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Posts from ‘March, 2014’

Archbishop Tutu calls for independent inquiry into policing of Corrib gas project

South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and former United Nations assistant secretary general Denis Halliday have called for an “urgent and comprehensive” independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib gas project.

The Garda Ombudsman investigation of police corruption allegations by Shell's "Mr Fixit" contractor OSSL is still in progress.

The Garda Ombudsman investigation of police corruption allegations by Shell’s “Mr Fixit” contractor OSSL is still in progress.

Article by Lorna Siggins published 29 March 2014 by The Irish Times

South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and former United Nations assistant secretary general Denis Halliday have called for an “urgent and comprehensive” independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib gas project.

They are among a group of signatories supporting the call by peace and justice group Afri, while the Front Line Defenders human rights organisation also said policing of the Corrib gas dispute should be included in “any Government inquiry” into Garda accountability.

“Front Line Defenders believes that any inquiry should have broad terms of reference that should include reviewing the policing of the Corrib gas dispute,” its deputy director Andrew Anderson said.

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Concern as Brunei brings in Islamic law with punishments including dismemberment of limbs and stoning to death

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 13.14.58Extracts from an article by Andrew Buncombe published 29 March 2014 by The Independent under the headline: Concern as Brunei brings in system of Islamic law with punishments that include the dismemberment of limbs and stoning to death

The Sultan of Brunei, one of the world’s wealthiest rulers and a close ally of Britain, will this week oversee his country’s transition to a system of Islamic law with punishments that include flogging, the dismemberment of limbs and stoning to death. The speech by the Sultan – who for many years was involved in a high-profile legal battle with his brother, a playboy accused of misappropriating £9bn of government assets and who reportedly owned a yacht called Tits – has had the impact of silencing many who might publicly speak out against the move. Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch multinational, also runs a major operation there as a joint venture with the Brunei government.

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Visitors to RoyalDutchShellplc.com please note

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 14.07.24By John Donovan

The server for this website is being transferred back to the USA.

The work will be undertaken from Sunday 30 March and should be completed no later than 1 April.

There should not be any interruption to website access, but we will not be able to add new articles or Shell Blog postings until the move is completed.

The objective is hardened security against hostile activity, including denial of service attacks and to operate from a more stable platform, with consistently fast access and near 100% up time.

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Nigeria arrests two Britons over ‘oil theft plot’

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an Associated Press article published 29 March 2014 by gulfnews.com

Port Harcourt: Two British nationals were among 14 people arrested on suspicion of attempted bribery in connection with an alleged plot to steal oil from a pipeline, Nigeria said on Friday. The head of the Joint Task Force (JTF) of military and police in the oil-producing Niger Delta region said the Britons allegedly tried to bribe a senior commander to facilitate the theft. JTF commander General Emmanuel Atewe said the two Britons were detained with 12 technicians they had hired to tap into a Shell pipeline in Warri, the capital of Delta state, and siphon crude onto waiting barges.

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Oil Theft in Nigeria Continues to Plague Shell

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Extract from an article by Arjun Sreekumar published on 28 March 2014 by The Motlet Fool under the headline: “Oil Theft in Nigeria Continues to Plague This Company”

Though one could argue that Shell, which has been operating in Nigeria for decades, should have sold its sabotage-prone Niger Delta assets long ago, at least the company is finally taking the necessary steps to address the situation. Its decision is shaped by Shell’s new “fix or divest” strategy, which seeks to either improve or unload underperforming businesses. The move should pan out to be a good one. Not only will it reduce the company’s exposure to continuing security concerns in Nigeria, it will generate much-needed cash to meet its $15 billion divestment target.

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Nigeria’s Taleveras, Aiteo bid $2.85 bln for Shell block – sources

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Extracts from a Reuters article by Tim Cocks and Ron Bousso published Friday 28 March 2014

ABUJA/LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) – Nigerian firms Taleveras and Aiteo have made the highest bid of $2.85 billion for the biggest of four Shell assets up for sale, but the oil major is holding out while it tries to persuade them to team up with Seplat, an existing operator.

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Tales of the Unexpected and Royal Dutch Shell Prelude FLNG

Tales of the Unexpected – 2nd in a series of articles by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, about safety issues relating to the Shell Prelude FLNG project

A Prelude to disaster?

Introduction by John Donovan

On 28 December I broke the news that a whistleblower had supplied me with photographic evidence to support their concerns over the safety of the construction of Shell’s Prelude FLNG flagship vessel.  The Prelude insider source alleges that packages are being installed on the vessel by totally unqualified personnel and accuses management of a failure to understand standards and regulations and claims the construction work would never pass UK standards. The source has been intimately involved in the project and is genuinely concerned that warnings issued to Shell management (and other parties) have been ignored and financial considerations are taking priority over safety issues. His warnings prompted a regular contributor, Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International to author articles on the subject that take into account his decades long experience and expertise. This is the second in an intended series.

