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Kulluk grounding has already cost Shell $90 million

Royal Dutch Shell is a company with sham business principles and no scruples. It plotted to exploit the 9/11 attack for commercial purposes, adopted a Touch F*** All approach to the safety of offshore operations costing the lives of Shell offshore workers, and even defrauded its own investors. Is the U.S. government really going to allow this thoroughly discredited blundering company to continue with its jinxed Arctic folly?

By John Donovan

Shell has revealed that the grounding of the Kulluk in Alaskan waters has already cost the company $90 million for salvage and other costs. This does not include any repairs. There is no mention of making any insurance claim, because Shell was apparently unable to obtain contingency cover. Lloyds underwriters correctly decided the venture was too risky to the extent that it was impossible to quantify the potential financial consequences of a disaster that could bankrupt even a company as big as Royal Dutch Shell Plc. So Shell has been recklessly maneuvering its fleet, including a converted antiquated rust bucket, in stormy unpredictable Alaskan/Arctic waters without insurance, other than questionable self-insurance for a potential liability that it might not be able to cover. The ill fated voyage of the Kulluk, which ended on the rocks, was prompted, as Shell has admitted, by a tax dodging motive.

And the scandal-tainted Shell CEO Peter Voser responsible for what has aptly been described as a f****** mess had the cheek to pour scorn on BP. The news media have already reported on the consequential damage to Vosers reputation. As to his sidekick and according to the FT, heir to the throne, Simon Henry, there is more to come shortly about his starring role in the reserves scandal.

The fact that Shell’s leadership is hopelessly incompetent comes as no surprise to us. No competent board with an ounce of commercial commonsense would allow this website to continue in existence, bearing in mind the damage it has done to Shell over the years by providing an outlet for Shell insider leaks i.e. the Sakhalin 2 debacle. Shell has an army of lawyers to stop any website publishing anything other than the truth about the company.

Our visitors may be interested to know that this website is still under covert attack on a 24 hour basis by a sinister unknown party, who apparently strongly objects to our existence. Must have been something we said? Clearly the party with deep pockets responsible for what is going on does not want to face us openly. Most recent implied threat from the relevant party was received today.

“Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any porblems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?”

Royal Dutch Shell is a company with sham business principles and no scruples. It plotted to exploit the 9/11 attack for commercial purposes, adopted a Touch F*** All approach to the safety of offshore operations costing the lives of Shell offshore workers, and even defrauded its own investors. Is the U.S. government really going to allow this thoroughly discredited blundering company to continue with its jinxed Arctic folly? And I have not mentioned its horrendous track record in Nigeria, including the embedding of spies throughout the host government.

Shell has my address for the service of any defamation writ, though on past performance, it prefers to operate behind the scenes using sleazy tactics, including undercover activity. Proof available on request.

RELATED ARTICLE

Tom Bawden: Thursday 31 January 2013

Shell has Britain’s nascent shale gas industry in its sights after its chief executive, Peter Voser, declared plans to be a “leading player” in the fast-growing global fracking business.

Fresh from signing a £6bn shale gas deal with the Ukraine at Davos last week, Mr Voser said he was looking at a number of fracking opportunities across Europe, including the UK and Germany. Shell disclosed its interest in UK fracking after revealing a disappointing 6 per cent slump in profits to $27bn (£17bn) for 2012, as its US oil and gas business was hit by rising costs and falling prices. The shares fell nearly 3 per cent to 2,294p.

The company also revealed a $90m hit from the grounding of its Arctic drilling rig, the Kulluk, near the Alaskan coast on New Year’s Eve, after it ran into a storm on the way to Seattle for routine maintenance. It said the Kulluk was not yet repaired, and it was “too early” to say whether its Arctic setbacks would be resolved in time for the drilling season, which runs from July to October. However, Mr Voser pledged his allegiance to the Arctic despite a series of setbacks over the years in the region, where Shell has invested $5bn but has yet to discover commercial quantities of oil.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is used to release oil and shale gas from rocks by blasting sand, chemicals and water into them. The practice is controversial because it has been linked to earthquakes and water pollution, but it has also enabled an energy revolution in the US, where new techniques have unleashed a wave of rock-based oil and gas. Shell already has significant fracking operations in the US and has secured contracts to produce shale gas in China.

The practice was temporarily banned in the UK after the country’s first exploratory shale gas drilling site, near Blackpool, was linked to earth tremors. However, it was given the green light in December after an investigation concluded it should proceed under close supervision.

Mr Voser said he was “very excited” about the opportunities for fracking, but cautioned that there was no certainty of a deal being done in the UK, where he saw no prospect of any significant shale gas production for at least 10 years.

In comments echoing recent statements from British Gas owner Centrica and BP, Mr Voser said: “Given the population density, we see less development in European shale [than the US] and that also applies to the UK. I don’t see the impact of shale as a major driver over the next 10 years although it might be after that.”

Whether the UK could develop a successful shale gas industry depends primarily on whether it has the right geology, as well as the right regulation and tax structures, Mr Voser added.

He played down, without denying outright, reports that Shell is considering buying a stake in Cuadrilla, a company chaired by the former BP chief executive Lord Browne that caused the tremors near Blackpool and is leading the fracking charge in the UK.

“We are on the high level so don’t link us to anything which is ongoing at this stage. That would be too early,” he said.

The $90m Kulluk charge, to be spread over the fourth quarter of 2012 and the current quarter, covers salvage and other costs but no repair work, meaning that the eventual cost to Shell could be considerably higher.

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