Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Stupidity at Shell

Comment by retired Shell International Group HSE Auditor Bill Campbell on the recent Energy Voice article:

Shell served improvement notice over gas leak blunder

If you are looking for a world class example of stupidity look no further than Shell and its incident on Barque.

We are living it appears in an age of stupidity. Academic papers give many reasons for this including use of technology, calculators, mobile phones etc and the dumbing down of debate through usage of the internet. Moronic behaviour is common even in those who lead us.

If you are looking for a world class example of stupidity look no further than Shell and its incident on Barque.

We have discussed leakage of hydrocarbons a lot recently, to reduce them to zero is the Industries greatest challenge and top priority. But here we have a significant leak of some 200 cubic metres of gas mainly methane caused it seems by stupidity, how else can you describe this, its like driving while texting, behaviour totally unexplainable to rational individuals. The ONLY reason we pressure test process vessels and pipework using water or inert gas AND prior to the introduction of hydrocarbons is to provide assurance that when the hydrocarbons are finally introduced there will be no leakage, and consequentially no risk to people.

The Barque method it appears is to just introduce the hydrocarbons anyway, pressurise the system to the acceptable operating pressure by compressing the hydrocarbons, and hope that it doesn’t leak. Now the Shell technicians and supervisors are not stupid, they knew what they were doing was wrong.

The unanswered question for me, and not covered in the press release or the Shell bland statement, is why did they do what they did, what was the driver of this totally unacceptable behaviour?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: