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ShellNews.net: An Open Letter to Bill Campbell about Shell management’s unscrupulous attitude to the safety of its employees

From Alfred Donovan

Dear Mr Campbell

I would like to suggest that you send an email to every UK Member of Parliament notifying them of your continuing grave concerns about Shell management’s policy of putting profits before employee safety.

I have an almost complete list of MP email addresses. If you draft a suitable communication – perhaps along the lines set out below – we would happily do the donkey work and send the email, which would have to be sent one at a time.  There is no cost involved.  I would set up an email address in your name and forward on to you any emailed responses. We could also supply your address so that MP’s could reply by letter if they wished to do so. I predict that you would hear from government ministers with responsibility in relevant matters

Please read the draft. It might make you feel more at ease with the situation if the suggested unprecedented warning was sent.

We also have technology to broadcast taped telephone conversations on our website.  Consequently, if you happen to have a taped conversation with a senior Shell official which reveals deceit on this matter at the highest levels of Shell, we would be delighted to put it on air.

THE DRAFT

My name is Bill Campbell. I am a former Group Auditor of Shell International. Although you are not my Member of Parliament, I am writing to you on a matter of conscience in an effort to avert the inevitability of another major catastrophe in the North Sea.

The consequences could potentially impact on families in many constituencies, including your own.

As Royal Dutch Shell and the Health & Safety Executive would acknowledge, I am an expert on safety matters relating to oil and gas platforms.

In 1999, I was appointed by Shell to lead a safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform. The audit revealed a platform management culture which basically gave a higher priority to production than the safety of Shell employees. To the astonishment of our safety audit team, we discovered that a “Touch F*** All” policy was in place. Worse still, safety records were being routinely falsified and repairs bodged.

I personally brought the shocking situation to the attention of senior management including Malcolm Brinded, the then Managing Director of Shell Exploration & Production. I revealed that ESDV leak-off tests were purposely falsified, not once but many times and that Brent Bravo platform management had admitted responsibility for the dangerous practices being followed. In response to my team ringing alarm bells, management pledged to rectify the serious problems which had been uncovered.

When I later complained that the pledges were not being kept, I was quickly removed from my oversight function.

Four years later, a massive gas leak occurred on the platform. Two workers lost their lives. I have no doubt at all that the inaction of the relevant Asset Manager, the General Manager, the Oil Director and Malcolm Brinded, contributed in some part to the unlawful killing of two persons on Brent Bravo in September 2003.

Shell subsequently pleaded guilty to breaches of the Health & Safety regulations and received a record-breaking £900,000 fine. I thought that this would bring about a real change in policy to put the emphasis on safety.  Unfortunately I was wrong.

Shell management has engaged in spin to try to pretend that it is getting to grips with its safety problem. However, its atrocious safety record – even worse than BP’s in terms of accidental deaths – tells a different story. This fact has resulted in a number of newspaper articles (links below).

I have had meetings with senior Shell people including its Chief Executive, Mr. Jeroen van der Veer. I regret to say that I have found him to be economical with the truth. He prefers to support cover-up and deceit rather than confronting the underlying problems.  Brinded is now Executive Director of Shell Exploration & Production. He believes in burying evidence.

I am a meticulous man by nature and the link below will take you to the document files providing concrete proof of my findings.

My family and friends would probably prefer me to give up on this matter and enjoy my retirement after so many decades working for Shell.

However, by writing to every MP in the UK, no one can ever say that I did not do my absolute best to avert an inevitable further calamity in the North Sea.  When it happens (I pray that I am wrong) I will make this warning communication available to the media together with the vast amount of evidence in my possession.

At least my conscience is clear. I have done everything possible to ring the alarm bells about Shell management and its unscrupulous attitude to the safety of its employees.

DRAFT ENDS

Please let me know what you think.

Regards
Alfred

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