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Posts under ‘Toxic contamination’

Why Oil Production in Ogoniland is Still Impossible

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Why Oil Production in Ogoniland is Still Impossible

By Fegalo Nsuke: 

Shortly after the hangings on 10 November 1995, Shell Oil Company set up an Ogoni Re-entry department to help the company break the Ogoni resistance and pave the way for the resumption of oil mining in the area. That was Shell’s immediate response to the plight of the Ogoni people after the brutal killings of 9 leaders by the Nigerian government in 1995.

The government and Shell had thought that Saro-Wiwa’s killing would frustrate the Ogoni and ease the resumption of oil mining in Ogoniland. That was not to be as the people have consistently and persistently held on to the oil till date except in cases where agents of Shell have been reported to be stealing the Ogoni oil.

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Shell to face Nigeria oil spill lawsuit

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A Dutch judge has ruled that a court in the Netherlands should hear a case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by four Nigerian farmers.

The farmers and fishermen want Shell to clean up oil spills in four villages in the Niger Delta and pay compensation.

The latest ruling overturns a decision that was made two years ago by a lower court.

The oil giant said it was disappointed with decision made by appeals court judge Hans van der Klooster.

He ruled that Dutch courts had jurisdiction in the case against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary.

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Nigerian Farmers Cleared to Sue Shell in Dutch Court

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Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 08.01.07By MIKE CORDER, ASSOCIATED PRESS: THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dec 18, 2015

Nigerian farmers will have the chance to sue oil multinational Shell in a Dutch court for pollution they blame on leaking pipelines, a Dutch appeals court ruled Friday.

Activists said the ruling sets a landmark legal precedent that clears the way for Dutch-based companies to be sued for alleged negligence of their subsidiaries elsewhere in the world.

“There is now jurisprudence that means victims of human rights violations or pollution can sue Dutch multinationals in the Netherlands,” said Geert Ritsema of the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, the environmental group that is also involved in the case.

The case centers on a charge from four farmers that Shell and its Nigerian unit are liable for damages caused by leaks from two underground oil pipes from 2004-2007. Shell has argued that it has no liability in the case and that Dutch courts did not have jurisdiction.

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State regulators fine Shell Oil for toxic release in Anacortes

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Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 00.19.03Inspectors found that Shell had skipped critical decontamination steps while shutting down the main flare. The uncontrolled release exposed workers to toxic substances.

BY ASSOCIATED PRESS: NOVEMBER 20, 2015

TUMWATER, Wash. (AP) — Washington state regulators have fined Shell Oil Products $77,000 after an investigation found that it failed to control a toxic release.

The Department of Labor and Industries said Friday that they began investigating Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes after learning that the refinery’s main flare released contaminates into the environment.

The release prompted complaints about the odor by people living nearby.

A refinery flare is designed to burn off waste gases and vapors not used in production. It also helps to prevent fires. But the flare must be decontaminated and shut down periodically for maintenance.

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Niger Delta: Shell’s manifestly false claims about oil pollution exposed, again

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Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 15.38.083 November 2015, 00:08 UTC

Claims by oil giant Shell that it has cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta are blatantly false, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published today.

Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago. The report is being published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution, on 10 November 1995, of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned tirelessly against the damage caused by the oil industry in the Niger Delta.

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New Report Blames Shell, Exposes Failure to Clean Niger-Delta Oil Spills

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40By Senator Iroegbu: 29 October 2015

The Amnesty International (AI) and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) will launch a new report exposing what it described as Shell’s blatantly false statements about its efforts to clean up oil spills in the Niger Delta next week.

The Press Officer, AI Nigeria, Mr. Eulette Ewart, said in a statement on Thursday, that despite promising to act on a 2011 United Nations Environmental Programme report exposing shocking levels of pollution caused by oil spills, ‘Clean it up: Shell’s failure to tackle oil spills in Nigeria’ documents that Shell has either not cleaned up or has done it so badly that oil still pollutes the land.

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Oil Spill: Ilaje Coastal Communities Demand Compensation from Shell

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22 October 2015

The Ilaje coastal communities in Ondo state have alleged that oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) allegedly excluded them from the ongoing discussions and compensation agreement it reached with the communities that were affected in the oil spill from the Bonga oil field in 2011.

They have therefore appealed to President, Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter to ensure their inclusion in all discussions with regards to payment of compensation.

The communities, have however, threatened   a legal action against Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, (SNEPCO),a subsidiary of SPDC, should the oil firm continues to exclude them from the compensation agreement reached between it and the communities and over the Bonga oil Spill of 2011.

