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Posts under ‘Sir Philip Watts’

Safe sex in Nigeria

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By John Donovan

Safe Sex in Nigeria” was one of the best articles about the unfolding OPL 245 corruption scandal.  

It was published by the Economist in June 2013.

In particular, the timeline graphic at the beginning of the article shows where the blame probably lies:

Three things come from this:

(1) The machinations and intrigue go back much further than 2011

(2) ENI’s role appears to be relatively minor in comparison with that of Shell

(3) This saga dates back to the days of Phil Watts and Walter vd Vijver

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Phil Watts: Oil man, turned Spaceman, turned Holy Man

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 22.04.1908 February 2013  Written by Michael Owens

The former chairman of one of the world’s biggest companies is about to take on a new challenge in a small corner of east Berkshire.

The Rev Sir Philip Watts spent 35 years working for oil giant Shell before his ordination as a priest in 2011.

The 67-year-old, known to all as Phil, served as a curate in Binfield, where he has lived with his wife Jan for more than 20 years.

The father-of-two is now taking up a new position as Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Waltham St Lawrence.

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At what point in the continuing collapse in oil prices will Shell be forced to pull out of the BG Group deal?

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45By John Donovan: 7 JAN 2016

The continuing collapse in the price of oil is turning into a nightmare for the board of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

Especially for CEO Ben van Beurden and CFO Simon Henry, who have staked their reputations on completing Shell’s takeover of the BG Group.

This would not be the first major crisis at Shell for either executive. Both had involvement in the 2004 oil and gas reserves scandal. Ben van Beurden was personal assistant to the Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts who was forced to resign. Simon Henry had a starring role

Both managed to survive but are unlikely to do so if the BG deal falls through, as is increasingly likely, because of the ill-fated miscalculation over oil prices. 

With hundreds of millions being paid to financial advisors, surely it was not beyond the ingenuity of those involved to have catered in the terms for the possibility of a severe fluctuation in the price of oil? 

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Scandal hit bosses of HSBC and Shell are both ordained priests!

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By John Donovan

I wonder if Paddy was thinking of Shell when he published this on this Facebook page?

The grotesquely high “compensation packages” of the Directors of the likes of HSBC as well as being morally repugnant are also bad for business. The rewards for making it to the top are so obscene that ladder climbers will do anything to make it. So every decision they take is driven by their own ambition and their need to kowtow to those who might appoint them to these golden jobs. This is a brake on creativity and innovation and on long-term thinking.

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SEC continuing to scrutinise Shell’s claimed oil reserves

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 15.06.08By John Donovan

A letter emailed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, on 23 Oct 2014, from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, asked why Shell had omitted to supply in a Form 20-F filing, figures for Shell’s share of Kashagan proved undeveloped reserves.

Shell’s partners in the much troubled Kashagan oil field consortium – years behind schedule and billions over budget – include Eni, KazMunayGas, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation and Inpex. The project is known in the oil industry as “Cash All Gone”.

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CEO Ben van Beurden too honest to sign Shell’s Business Principles?

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

It is a year since Peter Voser left his job as Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc to allegedly spend more time with his family. Soon after his surprise early exit, Shell announced a profits warning. 

Leaving that contentious issue to one side, I am puzzled that his replacement Ben van Beurden has still not put his name and signature  to the Shell General Business Principles document.

As can be seen, as of todays date, it is still displayed on shell.com signed by Peter Voser in his capacity as Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer.

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Tesco overstatement debacle reminiscent of Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 14.03.36By John Donovan

Tesco admits a £250m mistake in half-year profit calculations

Tesco share value has plummeted after the supermarket giant announced this morning that it had overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m.

Four senior Tesco executives, including a managing director, have been suspended.

In view of what happened to Shell when it overstated its hydrocarbon reserves, can we expect law suits, investigations, fines, credit rating downgrades and resignations?

Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts (right), was forced to resign and turned to religion. He is now a priest.

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John Alfred Donovan, Founder, Owner and Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

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3 July 2014

By John Donovan

Interesting to note that my association with Royal Dutch Shell is so strong after a three decade relationship, that according to current information listed on zoom info (screenshot below), I am credited as being the founder, owner and Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Guess it was only a matter of time. I now await the appropriate fat cat financial package with a multi-million pension pot.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE

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zoominfo.com page 22 Sept 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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Royal Dutch Shell leadership: Bring back Sir Henri Deterding

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 10.22.50If only it was possible to resurrect Sir Henri Deterding at his best, the extraordinary Dutchman who built the Royal Dutch Shell Group. In his first couple of decades at Shell he was a brilliant decisive leader brimming with ambition, ideas and incredible determination. He would have acted to exploit BP’s self-inflicted misfortunes, whereas Van der Veer and Voser let the opportunity pass and instead took Shell down a disastrous path placing all bets on so-called elephant projects that turned out to be white elephants.

