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Posts from ‘December, 2010’

Shell, Gazprom May Expand Sakhalin LNG by 2015, Governor Says

By Ilya Arkhipov and Stephen Bierman – Dec 29, 2010 5:18 PM GMT

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc may build a third train to produce liquefied natural gas at their $22 billion Sakhalin-2 venture by 2015, the regional governor said.

The two companies may alternatively build a new LNG plant, Alexander Khoroshavin, the governor of the Sakhalin region, told Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in a meeting today, according to Khoroshavin’s press service. A third train at the Sakhalin-2 project may boost capacity by 5 million metric tons, he said. read more

Shell insists it’s emphasizing safety in Arctic drilling plan

Published: December 29th, 2010 11:59 AM
Last Modified: December 29th, 2010 11:59 AM

NPR News visited Dutch Harbor recently for a look at the equipment that Shell Oil is hoping to send into the Beaufort Sea next summer for drilling of its first exploratory well there. Among the vessels is the 300-foot oil skimmer Nanuq — “a wonderful vessel,” says a Shell spokesman — but environmentalists and some Arctic Alaska villagers say too little is known about Arctic Ocean wildlife and the effects of a spill to risk drilling now. read more

SHELL ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FREEDOM OF SPEECH: SPIN VS. REALITY

By Alfred and John Donovan

Our outspoken friend, the former employee of Shell Oil USA, has raised the question of why Shell has not sued us for libel. Extracts from an article we published in February 2006 are informative on the subject. Since then, Shell was legally obliged to supply us with internal documents including one indicating that Shell decided long ago that it will never take legal action against us. Perhaps this is over concern about what Shell describes as “internal laundry” being aired in open court. read more

Allegations against Royal Dutch Shell: Truth is not libel

COMMENTS FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL USA

Read your comments about Shell not suing Bill Campbell for libel. Obviously, they have not done so because they could not win. Truth is not libel.

One might ask why RD Shell has not sued you for libel. You have accused them publicly of all manner of nefarious undertaking. As I recall, you recently even accused them of engaging in espionage against a sovereign government and military ally of the United Kingdom, the United States. Yet not a word out of RD Shell management. Why? Obviously, this particular allegation must probably be true as well. In the US that is a crime that has no statute of limitations and carries with it a life sentence, without possibility of parole, by the way, when the object of such endeavors are nuclear weapons design secrets. read more

Why won’t Shell sue its former HSE Group Auditor Bill Campbell for libel?

By John Donovan

Printed below are extracts from an email I sent on 9 August 2006 to the then CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Mr Jeroen van der Veer.

It concerned very serious published allegations against Shell management by the former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International, Mr Bill Campbell. His allegations related to the Brent Bravo explosion in which two Shell employees lost their lives as a consequence of alleged criminal negligence. It was an investigation led by Bill Campbell that revealed the notorious “Touch Fu** All” safety culture for Shell North Sea production platforms, endorsed by Shell management. read more

Shell scam against its employees in the Philippines?

I am Antonio L. Buensuceso Jr. an immigrant from the Philippines and residing at 12901 Francine Ter, Poway, Ca  92064 and an avid follower of your ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC.COM website.

In fact, I am posting your column in my blog: shelltabangaorefinerylife.blogspot.com…

…for the simple reason that as I see it we stand on the SAME ground against SHELL, who since 1978 upon the start of my employment in PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORPORATION,  Shell Refinery, Tabangao, Batangas City, PHILIPPINES until February 2002 when the company booted me out of the refinery, I have been crusading against a MANAGEMENT SCAM victimizing helpless employees like me. read more

Shell’s ‘corruption czar’

Comment by a former employee of Shell Oil USA

I read your re-posting of RD Shell’s 2007 advert for a ‘corruption czar’ or whatever they were going to call this person. Interesting. It gave me a good chuckle.