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Feds, Shell to pay $55 million to clean up contaminated L.A. site

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40By KYLE FELDSCHER (@KYLE_FELDSCHER) 9/30/15 4:29 PM

Shell and a government agency will pay $55 million to clean up contaminated soil at a site in Los Angeles as a part of a settlement with the federal government.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday it reached the settlement with Shell and the General Services Administration to clean up the Del Amo Superfund Site in Los Angeles. A superfund site is an abandoned area where hazardous waste is located.

The Del Amo site is the former location of a synthetic rubber plant built in the 1940s that closed in 1972. Among the chemicals used to produce the rubber, which were discarded into unlined pits and ponds and covered with soil, were benzene, propane, butylene and butane. Those chemicals contaminated the soil and groundwater in the area.

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California Appeals Court Allows Shell $90M Oil Contamination Settlement

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Shell’s $90M Oil Harm Deal Nears Win Over Dole Challenge

By Daniel Siegal

Law360, Los Angeles (September 8, 2015, 9:57 PM ET) — A California appeals court indicated Tuesday it will allow Shell Oil Co.’s $90 million settlement with nearly 1,500 Los Angeles-area residents over oil waste buried under homes built by a Dole Food Co. subsidiary, tentatively rejecting Dole’s argument that the deal unfairly exposes it to excessive liability. 

The appeal stems from Shell’s attempt to exit a sprawling legal battle over oil contamination affecting 1,491 residents of the Carousel housing development built by developer and Dole subsidiary Barclay-Hollander-Curci on land it acquired from Shell in the city…

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Court Says Chevron Can Be Pursued in Canada Over Ecuadorean Damage

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Screen Shot 2015-09-05 at 07.12.20By IAN AUSTEN and CLIFFORD KRAUSSA version of this article appears in print on September 5, 2015, on page B2 of the New York edition

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday that a group of Ecuadoreans can use an Ontario court in an attempt to collect billions of dollars from Chevron for environmental damage.

The ruling is the latest step in a 13-year legal battle over the contamination of a rain forest in Ecuador, where Texaco had oil operations. The lawsuit has pitted Ecuadorean villagers in the region of Lago Agrio against Chevron, which bought Texaco.

While a trial court in Ecuador initially awarded the villagers $17.2 billion, an appeals court reduced the damages to $9.5 billion. It was one of the largest judgments imposed by a court for environmental contamination.

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Shell Oil accidentally spills hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic gas in Deer Park

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Dylan Baddour, Houston Chronicle: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On Sunday morning, hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic gas were accidentally released from the Shell Oil facility in Deer Park.

According to reports from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 326,166 pounds of butadiene escaped through an open valve on a spherical tank between 10:40 am and 11:35 am.

Neil Carman, a chemist with the Sierra Club of Texas and a former power plant inspector for the TCEQ, said that butadiene is a known human carcinogen, but that its molecular structure allows it to dissipate quickly in the hot summer air. The chemical is commonly expelled in car exhaust, but Carman said the quantity in the Shell incident was concerning.

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Contaminated Carson neighborhood braces for messy environmental cleanup

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$90 million legal settlement offered by Shell Oil

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 22.58.09By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze: 7 Aug 2015

In a notoriously contaminated Carson neighborhood where homeowners have been waiting for years for someone to neutralize the toxic goo beneath their homes and yards, relief is finally within sight.

Cleanup plans were finalized recently after four years of invasive testing and debate over what to do with tons of underground waste oil abandoned in the Carousel Tract in the 1960s and rediscovered in 2008.

But things won’t be fixed overnight. In fact, residents can expect at least six more years of smelly, noisy work before they have their neighborhood — and their lives — back.

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Landmark Deal Curbs Flaring Pollution

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Top oil-producing nations and companies pledge to eliminate the waste of natural gas that also exacerbates global warming

April 17, 2015 |By Lisa Friedman and ClimateWire

Top oil-producing nations, including the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Angola, as well as Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other companies say they will stop flaring natural gas by 2030 as part of a landmark agreement with the World Bank.

The deal was unveiled this morning during the World Bank’s Spring Meetings, where leaders said the voluntary agreement will curb 40 percent of the global gas flaring that results in 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“Gas flaring is a visual reminder that we are wastefully sending CO2 into the atmosphere,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in a statement. “Together we can take concrete action to end flaring and to use this valuable natural resource to light the darkness for those without electricity.”

