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In the new Shell to lie is acceptable unless your found out

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Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 23.30.59The crisis in my book, and we are far from the endpoint in this, is that RDS officials lied in that the decision to move Kulluk was not related to tax avoidance when it was.  Perhaps that is why the RDS CEO has taken a closer interest in his family and the sustainability of his future.

ARTICLE BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

In the new Shell, that which developed in the days of post transformation, group dancing in that nice hotel near the Het Loo Palace, with the dear leader Watts arriving from space etc around the same time, who can forget those heady days.  Is that when to lie and deceive became the norm in the head sheds of The Hague. Is that when the growth of VP’s started, not the Joe Biden variety, the Shell model, we currently appear to have more VP’s than indian meals sold in Bradford on a Friday night.

You can be sure as eggs are eggs that if the ever petulant Walters e-mails had not landed up on some journalists desk the whole reserves thing would have been washed over, it would have kept Keith Ruddock and his army of Lawyers busy for a while but it would have been an non-issue. I often wondered whether it was Walter himself who gave those e-mails light of day frustrated again and again to get anything done.  Walter if he had a fault, could not manage his manager, a skill that is needed if you want to get to the top of the pile.

Then you have Van der Veer, despite Chris Finlayson accepting that in 1999 ESD valves had their performance records falsified, and this being the case also that Greg Hill agreed in his discussions in 2006 with the BBC, and another 50 pages of confidential documents verifying this, with many witnesses on list given in 2008 to the police, we have Van der Veer telling the press, and yours truly in July 2006 that this was not true.  In the art of telling porky pies Van der Veer is a repeat offender.

Anyway, to Alaska.  I totally agree with London Lad, who comments on your webpages that it was reasonable to avoid tax costs by releasing Kulluk when they did but unfortunately this economic decision did not appear to take account of the consequential risks.  So says the US government and this is the position agreed upon by Shell.  Commander Odum was lucky, that in the vast geographical area of operations in Alaska the 7th Cavalry in the form of the US Coastguard were in relative terms just around the corner in Kodiak and with hundreds of souls involved saved the day without loss of life.

So that emergency was over.  But emergencies can escalate into a crisis if wrong decisions are taken.  The crisis in my book, and we are far from the endpoint in this, is that RDS officials lied in that the decision to move Kulluk was not related to tax avoidance when it was.  Perhaps that is why the RDS CEO has taken a closer interest in his family and the sustainability of his future.

So the bottom line is lie, deceive do what you can, but don’t get caught with your fingers in the cookie jar. So when RDS says it didn’t price fix fuel costs in some sort of secret coffee shop arrangement with BP et al, does anyone out there believe this or are we just waiting on the next fall guy appearing under oath before a parliamentary select committee, as John Donovan says, you couldn’t make it up.

Bill

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