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SHELL ACCUSED OF BLACKMAILING GRONINGEN ON EARTHQUAKE SAFETY, REPAIRS

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by Janene Pieters: 25 April 2016Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 20.31.49

A lobbying document Shell caused some serious irritation among Dutch parliamentarians. The oil and gas giant writes that the reduction in gas extraction in Groningen threatens the “economic base” of the plan to strengthen homes in the earthquake zone. Unacceptable blackmail, according to SP province director Eelco Eikenaar.

Shell lobbyists visited a number of parliamentarians over the past weeks, according to the Financieele Dagblad. The company is trying to convince parliament not to further reduce gas extraction in Groningen, otherwise there will be no money for reinforcing buildings in the province. Gas extraction in the earthquake prone province is currently capped at 27 billion cubic meters a year, but there are parties who want to reduce it further.

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Bulgaria anti-monopoly watchdog raids more oil firms in fuel inquiry

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Commodities | Fri Apr 22, 2016

Bulgaria’s anti-monopoly watchdog said it had raided the offices of Eco Petroleum, part of Hellenic Petroleum, and Shell Bulgaria, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, as part of an investigation into possible cartel agreements.

The inquiry follows complaints by Bulgarians over high fuel costs despite a plunge in global oil prices and a call by Prime Minister Boiko Borisov for the competition authority to hasten checks on the fuel sector.

“Employees of the Commission for Protection of Competition are carrying out surprise checks on site at the offices of Eco Bulgaria and Shell Bulgaria,” the commission said in a statement on Friday.

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Shell, Agip, Chevron tax evaders, Gov Dickson writes Buhari

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Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt: 21 April 2016

The face-off between Bayelsa State government and multinational oil companies deepened on Thursday with Governor Henry Seriake Dickson, seeking the intervention of the Presidency over tax evasion, flagrant disregard of laws and non-compliance with the rules and regulations of the country.

A press statement from Bayelsa Govt House named the companies that evade tax as Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC); Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC); Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL); Consolidated Oil (CL); Conoil Producing; Brass LNG and Aiteo Energy.

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Malabu Oil deal: EFCC quizzes SNEPCO boss over $1.092b settlement cash

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20 April 2016

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) has quizzed the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCO), Mr. Bayo Bashir Ojulari over the controversial  Malabu oil block (OPL 245) deal.

The anti-graft agency is specifically seeking the whereabouts of $1,092 billion paid by SNEPCO and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited (NAE) into an escrow account.

It was learnt that investigators were trying to determine last night whether the cash had been used  for the settlement of the dispute on the oil block or diverted elsewhere.

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Update from NAM on Shell/Exxon induced Dutch Earthquakes

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By John Donovan: 19 April 2016

Printed below in italics is a Google translation of information published in Dutch today by NAM, the Shell/Exxon Joint Venture company.

It is about the earthquakes inadvertently generated by NAM gas production activity in and around the Groningen Gas field in the Netherlands.

The damage arising from the earthquakes, which are expected to increase in intensity, will cost untold billions to deal with.

Maintaining current production level of 27 billion m3

On April 19th NAM published its proposal for future gas production from the Groningen gas field. It is the first step in a stepwise decision-making process that should lead before October 1, 2016 to a final government decision on gas production from the Groningen gas field. Given the complexity and societal concern about the earthquake record, the Minister of Economic Affairs has decided on extensive consultation with authorities, experts and residents for gas production decision.

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Shell slashes external lawyers

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Shell slashes global panel from 11 to six post-BG merger

Shell scraps 97 per cent of global panel

On the final letter received from Simmons & Simmons before they retreated from the melee, we ended up with someone too timid to even disclose their name. Weren’t they supposed to frighten us?

19 April 2016

Simmons & Simmons is one of the law firms given the boot by Shell.

I have no idea if this is anything to do with my correspondence with Simmons & Simmons a while back.

They were brought in by Shell, no doubt at great cost, to fend off our applications to Shell under the Data Protection Action 1998.