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Bay Point: Removal of ‘Shell Pond’ polluted soil set to start in April

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 22.24.14From an article by Sam Richards published 23 March 2015 by Contra Costa Times

Bay Point: Removal of ‘Shell Pond’ polluted soil set to start in April

BAY POINT — More than two years after an aborted attempt to clean up the old “Shell Pond” along Suisun Bay, PG&E will soon begin removing 8,400 tons of dredged polluted soil from land adjacent to the pond on the community’s north edge, with an eye toward starting cleanup of the 73-acre pond itself in 2017.

The utility is set to begin, in mid-April, removing soil containing petroleum hydrocarbons (“carbon black”), metals and other compounds dredged in 2012 from the waste pond about three-quarters of a mile north of Willow Pass Road along the waterfront and trucking it about two miles to the Keller Canyon landfill, said PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian. That work is expected to take approximately three months, she said.

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Joint Investigation Visit Reports Indict Shell On Oil Spills In Bayelsa

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From an article by Fyneface Aaron published 23 March 2015 by The Tide

Joint Investigation Visit Reports Indict Shell On Oil Spills In Bayelsa, Nigeria

(JIV) report on Seibou and several other oil wells that are spilling its contents into the environments in Bayelsa State operated by Shell Development Company has been attributed to equipment failure.

The reports estimated that some 549 barrels of SPDC,s crude stream was discharged into Ogboinbiri River in Southern Ijaw Local government area and impacted several other communities living along the coast.

The JIV report obtained on Monday, indicated that the visit was concluded on March 13,  2015, and traced the spills to raptured pipes which were fast ageing.

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Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 10.18.33By Chris Stein – Voice of America, 06 March 2015

Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

KEGBARA DERE, NIGERIA—

Oil once flowed in Ogoniland, as it does from wells throughout the creeks and swamps of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

But in 1993, the Ogoni people said enough. Leaking pipelines were polluting the fields they farmed and the waterways they fished.

Oil giant Shell was forced to pull out of Ogoniland that year in the face of protests led by the charismatic Ken Saro-Wiwa, head of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, or MOSOP. He was hanged two years later by the military dictatorship that ran Nigeria, in a move widely seen as retaliation for his activism.

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Shell confirms oil leak from underwater facility in Bayelsa

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38From an article published in the Premium Times on 5 March 2015:

Shell confirms oil leak from underwater facility in Bayelsa

Extracts

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on Thursday confirmed an oil leak incident from its underwater line within its oil fields in Bayelsa.

According to a statement issued by Joesph Obari, Spokesperson for the oil firm, the leakage was reported on January 23, 2015, and the company subsequently shut the facility.

A site visit however showed that residual leak from Seibou Deep facility operated by SPDC, has been discharging crude into Ogboinbiri River in Bayelsa.

“A spill was detected from an underwater flow line riser at the Seibou 2 Wellhead in the night of January 23, 2015,” the statement said.

“The well was closed-in about fifteen hours later, once it was safe to do so and the impacted area boomed off to prevent further spread of the spill.

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Ogoniland and Shell

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 10.18.33Article by Ben Ikari (International Human Rights and Environmental Justice Advocate)

Dr. Eddy Wikina Should Advocate Clean-up and Ogoni Bill Of Rights-Not Oil Production

My comments are based on a press statement credited to a respected elder of Ogoni Dr. Eddy Wikina on behalf of the “Ogonis Elites and Elders,” titled: Oil Resumption in Ogoniland: Elites Advocate 10-15 Percent Equity, and published March 4, 2015 on Ogoninews.com.

I wish to state clearly, and without equivocation that, although Dr. Wikina is a well known and respected Ogoni, especially as someone with enormous experience in the oil industry, he’d understand that Ogoni isn’t ready for oil production until the United Nations Environmental Program’s (UNEP) recommendations on Ogoni clean-up, restoration and sustainable development/people’s empowerment are implemented to a reasonable level.

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Oil Spill: Syndicates Defraud Communities As Shell Remains Adamant On Payout

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Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 08.16.28BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK, FEB 28, 2015

An investigation by SaharaReporters reveals that several rogue syndicates have been selling oil spill compensation forms to members of oil-producing communities in Bayelsa State ostensibly to enable the residents to benefit from a fund established to compensate victims of the December 2011 Bonga oil spill. However, some concerned activists told Sahara Reporters that the sale of forms was exploitative, especially since it was not clear that those who file for compensation would ever receive any payment.