By John Donovan

In my view, the last Shell executive director/Chairman who had any gumption and plain commonsense was Sir John Jennings.

Since his time, long term Shell shareholders have witnessed a parade of hopelessly incompetent Royal Dutch Shell fat cat bosses.

The roll call of failed leaders includes Sir Philip Watts, Jeroen van der Veer and Peter Voser.

All three mired by disappointment and scandal.

Jorma Ollila has been non-executive Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc for several years spanning the tenures of the last two failed CEO’s and has proven equally uninspiring and flawed.

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Energy giants battle to pump profits

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 07.38.22At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals. This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale… Shell has a reputation for gluttony when it comes to tackling giant energy projects, betting billions of dollars on strategic investments aimed at building reserves and capturing future demand decades in advance. Those days may be over.

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By 8:00PM GMT 25 Jan 2014

On the face of it, Royal Dutch Shell’s new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, and Bob Dudley, his counterpart at , are a world apart.

At 55, Van Beurden, who replaced Peter Voser earlier this month, is a 30-year veteran at Shell where his career has mainly been focused on managing downstream businesses such as refining and chemicals.

This week, as he announces full-year earnings, City analysts expect him to unveil details of a potential $15bn to $30bn (£9.1bn to £18.1bn) garage sale, signalling a new era of capital discipline and streamlining at the Anglo-Dutch supermajor.

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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.”

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10th ANNIVERSARY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL

Since Royal Dutch Shell has apparently forgotten to mark the tenth anniversary of news breaking on 10 January 2004, that Shell had cooked its books by wildly inflating its claimed oil and gas reserves, it seems appropriate for me to do so on Shell’s behalf. The then Shell Group chairman, Sir Philip Watts was forced to resign, but to buy his silence was handsomely  rewarded for screwing Shell shareholders, receiving a financial package reportedly worth $18.5 million. He later repented his sins and became a priest. His chief of Exploration & Production, Walter van de Vijver was knifed in the back by his director colleagues, including John Hofmiester and Jeroen van der Veer, in what can fairly be described as a sadistic sacking. Plenty of scope and evidence if Martin Scorsese is planning a follow-up movie to The Wolf of Wall Street featuring another huge scam involving outlandish but real events and overpaid, ethically challenged individuals, driven by ego and unbridled greed.

By John Donovan

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 08.41.45Since Royal Dutch Shell has apparently forgotten to mark the tenth anniversary of news breaking on 10 January 2004, that Shell had cooked its books by wildly inflating its claimed oil and gas reserves, it seems appropriate for me to do so on Shell’s behalf.

The then Shell Group chairman, Sir Philip Watts was forced to resign, but to buy his silence was handsomely  rewarded for screwing Shell shareholders, receiving a financial package reportedly worth $18.5 million. He later repented his sins and became a priest. His chief of Exploration & Production, Walter van de Vijver was knifed in the back by his director colleagues, including John Hofmiester and Jeroen van der Veer, in what can fairly be described as a sadistic sacking.

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Shell CEO Peter Voser: Did he jump or was he pushed?

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 11.51.16Why would the issue of payment for loss of office even arise? Perhaps I am wrong but I am left with the impression that his early departure was by mutual consent and on the basis of no compensation for loss of office? In other words the board wanted him to leave early and he agreed?

By John Donovan

I was intrigued by the inclusion of the following statement by Shell in the Remuneration Disclosure for Peter Voser published earlier today:

Payment for loss of office
No payment for loss of office is made or will be made to Peter Voser.”

Consequently I sent the following email to a source with Shell insider knowledge:

Wording seems odd to me?

Why would the issue of payment for loss of office even arise?

Perhaps I am wrong but I am left with the impression that his early departure was by mutual consent and on the basis of no compensation for loss of office?

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Shell ‘is getting far too Dutch’

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 00.36.50A senior executive at a leading City institution, who asked not to be named, said British investors were not being treated on a par with their Dutch counterparts. He said this was symptomatic of a trend that has seen the company increasingly consolidating power in The Hague and forgetting its British heritage. The oil giant last year scrapped a London event that featured a live TV link-up to its annual meeting in The Hague, sparking outrage among investors.

