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Posts under ‘Peter Voser’

Multinationals already working the angles on ‘Google Tax’

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“We are aware of taxpayers seeking to use artificial and contrived interim arrangements with the sole aim of avoiding a potential MAAL liability from January 1, 2016,” the ATO said in a taxpayer alert.

In 2014 Shell Australia paid $534 million in finance costs on $12.7 billion of debt owed to offshore Shell companies. But its submission to the Senate tax inquiry showed that while it paid that $169 million interest to a Bermuda associate, the biggest cost was $260.7 million paid to a Shell company in Luxembourg for cross-currency interest rate swap costs.

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Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden. 

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In defence of Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

By a regular contributor

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Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

Perhaps worth noting is that investment decisions on the scale of the recent Shell write-offs would have required approval by the entire EC in the Hague long before BvB was around. Few of the EC members who made those decisions are still present. 

It seems strange that so many of the huge projects which have been abandoned are in North America, and serious questions need to be asked about why approval was given by the EC for these huge projects. Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

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Shell Will Struggle to Overcome Oil Price Crash, say Analysts

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Stephen Simko, CFA: 26 October 2015

Even when oil prices were $100 a barrel, Shell’s (RDSB) portfolio was strewn with problems. Huge bets on shale destroyed huge amounts of capital, and the company’s upstream resource base has few growth options with strong economics, the low-cost Brazilian oil it is acquiring from BG (BG.) is the one major exception.

The company’s chronically poorly performing downstream also has been a consistent drag on returns on capital. Even though significant restructuring actions have begun under new CEO Ben van Beurden, the recent collapse in oil prices adds considerable pressure that we think the company will struggle mightily to overcome. After all, Shell’s issues of poor execution and capital efficiency predate even ex-CEO Peter Voser, who was responsible for a lot of the poor recent strategic choices.

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PETER VOSER JOINS ANOTHER SCANDAL RIDDEN COMPANY 

By John Donovan

A posting today on our Shell Blog…Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 17.05.41

When Peter Voser’s departure as CEO was announced, it was explained that Peter wanted time for his family, hobbies and to give back to society. Today it was announced that he’s being proposed as Chairman of ABB (his previous employer) and he also took a directorship at a Singaporean Sovereign Invetsment house some months ago. This makes his departure story look suspicious. Maybe the board was aware that he overpaid for unconventional acreage in the USA and that his China adventures were quickly going nowhere but down. Is it time for the RDS board to be a bit more forthcoming with its justification?

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Irish Police reopen and expand investigation into Shell corruption case?

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 23.00.33By John Donovan

According to an insider source, the Irish Police Garda Ombudsman Commission has reopened and expanded an investigation into evidence of corruption surrounding the Corrib Gas Project in Ireland.

I understand that this development was prompted by new evidence published on this website in relation to the whistleblower Irish company OSSL. Its directors have admitted distributing bribes on behalf of the Shell led project consortium.

This apparent development seems to be at odds with a statement issued by the Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, in the Irish Parliament on 4 December 2014.

OSSL strenuously denies allegations that it has attempted to blackmail Shell and its project partners, Statoil and Vermilion. Shell has provided written proof that it has received hundreds of money demands from OSSL for the alcohol.

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Shell’s disdain for its governing constitution, Shell Business Principles

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 17.24.15By John Donovan

A few days ago I published an article pointing out that the Shell Business Principles document, proclaiming Shell’s core values and setting out the ethical platform on which Royal Dutch Shell supposedly operates, is conspicuously out of date.

The version published on shell.com still bears the name of Peter Voser who resigned as Shell CEO in controversial circumstances a year ago.

The document is accessible in multiple languages on shell.com. Those in Dutch, Chinese, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese – are all signed by Peter Voser.

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OSSL BLACKMAIL PLOT AGAINST SHELL

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 23.49.54To its credit Shell has not given in to the subsequent money demands, but neither has it apparently reported the matter to the Irish Police. One can see the difficulty. How do you go about asking the Irish police to investigate a blackmail plot over free alcohol worth over €35,000 given to the Irish Police accused of being “Shell’s Cops” and acting brutally towards people protesting against the controversial project?

JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO SUPERINTENDENT PATRICK DISKIN OF THE IRISH POLICE, THE GARDA

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: OSSL BLACKMAIL PLOT AGAINST SHELL

Date: 16 November 2014 20:43:08 GMT
Cc: [email protected], Ed Vulliamy <[email protected]>, Lorna Siggins <[email protected]>, Dan Griffin <[email protected]>, Áine Ryan <[email protected]>, Paul O’Donoghue <[email protected]>, “Boucher-Hayes, Philip” <[email protected]>, Olga Cronin <[email protected]>, Erlend Skarsaune <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]

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OSSL Blackmail Plot Against Shell?

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By John Donovan

Since 22 October 2014 I have been updating an article posing the question: “Shell being blackmailed?”

Top people at Royal Dutch Shell  have all spoken directly to a director of a former Shell “Mr Fixit” company in Ireland, OSSL, which has bombarded Shell with money demands to settle a dispute that Shell says it has already settled.

To be specific, Desmond Kane of OSSL has spoken in person to Peter Voser, Ben van Beurden, Jorma Ollila, Michiel Brandjes, Michael Crothers (and other senior people at Shell).

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Objection to Divestment of Shell Oil Blocks in Ogoniland

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 00.39.59National Union of Ogoni Students’ USA

3747 W. 138TH Street, Crestwood Illinois 60445, Tel. 1-(888) 610-5590, email – [email protected]

Press Release

10/25/2014

CAVERT EMPTOR: Divestment of Shell Oil Blocks: Oil Mining License 11 not for sale

We, the Ogoni students in Diaspora under the National Union of Ogoni Students’ (NUOS INTL), USA on behalf of the Ogoni people, distance ourselves from the ongoing Shell Oil Company’s secret divestment and sale of assets in oil and gas in Nigeria. These secret sales should not extend to Oil Mining License (OML) 11 in Ogoni its enclave.

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Shell being blackmailed?

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 08.24.58UPDATED FRIDAY 24 OCTOBER 2014 – SEE BLUE TEXT BELOW

ORIGINAL ARTICLE PUBLISHED 22 OCTOBER 2014

By John Donovan

There is evidence, some of it covertly obtained, that Royal Dutch Shell Plc may be the victim of a sustained blackmail operation.

Shell has not called in the police to investigate. Why not? Because certain information held by the party making repeated money demands to Shell, including directly to Ben van Beurden and other senior Shell executives, is true and if the current cover-up unravels, will result in a scandal of epic proportion involving Shell and a host government.

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Shell 15 page confidential statement about OSSL allegations

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By John Donovan

I have provided a link to a 15 page document dated 3 October 2014, which Shell supplied to OSSL, the Irish company that has made serious allegations against Shell.

The information in the document may be of interest to some readers who have followed the long running saga and likewise newspapers and TV and radio stations who have covered the story.

As will be seen, Shell repeatedly states that OSSL has demanded money from them when all claims by OSSL against Shell have, according to Shell, already been settled. 

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VICTIMIZATION OF EMPLOYEES RAMPANT AT SHELL-MOTIVA NORCO SITE

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 19.20.35The article printed below was supplied to the Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc., Mr Michiel Brandjes, on Monday 15 Sept 2014. I asked Mr Brandjes to also bring the article to the attention of Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and the Shell-Motiva Security Supervisor named in the working headline. The parties were given the opportunity to take issue with the stated facts, comment and/or take legal action to prevent publication. No response has been received. It follows that Shell has also not disputed the authenticity of quoted internal email correspondence. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions.

WORKING HEADLINE: SHOVE-OFF BY JO KERKHOFF – VICTIMIZATION OF EMPLOYEES RAMPANT AT SHELL-MOTIVA NORCO SITE

This is the true story of a former U.S. Secret Service Agent and former Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. He was hired by a contractor firm in June of this year to become Project Manager with responsibility for the security force at the Shell-Motiva Norco site in Louisiana. The site is spread over 700 acres, inclusive of a major refinery.

I have confirmed the remarkable background of this individual, who has worked in some of the most stressful operational settings. This includes his assignment as the Incident Commander for the rescue, relief, recovery and federal law enforcement activities in preparation for and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, where he commanded vast personnel resources as well as small boats, aircraft and vehicles, for which he was granted seven high-level awards and commendations.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Ice buckets, rust buckets and superbuckets

By John  Donovan

According to the the Vancouver Observer, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, has accepted the ice bucket challenge from Leonardo DiCaprio to oil sands executives. 

The reputation of his predecessor as Shell CEO, Peter Voser, sunk after he faced and failed a challenge in the Arctic.

Voser came spectacularly unstuck as a result of sending a couple of refurbished old rust buckets into Alaskan waters in an ill-fated tax dodging scandal resulting in ship board fire, explosions, pollution, groundings and public humiliation.

