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Posts under ‘Shell Employee Safety’

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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ABB wins five-year Shell contract for Prelude FLNG

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Stuart McKinnon – The West Australian on March 24, 2016

The Malaga factory of Swiss multinational engineering giant ABB will be the focal point for a five-year contract to provide services and equipment to Shell’s Prelude floating LNG facility off the Kimberley coast.

The Shell order includes the delivery of motors, generators, variable speed drives and low-voltage switchgear and guarantees service and lifecycle management of the electrical equipment as well as service and support for motors from third-party vendors.

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Shell Canada offshore drill incident drops equipment to sea floor

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Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 20.59.41By Brett Ruskin, CBC News: 7 MARCH 2016

Severe weather caused a piece of equipment to break off a ship being used by Shell Canada to drill an exploratory oil well off the coast of Nova Scotia.

An official with Shell Canada confirmed Monday that the incident occurred on Saturday, about 225 kilometres offshore at the Cheshire well. The well is part of the company’s Shelburne Basin venture exploration drilling project.

A spokesperson for Shell Canada said in an email that workers on the Stena IceMAX — referred to by the company as the rig — had disconnected from the well in preparation for severe weather that was approaching.

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Workers evacuated from storm-hit Shell platform

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A Shell platform that has run into difficulties in the past is in the news again as severe weather forced an evacuation last night.

Close to 80 workers were forced to leave the Brent Bravo in the North Sea last night and moved to two sister platforms as the oil major feared Storm Imogen with 130 kmh winds might have damaged the installation.

“Personnel on the platform were called to muster following damage to one of the structure’s legs. As a precaution, all non-essential personnel were moved to other nearby Brent platforms,” Shell said in a statement.

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The Inside Story of Shell’s Arctic Assault

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45A months-long investigation shows how the energy giant pressured the Interior Department during the company’s gung-ho Arctic push—and got most of what it wanted (except oil).

By Barry YeomanDecember 08, 2015

Last May, four months before the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell suspended exploration in offshore Alaska, Christopher Putnam needed to get something off his chest.

Putnam is 44, originally from Texas, a trained wildlife biologist who also served as an Army infantry sergeant during the Iraq War. For almost six years he has worked in Alaska for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protecting marine mammals. It has been his job to ensure that Shell’s plans to drill more than 60 miles offshore in the Chukchi Sea—the wild Arctic water between Alaska and Siberia—wouldn’t harm Pacific walruses, particularly the juveniles, calves, and nursing mothers that dominate the Chukchi during the drilling season.

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EU Directive: safety of offshore oil and gas operations

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DIRECTIVE 2013/30/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 June 2013 on safety of offshore oil and gas operations and amending Directive 2004/35/EC

The above EU Directive (available in many languages, including Dutch) may be of assistance to people around the world who are concerned about the operations of European oil companies. 

A link to the directive is provided at the foot of this article.

The EU directive requires European companies involved in the oil industry to comply with the contents of the directive itself, and their own internal policies and standards globally (SEMS). Oil companies do not publish their own internal policies and standards, which they consider to be confidential. However, most court cases are actually the result of Shell’s employees ignoring the SEMS standards, so this is most helpful if copies of the relevant standards can be obtained through discovery or other means. The SEMS standards are required to be in place for the companies to operate in Europe. 

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Shell fined by Scottish court for 2011 North Sea oil spill

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“Despite being responsible for the worst North Sea spill in a decade, the level of the fine is literally a drop in the ocean when compared to the billions earned by Shell annually…” Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 00.19.03

LONDON: Business News | Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:42pm GMT

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) was handed a 22,500 pound fine by a local Scottish court on Tuesday for a 2011 oil spill in the North Sea that was the largest in more than a decade.

A subsea pipeline leak from Shell’s Gannet Alpha field spilled more than 200 tonnes of oil into the central North Sea in August 2011. Aberdeen Sheriff Court imposed the fine after Shell pleaded guilty in the case.

The oil major has accepted the charge and said it had since carried out a review of its North Sea pipeline system and had applied lessons learned across its British operations.

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State regulators fine Shell Oil for toxic release in Anacortes

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Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 00.19.03Inspectors found that Shell had skipped critical decontamination steps while shutting down the main flare. The uncontrolled release exposed workers to toxic substances.


TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) — Washington state regulators have fined Shell Oil Products $77,000 after an investigation found that it failed to control a toxic release.

The Department of Labor and Industries said Friday that they began investigating Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes after learning that the refinery’s main flare released contaminates into the environment.

The release prompted complaints about the odor by people living nearby.

A refinery flare is designed to burn off waste gases and vapors not used in production. It also helps to prevent fires. But the flare must be decontaminated and shut down periodically for maintenance.

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Shell charged over Gannet Alpha leak in 2011

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Friday 20 November 2015

Oil giant Shell has been charged after an investigation into a leak at a North Sea platform in 2011, the BBC Scotland news website has learned.

It involved the Gannet Alpha platform, 113 miles (180km) from Aberdeen.

It was reported that the pipeline leaked more than 200 tonnes of oil.

The case against Shell UK is due to call at Aberdeen Sheriff Court next week. The charges cover oil pollution, pipeline safety and health and safety regulations.

The pipeline involved was about 300ft (91m) below the surface.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 07.57.03Angela Macdonald-Smith: November 4, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell remains unequivocally bullish on prospects for liquefied natural gas despite the current market glut, pointing to several options for new supply projects after its planned $US70 billion ($97 billion) takeover of BG Group and plenty of new markets opening up around the world.

“The fundamentals of this market look as robust now as in the past to us,” chief financial officer Simon Henry told investors overnight Australian time, spelling out Shell’s expectation that global LNG demand will expand at 5 per cent a year to 2030, only modestly lower than the 8 per cent annual growth seen since 2000.

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Shell handed improvement notice over North Sea gas leak

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Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 14.05.48Written by Niamh Forrest – 02/11/2015

Oil major Shell has been handed an improvement notice by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) after a gas leak earlier this year.

The company launched an investigation in January this year after a suspected gas leak near to the Curlew FPSO(Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading) vessel in the North Sea.

Shell has now been ordered to make improvements by the HSE following the incident.

The operator had planned to evacuate more than 50 members of staff at the time but bad weather had prevented the safety measure.

Last year, Shell decided it was necessary to connect the Station Keeping Assist Vessel (SKAV), the Pacific Dolphin, to the Curlew FPSO because of concerns about its mooring lines.

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North Sea gas leak ‘could have caused explosion’ says safety watchdog

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By Chris Foote: 2 November 2015

Oil giant Shell has been ordered to make improvements following an undersea gas leak which could have caused an offshore explosion.

The leak happened when a ship’s towline snagged on a pipeline nearly 300ft below the Curlew floating production vessel.

The pipe ruptured and gas from the Fulmar Gas Line leaked out into the sea 130 miles south east of Aberdeen.

Shell planned to evacuate the Curlew’s 91 crew after the leak on January 19 but stormy weather prevented the operation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported: “The towline […] snagged the gas export pipeline’s subsea isolation valve skid and applied increased tension […] until the pipeline ruptured and released its inventory of gas to the sea surface, exposing employees and others to a risk of fire or explosion.”

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Militants attack Shell Nigeria flow station, kill guard, company says

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40Published October 11, 2015: Associated Press

WARRI, Nigeria –  Shell Nigeria says armed militants attacked an oil flow station in the southern Delta and killed a guard, amid fears of a renewed crisis as the country grapples with halved petroleum prices.

Militant demands have been increasing and range from regional autonomy to a bigger share of the oil wealth that has polluted the Niger Delta region and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers and fishermen.

President Muhammad Buhari has said he will terminate in December a $500 million-a-year amnesty program negotiated in 2009 for 30,000 militants that curbed an insurgency that was killing 1,000 people a year and halved the oil production of Africa’s biggest producer.

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Fire at Shell’s Pulau Bukom plant leaves 6 injured, including 3 in critical condition

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09This is not the first time a fire broke out at Pulau Bukom. In September 2011, more than 100 firefighters helped to put out a fire that raged for 32 hours at the Pulau Bukom refinery. Shell was fined $80,000 the following year for lapses in workplace safety that led to the fire.

