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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. read more

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. read more

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.” read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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


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. read more

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. read more

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.” read more

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


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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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