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Posts under ‘Shell Oil Reserves Scandal’

Little known key role of Michiel Brandjes in Shell reserves scandal

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 23.42.12However, unbeknown to Van de Vijver, Michiel Brandjes (right), who was alarmed by the findings of the report, sent a copy to a New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. This meant that events were no longer in the control of Shell. Instead, Shell’s most sensitive issue since its close association with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis several decades ago, had been disclosed to an outside firm, that had to consider and protect its own reputation.

By John Donovan

In May 2003, Frank Coopman, the then Chief Financial Officer of Shell EP, delivered bad news about Shell’s operations in Nigeria to the Chief Executive of Shell EP, Walter van de Vijver.

Van de Vijver sent Coopman back to Nigeria to investigate further.

The subsequent findings, set out in a status report, were even more devastating, revealing an overstatement of 1.1 billion boe.

Van de Vijver had instructed a team led by Coopman to work on the reserves issues.

The team included a top Shell lawyer, Michiel Brandjes, the then Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Petroleum. read more

Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29It was 2am when a fireball pierced the inky night sky above a small community in the Niger delta. The explosion near Port Harcourt last June killed several people and released 6,000 barrels of crude oil. The cause: contractors hired by Royal Dutch Shell to stop pirates siphoning oil from a huge pipeline were themselves stealing fuel, and something went terribly wrong. The blast led to the shutdown… Shell, the largest foreign operator in the country, was responsible for more than 20,000 barrels of last year’s spills.

By John Donovan: Sunday 17 February 2014

The Sunday Times has today published an article by Danny Fortson under the headline: “Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery”

The article reveals information about a new website being launched next month by The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency as a result of an initiative by a group of interested parties, including the Nigerian Government and local communities. The website will publish searchable details about every oil spill in Nigeria. It is expected to shame big oil. read more

Shell’s fall from grace

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05In May 2013, when Voser’s retirement was announced, he was described by Reuters as having been Shell’s “renaissance CEO”. Fast-forward eight months and Voser’s successor stunned the market with a profits warning. It was a remarkably quick fall from grace for both the former chief and the company… …the company’s misstatement of its proven reserves early in the century landed it with a multi-million dollar fine from stock market regulators and forced the departure of its chairman as well as shocking investors. Shell has had its own environmental problems in Nigeria. Now it is being severely criticised for overspending.

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By John Kemp

Feb 4 (Reuters) – “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” wrote Enoch Powell, a former member of Britain’s parliament who held controversial views on immigration and national identity.

Much the same could be said of business careers, as Shell’s former chief executive Peter Voser has learned the hard way. His strategy of continuing to invest in complex megaprojects through the oil industry cycle is now blamed for the company’s recent profit warning and underperformance. read more

Ben van Beurden: Surely Shell could have chosen a leader untainted by scandal?

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.23.29Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. This was during the period when false information was routinely given to investors about Shell’s claimed oil and gas reserves. As private assistant and adviser to Watts, Ben van Beurden must have known what was going on and must have been complicit in the cover-up? Is it impossible to find suitable Shell leadership candidates untainted by failure and scandal?

By John Donovan

The Observer newspaper has today made the valid point that “Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.”

This startling fact has rightly been highlighted in a number of articles published since the appointment of Ben van Beurden as the new CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was first announced.

Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. read more

Ben van Beurden will need more than PR skills to navigate Shell’s choppy seas

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 09.07.53Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices. He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. …he could not entirely escape personal responsibility, since he was formerly head of chemicals and, for nine months last year, head of the group’s huge downstream division. Pet projects of Voser’s will feel the axe. Divestments will be made, spending curtailed and writedowns – multibillion-dollar ones, clearly – taken. Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.

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The new boss put up a brave showing last week, but he faces a battle to stop the oil firm from sailing into more trouble

The Observer,

Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices.

The Shell lifer was able to paper over the reasons for Shell’s “loss of momentum”, as he called it, through a mixture of boundless self-confidence and strong communication skills.

He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. The Shell share price has dipped a mere 3% since a profit warning two weeks ago. read more

CFO Simon Henry: Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, beset by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” He has had a hand on the helm throughout the long voyage, during the Sakhalin2 debacle, the Corrib Gas Corruption scandal and more recently, Shell’s Arctic ambitions hitting the rocks. As I have previously pointed out, he also had a starring role in the reserves scandal and managed to evade the flak on that occasion as well. Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

By John Donovan

The role of RDS Chief Financial Officer, Simon Henry, in the instability that has overtaken Shell, thus far seems to have largely escaped scrutiny and blame?

He is the most senior remaining Royal Dutch Shell executive spanning the tenure of the last three top executives at Shell, Sir Philip Watts (dishonest bullying egomaniac), Jeroen van der Veer (dishonest and out of his depth) and Peter Voser (incompetent and ill-advised).

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, bedeviled by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” read more

New Shell boss spooks market with warning

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By Kate Holton: LONDON Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:26am EST

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Shell warns of ‘significant’ profit miss

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) issued a “significant” profit warning on Friday, detailing across-the-board problems and the extent of the challenges facing the oil major’s new boss Ben van Beurden, who took over two weeks ago.

The warning comes nearly *10 years to the day after Shell, the western world’s No. 3 oil company, revealed the so-called reserves accounting scandal, when the group dramatically downgraded its reserves estimates. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Profits Slump Debacle

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Based on our insider information, we, and only we, raised the question of whether Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser jumped ship or was pushed. I think we now have the answer that explains his unexpected early retirement under the cloak of a change of lifestyle. How do you know that Shell is run by clowns? The continued existence of this website over the last decade proves that this is the case. One miscalculation after the other. Just over 2 months ago, we raised the profits warning issue:Why no profits warning from Shell?

