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SHELL’S SHIPWRECKED AMBITIONS IN THE GULF OF ALASKA

By John Donovan 

The following are extracts from a warning email we sent to every UK MP in April 2012. We rung the alarm bells very loudly. As I said just days ago, Shell’s jinxed Monty Python Arctic Follies, plagued by misfortune and mismanagement, continues… with news today that the drilling ship Kulluk has run aground on Sitkalidak Island, in the Gulf of Alaska. Thankfully there are no reported fatalities this time.

EXTRACTS

TRUSTING SHELL TO DRILL IN THE ARCTIC OCEAN

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL SENIOR MANAGEMENT HAS HAD ADVANCE SIGHT OF THIS EMAIL AND THEREFORE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK AN INJUNCTION IF ANYTHING STATED IS UNTRUE

This issue transcends all geographical (and constituency) boundaries.

In September 2011, The Independent published an article under the headline: “Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause ‘uncontrollable’ natural disaster.  One of the world’s leading polar scientists has warned: “If there is serious oil spill under ice in the Arctic it will be very hard, if not impossible to stop it becoming an environmental catastrophe…”

What should be given the greatest weight in deciding if Shell can be trusted to drill in the Arctic Ocean – Shell’s promises about being able to react quickly and effectively to any incident/disaster arising from its pioneer Arctic drilling commencing in July, or its horrendous track record of environmental pollution on an epic scale and deceiving host governments?

Shell won the rights to drilling rights in the USA after spending millions of dollars lobbying the Federal government.

SHELL’S NOTORIOUS “TOUCH F*** ALL” APPROACH TO SAFETY ISSUES ON NORTH SEA PLATFORMS

In 1999, Bill Campbell, a senior Shell official, led a safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform. His team discovered to their horror, a “Touch F*** All” safety culture was in place. Worse still, safety records were routinely falsified and repairs bodged. Shell management failed to honour pledges about taking remedial action and in 2003 an explosion took place on Brent Bravo in which platform workers lost their lives. Shell received a recording breaking fine for an avoidable accident. After Mr Campbell retired as Group HSE Auditor, he mounted a campaign for improved safety for offshore workers and in July 2007, sent this letter to every MP. Amazingly, despite his continuing campaign and Shell’s pledges, its North Sea safety record has got worse, not better. In 2008, even the lifeboats on Shell platforms were found to be unseaworthy.

SHELL’S DISREPUTABLE CONDUCT IN THE USA

Bearing in mind Shell’s involvement in major scandals involving U.S. oversight authorities, I am surprised that the U.S. government has been prepared to place its faith in Shell.

EXTRACTS END

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