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Posts from ‘June, 2013’

Royal Dutch Shell members of the secretive Bilderberg Group

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Royal Dutch Shell Plc board members Peter Voser, Simon Henry and Jorma Ollila, all members of the sinister Bilderberg Group and participants in the controversial 2013 Bilderberg Conference. How is their membership is such a secretive organisation compatible with Shell’s claimed core business principles of openness and transparency? (Comment by John Donovan)

Famous for being shrouded in secrecy, the Bilderberg conference took place in Britain for the first time since 1998 and conspiracy theorists believe this is where leaders plot world domination.

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The huge police operation drafted in to monitor the four-day event in Watford, which has previously attracted mass demonstrations, could cost the British taxpayer as much as £2million or more, it has been claimed. Since its inception in 1954, Bilderberg  has held annual gatherings of 120-150 invited political leaders and experts from industry, finance, academia and the media, designed to ‘foster dialogue between Europe and North America’. The group describes the conference as ‘a forum for informal, off-the-record discussions about megatrends and the major issues facing the world’ and states that the private nature of the meeting allows participants to ‘listen, reflect and gather insights’ without being bound by the conventions of office or by pre-agreed public positions.There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.

Several cars with blacked-out windows entered the gates of the Grove Hotel, near Watford, in Hertfordshire, were seen arriving the secretive meeting. Some were heckled by crowds of protestors outside.

BILDERBERG CONFERENCE 2013: FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Chairman: Henri de Castries, Chairman and CEO, AXA Group

Paul M. Achleitner, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG

Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Board, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd

Marcus Agius, Former Chairman, Barclays plc

Helen Alexander, Chairman, UBM plc

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Oil theft in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 07.44.57Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region is losing its battle against organised oil theft. According to the managing director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mutiu Sunmonu, oil theft by local groups currently results in a total of $6bn per year in lost revenue to the corporate giant. The “blood oil” industry, a term coined by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, is reportedly run by armed groups as well as activists calling for a fairer distribution of the country’s enormous oil profits. The majority of Nigeria’s 160 million citizens live in poverty – despite being residents of Africa’s biggest oil producer.

Last Modified: 28 Jun 2013

The illicit trade is blooming in Nigeria, where regulations are few.

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An illegal refinery worker, John Sowawi, pumps water into the distilling equipment that is used to refine the stolen crude oil. Tife Owolabi/Transterra Media

Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region is losing its battle against organised oil theft. According to the managing director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mutiu Sunmonu, oil theft by local groups currently results in a total of $6bn per year in lost revenue to the corporate giant. Other major oil companies have also said they were losing a huge amount of money due to oil theft, and are paying huge amounts for security.

The “blood oil” industry, a term coined by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, is reportedly run by armed groups as well as activists calling for a fairer distribution of the country’s enormous oil profits. The majority of Nigeria’s 160 million citizens live in poverty – despite being residents of Africa’s biggest oil producer.

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Extra gardai on duty at Shell pipeline after €150,000 damage to machinery

Extra gardai are on duty in Co Mayo this weekend after violence broke out at a protest against the Shell gas pipeline last Sunday when a security guard had his arm badly injured and €150,000 worth of damage was done to machinery, writes Jim Cusack.

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Shell mulls more efficient, but still costly GTL mega-project on US Gulf

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London (Platts)–28Jun2013/902 am EDT/1302 GMT

Shell’s hopes for a new gas-to-liquids mega project on the US Gulf Coast would benefit from much-improved process efficiencies, but any resulting cost savings could be limited by the need to build most of the plant outside the US, Shell officials said this week.

Shell has improved its proprietary GTL technology to the point where it can achieve 50% gains in throughput volumes compared to its giant Pearl GTL plant in Qatar which came on stream in 2011, according to one of Shell’s top GTL scientists.

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Oil work to go on in Alaska’s Arctic waters, without drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 28 | Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:23pm EDT

(Reuters) – No one will drill in Arctic waters off Alaska this year, but there is still plenty of offshore work for the oil industry to do when conditions finally allow it next month.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which canceled its 2013 Arctic offshore drill season after numerous troubles there last year, plans to send ships to study sites around oil prospects in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, according to permit applications.

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House advances plan to unleash drilling on US-Mexico maritime border

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The House of Representatives advanced two items on the oil industry’s wish list Thursday, by passing legislation that would unleash drilling in the Western Gap area of the Gulf of Mexico and waive new financial reporting requirements on companies’ foreign dealmaking.

The legislation passed 256-171 would implement a one-year-old agreement between the United States and Mexico that sets the framework for oil and gas development along the two countries’ maritime boundary. Although Mexico ratified the deal in April 2012, Congress has not acted on it — despite oil companies’ zeal to develop the region.

