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Posts under ‘Bill Campbell’

More analysis of wiretapped BvB/Simon Henry phone call

By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Shell International)

I have read through the Ben van Beurden/Simon Henry phone transcript but frankly cannot understand the apparently relaxed attitude, with many chuckles and laughter on the phone.

It seems clear also that RDS had been or were still pursuing some kind of internal investigation into the matter.

They raised but then thought lightly it would seem, of the emails that are incriminating, as though these did not involve their own employees whether direct or indirect, ex MI6 etc. read more

Withering Assessments of Shell’s Business Integrity by Bill Campbell and Bruce Culpepper

Comment on OPL 245 scandal by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Royal Dutch Shell International

My experience after many years especially as an Auditor for the then SIEP and then RDS is that compliance with the aforestated principles diminishes exponentially the nearer you get to the Boardroom.

Cannot see why a prosecution could not go ahead and be successful, it appears abundantly clear from the correspondence that handouts to certain individuals would be required to secure a deal and many senior officers in the RDS organisation were aware of this and were complicit indirectly or directly. Their defence may be well that’s what it takes to operate with Nigeria but that is not a pertinent defence in international law and dare I state the obvious that this behaviour is a million miles from the intent of those wonderfully worded but completely ignored business principles that all in RDS from Chairman to office boy are supposed to hold as sacrosanct. My experience after many years especially as an Auditor for the then SIEP and then RDS is that compliance with the aforestated principles diminishes exponentially the nearer you get to the Boardroom. Time will tell. read more

Keith Ruddock and the OPL 245 scandal

A few days ago, more than $43m (£34m) in cash (above) – proceeds of unidentified unlawful activity – was seized by the Nigerian anti-corruption authorities from a flat in Nigeria’s main city, Lagos. Is the find connected to OPL 245?

By John Donovan

The name of former Shell General Counsel Keith Ruddock (right) has popped up in leaked Shell internal emails relating to the OPL 245 corruption scandal. 

I note in this regard a comment by Mr Ruddock in an interview by GC Magazine: read more

Benzene exposure risks and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry

By Bill Campbell, retired Shell International HSE Group Auditor

Benzene exposure risks and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry

Just some related background that may be of interest in the debate about this subject re health and safety at the Nyhamma gas plant et al.

The Petroleum Safety Authority in Norway were concerned enough about health aspects of benzene exposure that it held a meeting of experts on the subject in 2015 including representatives of the industry*, Norske Shell does not appear to be on the participants list!

Suffice to say PSA had a general concern that much more needed to be done re the prevention of exposure to Benzene in the industry and they would be including this concern looking for improvements in their future audits and inspections. read more

Shell Prelude FLNG project relegated to backburner

By John Donovan

A Reuters article published today reports that a collapse in the benchmark price of gas has hit Shell’s “long-delayed $12.6 billion Prelude project off northwest Australia”.  Citing Shell Prelude, it says that FLNG projects are being relegated to the backburner.

Shell executive VP Steve Hill is quoted as admitting: “There was maybe an expectation when Prelude was being conceived that this was the future and every LNG project would look like that. I think that got kind of superseded by the U.S. being the primary source of new LNG supply ..” read more

Bill Campbell support for Shell plans?

 “Shell attacked over plan to ‘litter the sea’ by leaving behind oil rig bases”

By Bill Campbell

Littering the North Sea appears a rather emotive statement by the Professor, quite appalling, completely unacceptable etc. He also links the plans for the concrete structures to an outsourcing of jobs from Glasgow which is unrelated to the structures.

Professor Russell previously wrote about the storage cells containing radioactive material also in an exaggerated way, the sludge contains naturally occurring low-level radioactive material which many studies declare does not pose a risk to persons or the environment. read more

LIVING IN TRUMPWORLD

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Comment from Bill Campbell on the Energy Voice Article: Shell stresses importance of stable regulatory environment post-Trump victory

Under Trump, with the senate and congress to support him, we can look forward soon to significant deregulation in the US effecting positively onshore fracking, tar sands development, offshore Deepwater in the Gulf and a boost perhaps to Alaska drilling. One assumes the Keystone pipeline will go ahead and perhaps pipelines running from central US to East Coast for new LNG Plants to supply a Europe hedging its bets over Russian gas availability with Europe’s ongoing problems with Putin, sanctions etc. A significant increase in US output, leading to increase in global supply over demand could dampen oil price. Shell seems to have divested assets recently in the US in some of these areas to offset BG takeover costs so uncertain whether Trumpworld will be good or bad for Shell. read more

The Uncensored History of the Shell Brent Oil and Gas Field

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By John Donovan (updated 18 November 2016)

Energy Voice has announced that it has teamed up with Shell to “celebrate 40 years of Brent”.

A series of related “promoted” articles are being published. I take that as meaning Shell is paying for the articles. If this assumption is correct, the only history included will be of the whitewashed variety.