Lim Yi Han: 21 August 2015

SINGAPORE – A fire broke out at oil giant Shell’s manufacturing site on Pulau Bukom on Friday evening, leaving six workers with burn injuries.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they received a call at around 6.15pm about the fire from the Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site.

Upon its arrival, the fire had already been extinguished by Shell’s emergency response team.

The six victims were sent to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

Three of them are in a “critical condition”, said a SGH spokesman. One is in a stable condition, and two others were discharged after receiving outpatient treatment.

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Shell Oil accidentally spills hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic gas in Deer Park

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Dylan Baddour, Houston Chronicle: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On Sunday morning, hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic gas were accidentally released from the Shell Oil facility in Deer Park.

According to reports from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 326,166 pounds of butadiene escaped through an open valve on a spherical tank between 10:40 am and 11:35 am.

Neil Carman, a chemist with the Sierra Club of Texas and a former power plant inspector for the TCEQ, said that butadiene is a known human carcinogen, but that its molecular structure allows it to dissipate quickly in the hot summer air. The chemical is commonly expelled in car exhaust, but Carman said the quantity in the Shell incident was concerning.

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Ottawa rules one-day response to possible offshore spill too expensive

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Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 19.22.09HALIFAX – The federal government says it is agreeing to an offshore drilling plan that allows up to 21 days to bring in capping technology for a subsea well blowout because requiring a shorter response time would be too expensive for Shell Canada Ltd.

Nova Scotia environmentalists are questioning why the federal environmental protection agency has signed off on a plan that allows between 12 and 21 days for the multinational company to bring a vessel and a capping system to the Shelburne Basin offshore site, about 250 kilometres off the southwestern coast of Nova Scotia.

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Inside Shell’s Extreme Plan to Drill for Oil in the Arctic

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by Paul Barrett and Benjamin Elgin: 5 August 2015: BLOOMBERG.COM

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Protesters near the Polar Pioneer.: Photographer: Keri Coles/Greenpeace

Ann Pickard

Ann Pickard – Shell VP Arctic Drilling

In a windowless conference room in Anchorage, a dozen Royal Dutch Shell employees report on the highest-profile oil project in the multinational’s vast global portfolio. Warmed by mid-July temperatures, Arctic ice in the Chukchi Sea, northwest of the Alaskan mainland, is receding. Storms are easing; helicopter flights will soon resume. Underwater volcanoes—yes, volcanoes—are dormant. “That’s good news for us,” Ann Pickard, Shell’s top executive for the Arctic, whispers to a visitor.

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Stand down, Greenpeace; Shell can sabotage Arctic drilling just fine on its own

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 19.49.22The most powerful argument against Shell in the Arctic is Shell in the Arctic.

Shannyn MooreJuly 11, 2015

Shell Oil is going to save the Arctic from oil drilling.

That’s not to dismiss the efforts of environmental activists organizing “Shell No” gatherings or chaining themselves to a drilling rig to protest Arctic oil exploration. I share their fears of what could go wrong in the fragile ocean.

The administration of our uber-liberal, socialist, Muslim president doesn’t seem to think there’s any chance of a blowout under ice. It has greased Shell’s wheels all along the way (because Obama’s so anti-oil, you know).

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Following Explosion, Shell Moerdijk Criticised by Dutch Safety Board

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Shell has therefore not fulfilled the high expectations of safety management within the company.

Shell Moerdijk should be more critical of security risks in the company.

Thus concludes the Safety Board in a report on the explosion at the company’s plant on June 3 last year, which was published Thursday.

“Shell was not aware of the chemical reaction that eventually led to an explosion,” according to the study.

”As a result, employees were not able to intervene in time. Especially in the implementation of changes in production processes, equipment and raw materials the company must do better to consider new risks that arise here.”

According to Shell the explosion resulted from pressure in the reactor of the plant.This was in one of the factories where the raw materials for the production of plastics are produced.

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Shell fined for leak on platform where workers died

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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 08.28.32Thursday 2nd July 2015

Oil giant Shell has been fined more than £6,000 after a diesel leak on board the same North Sea platform where two workers died 12 years ago.

Sean McCue, 22, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, lost their lives when they were overcome by gas while working on the energy firm’s Brent Bravo rig in 2003.

The oil company was previously fined nearly £1 million after admitting safety breaches which led to their deaths.

Yesterday Shell UK bosses returned to the court after approximately 13 to 15 tonnes of diesel spilled into the North Sea despite warnings over the transfer system going back over a decade. Senior management from the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary appeared in the public benches at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company pleaded guilty to an unlicensed release of fuel.

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Former Shell worker says rush to prepare for Arctic drilling resulted in unsafe conditions

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By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press JUNE 19, 2015

SEATTLE — A woman who was permanently injured while working on one of Shell’s Arctic drilling support ships has sued, saying the company compromised safety in its rush to drill for oil.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday by Anita Hanks said Shell and its contractor maintained dangerous work conditions on the Arctic Challenger as it prepared to drill in the Arctic in 2012. The oil spill containment vessel is part of Shell’s drilling fleet. It was docked in Bellingham at the time of an accident.

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Arctic blowout clean-up costs could exceed Shell’s financial resources

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Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 13.13.19From a regular contributor 


“The risk of a blowout or spill is always present when a well is drilled. The US government estimates the probability of such an event in Alaska at 75%. In many cases a relief well is the only way in which a blowout can be brought under control, especially if the well casing is breached. There is no “new technology” in existence that eliminates the risk of a blowout, or provides a guarantee that a blowout can be quickly brought under control if it occurs. 

The requirement for “same season” relief well capabilities is intended to avoid a situation where a blowout occurs late in the season and continues unabated until the weather improves sufficiently to undertake well control operations in the following year. The time required to mobilise a second rig, drill a relief well, and kill a blowout may be 2-3 months or more. The “same season” relief well requirement therefore effectively shortens the summer drilling season to just a few weeks. If this requirement is enforced, exploration and development of the Arctic will be almost impossible. If this requirement is not enforced and Shell has a blowout which continues through the winter, the clean-up costs may far exceed Shell’s financial resources. 

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Federal Investigators Blame Shell for Alaska Drill-Ship Accident

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Federal Investigators Blame Shell for Alaska Drill-Ship Accident

By CASSANDRA SWEET: May 28, 2015 

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Federal investigators have blamed Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its contractors for the December 2012 shipwreck of a drill ship off the coast of Alaska.


Shell Polar Pioneer fails USCG inspection

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24By Donal Scully: 27 May 2015

Seattle: The Polar Pioneer, one of two huge drilling platforms Shell plans to deploy in the Arctic, came up short under a US Coast Guard (USCG) inspection on Tuesday.

Although the USCG said the unspecified hitch was minor and would be easily remedied it was another in an array of small snags surrounding Shell’s planned return to Arctic oil exploration after a three -year hiatus.

Two weeks ago the city of Seattle, where Shell is mooring its Arctic fleet ahead of the trip north, said that by housing Shell’s fleet the port of Seattle is in violation of its lease that designates Terminal 5 as a “cargo terminal.”

And the port of Seattle sent mixed signals when it simultaneously backed Shell’s right to moor its fleet but also requested the oil giant delay the arrival of the Polar Pioneer. That request fell on deaf ears.

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Shell to drill in Alaskan Arctic with protesters in pursuit

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Ten years after it first started acquiring new leases in the Arctic, and having spent almost $7bn, Shell has still not yet drilled a single well into oil-bearing rocks. A series of law suits, regulatory objections and its own mistakes have held it up.

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U.S. Senators urge Obama administration to block Arctic oil drilling

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Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24Politics | Fri May 22, 2015 

U.S. Senators urge Obama administration to block Arctic oil drilling

When Shell lost control of a drilling rig that year it “put numerous lives at risk, including those of the Coast Guard crews” and those of 18 people on the rig…

A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell’s preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents.

The senators, from both coasts and several Midwestern states, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to retire Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea.

Jewell’s department earlier this month conditionally approved Shell’s exploration plan in the Arctic. The move means the company is likely to return to the Chukchi Sea this summer for the first time since a mishap-filled drilling season in 2012.

