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The Uncensored History of the Shell Brent Oil and Gas Field

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By John Donovan (updated 18 November 2016)

Energy Voice has announced that it has teamed up with Shell to “celebrate 40 years of Brent”.

A series of related “promoted” articles are being published. I take that as meaning Shell is paying for the articles. If this assumption is correct, the only history included will be of the whitewashed variety.

I doubt there will be any reference to the consequences of Shell’s appalling safety record on the Brent platforms, with falsified safety records, a “Touch F*** All” regime in regard to critical equipment maintenance, followed by the cover-up and the deaths on Brent Bravo, leading to a record-breaking fine. Will the unseaworthy lifeboats get a mention? Of course not. Shell continued to put production and profits before safety. Just read this index of related articles.

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Arctic drilling not consistent with Obama climate change fight, report says

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Arctic drilling not consistent with Obama climate change fight, report says

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.35.25By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

  • The Obama administration’s crusade against climate change is “inconsistent” with allowing Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) to drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean, environmentalists warn in a new report.
  • Pres. Obama has said he will consider climate change implications in deciding whether to permit the Keystone XL pipeline that would help ferry Canadian oil sands crude to U.S. refineries, and Greenpeace and Oil Change International argue the same climate test should be applied to other fossil fuel projects such as Arctic drilling.
  • Energy demand models stressing “multiple sources of energy” are flawed too, according to the report, which argues that the Energy Information Administration long-term outlook depicts a scenario that would boost temperatures by at least five degrees celsius.

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Birds illegally and cruelly killed at Shell station in Norway

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It appears that a Shell employee in Norway has been filmed illegally killing and maltreating birds and the matter is pursued by NOAH, the Norwegian animal rights organization. 

NOAH was tipped off about the movie clip which shows violations of the Animal Welfare Act and the draft Act, writes NOAH in a statement.

NOAH has identified distinct offenses and serious animal cruelty. A man is seen in the film clip walking around with the handle of a rake poking and in all probability, killing fledgling gulls on the forecourt canopy.

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Deepwater drilling

Shortly after the presentation, the oil majors posted dreadful Q2 results, prompting Shell CEO Peter Voser to declare Shell would discontinue production guidance to focus on quarter by quarter cash flow growth. Goldman Sachs singled out Shell for excessive investment in low return assets…

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Those who saw the ‘Capex Compression’ road show back in the summer will recall that Douglas Westwood expressed concern that oil prices would not rise to cover rising exploration and production costs, and that this would force the operators to cut Capex. Shortly after the presentation, the oil majors posted dreadful Q2 results, prompting Shell CEO Peter Voser to declare Shell would discontinue production guidance to focus on quarter by quarter cash flow growth. Moreover, the investment banks began calling for the oil majors to cut Capex. Goldman Sachs singled out Shell for excessive investment in low return assets, although the investment bank had indicated that deepwater should be spared.

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Shell’s FLNG plans take shape

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Peter Klinger, The West Australian November 13, 2013

Royal Dutch Shell’s floating LNG ambitions are gradually taking shape in Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard in South Korea, where finishing touches are being put to the giant hull of the production vessel that will hover over the Prelude gas field off the Kimberley coast from 2016.

At 488m long and 74m wide, the vessel will be the world’s biggest. Once its topside is added, it will be capable of producing 3.6 million tonnes of LNG, 400,000t of liquid petroleum gas and 1.3mtpa of condensate a year.

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Louisiana agency sues big oil firms for hurting wetlands

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Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:36pm EDT

(Reuters) – A Louisiana agency sued 97 oil companies – including BP Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp , Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc – in state court on Wednesday for allegedly damaging hundreds of miles of sensitive wetlands by cutting through them with pipelines and transportation canals.

Governor Bobby Jindal quickly accused the agency of overreach and said the filing should be withdrawn.

The suit demands the oil industry pay for or remediate environmental damages stemming from decades of work that allegedly caused erosion and hurt coastal wetlands – which experts say serve as critical buffers during floods and higher ocean swells from hurricanes, like the 2005 Katrina disaster.

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Shell Admits Real Reason Coast Guard Had To Rescue Its Arctic Drilling Rig: Failed Tax Avoidance Scheme

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Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 01.26.25By Ryan Koronowski on May 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

The main reason an offshore oil rig ran aground off the coast of Alaska late last year was because oil company Royal Dutch Shell was trying to depart state waters to avoid paying millions in taxes.