I doubt there will be any reference to the consequences of Shell’s appalling safety record on the Brent platforms, with falsified safety records, a “Touch F*** All” regime in regard to critical equipment maintenance, followed by the cover-up and the deaths on Brent Bravo, leading to a record-breaking fine. Will the unseaworthy lifeboats get a mention? Of course not. Shell continued to put production and profits before safety. Just read this index of related articles. read more

Australian Government unconvinced about FLNG safety claims

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By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International)

Comment on: Shell Australia’s giant Prelude floating LNG project likely to come on stream in 2017

(refer to 295-page Report by Economics and Industry Steering Committee issued 7 May 2015)

Much has been written on this website about FLNG, the Prelude specifically raising doubts about the validity of claims by Shell that FLNG risks are as safe as if not more so than conventional offshore installations. The Government report raised considerable concerns in relation to the safety of FLNG facilities. In particular, concerns were raised about the compact nature of the working environment offshore relative to the space afforded to an onshore LNG processing plant and that the facilities will remain manned during cyclonic storms. read more

Project Prelude – A case study in the generation of real material debt

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Comment By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Royal Dutch Shell International) on the article published in The Australian: “Shell chief Ben van Beurden backs FLNG program

Interesting use of terminology by BvB, real material cash, what other type is there rather than funny money.

Prelude dumped from super star gamechanger status to important tool, an aspirin rather than a panacea for all ills, has certainly generated, and it appears will continue to generate, something of a debt mountain for RDS. $15 billion and counting has been allocated to finance the venture outflowing since at least 2007/8 at commencement of conceptual and then detailed design. I may be wrong, but I thought the production start date was given at the time when the first metal was cut in the yards in 2010, as 2016 – now it will be a least 10 years till 2018 before the project will start generating revenue. Our esteemed contributor London Lad, who knows a thing or three about project economics, will confirm, if he feels so inclined, that the breakeven point in any project is determined by how quickly capital spending is halted and operational revenue creation is started. The viability of the project per se, as to whether it will ever add value or be a financial millstone, is determined when production eventually starts by the rate of return of the capital invested, and here BvB hopes for real material cash, and lots of it, and hopefully by 2018 the cash will start to flow. Anybody guess how long it will take for this Project to breakeven? read more

Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden.  read more

ABB wins five-year Shell contract for Prelude FLNG

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Stuart McKinnon – The West Australian on March 24, 2016

The Malaga factory of Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB will be the focal point for a five-year contract to provide services and equipment to Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility off the Kimberley coast.

The Shell order includes the delivery of motors, generators, variable speed drives and low-voltage switchgear and guarantees service and lifecycle management of the electrical equipment as well as service and support for motors from third-party vendors. read more

Where does the cancellation of Browse and Masela leave Prelude?

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.53.14From a Regular Contributor

Cancellation of both the Browse and Masela FLNG developments on the same day suggests that the issues about which Bill Campbell has warned may finally have won the day. 

If so, this is a huge climbdown for Shell, with several billion dollars in probable write-offs. 

It’s perhaps not surprising, given the plethora of warnings from technical sources that there were serious risks involved. 

Could Prelude be next to be axed? Parking a multi-billion dollar vessel in cyclone alley for 20 years never seemed like the most appropriate use of the pension funds invested in Shell… read more

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Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 07.57.03Angela Macdonald-Smith: November 4, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell remains unequivocally bullish on prospects for liquefied natural gas despite the current market glut, pointing to several options for new supply projects after its planned $US70 billion ($97 billion) takeover of BG Group and plenty of new markets opening up around the world.

“The fundamentals of this market look as robust now as in the past to us,” chief financial officer Simon Henry told investors overnight Australian time, spelling out Shell’s expectation that global LNG demand will expand at 5 per cent a year to 2030, only modestly lower than the 8 per cent annual growth seen since 2000. read more

Shell keeps Prelude under wraps

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 23.09.25The Anglo-Dutch giant has never disclosed Prelude’s capital cost or start-up date

Peter Klinger: October 13, 2015

Just a year out from market expectations of first gas, Royal Dutch Shell is giving nothing away about the pace of progress at its revolutionary Prelude floating LNG operation.

Shell has sent out its regular update of the mega-project, which comprises construction of the industry-changing floating processing plant in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea and a gas-condensate well and subsea pipeline network in the Browse Basin off the Kimberley.

Shell’s update said the second-last module had been installed on the Prelude floater, while in the Browse Basin the focus was on installing flow lines and pipeline end terminations. read more

World’s Largest Turret Mooring Ready for Prelude

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By Wendy Laursen 2015-07-05 

Drydocks World has marked a major milestone by completing the world’s largest turret mooring system.

At almost 100 meters high, weighing over 11,000 tons and with a diameter of 26 meters, the turret will ensure Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility can operate safely in the most extreme weather conditions. 

The FLNG will be stationed in the Prelude gas field off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be Shell’s first FLNG deployment. The technology allows for the production, liquefaction, storage and transfer of LNG at sea, as well as the ability to process and export liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate. read more

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