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Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 00.26.46By Rob Davies: 

Shell is coming under growing pressure from shareholders to hold every other annual meeting in London, with one major investor warning that the firm is becoming ‘too Dutch’.

A senior executive at a leading City institution, who asked not to be named, said British investors were not being treated on a par with their Dutch counterparts.

He said this was symptomatic of a trend that has seen the company increasingly consolidating power in The Hague and forgetting its British heritage.

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Shell: New Boss required but limited choices

Screen Shot 2012-09-19 at 09.13.48As for Commander Odum, he of the theatre of Operations, only a marine incident etc school he was doomed not by the grounding of the good ship Kulluk, but in the lie telling that followed.  It was not I fear just poor Lawrence of Alaska who suffered from this misadventure. 

COMMENT RECEIVED FROM BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL:

Dear John

It was not a surprise to me that Simon Henry was not in the running, the Head Shed watchers of this website would have realised that he carried heavy baggage from the reserves affair, also Shell does not appreciate the washing of its dirty linen in public, the stories for example from the lips of Simon that Pastor Phil (did he have an out of spacesuit experience when he passed through the heavenly layer on his way back to ground at Maastricht and was thus converted) was carrying a huge chip on his shoulder because he was not an Oxbridge man, who knows.  Henry, as the Bedouin are fond of saying say, was outside the tent pissing in, an unforgivable sin.

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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.

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In the new Shell to lie is acceptable unless your found out

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Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 23.30.59The crisis in my book, and we are far from the endpoint in this, is that RDS officials lied in that the decision to move Kulluk was not related to tax avoidance when it was.  Perhaps that is why the RDS CEO has taken a closer interest in his family and the sustainability of his future.

ARTICLE BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

In the new Shell, that which developed in the days of post transformation, group dancing in that nice hotel near the Het Loo Palace, with the dear leader Watts arriving from space etc around the same time, who can forget those heady days.  Is that when to lie and deceive became the norm in the head sheds of The Hague. Is that when the growth of VP’s started, not the Joe Biden variety, the Shell model, we currently appear to have more VP’s than indian meals sold in Bradford on a Friday night.

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Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis

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LONDON | Wed May 29, 2013 7:31pm EDT

(Reuters) – A decade ago, Royal Dutch/Shell’s (RDSa.L) boss was fighting to close the gap between the truth about his company’s oil and gas reserves and the much larger figure in its accounts.

He lost the fight, and his job. Scandal engulfed one of the world’s biggest companies, exposing years of neglect.

Fast forward to May 2013, and the surprise news that chief executive Peter Voser will retire next year caused barely a ripple. Shell has recovered shareholder confidence. But while the risks may all be in the open now, they remain big.

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Ruthless and bad behaviour at the top of Royal Dutch Shell

Screen Shot 2013-01-13 at 00.04.46The foot soldiers, of whom I was one in Shell, often took their leads from what they saw as ruthless and bad behaviour at the top – and, unsurprisingly, sometimes behaved badly themselves.

(Disgraced Shell Chairman Sir Philip Watts shown right)

Article by retired Royal Dutch Shell executive Paddy Briggs.

I received my first monthly pay check from a Shell company back in October 1964. It was for £200 and I was probably a bit overpaid in truth. I started work at seventeen so the not infrequent visits to pubs and wine bars with my new colleagues during those first couple of months before my 18th Birthday were on reflection a bit dodgy. Paddy 1963067The colleagues paid of course understanding that my lowly status as a dogsbody was matched by an appropriately low wage. They were jolly times and though everyone seemed to play hard, especially at long liquid lunches, they worked together quite effectively as well. The team that played together stayed together – and there was a high level of integrity around. At no point during my “induction” months did anyone read out rules to me – and if you had used the term “Mission Statement” people would have thought that you were a Jehovah’s Witness. The rules that mattered were mostly informal – the dress code was fairly tight – dark suits and ties de rigueur.  But the idea that you needed to be told what to do with some “code of behaviour” booklet would not have occurred. And if you were uncertain someone would put you right – the informal organisation was far more important than the formal.

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THE RACE FOR VOSERS JOB

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 09.48.24With regard to your most obvious rivals, Simon Henry seems to be a very intelligent, competent executive, but comes with the baggage of his starring role in the reserves scandal. I published our verdict. Based on my strange experience of communicating with Marvin Odum via RDS Plc Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes, I reached the conclusion that Mr Odum is a creep. As the New York Times has correctly speculated, he carries “the stigma of the Alaska debacle.”

