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Posts from ‘September, 2012’

Allegations made against Allseas Group

“Any implication that Allseas is any way involved in, or supported by, a political agenda – including any reference to conspiracy, criminality and non-transparent business relationships – is completely unfounded and refuted in the strongest possible terms.”

By John Donovan

I was recently approached by a party who made serious allegations against the Swiss-based Allseas Group, “a global leader in offshore pipeline installation and subsea construction.”

Someone appears to have put a considerable effort into putting forward a detailed set of allegations supported by extensive documentary evidence. That does not mean the allegations are true.

The source of the allegations drew my attention to Allseas links with Royal Dutch Shell.

In this connection, we have previously published leaked emails sent to Allseas by Shell EP Ireland in respect of the Corrib Gas Project. On 9 September 2008, Maura Harrington, a leading figure in the Shell to Sea campaign went on hunger strike in protest at the arrival of the Solitaire, an Allseas pipe-laying ship assisting in the Corrib project.

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Gripe Sites: Sue or Stew?

Extract from “Gripe Sites: Sue or Stew”

By William G. Pecau

Gripe sites can be more than forums for criticism. Because some are run by or receive contributions from former employees or anonymous current dissatisfied employees, some gripe sites have access to and post non- public information about a company or its employees. Some of this information is false, some of it might be embarrassing, and some of it might be very harmful to a company.

One gripe site www.royaldutchshellplc. com, run by a former employee of Shell, credits itself with costing Shell billions of dollars. It claims to have disclosed environmental violations by a joint venture in Russia’s Sakhalin Islands that allowed Vladimir Putin’s government significant concessions from the Shell joint venture.

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Shell shuts major oil pipeline in Nigeria

Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:56pm EDT

(Reuters) – Shell’s Nigerian unit shut its Bonny oil pipeline and deferred 150,000 barrels per day of production on Sunday after oil thieves caused a fire, the company said.

“Shell … has shut the 28-inch Bomu-Bonny Trunkline after discovering a fire on it early this morning,” a statement from the company said.

“A burning vessel, thought to be involved in the theft of crude oil from the line, was sighted near the incident site. The line conveys crude oil to Bonny Terminal.”

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Insight: Three lawyers ask U.S. Supreme Court: Why here?

Rebecca Hamilton Reuters: 9:28 a.m. CDT, September 30, 2012(Reuters) – For more than three decades survivors of human rights abuses in foreign countries have turned to U.S. federal courts to seek justice. On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case that could make that impossible. The case pits a Nigerian widow against a multinational oil company. Esther Kiobel and others say Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell) helped the Nigerian government commit human rights violations against her husband, who was executed in 1995. Shell has denied the allegations and argues that cases involving foreign governments committing atrocities in their own countries do not belong in the U.S. court system at all.

That the justices are considering the sweeping question of whether an entire class of lawsuits can be heard in the United States can be traced to briefs filed by three lawyers whose clients aren’t even involved in the case.

How their briefs came to be sheds light on one of the most closely watched cases before the Supreme Court this term and shows how the efforts of private lawyers pursuing a public policy goal can have momentous consequences.

A ruling against Kiobel could wipe out lawsuits pending against companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp, Rio Tinto Plc and Nestle, which are accused by private plaintiffs of helping governments violate human rights in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Ivory Coast, respectively.

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Shell hopeful on Arctic drilling despite setback

By Dan Joling on September 30, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The stars lined up — almost — for Shell Oil to drill exploratory wells this year in waters off Alaska’s north coast.

The Arctic Ocean was on record pace for low sea ice. The Obama administration gave a qualified green light to drilling. Two drill ships and a flotilla of support vessels were staged off prospects.

But as the roughly four-month open water season wound down, Shell announced last week it would limit drilling to “top-hole” work, the shallow but time-consuming preparation for an offshore well. The final straw for the decision: damage during testing Sept. 15 to an undersea containment dome, part of a spill response system that Shell put in place to reassure federal regulators that Arctic offshore drilling could be done safely.

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Shell Now Close to Drilling 2 Wells Simultaneously in Arctic Ocean

By Dan Fiorucci: 10:47 p.m. AKDT, September 29, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

Shell Oil is, tonight (Saturday), close to drilling 2 exploratory wells simultaneously in the Arctic Ocean.

Drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea are currently awaiting the harvest of the third and last whale of the season by Inupiat Eskimoes. Once the final whale is caught, the drilling rig “Kulluck” can go to work.

“Kulluck’s” sister vessel, the “Noble Discoverer” has been drilling — on and off — since September 8th in the Chukchi Sea. The vessel’s operations were briefly distrupted by Arctic storms and drifting sea ice.

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US Supreme court decides on Shell torture case

Published on Sunday September 30, 2012

“The Kiobel case was part of a broader set of legal complaints by Nigeria’s Ogoni people, who argued that Royal Dutch Shell was complicit in murder, torture and other abuses committed by the former military government.”

The US Supreme Court is back in session tomorrow to tackle major social issues such as same-sex marriage and affirmative action, as well as a high-profile international human rights case involving the Dutch oil giant Shell in Nigeria..

Twelve Nigerians accuse Shell of becoming an accomplice to torture, extrajudicial executions and crimes against humanity in the Niger Delta region.

The nine justices will decide whether to hold major companies liable for crimes committed outside US borders by virtue of the Alien Tort Statute, a law passed two centuries ago.

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Motiva says black woman failed to exhaust administrative perquisites before filing discrimination claim

by

Motiva Enterprises is asserting that a Port Arthur woman failed to exhaust her administrative perquisites before filing a suit claiming the company discriminated against her by allowing a white male certain privileges.

As previously reported, Carolyn Warwick, a black female, filed a lawsuit July 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Motiva Enterprises.

Court records show that on Aug. 13 Motiva answered the suit, asserting that Warwick failed to exhaust her administrative perquisites before filing suit.

Motiva is asking the court to dismiss the case.

The suit alleges that Warwick began working as a payroll clerk for Motiva on Oct. 30, 1968. Since then, the company has hired three other payroll clerks. Three of the clerks, including Warwick, are black women while one is a white male, the suit states.

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Transocean gets $7.6B deal with Shell for rigs

Posted on September 28, 2012

HOUSTON (AP) — Transocean Ltd. said Friday that Royal Dutch Shell has entered into 10-year contracts worth $7.6 billion for four ships that will be used to drill for oil in deep water.

The estimated revenue backlog doesn’t include costs of putting the ships in service. Transocean said investment for the rigs will be about $3 billion excluding interest.

Transocean said the first of the ships is expected to be delivered in mid-2015 with the others following every six months. They will be built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co.

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Selection of article links 29 Sept 2012

Selection of links to articles that may be of interest to our readers (Supplied by a regular contributor)

Several human rights groups sued Shell Oil in 1996 for human rights abuses that included allegations of collaborating in the execution of members of the Ogoni tribe in Nigeria. Shell has never accepted liability for these abuses despite paying a settlement in 2009, and continues to dominate the oil market as the second largest petroleum company in the world. Surely the divestment of funds by a few American universities will have little impact on the reputation of these so-called oil and gas “supermajors.”

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Shell thought Gazprom would just be a junior partner in Sakhalin II

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2005

MarketWatch: Shell CEO says no Gazprom asset swap delay, seen finalized 2006

“In July, Shell announced a preliminary swap deal with Gazprom that would give the Russian gas giant up to 25% in the Sakhalin II project in exchange for a 50% interest in its massive Zapolyarnoye-Neocomian gas field in northern Russia. But one week later, Shell, that operates the Sakhalin oil and gas project in Russia’s Far East, said it expected costs to double to $20 billion.”

Thursday 29 Sept 2005

JOHANNESBURG (MarketWatch) — The head of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) Thursday denied talks with OAO Gazprom (GSPBEX.RS) on a Russian asset swap involving the Sakhalin II project had been delayed and said he hoped to finalize the deal in 2006.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Johannesburg oil conference, he said: “Discussions have started on time, on the schedule that we announced. It will take many months and we hope to get to a result in 2006.”

In July, Shell announced a preliminary swap deal with Gazprom that would give the Russian gas giant up to 25% in the Sakhalin II project in exchange for a 50% interest in its massive Zapolyarnoye-Neocomian gas field in northern Russia.

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Shell rejects Total warning over Arctic oil search

Oil giant Shell vows to resume exploratory drilling in the Arctic despite rival’s fears a spill would ruin reputation of firms involved

Shell has rejected a plea from its French rival Total that the energy industry should abandon its search for oil in the Arctic on the grounds that a spill would ruin the reputation of any company involved.

