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Posts under ‘Environment’

Brexit, Trump, Populism and Royal Dutch Shell Plc

By John Donovan (right)

Brexit and Trump are the most visible current manifestations of populism – examples of ground-breaking nationalist movements backed by a large proportion of a voting population.

Populism is on the rise in a number of EU countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands, where there is mounting concern over PVV leader Geert Wilders.

What is described as “encroaching populism and negativism” is apparently viewed as a serious threat by Dutch multinationals, including Shell, Philips and Unilever.

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€8.5 million Shell slush fund mishandled in Ireland

By John Donovan

The Irish edition of The Sunday Times has published an article reporting that an official audit by a local government auditor has criticised the basis on which a €8.5 million fund, provided by the benevolent energy giant Shell, was handled by Mayo County Council.

What is the appropriate description for such a huge sum lavished on a relatively tiny community in County Mayo? A bribe? A spectacularly generous gift? Hush money? Or compensation for being diddled out of their birthright?

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Reflecting on the anti-Leigh Day verdict in Shell Nigerian oil spill case

By John Donovan

I have read the judgement published online and many of the related news stories concerning the oil spill litigation brought by the law firm Leigh Day against Shell on behalf of Nigerian clients.

No one could fairly accuse the Judge Mr Justice Fraser of being biased in favour of Leigh Day. Instead, he seems to have gone out of his way to criticise them on a variety of grounds. He even complained about the volume of evidence supplied by Leigh Day.

One criticism after another, constantly coming down on the side of Shell.

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Royal Dutch Shell Breaking News 31 Jan 2017

Links below are to some of the current news stories posted on our sister website royaldutchshellgroup.com covering, among other developments, an article published today by The Wall Street Journal under the headline: Corruption Currents: Nigeria to Charge Shell, Eni in Oil-Graft Scandal.

There is also news that Shell has sold a stake in a Thailand gas field and is selling more North Sea assets, all part of the fire sale necessary for funding the takeover of the BG Group. Also, some previews of Shell’s imminent fourth quarter results.

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Shell Nigerian Litigation: Win in UK. Loss in USA

As has been widely reported, Shell has managed to block the litigation brought in the London High Court by Nigerian litigants claiming for severe environmental damage caused by Shell in Nigeria. An appeal against the decision is likely. I have evidence that may assist.

Two days earlier, on 24 January, Shell lawyers lost a related case in America. A US Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered Shell law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to make available to the Nigerian litigant Ether Kiobel by 27 February, for use in the Dutch courts in a human rights action, more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in the USA. I am involved in that case.

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A deserved shitstorm of Shell Nigerian litigation

A boatload of heavily armed Shell employees? Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Shell is facing what Americans might describe as a shitstorm of lawsuits arising from its Nigerian activities since the 1950’s. Litigation is current or pending in Nigeria, the USA, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands.

According to Wikipedia, shitstorm is a vulgar dysphemism for a chaotic and unpleasant situation. It does seem appropriate in a reputational nightmare of Shell’s own making. Related human rights allegations against Shell and the evil Nigerian regimes it has supported include torture, murder, toxic pollution, spying and corruption on a grand scale.

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Discrepancy in Shell’s Corrib Gas Project financial filings?

By John Donovan

I have received information from Maura Harrington, spokesperson for the Shell to Sea campaign in Ireland concerning questions arising from the filed Shell financial accounts (2015) relating to the controversial construction of the Corrib natural gas pipeline in Ireland.

Maura would like the information to be brought to the attention of Shell shareholders so that if others examine the information she has already downloaded from the Irish Companies Registration Office (CRO) and share her concern, questions can be raised at the forthcoming Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM.

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Royal Dutch Shell Hydrogen News

Links below to some of the current news stories posted on our sister website royaldutchshellgroup.com covering, among other developments, Shell’s participation along with Total and other members, in a hydrogen council planning to invest (within 5 years) 10 billion euros ($10.7 billion) in hydrogen-related products.

There is also news of Nigerian government litigation against Shell, with a court date announced for a $406.7 million claim against the oil giant.

Toyota, Shell Among Giants Betting $10.7 Billion on Hydrogen

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Esher Kiobel v Shell article published in Dutch FT

The Nigerian Esther Kiobel will drag Shell before the Netherlands courts in a civil lawsuit. She holds the oil company responsible for complicity in the death of her husband Barinem Kiobel in 1995. Kiobel has returned to the US courts years after a legal action against Shell. With a view to a trial in the Netherlands Kiobel requested access to documents in the American action that were introduced by Shell. Kiobel claims these documents can prove that Shell colluded with the Nigerian regime to commit human rights violations. A US judge has approved in late December a request to use the documents in a Dutch court. The Dutch lawyer Channa Samkalden representing Kiobel in the Netherlands, says that the aim is to start the case in the Netherlands’ in the first months of this year.  “In the case going to Shell’s liability will be due to the role of the company at the events that led to the death of Kiobels husband,” says Samkalden.

Human Rights Violations

Barinem Kiobel along with environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others who were protesting against oil exploration in the Niger Delta, were executed by the Nigerian military. Because Shell according to Kiobel supported and provided funding to the army in the fight against groups protesting against oil companies in the Niger Delta, the company was complicit in his death.

In 2009, Shell settled a US case for more than $ 15 million with some relatives of the executed Nigerians, who were known as the Ogoni nine, but the case of Kiobel did not lead to a settlement. The US Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2013 that it had no jurisdiction to rule on her claims.

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Resurrection of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell litigation

32 page U.S. Federal Court Order dated 20 December 2016 

U.S. Related FederalCourt Order dated 6 January 2017

Shell is being buried up to its corporate neck in a toxic swamp of current or pending litigation arising from its activities in Nigeria.

In 2013 Shell thought it had killed Nigeria related long-standing litigation in the U.S. courts when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Alien Tort Claims Act does not apply extraterritorially

Esther Kiobel was the bitterly disappointed lead plaintiff seeking justice in the USA on human rights grounds against a company she considers to be evil. She holds Shell responsible for the murder of her late husband, Ogoni leader Dr Barinem Kiobel.

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Financial tremors for Shell and Exxon from Groningen earthquakes

By John Donovan

A Dutch court has just upheld a government decision to cap production at the Groningen gas field, a giant natural gas field located in Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. The largest natural gas field in Europe.

It is operated by the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV (NAM), a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, with each company owning a 50% share. 

For decades, the venture has been a money spinner for the oil giants and the Dutch government.

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Shell’s complicity in human rights abuses in the Niger Delta


By John Donovan

As we approach the start of 2017, Shell’s conduct in Nigeria is coming under intense scrutiny by prosecution authorities and is also the subject of civil litigation, both current and pending.

The charges include corruption, environmental contamination, and gross human rights abuses, including cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. 

Shell senior management cannot say that it was not warned. The following is an extract from a letter sent in February 2012 to Shell executives in London, Nigeria and Den Haag.

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