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Shell halts operations at Deer Park refinery

Royal Dutch Shell said Sunday the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey is causing the shutdown of its massive refining and petrochemical complex in Deer Park. Shell is closing one of Texas’ largest refineries, which can refine more than 315,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline and other petroleum products. “The top priority of Shell Deer Park is to operate in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Due to continued inclement weather conditions from Hurricane Harvey, Shell Deer Park is conducting a controlled/planned shut down of the refinery and chemical plant,” Shell said in an email response. FULL ARTICLE read more

Damage unknown to Shell’s Perdido platform in U.S. Gulf

AUGUST 27, 2017

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Sunday it has not yet been able to assess damage to its deepwater Perdido platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico after evacuating it ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey, which came ashore as a hurricane. The company scrapped plans on Saturday to send a reconnaissance flight over the platform, about 200 miles (321 km) south of Freeport, Texas, said spokesman Curtis Smith. A second flight will be attempted on Sunday.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Sandra Maler read more

Shell says Deer Park, Texas refinery may be shut for a week

AUGUST 27, 2017

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc said its Deer Park, Texas, refinery and chemical plant complex may be shut for up to a week because of Tropical Storm Harvey’s impact on the Houston area. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said following a controlled shutdown of the complex including the 325,700 barrel per day (bpd) refinery on Sunday, only essential personnel would remain at the plant through the end of the week.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder and Erwin Seba; Editing by Andrea Ricci read more

Harvey, Biggest Hurricane Since 2005, Spiraling Toward Texas Coast

Shell’s Prelude Officially Entered into Lloyd’s Register

By John Donovan

A report today by Seatrade Maritime News confirms that Shell’s massive FLNG facility Prelude has officially entered into Lloyd’s Register (LR) class. It also says that Prelude has arrived at its operating location in the Browse Basin, offshore northwest Australia (above) where it will be moored at a depth of 250m and will not be dry-docked for the first 25 years of its expected 50-year operational life. See their full article here from which the above extracts are taken. It lists the various parties involved in the huge project, including Lloyds Register. In December 2013, I published an article that should have set alarm bells ringing among all involved parties. Not one of them approached me seeking information. read more

Shell’s ill-fated $14bn gamble on Titanic Prelude FLNG Barge

The Prelude, which is 488m long, arrived in Australia last month © PA

By John Donovan

Shell’s Prelude barge has been described as the biggest floating structure ever built and is said to be 12 times the size of the Titanic. It is a comparison that for obvious reasons Shell does not use, although others do. There have been far more dire warnings about the dangers attached to Prelude than were made about the Titanic’s maiden voyage before it tragically sunk. Most have come from a well-placed insider on the Prelude project and subsequently from Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International. read more

Australia’s $180 bln LNG megaproject boom enters final stretch

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The last massive component of Australia’s $180 billion liquefied natural gas construction boom arrived on Monday, stepping up a race between Anglo-Dutch giant Shell and Japan’s Inpex to start chilling gas for export in 2018. Company reputations are at stake, as well as first access to overlapping gas fields and Australia leapfrogging Qatar as the world’s largest exporter of LNG. Royal Dutch Shell’s $12.6 billion Prelude project – the world’s largest floating LNG (FLNG) facility – is also behind schedule. FULL ARTICLE read more

Eternal Shame of Shell over North Sea Platform Safeguards

Posting by Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

In the 25 years following Piper Alpha (commemorations were held in Aberdeen a few weeks ago) the man who presided over a potential Piper Alpha rerun was Chris Finlayson. Although he blamed Brinded it is Finlayson who had the line accountability for health and safety offshore when in September 2003 two men died when an estimated 6800 cubic metres of gas flooded a into an enclosed support column on Brent Bravo.

Lord Cullen, who was passed all the documentation from the Shell internal technical report into this near catastrophe was under no allusions. The lives of 156 workers could have been put a jeopardy if the gas had ignited. His safety case system had failed and it had almost led to a repeat. read more

Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Opinion from a contributor to our Shell Blog

A media article has revealed that Shell is already suffering from the legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment.

The HSE have issued an improvement notice for failing to install gas detection equipment on the Lomond Platform, despite recommendations from two separate studies.

A second improvement notice was issued for failing to test a High Integrity Protection System (HIPS) since 2014, despite the associated Performance Standard requirement to test annually.

It could be assumed that Finlayson encouraged the infamous Brent TFA during his tenure at the helm of BG to maximise production volumes (an obsession with executives), at the expense of safety system testing. That assumption would not be entirely accurate, the same culture was evident in BG Group long before. Previous failures of a HIPS testing regime had been exposed at another BG operational location, yet despite this no one was held accountable. Maybe if they had been the ‘management team’ in question would not have been implanted in Aberdeen in 2012. read more

Shell Reports Fire, Unit Shutdown at Norco, La., Facility

Dow Jones Newswires

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said Monday that a fire over the weekend at its Norco refining and chemicals facility in Louisiana has forced it to shut down a unit. “There is no timetable for the restart of the unit,” Shell said in an emailed statement, without identifying the specific unit. “Operations are stable. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, we do not provide details about the operational status of individual units or information on supply.” It said no workers were injured in the incident, which happened early Saturday morning. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell cannot say it was not warned about Prelude FLNG

Warning by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International: Hydrocarbon leaks on offshore installations are unavoidable!