The Anglo-Dutch company, which was forced to halt its recent drilling operation in the Chukchi Sea after vital safety equipment broke, said it would continue its longer-term work. “At Shell, we believe the Arctic has significant untapped potential and will play an increasingly important role in meeting the energy challenge. It holds great opportunity and that comes with great responsibility,” said a spokesman at the London headquarters.

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Supreme Court holds U.S. rights legacy in the balance

By Vincent Warren, Special to CNN September 27, 2012 — Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)

(CNN) — An argument before the Supreme Court on October 1 in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum will have enormous significance. The case concerns the torture of Ogoni leaders in Nigeria, but at stake is the future of the law under which this case was brought, the Alien Tort Statute.

The United States stands at a crossroads. At its best, our nation has played a crucial role in championing human rights throughout the world and pioneering human rights law. At its worst, it has abandoned its lofty ideals in the name of realpolitik and supported dictators and policies that were responsible for horrible abuses.

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Shell did not sign Kurdish deal, Baghdad says

: Sept 28, 2012

Baghdad has denied reports Royal Dutch Shell will become the latest oil major to set up shop in the autonomous Kurdish north.

“We don’t have any discussions with the Kurdish regional government [KRG] about working in the region,” a statement released by the office of Iraq’s deputy prime minister for energy quotes Hans Nijkamp, a Shell vice president, as saying.

According to the statement, Mr Nijkamp also described as “inaccurate” reports that the oil major was set to follow its competitors ExxonMobil, Total and Chevron into the autonomous north.

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Shell prepares for Beaufort Sea drilling

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 9:27 am by Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Shell has begun anchoring its Kulluk conical drilling unit in the Beaufort Sea as it prepares to begin initial work on an exploratory oil well in the waters north of Alaska.

A company spokeswoman confirmed that it had begun connecting the conical drilling rig to anchors in the Beaufort Sea. According to separate data, the work began just before midnight Wednesday.

The move comes less than a week after federal regulators gave Shell the green light to begin initial drilling operations in the Beaufort Sea once native Alaskans in the area have concluded their fall hunt of migrating bowhead whale.

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Shell’s cartel fine cut to 81 million euros ($104.2 million)

Shell Wins 25% Cut in Bitumen Cartel Fine, Total Loses Bid

By Stephanie Bodoni on September 27, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) won a 25 percent reduction in a fine for its role in a bitumen industry cartel, while other members including Total SA (FP) and Royal BAM Group NV lost their appeals at a European Union court.

Shell’s fine was cut to 81 million euros ($104.2 million) from 108 million euros because antitrust regulators failed to show that the company “played the role of instigator and leader in the infringement,” the EU General Court ruled today.

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SHELL’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2004

Daily Express (UK): SHELL’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS

Published 23 Sept 2004

Jan 9, 2004: Reserves downgraded; shares slump

Mar 7: Chairman Sir Philip Watts ousted

Apr 19: E-mails about ‘lying’ revealed

Apr 24: FSA launches probe

Jun 6: Shell forced to speed up structural reform

Jul 29: Fined £84m by US and UK watchdogs

Sep 22: New investment strategy

Nigeria: Key Hearing in Court Case On Oil Giant Shell’s Nigerian Oil Pollution

26 September 2012

press release

The Hague — For the first time in history, a European company, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, will appear in a Dutch court to account for damage it caused abroad, Friends of the Earth International announced today.

The court case against Shell’s oil spills in Nigeria has been filed by four Nigerian plaintiffs in conjunction with Friends of the Earth Netherlands and supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Lawyers for both parties will plea at a key hearing in The Hague on 11 October at 9:30am. [1] The verdict is expected early in 2013.

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Total SA, Shell diverge on Arctic drilling

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Total SA talked down the prospects for oil drilling in the Arctic, while Shell reiterated its plans to develop crude exploration off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday, as energy stocks fell

Total SA TOT -1.71%  Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said drilling in the Arctic may be too risky to the environment, a rare instance of an industry executive speaking against exploring for oil in the region, according to a report by the Financial Times on Wednesday.

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Iraq Says Shell Denies Talks With Kurds on Energy Projects

By Kadhim Ajrash on September 26, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said it isn’t in talks with authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region about energy projects in the northern area, a government spokesman said.