Email to Royal Dutch Shell Upstream International Director Andrew Brown

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: THE RACE FOR VOSERS JOB
Date: 3 May 2013 09:54:33 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brown

As you may recall, we published a leaked email from you minutes after you sent it, the content of which, with my normal lack of tact, I described as drivel.

According to press reports you are a candidate in the race for Peter Vosers job, along with Simon Henry and Marvin Odum.

Perhaps I have read too many gossip columns, but I find the carefully constructed formulation of the resignation quote attributed to Mr Voser rather odd.

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Briton tipped to run Shell for first time in a decade as Voser steps down into retirement

Chief financial officer Simon Henry was made the front-runner by bookmaker Paddy Power, despite saying it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss his candidacy. The Anglo-Dutch firm has not had a British boss since Sir Philip Watts left in disgrace in 2004 after Shell overstated its oil reserves.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 08.17.32By Rob Davies: PUBLISHED: 22:14, 2 May 2013 | UPDATED: 22:30, 2 May 2013

Shell boss Peter Voser has announced his retirement at 55, sparking a succession race that could put a Briton in charge of Europe’s largest oil firm for the first time in nearly a decade.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry was made the front-runner by bookmaker Paddy Power, despite saying it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss his candidacy.

Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw is also in the frame, alongside a host of Shell ‘lifers’ in various executive positions.

The Anglo-Dutch firm has not had a British boss since Sir Philip Watts left in disgrace in 2004 after Shell overstated its oil reserves.

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Shell Lent Former Directors $12M For Reserves Fraud Legal Costs In 2004

By John Donovan: As can be verified from page 81 of the Shell Form 20F 2004 filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission and a related Wall Street Journal article, Shell lent the fraudsters responsible for the reserves scandal $12 million to cover litigation costs. Almost a decade later, I have not seen any evidence that any of the money was ever repaid? Perhaps the Rev. Sir Philip Watts, or Simon Henry, the current Royal Dutch Shell CFO, who played a starring role in the scandal, can enlighten us?

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Extract from Page 81

Over the year 2004, the Group advanced a total of $12,048,441 (certain amounts have been converted at the average £/$ exchange rate for 2004) for litigation costs for former Board members under these provisions.

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Shell Lent Former Directors $12M For Legal Costs In 04

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES March 31, 2005

LONDON — Royal Dutch/Shell (RD,SC) said in a filing released Thursday it was in settlement talks on some of the class action litigation unleashed after it was forced to reclassify its oil reserves.

In a 20-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the oil giant said it was in talks with holders of various Shell Oil Company pension plans which had been launched in the U.S. under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

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Shell buys Brinded’s silence in golden good riddance

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 16.08.38In addition to the £2.9m for his Netherlands home, “Brinded, 60 tomorrow, pocketed £2.7 in salary and severance for the four months he worked last year. He also walked away with £9.7m in shares and a £19m pension pot.” So, with wonderful timing, Brinded received a package worth £34.3 million as a spectacular birthday present.

By John Donovan

The Sunday Times published an article today by Danny Fortson on the front page of its business section, under the headline: Shell buys chief’s £2.9m home in golden goodbye

I believe our headline is more accurate.

The sacked “Chief” who is the beneficiary of Shell’s immense generosity with shareholders money is Malcolm Brinded, forever associated with Shell’s notorious “Touch Fuck All” approach to its North Sea Platforms and the safety of its offshore workers.

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Verdict on Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. As can be seen in the email, Walter van de Vijver aggressively accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve. The question arises of whether Mr Henry was a culprit, an accomplice, or an innocent bystander.

By John Donovan

INTRODUCTION

We have published a series of articles about the starring role of Simon Henry in the Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal.

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. Walter van de Vijver accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve.

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Shell reserves fraudster Rev Sir Philip Watts

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 22.07.58By John Donovan

An article published today by the Maidenhead Advertiser says the Rev Sir Philip Watts is taking up a new position as Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Waltham St Lawrence. He is still protesting his innocence in relation to the Shell reserves fraud and cover-up that resulted in him being forced to resign as Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Sir Phil forgets to mention the $150 million worth of fines imposed on Shell by the US and UK financial regulators, the class action lawsuits that were settled and the overwhelming incriminating evidence against him, including internal emails.  When will he being suing for defamation all of the newspapers that have published articles correctly accusing him of cheating Shell shareholders? He was a fraudster then and remains a fraudster now, this time deceiving his flock, not investors.

