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Posts under ‘Bill Campbell’

On a wing and a prayer


Shell Brent Bravo disaster: “
The installation manager and supervisors were working under a regime where production had to be maintained at all costs. Safety was a secondary issue almost totally ignored by the Managers in Aberdeen.”

John

You may wish to publish this as a follow up and contribution to recent inputs on your blog site.  It is also certainly in the NASA and Shell examples a spectacular illustration of how ineffective at such times the so called governance process was included the much heralded concept amongst a management team of shared collective responsibility.

Article By Retired Shell International HSE Group Auditor Bill Campbell: “Forget about the consequence, it won’t happen, will it?”

Piper Alpha on fire shortly after the second explosion

Dutchdude on September 2nd spoke about the acceptance of risk being a trend amongst staff who have not witnessed serious events themselves, and therefore assume it won’t happen. I am sure he has a point, as they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. So inexperience is a factor. read more

Another North Sea Storm for Shell

UPDATED WITH ARTICLE COMMENTS RECEIVED SINCE PUBLICATION, INCLUDING FROM BILL CAMPBELL

By John Donovan

It is getting on to 20 years since Shell safety expert Bill Campbell led an HSE audit team which exposed a “Touch Fuck All” culture in relation to maintenance and safety issues on Shell’s Brent Bravo platform. After two decades of promises by Shell to give safety the highest priority, Shell has just been ordered to shut down its North Sea Armada platform on similar grounds. This follows weeks after the issuance of a prohibition notice by HSE inspectors in relation to Brent Charlie. (See links below).  read more

Shell’s Prelude Officially Entered into Lloyd’s Register

By John Donovan

A report today by Seatrade Maritime News confirms that Shell’s massive FLNG facility Prelude has officially entered into Lloyd’s Register (LR) class. It also says that Prelude has arrived at its operating location in the Browse Basin, offshore northwest Australia (above) where it will be moored at a depth of 250m and will not be dry-docked for the first 25 years of its expected 50-year operational life. See their full article here from which the above extracts are taken. It lists the various parties involved in the huge project, including Lloyds Register. In December 2013, I published an article that should have set alarm bells ringing among all involved parties. Not one of them approached me seeking information. read more

Why Shell Prelude is such a risky gamble!

After all is said and done who would build a hotel and a heliport, and a dock, besides or within 100 metres of a hazardous substances plant. It would simply not be allowed on land. This is what makes Prelude so risky.

Comment from Bill Campbell on the article:

Shell’s ill-fated $14bn gamble on Titanic Prelude FLNG Barge

FLNG

If FLNG has a future remains to be seen. It is under any measure an outstanding technical achievement. My only concern is the misplaced statements by RDS and Shell Australia on the risks. Doomcaster and I are in agreement, there is and always will be during the commissioning and steady state operation a risk of leakage so we can say the probability side of the risk equation is well understood. Whether it be human failure or otherwise leaks are difficult to avoid. The best database for leaks in the World is the homogeneous population of over 200 North Sea installations covered in HSE data which confirms in 11 years of operation that leakage frequency has a mean time between failures of circa 3 days. My problem is with the huge inventory and congested space is that Shell seriously downplays the potential consequence side of the risk equation. Post Piper Alpha and post Seveso there are two principal risk reducers, reduced inventory (fuel) and lots of space seperating modules from each other, from human habitation, control rooms, admin blocks, and from storage tanks. After all is said and done who would build a hotel and a heliport, and a dock, besides or within 100 metres of a hazardous substances plant. It would simply not be allowed on land. This is what makes Prelude so risky. read more

Shell’s ill-fated $14bn gamble on Titanic Prelude FLNG Barge

The Prelude, which is 488m long, arrived in Australia last month © PA

By John Donovan

Shell’s Prelude barge has been described as the biggest floating structure ever built and is said to be 12 times the size of the Titanic. It is a comparison that for obvious reasons Shell does not use, although others do. There have been far more dire warnings about the dangers attached to Prelude than were made about the Titanic’s maiden voyage before it tragically sunk. Most have come from a well-placed insider on the Prelude project and subsequently from Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International. read more