This advert is a public (albeit very quiet) admission by RD Shell management that they know they have a very widespread corporate problem with: internal corruption, bribery, fraud, money laundering, ‘accounting irregularities’, extortion, industrial espionage, conspiracy, and all sort and manner of unsavory and illegal conduct. read more

Shell to investigate fraud, contract corruption, bribery, money-laundering and organised crime inside the Shell Group

Extracts from an article we published in January 2007. It is evident from the recent news of Shell being mired in endemic corruption in Nigeria, that the anti-corruption campaign was just another illusion conjured up by the Shell propaganda ministry to fool disillusioned investors in the wake of the reserves fraud. Organised crime investigations should have started at the very top of the company. The fact that Richard Wiseman, the senior official in charge of Shell ethics and compliance makes anti-corruption speeches, but behind the scenes has a track record of supporting corrupt practices by Shell executives, tells you all you need to know.

By Alfred Donovan

Shell International is currently seeking applicants for two Investigation Case Managers. Each will be in control of a team of up to six individuals who will tackle 100 plus investigations every year inside the Royal Dutch Shell Group. The fact that up to a dozen investigators are needed indicates the considerable volume of bribery, corruption and other illegal activity going on.

My son John Donovan and I may well apply for the Case Manager appointments since we have a track record of confronting and investigating dishonest activities by Shell managers who were protected by senior management godfathers such as Malcolm Brinded, the discredited CEO of Shell E & P. Brinded turned a blind eye to irrefutable documentary evidence of a conspiracy by Shell managers to deceive and cheat participants in a Shell tender process. As Managing Director of Shell Expro, he was implicated in the Brent Bravo scandal which cost two Shell employees their lives. read more

Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: A version of this article appeared in print on December 26, 2010, on page A1 of the New York edition.

WikiLeaks: Shell’s astonishing revelations about Nigerian corruption

By John Donovan

This U.S. diplomatic cable, classified as “secret”, reports on a briefing given to the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin R. Sander, in February 2009  by Shell Executive VP, Ann Pickard, now Country Chairman of Shell Australia.

During a discussion of the high level of corruption in Nigeria, Pickard gave as an example, a bribery demand by Nigerian Attorney General Aondoakaa that he would sign a document only if paid $2 million immediately, and another $18 million the next day. read more

WikiLeaks: Shell says ‘amateur technocrats’ run Nigerian oil and gas sector

By John Donovan

According to a U.S. diplomatic cable classified as “confidential”, a senior Shell executive Peter Robinson, informed a U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs that “amateur technocrats run the oil and gas sector” in Nigeria.

This damning verdict, of great embarrassment to Royal Dutch Shell, was made in February 2010 and was recorded in a confidential cable from the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria reporting on a meeting between Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, and members of the International oil community in Lagos, including Peter Robinson and another Shell VP, Ian Craig. read more

WikiLeaks: Oman secret plans to take gas fields away from Royal Dutch Shell

By John Donovan

Secret cable from U.S. embassy in Muscat records a meeting in March 2008 between U.S. Admiral William J. Fallon and Sultan Qaboos. During the meeting, the Sultan expressed concerns about Iran and also revealed intent to “boost production by taking smaller and less productive gas fields away from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) — 60% owned by the government and 34% owned by Royal Dutch Shell — and awarding them to outside companies such as
British Gas and BP.”

Viewing cable 08MUSCAT174, ADMIRAL WILLIAM J. FALLON’S MEETING WITH SULTAN

Reference ID: 08MUSCAT174 Created: 2008-03-01 05:05 Released: 2010-11-28 18:06 Classification: SECRET//NOFORN Origin: Embassy Muscat

VZCZCXRO2105 PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV DE RUEHMS #0174/01 0610549 ZNY SSSSS ZZH P 010549Z MAR 08 FM AMEMBASSY MUSCAT TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9318 RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MUSCAT 000174 

SIPDIS 

NOFORN
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER ENRG KWMN IR IZ MU
SUBJECT: ADMIRAL WILLIAM J. FALLON'S MEETING WITH SULTAN
QABOOS 

Classified By: Ambassador Gary A. Grappo for Reasons 1.4 (b, d) 

