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Ross Hunter – a curious choice to count the beans at Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

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Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 13.36.51Strange article in the Prufrock column of The Sunday Times published 2nd August 2015

KEEPING the books for a £200bn behemoth is an endlessly taxing task. Just ask Simon Henry, Royal Dutch Spell’s finance director, who last week unveiled a plunge in profits of almost 40%.

Thankfully, he can call on exemplary advice to help keep track of Shell’s petrodollars. The company’s chief auditor is Ross Hunter at PwC – a man with an interesting past. According to the accounting firm’s website, Hunter helped Nat Rothschild’s Bumi in its “transition from a cash shell to a leading Indonesia-based thermal coal group”. read more

Shell steps on the natural gas

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For the first time more than half the energy giant’s profits have not come from oil. The shift reflects a gas revolution

Danny Fortson Published: 9 June 2013

Three months ago at a shipyard in Rotterdam, Daniela Voser, the wife of Shell’s chief executive, smashed a champagne bottle on the hull of a river barge.

The Greenstream lacks the grandeur of a cruise ship, but its launch was notable nonetheless. It is the first vessel built to run on liquefied natural gas. It produces a quarter of the carbon dioxide and a fifth of the nitrous oxide typically emitted from barges powered by fuel oil.

The gas powers electric engines, which means the boat is much less noisy, too. The Greenstream is the Toyota Prius of marine transport. read more

Shell tries to downplay historic precedent setting verdict

By John Donovan

The Times published an important article by Tim Webb today under the headline: “Shell counts cost of oil damage in Niger Delta.” (Page 39, Thursday 31 Jan 2013). Tim correctly makes the simple, but immensely important point: “IT IS THE FIRST TIME THAT A COURT OUTSIDE NIGERIA HAS ORDERED SHELL TO PAY FOR POLLUTION IN THE DELTA AND THE RULING LEAVES IT VULNERABLE TO MORE CLAIMS.” Shell has predictably tried to downplay this historic, precedent setting verdict. read more

All the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia

 From our Shell News Archive Sunday 31 October, 2004

The fallout from the Shell reserves fraud continues…

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Business View: Shell’s real location problem is finding more black stuff: “The misreporting of reserves scandal showed all the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia.”: “So what’s the hurry? Was it because Shell had to admit that it had uncovered another 900 million barrels of doubtful crude in its reserves and was likely to uncover 600 million more?”

Sunday Express (UK): Shell boardroom changes backfire on reserves news: “ONE OF the world’s most influential financial firms has given the thumbs down to an announcement from Shell it is to end its 97-year-old dual board structure.”: “…financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it had adjusted Shell’s investment rating downwards to “creditwatch negative”, a status which implies there may be more bad news to come from the company.”

Mail on Sunday (UK):  Shell bosses in a charm offensive: “The Board, headed by Jeroen van der Veer, will see thousands of staff to explain the proposed changes and shore up the mood of the employees damaged by scandals over Shell’s inflated oil reserves.”: “Last week, Shell was forced to downgrade its estimates of proven oil reserves for the fifth time this year. Reserves are now a third lower than originally thought” read more

Shell Optimax: The wonder fuels that don’t deliver


The Sunday Times: The wonder fuels that don’t deliver

“In February this year the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints against the claims Shell was making in its adverts, including that Optimax gives “an extra burst of power just when you need it”.

By Dave Pollard of The Sunday Times

October 03, 2004

The ads claim they are wonder fuels but our test was less than impressive

It is, according to Shell, petrol “with a dash of Ferrari”. Or as BP prefers to put it, fuel with “extra oomph”. Both oil giants are piling massive marketing budgets into their premium fuels — Shell’s Optimax and BP’s Ultimate. The fuels are on sale at the same pumps as ordinary unleaded, but cost about 20p per gallon more. The companies are keen to convince you to pay. read more

Digital assault on Shell

By John Donovan

The Financial Times has published an article under the headline “How Shell was hijacked in ad hoax.


It is part of a web campaign jointly orchestrated by environmental group Greenpeace, activist organisation Yes Lab and members of the Occupy Wall Street movement to rally against Shell’s Arctic drilling programme.

The digital assault is a new type of internet campaigning. Rather than staging a protest, activist groups hijack brands and harness social media to derail a company’s image. “We’re only beginning to understand how much social media can change our society,” says James Turner of Greenpeace USA. read more


“The allegations are grave: rape, systematic and widespread torture, extrajudicial killings.”


27 May 2012

WILLIAM HAGUE has been accused of hypocrisy after the government intervened on the side of Shell, Britain’s biggest company, over court claims the oil giant was complicit in torture and murder.

The foreign secretary is facing pressure from human rights groups over Britain’s role in a case in America’s highest court being brought by the families of 12 people from Nigeria’s Ogoniland community.

The case puts Britain in conflict with President Barack Obama’s administration, which argues the families should be allowed to sue Shell over claims their relatives were tortured and killed by Nigerian troops in the Niger delta in the 1990s. read more

Shell BP Corporate Espionage

A Sunday Times article published in June 2001 detailed Shell/BP undercover activities including infiltration, spying and subversion operations around the world directed at perceived enemies. Contrary to The Sunday Times headline, it was not limited to “green groups”– as can be confirmed by reading the article.


By John Donovan

In a Reuters article published today, the UK company Hakluyt & Company Limited is described as “an ultra-secretive firm that is purported to spy on companies in order to gather intelligence in a more covert manner.”

A Sunday Times article published in July 2001 detailed Shell/BP undercover activities including infiltration, spying and subversion operations around the world directed at perceived enemies. Contrary to The Sunday Times headline, it was not limited to “green groups”as can be confirmed by reading the article. The clandestine activity was carried out by Hakluyt & Company Limited.
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Xena’s squeeze on Voser

The Sunday Times: Business Section Page 10: February 26, 2012

Xena’s squeeze on Voser

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL must have thought it had done the hard work when it won permits from the US government to drill for oil in Alaska.