Sean Churchfield, operations manager for Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska, testified to the Coast Guard over the weekend that the Kulluk, an Arctic offshore drilling rig, left Dutch Harbor in December “driven by the economic factors.” When the Coast Guard’s legal advisor Lt. Cmdr. Brian McNamara asked why leaving by the end of the year was such a concern, Churchfield said:

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RoyalDutchShellPlc.com hacked off

Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 17.19.06By John Donovan: Printed below is current email correspondence with the Open Security Foundation DataLossDB project, which had seen reports posted on the Internet that this website had been hacked by the “Brazilian Electronic Army”. The claims were false. Like the Brazilian Electronic Army, the Open Security Foundation seems to be under the impression that we are Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

EMAIL RECEIVED FROM THE OPEN SECURITY FOUNDATION

From: Erica Absetz <[email protected]>
Subject: Regarding Data Breach on April 02, 2013
Date: 24 April 2013 02:21:54 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Royal Dutch Shell PLC,

I am a researcher for the Open Security Foundation DataLossDB project, a project that tracks and compiles reported data breaches.

We have seen a report or claim that your organization recently suffered a data breach. The report was published at http://pastebin.com/FT5yNBfB and http://www.cyberwarnews.info/2013/04/06/royal-dutch-shell-blog-hacked-administrator-accounts-leaked/. The summary of the report we currently have is as follows: 63 Administrator accounts with email addresses and encrypted passwords dumped on the Internet. The report indicates that the datatype(s) of email addresses and passwords were involved.

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Is Shell Executive Director Matthias Bichsel Trustworthy?

Matthias Bichsel, Executive Director, Projects & Technology, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Irrefutable evidence proves that Matthias Bichsel knew years before Shell investors that Shell had a major problem over its proven reserves bookings, which were not in compliance with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Like his colleague Simon Henry, the current CFO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, he participated in the cover-up by not blowing the whistle, thus protecting his own ambitions inside Shell.  The evidence suggests he may have had a role in the reserves conjuring process and also has a memory problem. Lets hope it has not deteriorated further. He is not a man who can be trusted to look after the best interests of investors.

By John Donovan

Matthias Bichsel, a Swiss citizen, is currently an executive director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He joined Shell in 1980, rose through the ranks and was appointed as Director of Projects & Technology on 1 July 2009.

His current responsibilities include:

  • Project Execution
  • Global Technical Expertise
  • Research and Development
  • Third-Party Services
  • Safety and Environment
  • Contracting & Procurement
  • Technical IT

Can shareholders place their trust in Matthias Bichsel to protect their interests? The answer is absolutely NO, not if his track record is any guide.

Since Mr. Bichsel is the executive director responsible for safety and environmental issues, he may well have questions to answer about Shell’s Arctic debacle, with U.S. federal prosecutors currently being asked by the Coast Guard authorities to take legal action over safety and environmental violations committed by Shell and/or its contractor, Noble Corporation

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Shell’s contempt for its UK shareholders: Scraps UK satellite AGM

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03“The decision not to have an audio/visual link to London for this years RDS AGM means that for the first time in history British based shareholders will not be able to attend a Shell AGM in the UK. At the time of the demise of Shell Transport and Trading and the formation of the new Royal Dutch Shell plc. it was stated that this did not mean that Shell was becoming a more Dutch, and less British, company. This was not true…

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By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has published shareholder information about its 2013 AGM that includes the following shocking announcement confirming utter contempt for its UK investors:

“There will not be an audio-visual link to a satellite meeting place in London this year.”

COMMENT FROM A WELL INFORMED INSIDER SOURCE

“The decision not to have an audio/visual link to London for this years RDS AGM means that for the first time in history British based shareholders will not be able to attend a Shell AGM in the UK. At the time of the demise of Shell Transport and Trading and the formation of the new Royal Dutch Shell plc. it was stated that this did not mean that Shell was becoming a more Dutch, and less British, company. This was not true and the latest decision just confirms that the inevitable move to total Dutch control is almost complete. It is likely also that Shell will move to a single Head Office in The Hague before too long. Shell Centre in London is virtually deserted and most of the site is being redeveloped. Insiders say that Shell will not return to Shell Centre when this is completed (from their “temporary” offices in Canary Wharf). Shell Centre will be sold and Shell will gradually move all but a few functions to The Netherlands. This is a complex process and will take time but it is likely to be completed well before the expiry of the 10 year rental arrangements in Canary Wharf.”

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Verdict on Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. As can be seen in the email, Walter van de Vijver aggressively accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve. The question arises of whether Mr Henry was a culprit, an accomplice, or an innocent bystander.

By John Donovan

INTRODUCTION

We have published a series of articles about the starring role of Simon Henry in the Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal.

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. Walter van de Vijver accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve.

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Simon Henry feared Shell would ‘score an own goal’ on reserves

Simon Henry was at the heart of what was going on, conveying reserves data to the market while dealing with colleagues engaged in the fraud. We have to assume that none of them confided in him and that he was an innocent dupe. He was asking questions about accuracy of the reserves information, but some investors may feel that he should have been rather more inquisitive given the gathering warning signals of which he was acutely aware, that were already reaching the markets. Perhaps he did know, but was in a state of denial about what was going on? That seems to have been the case even after news of the reserves scandal made headlines around the world.

Shell was given advance sight of this article and the opportunity to point out any factual inaccuracy.