-------
SUMMARY
------- 

1.  (C) Sultan Qaboos discussed both domestic and regional
issues during his February 19 meeting with Admiral William J.
Fallon, CENTCOM Commander.  On the domestic front, the Sultan
described his desire to empower the government to be more
responsive to citizen concerns.  Seeking to strengthen the
role of Omani women, the Sultan plans to convene a conference
in 2009 designed to increase the participation and leadership
of women in all aspects of Omani society.  Sultan Qaboos also
shared plans for continued infrastructure development in Oman
and described efforts underway to obtain more natural gas.
On Iraq, the Sultan advised against a premature withdrawal of
U.S. forces and stated that more regional assistance would be
forthcoming if Iraqis would "come together" to take charge
of, and invest in, their own country.  Sultan Qaboos shared
U.S. concerns about Iranian meddling in Iraq and elsewhere,
but contended that Tehran knew confrontation with the U.S.
was not in its interest.  Iran's "charm offensive" in the GCC
had succeeded in lessening suspicions of some officials about
the true intentions of Iranian policies.  End Summary. 

2.  (C) CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon, accompanied by the
Ambassador, met February 19 with Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id for
approximately 2 hours at one of the Sultan's castles -- Husn
al Shumugh -- in the interior of Oman.  (Note:  The Sultan
was outside of Muscat on his annual 4-6 week "meet the people
tour" during which he visits selected sites outside the
capital.  End Note.)  The Sultan appeared in good health and
was cheerful, although he commented that his role as ruler of
Oman was demanding and did not allow him time to do all the
things he wanted to do, such as reading more books.  "My
office is wherever I am," he stated, noting that he
constantly had to attend to paperwork and urgent requests
from his staff, among other tasks.  The Sultan added that
despite his busy schedule, he always made time to "watch the
news," though he did not elaborate on his preferred media
outlet. 

-------------------
CONCERNS ABOUT IRAQ
------------------- 

3.  (C) The Sultan expressed concern over a premature
withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.  Recognizing recent
improvements in the security situation, he counseled that
American troops should only leave "when the time is right."
He stressed that Iraqis had to "take charge" of the fate of
their country, but questioned whether the different factions
would be able to "come together" to accomplish this.  He
pointedly asked the Admiral, "Do you really think Prime
Minister Maliki and his government are capable of pulling the
country together?"  The Sultan did not directly respond to
Admiral Fallon's comment on the need for assistance and
investment for Iraq from elsewhere in the region.  Instead,
he stated that if the Iraqi people helped themselves and
invested in their own country, others would follow suit. 

4.  (C) The Sultan appeared to follow events in Iraq closely.
 He commented, for example, that the Kurds had apparently
"come out well" in recent central government talks on budget
issues, and asked about the status of electricity production
in Iraq.  The Sultan seemed to take a particular interest in
Admiral Fallon's discussion of Iraqi Shia leader Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim, including the status of Hakim's health and his
possible successors. 

--------------------------
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
-------------------------- 

5.  (C) In addition to emphasizing the need for outside
investment in Iraq, Admiral Fallon highlighted the importance
of assistance from regional states for infrastructure
development in Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations.
Again the Sultan sidestepped the issue and shifted the
conversation to the critical role of roads and highways in
economic development.  He then mentioned infrastructure
projects for Oman currently under consideration, including
construction of a new dam and a freight rail line from the
northern port of Sohar to the planned port in Duqm.  The
Sultan hoped that the southern port of Salalah could be
linked by rail to Muscat and, eventually, to other GCC
states. 

MUSCAT 00000174  002 OF 003  

--------------
IRANIAN ISSUES
-------------- 

6.  (C) The Sultan commented that the Iranians are "not
fools," and claimed that Tehran realized there are "certain
lines it cannot cross" (i.e., direct confrontation with the
U.S.).  Regarding GCC relations with the Iranian government,
he stated, "Iran is a big country with muscles and we must
deal with it."  He continued that Iran's "charm offensive" in
the region had achieved a degree of success as some GCC
authorities (he did not mention names) were now less
suspicious of Iranian intentions.  The Sultan added,
laughing, that "I must say that as long as (the U.S.) is on
the horizon, we have nothing to fear." 

