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Dutch agency calls for further cut in Groningen gas production

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.29.52The agency declined to comment.

The Cabinet is expected to announce its production plans for the field for the period after Oct. 1, 2016 on Friday, after several cuts in the past year have left it at the rate of 27 bcm on an annualized basis.

The final decision will be based on the recommendations from the agency, Groningen’s operator NAM, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon, and six other parties.

A majority of lawmakers Dutch parliament have called for production to be cut as far as possible to reduce earthquakes in the northern province caused by the gas extraction.

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Western leaders, CEOs visit Russia amid sanctions fatigue

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Shell CEO Ben van Beurden bows to President Putin of Russia.

NATALIYA VASILYEVA, ASSOCIATED PRESS: June 15, 2016 Updated: June 16, 2016 1:29pm

Following a meeting with Putin, Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden and state-owned gas giant Gazprom announced plans to build an LNG plant in Russia together. France’s Total is working with Russia’s largely private gas producer on a liquefied natural gas project.

The fact that the CEOs of top American companies have in a sense defied their government shows that they put their business interests before any political considerations, analysts say.

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Iran confirms oil shipment for Shell

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By Daniel J. Graeber     |   June 13, 2016

TEHRAN, June 13 (UPI) — A shipment of Iranian crude oil was sold to Royal Dutch Shell and talks are developing with other major oil companies, an Iranian official said Monday.

Royal Dutch Shell paid off its debt to its Iranian counterparts early this year, clearing the way for the company to resume its cooperation with Iran now that sanctions pressures are easing.

Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Buerden said in early February the company was eager to settle its debt to Iran as soon as legal mechanisms permit. At the time, the CEO said it was still too early to make any firm commitments in Iran.

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Companies charged with workplace breaches following Corrib gas death

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Edwin McGreal: Belmullet: 08 JUNE 2016

Two companies have been sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar on charges following a workplace accident which resulted in the death of a man working on the Corrib gas tunnel in 2013.

Twenty-six year old Lars Wagner was killed, in September 2013, while he was working on the construction of a tunnel for the Corrib gas project.

Mr Wagner, a German native, was working on boring a tunnel to carry the project’s gas pipeline under Sruwaddacon Bay to the Corrib gas refinery at Bellenaboy.

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Niger Delta: Government clean-up does not let Shell off the hook

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MAY 31, 2016

The multinational oil giant Shell must not be allowed to palm off its responsibility to clean up decades of oil pollution which continues to blight the Niger Delta, said Amnesty International ahead of the Nigerian government’s long overdue clean-up of Ogoniland, due to begin on June 2.  

Scores of oil spills from Shell operations in the Niger Delta have yet to be properly cleaned up, and even sites the multi-national company claims to have cleaned remain polluted. To make matters worse, there were at least 130 oil spills from Shell operations in 2015.

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Questions raised over impartiality of Shell’s auditor as it emerges they also worked for takeover rival BG Group

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By LAURA CHESTERS FOR THE DAILY MAILPUBLISHED: 22:53, 24 May 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is facing allegations that the firm which signs off its accounts is not impartial.

A leading investor yesterday raised concerns that EY, which has been appointed as auditor of the oil supermajor, had a conflict of interest because it had checked the books of BG Group ahead of its £36billion merger with Shell.

Standard Life, which raised the objection, said it had it had already voiced concerns about conflicts of interest at the Shell annual general meeting last year and said that it voted against the appointment this year and was ‘disappointed’ with Shell’s decision to select EY.

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Exxon Investors Seek Assurance as Climate Shifts, Along With Attitudes

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and JOHN SCHWARTZA version of this article appears in print on May 24, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

HOUSTON — Exxon Mobil has been under pressure for over a year to explain its handling of climate change issues in the past. Now the company faces new pressure to explain its future, particularly how it will change in response to a warming world.

At the company’s planned annual meeting on Wednesday in Dallas, shareholders will vote on a resolution to prod Exxon Mobil to disclose the risks of climate change to its business.

