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US appeal against order to hand over Shell docs for Dutch case

 The most audacious argument being made by Cravath against the Court Order is that since Esther Kiobel has already waited more than twenty years in pursuing Shell, what’s the problem in her waiting even longer!

By John Donovan

Yesterday, despite the fact that the petition case resulting in the recent Court Order had been officially closed, Cravath filed an appeal against handing over the Shell discovery documents for use in the Dutch courts. This is for an imminent human rights action being brought by Esther Kiobel against Shell in its home country.

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€8.5 million Shell slush fund mishandled in Ireland

By John Donovan

The Irish edition of The Sunday Times has published an article reporting that an official audit by a local government auditor has criticised the basis on which a €8.5 million fund, provided by the benevolent energy giant Shell, was handled by Mayo County Council.

What is the appropriate description for such a huge sum lavished on a relatively tiny community in County Mayo? A bribe? A spectacularly generous gift? Hush money? Or compensation for being diddled out of their birthright?

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NIGERIAN AUTHORITIES SEIZE BILLION DOLLAR OIL BLOCK FROM SHELL AND ENI


STATEMENT BY GLOBAL WITNESS

Nigeria’s anti-corruption law enforcement agency, the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured a court order in the Federal High Court of Abuja mandating the return of oil block OPL 245 to the Government, following an investigation into corruption allegations over how the deal was done. The historic news shows exactly why a landmark transparency rule now under threat from Republican lawmakers in the US is so important.

In 2011, Shell and Eni paid $1.1 billion to Malabu Oil and Gas, a front company secretly owned by a former Nigerian oil minister  This crooked deal deprived Nigeria’s people of a sum worth 80% of its 2015 healthcare budget. Shell and Eni have always denied that they knew the money would go to Malabu, but documents seen by Global Witness show that the companies constructed the deal knowing that the money would flow ultimately to Etete’s company. The block in has been estimated to hold as much as 9.23 billion barrels in probable reserves, investors face substantial losses from a backroom deal they knew nothing about.

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Shell Nigerian Litigation: Win in UK. Loss in USA

As has been widely reported, Shell has managed to block the litigation brought in the London High Court by Nigerian litigants claiming for severe environmental damage caused by Shell in Nigeria. An appeal against the decision is likely. I have evidence that may assist.

Two days earlier, on 24 January, Shell lawyers lost a related case in America. A US Federal Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordered Shell law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, to make available to the Nigerian litigant Ether Kiobel by 27 February, for use in the Dutch courts in a human rights action, more than 100,000 Shell discovery documents stored in the USA. I am involved in that case.

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A deserved shitstorm of Shell Nigerian litigation

A boatload of heavily armed Shell employees? Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Shell is facing what Americans might describe as a shitstorm of lawsuits arising from its Nigerian activities since the 1950’s. Litigation is current or pending in Nigeria, the USA, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands.

According to Wikipedia, shitstorm is a vulgar dysphemism for a chaotic and unpleasant situation. It does seem appropriate in a reputational nightmare of Shell’s own making. Related human rights allegations against Shell and the evil Nigerian regimes it has supported include torture, murder, toxic pollution, spying and corruption on a grand scale.

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Royal Dutch Shell Motiva Blues

Over the next few days, we will be posting some outspoken insider comments made several years ago in relation to Motiva, kicking off with the exchange below between “Jim Hartsock” and “Motivasux.”

The comments reveal the low esteem, to put it mildly, in which Shell Oil executives were held at that time.

Comments are welcome from current employees about worker morale these days bearing in mind the dramatic consequences of the Shell/Saudi Aramco divorce. Comments can be posted on our Shell Blog under an alias, thus preserving confidentiality. Or send them to me for publication on the same confidential basis: john@shellnews.net

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Dramatic Breakup of Shell/Saudi Aramco jv Motiva

Photo taken in happier times several years before the divorce

Comment posted on Wall Street Journal article: Shell Seeks to Streamline in 2017

The US operations will face drastic cuts. with the breakup of Motiva, many people will be reassigned, told to post for other positions, or face layoff.

The process has already begun, and will intensify as the April 1 target date for the breakup gets closer.

Middle management will be realigned, as some northeast terminals will be sold off to raise cash, and managers will be scrambling for other available positions which may involve relocation, taking early retirement or the unemployment line.

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A devastating blow for Shell in U.S. Federal Court

By John Donovan

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, a U.S. website -Law360 – which reports American court proceedings, published an article about a decision made that same day by Federal U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Esther Kiobel had filed a petition seeking documents used in her case against Shell brought in the United States, which was ultimately thwarted by a US Supreme Court decision on extraterritoriality grounds in 2013.

The case is now being brought in the Dutch courts.

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Obama’s April Fool’s Joke Approving Shell Arctic Drilling

Obama’s April Fool’s Joke Approving Shell Arctic Drilling

By John Donovan

On 1st April 2015, President Obama’s administration upheld a 2008 lease sale facilitating Shell’s return to oil and gas drilling off Alaska.

See this Reuters Report: Here’s why Obama is approving Artic Drilling again

This decision despite Shell’s farcical exploits in 2012.  Many readers will recall that a Shell hired drilling rig – a rusty ancient vessel – ran aground after Shell sent it to sea despite a storm warning.

The reckless move was made in an attempt to evade taxes. Shell admitted, then denied, then admitted, that this was the case.

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Obama Said to Use 1953 Law to Permanently Block New Drilling Leases in Arctic, Atlantic

The Shell-contracted rigs Kulluk (left) and Noble Discoverer (right) set sail from Seattle in July 2012 for Royal Dutch Shell’s ultimately unsuccessful drilling campaign offshore Alaska in Summer 2012. Photo credit: Vigor Industrial

December 19, 2016 by Bloomberg

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama is preparing to block the sale of new offshore drilling rights in much of the U.S. Arctic and parts of the Atlantic, a move that could indefinitely restrict oil production there, according to two people familiar with the decision.

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FLARING AT SHELL REFINERY PROMPTS HEALTH ALERT FROM CONTRA COSTA COUNTY HEALTH OFFICIALS

19 Dec 2016

MARTINEZ, CA. —Contra Costa Health Services is advising people to avoid the area around the Shell Refinery in Martinez this afternoon due to “excessive flaring and black smoke.”

The Health Services website issued the alert at 2:20 p.m. for the refinery at 3485 Pacheco Blvd.

People with respiratory conditions are being advised to take precautions and avoid the area.

The flaring is the result of a power outage, according to Health Services officials.

SOURCE

Shell donates $150,000 to CCBC

By Jared Stonesifer jstonesifer@timesonline.com: 19 Dec 2016

CENTER TWP. — Shell Chemicals Co. has donated $150,000 to the Community College of Beaver County to fund scholarships and help the college buy new equipment.

The money will go directly to CCBC’s process technology program, a curriculum created several years ago with Shell in mind. The associate degree program trains students for careers in manufacturing and industry, like the $6 billion ethane cracker plant Shell is planning to build in Potter Township.

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