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ShellNews.net: did our whistleblower email to Oleg Mitvol precipitate the Sakhalin II crisis?

By John Donovan

The following posting, allegedly by the Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation, appeared on the www.royaldutchshellplc.com “Live Chat” facility today, Friday 6 October 2006.

EXTRACTS: Mr Donovan Sir. The Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation is grateful for the direct and indirect information supplied from this website. If any persons have further information our telephone, fax and email address is provided. Почтовый адрес: 123995 Москва, Большая Грузинская ул., 4/6 Телефон: (495) 254-48-00 Факс: 254-43-10, 254-66-10 E-mail: [email protected]: gov.ru. Our posting and invitation is of course in relation to Sakhalin II project. Confidentiality will be respected. Thank you.

I am sending an email to Russian Deputy Minister Mr Oleg Mitvol seeking confirmation of the authenticity of the posting and whether it has any connection with information I gave to him by email on 7 August. That email is reprinted below.  On Monday we will publish further information about the content of the 7 August email and threats received from Shell General Counsel Richard Wiseman regarding our online activities focused on Sakhalin 2. 

EMAIL SENT 7 AUGUST 2006

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Email for the personal attention of Mr. Oleg Mitvol,

Deputy Head of the Natural Resources Ministry’s Ecological Department, Russia. 

Dear Mr Mitvol

I have read with interest the recent press reports that you are considering taking legal action in respect of the Shell led Sakhalin-2 project. 

In this connection, I would draw your attention to the website www.royaldutchshellplc.com and in particular, its “Live Chat” feature, as I suspect that it could supply you with some important Shell insider information regarding environmental issues in which you are interested.

THE WEBSITE

The website contains a wealth of searchable information about Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the incompetence and misdeeds of its directors, most of whom including its Chief Executive, Jeroen van der Veer, are defendants in a multibillion dollar class action lawsuit in respect of the recent Shell reserves fraud which has been described as the biggest corporate fraud in history.  Rather than describe it in detail I would refer you to a Wikipedia article which provides a more neutral account of the background to the site:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royaldutchshellplc.com

THE “LIVE CHAT” FEATURE

Shell shut down its own “Tell Shell Forum” Internet discussion forum several months ago claiming it was merely being suspended for a revamp. In fact, Shell management no longer wanted to hear what Shell stakeholders, including its own employees, were posting on the facility. It simply could not put up with the rising crescendo of criticism following blunder after blunder, including the $10 BILLION cost overrun on Sakhalin-2.  We decided to provide an alternative upgraded facility – “Live Chat” – which enables anyone anywhere to post information without giving away their name or location. The feature is now receiving more daily postings than the “Tell Shell Forum”.  It is clear that almost all are from well educated highly informed Shell insiders, but we caution visitors to use their own judgement in assessing the veracity of posting.  Some recent postings are in relation to fundamental design faults at Sakhain-2 with warnings of potential catastrophic failure. At least one organisation has already sat up and taken notice as will become evident if you visit the “Live Chat” facility.  You are free to make your own appeal for information if you so wish and it is possible to put in URL link into a posting just by pasting the URL at the end of the text. The URL will then appear as “Link”.

From John Donovan: [email protected]

cc. Jeroen van der Veer, Malcolm Brinded and Richard Wiseman

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