By John Donovan

In March 2002, Simon Henry, the current Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was head of Investor Relations for the Royal Dutch Shell Group.

Mr Henry was responsible for gathering reserves data and ensuring the quality/accuracy of the data before it was disclosed to analysts and investors. It turned out that some of the data was not only inaccurate, but also fraudulent.

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How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip’s reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received — and dallied over — warnings about the accounting problems.”: “In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.”: “Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can’t seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

November 2, 2004; Page A1

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

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How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

Paddy Briggs, a retired Shell communications executive, recalls one event where he and about 40 executives were issued shovels and pick-axes and dispatched to a Dutch village to help it restore an old playground. The oilmen gave up around lunchtime amid heavy rain. Such gimmicks became the butt of jokes, “but nobody said, ‘Hey, have we lost our minds here?’ “says Mr. Briggs.

As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR

Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

November 2, 2004; Page A1

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

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All the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia

 From our Shell News Archive Sunday 31 October, 2004

The fallout from the Shell reserves fraud continues…

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Business View: Shell’s real location problem is finding more black stuff: “The misreporting of reserves scandal showed all the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia.”: “So what’s the hurry? Was it because Shell had to admit that it had uncovered another 900 million barrels of doubtful crude in its reserves and was likely to uncover 600 million more?”

Sunday Express (UK): Shell boardroom changes backfire on reserves news: “ONE OF the world’s most influential financial firms has given the thumbs down to an announcement from Shell it is to end its 97-year-old dual board structure.”: “…financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it had adjusted Shell’s investment rating downwards to “creditwatch negative”, a status which implies there may be more bad news to come from the company.”

Mail on Sunday (UK):  Shell bosses in a charm offensive: “The Board, headed by Jeroen van der Veer, will see thousands of staff to explain the proposed changes and shore up the mood of the employees damaged by scandals over Shell’s inflated oil reserves.”: “Last week, Shell was forced to downgrade its estimates of proven oil reserves for the fifth time this year. Reserves are now a third lower than originally thought”

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Shell stuns City with revamp

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

London Evening Standard: Shell stuns City with revamp

“The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.”: “Buried deep in the results statement, Shell said it was considering yet another downgrade after a review of 8bn barrels of reserves for the year to December.”

Steve Hawkes,

28 October 2004

ANGLO-DUTCH giant Shell stunned the City today by unveiling plans to scrap its century old corporate structure and create ‘one company, one board and one chief executive.

The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

It will effectively take over the British and Dutch arms, which came together in a joint venture in 1907 with Royal Dutch owning 60%. The new group will be based in the Netherlands but listed in London.

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Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

Netherlands HQ ‘not a victory for the Dutch’: “Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.”

By Emily Church,

Oct. 28, 2004

LONDON (CBS.MW) — Oil major Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it plans to merge its Dutch and U.K. companies, breaking close to a hundred year tradition as a dual Anglo-Dutch group.

The move was expected and follows shareholder outrage after a shock downgrade of proven oil reserves in January. Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ROBBERS AND RASCALS

FROM OUR SEPT 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ROBBERS AND RASCALS

“…Shell shareholders have to foot the bill for lawyers fees run up in the course of defending fat cat crooks, such as Sir Phillip Watts, the disgraced former Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Sir Phillip ended up with a $18 million USD pension pot AND with all his ongoing legal fees being paid by Shell shareholders. This was after he had LIED AND COVERED UP THE TRUTH ABOUT SHELL’S RESERVES, AND IN THE PROCESS, DESTROYED SHELL’S REPUTATION”

By Alfred Donovan: Monday 12 Sept 2005

The press is having a field day in devising colourful headlines about the scandal ridden Royal Dutch Shell Group. An article in “The Sunday Times” yesterday had a story under the headline: “Shell move robs UK investors”. It reported on the horrendous tax implications for UK Royal Dutch shareholders resulting from the recent Royal Dutch/Shell unification and the dubious way in which Shell has dealt with the controversy thus far.

Yesterdays “Independent on Sunday” used the term “Clever Rascals” about Shell in a headline relating to the Sakhalin project in Russia and the potential ramifications in respect of the critically endangered western grey whale. For the record, the Encarta Online Dictionary definition of a “rascal” is: “dishonest person: somebody, especially a man, who is dishonest or otherwise unethical”.

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Shell still wrestling with its moment of shame

FROM OUR AUGUST 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

The Independent: Shell still wrestling with its moment of shame

“Shell is bluntly accused of making false and misleading statements about its oil reserves over a five-year period, of doing so despite internal warnings that the statements were false”

JEREMY WARNER

United Kingdom; Aug 25, 2004

SHELL CAN only hope that yesterday’s parallel statements from the Financial Services Authority and the US Securities and Exchange Commission on the reserving debacle that threatened to engulf the company earlier this year finally closes the chapter on one of the darkest and most disreputable periods in its history.

