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Posts under ‘John Donovan’

Seeds of unease over Shell US Cracker Plant

A different perspective from the above recent PR tour by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf of the construction site for the new US Shell Chemicals Cracker Plant is provided in a letter published by The Beaver County Times. See below. This is how controversy kicked off in Ireland when local people raised legitimate questions over the Corrib Gas Project and were treated with disdain by Shell. Disdain turned to jailing of protesters and Shell sponsored corruption to buy the support of the Irish police before Shell gave up and sold out its stake at a loss. The project was hopelessly over budget and ended up delayed by many years.  read more

The Ogoni 9 trial served to safeguard the common interests of Shell and the Abacha regime

Shell falsely claimed to be following an apolitical course whilst exerting its influence through quiet diplomacy. In reality, it was very much involved with the course of the events during the trial… Shell’s lawyer was present at the bribing of witnesses who had to give incriminating statements against the “Ogoni 9”; they were offered compensation and a position at Shell;

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by voluminous evidence.

Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

Extracts begin

8.5 The Ogoni 9 trial served to safeguard the common interests of Shell and the regime

8.5.1 Introduction

  1. The Ogoni 9 trial was the culmination of Operation Restore Order in Ogoniland. With the Ogoni 9 trial Abacha disposed of the Ogoni’s main political representatives in an extreme attempt to finally break the resistance. The trial served a common goal, the resumption of oil extraction in Ogoniland, and followed the ceaseless urging of Shell to bring order to matters. Professor Olubayo Oluduro said about this:“Although Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight Ogonis were ostensibly charged and tried for murder, it is obvious to the world that they were actually arrested and executed for expressing their discontent with the environmental harm caused by Shell and the Government in their native Ogoniland.”383
  2. As was explained in chapter 4, the Ogoni 9 trial, which commenced 6 February 1995, was a carefully prepared show trial. The 15 suspects had, when the trial started, already been held in custody for more than eight months without official charge, although it was clear that they had been apprehended on suspicion of involvement in the murder of the four traditional Ogoni leaders on 21 May 1994. Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel and Baribor Bera did not hear the official charge until 28 January 1995, while Nordu Eawo and Paul Levula received the indictment on 28 February 1995. In this period the hearings of the specially set up Ogoni Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal also started. Footage of these hearings is submitted as exhibit 247. Fragments from them can also be seen in the revealing documentary “In-Remembrance Ken Saro-Wiwa” (exhibit 252).384 The trial would last until 31 October 1995 and end with the death penalty being carried out on nine of the fifteen suspects, who were executed on 10 November 1995. The serious human rights violations to which the suspects were exposed during the trial and that ultimately led to the executions are described in chapter 4.
  1. Because it soon became clear that the suspects would not receive a fair trial and were in fact political prisoners because of their opposition to Shell, all eyes were on the company. Shell falsely claimed to be following an apolitical course whilst exerting its influence through quiet diplomacy. In reality, it was very much involved with the course of the events during the trial, and in the meantime fully dedicating itself to its negotiations with the regime regarding the NLNG project which would be settled at the same time. At no time whatsoever did Shell reveal any dissatisfaction with the course of events, not even when it sent a tepid letter to Abacha just before the execution of the Ogoni 9 with a request for a pardon, for which it had apologised to the regime in advance.385 While Nigeria had by then been internationally degenerated into a pariah state, Shell continued to collaborate with the regime just as intensively.
  2. The fact that Shell’s involvement in the trial went beyond implicit support is evident from the following facts and circumstances, which are explained below:
    •  Shell itself sent a lawyer to the trial, who kept it well informed and supported the position of the prosecutor by means of a so-called watching brief;
    •  Shell lied publicly about the role that its lawyer fulfilled at the trial;
    •  during the trial Shell maintained contacts with the judges who had been appointed to decide on the case;
    •  Shell’s lawyer was present at the bribing of witnesses who had to give incriminating statements against the “Ogoni 9”; they were offered compensation and a position at Shell;
    •  Shell’s protégé Okuntimo played a dominant role during the trial;
    •  at no time did Shell publicly or discretely distance itself from the course of events during the trial;
    • Shell kept emphasising its economic interests to the regime and during the trial negotiated with the regime regarding new projects in Nigeria. One month after the executions the large-scale National Liquid Natural Gas project was announced, by which the collaboration between the regime and Shell was extended for many years.

