The 1984 version of the famous Shell Make Money campaign has set alight the battle among the petroleum companies, and could lead to a renewal of the sort of promotional campaigns that were so familiar in the late 1960s.
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Zik Gbemre: September 1, 2014 Dear Sir, SHELL TO SELL FOUR MORE OIL FIELDS IN NIGERIA – THE NEED TO ENGAGE INDIGENOUS HOST LOCALS AS PARTNERS OF ASSETS SOLD Now that it has become public that SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria has concluded plans to sell four of its oil fields in Nigeria (OMLs 18, 24, 25, 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line), precisely in SPDC’s Eastern Operations of Rivers and Bayelsa States Nigeria, as part of its $15 billion global divestment plan which Shell Officials in The Hague have officially signed, we consider it necessary to rightly advise the relevant authorities of Shell to engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast. To this end, we advise that Shell should consider the issue of partnerships or some equity stake for the host State Governments and local communities in the said oil blocks sales. That is, Shell (SPDC) should invite the State oil companies of Rivers State (Treasure Energy Resources Ltd) and Bayelsa State (Bayelsa Oil Company) to partake as partners, and offer them some preferential equity stake in the said four oil fields being sold. This move is imperative so that Shell (SPDC) would leave a good legacy behind in its Eastern Operations. With the pathetic way Shell (SPDC) left its Western Operations of Delta State; where its oil blocks divestment were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners, neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these sales as partners, this has the City of Warri more like a ghost city, and of course, not a good legacy to have been behind by Shell. It is therefore expedient for Shell to use this golden opportunity with the current four oil blocks sales in its Eastern Operations to invite the State oil companies of Rivers and Bayelsa States as stated to partake as partners in the equity stakes. We believe that if Shell can initiate the above described move in Alaska that positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast, as reported some weeks back, then Shell can do same in its Eastern Operations of Nigeria. An extract from the said report reads: “An Alaska Native regional corporation and six Native Village corporations signed an agreement with a Shell Oil subsidiary Thursday (7/31) that aims to share the profits from offshore drilling off Alaska's northwest coast. Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced the formation of a new company called Arctic Inupiat Offshore LLC. Its participants include six village corporations on the North Slope. The agreement with the Shell subsidiary, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., gives the Alaska Native company the option of acquiring an overriding royalty interest from Shell's drilling on leases in the Chukchi Sea.” And according to the Shell Alaska Vice President Pete Slaiby. He said the agreement also underscores Shell's commitment to provide opportunities for the communities. The report also noted that "Shell's decision to invest in the future of the region and its people should be applauded," Murkowski said in a statement. "This announcement ensures that the people of the North Slope Borough share directly in the oil and gas bounty off their coast. It also gives locals a say in what happens near their communities." Now if Shell can do this in Alaska, they can equally do same in Rivers and Bayelsa States of the Niger Delta region. The way Shell (SPDC) left Delta State ‘dry’ with no good legacy should not repeat itself in Rivers and Bayelsa States. However, to make amends of the pathetic legacy left behind in its Western Operations (of Delta State) and to salvage the bad image of the company in the Warri Delta State, we strongly advise that Shell (SPDC) should reintroduce all its Community Development Projects/Programmes and Scholarship Programmes in OMLs 34, 30, 42 etc. doing this will address the bad legacy left by Shell in its Western Operations, specifically Delta State. Shell should not leave Delta State like they exited from Oloibiri (where it first discovered oil over 50 years ago), with a very unattractive legacy. Shell should understand that this is where the company has operated in over fifty years and has made so much money yet without much Shell presence anywhere until more recently with the Ogoni issue. If Shell says it initiated the Divestments of its onshore assets in the Niger Delta region to “help grow local capability”, then it should strategically involve host State Government and locals to be partners in the equity stakes of the Divested oil and gas assets. This, we believe, is the best legacy Shell can leave behind in places where it has operated in over five decades. We ask that the above advice should be given the needed attention. Zik Gbemre, JP National Coordinator We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes
Beerdrinker: Beer and wine is still freely served at Corrib project. You just need to know where to go and ask. It is a crying shame, but in line with the Irish habits.
Washington Observer: In the 8/25/14 Washington Post, on the front page, there is an article about tracking the location of people using their cellphones, even if their GPS tracking mode is disabled. It would not be surprising to know that RDS uses such newly available to track all types of 'persons of interest'. Employees and potential industrial espionage targets be informed.
