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Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Shell suffering legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment

Opinion from a contributor to our Shell Blog

A media article has revealed that Shell is already suffering from the legacy of BG Group negligence in maintaining safety critical equipment.

The HSE have issued an improvement notice for failing to install gas detection equipment on the Lomond Platform, despite recommendations from two separate studies.

A second improvement notice was issued for failing to test a High Integrity Protection System (HIPS) since 2014, despite the associated Performance Standard requirement to test annually.

It could be assumed that Finlayson encouraged the infamous Brent TFA during his tenure at the helm of BG to maximise production volumes (an obsession with executives), at the expense of safety system testing. That assumption would not be entirely accurate, the same culture was evident in BG Group long before. Previous failures of a HIPS testing regime had been exposed at another BG operational location, yet despite this no one was held accountable. Maybe if they had been the ‘management team’ in question would not have been implanted in Aberdeen in 2012. read more

Alarming news today of potential fire and explosion on Shell North Sea platform

By John Donovan

History is repeating itself. Shell is in the news today over its  dangerous North Sea oil platform activities.

Nearly 20 years ago, Shell senior management ignored warnings by HSE Auditor Bill Campbell about the Touch Fuck All regime on the Brent Bravo platform and its potential impact on worker safety. Production and profits were the overriding consideration. Maintenance records were routinely falsified. Lives were put at risk.

Shell EP MD Malcolm Brinded promised to take action based on the scandalous state of affairs Mr Campbell’s team had discovered when he led the safety audit on the platform. The promises were not kept. As a result, platform workers subsequently lost their lives in what was judged by the Scottish legal authorities to be an avoidable accident on Brent Bravo. A record-breaking fine was imposed on Shell. read more

Scandals that return to haunt Shell

Former Royal Dutch Shell executive director Malcolm Brinded (above left), sucked up to the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, the monster ultimately responsible for the Pan-Am 103 bombing and other terrorist atrocities. They include the murder of a British police constable Yvonne Fletcher shot outside the Libyan Embassy in London while policing an anti-Gaddafi demonstration. (Mr Brinded is currently embroiled in the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal and previously had starring roles in the Brent Bravo “TFA” scandal and the Shell oil reserves fraud.)

By John Donovan

A chilling documentary “Mad Dog: Gaddafi’s Secret World” is currently available to view on BBC Player, but only for another 4 weeks. It is about “the dark world of Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator who combined oil and the implied threat of terror to turn western powers into cowed appeasers”.

Another throughly disreputable politician makes an appearance. The then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is shown embracing and kissing the monstrous dictator on both cheeks before announcing a £1billion Libyan oil deal with Shell. Blair knew all about Gaddafi’s terrorist exploits, but like Shell, put money before principle, as he inevitably does. Naturally, then Shell boss Malcolm Brinded was up to his neck in the scandalous deal. read more

Shell’s Criminal Neglect on Brent Bravo

Bill Campbell comments on an article published yesterday by The Times: Shell slashes North Sea costs to make profit in a crash

(BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL)

In Aberdeen and Southern operations in the eighties and nineties low oil price periods were quickly reacted to by reducing operating costs mainly maintenance and inspection which equates roughly to 70 percent of OPEX expenditure in a steady state operation with no drilling ongoing.. It is relatively easy to do.

That you suffer for these cuts further down the line with serious integrity issues is the reality of the situation where the Management team making the cuts have long since moved onwards and usually upwards. read more

Shell evacuates workers from Brent Alpha and Bravo

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.22.47By John Donovan 

After all the Royal Dutch Shell senior management promises to improve safety on Shell North Sea platforms, serious incidents continue to occur. 

EnergyVoice.com is reporting that Shell workers have today been evacuated from the Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms after a crane dropped a large container into the North Sea. 

Extracts

The container, which was in the process of being winched onto a support vessel when the incident unfolded, initially rested dangerously close to a mass of subsea pipelines which connect into the Far North Liquids & Associated Gas System (Flags) pipeline. read more

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ‘TOUCH F*** ALL’ APPROACH TO OFFSHORE DRILLING

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.59.38A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified. The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell. It seems from recently published articles that despite all the pledges and the appointment of a so-called safety Czar, nothing has changed.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.44.48By John Donovan

In 2005, Shell received a record breaking fine of £900,000 at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, for a series of safety failings on the Brent Bravo platform, which led to a gas leak inside the giant platform’s utility leg and the tragic avoidable deaths of offshore workers.

A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified.

The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell. read more

We warned BG Group about Chris Finlayson

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 14.28.09“BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson has been ousted by the oil and gas explorer’s board following a disastrous 16 months in the job….” No one can say that we did not repeatedly warn BG Group about the competence and ethics of Chris Finlayson…

By John Donovan

The news media is reporting that former Royal Dutch Shell executive Chris Finlayson has quit as CEO of BG Group.

Actually, he was unceremoniously fired.