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Shell Profit Rises on Higher U.S. Oil and Gas Prices

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a Bloomberg News article by Eduard Gismatullin published 31 July 2014

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s biggest oil company, said second-quarter earnings rose 33 percent on higher U.S. energy prices and increased production. Profit excluding one-time items and inventory changes gained to $6.1 billion from $4.6 billion a year earlier, The Hague-based Shell said today in a statement. Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden, who took over from Peter Voser at the start of the year, is accelerating asset sales and reviewing spending plans to win investor support. He needs a return to profit in the Americas’ operation, where the company is deploying about $80 billion.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC AND RUSSIA: BUSINESS AS USUAL

By John Donovan

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden was straightforward in what he publicly stated at the 2014 AGM of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He said that Shell puts the interests of its shareholders first, above any geopolitical considerations. That is his excuse for Shell’s dealings with evil regimes in Iran and Russia, irrespective of sanctions. You can tell all you need to know about Ben’s priorities from his failure to sign the document “SHELL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES” – it is still signed by his predecessor Peter Voser, who abandoned ship long ago. 

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OBJECTION TO MR. OSAGIE OKUNBOR AS MD/COUNTRY CHAIR OF SHELL (SPDC) NIGERIA

We consider it a very unwise move by Shell that Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who was said to be the former Vice President (VP) Human Resources, Shell (SPDC), is currently being considered/prepared to assume the position of the Managing Director (MD) and Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. We strongly advise that relevant authorities of Royal Dutch Shell and Shell (SPDC) Nigeria should give this issue raised the needed attention. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is said to be on cross-posting to The Hague, in other for him to be ‘groomed’ to occupy the said exalted position and take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who will soon go on retirement.

Motiva Port Arthur refinery reaches throughput milestone – sources

“If it had been built better, if it had been designed better, it could be running more crude…”

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Extracts from a Reuters article by Erwin Seba published by The Chicago Tribune on 3 July 2014

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The nation’s largest refinery hit a throughput milestone last week, processing 615,000 barrels in one day for the first time since a series of setbacks that followed its $10 billion expansion, sources familiar with operations said. The 2.5 percent increase in crude oil intake one day in late June, trumpeted in a company email, showed the continuing impacts of a troubled start-up after the expansion, the sources said. “If it had been built better, if it had been designed better, it could be running more crude,” said one of the sources. A Motiva official declined to comment.

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The Real Reason Shell Halted Its Ukrainian Shale Operations

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an OilPrice.com article by Igor Alexeev published 19 June 2014

Royal Dutch Shell has blamed air strikes by the government in Kiev against its own citizens in southern Ukraine as the reason it decided to declare a halt to its shale oil projects in the troubled region. In reality, the truth may be closer to the fact that company is disappointed with the economic viability of what it once thought was a large shale deposit and is looking for a way out. According to a recent statement by the former head of Royal Dutch Shell, Peter Voser, “the company is now analyzing its business in shale,” which, translated from the streamlined language of press releases, means: The project is not earning its keep and we need to do something (Read: write off expenses).

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Leaving a sinking ship: Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 14.58.51Bichsel will undoubtedly leave shortly, joining Ollila, Rees, Brown, Brinded, Voser, Finlayson, Carne… And when everything starts to collapse, he will at least now have the satisfaction of saying “I told you so”. This is typical for a coward…

By John Donovan

Earlier today Reuters published comments attributed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Executive Director, Matthias Bichsel.

Extract

“There is always so much talk about these big LNG projects around the world, but only a small fraction of them will get built,” said Matthias Bichsel, who is also a member of Shell’s Executive Committee.

The Financial Times has this weekend pointed put “the company’s leadership is changing at a time when its financial performance has been under scrutiny from investors” and also drew attention to the recent profit warning, following a succession of dismal quarterly results. 

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Peter Voser spending more time with his family

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05By John Donovan

When the surprise announcement was made by Peter Voser that he would be stepping down early from his position as Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, it was claimed that his early exit was prompted by a sudden desire to spend more time with his family.

It supposedly had nothing to do with the financial meltdown that happened on his watch and resulted in a profits warning being issued as soon as he had been pushed out the door. 

Voser was responsible for a number of bungled mega projects, including Arctic oil exploration.

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Insiders Perspective on Shell VP Arjen Dorland

Royal Dutch Shell VP Arjen Dorland

Royal Dutch Shell VP Arjen Dorland

One of few respected IT-illuminati, shortly before he retired, suggested that Dorland was a bit of an animal if not held on a tight leash…

From a Shell Source

Amusing to see Arjen Dorland extolling the virtues of technological enablement of exploration within Shell especially given his limited engagement with and knowledge of this part of the business. One suggests that there is an ulterior motive here and one worth going through in detail. It’s been noted on here previously how Arjen Dorland first rose without trace at the start of the millennium in the battered Shell IT organisation, having originally been identified as a JG 1-2 maximum level employee (the Shell system, as we all know, sets CEP levels for all its staff and this system is rigorously enforced by the myriad HR managers that Shell homes and encourages). He remains to this day intensely bitter about that initial positioning and it explains his character and motivation to a ‘T’.