By John Donovan

Just over 2 months ago, we raised the profits warning issue: “Why no profits warning from Shell?

I would now like to put a simple question to our visitors.

What news source has provided the most accurate assessment about Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the senior management?

Not the BBC, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Motley Fool or any other source. Certainly not shell.com.

The most accurate assessment and information has consistently emanated from this website. read more

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PROFITS WARNING DEBACLE

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Message from one of our sources…

John

How many warnings did we give about taking the financial hits in the final quarter before Voser left?

And yet the analysts are surprised!

(AND THIS MARKET SHOCKING NEWS ALMOST EXACTLY TO THE DAY, ON THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF WHEN NEWS FIRST BROKE OF THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL)

Shell has that haunted look

THE TIMES: 1 November 2013

It is almost a decade since the reserves scandal exposed the old stock market adage “Never Sell Shell” as being rather less than failsafe. Yesterday’s results statement, appropriately scary for Hallowe’en, reinforced that, with third quarter earnings coming in a fifth lighter than the market was expecting for a second consecutive quarter. This was thanks to a witches’ brew that included weaker refining margins, disruptions in Nigeria and higher production costs.  Shell’s biggest offence, in the eyes of investors, appears to be that… read more

Shell’s giant floating refrigerator to tap new gas reserves

Chief executive Peter Voser tells Emily Gosden why the massive Prelude vessel is a game-changer

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Emily Gosden

6:00AM BST 21 Oct 2013

 Peter Voser is surveying the view from the Prelude vessel, which he has just boarded for the first time. “Now you see the difference,” he says, pointing out an oil tanker a few hundred yards away. “That’s a regular tanker. It’s a big one, yet a small one.”

Small compared with Prelude, that is. The same could be said of all the giant vessels here in Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Among them are liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, some of the world’s biggest ships. Yet all are dwarfed by Royal Dutch Shell’s monster. It is, as Voser puts it, “massive” – and it’s still only half-built. read more

Speculation on hostile bids for Royal Dutch Shell?

Posting by “Outsider” on our Shell Blog Wed, 9 Oct 2013. 10.08 am

It is common knowledge that BP, Exxon and Total (and possibly others) planned hostile bids for Shell after the reserves fiasco. Shell’s current under-performance in comparison with the market, together with huge write-offs on unconventionals and the Arctic suggest that some of these plans may be under consideration once again, perhaps with Chevron added to the list of potential bidders. read more

Financial Times Assessment of Peter Voser

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 08.30.42…doubts about the performance of Shell have become more evident recently after Shell announced a 20% drop in second-quarter profits, plus losses and write downs in North America and disillusion with Shell’s big spending plans. Voser admits that Shell’s Upstream Americas business was in the red and that exploration results in US shales are disappointing. Shell’s huge bet on US shale is his biggest regret.  Voser further admits that Shell is yet to complete a single well in its Alaska drilling fiasco (despite already spending $5 billion on the ill-fated Arctic project). “That was a big disappointment to me personally,” he said.

By John Donovan: Sunday October 6, 2013

The Financial Times has published two articles today about Peter Voser, the departing Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The first article claims that his vision has left Shell in “rude health” following Vosers supposed transformation of the oil giant following the hydrocarbon reserves fraud. The scandal was disclosed to shocked shareholders and the news media in January 2004. Jeroen van der Veer, who actually led the company during the years immediately after the scandal, might feel entitled to some credit. read more

RTE Radio 1: Philip Boucher-Hayes investigates the OSSL allegations

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By John Donovan

As can be seen from the transcript of a Drivetime segment broadcast on RTE Radio 1 yesterday evening, Shell has been cornered into making what is described as a much more robust denial of the allegations made by its former “Mr Fixit” in Ireland, OSSL.

In so doing, Shell appears to have given OSSL grounds for a defamation action.

I have redacted from the statement attributed to Shell the potentially defamatory words used by Shell and broadcast by RTE.

I am not a lawyer, but I do have experience in successfully suing Shell for libel. My late father did the same. Shell settled both actions as part of wider settlements. read more

Ben van Beurden is a Shell insider who made late rise to the top

FINANCIAL TIMES

July 9, 2013 10:16 am

Ben van Beurden is an insider who has made late rise to the top

By John Aglionby

He worked as private assistant to the chairman, Phil Watts, from 2002-2004, including during the 2004 accounting scandal, when it emerged Shell had overstated its oil reserves. This led to a major purge of senior management but Mr van Beurden continued to rise.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Shell’s new CEO reinforces gas technology focus

 Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 00.09.36…van Beurden is from the downstream part of the business which wrested control from the upstream oil and gas division in the aftermath of Shell’s reserves accounting crisis of 2003/2004. A chemical engineering graduate, van Beurden had a front seat for the crisis, in which the company was forced to downgrade its oil and gas reserves that top executives had over-estimated for years. He worked between 2002 and 2004 as management assistant to Phil Watts, the head of company who was sacked in the aftermath of the debacle in 2004.

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LONDON | Tue Jul 9, 2013 9:38am EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) named refining head Ben van Beurden as its new chief executive, picking a man with little board-level experience but broad company exposure and first-hand knowledge of the gas technology it has bet its future on.

Van Beurden, who became head of refining, marketing and chemicals in January, has been at the Anglo-Dutch group for 30 years and spent a decade in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. read more

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