SELF-EXPLANATORY EMAIL SENT TO SHELL INTERNATIONAL GENERAL COUNSEL, KEITH RUDDOCK ON 08 March 2007
Copied to Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer, Malcolm Brinded (Executive Director Shell EP), Jorma Ollila (SHELL Chairman), Richard Wiseman (General Counsel), Michiel Brandjes(Company Secretary Royal Dutch Shell Plc) and Kieron McFadyen (Head of Shell HSE)
Subject: Shell Fatalities
Dear Mr Ruddock
We have received information from a trusted Shell insider source regarding Shell fatality statistics.
The following are extracts from communications received from the relevant source.
“… there were a total of 29 fatalities in Shell’s operations in 2006. There have been 9 fatalities during January and February 2007.”
“throughout Shell those fatality numbers are provoking some serious soul searching – regrettably there are always some fatalities, but these numbers are horrific. There are plenty of people who see a connection between Brinded’s and Botts’ style of management and the fatalities. Three years ago, Botts promised a 30% increase in production with a 30% reduction in costs by 2007. Instead, there has been a 30% increase in costs with a 30% reduction in production…..”
“Shell’s other accident/incident statistics (which are easily massaged/unreported) all suggest an improvement in HSE. It is rather harder to massage fatality numbers.”
I sent an email to Shell Media Dept yesterday seeking verification and comment, but there has been no response.
In view of these “horrific” figures, we are drafting a follow-up to our article relating to the Brent Bravo Scandal which was the subject of my recent correspondence with you.
It will cover other related topics e.g. the whistleblower warnings by Dr John Huong about helicopter and oil platform safety issues allegedly ignored by Shell. In his capacity as a Shell Malaysia production geologist, Dr Huong issued written safety warnings in relation to alleged problems in the design of an offshore platform in the Kinabalu Field Development Project allegedly rendering the platform unsafe and liable to sink. Dr Huong claims that he was punished for raising his concerns by being sidelined and demoted. Dr Huong later also raised concerns about the safety of Shell’s helicopter fleet in Malaysia after being given responsibility for such matters. His written warnings that the lives of passengers and crew were being recklessly put at risk were allegedly ignored. You will probably be aware of the subsequent accidents when helicopters inconveniently crashed into the sea.
The ruthless Datuk Jon Chadwick, now apparently skulking in Singapore, left a considerable legacy from his years as Chairman of Shell Malaysia, mostly negative in the extreme as far as Shell employees are concerned. He was clearly a paid up subscriber to the profits before safety culture at Shell.
I assume that you will not wish to take up our standing invitation for advance sight of the draft so that you have an opportunity to comment, but I would ask for confirmation of the quoted numbers of fatalities. If they are inaccurate, please supply the correct figures.
If there is no response, we will assume that the figures quoted are correct.
PS. EIGHT Royal Dutch Shell companies are collectively suing Dr Huong for defamation and have issued multiple injunctions against him for postings made on our website under his name as well as proceedings seeking his imprisonment for alleged contempt of court in relation to further postings on our website. That was his reward for engaging in conscience driven internal whistle blowing. Dr Huong is suing Shell for alleged wrongful dismissal. Shell is still insisting that my partly disabled father, who will be 90 years old in April and has many serious medical problems, must travel to Malaysia for cross-examination in the High Court. Naturally we are less than impressed with Shell’s disregard for his advanced age and fragility but will do our best to remain neutral in our reporting.
AS OF THURSDAY AM 08 MARCH 2007 THERE HAS BEEN NO RESPONSE
WE ARE PREPARING AN ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION