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Posts under ‘Wikipedia’

I WARNED WIKIPEDIA YEARS AGO THAT ALIAS EDITING WOULD RESULT IN SCANDAL

Screen Shot 2015-09-07 at 15.09.08

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK/DYLAN PETROHILOS

Wikipedia cannot say that it was not warned long ago about the corrupt practices going on behind the scenes by some members of its volunteer army of supposedly unpaid editors; an unhealthy culture of manipulation, secrecy, bullying and censorship, driven mostly by the root of all evil: money

By John Donovan 

The Guardian newspaper has just published an article under the headline: Wikipedia founder backs site’s systems after extortion scam”

Once again, for commercial reasons, hundreds of Wikipedia “editors” have been exploiting the flaw that allows people to edit Wikipedia articles anonymously, hiding behind an alias. My guess is that it is actually thousands, not hundreds. It is destroying the integrity of Wikipedia articles.  

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Wikipedia editing scandal

Wikipedia cannot say that it was not warned long ago about the corrupt practices going on behind the scenes by some members of its volunteer army of supposedly unpaid editors; an unhealthy culture of manipulation, secrecy, bullying and censorship, driven mostly by the root of all evil: money.

By John Donovan

Like many other people, I am a great admirer of Wikipedia and use it frequently.

The Wikipedia organization is laudably conducted on a non-profit making basis, has no subscription charges and does not allow advertising on Wikipedia articles.

It does however have a serious flaw in respect of Wikipedia articles about businesses.

I have rung alarm bells for several years that such articles are wide open to manipulation by anonymous parties with commercially driven motives.

I forecast that an editing scandal would inflict damage to the reputation of Wikipedia.

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BP a novice at manipulating Wikipedia compared with Shell

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 23.58.28In Shell’s case, a vast amount of information, which fully met Wikipedia guidelines, but was deemed damaging to Shell’s reputation, has been either covertly removed, or removed in dubious circumstances by editors hiding their identity behind an alias, as they are allowed to do. Royal Dutch Shell articles on Wikipedia are, in my experience, regularly patrolled and edited by individuals sympathetic to Shell. Most of the articles have been deleted in their entirety.

By John Donovan

According to a recent cnet.com news report, BP’s press office has been accused of a behind the scenes operation allegedly rewriting an estimated 44 percent of the oil giant’s Wikipedia page: BP accused of rewriting environmental record on Wikipedia

Extract

BP is not directly editing its page, but instead has apparently inserted a BP representative into the editing community who provides Wikipedia editors with text.

The text is then copied “as is” onto the page by Wikipedia editors. Readers might assume its unbiased information when its, in fact, vetted by higher-ups at BP before hitting the page.

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Website censorship by Shell

There is nothing new about Shell taking steps to prevent its employees visiting so-called anti-Shell websites from Shell premises. A Shell internal email dated 31 August 2007 provides proof that Shell issued instructions that its employees must not visit this website. In fact, Shell has a history of censoring information critical of the oil giant that has been published on the Internet.

By John Donovan

Last week it was alleged that Shell blocked employee access to a fake Shell website set up by activists.

Under the circumstances, Shell was entitled to do so. Whether it was wise is another matter, as it drew attention to the website and its a safe bet that far more employees checked out the website later at home than would otherwise have been the case.

There is nothing new about Shell taking steps to prevent its employees visiting so-called anti-Shell websites from Shell premises. A Shell internal email dated 31 August 2007 provides proof that Shell issued instructions that its employees must not visit this website.

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After Mishaps, Shell Dials Back Arctic Oil-Drilling Plans

Christopher Helman

Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff: 9/17/2012

I’m based in Houston, Texas, energy capital of the world.

For weeks now it’s been unlikely that Shell would have enough time before the sea freeze sets in to drill down to oil-bearing zones in its newly spudded well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.

But today Shell made it official, announcing that it would seek only to finish “top hole” work on the Burger A well. It aims only to drill down to 1,400 feet beneath the seafloor, then plug and seal the hole for reentry next year.

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Tar Sands – World’s Dirtiest Oil?

GUEST ARTICLE BY A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR, A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL CO

I read your article about the concern over the management of Royal Dutch Shell’s tailings ponds that result from the open-pit mining of heavy tar deposits in Alberta.
 
There are many lessons for the Canadian and Provincial governments to be learned about open-pit mining and reclamation operations from their nearby neighbors in the States.

The Canadian Rockies are not noted for their mineral deposits. In the United States however, vast deposits of coal, copper, zinc, gold, silver and molybdenum have been discovered and mined over the last 150 years. Many of these operations have been abandoned leaving behind heaps of toxic tailings that continue to pollute the environment today.

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Shell self-insurance of Arctic drilling risk

COMMENT BY A FORMER SHELL EMPLOYEE

I just read your blog about Shell not being able to obtain disaster insurance for its operations in the Arctic. I interpret this to mean that the insurance underwriters, who are pros at this sort of thing, find the probability of an ‘accident’ on the part of Shell during drilling operations to be so high that they are unwilling to risk their own financial well being.

This is essentially a vote of ‘no confidence’ on the part of the insurance industry in Shell’s contingency plans, and Shell’s engineering and management capabilities, i.e., the competence of Shell staff, technical as well as administrative. The insurance industry simply finds that Shell is not up to the task at hand and the risk of a major accident is too great.

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With Little Fanfare, a New Effort to Prosecute Employers That Flout Safety Laws

FROM OUR ARCHIVES: In March, for example, Motiva Enterprises, an oil refining company partly owned by Shell Oil, pleaded guilty to endangering workers negligently and committing environmental crimes in Delaware. The company was ordered to pay a $10 million fine and sentenced to three years’ probation.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: With Little Fanfare, a New Effort to Prosecute Employers That Flout Safety Laws

3 May 2005

By DAVID BARSTOW and LOWELL BERGMAN

For decades, the most egregious workplace safety violations have routinely escaped prosecution, even when they led directly to deaths or grievous injuries. Safety inspectors hardly ever called in the Justice Department. Congress repeatedly declined to toughen criminal laws for workplace deaths. Employers with extensive records of safety violations often paid insignificant fines and continued to ignore basic safety rules.

Inside the Bush administration, though, a novel effort to end this pattern of leniency has begun to take root.

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Preview-US top court to hear corporate human rights case


Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:12pm EST

* At issue is reach of 1789 US law used to sue corps

* Lawsuit accuses Shell of aiding Nigerian rights abuses

* Ruling expected by the end of June

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The Supreme Court will weigh next week whether corporations can be sued in the United States for suspected complicity in human rights abuses abroad, in a case being closely watched by businesses concerned about long and costly litigation.

The high court on Tuesday will consider the reach of a 1789 U.S. law that had been largely dormant until 1980, when human rights lawyers started using it, at first to sue foreign government officials. Then, over the next 20 years, the lawyers used the law to target multinational corporations.

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Shell pays $25 million to settle royalty claims

WASHINGTON, Jan 17, 2012 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has paid $25 million to the U.S. government to resolve claims that the company underpaid royalties on federal offshore oil and gas leases, the U.S. Interior Department said on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON, Jan 17, 2012 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell has paid $25 million to the U.S. government to resolve claims that the company underpaid royalties on federal offshore oil and gas leases, the U.S. Interior Department said on Tuesday.

The settlement applies to royalty-in-value and royalty-in-kind production from Shell deepwater leases in the Gulf of Mexico between 2000 and 2008.

Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue said audits of Shell’s leases had uncovered “various valuation issues”.

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Boasts over Shell avoidance of oil spills come back to haunt its CEO

By John Donovan

In October 2010, the Daily Mail published an article reporting claims by Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive, Peter Voser, that Shell would never have made the mistakes that led to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, which resulted in a huge oil spill.

The claims have come back to haunt Mr Voser.

Royal Dutch Shell wades in with attack on BP over spill (Daily Mail 13 October 2010)

We subsequently learned of a “near miss” which had taken place in December 2009 on Shell’s Sedco 711 North Sea platform, with an uncanny similarity to issues surrounding the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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Integrity of Wikipedia corporate articles corrupted by editing scandal

On 12th October 2010, I published an article containing the warning: “…it is only a matter of time before the culture of subterfuge and deception at Wikipedia results in a scandal.” My prediction has come to pass…

By John Donovan

Jimmy Wales is to be congratulated on being the joint founder of Wikipedia and for the non-profit basis on which the organization is operated. He is obviously a man of integrity deserving of the highest praise.