7.  (C) Responding to Admiral Fallon's frustration with
Iranian interference in Iraq, the Sultan remarked that
Iranian meddling abroad was "almost a game" to the regime in
Tehran, and said that Iran's leaders would have to stop this
practice if Iran wanted to "join the world as a noble
country."  The Sultan hoped that Iraqi leaders would clearly
tell and convince Iranian President Ahmadinejad during his
upcoming visit to Iraq to cease Iran's unhelpful interference
in their internal affairs.  On the possibility that Iran is
waiting out the President's final term before re-assessing
its strategy, the Sultan said that Tehran should realize that
it has to deal with the U.S. as a country, and not just the
current administration. 

------------------
THE SEARCH FOR GAS
------------------ 

8.  (C) After noting Iranian dependence on imports of refined
fuel, the Sultan described Oman's efforts to obtain more
natural gas to fuel growing domestic power needs and
large-scale industrial projects.  Oman had committed too much
of its limited gas production to long-term liquefied natural
gas (LNG) export contracts.  As a result, the government was
trying to boost production by taking smaller and less
productive gas fields away from Petroleum Development Oman
(PDO) -- 60% owned by the government and 34% owned by Royal
Dutch Shell -- and awarding them to outside companies such as
British Gas and BP.  The Sultan claimed these firms were in a
better position to increase productivity in these fields, and
pointed to the progress of U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum
Company in raising oil production in former PDO concession
areas, such as Mukhaizna. 

9.  (C) Looking offshore, the Sultan said he hoped that new
gas fields would be found in the Gulf of Oman to help ease
the country's natural gas shortage.  India's Reliance
Industries was currently exploring a deepwater oil and gas
block in this body of water, but had made no significant
discoveries yet.  Qatar would begin supplying gas to Oman by
2013, the Sultan noted, but not in quantities sufficient to
meet outstanding needs.  He added that Oman was still
supplying limited gas from Musandam to Ras al-Khaimah in the
UAE due to an agreement he made with its emir -- and which
the Sultan felt he could not break -- well before Oman was
squeezed for this resource. 

---------------------------
THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
--------------------------- 

10.  (C) Sultan Qaboos shared that he placed a great deal of
importance on education, and noted that a study of history
provided the context needed to better understand present
trends and events.  Regarding claims that some rulers in the
region wanted to keep their people uneducated in order to
more easily control them, the Sultan explained that this
strategy could easily backfire as it also left the populace
more susceptible to influence by extremists, such as the
Muslim Brotherhood.  Former Egyptian president and
pan-Arabist leader Gamal Abdal Nasser, the Sultan said, had
"set the region back" by being "anti-everything" and engaging
in vitriolic rhetoric designed to keep the masses ignorant. 

-----------------------------------
EMPOWERING THE GOVERNMENT AND WOMEN
----------------------------------- 

11.  (C) On domestic politics, the Sultan announced that he
would hold the first-ever combined meeting of his Cabinet of
Ministers and the Majlis al-Shura (the directly elected lower 

MUSCAT 00000174  003 OF 003  

house of Oman's bicameral advisory body) on February 26.  By
meeting together, the Sultan hoped that the Cabinet and the
Majlis would learn how to cooperate better and jointly focus
on important issues.  He commented that both bodies also
needed to "demonstrate more leadership" and avoid past
foot-dragging on promises made to the populace.  "People need
to see the results of decisions," the Sultan stated. 

