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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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€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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