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Shell’s new pay structure criticised

Peter Voser

Peter Voser

Extract from a Financial Times article by Michael Kavanagh published 20 May 1014

A sharp fall in the pay of outgoing chief executive Peter Voser last year failed to quell discontent among some investors at Royal Dutch Shell over rewards offered to its top staff.

FULL ARTICLE

Convulsions in Irish Justice Dept and Policing

RESIGNED: Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

RESIGNED: Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

The creators of the mould-breaking TV comedy Seinfeld adopted two rules: no hugging, no learning. We need to apply those rules to our current episode of the dark farce of Irish “reform”. Of course, the details should be properly investigated but on the larger scale, there is nothing new to be learned here. The new inquiries will find what the old ones found: a culture in the Garda, Department of Justice and in the State as a whole of burying unwanted truths. 

By John Donovan

The convulsions in Ireland arising from the resignations of the Police Commissioner and the Justice Minister continue, with the Irish Cabinet discussing terms of reference for an inquiry into Garda cases.

Extracts

The Minister said the external review of the Department will be completed before the Dáil and Seanad rise for the summer recess. “I have committed to root and branch reform of the administration of justice in this country and this includes the Government Department responsible for this area.” In addition, the Cabinet resolved to urgently bring forward new legislation to strengthen the operation of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission. Ms Fitzgerald further said that the new Independent Garda Authority will be up and running by the end of the year.

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Bowing to Putin

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

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By John Donovan

I have checked and thus far have been unable to find any photographs of Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) or Robert Dudley (BP) bowing in the slightest to Putin. It seems that only Royal Dutch Shell executives, Jeroen van der Veer, Peter Voser, and Ben van Beurden, have been prepared to stoop that low.

Ben van Beurden dragged into Irish Cops Bribery Scandal

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By John Donovan

Printed below are self-explanatory extracts from an email I sent on 16 April to Johan Groenewald, the senior officer at the Garda Ombudsman Commission investigating allegations made by OSSL about Shell corrupting the Irish police force.

I am arranging  for OSSL directors to attend the Royal Dutch Shell Plc Annual General Meeting in May, as they did last year (as reported in The Observer).

Extract

The Donovans had secured places for Kane and Rooney at Shell’s annual meeting last month, to raise their grievances. Cornered, the company’s CEO, Peter Voser, suddenly ordered a further inquiry, a move echoed by the Garda.

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Shell’s UK corporation tax bill tumbles

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 00.19.29Extracts from an article by ROB DAVIES published 9 April 2014 by This is Money.co.uk under the headline: “Shell’s UK corporation tax bill tumbles by nearly 90 per cent as company invests more in North Sea and production declines”

Shell’s UK corporation tax bill tumbled by nearly 90 per cent to just £55.5m last year, as the company invested more in the North Sea and production declined. Shell’s UK bill fell from £487m last year to £55.5m, less than it paid in Nigeria, Norway, Australia, Malaysia, Canada and Italy.

Shell’s public image was tarnished last week by a report from the US Coastguard which criticised readiness for Alaskan Arctic drilling. …the US Coastguard assessment of Shell’s preparedness was rather more cutting. The report criticised the plan for towing the Kulluk, saying Shell showed a ‘lack of respect’ for the conditions. It also said Shell’s decision to tow the Kulluk to Seattle amid rough winter seas was partly motivated by a desire to cut tax, something former boss Peter Voser denied.

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Shell Oil Boss Marvin Odum Should Resign after Alaskan Debacle

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 18.33.20Now we have further confirmation that Shell was trying to dodge a multimillion tax bill. This time confirmation comes from the findings of an investigation by the Coast Guard division of US Homeland Security. There are going to be more Royal Dutch Shell executives looking for alternative employment… And Marvin Odum, Shell’s boss in the USA, should be top of the list.

By John Donovan

After Shell’s Arctic ambitions hit the rocks at the end of December 2012, Shell initially conceded that the ill-fated Kulluk drilling rig had left port under tow to avoid taxes.

Shell then backtracked. Shell’s chief executive Peter Voser rejected accusations that tax issues were a factor in the move.

We subsequently had confirmation from one of the honest people at Shell, Sean Churchfield, its operations manager in Alaska, that the first admission was correct. The Kulluk had indeed left port in order to avoid “millions” in annual state taxes.

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Peter Voser regrets on unconventional oil and gas

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Peter Voser said the failure of Royal Dutch Shell’s huge bet on US shale was a big regret of his time as chief executive of the company. Shell has invested at least $24bn in so-called unconventional oil and gas in North America. But it is a bet that has yet to pay off. “Unconventionals did not exactly play out as planned,” Mr Voser said.

