From John Donovan: Friday 08 June 2007
Dear Mr Arkesteijn
For the record I am not a former Shell employee. I did act as a marketing consultant to Shell for many years and devised and supplied many successful promotions to Shell on an international basis.
We fell out because under a new management, Shell thought it could steal with impunity ideas I had put forward on a confidential basis. I have sued Shell many times in the High Court and have never lost a case against them.
During the course of the litigation Shell admitted the use of undercover agents who engaged in deception and fraud in an attempt to intimate my family and me. We caught one such agent red-handed at our offices examining our mail. He presented fake documents to our reception staff and claimed to represent a company which did not in fact exist. By coincidence or otherwise, my own home, the homes of my solicitor and a key witness were all burgled and Shell discovery documents tampered with. We also had to put up with a campaign of intimidation led personally by the then Shell Chairman, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, who made threats in a letter he sent to me. In 2005, Shell issued proceedings in an attempt to seize the domain name for this website, but lost the case.
You (and some others) seem to think that we will recklessly publish any allegation made by whistleblowers. In fact it is our practice to give Shell the opportunity to comment before any publication. In this connection, I have printed below the correspondence in respect of the current controversy.
Shell’s treatment of whistleblowers has been appalling. One example is Dr John Huong, a former Shell geologist for nearly 30 years. To the best of our knowledge, he was the first person to blow the whistle on the reserves fraud. He did so internally at Shell. As a result, he was humiliated and demoted, being put in charge of a Shell helicopter fleet. Being a deeply religious man of the very highest integrity who had faith in Shell’s Statement of General Business Principles, he blew the whistle internally on reckless breaches of safety brought to his attention. His whistle blowing in that instance also proved to be well founded after a series of accidents when helicopters in the fleet fell into the sea some time after Dr Huong was fired. His moral standards offended Jon Chadwick, the ruthless Chairman of Shell Malaysia at that time.
In June 2004, Shell obtained a “temporary” High Court injunction against Dr Huong for alleged libel in respect of postings on our website. That “temporary” injunction is still in force. Shell has buried Dr Huong in litigation including current proceedings seeking his imprisonment for alleged contempt of court. It has been impossible for Dr Huong to obtain employment with this cloud hanging over his head. By coincidence or otherwise, his house has been repeatedly burgled.
Related legal proceedings are currently in progress in respect of Shell’s application for my 90 year old father, Alfred Donovan, to be compelled to appear for cross-examination in the Malaysian High Court. The next hearing is in August.
When such ruthless tactics are used against opponents and whistleblowers it does not encourage anyone to step forward to expose serious breaches of the SGBP. What counts is not words but deeds. Although Shell management pretends to encourage whistle blowing, it is actually intent on destroying the bearers of unwelcome information.
You are right in saying that Gazprom may take advantage of these recent developments involving the integrity of Sakhalin-2 project senior management. That is down to David Greer not us. He is self-evidently a lazy dishonest individual who engaged in plagiarism to try to impress employees about his own intellectual genius. We all have to be mindful of the fact that anything unusual or bizarre which is included in private email circulated to a large number of people runs the risk of ending up with a global audience, even though not intended for that purpose. This is a lesson which Mr Greer has learnt the hard way.
One final point: Please bear in mind that our website operates entirely on a non-commercial basis. There are no subscription or charges of any kind. We do not solicit or accept donations. There is no advertising despite the high traffic. We continue to campaign because some of the same unscrupulous people responsible for misdeeds against us remain at the helm of Shell. For example, Mr Malcolm Brinded, a man who turns a blind eye to corruption and other wrongdoing (we have the documentary evidence) and as a result, has blood on his hands (from the Brent Bravo tragedy).
Relevant email correspondence with Shell
2nd June 2007: Extracts from an email sent to Keith Ruddock, General Counsel, Shell Exploration & Production. Also copied to Jeroen van der Veer, Jorma Ollila, Malcolm Brinded, Michiel Brandjes and Richard Wiseman.
Dear Mr Ruddock
…serious allegations are made.
These are just a few examples: –
1. The deliberate manipulation and fabrication of information supplied to SEIC shareholders i.e. Gazprom, Mitsui and Mitsubishi.
2. The use of coercion against SEIC employees to persuade/force them to agree a timetable for a pipeline completion date of December 2007. The information reveals the importance of the date in question, why it is unlikely to be achieved, and the huge financial potential consequences.
3. The supply of false information to lending institutions to secure project loans.
4. Corrupt practices in the awarding of contracts. It is alleged for example that Mr Boris Primak covertly arranges deals with Russian Companies in return for their assistance with obtaining permits and removing regulatory obstacles.
Most of the allegations, including the “enormous pressure that Mr David Greer is putting on various members of the SEIC organisation”, directly involve Mr David Greer. In this connection, I have also been provided with a copy of an extraordinary recent email sent by Mr Greer.
I have been informed by our source that the best is yet to come. The individual concerned appears to be following a policy of a staged release of insider information and insider documents. The picture being revealed is of a white elephant project which is rotten at the core.
I am happy to let Shell have advance sight of any such information and documents before publication, including the information and email referred to above. I would take into account any comments made by Shell and would publish unedited any comments supplied specifically for publication.
If however, Shell prefers not to take up this invitation, then I will not contact you further on this matter and will publish now, and in future, without further reference to Shell. I do not know of any other news/website publisher that would make such an offer to Shell.