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Lensbury Club, owned by Shell Oil, defends its opposition to Teddington and Ham Hydro renewable energy scheme

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03George Odling, Senior Reporter: 23 May 2016

A leisure club owned by Shell Oil has defended its position to block plans for a renewable energy scheme near its land.

Its decision, which has left council-tax payers footing the bill, has been blasted as “shameful” by a Teddington councillor.

Teddington’s Lensbury Club, wholly owned by the oil giant, is appealing a High Court dismissal of a review into Richmond Council’s decision to grant planning permission to the Teddington and Ham Hydro scheme.

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Club owned by Shell tries to block local hydropower scheme

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Damian Carrington: Sunday 22 May 2016

Shell is involved in blocking the development of a renewable energy project in a legal battle between a private club owned by the company and a community hydropower scheme on the river Thames.

The latest legal moves came just as Shell created a separate division, New Energies, to invest in renewable and low-carbon power.

The site is by the bank of the Lensbury, which was formerly a staff club for Shell employees and is now a hotel and private leisure club. The Lensbury is wholly owned by Shell and its five named directors are all “oil company executives” according to filings to Companies House, including Mike Napier, executive vice-president of external communications at Shell.

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Shell’s brutal and unfair approach to reducing staff numbers

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UPDATED WITH MORE COMMENTS

BY “FRUSTRATEDATSHELL”

Interested to know if any current Shell employees have picked up on the unfair approach to the current reorganisation.

Management in Netherlands are seeking RFA’s and operating to a different timeline to the UK and Australia, with Australia being able to steam ahead with their reorg plans as they do not have the same constraints. So much so, that impacted employees are being asked to second guess whether they need to apply for jobs in their base countries or to stick tight and see out the brutal and unfair approach to reducing staff numbers in their current host countries.

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Party time over for Nigeria’s oil billionaires

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Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.04.33By Danny Fortson in IBIZA: SUNDAY 15 May 2016

Extracts

The new president estimated that more than $lbn a month was being I funnelled out of Nigeria’s public accounts, mostly through dodgy deals in the oil and gas industry. He has declared it his mission to track down the worst offenders and force them to give back their ill-gotten gains.

The recent Panama papers leak laid bare London’s role at the heart of the global money-laundering industry.

Much of the cash that has disappeared from Nigeria’s coffers over the years has been recycled into sports cars, country piles and mansions in west London.

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Argentina’s Energy Minister is stealing for the Crown

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By Eduardo J. Vior

While Royal Dutch Shell PLC has announced ten days ago an annual drop of its global sales in the first quarter by 83%, its Argentine subsidiary is filling the pockets of its mother company and the Dutch crown with the help of Energy Minister José Luis Aranguren. Since his appointment by President Mauricio Macri at last 10th December, Mr. Aranguren, Shell Argentina CEO from 2003 to 2015, and 2009-15 with downstream responsibility for the whole of South America, pursuits a policy which extremely benefits his company, and sows hatred and resentment.

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Work begins on massive cleanup of contaminated Carousel tract yards in Carson

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By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze: 13 May 2016

They had been waiting for this day for eight years. But it was still wrenching for the Ancheta family when it finally came this week.

Their house in Carson’s infamous Carousel tract was the first of hundreds slated for cleanup of tons of soil contaminated with hazardous waste from old oil storage tanks. Beginning a five-year clean-up process across the 50-acre community, workers ripped out carefully manicured plants and lawns and dug up trees.

Teresa Ancheta winced at the sight of her trees being uprooted in front of the home where she’s lived for 26 years.

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$1.1billion Malabu scam: Italian oil giant, Eni, admits wrongdoing

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Nicholas Ibekwe: Saturday 14 May 2016

After coming under intense questioning from its shareholders, the management of Italian oil giant, Eni has finally admitted to wrongdoing in the infamous Malabu Oil deal.

Eni, as well as Royal Dutch Shell, had previously insisted that it followed the law in the purchase of one of the most lucrative oil blocks in Nigeria, OPL-245, which belonged to Malabu Oil, a company owned by a convicted former minister, Dan Etete.

