David Lawrence PR spin about Shell Exploration projects, including its Arctic Plans. Before he was fired after Shell’s plans fell apart.
AMENDED 11.22 GMT: The question mark can be removed. We have confirmation that David Lawrence has been fired.
By John Donovan
We have received a report from a normally reliable insider source that David Lawrence (right), Executive Vice President Exploration for Royal Dutch Shell has been fired. Mr Lawrence has been closely involved in Shell’s Arctic debacle and may have been chosen as the fall guy. If confirmed, more information on the circumstances of his departure will follow when we receive it.
David Lawrence no doubt now regrets his memorable but foolhardy comment reported on 9 March 2012 that Drilling in the Alaskan Arctic “is relatively easy”
Drilling in the Alaskan Arctic “is relatively easy” because it’s done in relatively shallow waters and under relative low pressure and Shell already knows a lot about the region’s geology, Lawrence said. “We have a resource that is able of transforming the energy picture in the Americas.”
It would be ironic if Mr. Lawrence has ended up in the role of a sacrificial lamb.
As I have already pointed out, Royal Dutch Shell COE Peter Voser also made overconfident ill-informed comments about Shell’s Arctic campaign, which came spectacularly unstuck. In my view, and I say this as a long-term Shell shareholder, this arrogant, overpaid, corner-cutting bean-counter should take ultimate responsibility for the “screw-up,” which has done incalculable damage to Shell’s reputation, and walk the plank himself. Shell needs an oilman as its leader, not another cost-cutting accountant.
And we should not forget Marvin Odum, another Shell executive in the firing line.
As a result of information received from a whistleblower, I sent an email yesterday evening to the Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell, Mr. Michiel Brandjes, on a matter also related to Shell’s Arctic debacle – the PR disaster, which may have already dealt a death blow to its Arctic ambitions.
Mr. Lawrence was appointed to his most recent position at Shell in March 2006. From June 2004 to March 2006 Mr. Lawrence was Executive Vice President Group Investor Relations and from 2002 to June 2004, Vice President Corporate Strategy for Shell, responsible for Group strategy, planning, portfolio and competitive intelligence. Prior to this, he was Vice President Exploration and Development for Shell Exploration and Production Company in the US. In his career with Shell, he has held a variety of leadership positions in Exploration and Production with responsibilities for exploration, development, production, commercial and research activities. David began his career with Shell in Houston in 1984 in the Global Geology research section.