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Militants Blow up Shell, Agip Pipelines in Nigeria

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28By HILARY UGURU, ASSOCIATED PRESS: WARRI, Nigeria — May 28, 2016, 10:32 PM ET

Militants blew up strategic gas and crude pipelines belonging to Shell and Agip on Saturday in an increasingly fierce campaign that has chopped Nigeria’s oil production in half, militants and residents said.

A new militant group, calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, reported in social media that they had dynamited the trunkline linking the Dutch-British Shell company’s Bonny terminal and the Brass export terminal of the Italian company Agip. A local community leader Eke-Spiff Erempagamo confirmed the attack.

Nigeria’s oil production had already fallen from a projected 2.2 million barrels a day to 1.4 million barrels before the latest attacks on the oil industry in southern Nigeria, including three within the past week on facilities of the U.S. oil major Chevron. Several companies have evacuated some of their workers.

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Nigeria: Militants Strike Again in N-Delta, Attack Shell, Agip Pipelines

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 10.34.21By Emma Amaize, Sam Oyadongha, Egufe Yafugborhi, Brisibe Perez and Akpokona Omafuaire: 29 May 2016

Delta militants blew up trunk lines belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, and Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Bayelsa State, while soldiers took over Oporoza community, the headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

An industry source, who confirmed the attacks, believed to have been carried by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) group, told Sunday Vanguard: “Information at my disposal is that somewhere around the Lagos-gbene axis of the Tebidaba-Bras trunk line, was attacked with dynamites, this morning (yesterday).

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Shell Bans External Movement Of Niger Delta Staff Following Attack On Chevron

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Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 10.18.28SaharaReporters has learned that the corporate management of Shell Petroleum in the Niger Delta region have ordered that their employees refrain from any external movements between today and 8am on Monday, May 30th. An employee with Shell told SaharaReporters that an email was sent to staff following the latest bombing of the Chevron tank farm in Escravos, Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta State by the Niger Delta Avengers.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: MAY 26, 2016

SaharaReporters has learned that the corporate management of Shell Petroleum in the Niger Delta region have ordered that their employees refrain from any external movements between today and 8am on Monday, May 30th.

An employee with Shell told SaharaReporters that an email was sent to staff following the latest bombing of the Chevron tank farm in Escravos, Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta State by the Niger Delta Avengers.

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Shell cutting back manpower sharply at Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield

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Anthony McAuleyMay 21, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell is cutting its workforce sharply at the Majnoon oilfield near Basra in southern Iraq as the government’s financial woes deepen.

Majnoon is one of the five “supergiant” (containing more than 5 billion barrels) oilfields located in southern Iraq, with estimated recoverable reserves of nearly 13 billion barrels, and it has been a major provider of additional funds for the Iraqi government since it started exporting two years ago.

The field employed more than 3,000 at peak construction – three-quarters of whom were Iraqis. But the expatriate workforce had dwindled to 400 amid cutbacks as the government has struggled with both the collapse in oil prices over the past 18 months and the costs of the war with militants in the west of the country.

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Niger Delta militants kill five people and oil companies evacuate

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.0311 May 2016

Nigerian trade unions called for oil companies to evacuate workers on Tuesday, following two attacks in the Niger Delta which left five people dead. Armed men killed two police officers and three soldiers in separate attacks in a region that has seen a resurgence of militancy.

After coming under fire from militants, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron have evacuated some of their workforce in high-risk areas. Last week, a group known as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) attacked a Chevron oil facility in the Delta and succeeding in blowing up the platform. The NDA went on to claim responsibility for bombing an underwater Royal Dutch Shell pipeline in February. Consequently, Nigeria’s crude output has fallen to its lowest point in 22 years.In a country whose economy and foreign currency reserves are largely dependant on oil and gas, the destruction of its pipelines by such armed groups could be absolutely catastrophic,” strategic consultant Leke Adebayo told The World Weekly. “Bad enough in boom times but in the middle of a crippling recession, the results would be devastating. This provides yet another reason as to why Nigeria needs to diversify its economy as soon as is reasonably practicable.”

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Pipeline explosion in Nigeria’s Delta behind shutdown of Shell’s Bonny Light exports: community leader

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Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 15.25.56Wed May 11, 2016 12:50pm GMT

YENAGOA, Nigeria (Reuters) – An explosion has shut down an oil pipeline in Nigeria’s Delta, a community leader said on Wednesday, explaining why Shell has shut down its Bonny Light exports.

Shell said earlier a leak had shut down the exports, without giving details.

“There was a blast on the trunk line around Kalabari community of Rivers state,” said Nengi James, a community leader dealing with oil and gas companies operating in the region. “We don’t know the cause and who is behind the explosion.”

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Shell Canada reopens first oilsands mine shut down by Fort McMurray fires

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By DAN HEALING: The Canadian Press: Tues., May 10, 2016

CALGARY—The first oilsands mine shut down by wildfires in the Fort McMurray region a week ago has been restarted.

Shell Canada said Tuesday that it had resumed production at its Albian Sands mining operations about 95 kilometres north of Fort McMurray after a seven-day closure.

The operations, which include the Muskeg River and Jackpine oilsands mines, have the capacity to produce 255,000 barrels of oil a day, but Shell would say only that they were operating at a reduced rate.

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Shell workers evacuated from Bonga field after militant threat: union

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Mon May 9, 2016 10:57am EDT

Shell workers at Nigeria’s Bonga oil field in the southern Niger Delta are being evacuated following a militant threat, a senior labor union official said on Monday.