The information we were obtaining was causing immense damage to Shell. For example, we found out from Shell internal communications about the cloak and dagger activity directed towards us by Shell Corporate Affairs Security.   

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Britain paid Shell to keep its North Sea oil fields running

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Shell and Iberdrola have been found guilty of fraud and market manipulation in California’s energy market: MAURIZIO RELLINI/CORBIS

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Marcus Leroux: 19 April 2016

Britain was the only country where Royal Dutch Shell enjoyed a negative effective tax rate last year, according to a report released by the company.

While the second-largest oil group in the world paid billions to governments from Nigeria to Norway, the payments it received from the British government indicate the toll taken on Treasury coffers by the collapse in the price of oil.

Shell received a net $123 million (£86 million) from the UK government last year, largely because of changes to the tax system that entitled it to a rebate relating to its historic Brent oilfield.

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John Donovan, Shell’s Nightmare: Secret Litigation Settlements

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By John Donovan

I published an article earlier today listing a number of settlements that Shell has made in various litigation claims ranging from fraud to complicity in murder. 

Shell’s settlement of my first three High Court claims against the company were all shrouded in secrecy. 

See: High Court papers unveil ‘secret’ Shell writ losses.” 

The same applied in respect of three further High Court actions, all settled secretly by Shell, including all my legal costs. 

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 23.20.39Extract from my most recent ebook “John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare”:

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Nothing New About Shell Settling Fraud Cases

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From April 2016:

Shell guilty of energy fraud and market manipulation in the US

From August 2004:

Shell settles fraud case for $150M

Oil company agrees to pay SEC for overstating reserves, also settles market abuse case in Britain.

The settlements are not just for fraud but range all the way to complicity in murder.

New York Times: “Shell Settles Dumping Suit for $3 Million“: 9 February 1995

New York Times: “SHELL SETTLES ROYALTIES CASE FOR $33.5 MILLION“: 21 March 2002

Shell Oil Company Limestone Township $26 million settlement: December 2007

Plaintiffs win $66 million from Shell Oil after making the mistake of relying on Shell’s “honesty and integrity”: 17 May 2008

Houston Chronicle: Shell will pay millions to settle air pollution suit: 23 April 2009

Guardian: Shell agrees to pay compensation for execution of Saro-Wiwa: June 2009

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Shell and Scottish Power guilty of energy fraud and market manipulation in the US

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By Alex Brummer For Daily Mail, In San Francisco

Shell and Iberdrola-owned Scottish Power have been found guilty of fraud and market manipulation which led to power blackouts in the San Francisco bay area.

The finding by a Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC) judge alleges that Shell and Iberdrola made £809million of illegal profits which may now have to be repaid to the citizens of California.

Evidence presented during the hearings says that energy traders at Shell and Iberdrola used similar tactics to the collapsed energy firm Enron to drive up the prices which Californian residents had to pay on their long-term contracts.

As a result Shell received £548million in excessive profits and Iberdrola £261million. At the time Scottish Power, which has previously won Money Mail’s Wooden Spoon Award for poor customer service, was a quoted UK company and owner of PPM Energy in California.

It was heavy losses in the US which weakened the Scottish firm and led to it being sold to the Spanish power giant Iberdrola in 2007.

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Firms overcharged Californians $1.1 billion during energy crisis, judge says

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 09.06.47By Rob Nikolewski: April 15, 2016

An administrative law judge in Washington D.C. slammed two energy companies, saying they overcharged California consumers for long-term contracts during the state’s energy crisis of 2000-2001, with a tab exceeding $1.1 billion, including interest.

“The public was clearly, palpably, seriously harmed by the energy crisis,” said Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Judge Steven A. Glazer in a 219-page ruling released late Wednesday that charged Shell Energy North America and Iberdrola Renewables of gouging the state.