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A word in your Shell-like

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 13.17.19FROM OUR FEBRUARY 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE: “…we learned last year that the company leadership had been systematically lying to itself, its shareholders and wider stakeholders about the size of its oil reserves.”: “for years Shell lied about its sustainability as a business while preaching principles that it was betraying.”: “Shell had knowingly overstated its reserves by a third, a monumental betrayal of trust that is Europe’s version of Enron.”

By John Donovan

We have printed below a brilliant Will Hutton article published by The Observer on Sunday 6 February 2005. As he correctly says, this was a company that was lying to itself. No wonder Sir Philip Watts is seeking redemption.

The Observer: A word in your Shell-like

By Will Hutton: Sunday February 6, 2005

There’s nothing wrong with making profits. But we deserve a more sophisticated debate about sharing them

There is nothing like the news of one of Britain’s biggest companies making record profits to bring out all our ambiguities about capitalism in general and profit in particular. The left’s traditional mistrust of corporate money-making still casts a long shadow and even capitalists are uncertain how to respond when their profits are booming.

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Desperation led to Shell’s plotting to exploit 9/11 attacks

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29BUILD UP TO SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL: Comments by leading Shell execs: “…the market will want to know whose head is going to roll for what they will see as blatant deception.”; “this is potential dynamite for management credibility and the share price”; “…how you have to break the detail of this news in September, assuming that there is indeed a firestorm of hostile comment…”; “why should we have any more confidence in these numbers than the previous ones…”; “…please don’t let the people who have got us into this mess be under any illusion that there is an ‘easy’ answer…”; “You will blight the relative TSR of the Group and everyone’s score card for years to come”; ‘So “blaming”’ it on field declines and slippage on growth in emerging markets is the least we should do in order to downgrade expectations.’

By John Donovan

When we published an article about Shell executives plotting to exploit the 9/11 attacks, we said that the motive behind the discussion was well founded internal and external concern about Shell production growth and problematic reserves.

We now publish Shell internal emails circulated in the months leading up to 9/11, which provide proof of the degree of concern over these issues that led to Shell executives considering such a distasteful strategy to manipulate the markets.

Some extracts:

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9/11 Terror Attack and the Shell Reserves Scandal

By John Donovan

On Friday we published an article revealing Shell internal email correspondence, which provided proof that three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the USA, Shell executives were considering how Shell could exploit the horrific event for commercial reasons.

As can be seen from the correspondence, the objective was to “buy us a bit of time” in dealing with “production growth” … and “reserves replacement…” Both are key factors in assessing the value of an oil company. Shell was increasingly vulnerable to criticism on both issues.

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Shell big investors in a revolutionary mood

Shell News, this day, 9 years ago: Shell investors were still in a state of shock over the dramatic disclosure that Shell had vastly overstated its proven oil and gas reserves. The main villain, the fraudster, Sir Philip Watts, was still Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman. Lord Oxburgh was still backing him.

Daily Mail: Rebels demand shake-up at Shell

By Brian O’Connor,

23 January 2004

DISSIDENT Shell investors are seeking a shake-up in the complex structure of the board and its committees. One result may be that an outside chairman is appointed when Sir Philip Watts steps down.

This would be a revolution for Shell, but big investors are in a revolutionary mood.

Though most boards now have a full-time chief executive and a part-time chairman, the UK company Shell Transport has traditionally had an executive chairman. So too has its sister company Royal Dutch Petroleum.

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Simon Henry and the reserves time bomb

Were they aware that Simon Henry was a key player, as Head of Global Investor Relations, in dealing with the reserves data and actually had responsibility to ensure the quality/accuracy of the data before it was disclosed to analysts and investors? As we all know, it turned out that some of the data was not only inaccurate, but fraudulent. He had been warned that a Gorgon 600 million BOE reserves booking was an IR time bomb.

Introduction: A draft of the article below was supplied to Shell in advance, namely to Mr Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the CFO, Mr. Simon Henry. We invited Shell to point out any factual inaccuracy and/or supply comment for unedited publication with the article. No response other than an automated message has been received.

ARTICLE

By John Donovan

On 13 March 2009, the Financial Times published an article about Simon Henry, who was about to become Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. It said that he had survived the reserves misreporting scandal with his reputation intact. I wonder how much investigation of the facts was undertaken before arriving at that conclusion?