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Refinery operator Shell Canada charged for January 2013 incident at plant

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer: Friday, February 13, 2015 11:57:12 EST AM

Refinery operator charged for January 2013 incident at plant

Extracts

Representatives of Shell Canada made a brief court appearance in Sarnia on Friday on environmental charges the company faces following an incident Jan. 11, 2013 at its plant near Corunna.

Shell is scheduled to appear again on April 10 at 9 a.m. in Provincial Offences Court at Bayside Centre.

Friday’s appearance was the first for the company since charges were laid in early January by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

The charges allege Shell Canada committed the offence of discharging, or causing, or permitting a discharge of a contaminate into the environment that caused or was likely to have caused an adverse effect, contrary to Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act.

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Cleanup operations continue for oil spill at Shell Wharf in Martinez

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38From an article by Joseph R. Fonseca published Thursday, February 12, 2015 by MarineLink.com under the headline:

Cleanup, Response Operations continue at Shell Wharf

Extracts

At approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday Shell personnel reported a leak from a crude oil line at the Shell Martinez Wharf and confirmed the leak was stopped within 30 minutes. Shell personnel estimated the leak to be approximately two barrels of oil (approximately 84 gallons), and two issues related to the pipeline were repaired. Shell engaged all appropriate agencies for the response, and a Unified Command was established Tuesday evening.

Resources and personnel have been deployed to the affected area as a precaution to guard against any potential impact. Resources include absorbent boom, skimmers and a helicopter for aerial assessments, as needed. Residents may continue to notice extra activity at the wharf and the Carquinez Strait area throughout the evening as cleanup operations are conducted.

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Shell Pays $90M To Escape Calif. Contamination Suit

Shell Pays $90M To Escape Calif. Contamination Suit

By Brandon Lowrey

Law360, Los Angeles (January 30, 2015, 8:50 PM ET) — A California judge on Friday tentatively approved Shell Oil Co.’s $90 million good-faith settlement of personal injury claims brought by nearly 1,500 Los Angeles-area residents allegedly harmed by buried waste oil, leaving intact claims against the developer of their neighborhood, Barclay Hollander Corp., and its current owner, Dole Food Co.

The settlement lets Shell out of the lawsuit brought over the highly publicized contamination of the Carousel housing tract in Carson, about 13 miles south of downtown LA. Shell’s $90 million deal will offset any judgments…

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Al Gore: oil companies ‘use our atmosphere as an open sewer’

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From an article by Jo Confino published by The Guardian 21 Jan 2015

Al Gore: “Companies are insisting on their right to use our atmosphere as an open sewer. In London a long time ago, a famous doctor connected the dots between sewage and cholera. We are connecting the dots between dirty energy and dirty weather, and in order to drive the kind of constructive change necessary, we need to put a price on carbon.”

FULL ARTICLE

Shell fined nearly $1 million for falsely selling green motor fuel

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 21.26.18SHELL FOUND TO HAVE MISLABELLED ULTRA-LOW SULFUR DIESEL

From ClickGreen staff. Published Tuesday 20 Jan 2015 under the headline:

Shell slapped with near-$1 million fine for falsely selling green motor fuel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a settlement with three companies affiliated with Shell Oil Company to resolve Clean Air Act violations, including selling gasoline and diesel fuel that did not conform to federal standards.

The violations resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollutants from motor vehicles, which pose public health threats and environmental impacts. The companieswill pay a $900,000 penalty to resolve these violations.

“Fuel standards established under the Clean Air Act play a major role in controlling harmful air pollution from vehicles and engines,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 21.40.11“If unchecked, these pollutants can seriously impair the air we breathe, especially during summer months when they can reach higher levels. This settlement makes clear that if companies fail to produce fuels that comply with federal standards, they will be held accountable.”

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Internal documents reveal industry ‘pattern of behavior’ on toxic chemicals

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38Decades after its release, a lawyer for Shell Oil Company flagged the 1948 report as being potentially damaging in lawsuits and gave out instructions to “avoid unnecessary disclosure of sensitive documents or information” and “disclose sensitive benzene documents only on court order.”

From an article by David Heath and Jim Morris published by The Center for Public Integrity on 4 December 2014 under the headline:

Internal documents reveal industry ‘pattern of behavior’ on toxic chemicals

Sixty-six years ago, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health wrote a report linking leukemia to benzene, a common solvent and an ingredient in gasoline. “It is generally considered,” he wrote, “that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is zero.”

The report is remarkable not only because of its age and candor, but also because it was prepared for and published by the oil industry’s main lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute.

This document and others like it bedevil oil and chemical industry executives and their lawyers, who to this day maintain that benzene causes only rare types of cancer and only at high doses.