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Rotten Growth Prospect: Royal Dutch Shell Plc

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3 Stocks With Rotten Growth Prospects: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Tesco PLC And Centrica PLC

By Royston Wild – Tuesday, 19 May, 2015

Today I am looking at three stock market terrors poised to endure extended earnings woe.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 18.39.24Royal Dutch Shell

Fossil fuel colossus Shell (LSE: RDSB) (NYSE: RDS-B.US) has grabbed the headlines again over the past week after the US government gave the green light for drilling work off the coast of Alaska to begin during the summer. Although the region has long been considered the oil sector’s holy grail due to the billions of untapped barrels of oil sitting under the surface, Shell has already experienced production troubles in the Arctic and was forced to pack up work in 2012 following huge safety failures.

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Shell tests contract labourers for drugs, sends home 69

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Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 08.52.36Shell tests contract labourers for drugs, sends home 69

May 15, 2015

Oil giant Shell has sent home 69 people working at its Moerdijk chemical plant after they failed drugs tests, Dutch media reports on Friday.

According to the Financieele Dagblad, 31 workers tested positive after being identified by sniffer dogs and 38 workers were sent home after a second round. Thousands of extra workers are involved in rebuilding the Moerdijk plant after last year’s major fire.

Shell told the FD it carried out the drugs tests to be sure that safety standards were being met. Workers were not tested for alcohol, the FD says.

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Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 20.27.32By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has expelled 60 workers from a Dutch chemical plant after workers were caught using drugs.

The Shell Moerdijk plant in the Netherlands makes chemical products from petroleum. It employs over 800 employees and over 500 contractors. It is one of the largest chemical complexes in Europe. 

Last October I reported a steam leak at the plant which resulted in flaring activity and a declaration of force majeure by Shell.

Today comes news of widespread drug use by workers at the plant.

Imagine the potential consequences if Shell workers in the Arctic drilling campaign had a similar problem. Perhaps they did in 2012. It would explain a lot.

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Shell oil rig arriving Thursday is just the start of Arctic drilling fleet

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 21.09.23By Coral Garnick and Hal Bernton: Seattle Times staff reporters: Published 13 May 2015

Shell oil rig arriving Thursday is just the start of Arctic drilling fleet

The Polar Pioneer oil rig expected to arrive in Seattle on Thursday is the biggest piece of a 25-vessel fleet Shell Oil has mustered to resume its oil exploration effort in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska.

The Polar Pioneer oil rig expected to arrive in Seattle on Thursday is the biggest piece of a muscular fleet Shell Oil has mustered in the Pacific Northwest to resume its controversial high-stakes oil-exploration effort in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s North Slope.

The company will have 25 vessels in and out of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for the season, according to spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh, but Shell has been tight-lipped about detailing its plans.

At Terminal 5 — now the center of a legal and political standoff between the city and the Port of Seattle — Shell contractor Foss Maritime plans to load drilling equipment and supplies for the two main vessels, the Polar Pioneer and the Noble Discoverer.

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WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Article by Angela Macdonald-Smith published by The Sydney Morning Herald: 8 May 2015

WA inquiry shines spotlight on floating LNG safety fears

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Royal Dutch Shell and Woodside Petroleum have insisted that workers to be stationed on vast floating liquefied natural gas plants far off the Western Australian coast will be safe despite serious concerns having been raised in a parliamentary inquiry that they won’t be evacuated even for severe tropical cyclones.

A WA parliamentary committee examining the safety of floating LNG highlighted fears that workers would be thrown around within their accommodation modules during cyclones and could experience psychological stress at being unable to leave the vessel.

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Seattle mayor snubs Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling fleet

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Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 19.49.45Seattle mayor snubs Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling fleet: 5 May 2015

Local officials are trying to stop Shell’s Arctic oil-drilling fleet from docking at Seattle’s harbor for the summer, saying that current arrangements go against the port terminal’s land-use permit. Shell has multiple ships and oil rigs en route.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the current contract between the Port of Seattle and a company representing Royal Dutch Shell PLC violates the land-use permit for the port’s Terminal 5, and that the Port would have to apply for a new permit.

After reviewing the 20-year-old permit for the operation of the cargo terminal, [Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development] has found and I concur that the long-term moorage and maintenance of Arctic drilling equipment falls outside the current permit,” the mayor said Monday morning at a fundraising breakfast for Climate Solutions, a self-described “clean-energy economy” nonprofit.

