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Shell’s Nigerian Quagmire

Bearing in mind the avalanche of recent news stories about Shell’s Nigerian problems, it is interesting to reflect on the content of a 93-page report by WAC Global Services commissioned by Shell over a decade ago. I can only assume that no one at Shell bothered to pay attention to the warnings in the report arising from its evil activities feeding corruption, violence and pollution.

Some extracts

(Please note SCIN = SHELL COMPANIES IN NIGERIA)

From page 8

It is easy to conclude that any type of company or trade bringing resources to the Niger Delta will be confronted with the same problem. While this view is valid, it is also true that the manner in which the SCIN operates and it staff behaves creates, feeds into, or exacerbates conflict. After over 50 years in Nigeria, it is therefore reasonable to say that SCIN has become an integral part of the Niger Delta conflict system.

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Shell News Saturday 25 March 2017

EXTRACT: A whistleblower has accused oil giant Shell of concealing data on the health effects of two major oil spills on communities in Nigeria. In a letter seen by the Independent, Kay Holtzmann, a former employee at the company, said data gathered in the Bodo community which was devastated by two huge oil spills in 2008 and 2009, showed levels of pollution were “astonishingly high”. He also accused the company of refusing to make the findings public. Mr Holtzmann was the former director in charge of Shell’s project to clean up oil spills…

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More Shell News Friday 24 March 2017

Geologist for Shell says company hid Nigeria spill dangers: Associated Press

Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary “fiercely opposed” environmental testing and is concealing data showing thousands of Nigerians are exposed to health hazards from a stalled cleanup of the worst oil spills in the West African nation’s history, according to a German geologist contracted by the Dutch-British multinational.

Shell says to start cleaning up 2008 Nigeria oil spills in April: Seeking Alpha

The head of a group helping organize Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDS.A, RDS.B) clean-up of 2008 oil spills at a Nigerian Delta community says he hopes work can begin next monthShell agreed in 2015 on a £55M ($68.6M) settlement with the Bodo community after accepting liability for two pipeline leaks…

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OPL 245: A falling out of thieves

The unbecoming squabbling between the crooks involved in the OPL 245 corruption scandal has taken a new turn.

Malabu Oil and Gas has filed a lawsuit in the Nigerian Federal High Court against the Nigerian Federal Government and six other parties involved in the $1bn plus scandal. 

The new action arises from the Nigerian court decision a few days ago to pass ownership of the OPL 245 block back to Shell and Eni/Agip. 

The defendants include: 

  • Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited
  • Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited
  • Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Limited
  • Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • Former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete
  • The Nigerian Minster of Petroleum

I have not indicated which parties are honest and which are crooks. It is impractical to do so because, in matters involving Nigeria, it is sometimes difficult to separate one from the other, bearing in mind that three Nigerian Presidents have all been implicated in the amazing unsavoury spectacle. The judiciary is also riddled with corruption.

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Shell Sinking in OPL 245 Quicksand

By John Donovan

Did Shell senior management and their spook advisors really think that it was possible to get into bed with a shyster such as Dan Etete and remain uncontaminated?

There were too many crooks, too many players and too much money involved to keep the $1bn plus OPL 245 deal secret. It was only a matter of time before the corruption scandal was bound to unravel.

The facts emerged gradually, in various litigation, in multiple jurisdictions, including the USA, mainly over the division of the spoils.

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Shell oil sands exit, mired in OPL 245 scandal, wary over Iranian Oil

Links below to a selection of news stories posted on
our sister website royaldutchshellgroup.com.

They include, among other developments, news that Shell is rightly wary of buying more Iranian crude oil. This is because of the legal minefield relating to sanctions. 

Also coverage of the latest news about the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal involving Shell and ENI.

Plus Shell’s fire sale of most of its Canadian oil sands operations and the jump in total pay for Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, an issue likely to be raised at the forthcoming AGM. 

