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Shell board confronted by pensioner welfare question from Paddy Briggs

RETIRED SHELL EXEC PADDY BRIGGS

Shell board confronted by pensioner welfare question from Paddy Briggs

Regular visitors may recall my article published in December 2016 Shell cost-cutting plan will undermine the welfare of its pensioners. 

It included an extract from a Facebook posting on the subject by retired Shell executive Paddy Briggs (right). Paddy confronted the Shell board on the subject yesterday. As is evident from the response in the transcript below, they seemed ill-prepared for the question, which compared huge sums paid to Shell directors such as Ben van Beurden with welfare cuts being made to Shell pensioners. As a result of his intervention, the board has agreed to review the issue he raised.  

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Withering Assessment of Shell’s Business Principles by Paddy Briggs

Comment by retired Shell executive *Paddy Briggs on the recent article: Withering Assessments of Shell’s Business Integrity by Bill Campbell and Bruce Culpepper

“I think Mr Campbell’s comment regarding “Business Principles” is entirely valid. I worked for a time in Shell in the business sphere which developed the (then) Group’s approach to the demands for “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSD). I took it seriously as did many of my colleagues. The “Business Principles” were a part of what we delivered. It was endorsed by the Committee of Managing Directors (CMD) and became Group policy. What was lacking, however, was consistency in application. All too often, when push came to shove, the Principles were bent to allow the pragmatic pursuit of commercial goals. Shell’s competitors generally did not feel the need to promote their CSD or did so in a more limited way. Shell in some instances wanted it both ways. They wanted to be seen as corporately responsible, but they also wanted commercial progress. The pursuit of profit. Nothing wrong with the latter of course, it’s what business is about. But to do this at the cost of corporate responsibility at the same time as promoting your unique commitment to CSD reeks of hypocrisy”

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OPL 245: I think Shell may be in a spot of bother

Postings extracted without his permission from the Facebook page of retired Shell executive Paddy Briggs…

This was actually on the 8:00am news on ! I think Joe Shell might be in a spot of bother.

I cannot comment on the latest allegations about Shell that are hitting the headlines – I would just say that they should be looked at in the context of the Company’s “Business Principles” :

http://www.shell.com/…/glob…/corporate/sgbp-english-2014.pdf

The Principles were introduced when I was an employee. I supported them but my colleagues will recall that I argued strongly that if they were not to be just PR Flimflam there had to be a conscious and internally regulated process to see that they were applied. When I looked at Corrib some years ago I concluded that if there was such a process it wasn’t working in this case. The latest news raises further questions.

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Shell cost-cutting plan will undermine the welfare of its pensioners

By John Donovan

Today we publish below a notification letter dated 8 December 2016 sent by a Shell HR VP to all Shell UK pensioners. 

Basically, Shell is intending to scrap the network of 45 Pensioner Liaison Representatives established over 40 years ago, who currently represent 28,000 Shell UK pensioners. Although Shell still rakes in billions of dollars in annual profits, the reason given is cost-cutting arising from the BG takeover and the low price of oil. 

The letter, pdf copy attached, is signed by a Shell HR VP Jonathan Kohn who openly admits that what is proposed is a “significant change”. 

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Separating ‘Shell Marketing’ from the Upstream

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 13.33.20One of the issues surrounding the takeover of BG by Royal Dutch Shell that most commentators have missed is that it will make RDS even more of an “Upstream” company than it is now. The exploration and production of hydrocarbons is ALL that BG does.

It is also by far Shell’s core business. In the circumstances it makes little sense for RDS to continue with its “Downstream” (Refining, Marketing, Chemicals, Trading …). 

These Shell-branded businesses cry out to be freed from the yoke of having to exist in a largely alien world where they are starved of attention and capital. 

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Shell/BG needs Downstream like a hole in the head

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 13.33.20RETIRED SHELL EXECUTIVE PADDY BRIGGS SAYS:

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45Above is a comment by retired Shell executive Paddy Briggs posted on an article published 23 Dec 2015 by The Independent: “The many reasons why Shell’s deal with BG will happen in 2016

BG acquisition offers Shell opportunity for major strategy change

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 08.12.04By Paddy Briggs

As a Shell “lifer” – more than forty years if you include my time as a Director of the Pension  Fund – I cannot recall a bigger strategic shift than the acquisition of BG. It offers the Corporation a unique opportunity to do what Tom Peters called “stick to its knitting” – to concentrate on what it’s really good at.

