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Posts under ‘OPL 245’

SHELL LEGAL DIRECTOR COMMENTS ON OPL 245


I would like to share with you the history of Shell’s involvement in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 offshore Nigeria. There has been a lot of media coverage recently on OPL 245 but the focus has been on the 2011 settlement and not the history and events leading up to the settlement. I will take you through a summary of facts and events relating to Shell’s involvement. Given that this matter is currently under investigation by various authorities, I will not comment on the specifics and regret that I cannot answer any questions on this today. However, I hope the information I share will help to clarify why certain Shell companies entered into the 2011 settlement and why we believe there has been no inappropriate conduct by any Shell company or its staff in this matter.

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SHELL REPUTATIONAL RISKS

SHELL REPUTATIONAL RISKS

How fortunate that Shell has not got itself mired in any murky activity. e.g. paying hundreds of millions to a Nigerian crook, putting profits before safety with induced earthquakes in The Netherlands, terrorising safety staff in Norway, spying globally on its own employees, or engaging in widespread bribery and corruption in Ireland. None of that could possibly happen. Same applies to the oil and gas reserves fraud, which Donny Ching, to his credit, has not forgotten

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

From page 14

An erosion of our business reputation could have a material adverse effect on our brand, our ability to secure new resources and our licence to operate.

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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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How Shell, Eni Got Enmeshed in $1 Billion Scandal

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni SpA have become entangled in a $1.1 billion bribery scandal involving a field in Nigeria that could potentially hold enough crude to meet three months of the world’s demand. At least three countries are probing the companies, and Italian prosecutors have named Eni’s Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi and Shell’s former head of exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded, among people who could be prosecuted. Nigeria’s anti-graft agency also filed charges against the companies in March.

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Shell news update 4 May 2017

Shell Pumps a Torrent of Cash as Takeover, Cost Cuts Pay Off: Bloomberg.com: 4 May 2017

The Anglo-Dutch company’s performance helps validate Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden’s $54 billion purchase of BG Group Plc — for which some shareholders complained he overpaid — and the deep spending cuts and asset sales he undertook to protect the balance sheet.

Nigeria: Despite Malabu Scandal, Shell, Eni Will Continue to Operate OPL 245 – Govt: Premium Times: 3 May 2017

The Federal Government says the Zabazaba deepwater project in Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 245 will continue in spite of controversies surrounding the oil block.

How Earthquakes Might Be Crimes in Netherlands: Bloomberg.com: 3 May 2017

Can a natural disaster be a crime? That’s the question in The Netherlands, where an investigation has been ordered into whether Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are criminally responsible for earthquakes triggered by production at Europe’s largest natural gas field, Groningen. Some of the earthquakes have been strong enough to damage homes…

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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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OPL 245: Repeated warnings about the Integrity of Malcolm Brinded 

Below are some of the articles we have published about Brinded and his blind eye policy over the years. Was it the same blind eye approach to the corrupt activities in the OPL 245 deal, or were his actions incriminating? Personally, I doubt that he received a cut. Being unscrupulously ambitious is one thing. Being a crook is another.

By John Donovan

No one has issued more warnings that we have on this website about the integrity of Malcolm Brinded, often in conjunction with comments by the retired Shell International HSE Group Auditor, Bill Campbell.

Shown right is a self-explanatory “WANTED” poster we have had on permanent display on our websites for years and featured in many articles. Please also read the related 20-page forensic indictment by Bill Campbell published on 6 March 2015 under the title: The Case against Malcolm Brinded CBE. It was about the “Touch Fuck All” Brent Bravo scandal and cover-up stretching back to 1999, which cost the lives of Shell workers.

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Fresh Revelations of Alleged Shell Corruption to be Heard in Italian Court

Fresh Revelations of Alleged Shell Corruption to be Heard in Italian Court: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Court proceedings are due to begin in Italy today to determine whether oil giant Shell will face trial on corruption charges over the purchase of one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

Italian prosecutors claim Shell and Italian oil major Eni concluded a deal for the rights to exploit the Nigerian deepwater oil block OPL 245 with knowledge that the money would fall into the hands of a convicted money-launderer and be turned into political kickbacks.

Shell and Eni embroiled in ‘unholy mess’ over Nigerian oil: FT: 20 April 2017

Shell and Eni are waiting to learn whether a judge will accept a request from a Milan prosecutor for the two companies and individuals — including Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of the Italian energy group — to face trial for alleged corruption.

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Withering Assessments of Shell’s Business Integrity by Bill Campbell and Bruce Culpepper

Comment on OPL 245 scandal by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Royal Dutch Shell International

My experience after many years especially as an Auditor for the then SIEP and then RDS is that compliance with the aforestated principles diminishes exponentially the nearer you get to the Boardroom.

Cannot see why a prosecution could not go ahead and be successful, it appears abundantly clear from the correspondence that handouts to certain individuals would be required to secure a deal and many senior officers in the RDS organisation were aware of this and were complicit indirectly or directly. Their defence may be well that’s what it takes to operate with Nigeria but that is not a pertinent defence in international law and dare I state the obvious that this behaviour is a million miles from the intent of those wonderfully worded but completely ignored business principles that all in RDS from Chairman to office boy are supposed to hold as sacrosanct. My experience after many years especially as an Auditor for the then SIEP and then RDS is that compliance with the aforestated principles diminishes exponentially the nearer you get to the Boardroom. Time will tell.

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