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Why Shell Prelude is such a risky gamble!

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

Comment from Bill Campbell on the article:

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

FLNG

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

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

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

By John Donovan

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

SHELL’S TOP SPOOKS AT WAR WITH EACH OTHER

By John Donovan

Earlier this year we published an article about a spectacular falling out of ‘Security Professionals’ at the top of Shell.

Readers may recall the Mooch like comments attributed to Shell’s US boss Bruce Culpepper about Shell’s Business Integrity Department. He said that they “could not investigate their way out of a wet paper bag;” “they cannot investigate worth a shit;” and that he “did not want those fuckers involved…” If Bruce Culpepper denies that he made these memorable comments, then he is free to sue me for defamation. read more

Shell sells its SADAF stake for $820 million

By John Donovan

Saudi Basic Industries has acquired Shell’s 50% share in the petrochemicals joint venture SADAF.

Shell has sold its stake for the sum of $820 million. The deal gives full control of the business to Saudi Basic Industries, the Saudi state-owned chemicals group known as Sabic. The sale proceeds will be used to invest in the growth of Shell’s own global chemical activities, such as in the USA.

Havlish v. Royal Dutch Shell PLC

The Judge was almost certainly unaware that Shell global management plotted to exploit the tragic 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City? Had the judge known about this fact and had seen the relevant Shell internal emails, it may have made him less susceptible to the arguments advanced by Shell’s lawyers.  Likewise, I would be surprised if the Judge knew just how far Shell had been prepared to go to evade sanctions against Iran. 

By John Donovan

Havlish v. Royal Dutch Shell Plc was the case heard in the US courts whereby victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre twin towers attempted to obtain $2.1 billion from Shell that Shell rightfully owed to Iran, but could not pay because of sanctions. Havlish had obtained a $6.1 billion judgement against Iran but had no way of getting payment from the extremist Iranian regime.

A detailed article is printed below. Shell successfully resisted the claim and the case was terminated on May 25, 2016. read more

Eternal Shame of Shell over North Sea Platform Safeguards

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

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

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

$2.47bn at stake in US case: Shell/Exxon v Nigerian National Petroleum Corp

By John Donovan

Provided below are links to a selection of US court documents I have published online about a dispute being litigated in the US courts involving Shell, Exxon and the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC). A gigantic sum (including interest) of $2.47bn USD is at stake.

In an echo of the Esther Kiobel v Shell case, also currently being heard in the US courts, the current arguments are about the discovery process. (Esther is actually suing Shell’s US lawyers, Cravath Swaine & Moore.) read more

Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Opinion from a contributor to our Shell Blog

A media article has revealed that Shell is already suffering from the legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment.

The HSE have issued an improvement notice for failing to install gas detection equipment on the Lomond Platform, despite recommendations from two separate studies.

A second improvement notice was issued for failing to test a High Integrity Protection System (HIPS) since 2014, despite the associated Performance Standard requirement to test annually.

It could be assumed that Finlayson encouraged the infamous Brent TFA during his tenure at the helm of BG to maximise production volumes (an obsession with executives), at the expense of safety system testing. That assumption would not be entirely accurate, the same culture was evident in BG Group long before. Previous failures of a HIPS testing regime had been exposed at another BG operational location, yet despite this no one was held accountable. Maybe if they had been the ‘management team’ in question would not have been implanted in Aberdeen in 2012. read more

FINAL EXTRACT ESTHER KIOBEL WRIT SERVED ON SHELL 28 JUNE 2017

By John Donovan

Published below are the final pages – 113 to 138 – inclusive, from the Writ served on multiple companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group on 28 June 2017 on behalf of Esther Kiobel. These pages provide supporting information about the claim, including a List of Exhibits. The formatting is not 100% accurate, but the content is correct.

Extract begins

CLAIM

The claimants request the court to enter judgement, provisionally enforceable as far as possible:

  1. to rule that the defendants acted unlawfully towards the claimants and are jointly and severally liable to them for the damage that they have suffered and will suffer in the future as a result of the defendants’ unlawful actions, which damage is to be assessed during separate follow-up proceedings and settled according to the law, all this plus the statutory interest up to the date of settlement in full;
  2. to order the defendants within 21 days of the judgment to compel the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, in any case the CEO of SPDC, to make a public apology for the role that Shell played in the events leading to the death of the claimants’ spouses and to publish the text of this statement clearly visible on its website, subject to a penalty of €20,000 per day (or a sum to be determined by the court in accordance with the proper administration of justice) that they fail to comply with this order;
  3. to order the defendants jointly and severally to pay the extrajudicial costs;
  4. to order the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay the costs of these proceedings, including the subsequent costs.