Extract from article published by The Independent: “BG Group chief Chris Finlayson resigns after 16 months at the helm

BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson has been ousted by the oil and gas explorer’s board following a disastrous 16 months in the job.  He is understood not to have another job to go to… In an unusually blunt statement Gould said: “The board felt that it was in the best interests of the group to accept Chris’ resignation and seek fresh leadership.” Since taking over Finlayson has presided over a succession of profit warnings and a 37% slump in annual profits… read more

Safety at risk under Malcolm Brinded

Entirely the wrong man to entrust with an oversight function in relation to the safety of rail passengers. He was shunted out of Shell under a cloud. If that is a model of the Shell Prelude in the background of the photograph, it is not an encouraging omen.

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Mining giant BHP Billiton has appointed former Royal Dutch Shell executive Malcolm Brinded to its board as a Non-executive Director.  He is also a Non-executive Director of the Network Rail Board in the UK, where he chairs the Safety, Health and Environment Committee. (Information published today)

Ironic bearing in mind the evidence assembled by Bill Campbell, the highly respected former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International confirming that Brinded already has the blood of Shell offshore employees on his hands. The evidence relating to Shell’s notorious “Touch F*** All” safety culture on the Brent Bravo North Sea Platforms while Brinded was in charge, includes tape recorded conversations with senior Shell officials. read more

Shell risked offshore workers lives to dodge Alaskan tax bill

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 07.03.50Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety. Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska. It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill. Personally, I do not believe enough attention has been drawn to the ethical issue of Shell deliberately putting peoples lives at risk in a calculated gamble.

Royal Dutch Shell Safety Last, not First

By John Donovan

Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety.

Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska.

It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill.

This extract from a US News & World Report article published yesterday is typical of the many comments published elsewhere:

Notably, in September 2012, a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig ran aground in Alaska as workers attempted to tow it beyond the state’s waters. A Coast Guard report released Friday found that the Anglo-Dutch oil company decided to move the rig – and insisted on doing so through dangerous stormy weather – to avoid paying new Alaskan taxes. The report also detailed myriad safety issues. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Safety Debate

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29OFFSHORE EXPERT: “Having read this Prelude document a few times to take it all in, it seems to me that the main issue is how do you design for a 10,000 year event?” COMMENT: “I am not an expert and would only say that so-called 10,000 year weather events seem to be occurring annually at the moment. If Noah was still around, and residing in Southern England, he might well be looking for his carpentry tools.”

COMMENT FROM A RETIRED SHELL OFFSHORE MANAGER

John,

Regarding recent discussions on this website about Shell Prelude FLNG project, information available via this link provides useful input.

The 28 page section of a 75 page Shell document gives a description of the development and goes into great detail, providing answers to most of the issues raised by a fellow Shell Retiree.

Having read this Prelude document a few times to take it all in, it seems to me that the main issue is how do you design for a 10,000 year event?

The many issues raised with respect to cyclonic activity, waves, wind and the ability to weather vane are answered.  There are two thrusters located near the stern with a total power of 6 megawatts or 8,000 HP.  More than ample to ensure the heading of the facility is optimum at all times. Other issues with respect to Green house gas emissions during operations and other environmental are dealt with in detail. read more

Chris Finlayson saw himself as the victim of a brutal Shell regime

In summary, and there was evidence in 1999 to support this to a degree, Finlayson (right) saw himself as a victim of a brutal regime run out of Seafield House where the TFA mode was born and his MD Malcolm Brinded who was frantically doing everything in his power to suppress all this because he was seen by the Audit to be the principal architect of the demise in standards throughout the oilfield.  Finlayson in my book was weak, and ineffective, promoted in my opinion into a position he wasn’t competent or willing to handle.

EMAIL SENT 21 OCT 2013 TO A THIRD PARTY BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

Subject: Chris Finlayson

My dealings with Chris were a long time ago during an Audit in 1999.  This Audit uncovered remarkably bad behaviour in the then Shell Expro organisation stemming from the business drivers and messages coming from the top of the organisation.  I spent some hours in the presence of Aberdeen auditors trying to get Finlayson to retract his statements made to journalists and the BBC North reporter Colin Wight that the Touch F All concerns raised by workforce representatives were unwarranted whilst in fact the situation was worse, much worse than anyone outside the organisation could have envisaged.  Last December on his appointment as the BG Chief the Independent newspaper (Mark Leftly) run a article on Finlayson titled if I can remember BG Chief breached safety rules when he was at Shell.  Subsequently I wrote a couple of articles putting the meat on the bones of this which John Donovan published.  BG given the right to reply made no comment and to date have not requested the evidence to support although this was offered to them.
 
In summary, and there was evidence in 1999 to support this to a degree, Finlayson saw himself as a victim of a brutal regime run out of Seafield House where the TFA mode was born and his MD Malcolm Brinded who was frantically doing everything in his power to suppress all this because he was seen by the Audit to be the principal architect of the demise in standards throughout the oilfield.  Finlayson in my book was weak, and ineffective, promoted in my opinion into a position he wasn’t competent or willing to handle.
 