Mr Wiseman, who in an email to me in November 2005 wrote off my website by saying that Shell was “uninterested in, and unmoved” by my activities, may be interested to know that the traffic on www.royaldutchshellplc.com is still rocketing: in May 2007 it received 3,045,375 page views and 3,923,784 hits. I would be interested to know the relevant stats for www.shell.com? This incidentally was the same email in which Mr Wiseman admitted Shell’s censorship of the Tell Shell Forum. It was “temporarily suspended” a matters of days later, after I had publicised his candid admission. It remains “suspended” while the uncensored ”Live Chat” forum on my website flourishes and is especially popular with Shell Insiders. Shell may have noticed that the FT recently apologised on Live Chat after our insiders had picked up on the undisclosed use of Shell employees as questioners in an FT “Q & A Session” with Mr Jeroen van der Veer.
Turning back to the current subject, I would be grateful for a response on Monday 4th June.
THERE WAS NO RESPONSE FROM SHELL
The following email was sent on 4th June 2007 to Mr Ruddock and copied to Jeroen van der Veer etc.
Dear Mr Ruddock
This is an extract from an email Mr David Greer purportedly sent out to selected Onshore Pipeline Personnel on the 18th April 2007. It seems only proper for Shell to have the opportunity to see this before it is published tomorrow. If I do not hear from you to the contrary, I will assume that it is authentic, it which case it will support the credibility of the other information being published. If you advise me that it is not authentic, then I will act accordingly.
THE EMAIL EXTRACT
To: Guyt, Jaap SEIC-P-PDP; Kunz, Dennis C SEIC-AU; Boulstridge, Robert SEIC-P-PDP; Tattersdill, Alan SEIC-P-PDP; Primak, Boris SEIC-P-PDP; Harris, Wayne R SEIC-P-PDP; Porter, Simon DL SEIC-P-PDP; Dorsch, Ulrich W SEIC-P-PDP; Labrujere, Job J SEIC-P-PDP; Brooks, Graham Peter SEIC-P-PDP; Joos, Aaron SEIC-P-PDP; Burt, Stephen A SEIC-P-PDP; Baxter, Peter P SEIC-PDP; Shand, John SEIC-PDP; Martinez, Ramon SEIC-P-PDP; ‘LLinassi (E-mail)’
Cc: Zhironkina, Alexandra S SEIC-P-PDS; Briston, Gary SEIC-P-PDE; Wyper, Campbell SEIC-FCP; Hilhorst, Hein MJ SEIC-P-PDE; Farquhar, Bill SEIC-P-PDS; Mcgillivray, William D SEIC-P-ICT; ‘Mercer (CTSD), Hilary’; Meehan, David A SEIC-P-PSF; Clucas, Chris A SEIC-HRP; Vasyuk, Anna SEIC-FF; Belozerskikh, Sergey SEIC-P-PD; Parker, Robert S SEIC-AZ; Crowder, John SEIC-ALG; Shand, Alan SEIC-P-OPF; Nally, Stephanie O SEIC-P-PDE; McCourt, Eoin P SEIC-P-ICT; Bungey, Stephen SEIC-P-PDS; Jansen, Sjors SEIC-P-OPF; Kloeck, Gert MJC SEIC-P-PDS; Garcia-Cruz, Jorge A SEIC-P-PDB; ‘Richard Lewis’; GX SEIC Phase 2 PLT; Langford, Gawain SEIC-P-PDP; Lindsay, William J SEIC-P-PDP
“Pipeliners All !
Many thanks to all of you for your contributions to this week’s Bi-Annual Challenge………..and what a Challenge it is going to be for all of us! From the outset, I want to assure you that despite the mutterings on the day and the challenges ahead, I have total faith in you and our collective ability to complete the task ahead of us.
However, some of the comments and body language witnessed at the Bi-annual Challenge meeting do suggest that PDP is running the risk of becoming a team that doesn’t want to fight and lacks confidence in its own ability. Surely, this is not the case? Pipeliners and Engineers, love to fight and win, traditionally. All real engineers love the sting and clash of challenge. All of you are here today on this project for one of several reasons, I suspect. Firstly, to earn a decent living for yourself and your loved ones. Secondly, you are here for your own professional self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else.
Thirdly, you are here because you are real frontier professionals and all professionals like to succeed. So why would any of you not want to rise up and overcome the remaining challenges?
When everyone of you, were kids, I am sure that you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league football players. Personally, I like most others love winning. I despise cowards and play to win all of the time. This is what I expect of each and everyone of you going forward this year. Nothing less. Strive to be proud and confident in yourselves, be proud of your tremendous pipeline achievements to date and lift up your level of personal and team energy to show everyone that you are a winning team capable to achieving this year’s goals. If you can crack this angle, I am very confident you can crack the job, with ease. So Lead me, Follow me or Get out of my way; Success is how we bounce when we are on the bottom.
No one within SEIC appreciates the challenges that PDP have more than himself and I pledge my total support to assist you all in going forward . In fact today, I commissioned the establishment of a Pipeline Recovery Plan Support Team under the leadership of Stephanie Nally to assist all of you going forward. Details of the team are summarised in the enclosed email.”
THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE WAS RECEIVED ON 5th JUNE 2007
Dear Mr Donovan,
I confirm that the email attached below from Mr Greer does appear to be authentic.
General Counsel Exploration and Production
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands