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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. read more

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.
  • read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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: read more

    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. read more

    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 read more

    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.” read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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. read more

    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” read more

    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. read more

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