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Posts under ‘Oil Spill’

€8.5 million Shell slush fund mishandled in Ireland

By John Donovan

The Irish edition of The Sunday Times has published an article reporting that an official audit by a local government auditor has criticised the basis on which a €8.5 million fund, provided by the benevolent energy giant Shell, was handled by Mayo County Council.

What is the appropriate description for such a huge sum lavished on a relatively tiny community in County Mayo? A bribe? A spectacularly generous gift? Hush money? Or compensation for being diddled out of their birthright?

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Reflecting on the anti-Leigh Day verdict in Shell Nigerian oil spill case

By John Donovan

I have read the judgement published online and many of the related news stories concerning the oil spill litigation brought by the law firm Leigh Day against Shell on behalf of Nigerian clients.

No one could fairly accuse the Judge Mr Justice Fraser of being biased in favour of Leigh Day. Instead, he seems to have gone out of his way to criticise them on a variety of grounds. He even complained about the volume of evidence supplied by Leigh Day.

One criticism after another, constantly coming down on the side of Shell.

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A deserved shitstorm of Shell Nigerian litigation

A boatload of heavily armed Shell employees? Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Shell is facing what Americans might describe as a shitstorm of lawsuits arising from its Nigerian activities since the 1950’s. Litigation is current or pending in Nigeria, the USA, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands.

According to Wikipedia, shitstorm is a vulgar dysphemism for a chaotic and unpleasant situation. It does seem appropriate in a reputational nightmare of Shell’s own making. Related human rights allegations against Shell and the evil Nigerian regimes it has supported include torture, murder, toxic pollution, spying and corruption on a grand scale.

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Resurrection of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell litigation

32 page U.S. Federal Court Order dated 20 December 2016 

U.S. Related FederalCourt Order dated 6 January 2017

Shell is being buried up to its corporate neck in a toxic swamp of current or pending litigation arising from its activities in Nigeria.

In 2013 Shell thought it had killed Nigeria related long-standing litigation in the U.S. courts when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Alien Tort Claims Act does not apply extraterritorially

Esther Kiobel was the bitterly disappointed lead plaintiff seeking justice in the USA on human rights grounds against a company she considers to be evil. She holds Shell responsible for the murder of her late husband, Ogoni leader Dr Barinem Kiobel.

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Shell’s complicity in human rights abuses in the Niger Delta


By John Donovan

As we approach the start of 2017, Shell’s conduct in Nigeria is coming under intense scrutiny by prosecution authorities and is also the subject of civil litigation, both current and pending.

The charges include corruption, environmental contamination, and gross human rights abuses, including cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. 

Shell senior management cannot say that it was not warned. The following is an extract from a letter sent in February 2012 to Shell executives in London, Nigeria and Den Haag.

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Obama’s April Fool’s Joke Approving Shell Arctic Drilling

Obama’s April Fool’s Joke Approving Shell Arctic Drilling

By John Donovan

On 1st April 2015, President Obama’s administration upheld a 2008 lease sale facilitating Shell’s return to oil and gas drilling off Alaska.

See this Reuters Report: Here’s why Obama is approving Artic Drilling again

This decision despite Shell’s farcical exploits in 2012.  Many readers will recall that a Shell hired drilling rig – a rusty ancient vessel – ran aground after Shell sent it to sea despite a storm warning.

The reckless move was made in an attempt to evade taxes. Shell admitted, then denied, then admitted, that this was the case.

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The Nigerian King and a very brazen bid to squeeze millions out of Shell over pollution

By Rachel Millard For The Daily Mail7 December 2016 

Residents of the communities in south-east Nigeria remember clearly the day oil giant Shell first arrived in the 1950s.

Children could hear the rumble of the trucks from a distance, so they’d wave at the drivers as they passed.

It still happened when King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, community leader of the Ogale community in Ogoniland, was growing up in the 1960s.

The region, largely marshland and swamps, was poor but the British firm, with its modern technology and skilled engineers, seemed to represent a new era of prosperity. 

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Ogoni king: Shell oil is killing my people

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screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-21-12-03John VidalSaturday 3 December 2016 19.45 GMT

The stakes are high…

If the London judge hearing the preliminary arguments finds for the king then, in around one year’s time, Shell will have to defend itself in the British courts. The result could be a massive clean-up of Ogale, possibly millions of dollars’ damages and other polluted communities bringing their cases to Britain.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell Canada President Michael Crothers says Canada should stick to its values

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Shell Canada President Michael Crothers (above) says “Canada should stick to its values and do something to protect the environment, regardless of what policy tack the incoming U.S. president takes.”

See CBC News article: Canada shouldn’t lose resolve for a carbon tax, says Shell exec (Published 29 November 2016)

This is the most breathtaking hypocrisy on the part of Shell and Mr. Crothers.

Shell is responsible for nightmarish pollution of the Niger Delta in Nigeria. It has already settled related litigation and more is underway:

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Pleased to assist Leigh Day in Suing Shell says John Donovan

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The High Court in London today began hearing the latest case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by the London law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigerian claimants.

Thousands of farmers and fishermen located in the Niger River Delta region who have suffered from oil spills and related toxic pollution. 

Leigh Day approached me last year making “an impassioned appeal” for my help, after first contacting me via Greenpeace.

This is not an unusual occurrence. Many parties contemplating or involved in litigation against Shell contact me after becoming aware of my Shell related website activities and a decades-long history of dealing with Shell, including its army of lawyers (over a thousand) and spooks (Shell Global Security and their external spy firm Hakluyt).

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Shell seeks to block Nigeria pollution claims in London court

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By AFPPUBLISHED: 18:20, 22 November 2016

Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell on Tuesday urged a High Court judge in Britain to block pollution claims brought against it by more than 40,000 Nigerians, demanding the case be heard in Nigeria instead.

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their Niger Delta communities for decades.

But Royal Dutch Shell lawyer Peter Goldsmith told High Court of England and Wales judge Peter Fraser that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and shouldn’t be heard in London.

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Polluted water in hand, Nigerian king takes Shell to court in London

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By Editor   |   22 November 2016  

King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi holds up a plastic bottle containing contaminated water from his community in Nigeria, proof of oil pollution that he blames on Royal Dutch Shell — and on which he hopes a London court will deliver justice.

“My people are drinking this water,” said the tribal king of the Ogale community in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Okpabi has flown to London for a High Court hearing on Tuesday in which lawyers for more than 40,000 Nigerians are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their communities for decades.

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