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Shell shale gas deal with China National Petroleum Corporation

Reports are now beginning to emerge drawing the China National Petroleum Company and Zhou Yongkang, a member of the all-powerful nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, into the unfolding political scandal, viewed as the most significant development/power struggle in China for many years.

EMAIL DATED 15 APRIL 2012 SENT BY JOHN DONOVAN TO MR MICHIEL BRANDJES, COMPANY SECRETARY & GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC. POSTED AS AN ARTICLE

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: Shell shale gas deal with China National Petroleum Corporation
Date: 15 April 2012 12:21:02 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brandjes

Although we have corresponded on other matters over the last fortnight, you have chosen to ignore all reference to my questions relating to the drama surrounding the apparent murder of Neil Heywood in China and the ousting of Bo Xilai, the former party secretary of Chongqing.

The news media had already brought Shell’s name into this matter before I contacted you. Articles mentioned Shell’s association with Haklyut, the corporate intelligence firm founded by titled Shell directors and former MI6 officers.

The spy firm has admitted that Neil Heywood was a Haklyut agent in China, working for them on an occasional basis. They have not disclosed the names of the clients involved.

I have confirmed that Shell is still a client of Hakluyt.

Shell has had business dealings in Chongqing, the Chinese city where Mr Heywood, the Hakluyt agent, was allegedly murdered.

Shell recently concluded a shale gas deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation, the state owned company involved in the growing intrigue.

THE PLOT THICKENS

Reports are now beginning to emerge drawing the China National Petroleum Company and Zhou Yongkang, a member of the all-powerful nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, into the unfolding political scandal, viewed as the most significant development/power struggle in China for many years.

Extracts from one report:

Zhou is now taking sides with Wang Lijun, the former director of Chongqing’s public security bureau who reportedly revealed that Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was behind the death of British businessman Neil Heywood. Wang dashed to the US consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6 in a bid to claim political asylum and allegedly to save his own life. He is currently under investigation and his failed defection attempt has been seen as the trigger for Bo’s downfall.

According to the sources, Zhou criticized himself with respect to Bo in front of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao at last week’s Politburo meeting. The 70-year-old still defended Bo on allegations that he had been involved in assassination, economic crimes, an attempted coup and neglect in selecting staff. As for Wang’s disciplinary action, Zhou insisted on light punishment considering he “performed deeds deserving of merit.”

Moreover, Zhou allegedly helped Bo and Wang purchase advanced wiretapping equipment from Germany to eavesdrop on conversations involving the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, especially Xi Jinping, Wen Jiabao and propaganda chief He Guoqiang. The Boxun report continues to say that they planned to lodge a wave of public attacks around Chinese New Year. Bo reportedly hired more than 200 journalists and scholars to join in the offensive.

The report also implicates Zhou in corruption carried out by both Bo and Wang. According to insiders in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan and China National Petroleum Corporation, Zhou Bin, Zhou’s son, secured personal wealth of over 20 billion yuan (US$3.1 billion), mostly acquired with help from Bo. The young Zhou held power over the oil company and assignments of high-ranking officials in Chongqing, as well in Sichuan. He reportedly had 18 properties in Beijing, one of which was worth 200 million yuan (US$31.7 million). He also took bribes from businesspeople and officials and transferred the illegal income to foreign countries, the report alleges.

If the report is accurate, the business dealings of China National Petroleum Corporation, including the agreement recently signed with Shell, are likely to come under Chinese government scrutiny.

The facts appear to be as follows: Shell is a client of Hakluyt. Neil Heywood was a Hakluyt agent in China. Shell has been active in China with business activities in Chongqing, the city at the heart of the intrigue. Shell has recently concluded an important deal with CNPC, a state owned company reportedly controlled by a member of the leadership faction allegedly mired in this murky scandal, involving alleged corruption and murder.

Bearing in mind the new information that has emerged, it seems appropriate to ask, in a modified form, the basic question I first put to you on 31 March 2012, which you for some reason you chose to ignore. It is a question I am also entitled to ask in my capacity as a long term Shell shareholder.

Given the apparent role of the Hakluyt agent Neil Heywood in China as a deal fixer with high level connections, and Shell’s long association with Hakluyt, I wondered whether Mr Heywood and/or Hakluyt, have had any involvement/connection with Shell’s dealings in China, including the shale gas deal recently announced by Royal Dutch Shell?

Any response will be published unedited.

Best Regards
John Donovan

EMAIL ENDS

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Shell agrees shale gas deal in China | Business | The Guardian

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Shell Reaches Chinese ShaleGas Deal – WSJ.com

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