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Whistleblower news relevant to Shell USA employees

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SEC Hits Back At KBR And Other Corporate Bullies Who Threaten Whistleblowers

By John Donovan

If a Shell employee, contractor or supplier wants to blow the whistle on alleged misdeeds, they can contact the Shell Global Helpline and risk retaliation, or go to the appropriate external authority.

In either event, there may be protection under whistleblower law in some countries, such as the USA. 

In this connection, an article published earlier this month by the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) may be of interest. 

The SEC’s enforcement action, as set out in the article, is good news and should improve intelligence gathering.

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Shell plan is out: Company hopes for Chukchi drilling this year; BOEM says plan complete

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 09.05.35By Alan Bailey of Petroleum News: Week of April 19, 2015

Shell plan is out: Company hopes for Chukchi drilling this year; BOEM says plan complete

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has deemed Shell’s Chukchi Sea exploration plan complete, has published the plan on the BOEM website and is inviting public comments on the document. Shell wants to resume its Chukchi Sea exploration drilling program during this summer’s Arctic open water season and has begun mobilizing its drilling fleet. However, the company will need a government approved plan before it can start drilling – a public comment period is part of the regulatory procedure that can lead to plan approval.

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Shell failing to do enough to prevent ‘major accidents’ at north east site

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An article by Ashleigh Barbour published 16 April 2015 by The Press and Journal 

Shell failing to do enough to prevent “major accidents” at north east site

Offshore giant Shell has been accused of breaking safety rules at its site at the huge St Fergus gas terminal.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an improvement notice for the second time in just over a year after it emerged not enough was being done to prevent “major accidents” at the complex north of Peterhead.

The HSE accused Shell of failing to take “all measures necessary” to identify tasks which had the potential to cause a “critical” situation.

It told the company: “You have failed to adequately identify the safety critical tasks which have potential to initiate, escalate, recover from, or mitigate the consequences of, a major accident at the St Fergus gas plant.”

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Shell Faces Greenpeace Protesters Over Arctic Drilling Risks

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Published: Apr 7, 2015 at 9:36 am EST

In a protest yesterday, Greenpeace activists climbed a Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) oil rig, which was being transported to Seattle before being moved to the Arctic.

The Polar Pioneer oil rig on its way to a vessel called Blue Merlin was ascended by six Greenpeace activists after they followed it during its journey across the Pacific Ocean, as confirmed by a statement from Greenpeace. The activists – from Australia, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria, and the US – climbed the vessel more than 700 miles off the coast of Hawaii, using climbing lines. The organization has confirmed that the activists will not interrupt the navigation or other operations of the vessel.

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Shell has major hurdles to clear before Chukchi drilling resumes

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 09.08.40Yereth Rosen Alaska Dispatch News: April 4, 2015

Shell has major hurdles to clear before Chukchi drilling resumes

Now that the Department of the Interior has, for the second time, affirmed the record-breaking Chukchi Sea lease sale it held seven years ago, is it smooth sailing for Royal Dutch Shell and its plans to drill this year on leases purchased in the sale?

Not so fast.

Shell, which spent over $2 billion on Chukchi leases, has already spent about $6 billion in total on its Alaska program and has ambitions for transforming the remote and undeveloped waters off Northwest Alaska into a major oil-producing region, still must clear several hurdles before it is given permission to sink a drill bit into hydrocarbons lying beneath the seafloor.

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Incredibly, Shell Gets Another Go at Arctic Drilling

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Article by published 1 April 2015

Incredibly, Shell Gets Another Go at Arctic Drilling

Sadly, the Obama Administration has once again given Shell the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic.

“The Arctic is an important component of the Administration’s national energy strategy, and we remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration offshore Alaska,” says Sally Jewell, Secretary of Interior, which made the decision.

The decision coincides with the 26th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Decades later, the area has still not recovered, and the company continues to get away without paying reparations. 

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Published: Mar 30, 2015 at 10:40 am EST

Shell Oil Company, subsidiary of multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS), is conducting drilling tests in Bellingham, Washington, ahead of potential regulatory approval for drilling in the Arctic.