Not so fast. There are still some fearsome opponents to be conquered, including Xena, the warrior princess. Fans of schlock TV will remember Xena, a kind of female Conan the Barbarian, who once threatened to crush a foe’s head “like a peanut between the thighs of doom”.

Last week Lucy Lawless, the Kiwi actress who played Xena, led a group of activists as they boarded a drilling rig in the port of Taranaki, New Zealand. The rig was due to sail to the Arctic to start drilling this summer. read more

Shell pledges to spend, spend, spend – but gamble leaves City cold

The Times: 3 February 2012

Tim Webb Energy Editor

Ambitious plans to boost growth will cost too much and knock Shell off its top spot, the City warned yesterday. Unveiling disappointing results, the Anglo-Dutch oil group further unnerved investors when it said it planned to spend even more heavily on new oil and gas projects.

Analysts said that Shell would make lower returns from the huge outlays, leaving less room to raise its dividend significantly. The company, which has outperformed its rivals over the past 18 months, would struggle to maintain its position at the front of the pack, they added. read more

Blair’s ‘deal in the desert’ with Gadaffi paved the way for Shell and BP contracts

The release happened after Blair’s notorious “deal in the desert” with Muammar Gadaffi paving the way for multi- million-pound oil contracts with Shell and BP.

(Saif al-Islam Gadaffi – above right)


Headline: Gadaffi son may spill British secrets

Sunday 20 November 2011

Marie Colvin and Dipesh Gadher

THE London-educated Saif al-Islam Gadaffi, 39, always denied that he played an active role in politics, but he holds the key to the secrets of his father’s despotic regime.

His trial could prove deeply embarrassing if he chooses to reveal details of his once-cosy relations with British politicians including Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson, the former business secretary.

Mohammed al-Alagi, Libya’s interim justice minister, said yesterday that Gadaffi will be placed on trial in Libya and faces the death penalty. read more

Royal Dutch Shell, Tony Blair and Muammar Gaddafi

From pages 42 & 43 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

The report was made on behalf of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)
Author: Albert ten Kate: May 2011.

In May 2005, Shell signed an agreement to start a joint venture with the Libyan National Oil Corporation. The joint venture would revamp and expand the existing liquified natural gas (LNG) Plant at Marsa el-Brega on the Libyan coast. It would also explore for gas and subsequently develop five areas totalling 20,000 square kilometres located in the heart of Libya’s Sirte Basin. Shell was committed to invest USD 637 million in the first phase of the joint venture.

Already in March 2004, Malcolm Brinded, head of exploration and production at Shell, stated: “We were in Libya in the Fifties and we were in Libya in the Eighties for an exploration programme, but for this one we came back in 2001 and so this is the culmination of discussions over that.” International sanctions on Libya were lifted in 2003 and 2004. Thus, Shell had been fishing for contracts from Gaddafi a long time before international sanctions were lifted. read more

Shell’s North Sea Reputation sunk by severe corrosion

“The drip, drip, drip of negative information has been every bit as corrosive to the company’s reputation as the oil leaking from its pipe. It was not until a week after the oil was first spotted that the company apologised.”

By John Donovan

We have printed below extensive articles published over three pages of The Sunday Times on 21 August 2011.

It was this development which sparked a number of other major news stories published the following day.

The Sunday Times approached us for our help, which we were pleased to provide over a number of days. We put the newspaper into contact with our Shell related sources, including Bill Campbell. We provided a considerable volume of information from our extensive files. We also supplied documents referred to in the article, including the letter the HSE offshore division sent to Shell on 18 July 2011, which we now put into the public domain. This was kindly supplied to us by the HSE press office.
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£250,000 to close down anti-Shell website

By John Donovan

We have recently received information from Shell in response to our 2011 SAR application under the Data Protection Act.

It always contains some surprises, and this time is no exception.

Unbeknown to us, Shell engaged in email correspondence in September/October 2010 with an unknown third party, a business owner, on the subject of Shell paying us a large sum to stop our campaigning focused on Shell.

The correspondence is reproduced below in chronological order, with the first email dated 25 Sept 2010. Identification information other than our surname and web domain name has been redacted by Shell.

We have good reason to believe that the person responding for Shell was Mr Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Mr Wiseman retired a couple of months ago.
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My pipe dream that was a big nightmare


Shell chief Terry Nolan is confident that despite being a decade late and three times over budget, Corrib will win over its critics

Mark Paul Published: 20 June 2010

Like another oil firm in big trouble at the moment, Shell caused a lot of upset, which Nolan accepts. ‘If I was doing it all again, we would put more effort into understanding the community,’ he says

Terry Nolan, the managing director of Shell Exploration and Production (E&P) Ireland, picks up the microphone and addresses the 700 construction workers gathered at Shell’s Bellanaboy gas refinery, near Rossport on the wild northern Mayo coast.

The refinery will serve the contentious Corrib gas field, located 83km out in the Atlantic Ocean. read more

Shell agrees to buy US rival for $4.7bn

Times Online

Francesca Steele: May 28, 2010

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to buy East Resources, the US natural gas explorer, for $4.7 billion (£3.2 billion).

The Amsterdam-based oil and gas giant said that it had struck a deal with East Resources and its private equity investor Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to acquire “subsidiaries which own substantially all of the business”.

East Resources has more than 650,000 acres in the Marcellus shale, a rock formation running from West Virginia to New York, which is said to contain vast amounts of natural gas. It produces the equivalent of almost 10,000 barrels of oil a day. read more

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