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In 2 to 3 years gazillionaires will be coming out of Africa

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Extract from an article by Nicholas Norbrook published 27 March 2014 by THE AFRICA REPORT

Kola Karim, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Shoreline Energy International spoke to The Africa Report.

Q: Shell and Chevron are getting out of onshore operations. How big is this and where is it leading?

A: These guys are just restructuring. Let me tell you something, they’re just ripping people off as well, but the reality is it’s an opportunity. There’s a great opportunity for people like us to build humongous companies in a short time. You will never find these opportunities again. It happened in Russia. Mark my words, in two to three years you’ll see gazillionaires coming out of a place called Africa from the world of business. I’ll give you a typical example so you can follow this analogy well. Shell has about 36 onshore licences in Nigeria. Now, if you look at the history of the Niger Delta problems, these guys had to shrink their operations or stop working in a lot of places because of these problems, then 12 years ago they went deep offshore. Shell was producing about 1m barrels a day [bpd] from all these onshore/shallow water licences. Then they went deep offshore, and in one field called Bonga they knocked 250,000 barrels a day! So someone in The Hague is thinking ‘Hang on, why do I go through all this mess for 36 assets – some producing 3,000, 5,000, 15,000 [bpd] – if I can consolidate my position, go deep offshore where the guys from the Delta can’t reach me easily?’

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US now pumping 10 percent of the world’s crude

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 08.30.15Extracts from an article by Emily Pickrell published 26 March 2014 by fuelfix

HOUSTON — Boosted by the galloping pace of tight oil operations, the United States produced a tenth of the world’s oil at the end of last year, the Energy Information Administration reports. The shale boom has given the U.S. a production rate not seen since 1988, as tight oil replaced declining production in conventional fields. Almost two-thirds of U.S. tight oil comes from South Texas’ Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken shales.

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Crackdown on Russia Could Hurt Western Oil

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00Extracts from an article by with the headline: Crackdown on Russia Could Hurt Western Oil.

As the United States seeks to strengthen sanctions on Moscow for its occupation of Crimea, energy experts say the powerful Russian oil industry would make a robust target. But any penalties on energy investments, technology transfers and financial transactions would most likely also punish Western oil companies like Exxon Mobil that are investing heavily in Russia.

“Everything is on the table,” said David L. Goldwyn, the State Department’s coordinator for international energy affairs during President Obama’s first term. “The calculus has to be who will be hurt most, us or them, if sanctions are put in place.”

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MEND claims Responsibility for Attack on Shell, Agip Facilities

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Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 13.29.32Extract from an article by Segun James published 27 March 2014 by thisdaylive.com

The Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND) Thursday claimed responsibility for the attack on the oil facilities owned by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Delta and Bayelsa State.

FULL ARTICLE

Royal Dutch Shell Chairman Jorma Ollila failed to disclose ownership of Luxembourg company worth €8.2 million

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 12.56.28“It will be interesting to see what happens next. If Ollila (right) did not disclose his Luxembourg interests to the authorities, this was presumably because he did not declare them for tax purposes either. So when others within the companies that he leads commit breaches of inconvenient laws, they can presumably use the justification that they are only following the example of their chairman. Since Ollila does not have any oil industry specific skills to offer, the only reason for his role as chairman is to provide leadership and to set an example as a role model. As such, his conviction for breaking securities laws should be seen as gross or wilful negligence.  I presume that he will be resigning before the AGM.” It is almost exactly 10 years since another dishonest Royal Dutch Shell Chairman, Sir Phil Watts, resigned in disgrace.

By John Donovan

Jorma Ollila, the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has been fined by market regulators for failing to disclose his ownership and control of a company in Luxembourg worth 8.2 million euros. He has admitted breaking the law. He prefers to call it “neglecting the law.”

It is therefore interesting to reflect on his past comments about transparency and trust.

The following extracts are all taken from a speech he made as Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc on 1 November 2012.

Extract

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Jorma Ollila fined for concealing Luxembourg investments

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article published 26 March 2014 by

Jorma Ollila, who is now chairman of the board of both Royal Dutch Shell and steelmaker Outokumpu, has been fined 3,000 euros by Finland’s Financial Supervisory Authority (Fiva) for failing to make a timely disclosure that he owns an investment company called Kestrel SA. The company is based in Luxembourg and was worth 8.2 million euros at the end of 2012, reports the daily Helsingin Sanomat. The paper says he told Fiva that he “mistakenly” neglected to notify authorities of the firm…

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Finnish market watchdog sanctions Shell chairman Ollila

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 00.22.33HELSINKI, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:14pm EDT

(Reuters) – Finland’s financial watchdog said it has imposed a 3,000 euro fine against Jorma Ollila, the board chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc as well as Outokumpu Oyj for not declaring a company he controlled to a public insider register.

