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Posts under ‘Sir Philip Watts’

Shell’s dismal track record on transparency

“Shell is very different from Enron. We were criticized for that some time ago and I’’m glad we have a absolutely rock-solid way we do business. It’s all completely transparent, as far as Shell is concerned.”

By John Donovan

Following publication of my article Shell false pledges of transparency and openness contributors to this website have been accused of hating Shell. That is not the case.

Many of us do, however, take great exception to the hypocritical claims made by successive RDS Chairman and CEO’s over many years that Shell operates within an ethical code – the General Business Principles – which includes a pledge of transparency.

Shell Group Chairman Sir Mark Moody-Stuart preached transparency while conspiring with senior colleagues to hide information from Shell shareholders. read more

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 read more

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. read more

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?  read more

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. read more

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”. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. 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

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