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John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare: MY EPIC FEUD WITH THE UNSCRUPULOUS OIL GIANT ROYAL DUTCH SHELL

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New ebook available globally, including: Amazon.com; Amazon.co.uk; Amazon.fr; Amazon.de; Amazon.nl; Amazon.com.au; Amazon.ca; Amazon.es; Amazon.it; Amazon.in

About: John Donovan, Shell’s nightmare

His ebook tells the truly extraordinary story of a series of battles in an epic feud between him and the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. It all stemmed from the repeated theft of intellectual property by Shell.

Donovan was chairman of a sales promotion agency, Don Marketing, that devised spectacularly successful forecourt promotions for Shell on an international basis. Many involved budgets of several million dollars. A mutually beneficial relationship lasted for over a decade.

This was followed by two decades of acrimony involving six High Court actions, a County Court case and proceedings via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

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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. 

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NWCAA alleges multiple failures by Shell Puget Sound Refinery in February 2015 chemical release

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“This incident sickened many people in the community, and people felt unsafe in their homes and at work,” said Mark Asmundson, Executive Director of the Northwest Clean Air Agency.

After a yearlong investigation, the Northwest Clean Air Agency is alleging Shell failed to follow shutdown and decontamination procedures while cleaning the refinery’s east flare system.

Shell’s actions led to a surge of wet, chemical-laden gases moving through the flare line and extinguishing the flare flame, allowing the release of unburned chemicals to the atmosphere. The purpose of the flare flame is to combust chemicals into less odorous and toxic forms. As a condition of its permit, Shell is required to maintain the flame if chemicals might be vented to the flare. The chemicals released included hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl sulfide, mercaptans and benzene.

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Siemens, Mossack Fonseca and Shell

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By John Donovan

It’s interesting to note that there seem to be parallels between Siemens (mired in the Panama Papers scandal) and Shell.

A few years ago, Siemens was prosecuted for bribery, and some of their senior employees were jailed. It was suspected that some of the funds provided by Siemens for the bribes were kept by the Siemens executives involved, but lack of evidence prevented the executives involved from being prosecuted. 

The amounts involved in the Siemens cases were tiny in comparison with Shell’s OPL 245 payments, but were funnelled through Mossack Fonseca. 

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$200 Million Diverted To Italian Accounts In Malabu Scandal, Italian Sources Say

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An Italian oil company operating in Nigeria, Eni, has been found to have ‘diverted’ 200 million USD into Italy, according to Italian sources. According to Italian authorities the diversion is connected to the 2011 Malabu oil scandal involving Shell, Eni, and the Nigerian government. 

It would be recalled that OPL 245, one of the richest oil blocs in Africa, was awarded to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd. in 1998 by former Minister of Petroleum Dan Etete from the Sani Abacha administration. The deal was authorized by former Attorney General Mohammed Adoke and former Minister for Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke. The two have been investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but have been on the run. 

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Exxon and Shell Double Down to Defeat Climate Change Legislation

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Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 15.55.29Nika Knight, Common Dreams: April 8, 2016

The dark channels through which corporations influence legislation are notoriously hard to trace, but a new detailed report estimates that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are spending upwards of $500 million per year to obstruct climate laws.

Published Thursday by the UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap, the report looked at two fossil fuel giants (ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell) and three trade lobbying groups, discovering that all together the five companies spend $114 million dollars a year to defeat climate change legislation.

More significantly, InfluenceMap says, “Extrapolated over the entire fossil fuel and other industrial sectors beyond, it is not hard to consider that this obstructive climate policy lobbying spending may be in the order of $500m annually.”

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Shell Accused of Fraud

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April 8, 2016

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A US District Judge overseeing a class-action lawsuit against Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the world’s largest fuel oil suppliers for perpetuating an extensive fuel oil fraud has upheld claims that the defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and denied motions to dismiss the suit.

According to Hagens Berman, a consumer-rights class-action law firm, the order from Judge Jay Garcia-Gregory on Tuesday denied motions to dismiss from the majority of the suit’s 20 defendants, allowing RICO claims to continue against PREPA, Shell Oil, Petrobras, Alchem and various other laboratories and fuel oil suppliers.