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Short list of praiseworthy senior Royal Dutch Shell executives

Now we have his equally scandal tainted successor, Peter Voser, Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee at the time when UBS was engaged in all kinds of criminal activity.

Posting on Shell Blog by LondonLad on Jan 17th, 2013 at 19:56

In all honesty can the Donovan’s kindly list some of the past and present senior executives of Royal Dutch Shell that they would support for their good work, honesty, ability to abide by country HSE requirements, etc. etc. More and more it seems that if you work for RDS at a (very) senior level they’ll get shafted via real AND tabloid reporting on this website, Greenpeace (dick-heads), and other tree hugging websites. We (the countries around the world) need to advance, risks need to be taken as a result….

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Candid testimony of Simon Henry about disgraced Shell EP Boss Walter van de Vijver

As can be seen in his testimony, Simon Henry deliberately limited the amount of time that Walter van de Vijver spent with UK and US investors, almost as if there was something to hide? Wonder what current Shell investors will make of that revelation? An insight into how Mr Henry thinks shareholders can be manipulated and shielded from potential spontaneous outpourings of the truth. The Dutchman wouldn’t learn his lines.

“I am becoming sick and tired about lying,” said Walter van de Vijver (right), senior executive at Royal Dutch/Shell. Photo Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

Candid testimony of Simon Henry about the disgraced Shell Exploration And Production Chief Executive, Walter van de Vijver (shown right).

Simon Henry became Head of Shell Group Investor Relations in March 2001. His predecessor was Walter van de Vijver.

Extracts from the sworn testimony of Simon Henry to the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 October 2004 in Washington D.C. The reference to “one on one” meetings, was in regard to Shell senior management meetings with analysts and investors.

As can be seen in the testimony, Simon Henry deliberately limited the amount of time that Walter van de Vijver spent with UK and US investors, almost as if there was something to hide? Wonder what current Shell shareholders will make of that revelation? An insight into how Mr Henry thinks shareholders can be manipulated and shielded from potential spontaneous outpourings of the truth. The Dutchman wouldn’t learn his lines.

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Candid testimony of Shell’s Simon Henry about Sir Philip Watts

Q: Do you like Mr. Watts personally? A: It was difficult to like Phil.  He was not a guy you go for a beer with. …he was still running with that chip on his shoulder… He was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Candid (some might say indiscreet) testimony of Simon Henry about the disgraced Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts (shown right).

Extracts from the sworn testimony of Simon Henry to the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 October 2004 in Washington D.C.

Mr Henry is currently Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Q: With the benefit of hindsight, were there ever instances where you believed Mr. Watts provided the market with incomplete or inaccurate information?

A: With the benefit of hindsight, he answered a lot of questions about Gorgon, and with the benefit of hindsight, they could have been answered differently.

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Devastatingly bad news day for Shell 9 years ago: 10 Jan 2004

Reputational damage to Peter Voser

By John Donovan

The mainstream news media is reporting that the reputational damage to Peter Voser and the Shell board arising from the Arctic meltdown is huge. The fact that Shell’s leadership is hopelessly incompetent comes as no surprise to us. No competent board with an ounce of commercial commonsense would allow this website to continue in existence, bearing in mind the damage it has done to Shell over the years by providing an outlet for Shell insider leaks. A Shell official has admitted our success in humiliating the company. Watts was a disaster, Jeroen van der Veer meekly surrendered Shell’s controlling stake in the Sakhalin II project and Voser has now been exposed as a hypocritical fat cat who poured scorn on BP, instead of minding his own ship. Why did Shell rehire Voser in the first place? Surely it would have been better to find someone not tainted by financial scandal to lead Shell after the reserves fraud?

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Prophetic 2004 photograph of Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts

Prophetic 2004 photograph of  the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman and fraudster Sir Philip Watts (above) from a Sunday Telegraph article published on 18 January 2004 days after the Shell reserves scandal made news headlines around the world. Right, a photograph from 2012, also of Sir Philip, but rematerialized this time as the Rev. Sir Philip Watts. Personally, I think his most memorable role was when he materialized as a spaceman. Hope someone warns his congregation not to mention anything that might remind him of his colorful past, for example, when he was allegedly an arms supplier in Nigeria. (Article posted by John Donovan)

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CHRIS FINLAYSON AND THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL

“With regards to the reserves fraud, Mr Finlayson was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive, supposedly protecting the interests of investors”; “That should be of great concern to investors in BG Group. Surely the company could have found a new CEO untainted by scandal?”