The answer to the question, can offshore installations meet a zero tolerance standard for hydrocarbon leaks, is easily answered, they cannot! Keeping hydrocarbons in the box appears beyond the wit of man. 

The support for this rather pessimistic view is based on actual historic data from the North Sea. It should be noted that this key indicator is the number one, the foremost technical integrity measure recorded by the HSE offshore division in the UK. All operators also are required to have it as their top indicator and non-reporting of hydrocarbon leaks is an offence in Law. So there is a degree of confidence in the accuracy of this data.  read more

Alarming news today of potential fire and explosion on Shell North Sea platform

By John Donovan

History is repeating itself. Shell is in the news today over its  dangerous North Sea oil platform activities.

Nearly 20 years ago, Shell senior management ignored warnings by HSE Auditor Bill Campbell about the Touch Fuck All regime on the Brent Bravo platform and its potential impact on worker safety. Production and profits were the overriding consideration. Maintenance records were routinely falsified. Lives were put at risk.

Shell EP MD Malcolm Brinded promised to take action based on the scandalous state of affairs Mr Campbell’s team had discovered when he led the safety audit on the platform. The promises were not kept. As a result, platform workers subsequently lost their lives in what was judged by the Scottish legal authorities to be an avoidable accident on Brent Bravo. A record-breaking fine was imposed on Shell. read more

Alarm Bells: Shell Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

ALARMING COMMENT POSTED BY RETIRED SHELL INTERNATIONAL HSE GROUP AUDITOR, BILL CAMPBELL

Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

With a Fire breakout at Pernis and a leak at Singapore refinery, both incidents over the last few days, it seems loss of containment is a continuing serious issue both onshore as well as offshore.

Much has been written about FLNG suggesting Prelude for example simply just cannot afford leaks and fires because of the potential consequences – but can they be totally avoided, can they?

Can any offshore installation meet a zero tolerance standard for leaks? read more

Kiobel Writ: Shell and the murderous Abacha regime operated in tandem

Shell paid and maintained part of the Nigerian police force; Shell was prepared to purchase arms for the regime; Shell had puppets in place up to the highest level of the Nigerian government as a result of its revolving door policy, under which former employees of Shell work for the regime and vice versa; Shell maintained a network of informants in Ogoniland in conjunction with the regime. Shell was itself… a direct and active part of (all ranks of) the government apparatus that had to maintain ‘order’ in Ogoniland and to this end violated human rights on a wide scale. Shell’s police force in 1994 numbered more than 1,200 officers… Shell also had 41 marines and 128 MOPOL members… … in total the Shell-operated joint venture employed around 2,470 security staff…

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts.

Extracts Begin

8.4 Shell and the regime operated in tandem

246. Not only did Shell stand at the cradle of the aforementioned excesses by requesting the intervention of MOPOL or the RSISTF again and again, it also factually enabled the regime to do this by providing it with arms, personnel and money. As such, Shell facilitated the excessive actions by the regime, but also fulfilled typical government tasks itself.247. The strong entanglement of Shell and the regime is evident inter alia from the following facts and circumstances, some of which have previously been discussed above: read more

Shell shuts down most of Netherlands refinery due to fire

JULY 30, 2017 8:37 AM:  

Royal Dutch Shell is shutting down most units at its refinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands after a fire at a high-voltage electricity switch station. Shell spokesman Thijs van Velzen says the fire started late Saturday and was extinguished by Sunday morning. Nobody was injured. The Pernis refinery in Rotterdam’s sprawling port is Europe’s largest. It has the capacity to refine just over 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The shutdown led to Shell burning off excess gases at the plant, a process known as flaring. The move sent large flames into the sky on Sunday.Van Velzen says the cause of the fire is under investigation. He declined comment on the financial implications of the shutdown. SOURCE read more

Major Fire at Shell Rotterdam Refinery Extinguished

Major Fire at Shell Rotterdam Refinery Extinguished

The fire that broke out last night at Shell Pernis in Rotterdam has been extinguished.

Pernis is the largest refinery in Europe with about sixty factories.

Part of the refinery remains shut down because the electricity is cut.

The fire was caused by short-circuiting in a high voltage station.

According to a security spokesman the flames cover a wide area. This is due to the fact that the company flares out gases released by the refining of oil as part of the safety procedure.

There is no indication that harmful substances have been released. read more

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