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Posts under ‘Human Rights’

Role of a hapless Ann Pickard in OPL 245

By John Donovan

During the period that Shell was conniving in setting up the OPL 245 deal, the company had a vice-like grip on the oil wealth of Nigeria and more power than the Nigerian government. This information comes from an analysis of leaked secret US embassy cables.

Ann Pickard, a then senior Shell executive, was directly involved in the OPL 245 deal, and the primary indiscreet source of the secret information.

Extracts below from various publications provide evidence of her role in OPL 245. They are followed by astonishing related extracts from a Guardian newspaper article about the leaked classified cables.

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Shell false pledges of transparency and openness

By John Donovan

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden says that he believes in the fundamental importance of openness by Shell. This echo’s comments made previously by Jorma Ollila when he was Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said in a speech at the 2014 AGM “Shell believes in transparency and your board has high levels of commitment to this.”

Unfortunately Shell senior management deeds do not, in practice, match their lofty words.

On 22 May I wrote to Shell Legal Director Donny Ching asking him to instruct Shell US lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to release for use in the Dutch courts over 100,000 items of evidence gathered by Shell internally in relation to its past conduct in Nigeria. Alleged human rights abuses, including alleged complicity in the murder of Ogoni leaders.

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OPL 245: DONNY CHING LIVING IN A WORLD OF ALTERNATIVE FACTS

Bill Campbell comments on OPL 245 Statement by Shell Legal Director Donny Ching

Chronology is important is it not!

The international law firm reported to the RDS board in July 2016 but the emails confirming Shell knew money was going to individuals was not exposed till April 2017 a year later and was confirmed by the statement from the Shell spokesman to be an accepted fact in his 10th April 2017 press statement.

So did the international law firm who we are to assume gave a positive message to the Board have no knowledge of these emails in 2016?

Ching seems to be living in the world of alternative facts, his statements in the article above that Shell had no visibility into all this and payments were made without their prior knowledge or authorisation by Shell totally contradicts what RDS has already admitted on record in April this year.

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Donny Ching spin on Shell support for South African apartheid

By John Donovan

How much respect should we have for Shell Legal Director Donny Ching bearing in mind his attempt to rewrite the history of Shell’s shameful support for the dreadful apartheid regime in South Africa. Perhaps he is just ignorant about the facts. Mr Ching has given an account from his personal perspective as a student at Melbourne University nearly three decades ago. 

This is what he has said on the record:

At that time in Australia, and it was the same all over the world, there was a huge wave of protests about apartheid in South Africa.

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SHELL REPUTATIONAL RISKS

SHELL REPUTATIONAL RISKS

How fortunate that Shell has not got itself mired in any murky activity. e.g. paying hundreds of millions to a Nigerian crook, putting profits before safety with induced earthquakes in The Netherlands, terrorising safety staff in Norway, spying globally on its own employees, or engaging in widespread bribery and corruption in Ireland. None of that could possibly happen. Same applies to the oil and gas reserves fraud, which Donny Ching, to his credit, has not forgotten

The following information is taken directly from Shell’s Annual Report for the year ended December 31, 2016

From page 14

An erosion of our business reputation could have a material adverse effect on our brand, our ability to secure new resources and our licence to operate.

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Selection of current Shell new articles

Nigeria Seizes Foreign Vessel for Alleged Theft of Shell Crude: Bloomberg: 27 April 2017

Nigeria detained a vessel with crew members from countries including Pakistan, Indonesia and Ukraine for alleged theft of crude from a facility owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the navy said.

Bar, business groups back Cravath on fighting disclosure of Shell documents: Reuters 27 April 2017

The New York City Bar Association has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in backing law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore in its appeal of an order to turn over documents belonging to client Royal Dutch Shell plc in a possible overseas lawsuit accusing the oil giant of facilitating human rights violations.

Shell Signs Oil Exploration Cooperation Deal In Oman: OilPrice.com: 26 April 2017

Royal Dutch Shell and Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production (OOCEP) have signed a Heads of Agreement for cooperation in resource exploration in an oil and gas block in Oman, the Omani company said on Twitter on Wednesday.