Eternal Shame of Shell over North Sea Platform Safeguards

Posting by Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

In the 25 years following Piper Alpha (commemorations were held in Aberdeen a few weeks ago) the man who presided over a potential Piper Alpha rerun was Chris Finlayson. Although he blamed Brinded it is Finlayson who had the line accountability for health and safety offshore when in September 2003 two men died when an estimated 6800 cubic metres of gas flooded a into an enclosed support column on Brent Bravo.

Lord Cullen, who was passed all the documentation from the Shell internal technical report into this near catastrophe was under no allusions. The lives of 156 workers could have been put a jeopardy if the gas had ignited. His safety case system had failed and it had almost led to a repeat. read more

Retired Shell official accuses company of ‘more leaks than the White House’

Bill Campbell, retired HSE GROUP AUDITOR, Shell International, comments on Paddy Briggs damning conclusion about Shell FAT CATS

The Lonely Elephant

Prelude may or may not turn out to be a white elephant but certainly from the leaked transformation documents it would appear it will be in any case a lonely elephant. 20 some years in gestation it appears that mega FLNG projects are out. As for the fat cats Paddy if Shell continues to leak (Pernis et al), more leaks than the White House, the fat cats may not be around. Are they taking their eye of the ball – who is running the business, with all this transformation stuff and reported loss of common sense and experience I read about on this website from current employees, it makes you think. read more

Shell cannot say it was not warned about Prelude FLNG

Warning by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International: Hydrocarbon leaks on offshore installations are unavoidable!

The answer to the question, can offshore installations meet a zero tolerance standard for hydrocarbon leaks, is easily answered, they cannot! Keeping hydrocarbons in the box appears beyond the wit of man. 

The support for this rather pessimistic view is based on actual historic data from the North Sea. It should be noted that this key indicator is the number one, the foremost technical integrity measure recorded by the HSE offshore division in the UK. All operators also are required to have it as their top indicator and non-reporting of hydrocarbon leaks is an offence in Law. So there is a degree of confidence in the accuracy of this data.  read more

Alarming news today of potential fire and explosion on Shell North Sea platform

By John Donovan

History is repeating itself. Shell is in the news today over its  dangerous North Sea oil platform activities.

Nearly 20 years ago, Shell senior management ignored warnings by HSE Auditor Bill Campbell about the Touch Fuck All regime on the Brent Bravo platform and its potential impact on worker safety. Production and profits were the overriding consideration. Maintenance records were routinely falsified. Lives were put at risk.

Shell EP MD Malcolm Brinded promised to take action based on the scandalous state of affairs Mr Campbell’s team had discovered when he led the safety audit on the platform. The promises were not kept. As a result, platform workers subsequently lost their lives in what was judged by the Scottish legal authorities to be an avoidable accident on Brent Bravo. A record-breaking fine was imposed on Shell. read more

Alarm Bells: Shell Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

ALARMING COMMENT POSTED BY RETIRED SHELL INTERNATIONAL HSE GROUP AUDITOR, BILL CAMPBELL

Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

With a Fire breakout at Pernis and a leak at Singapore refinery, both incidents over the last few days, it seems loss of containment is a continuing serious issue both onshore as well as offshore.

Much has been written about FLNG suggesting Prelude for example simply just cannot afford leaks and fires because of the potential consequences – but can they be totally avoided, can they?

Can any offshore installation meet a zero tolerance standard for leaks? read more

PRELUDE FLNG is a very risky business

BILL CAMPBELL

Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, comments on the UPI article “In Australia, Shell signals new era for LNG

For hazardous substances plants Size Matters, it’s crucial.