Hans Nijkamp, Shell’s country chairman for Iraq, spoke during a meeting with the deputy prime minister for energy affairs, Hussain al-Shahristani, today in Baghdad, Faisal Abdullah, Shahristani’s spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kadhim Ajrash in Baghdad at [email protected]

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Shell says Nigeria oil bill will make projects unviable

Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:55am EDT

* Oil majors want better terms for deepwater, gas

* Bill to overhaul industry has been stalled for years

* Investment on hold due to regulatory uncertainty

By Tim Cocks

LAGOS, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s leading oil producer Shell thinks the tax terms in a landmark oil bill are so uncompetitive they risk rendering offshore oil and gas projects unviable, the firm’s managing director and industry sources said.

In comments from a stakeholders’ forum that Shell sent to Reuters on Wednesday, Shell Nigeria managing director Mutiu Sunmonu welcomed the bill’s arrival in parliament, but warned it may stifle investment if its terms are not improved.

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Iraq says Shell denies oil talks with Kurdistan

Wed Sept 26, 2012 12:50pm EDT

* Baghdad angry over reports Shell in talks -govt sources

* Shell says that in time it wants to work in all of Iraq

(Reuters) – Iraq said on Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell has denied starting talks with Iraqi Kurdistan to sign energy deals with the semi-autonomous region.

Sources told Reuters last week that Shell was exploring possibilities in Iraqi Kurdistan, encouraged by the example of rivals who were risking Baghdad’s anger by moving into the northern region while developing oilfields in the south.

“We don’t have any discussions with the Kurdish regional government about working in the region,” Shell’s vice-president Hans Nijkamp told Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani, according to a statement from Shahristani’s office.

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Environmentalists Get Surprising Ally in Arctic Drilling Debate

By John M. Biers

TOTAL CEO SEES ARCTIC DRILLING AS RISKY BUSINESS

When was the last time you heard an executive from Big Oil say no thanks to drilling a hot prospect because it was too risky to the environment?

Yet that’s what Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie just did with arctic drilling. The feisty de Margerie, in an interview with the Financial Times, is quoted as saying an oil spill in Greenland would ”be a disaster,” and that a leak ”would do too much damage to the image of the company.”

De Margerie did qualify the remarks, saying natural gas drilling in the arctic posed less of a threat than oil drilling. But his comments are sure to prompt a sigh of despair from the oil industry as a whole and particularly from companies active in arctic drilling like Shell and Cairn, which have drilling campaigns in Alaska and Greenland, respectively. Both Shell and Cairn face tough, well-organized environmental campaigns against arctic drilling.

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10,000 to march in support of pipeline protesters

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2005

Daily Telegraph: 10,000 to march in support of jailed pipeline protesters

“Anger is mounting over the jailing of five landowners who have been in prison for nearly 100 days for objecting to Shell building a pipeline through one of the last European -wildernesses.”: “The case of the Rossport Five, a group of small-time farmers from Co Mayo, has become an international cause célèbre and resulted in widespread criticism of the oil company and the Irish government.”

Monday 26 September 2005

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent

(Filed: 26/09/2005)

Anger is mounting over the jailing of five landowners who have been in prison for nearly 100 days for objecting to Shell building a pipeline through one of the last European -wildernesses.

The case of the Rossport Five, a group of small-time farmers from Co Mayo, has become an international cause célèbre and resulted in widespread criticism of the oil company and the Irish government.

This week, 10,000 people will arrive in Dublin for a rally in support of the men while the issue is set to dominate the Irish parliament when it returns from its summer break on Wednesday.

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Nigerian Bonga oilfield to start late Oct – Shell

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2005

Reuters: Nigerian Bonga oilfield to start late Oct – Shell

“…Bonga, which is over two years behind its original target start date and far above budget…”

Mon Sept 26, 2005

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The long-delayed Bonga oilfield in Nigeria is now expected to start production in late October, quickly reaching 100,000 barrels per day (bpd), energy major Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday.

Shell had previously said Bonga, which is over two years behind its original target start date and far above budget, would begin pumping in the fourth quarter.

“We should start production at the end of October … We will rapidly build up to 100,000,” Basil Omiyi, head of Shell’s Nigerian operation, told reporters on the sidelines of the World Petroleum Congress in Johannesburg.