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Carousel neighborhood of Carson: Home Sweet Home

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38At some point, the three underground tanks and drainage fields that had been connected to the Shell oil refinery began to leak oil and chemicals – turning a once-appealing neighborhood into a place where hundreds of homes sit atop 161,700 cubic yards of toxic sludge. Ultra-hazardous chemicals were found in the soil, including methane and benzene, which have been linked to melanoma and lymphoma.

EXTRACTS FROM AN ARTICLE BY MATT REYNOLDS PUBLISHED BY COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE ON 9 JAN 2015 UNDE THE HEADLINE:

“Shell close to $90M Payout for Toxic SoCal Neighborhood”

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A state court judge looks set to approve a $90 million settlement with residents of a Carson neighborhood sitting on top of a sludge of petroleum waste, pending a final objection from the oil giant’s developer co-defendant in the case.

Shell also entered into an agreement with the California water quality control board to spend $140 million to clean up the 50-acre neighborhood. That’s in addition to the $40 million Shell has already spent remediating the property.

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Shell in court again, this time Canada

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 21.26.38From an article published by the observer.ca on 7 Jan 2015 under the headline:

“Shell to appear Feb 13 in Sarnia court”

Shell Canada has been charged by Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change following a Jan. 11, 2013 incident at its plant near Corunna.

Ministry spokesperson Kate Jordan said in an email that the charge is related to a leak of flare liquids at its Sarnia Manufacturing Centre.

The charge alleges Shell Canada did commit the offence of discharging, or causing, or permitting a discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment that caused or was likely to have caused an adverse effect, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act.

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Shell Halts $90-Million Payout for Toxic Neighborhood after Judge Says Deal Can’t Be Secret

 Article by Ken Broder from theAllGov.com website in California, published Wed 7 Jan 2015

A lawyer suing on behalf of residents in the contaminated neighborhood of Carson said his clients would never settle with the much reviled Shell Oil over the toxic brew it buried a few feet beneath their soon-to-be-built houses.

Then they did, for $90 million in late November.

In reviewing the settlement before deciding whether to accept it, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger indicated he might not keep terms of the agreement secret, as agreed to by the parties.

That didn’t sit well with Shell Oil and last month the company told the judge the settlement is unsettled while they consider their options. A third party to the legal battles swirling around the environmental disaster, the developers who built on the toxic mess, said they had not seen the settlement and feared important information about the site would be kept secret.

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Oil from old Shell tanks polluting environment

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Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 22.24.14Some of the tanks at Shell’s Fredericia location are nearly a century old (Photo: Wikipedia)

From the Copenhagen Post, an article by Ray Weaver: 8 Dec 2014

Decade-old oil spills from tanks at the Shell Oil facility in Fredericia are still polluting the environment.

According to a report on the DR current affairs TV program ’21 Søndags’, tonnes of diesel and kerosene have flowed out of the tanks for years and are now polluting the soil and groundwater in the area and flowing into the Little Belt.

“I would say that a very, very strong oil spill has spread out below the beach and seeped beneath the Little Belt into the water,” Thomas Steen Petersen, an engineer and soil expert at Kogsgaard Environment, told DR. “We must assume it has been going on for two or three decades. I have never seen anything like this before.”

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Shell Rethinks $90M Toxic Contamination Settlement Over Secrecy Issues

Just days ago, we re-published an article from The Daily Breeze about Shell’s $90 million settlement with nearly 1500 residents of Carson, California, arising from a contamination class action lawsuit stemming from a former Shell oil tank farm.

A housing development was built over the remains of the buried tank farm in the 1960s.

Widespread petroleum contamination was subsequently discovered beneath hundreds of the homes in 2008 and residents sought compensation for decades of poor health and declining home values due to the contamination. They claimed they and their pets had been made seriously ill with ailments such as cancer, blood disorders and many other conditions.

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Shell settles Californian environmental contamination lawsuit for $91 million

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Shell’s settlement with 1,491 residents will be a total of $90 million

From The Daily Breeze

City officials have announced final settlement agreements involving Shell Oil Co., the city, and hundreds of current and former residents of the Carousel neighborhood in the city’s southern end over a contamination lawsuit stemming from a former oil tank farm at the site.

The details of the two separate settlements between Shell and the city, and Shell and residents, weren’t disclosed during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. But Shell’s settlement with 1,491 residents will be a total of $90 million divided with attorneys and disbursed by a mediator based on health and property damage claims, according to documents obtained by the Daily Breeze.