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Fine or jail for employee who beat birds to death on Shell Gasoline Station canopy

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Man beats Tern to death with the handle of a rake.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 19.25.49By Peter Power: 5 Apr 2016

It was in July last year that an employee at a Shell gas station in Finnsnes in Troms, Norway, was filmed when he killed some terns on the roof of the station.

The video of the event created strong reactions in social media, and the animal welfare organization NOAH decided to report the case.

Now the man who carried out the killings has been fined 20,000 kroner under criminal law for violation of Section 37 of the Law on animal welfare and Biodiversity Act section 15 and 75 .

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Shell investigated over $1 billion corrupt oil deal

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Vanessa Amaral-Rogers: 4th April 2016

Italian prosecutors have raided Shell’s offices to investigate the suspicious acquisition of a huge offshore oil field in Nigeria, writes Vanessa Amaral-Rogers. The oil block, sold by the Government for $20 million to a shell company owned by the oil minister, was later acquired for $1.1 billion by Shell and Eni.

Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second largest oil company, and Italy’s Eni have been put under formal investigation by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s office for ‘international corruption’ offences.

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Enter Shell’s Bright Ideas Challenge – Win up to £5,000 in just 2.5 hours!

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Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 18.18.08Written by Energy Reporter – 04/04/2016 6:00 am

What will cities look like in 2050? How will they be powered to be vibrant, healthy and clean places to live? That’s the question Shell is posing to secondary students, aged 11-14, through The Bright Ideas Challenge, their new cross-curricular schools competition.

Shell has supported science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education in the UK for over 60 years. As part of their on-going work, they’re inviting students across Great Britain to participate in a brand new schools competition that will tap into the curiosity and ingenuity of the scientists and engineers of the future.

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Sideways moves

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By Ed Crooks: April 1, 2016

Oil prices went sideways all week, with Brent crude edging up above $40 on Thursday.  Hedge funds have made record bets on rising crude prices, but everyone is still watching prospects for the scheduled meeting of Opec and non-Opec oil producers in Doha, Qatar on April 17. Qatar’s oil minister said 12 countries had so far agreed to attend, including most Opec members and Russia. Reuters provided a useful factbox on the countries that could be present at the meeting.  Ecuador is one of the Opec members trying to persuade non-member countries to join in a commitment to freeze production.

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Sir Henri Deterding and the Nazi History of Royal Dutch Shell: Evil Conduct in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 13.31.00Extract from the Kindle Edition of my ebook: Sir Henri Deterding and the Nazi History of Royal Dutch Shell

Now available to purchase on Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk; Amazon.de;

And around the world including: Amazon.nlAmazon.frAmazon.es; Amazon.it; Amazon.ca; Amazon.com.au;

As stated in the ebook, in July 2015, an investigator visited me seeking advice and information in connection with the OPL 245 scandal. I was pleased to assist.

FROM PAGES 165 & 166 under the heading: Shell Corruption, Spying, and Pollution in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.04.33In the 1990’s Shell had a close relationship with the corrupt Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, during Shell’s plunder and pollution of the Niger Delta. The corruption continued in more recent times. In November 2010, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced settlements with freight forwarding company Panalpina, Inc. and six other companies in the oil services industry that violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Royal Dutch Shell was one of the companies. Shell agreed to a cease-and-desist order to pay disgorgement and prejudgment interest of over $18 million plus a criminal fine of $30 million.

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Safe sex in Nigeria

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By John Donovan

Safe Sex in Nigeria” was one of the best articles about the unfolding OPL 245 corruption scandal.  

It was published by the Economist in June 2013.

In particular, the timeline graphic at the beginning of the article shows where the blame probably lies:

Three things come from this:

(1) The machinations and intrigue go back much further than 2011

(2) ENI’s role appears to be relatively minor in comparison with that of Shell

(3) This saga dates back to the days of Phil Watts and Walter vd Vijver

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$180m Halliburton Probe: EFCC Boss, AGF In U.S.