8.5.2 Shell sent its lawyer to look after its interests

281. Shell sent its own lawyer O.C.J. Okocha and his colleagues to the tribunal with a so- called ‘watching brief’. A watching brief in the Nigerian legal system is a way for a third party to keep informed of developments in proceedings in order to safeguard its direct interests in them. To this end the lawyer who has the watching brief usually works closely with the public prosecutor. Nigerian jurisprudence shows that a watching brief may be refused if a party has no interest in the trial: read more

Shell’s leaked global organisation changes: Part 3

By John Donovan

Today we publish another sizeable chunk from Shell’s current internal consultative document which, although directed at Shell’s Dutch employees, includes a detailed description of Shell’s proposed global organisation changes. Still no legal action by Shell to prevent publication of its plans. 

Consequences of the proposed change for the current PTD global organisation EC-1, -2 &-3

As shown above a new integrated Technology organization is proposed to be created that will consolidate all technology development and deployment activities, and will provide end-to-end accountability for technology commercialisation. The current PTD organization would become part of the new Technology organization. read more

Alarming news today of potential fire and explosion on Shell North Sea platform

By John Donovan

History is repeating itself. Shell is in the news today over its  dangerous North Sea oil platform activities.

Nearly 20 years ago, Shell senior management ignored warnings by HSE Auditor Bill Campbell about the Touch Fuck All regime on the Brent Bravo platform and its potential impact on worker safety. Production and profits were the overriding consideration. Maintenance records were routinely falsified. Lives were put at risk.

Shell EP MD Malcolm Brinded promised to take action based on the scandalous state of affairs Mr Campbell’s team had discovered when he led the safety audit on the platform. The promises were not kept. As a result, platform workers subsequently lost their lives in what was judged by the Scottish legal authorities to be an avoidable accident on Brent Bravo. A record-breaking fine was imposed on Shell. read more

Kiobel Writ: Shell and the Abacha regime operated a joint intelligence service

The extent of Shell’s infiltration of Nigerian politics later became clear from the messages from the American embassy in Nigeria published by WikiLeaks. In them Executive Vice President of Shell in Africa at the time, Ann Pickard, boasted to the American ambassador that the Nigerian government had forgotten that Shell had seconded people to every ministry in the Nigerian government and was therefore aware of everything happening there

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by volumous evidence.

Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

Extracts begin:

8.4.4 Shell and the regime operated a joint intelligence service

267. Together with the State Security Service (“SSS”, the national intelligence and security service) Shell maintained its own network of informants. According to George Ukpong, Shell had daily contact with the commissioner of police of Rivers State and the director of the SSS in this period.362 The SSS, according to Upkong, “is one of the security agencies rendering valuable assistance in support of SPDC security operations in the state”; the SSS “has provided assistance in meeting some of our staff training needs” and “has been of particular assistance to [Shell] in the area of crime intelligence acquisition”. read more

Shell’s proposed global organisation changes: Part 2

By John Donovan

Today we publish another sizeable chunk from Shell’s current internal consultative document which, although directed at Shell’s Dutch employees, includes a detailed description of Shell’s proposed global organisation changes. Still no legal action by Shell to prevent publication of its plans. 

PROPOSED NEW TECHNICAL DIVISIONS & CHANGES TO THE HR & CP ORGANISATIONS:

Technology

The Technology Workstream within the Delivery Models offers an opportunity to further transform our Technology Commercialisation capability whilst delivering equal or better value creation in Shell from the development and deployment of technology at 35% lower P&T cost versus 2015 actuals and no additional cost to the business. Work undertaken to review the design and execution of the current technology delivery process have identified a number of pain points which include: read more

Kiobel Writ: SHELL ARMED THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE

Shell itself took action to provide the police force with arms. In the period in which the setting up of OPAPCO and the expansion of Shell’s police force were under discussion SPDC’s security adviser Victor Oteri asked the regime for consent to import more than half a million dollars of arms. The order included: – 130 SMG Beretta 9 mm Calibre; – 200,000 Rounds of 9 mm bullets/ammunitions; – 40 Berretta Pistols (to replace unserviceable ones); – Pump Action Shotgun 12 GA, 6 shots including slings – 50,000 rounds cartridges for Pump Action Shot Guns – 20,000 rounds Shotgun rubber bullets; – 500 Smoke Hand Grenades

Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

Extracts Begin

8.4.2 Shell provided vehicles and facilities

258. It was characteristic of the relationship between Shell and the regime that “for relationship rapport” Shell regularly honoured all kinds of requests from the police and the security service, ranging from the payment of boat repairs to the purchase of air conditioning and office furniture.343 Shell even offered logistical support of its own volition.344 It also regularly paid field allowances for MOPOL345 and – as previously discussed in section 8.2.3 – vehicles and buildings were made available. Shell not only arranged the transport for MOPOL, but it was also common to take care of transport in the situations in which Shell asked the regime for “assistance”, as in the examples referred to sections 8.2.3 and 8.2.4.346 The Nigerian police also remained present in Ogoniland, which by then was already a no-go area for Shell, after 1993, with the aim of protecting Shell property.347 Among other things Shell paid the salaries and the meals of these officers.348 On request Shell provided operational maps to the Nigerian army, displaying all Shell’s activities.349 read more

SHELL JOBS UPHEAVAL

By John Donovan

Today we publish the opening pages of Shell’s internal consultative document which, although directed at Shell’s Dutch employees, includes a detailed description of Shell’s proposed global organisation changes.

With regards to the Shell VP musical chairs analogy, a Shell Blog contributor has pointed out “50% of VPs would have to leave, and GM level even more.”

The content of the Shell document is all valuable, commercially sensitive insider information, most definitely not meant for consumption by the public, Shell shareholders, or Shell’s competitors.  read more

Kiobel Writ: Shell and the murderous Abacha regime operated in tandem

Shell paid and maintained part of the Nigerian police force; Shell was prepared to purchase arms for the regime; Shell had puppets in place up to the highest level of the Nigerian government as a result of its revolving door policy, under which former employees of Shell work for the regime and vice versa; Shell maintained a network of informants in Ogoniland in conjunction with the regime. Shell was itself… a direct and active part of (all ranks of) the government apparatus that had to maintain ‘order’ in Ogoniland and to this end violated human rights on a wide scale. Shell’s police force in 1994 numbered more than 1,200 officers… Shell also had 41 marines and 128 MOPOL members… … in total the Shell-operated joint venture employed around 2,470 security staff…

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

Extracts Begin

8.4 Shell and the regime operated in tandem

246. Not only did Shell stand at the cradle of the aforementioned excesses by requesting the intervention of MOPOL or the RSISTF again and again, it also factually enabled the regime to do this by providing it with arms, personnel and money. As such, Shell facilitated the excessive actions by the regime, but also fulfilled typical government tasks itself.247. The strong entanglement of Shell and the regime is evident inter alia from the following facts and circumstances, some of which have previously been discussed above: read more

Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts at Dutch Projects and Technology Department

“There will be fewer one-of-a-kind highly complex mega-projects and proportionately more simple to medium complex projects… This heralds a more ‘commoditised’ world for project delivery,” said the document, which was given to royaldutchshellplc.com, an independent website used by Shell staff, and seen by Reuters. FULL ARTICLE

Shell plans 400 job cuts at Dutch projects and technology department

By Tom Bergin

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to cut more than 400 jobs in the Netherlands, mainly at its major projects and energy technology operations, as the oil giant shifts its business model in response to lower oil prices, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. The world’s second-largest oil company by market capitalisation said in a statement responding to questions from Reuters that “approximately 400 (staff) are potentially at risk of redundancy during the last quarter of 2017/first half of 2018”. That represents around a quarter of the roles at the department, according to the staff consultation document seen by Reuters. The group employs 92,000 worldwide. “Shell is transforming into a simpler company,” a spokesman said, adding the final number of job cuts would be subject to consultation with employees. He declined to answer detailed questions about the consultation document. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell’s 88 page global transformation plans leaked to John Donovan

Embarrassingly for Shell, as the New York Times has reported this morning, I have a leaked copy of an 88 page Shell internal document setting out proposals for Shell’s global plans generally and in particular for the Netherlands, where several hundred more jobs are going to disappear. Part of a world-wide jobs upheaval at Shell. 