“We are aware of the development and the evacuation is being done in categories of workers and cadres,” Cogent Ojobor, chairman of the Warri branch of the Nupeng oil labor union, said. “My members are yet to be evacuated.”

He gave no numbers.

Shell said earlier on Monday that oil output was continuing at its oil fields in Nigeria despite local media reports of a militant attack near its Bonga facilities.

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Shell Evacuates Non-Essential Staff From Nigeria Field

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By SARAH KENT: May 9, 2016

LONDON— Royal Dutch Shell PLC has evacuated nonessential staff from one of its Nigerian oil fields amid mounting militancy in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The company has reduced staff levels at its Eja oil field about 15 kilometers (10 miles) off the coast of Nigeria, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The move follows an attack on one of Chevron Corp.’s offshore facilities last week…

FULL ARTICLE

Shell says Nigerian output continuing despite reports of militant threat

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03LONDON May 9 (Reuters) – Shell said on Monday that oil output was continuing at its oil fields in Nigeria despite local media reports of a militant attack near its Bonga facilities.

Media reports said the company was evacuating workers because of threats from militants.

“Our operations at Bonga are continuing,” a spokesman for Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) said in a statement, adding that it will continue to monitor the security situation in its operating areas and take all possible steps to ensure the safety of staff and contractors.

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Report: Shell evacuates Nigerian facility

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By Daniel J. Graeber: May 9, 2016

ABUJA, Nigeria, May 9 (UPI) — Nigerian media reported Monday a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers forced the evacuation of facilities in the area operated by Royal Dutch Shell.

Nigerian newspaper Vanguard reported subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Corp. evacuated around 100 staff from an oil facility that was producing around 90,000 barrels of oil per day. The newspaper reported that a skeleton crew was left behind, though operations at the Shell facility were suspended.

Vanguard reported the militant group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers forced the Shell evacuation. The group last week took credit for knocking pipelines controlled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and Chevron offline. The group said the attacks came after issuing an ultimatum to the Nigerian government about developments in the Niger Delta.

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Changes coming in wake of Shell incident

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Journal staff: May 9, 2016

Changes are in the works following an incident last month at Shell’s Corunna refinery that led to a precautionary shelter-in-place for some residents due to reports of elevated benzene levels detected outside the plant.

“We had a meeting with Shell and talked about getting air quality monitors set up for our firehall in Corunna,” St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold said. “So, we’ll be able to do air monitoring ourselves, with our fire guys. We don’t currently have that capacity.

“To me, that’s a real plus.”

The township has also expedited the repair of one of its alarm sirens – which currently only has four of eight horns in working order — and fixed a glitch with another siren after it was discovered that it never sounded at all during the April 27 incident.

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Niger Delta Avengers Force Shell To Evacuate Staff From Major Facility Near Bonga

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BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK: MAY 08, 2016

The menace of Niger Delta Avengers, the newest militant group in the oil-rich region,  has forced Royal Dutch Shell to evacuate most of its staff from a production facility. The evacuation was carried out by three helicopters on Saturday. The exercise will continue on Sunday in the firm’s facilities across the Niger Delta region.

Saturday’s evacuation saw 98 key personnel on board were overseen by helicopters from Eja OML 79, run by Royal Dutch Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), where production of 90k barrels of oil per day has been halted. 

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Fort McMurray Fire: Shell Turns Oilsands Camp Into Shelter For Evacuees

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CP  |  By The Canadian Press: 05/04/2016 1:02 pm EDT

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03CALGARY — The wildfire raging through the heart of Canada’s oilsands capital dealt a blow Wednesday to crude perations, with Shell Canada closing a major mining facility north of Fort McMurray, Alta.

The company temporarily shut down production at its Albian Sands mining operations located about 70 kilometres north of the city.

Shell said it made the decision to focus on getting employees and their families out of the region while also freeing up room at its 2,000-person work camp for some of the 80,000 people who were ordered evacuated Tuesday from Fort McMurray.

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North Sea helicopter crash: Shell cancels all CHC flights in Norway

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Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 13.50.03Written by Niamh Forrest – 03/05/2016 7:42 am

Oil major Shell has cancelled all flights to its two fields in the Norwegian Sea.

The company has taken the decision after 13 people were killed on a flight returning from Statoil’s Gullfaks B platform on Friday.

The move will affect journeys to its Draugen and Knarr fields.

It’s understood the operator has said it is “too early” at this stage to determine how long the decision will stay in place.

A spokesman for the company said:“Shell has with sadness followed the reports of the tragic event outside Bergen in Norway. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families and colleagues of the victims. We are confident that every measure will be taken to reveal the cause of the accident and to ensure the safety of the people of our industry.

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

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

By John Donovan

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

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

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

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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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SAM CHAMBERS: 8 FEB 2016

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.

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS: NOVEMBER 20, 2015

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 BEAR FACTS -EMERGENCY RESPONSE MAY TAKE TWO OR THREE MONTHS TO ARRIVE!

“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.

FULL ARTICLE

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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FULL FT ARTICLE WITH WORKING LINKS. SETS OUT SHELL’S 2012 DEBACLE IN SOME DETAIL

RELATED FT ARTICLES

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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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ARCTIC ALARM BELLS: SHELL KICKS OUT 60 WORKERS IN HOLLAND FOR DRUG USE

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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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