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Shell Corrib Gas Field testing being carried out illegally?

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A 40m gas flare from the Ocean Guardian drilling rig during a well production test at the Corrib field, 80kms off Co Mayo. Photograph: Shell E&P Ireland Ltd

By John Donovan

Last Wednesday The Irish Times reported that Shell E&P Ireland has begun two months of testing at its north Mayo onshore refinery in preparation for next year’s scheduled production from the Corrib gas field.

I understand from a usually well informed source that the testing is being carried out without an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licence

According to my source, the licence expired on 14 November 2014.

Irish Citizens please take note: I further understand that there is provision under the Irish Environmental Protection Agency rules for any citizen to seek a High Court order where an activity is being carried out in contravention of licensing requirements.

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Shell Moerdijk Impact From Steam Leak

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Styrene prices shot up following a steam leak at Shell’s steam crackers at Moerdijk in the Netherlands early this month.

Shell had to declare force majeure on ethylene and propylene at the unit which makes basic materials for the chemical industry and employs about eight hundred people.

The main repairs will last until at least the end of 2014, with some work not completed until an unspecified date in 2015.

The plant supplies steam to all the plants at the complex.

A Shell spokesman admitted that the steam leak resulted in flaring activity.

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Objection to Divestment of Shell Oil Blocks in Ogoniland

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 00.39.59National Union of Ogoni Students’ USA

3747 W. 138TH Street, Crestwood Illinois 60445, Tel. 1-(888) 610-5590, email – [email protected]

Press Release

10/25/2014

CAVERT EMPTOR: Divestment of Shell Oil Blocks: Oil Mining License 11 not for sale

We, the Ogoni students in Diaspora under the National Union of Ogoni Students’ (NUOS INTL), USA on behalf of the Ogoni people, distance ourselves from the ongoing Shell Oil Company’s secret divestment and sale of assets in oil and gas in Nigeria. These secret sales should not extend to Oil Mining License (OML) 11 in Ogoni its enclave.

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Mixed Reaction to Shell’s Carousel Cleanup Proposal

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 22.21.25Extracts from an article in  the Daily Breeze.

Shell Oil Co.’s new $146 million proposal to remove contaminated soil beneath Carson’s Carousel Tract neighborhood has earned a thumbs-up from city officials, who until now have vigorously fought the oil giant’s cleanup plans.

Carson officials praise the plan because it includes an offer to temporarily relocate residents in hotels while 161,700 cubic yards of petroleum-soaked dirt are dug up from yards and trucked out. It also contains a guarantee that residents will get fair-market value if they sell their homes, despite the contamination history.

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Shell legal machinations over Nigeria in the London High Court

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On 8 October, the High Court in London blocked an agreement between the oil giant Shell and the UK law firm CW Law in relation to thousands of Nigerians, which the Marble Arch based law firm claimed it represented, in a dispute over oil spills in Nigeria.

CW Law was accused, by law firm Leigh Day, of unlawfully entering into settlement talks with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) on behalf of many villagers of Bodo, in the Niger Delta, who they didn’t represent and who were not clients of the firm.

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Shell running out of steam

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

Styrene prices have shot up following a steam leak at Shell’s steam crackers at Moerdijk in the Netherlands. 

Shell has declared force majeure on ethylene and propylene at the unit. 

A Shell spokesman admitted that the steam leak resulted in flaring activity. 

News of the incident was posted on our Shell Blog early on 7 October by an anonymous source.

Extracts from related Wikipedia Styrene Article

“Styrene is regarded as a “hazardous chemical”, especially in case of eye contact, but also in case of skin contact, of ingestion and of inhalation, according to several sources. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers styrene to be “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.

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Royal Dutch Shell News Monday 29 Sept 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 14.02.38By John Donovan

A selection of current news articles about Royal Dutch Shell from around the globe:

Oil price fixing

According to a Bloomberg article published by energyvoice.com, the UK is considering whether to criminalize manipulation of the world’s most-traded crude-futures market.

Extract

The UK is toughening the rules after the rigging of Libor and related gauges resulted in $6.5 billion in fines for at least 10 companies. European Union antitrust authorities raided the offices of companies including BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Statoil ASA in May 2013 amid allegations of collusion and price manipulation in crude, refined products and biofuels markets.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC NEWS FRIDAY 19 SEPT 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 12.52.41By John Donovan

Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plans 

fuelfix.com has published an article about Shell’s latest plans for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, north of Alaska. The detailed article contains links to a document Shell has filed with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a related federal court document and an exploration plan.  A lawyer for the conservation group Oceana, is quoted as saying: “Shell appears to have learned little from its past experiences and should be considering whether it wants to continue to invest huge sums continuing to try to drill in a place for which it is clearly unprepared.” Apparently “Shell executives have not made an official decision to plunge forward into those icy waters, but filing the exploratory plan is a necessary step in its quest for federal permits necessary to conduct the work next year.”