A spokeswoman for the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority said on Wednesday that Ollila had been given an administrative fine for not disclosing Kestrel SA, an investment company he owns, in time in the public insider register of steel firm Outokumpu.

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Reputational damage from Shell Brent Spar episode

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Extracts from an article by Dr Roger Barker published 26 March 2014 by realbusiness.co.uk under the headline: How to balance your director duties with stakeholder management

…the pursuit of “corporate wealth” should not be about generating a “fast buck” for shareholders but should also take into account the impact of a business’s activities on other relevant stakeholders. It promotes a sustainable business model that eschews short-termism, stock market pressures or short-term bonus cultures and seeks to make the board focus on longer-term goals. 

The consequences of ignoring these principles tend to catch up with companies after a while, both in terms of commercial and reputational impact. Witness the drubbing that Shell Oil received a few years ago when it decided to sink the Brent Spar oil platform in the North Sea – while this was later demonstrated to be the best way to dispose of the platform in terms of the environmental impact, Shell had failed to put enough energy into dialogue with potential critics before taking the decision, and their reputation suffered.

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Shell, CNPC to jointly seek shale gas in Sichuan Basin

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a China Daily article published 26 March 2014 by Ecns.cn

Energy conglomerate Royal Dutch Shell Plc is committing to a “substantial investment” in exploring for conventional and unconventional gas in China to quench the growing thirst for clean energy in the world’s second-largest economy. The company will continue its exploration of shale gas in the Sichuan Basin, where it landed the first contract with State-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corp, Huibert Vigeveno, executive chairman of Shell in China, said on Tuesday. Shell also is making inroads into downstream business segments. It opened a lubricant technical center in Shanghai on Tuesday, the biggest such hub in the Asia Pacific and an integral part of its global research and development network.

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‘Orphan’ oil wells warning for fracking

Plans to expand shale gas “fracking” in the UK must learn from leaks and poor monitoring at existing onshore oil and gas sites, scientists say.

A review of 2,152 wells drilled from 1902-2013 found up to 100 “orphaned” wells for which no firm is responsible.

fracking graphic

The use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to recover shale gas has raised fears of earthquakes and contamination of drinking water by chemicals pumped into wells. But scientists say there is another pollution risk – from structural failure of the well casing – and this risk is not particular to shale gas. It is common to all hydrocarbon drilling sites.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ALLEGED €2 MILLION BRIBERY SLUSH FUND

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I have today been in email correspondence with Johan Groenewald, Senior Investigating Officer of the Garda Ombudsman Commission. Mr. Groenewald is currently investigating police corruption allegations made by whisleblower OSSL against Shell EP Ireland. I have supplied Mr. Groenewald with emails sent to a third party major company alleged to have held a €2 million slush fund on behalf of Shell to fund sweetener payments to landowners and gifts/bribes given to Irish police officers.

By John Donovan

I have today been in email correspondence with Johan Groenewald, Senior Investigating Officer of the Garda Ombudsman Commission.

Mr. Groenewald is currently investigating police corruption allegations made by whisleblower OSSL against Shell EP Ireland.

I have supplied Mr. Groenewald with emails sent to a third party major company alleged to have held a €2 million slush fund on behalf of Shell to fund sweetener payments to landowners and gifts/bribes given to Irish police officers.

I put these allegations directly to the third party company in August 2013 and again on 21 March 2014.

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Peter Rees reappears but mystery remains over his exit from Shell

Peter Rees QC

Peter Rees QC

“Rees’ departure from Shell prompted much speculation in the City, given the company’s recent profit warnings, the on-going European Commission investigation into oil price-rigging and the arrival of new CEO Ben van Beurden.”Mr Rees has refused to comment on the circumstances of his unexpected and unexplained departure from Royal Dutch Shell during a financial crisis. 

By John Donovan

Peter Rees, until January Legal Director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and an executive director of the company, has resurfaced at London Chambers “Thirty Nine Essex Street” as a counsel and commercial arbitrator. A considerable fall in prestige. He led a 1,000 strong legal department at Shell.

The reason for his sudden department from Shell days before the company issued a profits warning that shook the markets was said to be known by only three people other than Rees- Peter Voser, the retiring CEO, Ben van Beurden, the incoming CEO, and HR boss, Hugh Mitchell.