From an oil industry expert: Unconventional Oil and Gas

The following is an extract from an article by Guy Chazan published on 6 October 2013 by the Financial Times under the headline: “Peter Voser says he regrets Shell’s huge bet on US shale

Peter Voser said the failure of Royal Dutch Shell’s huge bet on US shale was a big regret of his time as chief executive of the company. Shell has invested at least $24bn in so-called unconventional oil and gas in North America. But it is a bet that has yet to pay off. Its North American upstream business has struggled to turn a profit and in August Shell announced a strategic review of its US shale portfolio after taking a $2.1bn impairment. “Unconventionals did not exactly play out as planned,” Mr Voser said.

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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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Ben Van Beurden’s plans overshadowed by Peter Voser’s £22m pay deal

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05Extracts from an article by ROB DAVIES published on 14 March 2014 by The Daily Mail newspaper under the headline: “Shell boss Ben Van Beurden’s plans for the company are overshadowed by former boss Peter Voser’s £22m pay deal”

Shell boss Ben van Beurden’s grand plan to spruce up the oil giant has been overshadowed by criticism of his predecessor’s £22million two-year pay deal. The Dutchman set out a blueprint that will see Shell shrink its North American shale operations and improve efficiency by focusing on individual projects and businesses. But some investors seized on the fact that former boss Peter Voser earned £22million over two years – including a £1.5million bonus for 2013, a year that ended with the group’s first profit warning in a decade. One veteran City fund manager said: ‘Van Beurden said the 2013 performance was not what he expects from Shell. That begs the question of why any bonus was paid at all.’

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Former Shell boss’s pay halved after poor performance

Extracts from a Reuters articled published Thursday 13 March 2014

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05(Reuters) – The pay of Royal Dutch Shell’s former chief executive, Peter Voser, halved to $11.24 million last year following what the company described as a disappointing performance. Shell suspended its controversial Arctic drilling programme earlier this year and pledged to cut spending and streamline operations following disappointing earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013 that were the least profitable for five years. “The business performance in 2013 was disappointing. This is reflected in the reward outcomes for the year,” Shell’s head of remuneration committee Hans Wijers said on Thursday. The company said it had also trimmed the base salary of new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, to reflect shareholder sentiment. He will receive a base salary of 1.4 million euros ($1.95 million) compared with Voser’s 1.64 million euros.

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Former Shell chief paid £22m over two years despite profit warning

Article by Terry Macalister published by TheGuardian.com Thursday 13 March 2014

Annual report reveals how Peter Voser made enormous gains through share awards and other performance-related bonuses

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Former chief executive Peter Voser left Shell at the turn of the year. Photograph: Guido Benschop/AFP/Getty Images

Shell paid former chief executive Peter Voser £22m over two years even though there was a profit warning soon after he left and his successor says the business has failed to perform as strongly as it should have done.

The 2013 annual report published on Thursday shows that Voser, who left at the turn of the year, received total remuneration of just over £7m last year and almost £15m in 2012.

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Royal Dutch Shell Uncertainty in Ukraine

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*Three days after Russian diplomats assured the West that Russia will not invade Ukraine, Russia … invaded Ukraine.

Photo Credit

By John Donovan

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29In 2012 Shell won a license to start commercial production at the Yuzivska gas field in eastern Ukraine. A year ago then Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser signed a contract to drill for natural gas in Ukraine.

In January of this year, following negotiations between RDS Chairman Jorma Ollila and the then Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Shell expanded its plans for the Ukraine.

All of these deals were agreed while Viktor F. Yanukovich was President of the country.

Unfortunately for Shell the corrupt President is now deposed and hiding in Russia under the protection and control of Putin.

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Intrigue over unexplained sudden exit of Shell legal chief Peter Rees QC

Extract from article published 24 Feb 2014 by Legal Week under the headline: “Former Shell legal chief Peter Rees QC to return to private practice”

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29One source close to the matter said: “Only three people at Shell know the reason behind his exit: Peter, Ben and (chief human resources and corporate officer) Hugh Mitchell.

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Sinister Events In Ireland

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Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 21.37.35OSSL and their allegations of Police corruption by Shell in relation to the Corrib Gas Project seems to have become entangled is an extraordinary situation involving the Irish Police Force (The Garda) and the authority responsible for independently investigating such allegations, the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission. In November Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan issued an astonishing warning of ‘mass assassinations’ if the Ombudsman gain access to certain classified files. The latest bombshell development is news that the Police Ombudsman hired a British security company to investigate if it had been placed under electronic surveillance (by the police?)

by John Donovan

OSSL and their allegations of Police corruption by Shell in relation to the Corrib Gas Project seems to have become entangled is an extraordinary situation involving the Irish Police Force (The Garda) and the authority responsible for independently investigating such allegations, the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission.