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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup Monday 11 Aug 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Rejection in Australia, Oil Spill Fire in Nigeria, Fire sale in the USA, Asbestos lawsuit in the UK

By John Donovan

AUSTRALIA

The Australian reports that a fortnight after Woodside Petroleum shareholders scuttled a $2.7 billion plan to remove Royal Dutch Shell from the company’s share register, Woodside has bought a 40% stake in a joint venture deep water exploration project off west Africa.

NORTH AMERICA

According to the FT, Shell is preparing to dispose of its 50 per cent stake in a Louisiana gasfield to Blackstone for $1.2bn, as the oil and gas group retreats from one of its souring investments in North America. Private equity group, Blackstone, is named as the likely purchaser.  The article contains reference to the “fix or divest” policy of Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden in relation to Shell’s under performing North American upstream business.

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First oil produced from SNEPCO-operated Bonga North West deep-water project in Nigeria

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VERBATIM FROM A SHELL PRESS RELEASE 6 AUGUST 2014

06 Aug 2014

Shell’s deep-water subsidiary in Nigeria, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) started oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the Nigerian coast on Tuesday 5 August 2014, another milestone for the country’s energy industry.

“This is an excellent addition to our deep-water portfolio – a key growth theme for Shell’s world-wide upstream business,” said Andrew Brown, Shell’s Upstream International Director. “It’s also good news for Nigeria, as it is a new source of oil revenues and strengthens Nigeria’s deep-water expertise, a key driver of economic development.”

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Failure to clean Niger Delta oil pollution still devastating people’s health: Amnesty

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Extracts from an Associated Press article by MARAM MAZEN published 3 August 2014

LAGOS, Nigeria – Little action has been taken to clean up pollution caused by oil production in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, either by the government or Shell Oil, Amnesty International and other groups charged Monday.

Oil production has contaminated the drinking water of at least 10 communities in the Ogoniland area but neither the Nigerian government nor Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary have taken effective measures to restore the fouled environment, said the new report by Amnesty International, Friends of The Earth Europe, Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Environmental Rights Action, and Platform.

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Shell Oil Co. Removes Toluene Bladder Cancer Lawsuit to Florida Federal Court

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article posted by Harris Martin Publishing on 25 July 2014

July 25, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. –– Shell Oil Co. has removed a toluene exposure lawsuit to a Florida federal court, noting that while it is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in Texas, the plaintiff resides in Florida.

Shell Oil Company removed the complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on July 18, citing diversity jurisdiction and, further, noting that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.

In her lawsuit, plaintiff Celeste Keys contended that her exposure to the chemical compound toluene caused her to develop bladder cancer.

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Ogonis charge Nigerian Federal Government and Shell on UNEP report

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 21.53.48
Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from a Daily Post article by Victor Azubuike published 28 May 2014

The people of Ogoni are calling on the Federal Government to set up a structure to help facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, report following a new revelation by Shell. “Following last week’s surprise announcement by Shell’s new CEO, Ben Van Beurden that the $1billion dollar take off fund for Ogoni clean up was waiting in a dedicated account, Social Action and other British and Nigeria NGOs have demanded that Shell stop playing games with the pains and misery of Ogoni people who are dying in their thousands because of non implementation of UNEP Report. 

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‘Cleaned’ Nigerian sites still blighted by oil as Shell’s efforts to contain spills makes slow progress, says report

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 08.30.15Swathes of land and waterways in the Niger Delta are once again blighted with oil only months on from Shell’s clean-up efforts…

Extracts from a This is Money article by Rob Davies published 26 May 2014

Shell’s efforts to contain spills in Nigeria are making stuttering progress, with supposedly restored sites still mired in oil, a new report warns. Difficulty with stopping spills, often caused by oil theft from pipelines, further illustrates why Shell has opted to sell four major onshore blocks in Nigeria. Swathes of land and waterways in the Niger Delta are once again blighted with oil only months on from Shell’s clean-up efforts, claims campaign group Platform. The firm faced protests from several campaign groups over its Nigerian operations at its recent annual meeting.