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There are still some cards left to be played against Russia

Extract from a letter by Mr Lorne Stockman published on 24 March 2014 by the Financial Times

“While there is a lot of bluster about cutting off exports or the west looking for new supplies, a more credible threat could be sanctioning the relationships between international oil companies and Russian oil and gas companies.”

ENTIRE LETTER

Shell Oil Co blasted by City Officials and Law Firm

City officials and a law firm representing homeowners in the Carousel housing tract in Carson on Monday blasted Shell Oil Co.’s proposed plan to clean up petroleum-contaminated soil in the neighborhood. “It’s a joke,” said Tom Girardi, whose firm is suing Shell on behalf of hundreds of Carousel tract residents and the city. “We know positively without a doubt that all the benzene and oil products go down to 28 feet. “They’re disgusting. Despicable. There will be no settlement. We want a jury to look at this.”

Extracts from an article by Sandy Mazza published on 24 March 2014 by  DailyBreeze.com

City officials and a law firm representing homeowners in the Carousel housing tract in Carson on Monday blasted Shell Oil Co.’s proposed plan to clean up petroleum-contaminated soil in the neighborhood.

Shell has proposed cleaning the top three feet of soil across most of the 50-acre site over a two-year period, ignoring a directive from the county’s oversight agency — in its Regional Action Plan released March 10 — to clean the top 10 feet.

“It’s a joke,” said Tom Girardi, whose firm is suing Shell on behalf of hundreds of Carousel tract residents and the city. “We know positively without a doubt that all the benzene and oil products go down to 28 feet. I think they already took three feet off when they developed the property.

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Shell sees no major impact on higher US gas export to Europe

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Reuters article published 25 March 2014 by The Peninsula

Tension over the future of Ukraine is prompting the European Union and United States to look at deepening their economic ties. Europe is hoping to tap the abundant energy resources of its key ally to reduce dependence on Russia, which feeds a bulk of the region’s gas demand.  Liquefied natural gas (LNG) will in the meantime remain tight due to Japan’s post-Fukushima demand, until new supply comes onstream from Australia, Angola and Papua New Guinea, Maarten Wetselaar, executive vice president of Royal Dutch Shell’s integrated gas division, said in an interview.

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Shell Gas to Focus on Larger Projects as It Cuts Spending

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Extract from an article by Eric Yep published 25 March 2014 by The Wall Street Journal

SEOUL— Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s global gas division will focus on large ventures where it has more control while it is likely to continue trimming some holdings and unprofitable investments as part of a program of cost-cutting and asset sales, a senior gas executive with the company said. “We typically like projects that we have a bigger position in that we can influence more,” Maarten Wetselaar, executive vice president, Integrated Gas, said in an interview… The London-listed oil major issued its first profit warning in a decade in January…

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Shell undergoing massive sell off to fix its balance sheet

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00Extracts from an article poublished Monday 24 March 2014 by MarketWatch under the headline: Ghana’s Jubilee Points to Best Offshore Acreage in the World

LONDON / ACCESSWIRE / March 24, 2014 / The oil industry hasn’t started off 2014 with a bang. The oil majors – ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP – all posted disappointing fourth quarter numbers. Shell in particular is undergoing a massive sell off to fix its balance sheet. Why are these companies struggling, and why all the gloom in the oil sector? Higher costs are the major reason. The oil majors are not looking all that great in terms of an investment opportunity.

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BP and Shell peril on the Russian front

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 00.47.49“While BP is the biggest of Britain’s oil giants exposed to Russia, it is not alone. Royal Dutch Shell has a stake in the huge Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off the Psacific coast of Russia, and is also working with gas giant Gazprom to drill for oil in the Russian Arttic shelf. The ulimate fear is that Russia will repatriate western companies’ assets…”

By John Donovan

The Sunday Times published an article yesterday by John Collingridge under the headline: “BP’s peril on the Russian front”

The article is focused on BP and warns of the risk to its Russian investments arising from Putin’s annexation of Crimea – principally BP’s tie-up with Rosneft.

However, the article points out that Royal Dutch Shell also has grounds  for concern – in Shell’s case over its reduced stake in the Sakhalin 2 project and its joint plans with Gazprom oil exploration in the Russian Arctic shelf.

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Exxon’s ‘Bromance’ With The Kremlin

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16Extracts from a Forbes article by Christopher Helman published on 20 March 2014 under the headline:Will Exxon’s ‘Bromance’ With The Kremlin Help Keep Putin In Check?

