly” and The Huffington Post

Oil refiners can learn from Europe as they try to reduce accidents at plants in Louisiana and other states, U.S. safety experts say. After a string of disasters, President Obama issued an executive order last August to improve chemical facility safety. A year before his directive, a fire at Chevron Corp.’s refinery in Richmond, Ca. filled the air with black smoke and particles, sending 15,000 residents in search of medical attention. An April 2010 explosion at Tesoro’s refinery in Anacortes, Wa. killed seven workers.

“Refineries all over the United States are dangerous,” United Steelworkers Local 13-12 spokesman Bob Landry said last week. He worked at ExxonMobil’s chemical plant in Baton Rouge for 36 years before retiring in 2008. The plant uses feedstock from the company’s oil refinery there. Landry, a former president of Local 13-12, said large European refineries that he visited have better safety records than their Louisiana counterparts.


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