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Robert Writt vs. Shell Oil Co

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The litigation relates to a corruption case in which Shell was ordered to pay $48 million (£29.4m) in civil and criminal fines after its contractor (Panalpina Inc.) bribed Nigerian customs officials. It appears that Shell decided to try to make Robert Writt the fall guy for Shell’s involvement in the massive corruption scheme (targeting officials of a host country) by turning Writt in to the US federal authorities, in the belief that Shell was safe from legal retribution by him. The Appeals Court has decided otherwise.

By John Donovan

A Texas Appeals Court has reinstated a defamation action brought by a former Shell project manager, Robert Writt, against Shell Oil Co.

Shell had managed to have the case blocked on a legal technicality, but the Court of Appeals of the first District of Texas overturned the decision.

The case is:

NO.01-11-00201-CV ROBERT WRITT, Appellant

V.

SHELL OIL COMPANY AND SHELL INTERNATIONAL, E&P, INC., Appellees

I have provided access to a bundle of court documents running to 143 pages, which includes a judgement and opinion rendered on 25 June 2013.

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Shell Fights to Keep Oil Futures Probe Documents Secret

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 14.40.38Shell lawyers are panicking about the prospect of being compelled to hand over secret information to a US court hearing a case about alleged manipulation of the crude oil futures market. Shell mentions the protection of trade secrets. In my experience, that is probably trade secrets Shell has stolen from someone else, inevitably a smaller company, or an individual who made the mistake of trusting Shell and its sham business principles. 

By John Donovan

A Shell insider source has brought to my attention certain current litigation in the USA in which Shell Oil Company has involvement as one of a number of third parties.

Shell lawyers are panicking about the prospect of being compelled to hand over secret information to a US court hearing a case about alleged manipulation of the crude oil futures market.

For obvious reasons, the timing is rather unfortunate for Shell.

The case is:

U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION, Plaintiff,

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New Mayo art degree part-funded by Shell causes controversy

€30,000 of €200,000 course funding to come from Corrib Gas Community Gain Investment Fund

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Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

An innovative new art degree, to be part-funded by Shell, is causing controversy among staff at two third-level colleges. The proposed new visual art degree in Erris, Co Mayo, is being offered by the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Mayo County Council, which administers the €8.5 million Corrib Gas Community Gain Investment Fund.

A DIT staff member has said that €30,000 of the €200,000 course funding – the bulk of which is from DIT – will come from the Corrib fund. This fund, which is to benefit the people of Erris, is being rolled out over five years by the council as an An Bord Pleanála condition for planning permission for the last phase of the Corrib gas pipeline. Its administration has nothing to do with Shell.

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Amnesty calls for wider investigation into Shell’s Nigeria operation after arrest of contractors

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 15.42.20Eight Shell contractors were arrested by Nigerian security services in connection with the fire that broke out last week (19 June), following an oil spill at a section of the pipeline near Bodo that was being repaired by Shell contractors.

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Posted: 26 June 2013

A major fire that forced Shell to close its Trans Niger Pipeline in southern Nigeria raises serious questions about the way the oil giant is operating, Amnesty International and the Nigerian National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills (NACGOND) said.

The organisations called for an independent inquiry into the events that led to the fire at Bodo in Rivers State – an area already devastated by years of oil pollution.

Eight Shell contractors were arrested by Nigerian security services in connection with the fire that broke out last week (19 June), following an oil spill at a section of the pipeline near Bodo that was being repaired by Shell contractors.

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Big Oil’s Big Lies About Alternative Energy

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By Antonia Juhasz: June 25, 2013 11:30 AM ET

EXTRACTS

How about Shell ­– the world’s largest corporation, according to Fortune? In 2010, the company launched an ad campaign called “Let’s Go,” hyping its efforts to “broaden the world’s energy mix.” The ads are still running today. But the numbers tell a different story. Shell reports spending about $400 million a year on alternatives, out of the $23 billion it spent on all expenditures in 2012. At its peak in 2007, Shell was spending just 2.5 percent of its total capital expenditures on alternatives. Today it’s down to 1.5 percent.

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Appeals Court Revives Defamation Suit Against Shell

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By Jeremy Heallen

Law360, Houston (June 25, 2013, 3:21 PM ET) — A Texas appeals court Tuesday revived a defamation suit against Shell Oil Co., ruling that the oil and gas giant could potentially be held liable for allegedly telling federal authorities that a former employee signed off on bribes to foreign officials.

The First District Court of Appeals rejected a trial court’s decision that Shell was immune from the suit under an “absolute privilege” that extended to statements made in the context of judicial proceedings because at the time the company told the U.S. Dept. of Justice…

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