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Total Warns Against Oil Drilling in Arctic

Published: Tuesday, 25 Sep 2012 | 7:58 PM ET Total SA says energy companies should not drill for crude in Arctic waters, marking the first time an oil major has publicly spoken out against offshore oil exploration in the region. Christophe de Margerie, Total’s chief executive, told the Financial Times the risk of an oil spill in such an environmentally sensitive area was simply too high. FULL ARTICLE

Shell recovers oil from North Sea spill

Published: Sept. 26, 2012 at 7:22 AM

LONDON, Sept. 26 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell said it completed the first part of a cleanup operation related to an oil spill at its Gannet platform in the North Sea last year.

Oil leaked from the Gannet platform in the North Sea in August 2011. The release totaled around 1,300 barrels of oil, making it the largest oil spill in the region in more than a decade.

The British Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said it approved Shell’s plans to extract the residual oil left in a pipeline.

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Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Monday, Oct. 1

Published: September 25, 2012 8:13 PM
By EMILY BAZELON, Slate  

Next Monday, the Supreme Court will begin what promises to be an action-packed fall. I’m looking forward to three cases in the first half of October.

Here they are, in the order they’ll be argued:

Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Monday, Oct. 1: The term opens with a case held over from last year — in a way that doesn’t bode well for Esther Kiobel. She sued Royal Dutch Shell in 2002 on behalf of her late husband and 11 other Nigerians, saying that the company colluded with the Nigerian military in the 1990s to silence protesters — going so far as torturing and killing them — who were trying to halt oil exploration. Last term, when the court first heard the case, the question was whether corporations could be sued for human rights abuses. Cue lots of bitterness on the left about how the court could treat companies as people for the purposes of campaign donations, but not when it comes to accusations of murder.

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Royal Dutch Shell announce share buy-back programme

Monday, September 24, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell plc announces that it has entered into an irrevocable, non-discretionary arrangement with an independent third party to enable the purchase of ‘B’ ordinary shares, for cancellation, during the period from 25 September 2012 up to and including 1 November 2012 which period includes the 2012 third quarter results close period.

As previously announced, the purpose of the share buy-back programme is to offset dilution created by the issuance of shares for the Company’s Scrip Dividend Programme. At this time, it is less economic for the Company to purchase ‘A’ ordinary shares under the share buy-back programme due to Dutch dividend withholding Tax rules.

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Shell Completes First Phase of Gannet Oil Recovery Op

by  Jon Mainwaring: Rigzone Staff: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell announced Tuesday that it has finished the first phase of its operation to remove oil from the Gannet pipeline in the UK North Sea.

A major oil spill occurred at the Gannet Alpha platform in August 2011, but the recovery operation aimed at collecting the majority of the oil that remains in the carrier pipe only gained approval last month.

Shell reported in a statement that it has now completed the operation to remove oil contained in the outer carrier pipe of the Gannet F flowline bundle. The recovery operation involved the use of subsea pumps to recover oil into storage tanks on a recovery vessel. The recovered oil has been returned onshore for disposal via a licensed waste oil contractor

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Shell in Asset Development Deal

Posted 9/25/2012 2:30 PM by Zacks Equity Research from Zacks.com

Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A ) – through its affiliate SWEPI LP – entered into an asset development agreement with Fort Worth, Texas-based Quicksilver Resources Inc. ( KWK ).

Per the terms of the joint venture signed between the two aforesaid companies, they will be involved in developing their oil and gas holdings spanning across the Sand Wash Basin in Northwest Colorado. The companies are expected to cover more than 850,000 acres in the basin and set up an Area of Mutual Interest (“AMI”).

Each company will transfer 50% of its working interest in the majority of their acreage in the Sand Wash Basin to the other party. This will also endow each company with the right to 50% stake in any acquisition within the AMI.

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Taped telephone call confirms Shell Brent Bravo explosion cover-up

Bill Campbell believes that the innocent victims of Shell senior managements willingness to put production, profits, personal greed and ambition before the safety of Shell offshore employees, are being blamed for their own tragic avoidable deaths. Journalists who feel duped by information given to them by Shell, including by its then CEO Jeroen van der Veer, may wish to ask Bill Campbell for a transcript of his taped telephone conversation with Royal Dutch Shell Chief Internal Auditor Jakob Stausholm. It blows the lid off the Brent Bravo Scandal and the related cover-up.

