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Posts under ‘Simon Henry’

Role of a hapless Ann Pickard in OPL 245

By John Donovan

During the period that Shell was conniving in setting up the OPL 245 deal, the company had a vice-like grip on the oil wealth of Nigeria and more power than the Nigerian government. This information comes from an analysis of leaked secret US embassy cables.

Ann Pickard, a then senior Shell executive, was directly involved in the OPL 245 deal, and the primary indiscreet source of the secret information.

Extracts below from various publications provide evidence of her role in OPL 245. They are followed by astonishing related extracts from a Guardian newspaper article about the leaked classified cables. read more

OPL 245: SHELL MI6 LOOSE CHATTER

Introduction by John Donovan

Published below are comments by Mr Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Royal Dutch Shell. His remarks are in relation to the involvement of Shell and current?/former MI6 officers in the OPL 245 skulduggery currently involving multiple regulatory and legal authorities, including the Dutch Director of Public Prosecution and Dutch Police, the UK Serious Fraud Office, Italian and Nigerian Police and Prosecutors, the US Securities And Exchange Commission, and an investigation by the US Department of Justice under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. read more

New Shell finance boss says North Sea remains important to oil and gas giant

MARK WILLIAMSON: 5 MAY 2017

ROYAL Dutch Shell’s new finance chief has said the company will continue to invest in the North Sea where it is making good returns but declined to rule out selling off more UK assets.

Speaking after Shell posted a 140 per cent increase in first quarter profits, Jessica Uhl said the North Sea remains important to the firm although rationalisation moves will leave it with a much reduced presence in the area.

The oil and gas giant agreed in January to sell a portfolio of mature assets which account for around half its UK production to Chrysaor for up to $3.8 billion. read more

More analysis of wiretapped BvB/Simon Henry phone call

By Bill Campbell (Retired HSE Group Auditor Shell International)

I have read through the Ben van Beurden/Simon Henry phone transcript but frankly cannot understand the apparently relaxed attitude, with many chuckles and laughter on the phone.

It seems clear also that RDS had been or were still pursuing some kind of internal investigation into the matter.

They raised but then thought lightly it would seem, of the emails that are incriminating, as though these did not involve their own employees whether direct or indirect, ex MI6 etc. read more

Transcript of Wiretapped Ben van Beurden Simon Henry phone call

Transcript: Tap 5 – 716
TITLE: TAP 5 – 716
PERSONS NAME: Ben van Beurden (Shell CEO) & Simon Henry (Shell CFO)
DATE: 17 February 2016
TIME: 19:53:12
DURATION: 00:13:53

TIMECODE Name Dialogue
0:00 BVB Hey Simon
00.24 SH Hi Ben
00.25 SH Sorry, your missed call. I was, er, having something to eat.
00.30 BVB Yeah, I know you’re on leave, so am I. You obviously know what happened at the office today, so I just wanted to check in with you…
00.37 SH I’m actually in the office tomorrow morning.
00.40 BVB Oh will you be…
00.42 SH I’m leaving at lunchtime. I’ve been in Brussels today.
00.45 BVB Oh, I thought you were in Switzerland this week?
00.50 SH I fly down tomorrow afternoon, evening.
00.55- BVB Oh OK, so I… as I said I… just hold on, I just want to get away from the nanny. And so I just wanted to check in and see whether you’re alright. I trust you have been informed about what happened at the office and the fact that they have gone through both our rooms to get whatever information they needed to get.
1:20 SH Yeah. I spoke to Ronan [Cassidy, Shell Chief Human Resources & Corporate Officer] and Souli [Bouchla, Shell Executive Assistant] and I heard that. I hadn’t heard much else actually. That’s about it, all that I’ve heard…
1:302:00