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$180m Halliburton Probe: EFCC Boss, AGF In U.S.

Two Federal Government officials have gone to the United States for talks on President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war. “Certainly, the agenda will include some issues like the $180million Halliburton bribery scandal, the $2b Malabu Oil deal…

BY THE NATIONMAR 31, 2016

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chair Ibrahim Magu are in the United States, barely two weeks after a similar trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where about $200b looted funds are believed to have been stashed away by former public officers.

On the agenda are likely to be the extent of the war against graft,  how to repatriate looted funds, the fate of fleeing former public officers, the $180million Halliburton bribery scandal and the $2billion Malabu Oil deal.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA: US SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION CEASE AND DESIST ORDER 

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Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.04.33By John Donovan: 1 April 2016

There is nothing new about Royal Dutch Shell violating the anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Nigeria.

Ben van Beurden, the current Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell is fully conversant with a Cease and Desist Order issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  

The Cease and Desist Order is genuine. 

HERE IS A SUMMARY

This matter concerns violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by Respondent SIEP and the record keeping and internal controls provisions of the FCPA by Respondent Shell. From September 2002 through November 2005, SIEP, on behalf of Shell, authorized the reimbursement or continued use of services provided by a company acting as a customs broker that involved suspicious payments of approximately $3.5 million to officials of the Nigerian Customs Service in order to obtain preferential treatment during the customs process for the purpose of assisting Shell in obtaining or retaining business in Nigeria on Shell’s Bonga Project. As a result of these payments, Shell profited in the amount of approximately $14 million. None of the improper payments was accurately reflected in Shell’s books and records, nor was Shell’s system of internal accounting controls adequate at the time to detect and prevent these suspicious payments.

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Which Members of the Royal Dutch Shell Executive Committee Approved the OPL 245 Scam?

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Outsider: Contrary to what today’s newspaper reports might suggest, Shell wasn’t “dragged” into the long-running OPL 245 scandal – Shell was involved in orchestrating it from the very start.

Since expenditure at this level must have required the approval of the EC it will be interesting to see whether Shell will let us know which members of the EC were responsible for approving the scam.

Shell Nigeria deal probed in Italy

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The oil giant said it was cooperating with the authorities.

The probe is connected to the 2011 $1.3bn purchase of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oil block by Eni and Shell.

As part of the investigation, Shell headquarters in The Hague were searched in February by Dutch police and prosecutors, a spokesman added.

“We can confirm we have received notice of proceedings from the public prosecutor in Italy,” the Shell spokesman said.

In 2014 a Milan court starting probing Italian oil giant Eni over allegations of corruption connected to the OPL-245 offshore oil block acquisition.

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Shell faces corruption probe over $1bn oil deal in Nigeria

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The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the Dutch public prosecutor had raided the multinational’s office in the Hague.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell is now being dragged into the investigation

Shell headquarters visited by corruption investigators

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The international oil company said on Wednesday it was co-operating with officials from both the Netherlands and Italy as they investigate the $1.1bn deal, which Shell signed five years ago alongside Eni, the Italian oil company.

Shell also confirmed it had been placed under investigation by prosecutors in Milan…

FULL FT ARTICLE

Shell dragged into Nigeria oil corruption probe

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“We can confirm that representatives of the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD) and the Dutch Public Prosecutor recently visited Shell at its headquarters in The Hague,” a spokesman said.

“The visit was related to OPL 245, an offshore block in Nigeria that was the subject of a series of long-standing disputes with the Federal Government of Nigeria. Shell is cooperating with the authorities and is looking into the allegations, which it takes seriously.”

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Shell Meets Investigators About Role in Nigeria Deal

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The Anglo-Dutch oil company said the recent visit by the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service and the Dutch Public Prosecutor to the company’s headquarters in The Hague was about a Nigerian oil block that has been the subject of an Italian criminal investigation.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell says Dutch investigators visit Shell HQ in Nigeria oil probe

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.11.52“Representatives of the Dutch Financial Intelligence and Investigation Service and the Dutch Public Prosecutor recently visited Shell at its headquarters, ” a spokesman said.