Zik Gbemre: August 25, 2014 QUESTIONS FOR SHELL REGARDING NIGERIAN OPERATIONS We recently stumbled into a report by Rachel D’Oro of the Associated Press titled “SHELL, ALASKA NATIVES TO SHARE IN OFFSHORE DRILLING PROFITS, which is a worthy Shell initiative in Alaska that positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast. An extract from the said report reads: “An Alaska Native regional corporation and six Native Village corporations signed an agreement with a Shell Oil subsidiary Thursday (7/31) that aims to share the profits from offshore drilling off Alaska's northwest coast. Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced the formation of a new company called Arctic Inupiat Offshore LLC. Its participants include six village corporations on the North Slope. The agreement with the Shell subsidiary, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., gives the Alaska Native company the option of acquiring an overriding royalty interest from Shell's drilling on leases in the Chukchi Sea.” And according to the Shell Alaska Vice President Pete Slaiby. He said the agreement also underscores Shell's commitment to provide opportunities for the communities. The reported also noted that "Shell's decision to invest in the future of the region and its people should be applauded," Murkowski said in a statement. "This announcement ensures that the people of the North Slope Borough share directly in the oil and gas bounty off their coast. It also gives locals a say in what happens near their communities." Looking at the above development and report, we could not help but raise some questions regarding Shell’s obvious discriminatory and baize style of operations in different parts of the world. We could not but wonder why Shell would do what they are doing in Alaska but fail to do same in other countries and places like the Niger Delta region in Nigeria? For instance, on the Divestment of Shell (SPDC) onshore assets in the Niger Delta region, Shell initiated this process which according to them, was to help grow local capability. Oil blocks in Shell’s Western operations in Nigeria were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners. Neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these as partners, and this generated a lot of community backlash with threats from local state communities to block operations. Shell (SPDC) seems not to have learnt lessons from that experience, as they have just recently concluded similar sale of blocks in the Eastern area covering Rivers and Bayelsa States, again without considering the issue of partnerships or some equity stake for the host State Governments and local communities. Why does Shell not learn lessons and do things right in order to avoid recurrence of problems from its host communities? Why does Shell (SPDC) not consider inviting the State oil companies of Rivers (Treasure Energy Resources) and Bayelsa (Bayelsa Oil Company) to partake as partners, and offer them some preferential equity? Shell (SPDC) has lost a golden opportunity to take the lead in the industry in Nigeria and change their community integration policy as it is practiced now in other countries, like the example above in Alaska. The UNEP report funded by Shell was issued just over 3 years ago, and in the report both Shell and the Federal Government of Nigeria were indicted and specific actions aimed at remediating the severe environmental damages were assigned to all parties. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done nothing to address the issues and the communities impacted continue to suffer. Shell as the global operator that claims “best operating practices” is also not doing anything to get the government to respond. This attitude would never be condoned by Shell if it were in the US or Europe. The Macondo case of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and the way the US government dealt with them is clear. BP was severely punished and the affected communities very well compensated for loss of business. Because the Nigerian government is weak and has no interest in what happens to the Ogoni communities, Shell seems to have accepted that and taken advantage to do nothing, in violation of global standards. So why does Shell condone evil practices in Nigeria, allowing such environmental devastation to linger without adequate attention? Shell knows they cannot do this in countries with better and stricter regulatory governance. Another aspect is Shell and their community legacies. Shell started from Oloibiri (now in Bayelsa State) and left the town dead and desolate. Shell was in Warri, Delta State, where they sold out and have left Warri an “industrial ghost town with most businesses dead”. In fact, Shell (SPDC) left and abandoned hundreds of Office Building Blocks and Residential Buildings in Warri, Delta State, which are today overgrown with weeds and overtaken by rodents. Shell has equally completely withdrawn and stopped all its Scholarships and Community Development Projects/Programmes meant for host communities of its Western operations like OML 34, OML 30, OML 42 etc. Now they are planning to leave Port Harcourt. So they also plan to leave Port Harcourt desolate with industries dead. Is this the legacy Shell wants to leave everywhere they operate in the Niger Delta? Is this the sort of legacy any reasonable corporate entity should leave behind in Nigeria where it has operated in over 50 years? Shell is planning to divest more blocks in its Eastern operation areas. Does that include the Ogoni blocks? And how can they use this to address the lingering problems with Ogoni people? Will Shell not see this as opportunity to redress bad decisions made in previous Divestments and invite State companies to participate and own equity like they have done in Alaska? These and many more are questions we would want relevant authorities of Shell (SPDC) and Shell International in The Hague, including the Nigerian Government and other countries where Shell is operating, to seriously ponder on and find answers to; by doing the right thing. This we urge. Zik Gbemre, JP National Coordinator We Mobilize Others [...]
Relieved: Al Gore is now just another famous powerless 'Talking Head'. Who says we cannot and will not burn enough hydrocarbons to push the planet 'over the edge' into major climate change? There is not one country that is taking that issue seriously because the short term political realities are that nobody really cares enough about the issue to deal with it as required. The necessary economic and social adjustments necessary to deal with the issue seriously are 'too painful' to currently contemplate. So, nothing happens. It would be political suicide for the current crop of politicians. Sell your beach front property while you still can.
Nexus: Thanks John for the update on OSSL. It is disappointing to read that this saga has not been concluded satisfactorily. I expect something interesting is about to be announced about Nigeria strategy first week of September.
Relieved: LondonLad: Cheers to you. The oil field is indeed no place for any form of drug abuse, at any time, and that includes alcohol.
Elmer Fud: You misunderstand, LondonLad. I am not a user and would want to see any users among my colleagues. My point is: if "No drugs" is you company policy, then fine - nothing wrong with that. As multinational corp you really don't have an option of imposing a different policy upon your employees. But having a policy of something: "No drugs at work", if you think about it actually implies: "What you do off duty (including drugs) is your own business". And after that they speak of how they want you to be their ambassador, also outside work - taking drugs - that’s some proper ambassadorship. Or they trying to appeal to the recreational drug-users among their employees, in a desperate attempt to make employees love Shell like it’s their mother. I don't know… Maybe they just phrased it wrong, in which case someone was not thinking straight. Hey, maybe that someone took drugs the night before he drafted the policy…
Outsider: Beer and wine were available in Shell canteens in the Netherlands until the early 1990s. On North Sea production platforms two cans of beer were available to everyone each day until at least the early 1980s, and also on many European flagged drilling vessels. On French (Forex Neptune, Foramer) and Italian (Saipem) rigs alcohol was available comparatively recently - I haven't been offshore for a while so I don't know the current situation. Transocean and Pride probably do not allow alcohol on the former Forex Neptune and Foramer rigs.
LondonLad: Wow I unusually find myself agreeing with both “Outsider” and “Relieved” over drugs and alcohol usage on the rigs / in the office etc. Neither were acceptable in RDS during my time (and weren’t in any other major company). Seems that old “Elmer Fud” has fired a dud with his stupid commentary on the issue – off to the Betty Ford clinic for you my lad.