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has a good relationship with Vladimir Putin. If you do a Google image search for the two men, you’ll see a dozen shots of them together, looking in each others’ eyes, smiling, laughing, shaking hands. They have a lot in common. Both men run autocratic, secretive, oil-based, global operations. And they like each other enough that they’ve joined forces in perhaps the biggest joint venture in the global oil industry. Exxon’s landmark 2011 joint venture with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft calls for upwards of $500 billion in investment over the coming decades. The companies are planning an offshore drilling campaign in Russia’s frozen Chukchi Sea…

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Shell’s disastrous tax dodge

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Photo Courtesy Mark Meyer / Greenpeace

Extracts from an article by Jim Paulin, Dutch Harbor Fisherman, published 23 March 2014 by AlaskaDispatch under the headline: Southwest Alaska municipalities want bigger share of oil royalties 

Impacts are already being felt from the arrival of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska. The arctic-class oil rig Kulluk grounded in the Kodiak archipelago New Year’s Eve, as the rig left on a schedule designed to avoid a potential tax bill of $6 million in Unalaska, raising serious concerns of damage to the environment. None of those fears were realized in that incident, though it clearly showed the potential for harm. The cost to Shell in responding to the near-disaster makes $6 million seem small by comparison. In addition, Alaska’s government says the rig is exempt from local taxes because it wasn’t drilling in state waters, which extend up to three miles from shore. Shell has suspended exploration this year, to give it time to fix its drill rigs.

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Shell sees ‘minor’ impact in higher U.S. gas exports to Europe

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Reuters article by Meeyoung Cho published Monday 24 March 2014

GOYANG, South Korea (Reuters) – Growing interest in sending more U.S. natural gas to Europe does not hold a big threat for Asian gas markets, although such exports would help improve spot market liquidity for the super-chilled form of the fuel, a Shell executive said on Monday. Tension over the future of Ukraine is prompting the European Union and United States to look at deepening their economic ties. Europe is hoping to tap the abundant energy resources of its key ally to reduce dependence on Russia, which feeds a bulk of the region’s gas demand.

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Will an Emboldened Russia Hurt Shell and Chevron?

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 17.39.57Extracts from an article by Reuben Brewer published on 23 March 2014 by The Motley Fool under the headline: Will an Emboldened Russia Hurt This Major Industry?

Russia is a complex beast and is often hard for Western nations to understand. The latest bit of world drama that the country has caused is, effectively, making Crimea part of Mother Russia again. It’s a move that could lead to sanctions against this giant, natural resource-rich nation. This whole event could cause more pain than you may expect in the international oil and gas space. Chevron inked a $10 billion deal with Ukraine to explore for shale gas in late 2013. Royal Dutch Shell made a similarly sized agreement with the country in early 2013. Both deals have 50-year terms. Clearly, Russia taking over part of Ukraine is a less than auspicious start to these deals, which have another five decades or so left to go. Shell isn’t sitting pat; the company pulled out of talks over an offshore gas drilling deal early this year. While that helps to reduce the company’s exposure to a region in turmoil, the 50 year shale drilling contract keeps Shell on the firing line.

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Exxon Valdez oil spill, 25 years later, offers lessons

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18Extracts from an article published 22 March 2014 by USA Today

(USA TODAY) – Twenty-five years ago Monday, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef in Alaska, causing what was then the largest U.S. oil spill in history. Its accident is refocusing questions about the risks of new Arctic oil drilling efforts by several countries, notably Russia. U.S. companies, notably Shell in 2012, have encountered technical setbacks in their forays into offshore drilling in the Arctic, but that’s not stopping other countries from moving forward.

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Shattering weekend for Alan Shatter, Irish Justice Minister

In the past few days, there have calls for the resignation of the Irish Justice Minister, Mr. Alan Shatter, who dealt with the OSSL corruption allegations against Shell EP Ireland raised in the Irish Parliament on my behalf and engaged in correspondence with me on the subject. I reached the conclusion that he was incompetent and useless. Many Irish people might even think that he has been part of an establishment cover-up.

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By John Donovan

Chaos reigns in Ireland, with a scandal engulfing the Irish government, the Irish Police (the Garda), The Police Commissioner and the Irish Police Ombudsman –  the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). This follows news relating to police whistleblowers and the discovery that an unknown party apparently bugged the offices of the Police Ombudsman offices.

A retired judge has been appointed to conduct an inquiry to establish the facts about the controversy.

In the past few days there have calls for the resignation of the Irish Justice Minister, Mr. Alan Shatter, who dealt with the OSSL corruption allegations against Shell EP Ireland raised in the Irish Parliament on my behalf and engaged in correspondence with me on the subject. I reached the conclusion that he was incompetent and useless. Many Irish people might even think that he has been part of an establishment cover-up.

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Illicit activities of Royal Dutch Shell snared in NSA surveillance programs?