“The visit was related to OPL 245, an offshore block in Nigeria that was the subject of a series of long-standing disputes with the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Shell is cooperating with the authorities and is looking into the allegations, the spokesman said.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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Italian prosecutors probe Shell over Nigeria oil deal – source

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Milan prosecutors opened a corruption probe into Eni in 2014 in a case relating to a $1.3 billion acquisition of Nigeria’s OPL-245 offshore oil block in 2011 by the Italian company and Shell.

They later placed under investigation Eni’s Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi and another top manager at the company. The probe has now been widened to Shell, the source said, confirming a report in Corriere della Sera daily on Wednesday.

Shell declined to comment. Eni has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

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Brunei bans Christmas: Sultan warns those celebrating could face up to five years in jail

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Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 12.16.22The punishment for celebrating Christmas is a fine of $20,000, up to five years in prison or both

Anyone found illegally celebrating Christmas in Brunei could face up to five years in prison, according to a reported declaration by the Sultan of the tiny oil-rich state.

Brunei introduced its ban on Christmas last year over fears that celebrating it “excessively and openly” could lead its Muslim population astray.

Christians and others can celebrate Christmas, but must do so in private and have to first alert the authorities.

Local Islamic religious leaders have promoted the ban, warning that adopting the trappings of Christmas is tantamount to imitation of another faith, prohibited in some interpretations of Islam.

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Nigeria to Launch Environmental Cleanup

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Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.34.57Shell Oil Co., a division of Royal Dutch Shell, admitted blame for oil spills in Ogoniland.

Peter Clottey: March 19, 2016 5:19 PM

Nigeria plans a massive cleanup in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, where some residents complain that years of poorly regulated petroleum production have taken a toll on vegetation, water quality, farmland and fishing communities.  

Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, minister of state for environment, said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to resolving the country’s environmental challenges while creating jobs and ensuring sustainable development.

As evidence of that commitment, Jibril noted Buhari created two cabinet positions for the sector. Amina Mohammed is the minister for the environment.

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Shell hospitality tour for EU diplomats branded ‘PR exercise’ by campaigners

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Arthur NeslenFriday 18 March 2016 

An email seen by the Guardian invites energy attaches from the EU’s 28 countries to visit the Shell technology Centre, take an ‘oil majors and oil paintings’ tour of the Van Gogh Museum, and have lunch with Shell’s president in the Netherlands.

Brook Riley, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It is disgraceful to see Shell splurging profits from dirty, dangerous gas extraction on a blatant PR exercise, with the full support of the Dutch government. It is no wonder the EU’s energy plans are assuming zero improvements in efficiency or renewables. They are acting as though climate change does not exist.”

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Shell Gamechanger – The Giant still wants Big Ideas

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Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 16.03.37Shell Gamechanger – The Giant still wants Big Ideas (*Just make sure they don’t steal yours)

by Paul Sloane: March 16, 2016 

The Shell Gamechanger initiative was launched in 1996.  Its mission was to deliver innovative options that have the potential to drastically impact the energy future.  

Shell does not do crowdsourcing as such but it has four open innovation vehicles, External Technology Collaborations, Shell TechWorks, Shell Technology Ventures and Shell GameChanger. Initiatives like Shell LiveWire and Shell Ideas360 encourage entrepreneurship among a wider audience. Shell is now sponsoring XPRIZE, a global competition challenging teams to advance deep-sea technologies for ocean exploration. 

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Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Katie Herzog on 14 Mar 2016

Shell Oil released its 2015 annual review last week, and the most surprising thing in it may be how concerned the company is with climate change. It’s hardly what you’d expect from Big Oil, and yet the words “climate change” occur 15 times in the 228 page report. While this may seem minor, it’s a hell of a lot more than climate change is discussed by most other oil monsters (Looking at you, Exxon). Shell, unlike many oil giants, actively acknowledges and even embraces climate action — at least, on paper. “It was encouraging to see governments reach a global climate agreement in Paris in December,” the report reads. “The agreement should now encourage countries to develop policies that balance environmental concerns with enabling a decent quality of life for more people.”

