COMMENT RECEIVED FROM A SHELL SENIOR MANAGEMENT RETIREE
Just read that Shell broke some air quality rules from the EPA. There must be a whole team coordinating all the replies to the press and authorities and making sure they all say the same thing. I can only say: what a f****** mess they have got themselves in. The mess there in Alaska is worse than one can imagine and in my view a direct result of incompetence and penny pinching.
Experts claiming reputational damage many times greater than other damage…
This is what happens if you remove skills and replace those with processes and boxes that must get ticked off. Brinded was a great believer in process, he thought that the rest were too stupid to think for themselves.
Related article by Loren Steffy published Jan 11 by The Houston Chronicle
For years, Shell Oil Co. claimed that a byzantine regulatory process was impeding its progress in the Arctic. Now, if it gets frozen out of the region, it has no one to blame but itself.
The company had a lot riding on the tow ropes pulling its conical drilling rig across the stormy seas near the Alaskan coast on New Year’s Eve. Shell itself had seven years and almost $5 billion invested in the project, and as the first company allowed to drill in Arctic waters, it carried the burden of not botching the effort for other companies also awaiting permits.
Then, the line snapped, engines on the tugs pulling the rig failed and the 266-foot rig hit the rocks, dashing along with it public confidence that Arctic drilling can be done safely. The Kulluk grounding handed environmentalists, who have long opposed Arctic drilling, new ammunition in efforts to halt the project. The potential dangers, they argue, will be far greater when oil production begins.
What Shell doesn’t seem to fully appreciate is that to the public, it’s irrelevant whether Shell’s problems involve actual drilling or the maritime operations that support it.
It raises the question: If the company can’t handle basic support operations, how can it handle the technological complexities of actually drilling in such an environment? If it can’t find dependable maritime tow trucks, how can it manage the moon-shot-caliber expertise needed to produce oil safely?