Based on insider information, we beat Shell to the punch by announcing a day before Shell, that David Lawrence had left the company. We said that he had been fired after Shell’s Arctic plans fell apart.
When Shell was put under pressure to comment, the company claimed Lawrence was leaving by mutual consent. A fuelfix article published by The Houston Chronicle said in reference to this website “skeptics have fostered a different view:”
It wasn’t a case of being skeptical. We knew for certain that Shell was not being candid. Shell Oil Company president Marvin Odum apparently hoped we would all swallow the “mutual consent” hogwash.
Shell knew it would amount to a tacit admission of failure if the executive directly in control of Shell’s shambolic Arctic campaign was so grossly incompetent that he ended up being sacked. Much better to deceive the U.S. authorities.
Perhaps before the U.S. Dept of the Interior considers any further Arctic proposals made by Shell, Ken Salazar will demand to see the entire correspondence and legal agreement, including the gagging conditions, relating to the sudden departure of David Lawrence? Such inspection will likely provide proof that once again, Shell has not been candid with the U.S. regulatory authorities.
In any event, the accuracy of our report has now been confirmed by multiple sources.
Furthermore, it is evidence from the headline of an article published by Forbes yesterday (26 March) that our explanation is the one accepted as being correct.
Christopher Helman, the author of the article, also latched on to the “disingenuous“ statement made by Shell Oil Company President Marvin Odum, when Odum described the Kulluk shipwreck as “a marine transport issue“ in an internal magazine not meant for public consumption. This pathetic attempt at spin directed at Shell’s own employees was first brought to public attention by “Texvette,” a regular contributor to our Shell Blog.
When I asked an offshore exploration expert, Bill Campbell, to compare a leaked 2008 Shell Pre-Start Up Audit for Shell’s Arctic Campaign with the recent DOI Report, he immediately zeroed in, like a laser, on the “marine transport issue” assertion made by Odum. We in turn gave it the further exposure it deserved.
This was then picked up by Christopher Helman, who no doubt chose his words carefully, when he described Odums comments as “stretching the truth” and the particular assertion, as “disingenuous”.
(Selection of relevant synonyms: artful, crooked, cunning, deceitful, dishonest, duplicitous, false, feigned, guileful, insidious, mendacious, oblique, shifty, sly, tricky, two-faced, uncandid, underhanded, wily)
Helman put Marvin Odum directly in the firing line by asking: “…should the buck stop higher up the pecking order, perhaps with Marvin Odum, president of the entire Americas division, and the man ultimately responsible not just for the Alaska fiasco, but for its lackluster performance overall?”
We agree. Odum is self-evidently another Shell snake oil salesman from the same mould as his former boss, Sir Philip Watts, the reserves fraudster, who has now attempted to atone for his sins by becoming a priest. And we have not even mentioned, until now, Odum’s direct predecessor, the HR/PR windbag John Hofmeister.
Lets hope for his sake that Lawrence of Alaska has negotiated a huge sum to buy his silence, because Shell’s Arctic debacle probably marks the end of his long career in the oil business.