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WikiLeaks revelations: Pernicious influence of Royal Dutch Shell

It is clear from these cables that Royal Dutch Shell has the Dutch government in their hip pocket. No surprise there, the Queen must get her dividends. Royal Dutch Shell management apparently thinks it has so much influence it can dictate foreign policy matters to ALL of the G8 governments? Isn’t that a revelation. Maybe not after all we have learned about Shell’s not so secret ‘shadow government’ in Nigeria.

Article by a former employee of Shell Oil USA

No matter what you or I may think about the Wiki-leaks gang, they do produce some important revelations that I am sure the US government, et al, and RD Shell would just as soon not disclose to the public.

The latest postings are interesting because of the degree of influence it appears that RD Shell has with the G8 group of nations.

It is clear from these cables that Royal Dutch Shell has the Dutch government in their hip pocket. No surprise there, the Queen must get her dividends. RD Shell is one of the Dutch national flagship companies and clearly influences Dutch governmental policy on ‘energy policy’ matters.

What is most surprising in the level of access AND influence RD Shell had in the US State Dept. during the Bush Administration. In American politics the saying goes that the Republicans never saw an oil company they didn’t like, and that is certainly true of the modern Republican Party, which has its roots in Houston, TX. Clearly, RD Shell had a friend in the White House during the Bush years.

In these cables Mr. John Crocker, head of RD Shell’s international relations group, appears to have been coaching the US State Dept. on the sort of ‘helpful’ action the US government might/should take that would aid RD Shell in its dispute with Russia’s Gazprom over RD Shell’s (mis)management and ownership stake of the Sakhalin II project.

Since when does the US government do the bidding or come to the aid of a foreign national oil company when they screw up a project in Russia? Since when does such an oil company set US governmental policy? Does anyone besides me find this level of influence with/over the sovereign ‘elected’ government of the US government during the Bush years highly disturbing? (Recall the Gail Norton affair and the ‘sex and drugs’ scandals at DoI during the Bush years. Does anyone see a connection here???)

More that just seeming to try and enlist the influence of the US government in its dispute with Gazprom, RD Shell seems to have tried to coach the US State Dept. on obtaining support from the other G8 countries in their dispute with Gazprom. They appear to have even gone so far as to suggest what the G8 countries (high level officials) should emphasize to the Russian (high level officials) government. Crocker even went so far as to suggest that these messages from the G8 countries could remain private for a few weeks, but that the the G8 countries should then issue strong public statements to bring pressure to bear on the Russian.

Really? Royal Dutch Shell management apparently thinks it has so much influence it can dictate foreign policy matters to ALL of the G8 governments? Isn’t that a revelation. Maybe not after all we have learned about Shell’s not so secret ‘shadow government’ in Nigeria.

If all of this is indeed true, and RD Shell does indeed have this kind of power and influence over these governments, then I submit that it is time to break-up RD Shell. They have gotten too big for their britches. We did it to Standard Oil when they got out of control, and we can do it to RD Shell.

ARTICLE ENDS

Note: The Russian government has confirmed that the evidence (leaked Shell internal emails) it used to threaten Shell with a multi-billion dollar lawsuit, which resulted in Shell surrendering its majority holding in Sakhalin II for a fraction of its true worth, was supplied by John Donovan.

Prospect Magazine: Rise of the Gripe Site

Argus FSU Energy: Mitvol Turns up the heat: 19 November 2006

Johnson’s Russia List (sourced from Russian news agency, Interfax: Nov 2006: http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/2006-256-22.cfm

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