John Donovan

In January 2004 news broke about the Shell reserves fraud. These examples from hundreds of news reports speak for themselves:

Daily Telegraph: Shell drops ‘bombshell’ on reserves: 9 Jan 2004
The Times: How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation: 10 Jan 2004
The West Australian: Investors howl for Shell’s blood: 12 Jan 2004

Shell executives, led by then chairman Sir Philip Watts, who has recently repented by becoming the Rev. Sir Philip Watts, admitted they had repeatedly lied to investors about the true level of Shell’s oil and gas reserves. Shell senior management had engaged in a massive cover-up to fool the market i.e. deceive its own shareholders. Shell admitted that it had misled investors.

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Jeroen van der Veer exit from Shell

I am only surprised that an ex CEO of Shell leaves the board at a young age. Is Jeroen washing his hands in innocence or trying to put light between him and Shell?? In the past they used to hang in there for long periods until they had to get up too often to take a pee during shareholders meetings. But in recent times Herkstroter left premature, so did Moody-Stuart. And Watts sought salvation…

13/12/2012

Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced today that Mr Gerrit Zalm has been appointed a Non-executive Director of the Company with effect from January 1, 2013. Mr Zalm is the Chairman of the Board of Management of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., a position he has held since February 2009. Prior to that Mr Zalm was the Minister of Finance of the Netherlands from 1994-2002 and from 2003-2007. Mr Zalm will seek re-appointment by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled to be held in May 2013. (information taken from Shell website)

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SHELL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES – GENUINE OR CON TRICK?

By John Donovan

Shell has for many years supposedly operated within an ethical code which, according to its current shell.com webpage on the subject, was first published in 1976.

This does not tally with the relevant pages in “A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, Volume 3,” about the history of the code – known in the 1990’s as the Shell Statement of General Business Principles.

Apparently they were first drafted in 1962, restated and first published in 1976, made freely available to the public from 1981 and reformulated in 1997, for the first time including human rights.

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The Neptune Strategy: Shell Propped up Apartheid in South Africa

By John Donovan

In 1987, Shell Oil Co implemented a secret 265 page plan devised by a Washington based firm, Pagan International.

The devious plan was designed to undermine support for critics of Shell’s policy of propping up the despised racist apartheid regime in South Africa, just as Shell and its Nazi leader, Sir Henri Deterding,  propped up Nazi Germany before WW2. 

The objective of Shell’s secret campaign was to neutralize boycott groups, including church and civil rights groups, unions and academics.

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From Mammon to God: Oiligarchs beat the path from profit to pews

“Watts only ended his 35-year career with Shell because he was forced out over the 2004 oil reserves fiasco. News that the company had been overstating its reserves by 20 per cent caused Shell’s stock prices to fall by $15bn — yet Watts still walked away with a £1 million pay-off and a pension of more than £500,000 per annum…”

It’s not just Justin Welby – oiligarchs beat the path from profit to pews

5 November 2012

From Mammon to God. The Church of England seems to be flooded with former oil men at present.

Last week Justin Welby, who spent 11 years working as an oil executive, was appointed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. What’s less well known is that another big name in oil has received a clerical promotion. Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chairman, is to become priest in charge at Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire, after being a curate at another local church.

Although they worked in the same industry, the two men’s paths to salvation have been rather different. While Welby voluntarily swapped the high pay for pews because he was “unable to get away from a sense of God calling”, Watts only ended his 35-year career with Shell because he was forced out over the 2004 oil reserves fiasco. News that the company had been overstating its reserves by 20 per cent caused Shell’s stock prices to fall by $15bn — yet Watts still walked away with a £1 million pay-off and a pension of more than £500,000 per annum.

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The Sins of The Reverend Sir Philip Watts

Update by John Donovan: Last week we revealed the latest incarnation of the disgraced reserves fraudster Sir Philip Watts, formally an arms supplier and human rights abuser in Nigeria, a spaceman and a notorious Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Group. Sir Phil has now turned to religion in a big way.  Unfortunately the past penchant for cover-up associated with Sir Philip continues even in his new guise. One of the articles  cited as proof of his conversion to the path of righteousness has been speedily removed from the Waltham St Lawrence & Shurlock Row Parish Website. This is the only trace which remains and if past form is any guide, it too will quickly vanish, like Shell oil and gas reserves. This time I have retained a copy. Perhaps Sir Philip will include a reference to the unmasking of his past sins in his next sermon? Confession is said to be good for the soul.