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NEW SHELL MI6 SPY POPS UP IN OPL 245 ARTICLE

A new name, Ian McCredie – another former MI6 spy who once worked for Shell – has popped up in an article about the Nigerian OPL 245 corruption scandal engulfing Shell and ENI. See: How Shell used former British spies to gather intelligence while negotiating purchase of OPL 245

The article says in relation to the Malabu oil scam, that Shell set up an intelligence network made up of some of Europe’s top spies. Former British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) agents, including Guy Colegate and John Copleston, are identified as members of the Shell Intelligence Network Committee (SINC) “set up by Ian McCredie, a respected spy.”  The article goes on to say that there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by him.

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SHOW TRIAL OF A SHELL NORWAY SAFETY REP

The current hardline regime at the Nyhamna gas plant seems determined to intimidate its employees. 150 of them were ordered to attend for this purpose so that they could witness the entire cringe-making spectacle.

By John Donovan

I briefly mentioned in an earlier article an unusual meeting held in a canteen located within the Shell Nyhamna Gas Plant in Norway. 

It seems to have been some kind of show trial with evidence only being presented by the prosecutors – belligerent senior Shell managers who had already reached a guillotine verdict on the accused party, Runar Kjørsvik.

The plant manager Trond Lofstad read from a pre-prepared indictment. A non-professional translation can be read here.

The current hardline regime at the gas plant seems determined to intimidate employees. 150 of them were ordered to attend for this purpose so that they could witness the entire cringe-making spectacle.

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OPL 245 scandal and Shell’s former MI6 spies

By John Donovan

The Observer has published a revealing article today about Shell’s involvement in the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal and its use of hired former MI6 officers in connection with the transaction. 

Reference is made to the raids made by Italian investigators on Shell’s headquarters in The Hague and Eni offices in Italy, which “yielded tens of thousands of documents and emails.”

The Observer article focusses on a $800m financial transaction involved in the $1.3bn overall OPL245 deal. It was negotiated in part by two ex-MI6 officers hired by Shell as “business and investment advisers”. Namely, Guy Colegate and John Copleston.

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Kiobel vs Shell discovery doc battle continues in US Courts

Ms. Kiobel has been trying for years to obtain justice for the murder of her husband and other abuses committed against her. That justice was denied to her in the United States, not on the merits, but due to an unforeseen limitation on the reach of the Alien Tort Statute that no lower court had previously imposed.

By John Donovan

The headline above is not strictly correct.

The current battle in the US courts IS between Esther Kiobel and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. However, the real battle is between Esther Kiobel and Shell – a long term client of Cravath.

Cravath holds over 100,000 Shell internal documents assembled by Shell for litigation brought by Esther Kiobel many years ago in the US courts. The following extract from a submission made by her lawyers on 23 February 2017 explains what happened:

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LEAKED EMAILS SHOW SHELL AND ENI CONSPIRING TO HIDE PAYMENT IN CORRUPT OPL 245 DEAL


Global Witness has published leaked emails between Eni and Shell officials conspiring to arrange the OPL 245 deal

Italian prosecutors are seeking separate charges against four senior Shell executives including current Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded, who was head of Global Exploration and Production at the time of deal.

3rd March 2017

Oil giants Shell and Eni face historic criminal charges over a tainted $1.1 billion deal struck for Nigerian oil block OPL 245 in 2011, Global Witness reported today.  According to charges filed by Nigerian law enforcement agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the High Court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Eni, Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited and Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited are accused of conspiring to commit “Official Corruption contrary to Section 9 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”. Former Nigerian Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke and former Oil Minister Dan Etete were also charged with official corruption for recieving over $800m from Shell and Eni. This is the first time that the two oil companies have been charged in Nigeria for their role in the deal.

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Financial tremors for Shell/Exxon (NAM) triggered by Dutch earthquakes

From a regular contributor

NAM has been found responsible for immaterial damage to the inhabitants of Groningen in court 2 days ago. NAM is appealing. Individuals can now claim damages to their health, due to stress caused by the earthquakes. I don’t know the exact English translation of this jargon but you get the point, NAM not only has to pay for the physical damage but also for spoiling the lives of people. 

Be prepared for many years of legal battles. The damages are very low compared to the USA but there are many people who can claim. Potential costs can be very high. Obviously, it is the shysters who will get the bulk of the money! And all the time there is pressure to reduce output from the Groningen field.

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