12.  (C) Letting Admiral Fallon and the Ambassador in on a
"secret," the Sultan confided that he planned to call for a
conference of all "notable women" in Oman in 2009 in a bid to
encourage Omani women to expand their participation and
leadership in different aspects of Omani society.  Minister
of Social Development, Dr. Sharifa bint Khalfan al-Yahyaiya
(one of Oman's three female cabinet ministers) will chair the
meeting on the Sultan's behalf.  Lamenting that no women won
seats in the October 2007 election for the Majlis al-Shura,
Sultan Qaboos observed that Omani women were stuck in
tradition and needed to be empowered to "take more charge"
and to be "less shy."  "Some customs (regarding women)," he
added, "shouldn't be kept."  Nevertheless, gradual change is
occurring in Oman, the Sultan asserted.  His philosophy was
to "let it happen," rather than hold it up to public debate,
as the latter course of action often led to factional
fighting, internal strife, and other ills. 

---------------------------------------------
A RECURRENT THEME: MORE RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT
--------------------------------------------- 

13.  (C) In concluding the meeting, Sultan Qaboos returned to
his goal of improving the responsiveness of the Omani
government to citizen concerns.  He stated that he would be
pressing "harder" on his ministers to engage in more and
better public relations efforts before the Omani police and
to effectively enforce their decisions so that the people
could see the benefits of announced actions.  Giving one
particular example, the Sultan said that rather than simply
announce a new development project, the government should
explain the downstream employment opportunities the project
would generate for Omani citizens.  Effective cooperation
between ministries and the Majlis Oman was also needed to
strengthen the civil institutional framework in Oman, the
Sultan added. 

-------
COMMENT
------- 

14.  (S/NF) In discussing his desire for operational change
in the senior government ranks, the Sultan twice implied (but
did not directly state) that such change was needed to
prepare the country for his eventual departure from power.
The Sultan's comments indicated that he may feel the
government is too dependent on his authority and should be
empowered to run more effectively without constant direction
from the palace.  End Comment. 

15.  (U) This message has been reviewed by Admiral Fallon.
GRAPPO  read more

Merry Christmas from Alfred and John Donovan

We would like to wish all of the tens of thousands of good folk at Royal Dutch Shell and all people who visit and contribute to this website, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

From Alfred and John Donovan

WikiLeaks: Shell’s secret speculation about Irish gas fields

guardian.co.uk home

23 December 2010

A senior figure in Shell said that there could be dozens of gasfields similar to a major one off Ireland’s west coast that has become the focus of a bitter battle with local people, according to a cable from the US embassy in Dublin.

It reported that Julian Cetti, Shell Ireland’s head of commercial and business strategy, had said Shell’s highly lucrative Corrib gas field and another facility planned in the Shannon area by the US oil firm Hess would be enough to meet Ireland’s domestic gas demand for many years. read more

Shell Pays $10 Million Fine to Nigerian Government

By Elisha Bala-Gbogbo – Dec 22, 2010 7:58 PM GMT+0000

Royal Dutch Shell Plc paid $10 million in fines to the Nigerian government over alleged bribes paid on its behalf by Panalpina Welttransport Holding AG, to Nigerian customs officials, Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke said.

The settlement is part of a broader resolution of bribery allegations involving companies operating in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and most populous nation. JGC Corp. of Japan has “proposed settlement talks” in connection to its role in a $180 million bribery case, Adoke told reporters today in Abuja, the capital. No one answered phone calls to JGC’s office in Tokyo outside normal business hours. Tony Okonedo, Shell’s Lagos-based spokesman, declined to comment when reached on his mobile phone today. A message left outside normal business hours for Martin Spohn, spokesman for Basel, Switzerland-based Panalpina, was not immediately returned. read more

Message to Shell management from a blunt American

BY A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL USA

I have been reading and contributing to this blog for some months now, and it is clear that RD Shell has pretty much made an implacable enemy out of the Donovan’s. They have done so unnecessarily and through managerial arrogance and complete incompetence.

Unlike RD Shell management John and Alfred conduct themselves with a good degree of ‘class’ and humor, and respect for the law, and I commend them for this.

I think I know a little about John’s attitude towards you folks, and I sympathize with him. That  attitude could probably be most colorfully stated by quoting a famous fictional character of American literature, Captain Ahab, of Herman Melville’s ‘Mody Dick’ (I presume you people do read good literature, on occasion). To wit: read more

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