The size re surface deck area of the Prelude vessel wrt an onshore plant continues to be misstated, purposefully I assume. Even if the total deck of Prelude was used exclusively for the LNG process ignoring area taken up by Accomodation, Turret etc we have total of 3.6 Hectares. On average LNG land plants with equivalent throughputs are 20 times (not four times) on average larger than the 3.6 Hectares provided on the Prelude deck. As an example of this that you can check out easily on the web is that Woodside Energy has allocated 80 Hectares for its onshore Pluto LNG site and facilities or 22.2 times the total area of the Prelude deck. I took up the propaganda on size with Shell Australia a few years ago, they are the regular publisher of these alternative facts, asking them to clarify where in the world was there a LNG plant onshore occupying just 14 Hectares (4 times the Prelude total deck space). read more

PRELUDE FLNG; A CASE OF ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE

By Bill Campbell – Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

The physics of fire is readily explained by the simple fire triangle where the constituents needed to be available for fire to begin and persist are a heat source, oxygen and a combustible fuel.

In our industry in 1988 and later in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore India were witnessed catastrophic happenings where an escalating hydrocarbon event could not be curtailed, went out of control and escalated because of the abundance of fuel in massive amounts, mainly gas.

The abundance of fuel on an offshore installation, or on a London Tower building, housing hundreds of people, raises the risk to persons occupying these facilities significantly.  Risk is not just the probability of a fire starting but the potential consequences of that fire should it start and take hold.     read more

Shell’s dismal track record on transparency

“Shell is very different from Enron. We were criticized for that some time ago and I’’m glad we have a absolutely rock-solid way we do business. It’s all completely transparent, as far as Shell is concerned.”

By John Donovan

Following publication of my article Shell false pledges of transparency and openness contributors to this website have been accused of hating Shell. That is not the case.

Many of us do, however, take great exception to the hypocritical claims made by successive RDS Chairman and CEO’s over many years that Shell operates within an ethical code – the General Business Principles – which includes a pledge of transparency.

Shell Group Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart preached transparency while conspiring with senior colleagues to hide information from Shell shareholders. read more

Shell’s Criminal Neglect on Brent Bravo

Bill Campbell comments on an article published yesterday by The Times: Shell slashes North Sea costs to make profit in a crash

(BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL)

In Aberdeen and Southern operations in the eighties and nineties low oil price periods were quickly reacted to by reducing operating costs mainly maintenance and inspection which equates roughly to 70 percent of OPEX expenditure in a steady state operation with no drilling ongoing.. It is relatively easy to do.

That you suffer for these cuts further down the line with serious integrity issues is the reality of the situation where the Management team making the cuts have long since moved onwards and usually upwards. read more

OPL 245: DONNY CHING LIVING IN A WORLD OF ALTERNATIVE FACTS

Bill Campbell comments on OPL 245 Statement by Shell Legal Director Donny Ching

Chronology is important is it not!

The international law firm reported to the RDS board in July 2016 but the emails confirming Shell knew money was going to individuals was not exposed till April 2017 a year later and was confirmed by the statement from the Shell spokesman to be an accepted fact in his 10th April 2017 press statement.

So did the international law firm who we are to assume gave a positive message to the Board have no knowledge of these emails in 2016?

Ching seems to be living in the world of alternative facts, his statements in the article above that Shell had no visibility into all this and payments were made without their prior knowledge or authorisation by Shell totally contradicts what RDS has already admitted on record in April this year. read more

OPL 245: SHELL MI6 LOOSE CHATTER

Introduction by John Donovan

Published below are comments by Mr Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Royal Dutch Shell. His remarks are in relation to the involvement of Shell and current?/former MI6 officers in the OPL 245 skulduggery currently involving multiple regulatory and legal authorities, including the Dutch Director of Public Prosecution and Dutch Police, the UK Serious Fraud Office, Italian and Nigerian Police and Prosecutors, the US Securities And Exchange Commission, and an investigation by the US Department of Justice under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. read more

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