I just read about the Brent ‘incident’. That ‘little problem’ should have been taken care of through a preventive maintenance inspection program long ago. Sea water is not only highly corrosive to steel, but cyclical loading caused by wave action can induce fatigue failure. Believe it or not, the useful life of an airplane or a submarine is determined by the number of pressurization cycles the fuselage or hull goes through. Oil tankers have a useful life based on the number of stress cycles the hull has undergone. Oil tankers have split in half because of hull fatigue failure.
RD Shell should have recognized the life-cycle maintenance costs long ago and instituted appropriate inspection and maintenance programs to prevent what just occurred. After all, large pieces of structure falling to the sea bottom at high velocity could damage oil pipelines and cause serious releases of oil. Even Shell acknowledges that fact, which is why they shut down the production until the pipelines can be inspected.
This is not responsible conduct on the part of RD Shell and they should be sanctioned and fined appropriately. However, this gives everyone a good idea as to what RD Shell management thinks about environmental issues and platform health and safety issues. The really don’t give a ‘flying rat’s rear end’ about the consequences. They will pay their fine an move on.
I read your article about the law suit against RD Shell for failure to pay a fellow in an arms trafficking deal in Nigeria. RD Shell is admitting ‘arming’ the Nigerian governments ‘Spy Police’. My, my. What can I say, ‘Where the law ends, ….tyranny reigns.’ RD Shell, the ‘Yellow Peril‘, purveyor of tyranny and oppression. What is new. The Mafia is an amateur group of petty thugs in comparison to RD Shell.
I read the letter your father posted to RD Shell regarding its lawsuit against Dr. Huong. I don’t know how British or the Malaysian courts operate, but here in the States one is protected as a matter of constitutional law from being compelled to give what would amount to be ‘testimony against yourself’. This protection is found in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. In addition we have the ability to depose individuals, i.e., obtain sworn testimony, outside of the proceedings in a court room. So, under US law, which based upon English common law, it would have been possible to receive sworn testimony from your father in his own home, if necessary. This sworn testimony is completely admissible in a court of law in the US.
I find it very odd indeed that the Malaysian Courts and RD Shell’s attorneys in particular, would take the approach they did under the circumstances. Their conduct toward your father was nothing less than deliberately pernicious.
As a history student many years ago I had the opportunity study post WWI Weimar and Nazi German history in some detail. I also had the opportunity to read through the transcripts of the post WW2 trials held in Nuremberg, Germany. What most people do not realize was that Hitler was truly a political genius, if perverted and twisted in his view of the world. He was very careful about how he operated. In fact, the manner in which he did operate was completely ‘legal’ under German law at that time, which was a highly buggered version of the Weimar Constitution.
I must say that the way the Malaysian courts and Shell conducted themselves in this matter brought to might the way the German courts operated during the days of the Third Reich. The approach and methods are uncannily similar.
It would appear that, at the behest and co-opting of RD Shell’s eight subsidiaries, the apparently very corrupt Malaysian authorities (e.g. 1 2 3) operated as if Dr. Huong, and apparently your father, were ‘Enemies of the State’. Only the ‘State’ in this case was standing in for RD Shell. These proceedings against Dr. Huong are not only ridiculous, they indicate how far RD Shell will go to ‘punish’ its perceived ‘enemies of the corporate ‘State’.
These proceedings also indicate that RD Shell management is more than willing to go to great lengths to ‘bend’ the political authority of legal governmental institutions to do their bidding. We have seen this in the way Shell has operated in Ireland, and here in the US through the Gale Norton affair at the US Dept. of the Interior, and their apparent espionage operations targeting the US Dept. of Defense. The revelations of the Wiki-leaks disclosures indicate how far RD Shell has taken this method of operation in RD Shell apparently functions as a ‘shadow government’ there.
It would appear that the warning of 100 years ago to ‘Beware the Yellow Peril’ is as valid today as it was then.