A few days ago, CEO Ben van Beurden, mindful of the prospect of a falling oil price, claimed that Shell “is getting fit for the $40s.” Now we have a detailed insight about the scope of proposed transformational change at Shell deemed essential to achieving that objective. Embarrassingly for Shell, as the New York Times has reported this morning, I have a leaked copy of an 88 page Shell internal document setting out proposals for Shell’s global plans generally and in particular for the Netherlands, where several hundred more jobs are going to disappear. read more

Kiobel Writ: Notorious Lt Col Paul Okuntimo paid by Shell

Interviewed by The Sunday Times in Nigeria last week, Okuntimo initially admitted being paid by Shell while he was in charge of crushing Ogoni protests against the company. ‘Shell contributed to the logistics through financial support. To do this, we needed resources and Shell provided these,’ he said.

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

Extracts Begin

8.3.2 Okuntimo worked partly on behalf of Shell

236. Okuntimo repeatedly and publicly stated that he conducted the operation in part on behalf of Shell.312 In the American proceedings, Boniface Ejiogu, who at the time of the Ogoni crisis was Okuntimo’s assistant, furthermore stated that he had witnessed the handing over of money by Shell to Okuntimo three times, twice by George Ukpong (exhibits 24 and 25).313 Ejiogu also stated that Ukpong and Okuntimo met each other regularly, usually in Ukpong’s office in the Industrial Area, but also at Ukpong’s home.314 Shell also assisted the RSISTF in the form of rations, ammunition and transport.315 The payments to Okuntimo by Shell were confirmed by another witness, Raphael Kponee, who was a member of Shell’s police unit and who worked at Shell’s Industrial Area (exhibit 39).316 In the American proceedings, Shell employee Osazee Osunde also testified that he had seen Ukpong and Okuntimo together on Shell’s Industrial Area.317 read more

Scandals that return to haunt Shell

Former Royal Dutch Shell executive director Malcolm Brinded (above left), sucked up to the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, the monster ultimately responsible for the Pan-Am 103 bombing and other terrorist atrocities. They include the murder of a British police constable Yvonne Fletcher shot outside the Libyan Embassy in London while policing an anti-Gaddafi demonstration. (Mr Brinded is currently embroiled in the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal and previously had starring roles in the Brent Bravo “TFA” scandal and the Shell oil reserves fraud.)

By John Donovan

A chilling documentary “Mad Dog: Gaddafi’s Secret World” is currently available to view on BBC Player, but only for another 4 weeks. It is about “the dark world of Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator who combined oil and the implied threat of terror to turn western powers into cowed appeasers”.

Another throughly disreputable politician makes an appearance. The then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is shown embracing and kissing the monstrous dictator on both cheeks before announcing a £1billion Libyan oil deal with Shell. Blair knew all about Gaddafi’s terrorist exploits, but like Shell, put money before principle, as he inevitably does. Naturally, then Shell boss Malcolm Brinded was up to his neck in the scandalous deal. read more

SHELL INTENT ON FORCED RETURN TO OGONILAND?

We understand that killing the Ogoni people is not new to Shell neither does the company use its conscience in dealing with Ogoni issues, however, Shell and the NPDC’s forceful entry into Ogoni oilfields remains unacceptable to us as a people.

By John Donovan

Regular visitors will be aware that we publish on a daily basis extracts from the Esther Kiobel writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017.

The writ is all about Shell’s evil alliance with a corrupt Nigerian regime against the Ogoni people, who had the misfortune of living in oil rich lands. In Saudi Arabia they would have ended up extremely wealthy citizens, but instead remain exploited and impoverished, living in a nightmare environment of oil contamination. All down to a greedy ruthless oil giant. read more

Long-lasting smell attached to the Gale Norton/Shell scandal

By John Donovan

An article published by an Oregon morning newspaper, the Daily Tidings, contains a reference to the Gale Norton scandal. Norton served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

After granting some potential valuable oil shale leases to Shell, she resigned to become Shell General Counsel in the oil shale division.

Soon after the inevitable public outcry, I was approached by the US government official leading the investigation and supplied Shell internal leaked documents and other assistance for which he was duly grateful and stated as such in an email. read more

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