It would be ironic if Shell, a company that was publicly exposed for engaging in spying, undercover activities and dirty tricks operations against its perceived enemies, such as Greenpeace and John Donovan, are exposed again, this time by government secret surveillance programs.

By Washington Observer

Over the last year or so there have been a number of revelations about the telecom data collection capabilities of the National Security Agency and how those capabilities have been used – see informative Washington Post article index facility: “NSA Secrets.”

We shall presume that given the treaty arrangements between the US and the UK (and Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) that the British Secret Service is also involved in similar activities and that there is a great deal of cooperation between the agencies.

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John Donovan selection of Shell related articles

John Donovan, founder Royal Dutch Shell Plc.com

John Donovan, Co-Founder Royal Dutch Shell Plc.com

John Donovan, Shell Singapore Make Money game, 1985

John Donovan, Shell Singapore Make Money game, 1985.

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LINK: John Donovan, Video of Shell games, 1985

From left to right: Stephen Howarth, Joost Jonker; Keetie E. Sluyterman, Joost Dankers and Jan Luiten van Zanden

From left to right: Stephen Howarth, Joost Jonker; Keetie E. Sluyterman, Joost Dankers and Jan Luiten van Zanden: All well paid.

John Chambers, Managing Director of Don Marketing, 1984

John Chambers, Managing Director of Don Marketing, 1984

Roger Sotherton (left) and John Chambers, both directors of Don Marketing 1984

Roger Sotherton (left) and John Chambers, both directors of Don Marketing 1984

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, 1984

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, 1984

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, 1984

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, 1984

Roger Sotherton, Marketing Director, Don Marketing: 1984

Roger Sotherton, Marketing Director, Don Marketing: 1984

John Donovan, Chairman, Don Marketing 1984. Best known for games supplied to Shell

John Donovan, Chairman, Don Marketing 1984. Best known for promotional games such as Make Money and Make Merry supplied to Royal Dutch Shell

John Donovan, Chairman, Don Marketing 1984. Best known for promotional games such as Make Money and Make Merry supplied to Royal Dutch Shell

John Donovan, Chairman, Don Marketing 1984. Best known for promotional games such as Make Money and Make Merry supplied to Royal Dutch Shell

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, the agency that created games for Shell

Ken Brown, Operations Director of Don Marketing, the agency that created games for Shell

Valerie Hewitt, Don Marketing 1984

Valerie Hewitt, Don Marketing 1984

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Sven Olsen, Don Marketing 1984

Shell Marketing Development Manager, Ken Danson, 1984

Shell Marketing Development Manager, Ken Danson, 1984

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Don Redhead, a founding director of Don Marketing, seeding major prizes into Shell Mastermind Game at Dobson & Crowther, in 1984. Screenshot from BBC TV Money Programme.

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Grossly Contaminated Fuel: What Shell said before ABC News intervened

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article by by STEPHANIE ZIMMERMANN published 21 March 2014 by ABC News under the headline: Michigan Gas Station Pumps Fuel ‘Grossly Contaminated’ With Water, Kills Car

Dear ABC News Fixer: I filled my gas tank with fuel that was contaminated with water, causing more than $1,300 in damage to my car – and now the Shell station won’t reimburse me.

I presented this information to Shell and they basically told me to take it to court. I think it’s shameful that Shell, which makes billions of dollars a year, refuses to take responsibility for damage to my vehicle that was clearly caused by faulty fuel from one of their stations.

– Joe Yaklic, Chesterfield, Mich.

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Shell to keep trading with Gunvor – email

 Extracts from Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29a Reuters article published 21 March 2014

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell traders are allowed to keep dealing with commodities trading house Gunvor after the United States imposed sanctions on its co-founder, Shell said in an internal email seen on Friday by Reuters. The email said Shell had been able to review the status of Gunvor following the imposition on Thursday of U.S. sanctions against Gunvor co-founder Gennady Timchenko.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell exit from 600,000-acre stake in southern Kansas

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 19.09.52Extracts from an article by Dan Voorhis published on 21 March 2014 by The Wichita Eagle under the headline: SandRidge to let its oil leases expire on much of its acreage in Kansas

Land lease prices jumped in 2010 and 2011 from the $15 to $75 per acre range to $250 to $1,500 per acre, depending on location, when SandRidge, Shell Oil and other large out-of-state oil exploration companies rushed to accumulate large leaseholds. But the geology of the Mississippian layer proved more complex and less consistently profitable than expected. The mixed results led most of them to leave. SandRidge investors deposed company founder Tom Ward in 2013 because of low profits and low stock prices. Ward has since returned to Kansas with a new company, Tapstone Energy, which purchased Shell’s approximately 600,000-acre stake in southern Kansas.