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60 YEARS AFTER NIGERIA’S FIRST CRUDE: Oloibiri oil dries up, natives wallow in abject poverty

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio, Yenagoa: 13 MARCH 2016

Like the gold rush of California in 19th century America, the small settlement of Oloibiri, a district headquarters in Ogbia in the defunct Eastern Region, came into  limelight in second half of the 20th  century when workers of Shell Darcy converged on the  town in search of the black gold.

However, the explorers made history in June 1956 when they struck the black gold in swampy communities of Otuabagi/Otuogidi in the Oloibiri District of Ogbia, making the latter district the first in West Africa where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity. Providence again ensured that the Ogbia kingdom produced the first minority President in history from the backwater of the Delta in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, an indigene of Otuoke.

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Should Shell have looked west for its Arctic Ocean fortune?

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That’s the hypothesis of David Houseknecht, one of the region’s foremost geologists and project chief for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Energy Resources Program for Alaska.

Other experts say the idea helps explain why public well results and rock chips have shown a large amount of gas in the reservoir but limited evidence of oil. Unlike Alaska politicians who jumped at the chance to blame federal regulations for Shell’s decision to abandon the Arctic, the scientists say the answer is simply a matter of geology — the oil just wasn’t there in big volumes.  

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Time to End ‘Blood Oil’ Disaster in the Niger Delta

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By Richard SteinerProfessor and conservation biologist, Oasis Earth (www.oasis-earth.com): 10 MARCH 2016

The Niger Delta’s legendary “blood oil” disaster has persisted for decades, and is now deepening. Oil in the Delta fuels a dangerous mix of environmental devastation, a violent militancy that has killed thousands, human rights abuses, corporate greed and exploitation, epidemic corruption, massive oil theft, sabotage, repression, poverty, anger and despair. It is time to put an end to this ongoing atrocity, once and for all.

The 30,000 square mile Niger Delta — including rich coastal waters, islands, mangroves swamps, and rainforests — was once one of the most productive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth. But today, after 60 years of oil extraction, the region’s environment and society are devastated — a textbook example of the “oil curse.

The Delta is arguably the most severely oil-damaged environment anywhere in the world. A decade ago, our team of scientists conducting an oil damage assessment in the Delta estimated that each year, some 250,000 barrels (10 million gallons) of oil spill there, an amount comparable to that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska — each year for 50 years. Oil operations have also caused extensive habitat degradation from road building, forest clearing, dredging and filling, thousands miles of pipelines, and chronic pollution from gas flaring and drilling wastes.

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Tanzania: Dar Businessman Hounded From Gas Blocks Deal

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 08.50.18Tanzania Daily News: 9 March 2016

Extracts

The Fair Competition Commission (FCC) has refused to entertain the application by Moto Mabanga, a businessman questioning about the deal for merging interest rights in three gas blocks offshore in Mtwara Region by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (Shell) and BG Group Plc.

In its letter addressed to the businessman, the FCC, through the Director General, Dr Fredrick Ringo, stated that the Commission could not act on his application because it approved the transaction involving the two foreign companies since last year.

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Did Shell’s Failure to Disclose Climate Risks Break the Law?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Congressmen who have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Exxon now request a similar probe of Shell.

BY DAVID HASEMYER, INSIDECLIMATE NEWSMAR 7, 2016

Three members of Congress have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Shell Oil Co. violated securities laws by failing to adequately disclose material business risks from climate change.

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by California Democrat Ted Lieu, said in a letter to the SEC that Shell understood the consequences of climate change and made business decisions based on that knowledge. 

“Yet, Shell funded and publicly engaged in a campaign to deceive the American people about the known risks of fossil fuels in causing climate change,” the lawmakers said in their letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White.