2:30

3:00

BVB Yeah well I don’t know exactly of course the details of the events but I spoke with Michiel [Brandjes, Shell Company Secretary] and Ronan [Cassidy] three times during the day, and with Donny [Ling, Shell Legal Director] who is in Barcelona. So it looks as if they have some form of coordination between the Italian prosecutor, possibly … with a link into the DoJ, but we’re not sure yet. But, er, clearly something they have been preparing for and need to do now apparently also because of a statute of limitations that expires next month in Italy. But it… they were apparently … quite, er, firstly well prepared but also quite forceful and brusque this morning when they got hold of Annette [van Lisse, secretary to Ben van Beurden], they rattled a few people in the office probably. But during the day it sort of all turned into a fairly sort of professionally run organisation, certainly from our side, but also from the side of the prosecutor. Annette was… I spoke with Annette at the end of the day, apparently they had been in my office for 3 or 4 hours going through everything. I have nothing on OPL245 … but anyway they managed to take one folder which they thought was of relevance … no idea what that would be. Apparently they had been in your office … they were still in your office when I spoke with Annette at the end of the afternoon so they were going through things…
3:20 SH OK, I do know [unclear] apparently, a lot of papers. There’s nothing on OPL245 that I’m aware of. They’d be better off looking through electronic records.
3:33 BVB Yeah. And I think they were going to go to Chad’s office [Holliday, Shell chairman], which of course used to be Malcolm’s [Brinded, Shell Executive Director, Upstream International] office. And according to Souli [Bouchla] there is [unclear] there is a whole stack of Malcolm’s stuff in there…
3:48 SH Really? Mmm…
3:50 BVB …so I have no idea what it is, what that could be, yeah.
3:54 SH [Chuckles] Probably more interesting.
3:57 BVB [Chuckles] Yes. Er, you are aware of the sort of, not status, er, Donny [Ling] and the legal team have been up to in terms of the OPL245 forensic investigation that we doing ourselves?
4:16 SH I spoke to Donny [Ling] a couple of weeks ago… But I’m… Not in a forensic sense, to say where are you, what have you found, is there anything to be concerned about…? I didn’t have that kind of conversation with him. You may have had more, particularly if you spoke to him today.
4:375:00

5:30

BVB Yeah, well, they have gone through all the old email exchanges etc. I think the… I’ve been briefed a few times, verbally. They’ve given me a briefing the day before the audit committee because they were going to give a verbal update to the audit committee… So I take it you have [SH: Yes] heard the verbal update so you are probably also up to date with everything. But, er, to the extent that they may not have shared sort of the very latest… I don’t think they have found anything that was clearly incriminating or that sort of suggested thst we were colluding or doing anything inappropriate. But there was apparently some loose chatter between people from the team, particularly the people that we hired from MI6 who, er, must have said things like, “Well, yeah, you know, I wonder who gets a pay-off here and whatever”, so it’s unhelpful email exchanges. It’s, it’s … I haven’t seen them but apparently they were judged to be, you know, just pub talk in emails which was stupid. But nevertheless it’s there, so it, er…
5:57 SH And that was from the time of … the ENI payment, or from a subsequent investigation by us using people with that background?
6:076:30

7:00

7:30

8:00

BVB No, no, no. This is from the time of the ENI payment where, you know, it all was sort of figured out how to do this, and whatever. Apparently there was some really unhelpful emails in there, which then subsequently needed to be followed up with interviews to say, well, what do these emails mean? Well, we’re never going to get a good answer out of that, of course, but they had a list of people that they were going to interview. They have done a few like Anne Pickard [Shell Executive Vice President: Arctic; formerly Vice-President: sub-Saharan Africa] and a few others who still work for us. But they were also going to interview Peter Robinson [formerly Shell Vice-President: Africa]. I’m not sure whether they in the end managed to speak to him, because of course he can decline to be interviewed, he doesn’t work for us anymore. And they were going to interview Malcolm [Brinded] and they were going to interview Peter Voser [formerly Shell Chief Executive]. So, I’m not sure whether they were going to interview you but if you haven’t been approached then they’re probably not going to. It, er. So it’s, yeah, the whole… I got a briefing at some point from them… [unclear]… the law firm, who said, yeah, we don’t think we, we have, there is anything troublesome here but, yeah, at some point in time when it’s all done we have to make up our mind whether we just say “Well, that’s it, we’ve investigated everything that could be investigated and we conclude there is nothing wrong and we will put it to rest”. Or whether we just say, “Well, you know, there’s a few funny things here and maybe we should just disclose it to the DoJ.” Because it all happened at a time we were of course under deferred prosecution agreement, so, we should have maybe at the time been a more open with the DoJ than we now find we have been. Anyway we were not at that point of clarity or conclusion, so, in that sense… this dawn raid is, I won’t say premature, but it’s, we were not, we hadn’t concluded our own work.
8:27 SH I saw DoJ referenced. You mention that… I don’t think there for a moment that with the Dutch side with the possible Italian connection, that do we know definitely it’s definitely DoJ, then, in the US?
8:42 BVB Sorry, say that again. You were…?
8:45 SH I only saw from the, when I spoke to Ronan [Cassidy], plus early messages from Mikhail [Brandjes], that it was the Dutch director of public prosecution and essentially found the Italian link, but did it pick up anything formally, like the DoJ and the Americans?
9:039:30