Finlayson however was the accountable person as Oil Director that position in the installation Safety Cases having prime responsibility for the health and safety of some 3000 staff offshore (taking into account both shifts so in terms of the potential loss of life this figure has to be taken for quantitative assessment of risk).  After the MD brought the Audit to a premature halt Brent Bravo in particular continued to operate at intolerable risk levels.  The Audit actions reluctantly accepted by Finlayson but not implemented leading inevitably to the deaths in 2003.
 
All that I can say in summary is that in allowing Brent Bravo in particular to continue in operation Finlayson demonstrated a callous disregard for his duty of care for the health and safety of employees, direct and indirect, offshore.
 
Shell appears to accept this given that raised no objections to the articles published recently to commemorate the deaths, the evidence supporting these articles can be provide to you if you think this would be helpful to your cause.
 
I wish you luck and if I can help with any specific questions you may have please feel free to ask.
 
Regards
 
Bill read more

Mark Carne and the Shell Brent Bravo Scandal

By John Donovan

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 14.02.45In view of the announcement made today about former Royal Dutch Shell executive Mark Carne (right) being appointed as the next Chief Executive of Network Rail, it would seem at opportune moment to republish our previous articles about him. But first the Reuters article carrying news of his appointment, then our own articles publishing insider information.

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Network Rail says Mark Carne to be its next CEO

(Reuters) – Britain’s Network Rail on Thursday said Mark Carne, a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, would become its next chief executive. read more

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. read more

Jeroen van der Veer: Hypocrite Supreme

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 23.12.50Mr Van der Veer (shown right) is no fan of this website. In January 2008, as was reported in The Times, we published a leaked email from him in which he forecast that world demand for oil and gas would outstrip supply within 7 years. Events has shown that he was talking nonsense on that occasion as well.

By John Donovan

The fuelfix headline encapsulated the theme of the speech given last Thursday by former Royal Dutch Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer at the KPMG Global Energy Conference in Houston:

Former Shell CEO: Safety must come first. And second. And third.

This qualifies as sheer hypocrisy on his part.

On his watch, Shell had an absolutely atrocious safety track record for which he was publicly criticised.

(Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer “hurt” by criticism: 3 Sept 2007)

On his watch, even lifeboats serving Shell North Sea platforms were found to be unseaworthy. read more

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. read more

Shell’s Arctic Meltdown Continues

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51By John Donovan: SHELL’S ARCTIC DEBACLE IS TURNING INTO A REPUTATIONAL DISASTER BEARING IN MIND THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS REPORTED BY THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS. I AM NOT GOING TO PRETEND THAT WE ARE SHOCKED, BECAUSE WHAT IS HAPPENING IS IN LINE WITH OUR EMAILED WARNINGS TO UK MP’S BEFORE SHELL’S CLAPPED OUT DRILLING FLEET EVEN SET SAIL. ITS “TOUCH F*** ALL” APPROACH TO OFFSHORE SAFETY HAS DROPPED THE COMPANY IN DEEP S*** AND THE U.S. COAST GUARD HAS CALLED IN THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. PETER VOSER AND HIS HAPLESS INCOMPETENT CREW, INCLUDING ODIOUS ODUM, SHOULD BE FIRED. IN THE RECENT PAST, CORNER-CUTTING SHELL EXECUTIVES DID NOT EVEN BOTHER TO ENSURE THAT LIFEBOATS ON SHELL NORTH SEA RIGS WERE SEAWORTHY. WIDOWS OF SHELL NORTH SEA OFFSHORE WORKERS (THE UNFORTUNATE VICTIMS OF SHELL’S TFA POLICY) WERE ENTICED INTO CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS DESIGNED TO BUY THEIR SILENCE. SHELL PREFERS TO BURY ITS MISTAKES. THIS TRACK RECORD TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL.

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard has found serious safety and environmental violations on a Shell drilling rig used in the Arctic waters off Alaska, another blow to the company’s controversial bid to harvest oil in the petroleum-rich but sensitive region. The Coast Guard said Friday that it has turned over the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice…

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Coast Guard finds violations on Shell Arctic drilling rig

By Sean Cockerham — Anchorage Daily News

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard has found serious safety and environmental violations on a Shell drilling rig used in the Arctic waters off Alaska, another blow to the company’s controversial bid to harvest oil in the petroleum-rich but sensitive region.

The Coast Guard said Friday that it has turned over the matter to the U.S. Department of Justice, which had no comment.

The Coast Guard found 16 violations on the Noble Discoverer, one of Shell’s two drilling rigs for Alaska’s Arctic waters. The company’s other rig, the Kulluk, has its own troubles. The Kulluk broke free from towlines during a New Year’s Eve storm and was grounded for several days off Kodiak Island. read more

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