By John Donovan

Brinded didn’t jump, he was pushed

Printed below is an email sent to Grampian Police on 10 Sept 2012 by Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International. The email was copied to Jorma Ollila, Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Keith Ruddock, General Counsel Shell EP and Geoffrey Podger, Chief Executive of the UK Health & Safety Executive.

The email relates to the Shell Brent Bravo Scandal. In 2005, Shell was fined a record £900,000 at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, for a series of safety failings on the Brent Bravo platform, which led to a gas leak inside the giant platform’s utility leg and the tragic avoidable deaths of two workers, Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue.

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Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell: Human Rights Law at a Crossroads

WHAT

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell: Human Rights Law at a Crossroads

WHEN

Thursday, September 27, 2012, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

WHERE

Georgetown University Law Center
Hart Auditorium, McDonough Hall
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

PANELISTS

Baher Azmy, Legal Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Carey R. D’Avino, Attorney, Eaton & Van Winkle LLP
Carlos Mauricio, Center for Justice and Accountability Plaintiff, Romagoza Arce v. Garcia and Vides Casanova
Katie Redford, Esq., Co-Founder and U.S. Office Director, EarthRights International
Ralph Steinhardt, Professor, George Washington University Law School
Peter Weiss, Vice President, Center for Constitutional Rights

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Vince Cable Described As ‘Minister For Shell’ In Letter From Oil Giant

Vince Cable Described As ‘Minister For Shell’ In Letter From Oil Giant

A letter describing Vince Cable as the “contact minister for Shell” has raised fresh questions about the business secretary’s relationship with the oil giant. In the letter to Cable dated 19 March 2012, Malcolm Brinded, the then chief executive of Shell Upstream International, sets out how the company would like the coalition to harden its line against the European Fuel Quality Directive, a policy initiative aimed at reducing emissions from transport fuels. …

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

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Shell Gets Federal Nod for Prep Work – Analyst Blog

Posted 9/24/2012 11:37 AM by Zacks Equity Research from Zacks.com

Global energy company, Royal Dutch Shell plc ( RDS.A ) has received the necessary approval from federal officials to perform limited site work in the Beaufort Sea, in order to set up its second drill site off Alaska’s northern coast.

Earlier, The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement had given its nod for similar activities in the neighboring Chukchi Sea to Shell.

However, Shell cannot move ahead with its drilling plans in the petroleum zones till the spill response barge is in place. Earlier this month, the company had postponed its Arctic drilling plans for a year after a spill containment dome sustained damage during the course of a testing session.

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Oil’s not well for Shell directors

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2004

The Times: Oil’s not well for Shell directors

“The debacle over the reserves lifted the lid on an organisation that appears to have knowingly deceived investors.”: “It was when Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was in charge in 1998 that a paper was produced under the title: Creating Value through Entrepreneurial Management of Hydrocarbon Resource Values. Inflating the reserve figures certainly did that.

By Patience Wheatcroft

Business Editor’s Commentary

Posted 24 Sept 04

SHELL directors are looking into an abyss when they would prefer to be gazing down an oil well. For years the company has been using its reserves faster than it has been replenishing them and it does not take a highly qualified petroleum engineer to tell that continuation of that strategy does not make for a happy future.

So although Jeroen van der Veer and his colleagues must have known that, in the wake of the devastating reserves scandal, a more cautious approach to business might be appropriate, they have decided this was an option they could not afford. So Shell is taking a deep breath and hoping the oil price is going to remain high while it goes off in search of new wells whose contents are likely to be rather more expensive to retrieve than it would wish.

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Nigeria: PIB’s Lopsided, Unattractive – Shell

By Clara Nwachukwu, 24 September 2012

The Shell Group has declared that the draft Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, before the National Assembly, is not only lopsided, but will also frustrate current investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and impede on the ability to meet set targets on power generation.

Shell’s declaration contradicts widely held belief that the PIB is tilted very much in favour of the international oil companies, IOCs, who, for decades have dictated the tone of the industry operations.

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Shell supertanker steers into deeper waters

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE SEPT 2004

The Independent: Michael Harrison’s Outlook: Shell supertanker steers into deeper waters

“brotherly love has been notable for its complete absence inside the South Bank politburo, where the motto has been stab someone in the back before you are made to walk the plank yourself.”: Judging by the reaction in the City to the company’s strategic review, investors are not overflowing with the milk of human kindness either.”