10:00

10:30

11:00

BVB No, no. It didn’t. When I spoke with Michiel [Brandjes] this morning, and Donny [Ling], it… at some point in time they said that the DoJ was involved and that it was coordinated with the DoJ etc. And then when I spoke with them this afternoon that story had been clarified and they said no there was no DoJ involvement. And the crisis team met at 1 o’clock and, er, sort of went over who do we need to inform. So do we need to inform the DoJ, do we need to inform the Serious Fraud Office, do we need to inform the SEC? And they were going to reflect on that. And so I thought, spoke with Ronan [Cassidy] and said OK let the team properly reflect on that legally and everything and else. For what it’s worth my view on it would be: the DoJ, yes, because we have been asked to collaborate earlier on in an investigation that they were doing in ENI, so it would only be logical we would inform them and most probably they are informed anyway so it doesn’t really matter too much. The Serious Fraud Office, same thing, I would think. Inform them: it’s probably better anyway. [SH: Yes, I agree]. The SEC, I don’t know, to be perfectly honest. So I asked them to contact Joe Babits [Shell Associate Counsel (US Securities)] to get a view on this, whether it was necessary or appropriate or desirable, or whatever. Because the last thing you want of course is some sort of request to issue a stock exchange release when there is nothing to be said other than that we are being asked to provide information. So I said let Joe [Babits] take a view on it. I know that Joe [Babits] has been informed and involved in all this in the lead up to the prospectus issuance, so he will be sensitised to it all, it will not get him cold.
11:13 SH My instinct would be the same. The SFO because, ultimately, they are following [unclear] in to Etete, in the UK, where Etete is, I think they’re trying to extradite him. And, er, in the US the DoJ … The FCPA is a DoJ issue, not the SEC.
11:38 BVB Yeah, exactly. So it’s er, the SEC has no jurisdiction here. It’s more, you know, is there anything that is share-price sensitive. Well, yeah I guess, depending on how you look at it there is – but everything is share-price sensitive if you’re not very careful, huh.
11:56 SH [Laughs] At this particular point in time, that seems to be the case…
12:00 BVB Sorry?
12:02 SH OK… At this point in time, everything seems to be share price sensitive [chuckles].
12:05 BVB [Chuckles] Exactly, exactly. Anyway, so, I just wanted to touch base with you, see whether you, whether you had any reflections [SH: Well, thanks], you were alright, etc. If you are in the office, I’m in France, so, let’s see whether there’s a need to, or, why don’t we just check in tomorrow with each other and see how things are going?
12:25 SH I will go in because if I don’t it will look odd because [unclear] I was due to go in just for a couple of hours, well, four hours, tomorrow morning at least. And [unclear] because she stayed with them until they had finished. She wasn’t clear if they were coming back, I don’t think they were clear if they were coming back [laughs]. And if they are there, then we’ll just deal with it…
12:53 BVB Sorry, say that again?
12:55 SH If they are there, then we’ll just deal with it in a professional manner.
12:59 BVB Yeah, yeah. You probably … know this, so don’t, don’t volunteer any information that is not requested. So it, er… And we just… I think probably they have gone through everything that they need to go through. They may just request your PC and your phone to be imaged. But it, er…
13:24 SH I wonder if [unclear] anyway, of course, do it [tonight/offline?].
13:28 BVB Offline, yeah.
13:29 SH Offline.
13:30 BVB Yeah.
13:31 SH OK.
13:32 BVB OK, very good.
13:34 SH Thanks for the follow up, then. I’ll let you know if anything happens tomorrow [chuckles].
13:38 BVB Yeah, yeah. Well, we’ll talk.
13:40 SH Hopefully nothing tomorrow. I suspect nothing happens for quite a while, but let’s see…
13:46 BVB Yeah. OK, thanks Simon. You have a good evening, then. Bye.
13:50 SH Thanks, mate. Take care. You too. Bye.

Can Shell CEO Ben van Beurden Survive OPL 245?

Amazing that after that experience, his reaction was to opt for the same cover-up culture/mentality of Shell senior management which led to Watts being escorted from Shell Centre in London by security staff.