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A deadly Shell disaster 20 years ago

Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 08.30.15Shell later agrees to pay OSHA a $3 million dollar fine for federal safety violations and also settles wrongful death lawsuits with the families of the dead workers, making payments in the range of $2.1 to $2.4 million per family.

By John Donovan

On 27 May 1994, almost exactly 20 years ago, a fire at the Shell Chemical plant in Belpre, Ohio triggered an explosion that cost the lives of four workers and polluted the Ohio River with toxic chemicals.

Extract from a pdf document citing multiple sources

…a fire at Shell Chemical’s Belpre, Ohio plant spreads to a nearby chemical storage tank area, touching off an explosion and ferocious chemical fire, causing four of the big tanks to burn and lose millions of gallons of chemicals. Four workers are killed in the incident and 1,700 people evacuated. The fire burns for about nine hours, and chemical leakage from the site pollutes the Ohio River with a 22-mile plume of ethylene dibromide, killing fish and forcing downstream municipalities to seek alternative water supplies. Shell later agrees to pay OSHA a $3 million dollar fine for federal safety violations and also settles wrongful death lawsuits with the families of the dead workers, making payments in the range of $2.1 to $2.4 million per family.

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Shell Says It’s Considering Climate Change Risks And Trying To Reduce Flaring In Nigeria

Extracts from a International Business Times article by Meagan Clark published 20 May 2014

Netherlands-based oil giant Royal Dutch Shell told investors in the Hague on Tuesday that the company considers climate change in its decisions and that its efforts to reduce natural gas flaring in Nigeria, a main cause of pollution in West Africa, are being hindered by a lack of government funding. “We’ve sold assets for $1.8 billion in the last few years, and we have further licenses for sale,” van Beurden said. “This is not an exit from Nigeria. We are still making selected growth investment onshore, and the pace of these projects will be largely determined by continued government funding.”

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Shell Oil sues developer of Carousel tract in Carson for contamination cleanup

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 02.10.35Extracts from an article by Sandy Mazza, published by the Daily Breeze on 12 May 2014

Everyone agrees that Shell Oil Co. left masses of waste petroleum just beneath the surface of a residential Carson neighborhood for decades, but the company now says it shouldn’t be held responsible for cleaning the mess. In a lawsuit filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, Shell points the finger of blame at the developers of the 50-acre tract of single-family houses that was built in the mid-1960s.  Shell officials believe the developers assumed responsibility for the property’s waste oil and tank debris when they bought the land. The developers have argued they never touched the tarnished soil and have nothing to do with it. …residents are seeking payment for decades of poor health and declining home values due to the contamination. They claim they and their pets have been made sick with ailments such as headaches, cancer, blood disorders and many other conditions.

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Hearing to determine key legal issues in claim against Shell by 15,000 Nigerians

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 21.53.4828 April 2014

An historic legal hearing will begin on 29th April 2014 which will hear evidence from the UK lawyers representing 15,000 Nigerian fishermen from the Bodo community against oil giant Shell in a hearing which will determine the key legal issues to be considered in one of the largest ever environmental law cases which is due to take place in May 2015.

The ‘preliminary issues hearing’ will be the first time Shell have had to face formal Court proceedings in the UK for its environmental record in the Niger Delta, following two massive oil spills in 2008 and 2009.

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Louisiana Benzene Case against Shell settled

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 13.47.36“Shell’s potential exposure to litigation throughout the US for benzene exposure claims may now be very significant – this could be a repeat of the asbestos claims of a few years ago.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from an article published 11 April 2014 by HarrisMartin.com under the headline: “Parties Remaining in Louisiana Benzene Case Scheduled for June 2014 Trial Reach Settlement Agreement”

NEW ORLEANS –– Benzene plaintiffs and remaining defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical LP have reached a settlement agreement in a case that had recently been scheduled for a June 2014 trial. The parties filed a joint motion on April 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana noting that all of the plaintiffs’ claims against Shell had been settled…

SOURCE

Extracts from a related legal document

This matter arises out of wrongful death, survival, and product liability claims under Louisiana state law.1 Elise Leslie (“Ms. Leslie”) brought this action both individually and on behalf of her father, Bruce W. Leslie, (“Mr. Leslie”) against Defendants Shell Oil Company and Shell Chemical…

Ms. Leslie alleges that, because of this actual or constructive knowledge, Defendants actions and inactions give rise to numerous bases for her wrongful death and survival claims, including: negligence; gross negligence; negligent misrepresentation; and concealment, suppression, and/or omission of material information about the health hazards associated with benzene.

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