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Posts under ‘John Donovan’

Shell board confronted by pensioner welfare question from Paddy Briggs

RETIRED SHELL EXEC PADDY BRIGGS

Shell board confronted by pensioner welfare question from Paddy Briggs

Regular visitors may recall my article published in December 2016 Shell cost-cutting plan will undermine the welfare of its pensioners. 

It included an extract from a Facebook posting on the subject by retired Shell executive Paddy Briggs (right). Paddy confronted the Shell board on the subject yesterday. As is evident from the response in the transcript below, they seemed ill-prepared for the question, which compared huge sums paid to Shell directors such as Ben van Beurden with welfare cuts being made to Shell pensioners. As a result of his intervention, the board has agreed to review the issue he raised.  

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Is Donny Ching all talk on Shell ethics?

If Shell is innocent of the allegations made by Ether Kiobel what is there to hide?

SENT BY EMAIL TO SHELL LEGAL DIRECTOR, DONNY CHING: FROM JOHN DONOVAN

Dear Mr Ching

You laid it on thick about Shell ethics and principles in your impressive speech: “FOLLOWING THE NORTH STAR: NAVIGATING COMPANIES TOWARDS A GOOD REPUTATION”

Extract

Nowadays, reputation is harder to win. And much easier to lose. In this context it is not enough to simply say: “Trust us.” Trust. Reputation. These are not simply messages to be broadcast. They are the outcomes that result from consistently ethical behaviour.

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Embarrassing facts Shell omitted from its history

Extract from page 10 (with our amendments in italics)

HISTORY

From 1907 until 2005, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c. were the two public parent companies of a group of companies known collectively as the “Royal Dutch/Shell Group”. In 2005, the Donovan’s beat us to the domain name “RoyalDutchShellGroup.com” and we lost a costly legal battle to seize it.

Operating activities were conducted through the subsidiaries of these parent companies. In 2005, Royal Dutch Shell plc became the single parent company of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and of The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company, p.l.c., now The Shell Transport and Trading Company Limited. In 2005, the Donovan’s beat us to the domain name “RoyalDutchShellPlc.com” and we lost a costly legal battle to seize it. Royal Dutch Shell plc (the Company) is a public limited company registered in England and Wales and headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands.

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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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CURRENT LITIGATION INVOLVING SHELL

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

PESTICIDE LITIGATION

Shell Oil Company (SOC), along with other agricultural chemical pesticide manufacturers and distributors, has been sued by public and quasi-public water purveyors alleging responsibility for groundwater contamination caused by applications of chemical pesticides. Most of these law suits assert various theories of strict liability and seek to recover actual damages, including water well treatment and remediation costs. All of the suits assert claims for punitive damages. There are approximately 30 such cases pending. Based on the claims asserted and SOC’s track record with regard to amounts paid to resolve varying claims, management does not expect that the outcome of these suits pending at December 31, 2016, will have a material impact on Shell, although no assurance can be provided.

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OPL 245: SHELL MI6 LOOSE CHATTER

Introduction by John Donovan

Published below are comments by Mr Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Royal Dutch Shell. His remarks are in relation to the involvement of Shell and current?/former MI6 officers in the OPL 245 skulduggery currently involving multiple regulatory and legal authorities, including the Dutch Director of Public Prosecution and Dutch Police, the UK Serious Fraud Office, Italian and Nigerian Police and Prosecutors, the US Securities And Exchange Commission, and an investigation by the US Department of Justice under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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Inquest on BG Group/Shell merger

Even the remuneration committee’s ethics were questionable as they acted with impunity by awarding obscene annual bonuses to executives, despite multiple fatalities at operational locations.

By John Donovan

Further comments have been posted overnight on our Shell Blog in an ongoing discussion about Shell’s controversial takeover of the BG Group. To my certain knowledge Shell had its eyes set on British Gas back to at least the mid 1990’s. An important meeting I had in July 1995 with the then Chairman and Chief Executive of Shell UK Limited Dr Chris Fay was interrupted by matters relating to British Gas. A takeover bid was being actively considered. It was not until Ben van Beurden became Shell’s CEO that anyone at Shell had the guts to take a gamble. And it is a gamble. Oil prices are on the brink of a possible and even likely collapse. BTW, I very much agree with the comments made by “regular browser” about Shell’s claimed business principles.

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Steve Phimister, mastermind behind Shell’s takeover of BG Group?

By John Donovan

Yesterday, the sub-headline in a PR article about Steve Phimister published by EnergyVoice.com proclaimed: “The mastermind behind Royal Dutch Shell’s £36billion takeover of BG Group has been appointed to the board of industry trade association Oil and Gas UK”.

I wondered if the very impressive claim, perhaps made in the heat of excitement about his latest appointment, might upset his boss, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, who might believe that he masterminded the deal, not Phimister. Lo and behold the claim vanished overnight from the online article without explanation.

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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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The business ethics of Shell and Malcolm Brinded

By John Donovan

It is timely, given current OPL 245 events involving the integrity of Malcolm Brinded and Shell, to remind ourselves of his 6-page letter to Vince Cable a few years ago in his then capacity as UK Secretary of State for Business, describing Cable as the “contact minister for Shell”. Even if just an attempt to be jocular, the description was inappropriate. Since Vince Cable was once Shell’s Chief Economist, an approach on that basis, attempting to exploit his past relationship with Shell was entirely improper and created a clear conflict of interest on the part of the minister. Brinded was trying to persuade Cable to support Shell’s views in relation to the European Fuel Quality Directive. It is obvious from the content of the first paragraph that Shell was already exploiting to the hilt the fact that Cable was a past Shell man. The oil giant was trying to improperly influence/control the UK government just as it was doing with the corrupt Nigerian government.  

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More analysis of wiretapped BvB/Simon Henry phone call

By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Shell International)

I have read through the Ben van Beurden/Simon Henry phone transcript but frankly cannot understand the apparently relaxed attitude, with many chuckles and laughter on the phone.

It seems clear also that RDS had been or were still pursuing some kind of internal investigation into the matter.

They raised but then thought lightly it would seem, of the emails that are incriminating, as though these did not involve their own employees whether direct or indirect, ex MI6 etc.

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