Mr. Etete was the petroleum minister under Sani Abacha. PREMIUM TIMES’ previous investigations had detailed how he fraudulently awarded the oil block to himself and friends, including Mohammed Abacha, Mr. Abacha’s son, in contravention of Nigerian laws.

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Shell’s manipulation in the spot market

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By Jonathan Crawford: May 13, 2016

Sixteen years after California experienced rolling blackouts and soaring power prices, two of the last companies accused of taking advantage of the shortage are facing a decision by federal regulators.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Iberdrola SA have until May 27 to respond to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge’s initial ruling last month that they sold electricity at inflated prices during the California power crisis of 2000-2001. While other companies that sold power under long-term contracts in the state have long since settled charges, Shell and Iberdrola elected to fight the case.

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Shell and Exxon secured ‘secret deal’ on Groningen gas production

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Friday 13 May 2016

Oil companies Shell and Exxon held secret talks with the economic affairs ministry in 2005 to set levels of production in the Groningen gas field up to and beyond 2020, according to documents obtained by NOS.

The documents show that the two companies exerted pressure on the ministry not to scale back gas extraction despite increasing concern over the increased frequency of earthquakes in the region.

The Dutch parliament was informed of the talks, which took place in 2005, but only knew of an agreement to set production levels for the next 10 years. The documents obtained under freedom of information legislation show that the deal also covered the years up to 2020, when the gas field is expected to go into decline, and afterwards.

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Shell to Sea Spokesperson Jailed for E300 fine as Millions roll in for Corrib Gas

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News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – May 7th 2016 

Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington was arrested in Belmullet on Friday afternoon and  jailed for 10 days in Mountjoy prison for the non-payment of a court fine of E300.

It is thought that the jailing relates to a 2012 protest attempting to block construction of the disputed development.

Ms. Harrington has continuously opposed the Corrib gas project due to health and safety concerns, environmental damage and the giveaway of Ireland’s natural resources to private corporations. [1]

The jailing comes on the same day as Vermillion Energy – who owns an 18.5% share in Corrib gas – released sales figures of $17million from Corrib from the first three months of 2016. [2] At this rate the Corrib partners – Shell, Statoil and Vermillion – stand to make sales of $7.35billion from Corrib over a 20 year field lifespan. [3]

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Chevron Shuts Platform Off Nigeria After Attack

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By SARAH KENT and BRADLEY OLSON: May 6, 2016 

LONDON—Unidentified attackers struck a Chevron Corp. platform off the Nigerian coast this past week, causing an oil spill and forcing the company to shut the facility.

Nigeria’s rich oil fields have a long history of violence and pollution, with oil thieves and industry protesters regularly puncturing pipelines and blowing up installations. In the 1990s, protests over oil spills forced Royal Dutch Shell PLC out of part of the Delta region. Shell later settled litigation accusing it of being complicit in the government’s execution of protesters. The company says the allegations were false.

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Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington arrested in Mayo

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Friday 6 May 2016

SHELL TO SEA campaigner Maura Harrington has been arrested in Mayo and taken to Mountjoy Prison to serve time for an unpaid fine.

It is understood she was arrested this afternoon as she left a bank in Belmullet. She was taken to Belmullet garda station and then transported to the Dóchas Centre women’s prison at Mountjoy, where she is expected to spend ten days.

The activist was convicted last year in relation to the obstruction of a tunnel-boring machine at the Shell plant in Ballinaboy. A monetary penalty of €300 was imposed as part of her sentence, but she has refused to pay it.

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Nepotism at Shell Deer Park Refinery?

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Nepotism: the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

THE FOLLOWING INTRODUCTION INCLUDES COMMENT FROM A SHELL INSIDER SOURCE

Daryl Riemer (26 years old) was hired externally to Shell Deer Park Refinery into a dept where his manager Jeffrey Gribnau, is his brother-in-law. 

In a Shell internal email dated 25 April 2016, Jeffrey gives all kinds of excuses of how it wasn’t nepotism and their code of ethics wasn’t violated.