According to media reports, government officials in Washington are observing Shell’s oil spill response system, which is to be deployed in the Arctic. The testing comes two years after the oil company’s previous venture ended abruptly in 2012, after it failed a deployment test because of damage to its emergency containment system. The failure led to heightened concerns over environmental safety. However, the system, which was deployed on a barge, has since been certified after repairs were carried out.

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over 176,000 
 reached John Donovan and some environmental
 Shell staff
 a “peaceful

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 the company’s
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 170­ page
“116 concerned
 to highlight

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Judge: Suit against Shell’s Arctic-drilling ‘homeport’ in Seattle can go ahead

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 19.49.45Article by Joel Connelly published 20 March 2015 by

Judge: Suit against Shell’s Arctic-drilling ‘homeport’ in Seattle can go ahead

Critics are on solid legal ground in a legal challenge to the location of a “homeport” for Shell Oil’s Arctic-drilling fleet at the Seattle waterfront, a King County Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

The ruling by Judge Mariane Spearman allows a suit against the Port of Seattle, brought by four environmental groups, to go ahead.

The judge backed up foes’ argument that proposed uses of Terminal 5 go far beyond the “cargo terminal” allowed under the current shoreline development permit that the port has with the city of Seattle.

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Special relationship between a Shell oil executive and a Government Minister contributed to offshore deaths?

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 09.24.14Love hurts: How a special relationship between a Shell oil executive and a Government Minister contributed to offshore deaths 


From: John Donovan 


Date: 9 March 2015 22:50:38 GMT

Cc: Campbell <Cambell

To: [email protected]

Dear Baroness Liddell,

I understand you have received an email from Mr Bill Campbell, the highly esteemed retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International.

As you are aware, it relates to your alleged contact some years ago with Mr Malcolm Brinded, when he was a Shell Managing Director whose responsibilities included Shell North Sea Platforms. 

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USW reaches sellout deal, moves to shut down oil workers’ strike

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 15.52.46From an article by Jerry White published 13 March 2015 by WSWS

USW reaches sellout deal, moves to shut down oil workers’ strike

The United Steelworkers (USW) union announced Thursday that it had reached a tentative agreement with lead bargainer Royal Dutch Shell that would be the basis for a four-year labor agreement covering 30,000 workers in the US oil industry.

The deal was reached as the selective strike by 6,500 workers in seven states nears the end of its sixth week. The USW says picketing will continue until local union members ratify agreements presented to them by the rest of the industry.

Any agreement reached by the USW under the circumstances in which the strike has been waged can only be a miserable betrayal. The union has blocked the full mobilization of all oil workers, allowing the energy giants to maintain production while threatening to replace strikers with “relief workers.” It was not the companies that backed down, but the union that decided a rapid agreement was necessary to prevent the strike from getting out of control.

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The Case against Malcolm Brinded CBE

Email Dated 4 March 2015 from Mr Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, to Mr Billy Gordon, a senior officer of Police Scotland

The Case against Malcolm Brinded CBE: 

Dear Mr Gordon

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your continual support especially over the period when the Fiscal Anne Currie was carrying out her investigation into the conduct of Shell and HSE officials (2009 – 2011), Appendix C of the attached refers. If you check your files you will bring to mind that early in 2012, I sent a joint communication copied to you and the Royal Dutch Chairman (RDS) Jorma Ollila and his Legal Counsel Michiel Brandjes. We discussed in some detail the contents of a conversation that took place shortly after Shell had issued a press release (Appendix A) with a complete denial of the claims made both on BBC Scotland TV and the oil and gas industry trade Magazine Upstream. As a result of this communication, and by April 2012 ,Malcolm Brinded was released from the employ of RDS, his release initiated by his employer. For the record, as you are aware I was not allowed to come to Aberdeen to make a statement or to convey the many pages of evidence in what is a complex business. Acting to the instruction of the Fiscal Anne Currie the evidence was passed by Grampian police to her.

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NPD investigates shooting at Motiva supervisor’s home

By JohnDonovan

Several months ago we published an article about certain events at the Shell-Motiva Norco site in Louisiana involving alleged victimisation of employees:


Here is another article involving a Motiva Supervisor, this time published by 

NPD investigates shooting at Motiva supervisor’s home

By Manuella Libardi: Published 4:03 pm, Monday, March 2, 2015

Nederland police are still investigating a Saturday shooting at the home of a Motiva Enterprises supervisor that damaged his vehicle.