By John Donovan

Ben van Beurden had no involvement in the $1.3bn OPL 245 corruption scandal until after he became Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He was not involved in the shady negotiations or the eventual deal.

Based on what he said in the surreptitiously recorded telephone conversation with his then-subordinate Simon Henry, the then Chief Executive of the company, he is, however, guilty of cover-up tactics and gross hypocrisy.

The intercepted call took place on the day that Shell’s Netherlands HQ was raided. The police spent hours searching his office and removed a folder of documents. read more

Headline selection on Shell OPL 245 debacle

Nigeria: Malabu Scandal – After Telling Lies for Years, Shell Admits It Knew Etete Would Benefit From $1.1 Billion: PremiumTimes

After repeated denials in various countries, Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, on Monday finally admitted it had foreknowledge that the $1.3 billion itself and ENI paid to Nigerian government for the OPL 245 oil block licence would ultimately be used to settle convicted former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete.

Shell dealt with money-launderer to ‘resolve impasse’: EveningStandard

Only 24 hours after claiming it had no knowledge of “improper payments” to a convicted money-launderer over a $1.3 billion (£1.1 billion) oil field acquisition in Nigeria, Shell has admitted it had known it was dealing with the controversial figure but doing so was “the only way to resolve [an] impasse”. read more

New leaked emails put Shell at centre of billion dollar bribery scheme…

READ ATTACHED SENSATIONAL 12 PAGE DOCUMENT INCLUDING SHELL INTERNAL EMAILS FROM SHELL’S FORMER MI6 AGENTS

By Barnaby Pace

Oil giants Shell and Eni knowingly participated in a vast bribery scheme for one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks which deprived Nigeria and its people of $1.1billion, an exposé by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered reveals today.

New, leaked internal emails seen by Global Witness and Finance Uncovered show that Shell’s most senior decision-makers knew that the money they paid for oil block OPL 245 in 2011 would go to convicted money launderer and ex-Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete – rather than to benefit the Nigerian people. read more

OPL 245 Scandal: Wiretapped phone call between Ben van Beurden and Simon Henry

By John Donovan

On 17 February 2016, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and his scandal-prone CFO Simon Henry thought they were having a private telephone discussion about a dawn raid carried out by Dutch police on the HQ of Royal Dutch Shell Plc in the Hague.

The raid was in relation to the $1.3 bn OPL 245 oil block Nigerian corruption scandal involving Shell, ENI and Nigerian fraudsters, including former Nigerian Oil Minister Dan Etete. Police spent many hours during the raid searching the offices of various Shell executives. read more

Shell Multimillionaire CFO Simon Henry Departs Today

UPDATED WITH MORE LINKS: “Simon Henry has loads of money now. Plenty to pay lawyers to sue me for defamation if anything I have stated is untrue. He also has me to thank for the above Daily Mail article.”

By John Donovan

Despite his well-documented role in the Shell oil and gas reserves scandal over a decade ago, Simon Henry clung on and ended up hitting the jackpot when appointed Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He is departing that job today but will become an employee of Shell International Limited on 1 April 2017, April Fools Day, for a two-month “transition” period. Perhaps he needs the time to count his cash while having a good laugh at Shell investors.

Many millions of dollars including payment for loss of office, various bonus payments and yet more millions from the sale of some of his shares – two helpings, each for over £1m. read more

Simon Henry sells another £1m worth of Shell shares

The fact that Simon Henry the departing Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has flogged another £1m plus worth of Shell shares has not gone unnoticed in the financial media.

The above Daily Mail article based on information I supplied, was published several weeks ago after Henry sold £1m worth of his Shell shares days before his unexpected resignation.

Now the latest instalment in his Shell share selling spree has been taken up by Interactive Investor, asking whether director dealing activity can be a warning sign.  read more

Royal Dutch Shell PLC saddled with a mountain of debt


By John Donovan

The Wall Street Journal does not mince its words.

In an article published today, it says that Shell has saddled itself with a mountain of debt as a result of its takeover of the BG Group.

Article author Sarah Kent points out Shell’s  debt-to-equity ratio is far higher than its major rivals.

The same concern is expressed in a related Wall Street Journal article: Shell’s New Year Promise: Slimming Down

Although Shell promised to offload $30 billion of assets, it has thus far sold only $5 billion worth. read more

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