The statements themselves make humiliating reading for a company that invests so heavily in public trust. Where once you could be sure of Shell, there seems very little you can be sure of now. Shell is bluntly accused of making false and misleading statements about its oil reserves over a five-year period, of doing so despite internal warnings that the statements were false, and then of blithely failing to correct the misleading impression given.

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An oil giant’s road from Rajasthan to ruin

 FROM OUR AUGUST 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE…

Michael Harrison’s Outlook: An oil giant’s road from Rajasthan to ruin

“Shell, by contrast, has endured the most humiliating, torrid and damaging period in its 100-year history. It is hard to think of a more spectacular fall from grace or a more abject example of management failure.”: “The deeper it dug itself into this hole, the more Shell was forced to lie” 

Fortunes; Failure; Scramble

14 August 2004

It is a long way from the arid deserts of Rajasthan to the Shell Centre on London’s South Bank. But two events this week provide a link.

One was the announcement by Cairn Energy that it had made yet another significant oil discovery in a region of India hitherto better known for its sumptuous pink palaces and backpacking tourists. The other was the disclosure that Shell’s former head of exploration and production, Walter van de Vijver, is to receive a £2.5m pay-off after being sacked for his part in the company’s reserves scandal.

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Shell loses Royal Dutch Shell PLC Domain Name Battle

FROM OUR AUGUST 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE…

ShellNews.net: Shell loses Royal Dutch Shell PLC Domain Name Battle

As a result of their gross incompetence this *scandal ridden multinational finds itself in a highly embarrassing position. It has publicly laid claim to the domain name and will consequently suffer a considerable loss of face with its shareholders, the public and its competitors, as a result of the unanimous verdict.

Friday 12 August 2005: 01.35am ET

Unanimous verdict against Shell in Royal Dutch Shell PLC Domain Name proceedings

By John Donovan

A three person administrative panel appointed under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organisation has given a unanimous decision in favour of ShellNews.net website owner, Alfred Donovan, in respect of three Shell related domain names, including www.royaldutchshellplc.com

The WIPO decision document: http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/decisions/html/2005/d2005-0538.html

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Shell News Archive Saturday 17 December 2005

Shell News Archive Saturday 17 December 2005

 
The Scotsman: Shell in North Sea cuts after tax hike: “ENERGY giant Shell has slashed investment in its future North Sea drilling programmes by a third – less than two weeks after Chancellor Gordon Brown levied his controversial tax hike on fuel production.”: Saturday 17 December 2005: READ
 
Gulf Times: Shell will settle rest of buyout: The proposed buyout price of 52.21 euros a share, which Royal Dutch Petroleum shareholders approved at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in The Hague yesterday, is still subject to arbitration by the Court of Appeals in Amsterdam sometime next year, Shell said in a statement.”: “The court is expected to rule on the case later in 2006.”: Published: Saturday, 17 December, 2005, 09:18 AM Doha Time: READ

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Shell News Archive Friday 16 December 2005

Shell News Archive Friday 16 December 2005

Friends of the Earth: Shell accused of contempt of court over continued illegal gas flaring: “The ruling recognizes that gas flaring is a serious human rights violation”; Friday December 16, 2005: READ
 
Green Consumer Guide: Rare whales face oil project threat: “It is a scandal that UK taxpayers’ money is being earmarked for a scheme that will lead to a massive increase in climate changing gases and which could push the Western Gray Whale into extinction. The EBRD should completely review its funding policies. Public money should be spent on projects that will protect the environment – not ones that destroy it.”: Friday 16 December 2005: READ

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Shell News Archive Monday 12 December 2005

Shell News Archive Monday 12 December 2005

REUTERS: Hedge fund challenges Royal Dutch Shell in court: “The merger was aimed at restoring confidence in Shell after a damaging reserve-overbooking scandal last year which was partly blamed on the group’s complicated dual management and ownership.”: “Dutch corporate law experts said if the court ruled in favour of Trafalgar, Shell might be forced to abandon the planned internal merger and go for a Dutch statutory squeeze out to obtain the remaining minority shares in Royal Dutch.”: Mon Dec 12, 2005: READ

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Shell News Archive Sunday 13 November 2005

Shell News Archive Sunday 13 November 2005

Sunday Business Post (Ireland): Cassells meets Shell and Mayo protesters to seek mediation: Shell mediator Peter Cassells held his first informal meetings with Shell management and action group Shell to Sea last week, The Sunday Business Post has learned.”: Cassells travelled to Mayo last Tuesday evening to meet Shell management and the five local men who spent 90 days in prison for refusing to undertake not to obstruct the Shell pipeline.”: Sunday 13 November 2005: READ

Sunday Business Post (Ireland): Shell strike could hit oil supply: “More than a quarter of Ireland’s total oil supply could be affected by a planned strike at Irish Shell next week, The Sunday Business Post has learned.”: Sunday 13 November 2005: READ

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2005

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS SATURDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2005