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Ikea ‘deeply regrets’ use of forced labour: when is Shell going to apologise?

I wonder when Royal Dutch Shell is going to apologise for using Jewish forced labour at its German subsidiary Rhenania-Ossag…

By John Donovan

BBC News has reported that Ikea ‘deeply regrets’ use of forced labour.

According to the report:

Ikea gave contracts to the East German (GDR) government in the 1970s. Former political prisoners of the Stasi, the feared secret police, said they worked on the furniture, prompting Ikea to commission the Ernst & Young report in May this year.

The company said that although it took steps to try to ensure that prisoners were not used in production, “it is now clear that these measures were not effective enough”.

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Editorial Integrity of “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”

In fact all three Shell members of the editorial committee, Watts, Van der Veer and Munsiff, had form in the culture of corporate cover-up and were therefore ideal from the standpoint of Shell to have editorial influence over inclusion (or non-inclusion) of the dark side of Shell’s history and how that information was treated (spun?)

By John Donovan

The official history of Royal Dutch Shell published in three volumes in 2007 was commissioned by the company and authored by historians associated with Utrecht University who were given unrestricted access to Royal Dutch Shell archives.

The relevant historians, who describe themselves as the researchers and authors of the work, say that none of them are Shell employees and claim that the work is “the fruit of our independent research” with their progress “monitored by an editorial committee, with an equal number of economic historians and company representatives.”

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How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip’s reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received — and dallied over — warnings about the accounting problems.”: “In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.”: “Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can’t seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

November 2, 2004; Page A1

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

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Disgraced former Shell Group Chairman ‘The Reverend Sir Philip Watts’

ITS NOT A HOAX. I’M NOT MAKING IT UP. THE MAN IN THE DOG COLLAR IS WHO YOU THINK IT IS: DISGRACED FORMER ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP CHAIRMAN SIR PHILIP WATTS, THE RESERVES FRAUDSTER ESCORTED FROM THE SHELL CENTRE BY SECURITY GUARDS. I WELL REMEMBER THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS, BUT THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!

FROM A FORMER EP HAND WHO WORKED CLOSELY WITH WATTS

John
 
Perhaps you see fit to publish this unbelievable story. I nearly had a fit when I read it and was convinced it was a hoax. But apparently it is all true, proving that real life is more strange than the most far fetched fiction that Hollywood (or nowadays the BBC) can dream up.
 
Look at these links:
 
http://www.walthamstlawrence.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=341:appointment-of-priest-in-charge&catid=43:news-articles&Itemid=58

(The churchwardens are delighted to announce that the Rev. Sir Philip Watts has been appointed to be Priest in Charge at Waltham St. Lawrence.) For some reason forgot to mention in his CV the name of the energy company of which he was Chairman.

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Watchdog’s bark far worse than its bite

From our November 2005 Shell News Archive

The Times: Watchdog’s bark far worse than its bite

“In the Shell case, the FSA had plenty of evidence of a conspiracy at the highest level against the interests of shareholders. The company’s own investigation unearthed compelling e-mail evidence, not least former exploration director Walter van de Vijver’s infamous complaint that he was “becoming sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues”.: “…it looks downright embarrassing that the FSA official who fought Sir Philip, former acting enforcement head David Mayhew, will later this month wave goodbye to the FSA and walk straight into a highly paid job at Herbert Smith — the firm advising Sir Philip.”

Posted Friday 11 Nov 2005

SHELL, we were told by the Financial Services Authority last summer, was guilty of “unprecedented misconduct”. For five years, from 1998 to 2003, the company had repeatedly misled shareholders over its oil and gas reserves. It was so culpable that the regulator felt it had no choice but to fine it a then-record £17 million.

Yet we are now asked to believe that no one running the company at the time was actually to blame. The FSA yesterday dropped its investigation into and proceedings against the former chairman, Sir Philip Watts, and other unnamed individuals. After an 18-month inquiry the regulator’s enforcement arm had assembled a case against the individuals. But its Regulatory Decisions Committee, which makes the final judgment, was unconvinced. Or was it simply unwilling? For years the FSA has banged the drum about how it would hold senior figures to account when companies broke the rules. Yet time and again, the FSA finds companies guilty of serious offences while failing to secure individual scalps. The Citigroup bond trading scandal ended with all the traders who had been involved reinstated and no senior figure so much as formally reprimanded by the authorities.

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