Police Chief Darrell Bush said two shots were fired in the 800 block of N. 10th St. early Saturday. The gunman shot at the supervisor’s vehicle and some pellets also hit the house.

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Lawsuit challenges Port of Seattle lease for Shell Arctic drilling fleet

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Posted by Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, [email protected]: Mar 02, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 19.49.45ANCHORAGE – An array of Washington-based environmental groups has sued the Port of Seattle over a leasing agreement to host Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fleet, claiming the deal was negotiated in secret and may pollute the port.

Shell contractor Foss Maritime received a two-year lease, announced in February, for 50 acres of waterfront property and the mooring of up to eight vessels. Port officials expected the lease to bring in at least $13 million in rent during the two-year period.

A Monday statement from Earthjustice says the suit, filed in King Country Superior Court against the port, asks the court to vacate the lease. The suit was filed on behalf of several groups including the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the Sierra Club, the Washington Environmental Council, and the Seattle Audubon Society.

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Houston We Have A Problem: Oil Workers Strike For Safety & Fair Labor

Article by Alvaro Rodriguez and Jane Nguyen published 25 Feb 2015 by MINTPRESS NEWS under the headline:

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Oil workers holding picket signs in front of the Shell oil refinery in the Houston Ship Channel

In the largest strike since 1980, oil workers who are members of United Steelworkers District 13 locals (Locals 13-1 and Local 13-227) are no longer on the job in the Houston Ship Channel, the largest petrochemical complex in the world. The strike kicked off on February 1, 2015.

The three plants impacted by the strike in Houston include Shell Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant, LyondellBasell Refinery and Marathon (refinery and cogeneration facility).

The union is under attack in Texas, with USW members locked out at the Sherwin Alumina plant in Corpus Christi and the ASARCO facility in Amarillo. The attack on the union is occurring while the industry made record profits. Royal Dutch Shell announced earnings of $19 billion in 2014. LyondellBasell had record profits of $7.1 billion (EBITD) in 2014, cash generation of $6.0 billion. These profits in large part went to reward stock holders rather than repairs — with stock repurchases prioritized over worker safety —  to the tune of $7.2 billion in dividends. This largesse extended to a jump in compensation for their corporate officers.

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Shell criticised after Brent Delta worker hurt by flying cylinder

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 07.34.47From a BBC News article published 11 February 2015

Oil firm Shell has been criticised after an offshore worker was seriously injured when a compressed gas cylinder flew through the air and hit him.

The incident happened on the Brent Delta platform in the North Sea on 10 November.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Shell did not have a safe system of work, and issued the company with a prohibition notice.

Shell said action had been taken to address the issues raised by the HSE.


Shell ‘ignored accident warning’

Oil giant Shell has been accused of operating platforms in the North Sea at dangerously high risk levels.

Former senior manager Bill Campbell, who led a safety review, claimed the company ignored his warning in 1999 that an accident was bound to happen.

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Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 17.18.55From an article by Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media: February 2, 2015

“Arctic Standards Won’t Be Ready For Shell’s Return”

After Shell’s troubled 2012 drilling season in the far north, the Interior Department began working on Arctic-specific standards for offshore drilling.

But those new standards aren’t done yet. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell says they won’t be in place to guide Shell’s planned return to the Chukchi Sea this year.

“As Shell indicated just recently that they were going to go forward with their exploration plan this summer, we’ll be holding them to the standards that we’ve held them to before, with upgrades and proof that they can do what they say they do before they’re allowed to go up there,” Jewell told reporters in a press call today, primarily talking about the president’s budget for her department.

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Shell launches investigation into suspected North Sea gas leak

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Article by Niamh Burns published by 21 Jan 2015

Shell launches investigation into suspected North Sea gas leak

An investigation has been launched after a suspected gas leak in the North Sea.

Oil major Shell, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will review the incident, which happened earlier this week close to the Curlew Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO).

Specialist divers from the Bibby Polaris Dive Support Vessel (DSV) are currently on site to close two vales which will isolate the vessel from the Fulmar pipeline.

There are currently 91 personnel onboard the vessel and Shell said it had “no plans” to evacuate staff.

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