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Nothing but ill-fortune for Shell off the shores of Alaska

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51Extracts from an article by Reuben Brewer published on 21 March 2014 by The Motley Fool under the headline: BP Wins One and Loses One in the Gulf

Royal Dutch Shell has found nothing but ill-fortune off the shores of Alaska. Shell’s most public problem was the 2013 grounding of the Kulluk drill ship. However, that was merely the capstone event on a difficult journey that reportedly cost the company $5 billion over seven years. After Kulluk, the company halted its drilling plans and recently announced that it wouldn’t be drilling in 2014, either. Now there’s even questions circulating about whether or not the U.S. government overstepped its bounds by opening up the region to drilling. This was a big bet for Shell that hasn’t turned out very well. While Shell has the financial wherewithal to take the hit, it’s one of many the company is dealing with.

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Former Shell exec has no problem with Shell bribing Irish police?

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Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 16.30.10From his recently posted comments, it seems that LondonLad has no problem with Shell drowning the Irish police force (the Garda) in free Christmas booze, despite allegations that they are “Shell’s Cops” and have allegedly acted accordingly when dealing with protestors. Perhaps he thinks that if corruption is okay for Shell in Nigeria, then its equally good for Shell in Ireland.

By John Donovan

For several years a retired former senior Royal Dutch Shell executive with service in the USA and Nigeria has been posting comments on our “Shell Blog” originally using the alias Musaint and more recently, LondonLad.

My assumption that they are one and the same is an educated guess.

Mainly, but not always, he is a supporter of Shell.

I corresponded directly with this retired senior Shell executive when he was in Musaint mode. All very convivial. Less so when debating issues on this website.

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Shell blasted amid poverty, conflict

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Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 09.00.35Social Action accuses Shell of handing out payments for so-called security contracts to rival factions on opposing sides, who used the money to buy more weapons and ammunition to sustain the conflict.

Extracts from an article published on 20 March 2014 by WAR ON WANT

Shell will come under fire on Saturday, World Water Day, when a Nigerian campaigner speaks out in London against the Anglo-Dutch corporation exploiting oil, as thousands of people face grim hardship, including lack of running water.

The criticism will be launched by Celestine Akpobari, from the organisation Social Action, ally to the Niger Delta community of Rumuekpe, which lacks running water, electricity, basic drainage systems, or any school.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29With huge oil wealth in Rumuekpe’s territory, the community should rank among the most well-off anywhere.

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Shell expands Gulf of Mexico portfolio

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Article published 20 March 2014 by PennEnergy (from a Shell Press Release) under the headline:Shell expands Gulf of Mexico portfolio in Lease Sale 231

Shell continues to build upon a strong position in the Central Gulf of Mexico and is the apparent high bidder on 4 blocks during today’s US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Lease Sale 231. Shell bid on a total of 8 blocks and exposed approximately $100,000,000. Shell was the apparent high bidder on 4 blocks, totaling approximately $45,543,721, including a key block that will consolidate Shell’s position in the greater Appomattox/Vicksburg area.

Shell continues exploration of the Norphlet play on the basis of its promising giant Appomattox and adjacent Vicksburg discoveries.

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Shell cracker plant fate still unknown

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Rachel Morgan article published Friday 21 March 2014 by The New York Times

HOPEWELL TWP. — Shell Oil Co. is still staying mum — at least for a little while longer. Shell officials met with officials from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, local elected officials and two Beaver County commissioners Thursday at the Club at Shadow Lakes to discuss Shell’s proposed $2.5 billion petrochemical plant in Potter Township. Media were not allowed to attend.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell writes down value of its U.S. shale gas and liquids-rich assets by $2.5 billion

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Extracts from an article by Arjun Sreekumar published on 19 March 2014 by The Motley Fool under the headline: “2 Key Areas Where Royal Dutch Shell plc Needs to Improve”

To accomplish its goal of boosting cash flow and returns, Shell has identified two key business units as prime targets for restructuring over the next few years. The first business unit to be reorganized is Shell’s upstream Americas segment, where more than $24 billion in spending on North American shale oil and gas assets over the past few years has failed to generate sufficient returns. The unit swung to a $900 million loss last year, as Shell was forced to write down the value of its shale gas and liquids-rich assets by about $2.5 billion. To remedy the situation, Shell plans to reduce upstream Americas spending by 20% this year and also plans to cut the unit’s staff by 30% from around 1,800 to 1,400.