Posted 24 September 2004

“Let brotherly love continue”, read the gilded inscription above the doorway of the livery hall where Shell yesterday unveiled its latest version of what passes for a strategy. Chance would be a fine thing. Far from continuing, brotherly love has been notable for its complete absence inside the South Bank politburo, where the motto has been stab someone in the back before you are made to walk the plank yourself.

Judging by the reaction in the City to the company’s strategic review, investors are not overflowing with the milk of human kindness either. The truth is that Shell will not begin to emerge from the black cloud which enveloped it in January until it has fundamentally changed the way the business is run and governed. That is still some months away and no amount of management gobbledegook about raising performance bars and the like, of which there was plenty on offer yesterday, will make much of a difference in the meantime.

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Revisiting an Arctic Tale of Ice and Shell

20/09/12: As Shell was getting ready to poke the first hole in the Chukchi Sea floor in Arctic Alaska to begin exploratory drilling, I was getting ready to give two talks in Alaska — the concluding lecture of the Next North Symposium at the Anchorage Museum on September 8, and one at the Noel Wien Library in Fairbanks on September 11 as part of the Northern Voices Speaker Series hosted by Northern Alaska Environmental Center in partnership with the Gwich’in Steering Committee. While there something remarkable happened over the weekend — perhaps the shortest-lived “beginning” of drilling anywhere.

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Shell attacked over four-year delay in Niger oil spill clean-up

Energy firm’s attempts to clear pollution resulting from two large spills in 2008 described as ‘amateurish’ by assessors

Two large crude oil spills from Shell pipelines in the Niger delta four years ago have still not been cleaned up by the company despite an outcry by the UN, Amnesty International and the Nigerian government about pollution in the area.

Shell, which made £19.1bn profit last year, accepted responsibility and pledged to fully restore the damage done by spills from its rusting pipelines near the Ogoni village of Bodo in 2008.

But an assessment has found only small pilot schemes were started and the most contaminated areas around Bodo and the Gokana district of Ogoniland remain untouched. The impoverished Ogoni fishing and farming communities say they still cannot return to work and have received no compensation. They have accused Shell of applying different standards to clean-ups in Nigeria compared with the rest of the world.

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Oil boom brings hope, anxiety to Alaska town

Shell’s drilling operations in the Chukchi Sea promise an economic boom in Wainwright, Alaska. But some see the transformation as a threat to the ancient indigenous culture there.

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times: September 23, 2012

WAINWRIGHT, Alaska — It was the down slope of August, and in the icy winds and freezing rain that masquerade as summer on the Arctic coast, Shell Alaska had to move its community barbecue indoors to the school gym.

Billed as the oil company’s thank-you to the Iñupiat Eskimo village that is about to become a base for offshore drilling operations, the event featured free hamburgers, beans and something rarely seen up in the Far North — plates heaped with fresh watermelon, oranges and bananas. Shell Alaska Vice President Peter E. Slaiby was in the middle of the room, raffling off jackets emblazoned with the Shell logo.

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Shell war on Greenpeace

September 23, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell is taking Greenpeace International to court in an attempt to have it banned from holding any protest within 500 metres of Shell property or face a fine of $1.25 million.

The suit lodged at Amsterdam’s district court on Friday shows Shell aggressively taking the offensive to protect its $4 billion investment in drilling for oil in Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. A verdict is expected in two weeks.

Shell is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, and Greenpeace International is based in Amsterdam.

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Shell sues Greenpeace to stop protests against Arctic drilling plans

September 21, 2012 3:44 AM

(AP) AMSTERDAM — Royal Dutch Shell PLC is suing Greenpeace International in an attempt to have the environmental organization banned from holding any protest within 500 meters of any Shell property, or face a $1.3 million fine.

The suit, which was to be heard at Amsterdam’s District Court Friday, shows Shell aggressively taking the offensive to protect its $4.5 billion investment in drilling for oil in the icy Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. A verdict is not expected for two weeks.

Shell is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, while Greenpeace is based in Amsterdam.

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Gazprom looks to the world stage

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE: ON THIS DAY IN 2004

Financial Times: Gazprom looks to the world stage

“Separately, Gazprom is trying to muscle its way into the Sakhalin-2 project where Shell holds a 55 per cent interest.”