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Shell repays Iran 1.77 bln euros debt for oil deliveries

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By Ron Bousso

LONDON, March 7 Royal Dutch Shell has paid 1.77 billion euros ($1.94 billion) it owed the National Iranian Oil Company, settling debts after sanctions against the country were lifted in January.

The outstanding debt to Iran was a result of Iranian oil deliveries which Shell had been unable to pay for due to sanctions that were imposed on the country over its nuclear programme.

The Anglo-Dutch company resumed talks with Tehran on the debt after most Western sanctions were lifted in January as part of a deal with world powers. The payments were made over the past three weeks in euros as dollar transactions are still under U.S. sanctions.

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There’s a Cancer-Causing Chemical in My Drinking Water, But California Isn’t Regulating It

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Consumer Confidence Report Footnote

123 Trichloropropane has been detected in 29 wells in Fresno…. Some people who use water containing it over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer, based on studies in laboratory animals.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 21.15.23Wait…what? I have two little kids, and my family drinks the tap water. And it might cause cancer? I decided to fork out $200 to get mine tested. And to start digging into how 1,2,3-TCP got into the water.

Turns out, it’s not just Fresno. According to the State Water Resources Control Board, 1,2,3-TCP has been found in about a hundred public water systems across California, mostly in the Central Valley but also in counties like Santa Cruz, Monterey, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

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March 2016: Multiple news sources report that Nigerians have been given the go-ahead to sue Shell in UK court over oil spills

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By John Donovan

Multiple news sources have reported the latest legal proceedings brought against Shell in London on behalf of Nigerian communities. 

Parties pursuing litigation against Shell are frequently in contact with me seeking advice, inside information and internal evidence. I am always grateful in this regard for invaluable input from Shell insider sources, some of whom have provided information to me for over a decade. 

With regards to the latest litigation, suffice it to say that I was pleased to provide extensive assistance on a confidential basis to Leigh Day, the London law firm acting for their Nigerian clients. 

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Cash Can’t Fix the Village Ruined by Shell’s Oil

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Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 15.03.25By Chris Kay and Ed Kiernan: Bloomberg.com

3 March 2016

As canoes glide past mangroves blackened by oil in the Niger River delta, two dozen children splash around in a creek covered by a sheen of crude while families take shelter from the punishing midday sun in half-built houses.

Once a bustling farming and fishing town in the region of Ogoniland, Bodo has become a poster child in Nigeria for the devastating impact on local communities caused by the leakage of about 240,000 barrels of crude a year in the delta, close to the amount that spilled in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground off Alaska.

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Nigerians given go-ahead to sue Shell in UK court over oil spills

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent: Wednesday 2 March 2016 

In a statement before the hearing on Wednesday, Shell blamed sabotage and oil theft for the pollution. The company said it had halted production more than two decades ago in Ogoniland, the area where the two communities are located.

Shell said it would challenge the jurisdiction of the British court: “Asking the English court to intervene … is a direct challenge to the internal political acts and decisions of the Nigerian state.”

Human rights activists argue that such pollution levels would never be tolerated in the home countries of such multinationals.

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Nigerian Communities Can Sue Royal Dutch Shell Over Oil Spills, U.K. Court Says

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Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 15.29.20The suits are the latest international litigation to face Shell for environmental damage stemming from its Nigerian operations

By SARAH KENT: March 2, 2016 

LONDON—Two Nigerian communities can sue Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s Nigerian unit in the U.K. over oil spills in the West African country, a London court ruled Wednesday, testing whether energy companies can be held liable in their home country for events elsewhere.

The lawsuits, filed with the London High Court, are the latest international litigation to face Shell for environmental damage stemming from its Nigerian operations. The Anglo-Dutch company reached a £55 million ($77.4 million) settlement in a similar U.K. lawsuit brought by the Niger Delta-based Bodo community in January 2015. It also is being sued in the Netherlands in a separate case over Nigerian oil spills.

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