In November Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan issued an astonishing warning of ‘mass assassinations‘ if the Ombudsman gain access to certain classified files.

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What you don’t know about Royal Dutch Shell’s Profit Warning

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.05.56I can exclusively reveal today that the question of whether Shell was legally obliged to issue a profits warning did not first arise in relation to the final quarter. It was raised at the highest levels of Shell and of the Financial Conduct Authority some months earlier, in between the announcement of Peter Voser’s early retirement and the announcement of the Q3 results.

By John Donovan

Shell shareholders have been faced with a series of shocks, one stunning announcement by Royal Dutch Shell Plc after another.

All rather mysterious and without any credible explanation.

Started with the announcement of Voser’s decision to take early retirement from Shell at the age of 55, as a lifestyle change. It was said at the time to have “stunned investors.”

Next came the surprise announce of Ben van Beurden as his replacement. No one guessed that he was even in the race for the top job at Shell.

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Shell’s fall from grace

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05In May 2013, when Voser’s retirement was announced, he was described by Reuters as having been Shell’s “renaissance CEO”. Fast-forward eight months and Voser’s successor stunned the market with a profits warning. It was a remarkably quick fall from grace for both the former chief and the company… …the company’s misstatement of its proven reserves early in the century landed it with a multi-million dollar fine from stock market regulators and forced the departure of its chairman as well as shocking investors. Shell has had its own environmental problems in Nigeria. Now it is being severely criticised for overspending.

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By John Kemp

Feb 4 (Reuters) – “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” wrote Enoch Powell, a former member of Britain’s parliament who held controversial views on immigration and national identity.

Much the same could be said of business careers, as Shell’s former chief executive Peter Voser has learned the hard way. His strategy of continuing to invest in complex megaprojects through the oil industry cycle is now blamed for the company’s recent profit warning and underperformance.

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Ben van Beurden: Surely Shell could have chosen a leader untainted by scandal?

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.23.29Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. This was during the period when false information was routinely given to investors about Shell’s claimed oil and gas reserves. As private assistant and adviser to Watts, Ben van Beurden must have known what was going on and must have been complicit in the cover-up? Is it impossible to find suitable Shell leadership candidates untainted by failure and scandal?

By John Donovan

The Observer newspaper has today made the valid point that “Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.”

This startling fact has rightly been highlighted in a number of articles published since the appointment of Ben van Beurden as the new CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was first announced.

Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later.

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Ben van Beurden will need more than PR skills to navigate Shell’s choppy seas

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 09.07.53Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices. He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. …he could not entirely escape personal responsibility, since he was formerly head of chemicals and, for nine months last year, head of the group’s huge downstream division. Pet projects of Voser’s will feel the axe. Divestments will be made, spending curtailed and writedowns – multibillion-dollar ones, clearly – taken. Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.

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The new boss put up a brave showing last week, but he faces a battle to stop the oil firm from sailing into more trouble

The Observer,

Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices.

The Shell lifer was able to paper over the reasons for Shell’s “loss of momentum”, as he called it, through a mixture of boundless self-confidence and strong communication skills.

He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. The Shell share price has dipped a mere 3% since a profit warning two weeks ago.

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Royal Dutch Shell leadership: Bring back Sir Henri Deterding

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 10.22.50If only it was possible to resurrect Sir Henri Deterding at his best, the extraordinary Dutchman who built the Royal Dutch Shell Group. In his first couple of decades at Shell he was a brilliant decisive leader brimming with ambition, ideas and incredible determination. He would have acted to exploit BP’s self-inflicted misfortunes, whereas Van der Veer and Voser let the opportunity pass and instead took Shell down a disastrous path placing all bets on so-called elephant projects that turned out to be white elephants.

By John Donovan

In my view, the last Shell executive director/Chairman who had any gumption and plain commonsense was Sir John Jennings.

Since his time, long term Shell shareholders have witnessed a parade of hopelessly incompetent Royal Dutch Shell fat cat bosses.

The roll call of failed leaders includes Sir Philip Watts, Jeroen van der Veer and Peter Voser.

All three mired by disappointment and scandal.

Jorma Ollila has been non-executive Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc for several years spanning the tenures of the last two failed CEO’s and has proven equally uninspiring and flawed.

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Shareholders have grounds to bring lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54According to an informed source, there is significant potential for shareholder lawsuits against the directors of Shell on the basis of their failure to control spending, possibly in breach of both their fiduciary obligations and internal corporate procedures. The expenditure of $26 billion on “unconventionals” suggests that in North America spending was completely out of control. Message to the mainstream media. Check with your lawyers. I believe they will confirm the likelihood of a flood of class actions lawsuits. 