BG is an “Upstream” company. It only does exploration and production of oil and gas. And that is what Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) is good at too. To the man or woman in the street it is the Shell emblem standing over a Shell petrol station for which it is best known. But over the years this part of the business – never, in truth, that important to the heavies at the top – has declined in importance. The “Downstream” – the refining and marketing of oil, gas and chemicals – is pretty much cast adrift from the Upstream. The engineers, geologists and accountants in the highest echelons of Shell never really understood it anyway! There are no longer any economies of scale from being involved in oil from wellhead to petrol pump, if there ever were. 

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Scandal hit bosses of HSBC and Shell are both ordained priests!

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By John Donovan

I wonder if Paddy was thinking of Shell when he published this on this Facebook page?

The grotesquely high “compensation packages” of the Directors of the likes of HSBC as well as being morally repugnant are also bad for business. The rewards for making it to the top are so obscene that ladder climbers will do anything to make it. So every decision they take is driven by their own ambition and their need to kowtow to those who might appoint them to these golden jobs. This is a brake on creativity and innovation and on long-term thinking.

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Big oil is exposed to falling prices who can survive?

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BRENT CRUDE PRICES HAVE SLUMPED SINCE PEAKING AT $115 IN JUNE

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By John Donovan

The news media is waking up to the potential seismic impact on big oil from falling oil prices. Our headline – “Big oil is exposed to falling prices who can survive?” – is taken from an article by John Ficenec published today by the Telegraph, which poses the question:

Which FTSE 100 oil stocks to hold Shell v BP?

It mentions a prediction by Goldman Sachs “that the price for Brent Crude, will fall as low as $80 per barrel in the second quarter of next year.”

The article points out that according to analysis from Bloomberg “Of the two oil majors, Shell is slightly more exposed to a fall in the oil price as about 30pc of its future projects requires a price above $95 per barrel, compared to 20pc for BP.”

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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014

RUSSIA

Jeroen van der Veer, the former Royal Dutch Shell CEO who evaded responsibility for his role in the cover-up of the Shell reserves fraud, claims that the sanctions against Russia are not working and are counter-productive. This analysis comes from the man who badly misjudged the Putin regime in 2006 and as a result, ended up meekly surrendering Shell’s majority stake in the Sakhalin 2 project. 

UK

The British government has just introduced a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies registered in the UK to disclose all payments made to the governments of countries in which they operate. The new rule, which comes into force in 2015, is designed to result in greater transparency, something alien to oil companies such as Shell. Problems may arise in relation to Nigeria where Shell has a decades long history of corruption involving a succession of odious regimes.

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Upstream and Downstream – always oil and water

PADDY BRIGGS

RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EXECUTIVE, PADDY BRIGGS

When I retired I was presented with a small silver Shell emblem which I still wear with pride from time to time. It once stood for excellence in marketing and was one of the world’s most familiar brand symbols. Now it’s a bit of a collectors item symbolising a world that has long gone…

By Paddy Briggs

Most of my 37 year Shell career was spent in the “Downstream” but from time to time I had contact with the Upstream operations and in my final assignment in the Middle East I was very close to Upstream issues. Both Shell’s exploration and production activities (the Upstream) and their refining and marketing business (the Downstream) had the Shell emblem (the “Pecten”) flying over them – but that was about the only thing they had in common!

EP is a top down business. The experts in The Hague, mostly products of the best geology and technology Universities, built unrivalled expertise in the tasks of finding and exploiting hydrocarbon assets. They were also pretty good at building the necessary alliances with partners that virtually all upstream operations require. Their world was the world of oil reservoirs, horizontal drilling, fracking and all the other thousand and one technologies and techniques that made the business work.

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The scandal of Corporate bonuses, and why they continue:

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Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05Extract from an informative article by former Royal Dutch Shell senior executive, Paddy Briggs, published 27 Feb 2014

Seven-figure bonuses are common across the corporate world – at the very top of course! Here, for example, is what “The Guardian” reported about the remuneration of Peter Voser the then top man in Shell just under a year ago:

“Royal Dutch Shell Chief executive Peter Voser received a €3.3m (£2.8m) cash bonus in 2012, a year in which the Anglo-Dutch oil group reported a fall in profits from $28.6bn to $27bn. The bonus took his total salary package to €5.1m, down from €5.2m the previous year.”

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