Daily Telegraph: Resistance pays off for Shell rebels: “Rebel Shell shareholders who refused to accept the terms of the the oil company’s restructuring, because it left them with big tax bills, look to have been rewarded for their resistance.”: “More than 1,000 British shareholders who accepted the terms are now considering suing Shell to claw back the money to pay the tax bill.”: Saturday 5 November 2005: READ

BBC Monitoring Service – UK: Amnesty International blames violence in troubled Nigerian region on oil firms: “Amnesty International has indicted the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and Chevron Nigeria Limited for continued outbreak of violence in oil-rich Niger/Delta area.”: Posted Saturday 5 November 2005: READ

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Edelman, Burson land global deals with unified Shell

PRWeek: Edelman, Burson land global deals with unified Shell

“ Burson, meanwhile, is to promote the new corporate entity – created earlier this year from the merger of Shell Transport & Trading and Royal Dutch Petroleum – to shareholders, media, NGOs, and government agencies worldwide.”

Monday 3 October 2005

Ian Hall 3 Oct 2005

LONDON: Edelman and Burson-Marsteller have emerged triumphant in two hotly contested agency competitions. Each firm has secured a major piece of global business for the newly unified oil and gas group, Royal Dutch Shell.

Edelman will promote Shell’s retail business across up to 17 markets, pushing everything from branded products to its sponsorships in areas such as motor racing.

The agency’s London office will spearhead work on the account, bringing in annual fees understood to be worth more than $3 million.

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Fidelity shows Shell how giants can care for small investors

Daily Telegraph: Fidelity shows Shell how giants can care for small investors

“Any complacency about rising standards in the City would, however, be misplaced. Shell’s half-hearted climbdown this week demonstrates that many boardroom fat cats continue to regard individual shareholders with disdain.”

(Filed: 24/09/2005)

By Ian Cowie, Personal Finance Editor

Small investors are often treated shabbily by big institutions but, as our award-winning consumer champion Jessica Gorst-Williams observes, “sometimes the power of the press can help.” Her painstaking work reminds us that there is more to journalism than persecuting drug-addled pop stars and their model girlfriends.

Any complacency about rising standards in the City would, however, be misplaced. Shell’s half-hearted climbdown this week demonstrates that many boardroom fat cats continue to regard individual shareholders with disdain.

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Shell finally does the decent thing

Daily Telegraph: Shell finally does the decent thing

“Shell performed an embarrassing U-turn this week and offered new tax-free merger terms to British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum who were refusing to agree to the unification with Shell Transport & Trading. However, Shell is risking the wrath of British shareholders in Royal Dutch who accepted the terms of the deal”: (Filed: 24/09/2005)

The petroleum giant finally does the decent thing over punitive merger terms, reports Christopher Hope

Shell performed an embarrassing U-turn this week and offered new tax-free merger terms to British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum who were refusing to agree to the unification with Shell Transport & Trading.

However, Shell is risking the wrath of British shareholders in Royal Dutch who accepted the terms of the deal and have been left with a multi-million pound tax bill. Shell said it believed it was not “appropriate” to compensate them.

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Efforts to boost crude output hit by soaring costs

The Guardian (UK): Efforts to boost crude output hit by soaring costs

“The situation is particularly acute for Shell, whose 2004 annus horribilis of reserve downgrades has left it under extra pressure to rebuild its asset base quickly.”

Thursday September 22, 2005

Shortages of equipment and skilled staff have added to years of underinvestment

Terry Macalister

A severe shortage of rigs, vessels and people threatens to drive up further the price of oil and is making it harder for producers to secure the future supplies needed to meet soaring energy demand.

Costs across the industry have risen sharply as oil companies compete with each other to grab every available piece of equipment to keep future drilling programmes on track. Rig hire rates have more than trebled.

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Royal Dutch Shell look to complete unification of UK and Dutch arms

ABC Money.co.uk: Royal Dutch Shell look to complete unification of UK and Dutch arms

“Following the reserves overbooking scandal last year, Royal Dutch Shell had opted to unify its UK and Dutch arms in a bid to restore confidence in the company.”

Thursday 22 Sept 2005

LONDON – Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it plans to by out the remaining shares that it does not already own in its Royal Dutch arm thereby taking the final steps towards the unification of its UK and Dutch arms in July.

Currently, Royal Dutch Shell holds 98.5 percent of the erstwhile Royal Dutch. After its merger with Britain’s Shell Transport and Trading in July, the firm said yesterday that the remaining shareholders have the option of either taking cash or equivalent new shares of the merged entity.

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Shelling out at last

The Times: Shelling out at last

“SHELL’S chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, should be after the head of whoever was responsible for making him look mean and insensitive when, it now transpires, this could have been avoided.”

Wednesday 21 September 2005

SHELL’S chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, should be after the head of whoever was responsible for making him look mean and insensitive when, it now transpires, this could have been avoided.