By John Donovan

According to an informed source, there is significant potential for shareholder lawsuits against the directors of Shell on the basis of their failure to control spending, possibly in breach of both their fiduciary obligations and internal corporate procedures. The expenditure of $26 billion on “unconventionals” suggests that in North America spending was completely out of control. Comments on this site and in the press suggest that little of this expenditure is likely to be recovered, with multi-billion dollar write-downs of US assets expected to be a feature of Shell’s accounts for years to come.
 
The Brent price fixing investigations have been largely stalled by Shell’s actions in attempting to block the sharing of discovery information between the various government agencies investigating the allegations. The sharing was authorised by a federal court, but this ruling has been appealed by Shell, effectively stalling the process.
 
A cynical view is that the major projects in Alaska, Pennsylvania and Louisiana (and possibly unconventionals) were primarily about buying political influence. In states where employment is a major issue much of the business of congress is taken up with bringing home “pork” to their home states and landing these projects would have been major achievements for the congressmen concerned.
 
The cancellation of the Louisiana GTL plant, the doubts surrounding the viability of the Pennsylvania petrochemical facility, and the indefinite postponement of the Alaska exploration programme should be seen as both a means of reducing capital expenditure by Shell and as a means of putting pressure on the US government. The reality is that Shell can ill-afford any of these projects.

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Oil drilling on US Arctic coast put on ice

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51 Oil companies’ rush to find reserves off Alaska’s Arctic shores suffered a setback on Thursday after Shell said it would suspend its operations in the region — and possibly withdraw for good. “We will not drill in Alaska in 2014, and we are reviewing our options there,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters in London. “The group’s exploration near the North Pole cost billions of dollars and generated reams of negative press – yet not a single drop of oil has been pumped” said Garry White, Chief Investment Correspondent at British brokerage Charles Stanley.

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By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2:57 PM

AMSTERDAM — Oil companies’ rush to find reserves off Alaska’s Arctic shores suffered a setback on Thursday after Shell said it would suspend its operations in the region — and possibly withdraw for good.Royal Dutch Shell PLC is the main company to have purchased leases for oilfields off Alaska’s Arctic shores, but its attempts to drill have been halting due to technical and legal hurdles.While other companies are still seeking to exploit deep-water Arctic fields nearby in Canada, Shell’s troubles may indicate that the difficulties outweigh the potential economic benefits.“We will not drill in Alaska in 2014, and we are reviewing our options there,” Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters in London.Shell received a negative Federal court decision last week. Environmentalists are still challenging whether the government’s 2008 decision to open the area to exploration was correctly granted in the first place: it is covered by sea ice for much of the year.

Asked whether Thursday’s retreat means the project is finished, Van Beurden said that depends in part on how the ongoing lawsuit proceeds.

Environmental activists cried victory.

“Shell’s Arctic failure is being watched closely by other oil companies, who must now conclude that this region is too remote, too hostile and too iconic to be worth exploring,” Greenpeace International Arctic oil campaigner Charlie Kronick said in a reaction.

Jacqueline Savitz, the U.S. chief of the Oceana conservationist group, said Shell’s retreat shows that offshore drilling in the Arctic is “simply not a good bet from a business perspective.”

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Shell profit warning – the shock that wasn’t

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54In a mix and mingle of rational and strange explanations, while distancing himself as the ‘New Man’ from what happened under previous CEO Peter Voser, the new CEO firstly blamed lower oil and gas prices, which for oil is a strange claim. Shell’s supposedly ‘shocking’ admission its profits will be low for several years – many analysts cite 2017 as the year when the ‘annus horribilis’ will end – cannot be treated as surprising. This was above all a disaster waiting to happen, and it happened.

New CEO Admits

Shell’s new CEO Ben van Beurden has admitted corporate performance in 2013 was not what he expected from the group. Just two weeks after taking over the helm at end-December, he gave what journalists and commentators called ‘a shock profit warning’, saying that full-year profits excluding ‘special items’ could be about 25% below 2012’s performance. For the 4th Quarter of 2013 Shell’s earnings before special items fell by about 50%.

In a mix and mingle of rational and strange explanations, while distancing himself as the ‘New Man’ from what happened under previous CEO Peter Voser, the new CEO firstly blamed lower oil and gas prices, which for oil is a strange claim. He went on to widen his claims by saying that Shell is exposed to “weak industry conditions” in downstream oil, unexpected costs in its drive to become the most natural gas-oriented of the oil majors, higher exploration and infrastructure expenses, higher corporate risks, especially in Iraq, and lower upstream production volumes.