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Esther Kiobel vs money motivated hornets’ nest of 66,000 lawyers

By John Donovan

The battle in the US courts over Shell discovery documents was uneven from the start. Esther Kiobel versus Shell’s formidable US lawyers CRAVATH, SWAINE & MOORE, LLP. The Nigerian-born widow of a murdered Ogoni leader on one side, still fighting to put Shell on trial for complicity in his murder, and a giant law firm on the other, which since 2002, has been blocking her path to justice.

Nonetheless, a US Judge granted her recent petition for Cravath to hand over more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in the USA so that Esther can use them in a pending action against Shell in the Netherlands. In response, Cravath hired another top law firm Hogan Lovells led by one of America’s top lawyers Neal Katyal to represent them in an appeal, thus becoming a battle between Esther Kiobel (now a US citizen) and two giant law firms. No doubt with the malevolent presence of Shell lurking behind the scenes pulling the strings.

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Potent carcinogen contaminated drinking water used by millions, says report

Abigail Elise: National Curator. Apr 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — Shell Oil Co. and Dow Chemical hid a cancer-causing chemical in two commonly-used pesticides that contaminated the drinking water of millions of people in the state of California, according to lawsuits detailed in a report from the Environmental Working Group earlier this month. TCP, a poisonous insecticide gas, was used for decades in the pesticide Telone, made by Dow, and D-D, made by Shell.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell’s litigation in the U.S. courts over misappropriated $1.4bn Nigerian oil

By John Donovan

Esther Kiobel, the widow of Shell Ogoni leader Dr Barinem Kiobel, spent over a decade pursuing litigation against Royal Dutch Shell in the USA courts for alleged complicity in his murder.

All of her efforts and those of her lawyers and all the evidence gathered from witnesses came to nought when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that Shell could not be sued in the in the U.S. courts for matters that happened in Nigeria.

Being a simple soul, not a lawyer, I am at a loss to understand how it is then that Shell is currently pursuing litigation against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (“NNPC”) in the U.S. courts in relation to the sum of $1,416,932,000 (Yes, $1.4bn), plus interest and legal costs.

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Shell’s Nigerian Nightmare Continues

Latest salvo in Shell Nigerian discovery docs battle

By John Donovan

Over 100,000 Shell internal discovery documents relating to the oil giants murderous conduct in Nigeria were assembled by Shell several years ago.

This huge task was undertaken for the famous Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum lawsuit in the USA alleging that Shell was complicit in the murder of Ogoni leaders, including Ken Saro-Wiwa and the beloved husband of Esther Kiobel, Dr. Barinem Kiobel.

In 2013, Shell’s lawyers Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP managed to scupper that litigation on legal jurisdiction grounds in a historic U.S. Supreme Court Decision. The pre-trial proceedings, which had lasted over a decade, came to an abrupt end before the allegations could be brought to trial. Shell cleverly escaped responsibility. The content of the discovery documents remained confidential and under Shell’s control.

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Spectacular falling out of ‘Security Professionals’ at the top of Shell

By John Donovan

Former FBI Special Agent Crockett Oaks III joined Shell in 2003 and until recently was paid over $325,000 per year as head of Shell Security in the Americas. He has a military background currently holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Oaks had a Top Secret U.S. Government Security Clearance through the military connection that afforded him the opportunity to attend classified U.S. federal governmental security briefings for the private sector (his employer Shell).

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APRIL 2017: TOP U.S. LAW FIRMS BATTLING TO FRUSTRATE ESTHER KIOBEL LITIGATION AGAINST SHELL

Esther Kiobel (left) addressing supporters

15 YEARS ON, SHELL STILL FRUSTRATING LITIGATION TO HOLD IT ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVIL DEEDS IN NIGERIA

By John Donovan

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP – a global law firm, which has Shell as a long term client, has recently hired another global law firm – Hogan Lovells US LLP – to represent it in an attempt to frustrate litigation being brought against Shell in the USA and the Netherlands. 

We have published several articles in recent months concerning a petition brought in the US courts on behalf of Esther Kiobel.  

She is seeking access to more than 100,000 Shell internal documents gathered by Shell and handed to Cravath. This happened as part of the discovery process in the litigation Esther brought against Shell in 2002, in the US courts. Among many serious allegations was a claim that Shell was complicit in the murder of her husband, a leader of the Ogoni people in Nigeria. 

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