The cost of this: €80.42 read more

FINAL EXTRACT FROM SHELL’S LEAKED TRANSFORMATION PLANS

By John Donovan

Published below is the final multi-page segment from Shell’s leaked internal document mentioned in a Reuters/New York Times article published last week: Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts at Dutch Projects and Technology Department. The plans are much greater in scope than suggested by the headline. Their implementation will result in a managerial jobs upheaval and significant job cuts as a consequence of the acquisition of BG Group and the decline in oil prices. Once again, I have left in the page numbers, which appear at the foot of each page and sometimes interrupt paragraphs. The formatting is not 100% accurate but the content is correct. read more

Kiobel Writ: The Dutch battlefront against Shell

For years, Shell encouraged the Nigerian regime to take (more) effective measures designed to ensure Shell’s return to Ogoniland. Shell did this despite the fact that it had meanwhile learned from experience that in its actions, the regime frequently violated human rights and many people were killed.

By John Donovan

Earlier today we published an article about the latest legal moves on behalf on Esther Kiobel in the US courts against a Shell law firm. We now return to the publication of information about her legal action against Shell in the Netherlands. The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by voluminous evidence.

Extracts begin

8.8 Shell Nigeria Shell operated as a single entity

8.8.1 Introduction read more

Shell Leaked Transformation Plans Part 6

By John Donovan

Published below is a further multi-page segment from Shell’s leaked internal document mentioned in a Reuters/New York Times article published last week: Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts at Dutch Projects and Technology Department. The plans are much greater in scope than suggested by the headline. Their implementation will result in a managerial jobs upheaval and significant job cuts as a consequence of the acquisition of BG Group and the decline in oil prices. Once again, I have left in the page numbers, which appear at the foot of each page and sometimes interrupt paragraphs. read more

Esther Kiobel US Court battle for 100,000 Shell docs continues

Esther Kiobel with legal team and supporters in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington DC, 2012 © Private

Extracts: Cravath put the mountain of Shell discovery items into secure US storage. My guess is that Shell would have preferred an accidental fire. 

Petitioner has already waited over twenty years for a forum that will hear her claims for her husband’s execution. At this point, Petitioner’s co-plaintiffs in the Dutch litigation face increasingly fragile health, and now fear that “further delaying litigation in the Netherlands might impede their ability to bring their claim in the future.”

By John Donovan

Several months ago, a US Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein after carefully considering arguments made by the involved parties ordered Shell’s US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore to give Esther Kiobel access to more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents for use in the Dutch courts. Dutch proceedings against Shell commenced on 28 June 2017.

The Shell internal documents were assembled for Esther Kiobel’s thwarted US action against the oil giant which commenced over a decade ago. That litigation ended with a US Supreme Court decision that she could not bring a human rights claim against Shell in the US for alleged misdeeds committed in Nigeria, including involvement in the judicial murder of the ‘Ogoni 9′. Cravath put the mountain of Shell discovery items into secure US storage. My guess is that Shell would have preferred an accidental fire. read more

$45m claim against Shell Brunei involving another leak

By John Donovan

Amrtur Corporation, a supplier of drill pipes and other oil industry services, has sent a letter before action making a $45m claim against Shell’s Brunei business. The move is said to be triggered by cuts resulting from the fall in oil prices. According to a report in the FT: “Amrtur asserts it suffered lost revenues of B$61.2m ($45m) between 2012 and 2016 due to alleged breaches of its contracts with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company, the 50-50 partnership between the government and Royal Dutch Shell.” read more

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

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

The Lonely Elephant

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

Paddy Briggs outspoken on revolting Shell FAT CATS

TIMES ARTICLE

By Paddy Briggs

Once again Matthew Parris speaks for me. When I spoke at the Royal Dutch Shell AGM this year against the Company’s precipitate decision to abandon Shell’s Pensioner support scheme I did so during the section on Director remuneration. The directors pay themselves millions – the CEO €10m plus, plus. The Pensioner Liaison Rep. scheme they jettisoned cost < £1m. It’s the rich wot got the riches – the rest of us are just the little people who don’t count. We have no voice. Do the elected Trustees of our Pension Fund look after our interests (I tried to when I was one)? The evidence is they do not – or the system doesn’t allow them to. Like Parris I have a comfortable lifestyle. Not a three big houses lifestyle. Not a new car every year lifestyle. Not a pay for education for the grandchildren lifestyle. But comfortable and no more than I deserve. read more

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