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Shell in slashing mode

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer. Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer. Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Extracts from an article by EDUARD GISMATULLIN published by Bloomberg News on 14 March 2014 under the headline: Shell in slashing mode: Cuts Americas spending by 20% after losses in shales

THE HAGUE (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell plans to lower spending in the Americas by a fifth as Europe’s largest oil producer focuses on more profitable operations. It’s “not acceptable” that Shell, now deploying about 36% or $80 billion of its capital in North America, has been losing money, Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said. Van Beurden has pledged to shrink spending costs this year and speed up asset sales including refineries after The Hague-based company issued its first profit warning in a decade.

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Wall Street Journal: Shell pulls out of Ukraine deal near Crimea

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article by Justin Scheck published 19 March 2014 by the Wall Street Journal

LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Wednesday that it withdrew from negotiations over an offshore exploration deal in the Black Sea, west of Crimea. Shell made the decision to pull out in January, a spokesman said. Withdraws From Talks on Skifska Field But Is Still Pursuing Other Ukraine Projects

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE

Message from Ogoni Activist Ben Ikari

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 01.43.07RELATED COMMENT BY JOHN DONOVAN: “I publish very few articles/press releases from Ogoni sources because you never know who is a legitimate representative of the Ogoni people and not a faction led by an ego driven individual, with a self-invented impressive title.”

By John Donovan

I have today published a message to the Ogoni people from long time Ogoni activist Ben Ikari under his headline:

“The Need For Ogoni Independence From Nigeria”

From the content of his past articles, its fair to say that Ben is not a fan of Shell.

Neither is he an admirer of Britain’s colonial involvement in Nigeria.

One of the most important aspects of his article in my view, is the rallying cry for his fellow Ogoni to stop the complaints and bickering.

The internal bickering and warring factions has created serious division and external confusion.

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Shell reorganises American shale operations

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an Alice Young article published 19 March 2014 by iNVEZZ.com under the headline: Shell share price: Group reorganises American shale operations

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has reorganised its American shale gas and oil operations into a single business in an attempt to improve their performance, the Financial Times has reported. According to the FT report, senior Shell executives told investors in a presentation in New York that for the past 14 months, the company had been operating its shale extraction business in the US, Canada and South America as a single unit…

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Journalism ‘infected by corporate public relations’

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Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 14.17.32As can be confirmed from the video recording, Shell was a prime target of the comment by Ed Vulliamy about journalism being infected by corporate public relations. This was in relation to the allegations made by former Shell “Mr Fixit” company, OSSL, that Shell had corrupted the Irish Police Force by giving away free alcohol as bribes.

Article by Lorna Siggins published on 18 March 2014 by The Irish Times

Journalism has been “infected” by “corporate public relations” and the media is part of a “seamless troika” involving governments and corporations, according to the British war correspondent Ed Vulliamy.

The Guardian and Observer journalist, who has won awards for his reporting from Bosnia, the 9/11 attacks, Iraq and Mexico, said that resources had been curtailed to the extent that journalists had “shrunk in number” while those working in public relations had grown. Mr Vulliamy was addressing a discussion hosted by justice and peace group Afri in Carrowteigue, north Mayo, on the media and the Corrib gas project.

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Shell’s CEO says the company plans to leave the Eagle Ford Shale

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an article by Sanford Nowlin published on 18 March 2014 by San Antonio Business Journal.

Oil-and-gas giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC will unload its investments in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale and cut U.S. capital spending by 20 percent after disappointing results from its domestic shale operations.

FULL ARTICLE

Big Oil Drowning in Extremely High Project Costs

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00Extracts from a Matt DiLallo article published 17 March 2014 by The Motley Fool

Big oil has a big problem. Cost overruns around the globe are calling into question the commercial viability of many megaprojects. When Gorgon was approved, the project was expected to cost about $37 billion. However, late last year, Chevron raised the estimate to as high as $54 billion. That’s 46% higher than initially expected, and it might not be the end of the cost overruns. The project, in which both ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell own a 25% stake, could end up costing the partners close to $60 billion when all is said and done. …big oil is facing big cost overruns in deepwater projects. The poster child for that is the Kashagan oilfield in the Caspian Sea. Partners that include Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil spent $50 billion to develop the field, which was beset with delays, cost overruns, and technical difficulties. Worse yet, initial production volumes didn’t live up to expectations, and more recently, a new problem has surfaced, which is why the field is currently sitting idle.

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Shell Nigeria Oil Terminal Remains Closed After Leak Found

Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 09.32.42Extracts from a Sarah Kent article published by The Wall Street Journal on 17 March 2014

LONDON–Exports from a major oil terminal in Nigeria operated by a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) remain shut-in nearly two weeks after the discovery of a leak in the export pipeline, a spokesman for the company said Monday.

FULL ARTICLE

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