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Voser wisely abandons an unstable ship

I have bad news for Shell. A whistleblower who has major safety concerns with the Prelude flagship vessel destined for Australia, has supplied me with potentially explosive information. I am in possession of a considerable amount of internal information and photographic material. The person in question has been intimately involved in the project at a high level and is deeply concerned that warnings issued to Shell (and other parties) have been ignored and financial considerations are taking priority over safety issues. The whistleblower is very concerned about mismanagement and the alleged use of totally unqualified personnel.   

By John Donovan

Peter Voser could not wait to ease Jeroen van der Veer out of the top job at Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

He was full of enthusiasm and itching to implement his plans, which included making hundreds of Shell executives reapply for their own jobs.

Mr. Voser now has only days left as Chief Executive, with Ben van Beurden about to receive what he may view as a poisoned chalice.

Voser’s sudden decision to jump ship for a “lifestyle change”, announced several months ago, took many by surprise.

There has been some speculation that he was pushed.

In any event, the announcement added to the growing queasiness about Shell’s situation and prospects.

Close to calamity in ill-fated Arctic drilling farce

Shell came close to calamity in its ill-fated Arctic drilling farce. Under Voser’s captaincy, Shell gambled billions of dollars without producing anything other than an oil spill when one of its antiquated vessels – the Discoverer – run aground and a further PR disaster when the Kulluk later hit the rocks. Both vessels should have been sent to the breakers yard, not the Arctic ocean.

The Alaskan shambles that could have sunk Royal Dutch Shell came after Peter Voser, in October 2010, launched a blistering attack on BP in relation to the Gulf of Mexico disaster, claiming Shell would have included more safeguards.

Two years after Voser’s “blistering attack,” Shell’s safeguards for its Arctic drilling were found to be hopelessly flawed and I broke the news on this website, based on insider information, that David Lawrence of Alaska had been forced to resign.

Shell and BP bosses met secretly to fix oil prices?

More recently, Shell (and BP’s) offices were raided by EU authorities investigating crude-oil price fixing claims. On May 17, 2013, the U.K. Serious Fraud Office announced that it was “urgently reviewing” the EC’s allegations of price-fixing in the oil markets and determining whether to accept the case for “criminal investigation.” A month later the US Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into how prices of crude oil and petroleum products are set. Numerous class action lawsuits have been launched against Shell. It is alleged that Shell and BP bosses met secretly to fix oil prices. Shell directors face up to 5 years in jail if guilty of price-fixing.

Fall out from Groningen earthquakes: Over 11,500 damage reports

A Dutch public service TV channel, NCRV, has recently broadcast a documentary about natural gas drilling in Northwest Groningen by NAM, a joint venture company owned by Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. The drilling is causing increasingly violent earthquakes and causing subsidence. It is impossible to quantify potential compensation as remedial work to thousands of homes, and increasing the height of the dikes which protect Holland from flooding will be enormously costly – perhaps comparable to the previously mentioned disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that drove BP to the financial brink.

Shell’s Over-promise and Under-delivery

Wood McKenzie recently published an illuminating report on Royal Dutch Shell highlighting a continuing story of “over-promise and Under-delivery.  It cites missed targets, capital indiscipline and an exploration strategy that has lost direction. It says Shell ranks a long way behind its peers in unconventional oil, has a weak North American unconventional gas portfolio and accuses Shell of struggling to capture investors imagination.

Shell has ditched plans for a Louisiana Super Plant

Shell’s recent sudden decision to shelve plans for a $12.5 billion natural gas-to-diesel conversion plant in Louisiana, citing high costs that inflated project costs to around $20 billion, has also had an unsettling affect.

Corrib Corruption Scandal

We also had Voser’s thus far unsuccessful intervention, attempting to keep the lid on the Corrib Gas corruption scandal arising from the subversive actions of Shell E&P Ireland.

Prelude FLNG project

Shell has been trying to capture investors imagination with the launch of the Prelude, the so-called biggest ship in the world.

One of our outspoken contributors has commented:

Shell’s Prelude LNG ‘ship’ is not really a ship, per se, because it has no means of self propulsion. It will be towed to location and anchored, supposedly for the life of the gas field exploitation project. This vessel is nothing more than a giant production and processing barge masquerading as a ship.”

I have bad news for Shell. A whistleblower who has major safety concerns with the Prelude flagship vessel destined for Australia, has supplied me with potentially explosive information. I am in possession of a considerable amount of internal information and photographic material. The person in question has been intimately involved in the project at a high level and is deeply concerned that warnings issued to Shell (and other parties) have been ignored and financial considerations are taking priority over safety issues. The whistleblower is very concerned about mismanagement and the alleged use of totally unqualified personnel.

Bearing all of the above in mind, is it any wonder that Peter Voser decided to jump ship?

Esther Kiobel -v- Royal Dutch Shell

The one item of good news for Shell was a decision by the US Supreme Court effectively blocking lawsuits against foreign multinationals for human rights abuse that have occurred overseas from being brought in U.S. courts.  As Shell is now aware, notice has just been served on them by Dutch lawyers acting for Esther Kiobel (right) whose husband Barinem Kiobel was executed by a corrupt Nigerian regime with the alleged backing of Shell. I provided the introduction to the Dutch law firm and have been advising Esther Kiobel on the matter.

1 Comment on “Voser wisely abandons an unstable ship”

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    on Dec 29th, 2013 at 01:23

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