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Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com: Shell rejects claims of lax North Sea safety standards

From Forbes/AFX News Limited
 
06.23.2006

LONDON (AFX) – Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC has rejected claims by one of its former engineers that safety standards at its North Sea operations are lax.

‘Safety is Shell’s foremost priority at all times and we absolutely reject any suggestion that we would compromise safety offshore,’ a Shell spokesperson said.

The Times and the Guardian today reported claims by former Shell engineer Bill Campbell that the group failed to respond adequately to a 1999 review which warned that safety procedures were not being properly enforced at its North Sea platforms.

Campbell told the Guardian that he believes safety is still compromised, even though he brought his concerns to Shell’s attention a second time in 2004.

The reports come as Shell waits for the findings of an inquiry into the deaths of two workers in a gas escape on the Brent Bravo platform in September 2003, expected within weeks.

A Shell spokesperson said the group had carried out numerous improvements after the 1999 report, and had concluded after an investigation into Campbell’s 2004 warning that ‘his perception was not supported by the evidence.’

‘We are committed to achieving continuous improvement in our safety performance. We fully accept that there is still much we need to do,’ the spokesperson added.

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