For months Shell contended that it could do nothing to help UK investors in Royal Dutch who were to be saddled with extra tax bills because of the group’s restructuring.

Now, after the majority had accepted their unhappy fate, a remedy has been found. This-is good news for the few who held out, but not good enough for a business that should have its share of clever accountants.

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Daily Telegraph: Shell bows to UK investor pressure

Daily Telegraph: Shell bows to UK investor pressure

“Shell yesterday performed an embarrassing U-turn and offered new tax-free merger terms to British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum:”: “However, Shell is risking the wrath of British shareholders in Royal Dutch who accepted the terms of the deal and have been left with a multi-million pound tax bill. Shell said that it believed it was not “appropriate” to compensate them.”: “I think they realised that they had made a big mistake. I don’t think they thought people would protest.”

Wednesday 21 Sept 2005

By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 21/09/2005)

Shell yesterday performed an embarrassing U-turn and offered new tax-free merger terms to British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum who were refusing to agree to the unification with Shell Transport & Trading.

However, Shell is risking the wrath of British shareholders in Royal Dutch who accepted the terms of the deal and have been left with a multi-million pound tax bill. Shell said that it believed it was not “appropriate” to compensate them.

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At last Shell oil – but only for the squeaky wheels

Daily Telegraph: At last Shell oil – but only for the squeaky wheels

“…the treatment of the British Royal Dutch holders is one of Shell’s more disappointing episodes and an unwelcome throwback to its old reputation for corporate arrogance.”

Wednesday 21 Sept 2005

Finally some common sense is seeping out from the Shell lubyanka over the fate of British holders in Royal Dutch Petroleum. These were the unfortunate shareholders who were landed with a big tax bill after the oil and gas giant restructured.

Unfortunately, Shell’s tax-free solution comes too late for those unlucky souls who accepted the deal during the summer. Its loan note alternative only helps the noisy minority of Royal Dutch refuseniks who were rich and/or stubborn enough to hold out against the corporate might of Shell. The rest – mostly smaller investors who accepted under threat of a “Dutch squeeze-out” – get nothing.

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Daily Mail: Shell’s pain is Cairn Energy’s gain

Daily Mail: Shell’s pain is Cairn Energy’s gain

“Canny Scottish operator Cairn bought the Indian fields three years ago for just £4m – from Shell.”

Wednesday 21 Sept 2005

By Ruth Sunderland

SHELL has been forced into a climb down following a row with 400 rebel private investors over the unification of its British and Dutch arms.

The dissident small shareholders had refused an offer from Shell to sell their shares in its former Dutch parent company because it would have landed them with 40pc capital gains tax bills.

The company will now offer a loan note to the rebels which can be exchanged for new shares -therefore avoiding a tax charge.

The UK side of Shell was united with its Netherlands counterpart this summer in a bid to improve transparency in the wake of last year’s oil reserves scandal.

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Royal Dutch Shell offers way out of £77m tax bill

The Times: Royal Dutch Shell offers way out of £77m tax bill

“ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, the newly unified oil and gas group, has moved to appease a small group of disgruntled British shareholders by proposing a way to avoid a £77 million tax bill.”

Wednesday 21 Sept 2005

By Peter Klinger

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, the newly unified oil and gas group, has moved to appease a small group of disgruntled British shareholders by proposing a way to avoid a £77 million tax bill.

The Anglo-Dutch group said yesterday that it would buy out remaining shareholders in its Royal Dutch arm either with cash or by issuing a loan note. The loan note, particularly applicable to British-based owners of Royal Dutch shares, could be exchanged for new “A” shares in the company without incurring capital gains tax.

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Shell offers way out of tax glitch

Financial Times: Shell offers way out of tax glitch

“Royal Dutch Shell has belatedly found a solution to a problem that had created an immediate capital gains tax liability for some of its UK private shareholders.”: “There would be no compensation for shareholders who had already tendered their shares, Shell said.”

Wednesday 21 Sept 2005

By Clay Harris

Published: September 21 2005

Royal Dutch Shell has belatedly found a solution to a problem that had created an immediate capital gains tax liability for some of its UK private shareholders.

UK holders of Royal Dutch, one of the predecessor companies to the unified oil and gas group that was created in July, will now be offered a loan note alternative to the share exchange that was the basis of the original transaction.

That will allow any CGT liability to be deferred, although it comes too late for any investors who have already accepted the original offer.

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Royal Dutch says to restructure subsidiaries

Reuters: Royal Dutch says to restructure subsidiaries

“The firm said the restructuring would require an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders and should be completed by the end of the year.”

Tuesday 20 Sept 2005

LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday it was restructuring some subsidiary companies following the unification of its UK and Dutch arms.

As part of the restructuring, Royal Dutch will be merged into a subsidiary, Shell Petroleum NV, and the remaining shareholders in Royal Dutch will receive cash or, for UK resident shareholders if they prefer, loan notes exchangeable into Royal Dutch A shares.

The firm said the restructuring would require an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders and should be completed by the end of the year.

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Royal Dutch Shell to clear up Dutch holding company minorities

AFX News Limited: Royal Dutch Shell to clear up Dutch holding company minorities

Tuesday 20 Sept 2005

09.20.2005, 04:05 AM

LONDON (AFX) – Royal Dutch Shell Group announced details of its plan to clear up minority shareholdings in its former Dutch holding company, following the restructuring of the Anglo-Dutch oil giant.

It said that Royal Dutch Petroleum will be merged into a new subsidiary, Shell Petroleum NV. Remaining minority shareholders in Royal Dutch Petroleum, accounting for about 1.5 pct of its equity, will receive cash or loan notes exchangeable into Royal Dutch Shell A shares.

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Going Dutch? For some shareholders it is a far from equitable split

Daily Telegraph: Personal view: Going Dutch? For some shareholders it is a far from equitable split

“There have been a number of less-than-ideal constructions and reconstructions recently where the smaller shareholder feels hard-done by. Take the case of Shell, or Royal Dutch Shell as it is now known, as a particularly harsh example. Following on from its failure to state its oil and gas reserves correctly, it has instigated many changes, of which one is the “reunification” of the company.”

Monday 19 Sept 2005

By Angela Knight (Filed: 19/09/2005)

The British buy shares in companies and always have, but the privatisation of companies such as British Telecom in the 1980s, and demutualisation of the Halifax Building Society and others in the 1990s widened share-holding dramatically.

Now, although our major plcs may be “owned” by institutional fund managers and the like, 12m individuals hold shares and in more than one company. These days the UK is both a property and a share-owning democracy.

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The buck stops on the boss’s desk

The Guardian (UK): The buck stops on the boss’s desk

“Let us ignore the damage done to his reputation a) by the very fact that Shell had about a quarter less oil in the ground than it had been claiming and b) by that email in which Shell’s exploration chief told Sir Phil he was “sick and tired” of the lying over the reserves.”: “Frankly, the extraordinarily arrogant Sir Phil should consider himself lucky still to have his knighthood.”

Wednesday September 14, 2005

Sir Phil was to blame for scandal

Sir Phil Watts, the former chairman of Shell, will probably go to his grave mumbling that the reserves scandal of 2004 which wiped billions off the value of the company had absolutely nothing to do with him.

Yesterday he lost an FSA tribunal case where he argued that he had been denied his right to reply when the financial regulator censured Shell for engaging in “unprecedented misconduct” and fined it a record £17m.

The censure did not name Watts, but the former Shell boss, who was forced to resign after the scandal, argued that it was an attack on his leadership, that the FSA allowed him to be identified in the media and damaged his reputation.

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Reuters: ex-Shell boss loses appeal against UK regulator

Reuters: x-Shell boss loses appeal against UK regulator

“Philip Watts had argued that his reputation was unfairly impinged by the Financial Service Authority (FSA) ruling that the company, now called Royal Dutch Shell Plc, had engaged in “unprecedented misconduct” that resulted in market abuse, for which it was fined 17 million pounds ($31.06 million).”: Tuesday Sept 13, 2005

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – A UK tribunal has dismissed an appeal from the former chairman of the Shell oil group (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research)

(RDSb.L: Quote, Profile, Research) against the UK financial regulator’s censure of the Anglo-Dutch company over the overstating of its oil reserves.

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Shell move robs UK investors

The Sunday Times (UK): Shell move robs UK investors

“When the oil giant merged, British investors in the Dutch arm of the firm lost up to 25% of their holdings…”: “Many are elderly investors who have held the shares for decades and face tax bills of tens of thousands of pounds after their stock was converted into shares of the unified company, Royal Dutch Shell.”

Sunday 11 Sept 2005

When the oil giant merged, British investors in the Dutch arm of the firm lost up to 25% of their holdings, writes David Budworth

THOUSANDS of UK shareholders in Royal Dutch face an estimated £77m capital-gains-tax bill following its unification with Shell Transport & Trading, and the oil giant is being urged to offer compensation.

Many are elderly investors who have held the shares for decades and face tax bills of tens of thousands of pounds after their stock was converted into shares of the unified company, Royal Dutch Shell.

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Daily Telegraph: ‘So we were all sacrificial lambs?’

Daily Telegraph: ‘So we were all sacrificial lambs?’

“Shell’s directors were aware that the company’s controversial restructuring would leave some of its British investors nursing a multi-million-pound tax bill months before the deal went through, according to a leaked telephone conversation with a senior Shell executive.”: “Peter Buckley, chairman of Caledonia Investments and one of the rebels, said: “It is pretty sad that Shell is spending a lot of money to rebuild their image and then goes on to score such an own goal. I think it is shabby of Shell.”

Saturday 10 September 2005

(Filed: 10/09/2005)

Shell knew its merger would land investors a hefty tax bill, reports Christopher Hope

Shell’s directors were aware that the company’s controversial restructuring would leave some of its British investors nursing a multi-million-pound tax bill months before the deal went through, according to a leaked telephone conversation with a senior Shell executive.

David Hunter raised doubts in a leaked phone call

Yesterday rebel investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum, who are holding out for a better deal, demanded to know why the board was willing to saddle them with the capital gains tax in the merger with Shell Transport & Trading to create Royal Dutch Shell.

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Shell loses domain .com dispute

tld-resource.com: Shell loses domain .com dispute

Someone asked me: How could they loose this? The first two should obviously belong to Shell. Why did they loose the case?

9 Sept 2005

Forum: Domain Disputes

royaldutchshellgroup.com

royaldutchshellplc.com

(and tellshell.org)

POSTING

WIPO case Shell

Someone asked me: How could they loose this? The first two should obviously belong to Shell. Why did they loose the case?

The main reason for the respondent winning the dispute is that:

– it can’t be proven that the current owner registered the domains with bad intentions and is using the domain with conflicting business interests with Shell.

– the names aren’t registered marks only company names.

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CommTech Newsletter: Shell complaints sites keep their domain names

CommTech Newsletter (e-update): Shell complaints sites keep their domain names

“The WIPO panel found unanimously that although the domain names were identical or similar to Shell’s various trade names, Mr Donovan had a prima facie right to the free expression of his criticism, and a legitimate interest in using the domain names for his non-commercial forum”: Friday 9 Sept 2005

A World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) panel has found against Shell in a dispute over ownership of the domain names royaldutchshellgroup.com, royaldutchshellplc.com and tellshell.org.

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Tax bill rebels furious over Shell ‘£2bn saving’

Daily Telegraph: Tax bill rebels furious over Shell ‘£2bn saving’

“Shell’s controversial merger to create a single corporate entity called Royal Dutch Shell is understood to have saved the oil giant as much as £2billion while leaving some of its British investors with a £77m tax headache.”

Friday 9 September 2005

By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 09/09/2005)

Shell’s controversial merger to create a single corporate entity called Royal Dutch Shell is understood to have saved the oil giant as much as £2billion while leaving some of its British investors with a £77m tax headache.

The news was greeted with anger by the rebel British holders in Royal Dutch Petroleum, who are refusing to accept the terms of the merger with Shell Transport and Trading in protest.

The Association of Private Client Investment Managers (Apcims), which has been campaigning on behalf of the British investors, said: “We have had more than one report that advisers said the construction saved the company more than £1billion.”

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THE ULTIMATE INTERNET GRIPE SITE

September 4, 2005 (updated Sept 2012)

By Alfred Donovan

The Internet provides a low cost platform for anyone, even of modest means, to reach a global audience. It is the high-tech equivalent of having a soap box at “Speakers Corner” in London’s Hyde Park – that long-established bastion of free speech.

The net gives ordinary mortals the opportunity to publicly criticise the rich and powerful on what are known as “gripe” sites.

Some sites even legally use a dotcom name identical to a target company’s trademark. This is a remarkable development. It is based on a loophole which requires that the gripe site must be non-commercial with no subscriptions and no advertising involved.

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Royal Dutch rebels in the spotlight

Daily Telegraph: Royal Dutch rebels in the spotlight

“The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers yesterday shed light on the number of rebel British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum who are refusing to accept the terms of the merger with Shell Transport and Trading.”

Saturday 3 September 2005

By Christopher Hope (Filed: 03/09/2005)

The Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers yesterday shed light on the number of rebel British investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum who are refusing to accept the terms of the merger with Shell Transport and Trading.

A stubborn rump of 1.3pc of holders in Royal Dutch had failed to accept the merger because British holders of the stock have had to pay a large capital gains tax bill on their holding as a result.

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Shell loses claim for royaldutchshellplc.com versus 88-year old war veteran

halvorsen.org (Norway): Shell loses claim for royaldutchshellplc.com versus 88-year old war veteran

Read more at Alfred’s spicy RoyalDutchShellPlc.com. Alfred is a hard nut to crack…”

Thursday 18 August 2005

Shell loses claim for royaldutchshellplc.com versus 88-year old war veteran (The Times, possible regreq). The Geneva-based WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre has ruled in favour of Alfred Donovan, who has said that he will not relinquish the site until the company gets rid of all the management he deems responsible for its various recent woes, notably the reserves scandal.

Read more at Alfred’s spicy RoyalDutchShellPlc.com. Alfred is a hard nut to crack, Alfred Donovan had NO legal representation in the SMART trial (nor in the WIPO proceedings). Shell had an army of in-house lawyers and sleazy external lawyers (Kendall Freeman) for the SMART trial, plus undercover agents and unlimited financial resources. The compromise settlement covered up a conspiracy of deliberate deception practised by Shell managers in a tender process for a major contract… SCORE TO DATE: SHELL HAS NOT WON A SINGLE CASE.

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