The job position Riemer took is normally filled internally from very experienced employees. 

No surprise then that his appointment has generated debate and resentment leading to the leaked internal emails, which can be read below.

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Allegation Texas federal judge biased in favor of BP

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 21.02.41Mr. Justice Laddie was well aware of our views and was placed in a very difficult position, with his credibility and reputation being publicly called into question and at the highest levels of the state. The various correspondence on the subject ended on 21 April 2005. By coincidence or otherwise, just eight weeks later, Mr. Justice Laddie resigned as a Judge in mysterious controversial circumstances…

By John Donovan

The following is an extract from a news report published on 4 May 2016:

Whistleblowers asked the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday to revive a $266 billion False Claims Act suit involving BP PLC’s Gulf of Mexico-based Atlantis facility, saying a Texas federal judge erred by favoring the company and demonstrated “remarkable and unacceptable hostility” toward them while doing so.

Although it is fair to say that oil companies have far-reaching influence, it remains to be seen if the bias allegations are true in the relevant litigation. 

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Gas station prompts outrage with sign: ‘Closed on Sundays so we can prep for the crusade’

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By Andrew Blake – The Washington Times: Monday, May 2, 2016

Signage outside a Nashville gas station drew mixed reactions from customers over the weekend, including from some who reportedly accused the establishment of hate speech.

Nashville’s WSMV News on Sunday reported that a Shell station was turning heads as a result of a couple of different digital messages that had been programed to appear on signage beneath the price of gas.

“Closed on Sundays so we can prep for the crusade,” read one of the slogans that appeared on the sign. “Seven years of Obama and we can’t figure out which restroom to use,” read another.

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Issues relating to Shell’s acquisition of BG Group Plc

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By John Donovan

Extract from an email received from a knowledgeable source who wishes to remain anonymous:

…your subscribers might be interested in the following:

The cost of Phase I in BG’s QGC LNG project was approximately £20bn. BG borrowed approximately 65% of this money by issuing Corporate Bonds to a level somewhere between £12Bn and £14Bn to fund this. Shell acquired this debt when it bought BG Group.

BG’s Western Delta Deep Marine gas fields in the western Nile Delta produce approximately 20,000BBL/Day of contaminated water. When the fields were operated by BG this water was driven by road tanker and dumped somewhere in the desert. Have Shell done anything to address this environmental issue?

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Museums face ethics investigation over influence of sponsor BP

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03In May last year Shell was accused of putting pressure on the Science Museum to influence a climate change exhibition it was sponsoring. The charge was denied by the company and the museum but within six months the partnership had been scrapped.

The Museums Association is investigating claims that some of Britain’s most revered cultural institutions have broken its code of ethics in the way they dealt with one of their commercial sponsors, BP.

The move follows the release of internal documents seen by the Guardian that appear to show the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and other institutions bending to accommodate the demands of the oil company.

In May last year Shell was accused of putting pressure on the Science Museum to influence a climate change exhibition it was sponsoring. The charge was denied by the company and the museum but within six months the partnership had been scrapped.

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Shelter-in-place order for Corunna a ‘precaution’

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Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 20.41.15Shell’s refinery at Corunna manufactures gasoline, solvents, chemicals and other products. The World Health Organization says human exposure to benzene has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer and aplastic anemia.

By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer: Thursday, April 28, 2016

A phone call from a neighbour of Shell’s refinery in Corunna alerted the company to an incident that resulted in a shelter-in-place advisory being issued Wednesday evening for a section of the St. Clair Township community.

It also led to emergency sirens sounding in Sarnia, and the activating of a community network notification system that sent out thousands of messages to Sarnia-Lambton residents.

Shell spokesperson Kristina Zimmer said that at approximately 4 p.m. Wednesday, “ A resident that lives on Curran Avenue had smelled this abnormal odour, and had called the site to notify us.”

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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 2016-04-20 at 21.02.41Extract 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

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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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Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 13.04.33Shell investigated over $1 billion corrupt oil deal

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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