By Arkady Ostrovsky

Posted 22 September 2004

By merging natural gas monopoly Gazprom and Rosneft, the last Russian state-owned oil company, the Moscow government has created the country’s most powerful energy group – giving the Kremlin a powerful lever in dealing with a core economic sector.

On top of its oil interests, Gazprom also holds about 10 per cent of Unified Energy Systems, the electricity monopoly. If UES’s current restructuring goes through, Gazprom will be able to swap its shares for control over one or more large generation companies.

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Selection of links: 22 Sept 2012

Corruption: a selection of article links that may be of interest (provided by a regular contributor)

Mission Accomplished for Big Oil? (BP and Shell have opted to rush for black gold in the super-giant oilfields of … oil multinationals despite an atmosphere of staggering corruption)

On the wrong side of history? (Royal Dutch Shell recently announced a partnership with CNPC on shale … in some of the world’s poorest and most corrupt countries)

Beyond the Oil Curse: Shell, State Power, and Environmental …  (following a Shell oil spill, the absence of clean up illustrates the extent to … degradation, social unrest, and rampant corruption associated with …)

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A Shell Game: When Reality Meets Bribery

9/21/2012 @ 4:03PM

When I used to train employees on how not to bribe, I always added a caveat.  If your health or safety is at issue, I used to say, get yourself out of the situation.  Contact me immediately when you get to a safe zone, but do what you have to do.

I thought of this while reading the Dorsey & Whitney monthly anti-corruption digest.

Let me digress for a moment.  Lots of firms put out FCPA marketing materials.  Very, very few are actually worth reading.  Shearman & Sterling’s yearly FCPA digest is the FCPA-world’s absolute must-read.  But that’s once a year (maybe twice…I think they put out a mid-year update).  Chadbourne & Parke comes out with a quarterly FCPA thing.  It’s different in that it generally addresses a few issues more in depth.  Very helpful, and the folks at Chadbourne do a great job (although, now that Scott Peeler went to Stroz Friedberg, I worry—my only comfort being that Ollie Armas from Chadbourne is as smart as they come).

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Permit problem for barge Shell needs for Arctic

An oil-spill containment barge that Shell Oil needs for Arctic drilling faces a new challenge as it undergoes repairs in Bellingham.

The Associated Press: BELLINGHAM, Wash. —

An oil-spill containment barge that Shell Oil needs for Arctic drilling faces a new challenge as it undergoes repairs in Bellingham.

The Washington Ecology Department said Thursday the companies retrofitting the Arctic Challenger – Greenberry Industrial and Superior Energy Services – need to apply for storm water permits for runoff.

The Bellingham Herald reports ( http://is.gd/cpmxJy) the permits should have been obtained in May, but the department let the work proceed because the project was expected to wrap up in July. It takes about two months to obtain a permit.

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In Dutch court, Shell pushes Greenpeace to stay back or pay up

September 21, 2012 | 12:36 pm

Shell has taken Greenpeace International to a Dutch court in an attempt to keep protesters at least 500 meters (1,640 feet) away from its properties — or face fines of $1.3 million or more.

The court case was triggered by the latest round of Greenpeace protests against Arctic drilling being done in the Netherlands. Pumps at scores of Shell gas stations around the country have been blocked. In some cases, bicycle locks have been used to clamp fueling nozzles together.

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Shell gets OK to prepare 2nd drill site off Alaska

21 September 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal officials have given Royal Dutch Shell PLC approval for limited site work in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska’s north coast.

The decision Thursday was widely expected. A Shell drill ship, the Kulluk, is positioned in the Beaufort waiting for the whaling season to end.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement already gave Shell approval for similar work in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE’) Sea.

The company can’t drill into petroleum zones until its spill response barge is in place. A containment dome on the barge was damaged in tests last weekend.

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Shell sues Greenpeace to stop Artic protests

COMMENT BY A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

SHELL’S MADNESS…

Has anyone thought about the implications of a 500m exclusion zone around Shell property in Holland?
 
This would prevent Greenpeace members from entering a large proportion of the Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, from using motorways and most major roads, or from going near any of the thousands of Shell locations which cover the country, such as refineries,  filling stations, oil and gas wells and production facilities.
 
Is Shell planning to publish a map showing the thousands of no-go areas implied?  The widely used Shell road map of Holland might provide a good starting point of the area “off limits” to Greenpeace members!

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