By Paddy Briggs
This is important news. These two major companies would not have made this investment if they did not think that the project was viable. So Shells withdrawal has nothing to do with the inherent merits of the project but with their continued aversion to activities away form their core hydrocarbon business. As a shareholder I have no problem with this. As Tom Peters wisely said – STICK TO YOUR KNITTING !
What I object to, however, is the continued claims by Shell and other Oil Majors that they are genuinely interested in Renewables. The reality is that they have neither the time nor the skills nor the imagination to be heavily involved in Wind Energy (etc.). The number of staff, the capital investment and the revenue expenditure on Renewables is minuscule compared with the core hydrocarbon business. But the rhetoric in the corporate advertising of Shell and the rest is quite disproportionate to this reality. It really is utterly hypocritical.
Paddy Briggs worked for Shell for 37 years during the last fifteen of which he was responsible for Brand management in a number of appointments. He was the winner of the Shell/Economist writing prize (internal) in 2001. Paddy retired from Shell in 2002 to form the brand consultancy BrandAware and to write and speak on brand and reputation matters.
Paddy is active as a director of training courses on brand and reputation management.
Paddy is also a sports journalist and a member of the “Sports Journalists Association” and the “Cricket Writers’ Club”. He has had weekly columns in the “Bahrain Tribune”, the Khaleej Times, the “Emirates Evening Post” and “Ameinfo”. He is currently working on a commission to write the biography of the Kent and West Indies cricketer John Shepherd.
Paddy’s book of light verse “Jumeira Jane”was published in Dubai in 2001 and the first edition print run of 5000 copies was sold out.