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Shell Profit Drops 48% as Oil and Gas Production Declines

Shell will need to slash investments and boost cash flow to meet its $130 billion net capital-expenditure target for 2012-2015.

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Jan 30, 2014 7:14 AM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s largest oil company, said profit plunged 48 percent on exploration expenses and lower production.

Profit excluding one-time items and inventory changes was $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $5.6 billion a year earlier. That matches the drop Shell forecast on Jan. 17 because of losses in the Americas, lower refining margins and production disruptions in Nigeria and elsewhere.

“Its Americas growth strategy –- the home for 50 percent of past investment –- woefully underdelivering under the weight of dead capital,” Lucas Herrmann, a London-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, said before the earnings report. “Corporate change could release huge value.”

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New Shell CEO Ben van Beurden sets agenda for sharper performance and rigorous capital discipline

The recent Ninth Circuit Court decision against the Department of the Interior raises substantial obstacles to Shell’s plans for drilling in offshore Alaska. As a result, Shell has decided to stop its exploration programme for Alaska in 2014. “This is a disappointing outcome, but the lack of a clear path forward means that I am not prepared to commit further resources for drilling in Alaska in 2014,” van Beurden said. 

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Speaking to investors today, new Shell CEO Ben van Beurden updated on the company’s priorities: improving Shell’s financial results and achieving better capital efficiency, as well as continuing to strengthen operational performance and project delivery.

Van Beurden, who became the new CEO of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) on 1 January 2014, said Shell’s strategy overall is sound. The company has a high quality portfolio and key strengths in technology and project delivery. Shell will continue to invest in new projects that deliver more energy to customers, and create value for shareholders. The strategy is designed to deliver through-cycle growth in cash flow, to drive competitive returns and a growing dividend.

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BP back in favour despite spill legacy, Russia doubts

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COMMENT RECEIVED:  In this article there is a comment from Peter Voser about a possible need for a rescue of BP by Shell following the Macondo disaster in 2010. Knowing that merger negotiations between Shell and BP also occurred more recently, one possible interpretation of the article is that BP’s own strategy might help Shell put its house in order, while Shell’s access to US licences might help BP. Both companies are currently targeted by investigations of manipulation of the price of Brent.

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* BP shares still down from day before U.S. oil spill

* But shares up two thirds from post-spill low

* BP reshaped, competitive on return on capital, delaying spill costs

* Still beset with litigation, and its Russian investment unproven

* Q4 results due Feb 4 against backdrop of rivals’ weak statements

By Andrew Callus

LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – If you had spent 10 pounds on BP shares on April 19, 2010, you would have just nine pounds now, including dividends. A poor investment, however you cut it, but also a remarkable recovery.

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Energy giants battle to pump profits

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 07.38.22At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals. This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale… Shell has a reputation for gluttony when it comes to tackling giant energy projects, betting billions of dollars on strategic investments aimed at building reserves and capturing future demand decades in advance. Those days may be over.

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By 8:00PM GMT 25 Jan 2014

On the face of it, Royal Dutch Shell’s new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, and Bob Dudley, his counterpart at , are a world apart.

At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals.

This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale, signalling a new era of capital discipline and streamlining at the Anglo-Dutch supermajor.

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CFO Simon Henry: Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, beset by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” He has had a hand on the helm throughout the long voyage, during the Sakhalin2 debacle, the Corrib Gas Corruption scandal and more recently, Shell’s Arctic ambitions hitting the rocks. As I have previously pointed out, he also had a starring role in the reserves scandal and managed to evade the flak on that occasion as well. Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

By John Donovan

The role of RDS Chief Financial Officer, Simon Henry, in the instability that has overtaken Shell, thus far seems to have largely escaped scrutiny and blame?

He is the most senior remaining Royal Dutch Shell executive spanning the tenure of the last three top executives at Shell, Sir Philip Watts (dishonest bullying egomaniac), Jeroen van der Veer (dishonest and out of his depth) and Peter Voser (incompetent and ill-advised).

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, bedeviled by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.”

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Shell sells £700m of natural gas assets to Kuwait

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Chief executive says disposal of stakes in two Australian businesses, which follows shock profit warning last week, is evidence of ‘hard choices’ being taken

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By 9:24AM GMT 20 Jan 2014

Royal Dutch Shell has sold its stakes in two Australian natural gas businesses to Kuwait’s state energy giant.

The company announced on Monday the $1.135bn (£691m) disposal of its 8pc interest in the Wheatstone-Iago joint venture and 6.4pc in the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Western Australia to the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), a subsidiary of the Gulf state’s national oil company.

Ben van Beurden, who recently took over from Peter Voser as chief executive, said Shell was “refocusing our investment to where we can add the most value with Shell’s capital and technology”.

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