Unfortunately, many contributors to Wikipedia do not share his high ethical standards and take full advantage of the fact that it is possible to edit Wikipedia corporate articles completely anonymously for financial reward, removing or suppressing negative information. Parties can completely hide any trace of their identity and motive, even their ISP addresses.

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Bloody nose for OFT in row over tobacco price-fixing

Tom Bawden Tuesday 13 December 2011

The Office of Fair Trading suffered a setback yesterday after a consortium of leading tobacco and retail groups overturned a previous ruling of unlawful pricing.

Imperial Tobacco, the maker of Golden Virginia rolling tobacco and Superkings, saw its £112.3m penalty reversed, and Co-op, Morrisons, Asda and Royal Dutch Shell were also successful in overturning their cases in front of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

Imperial said it would now apply to recover its “considerable” legal costs. The case had alleged that two manufacturers and 10 retailers fixed prices on cigarettes, hand-rolled tobacco, pipe tobacco and cigars between 2001 and 2003, resulting in a total of £225m in fines last year, the biggest the consumer watchdog had levied.

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DOCTORING THE INTERNET

The company also said it had a team which ‘sorts’ negative Wikipedia coverage of clients.

Daily Mail, Wednesday, December 7, 2011 Page 12
Main article: Call to probe lobbying firm ‘that boasted of its access to Cameron’ By Jason Groves, Political Correspondent
Secondary article published under the headline: DOCTORING THE INTERNET
LOBBYISTS claim knowledge of ‘all sorts of dark arts’ that could help corporations and foreign regimes boost their reputations on the internet.
Executives from Bell Pottinger told undercover reporters that they could set up bigus internet blogs to ‘drwown out’ criticism.
They also claimed they could use sophisticated techniques to bury bad news stories on Google by moving them down the search results page.
The company also said it had a team which ‘sorts’ negative Wikipedia coverage of clients. LINK TO DAILY MAIL ARTICLE

RELATED ARTICLES

EXTRACT FROM RELATED ARTICLE BY JOHN DONOVAN PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2010

Headline: Ku Klux Klan culture at Wikipedia: secrecy and censorship

“As the founder of MyWikiBiz, I am someone who has, and continues to, manipulate information in Wikipedia on behalf of paying clients. Call it dirty work, but for the most part, I think the way the Wikimedia Foundation is scamming the public about how it is (not) governing the world’s “knowledge” is a far worse state of affairs.” (SEE COMMENT AT FOOT OF ARTICLE BELOW)

By John Donovan

Money is said to be the root of all evil. I have no doubt that it is undermining the integrity and balance of some Wikipedia articles corrupted by parties who have a financial interest in the content.

Wikipedia articles are supposedly written by open and transparent consensus. In reality Wikipedia is built on a platform of secrecy and concealment which leaves articles wide open to censorship and manipulation by anonymous parties with commercially driven motives. Since Wikipedia has articles covering major commercial enterprises, money enters the equation.

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Shell cited by EPA for fake biofuel credits

Companies cited by EPA for fake biofuel credits

By Ayesha Rascoe

WASHINGTON | Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:05pm EST

(Reuters) – Energy and financial companies caught up in a scheme involving fraudulent renewable energy credits could now face civil fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has issued 24 notices of violation to more than a dozen companies, including units of Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Morgan Stanley, for the use of invalid renewable identification numbers, or RINs, according to the EPA website.

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US EPA fine Motiva for emissions and permit violations

Florida Home to Seven Air Polluters on EPA Watch List

November 7, 2011

By Trevor Aaronson and Mc Nelly Torres
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, in partnership with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity, is disclosing for the first time the air polluters in the Sunshine State that have most concerned federal regulators. These sites were included on the EPA Watch List in August or September for having unresolved violations.

The other Florida sites on the Facility Watch List were the Brevard County Central Disposal Facility in Cocoa, Eager Beaver Trailers in Lake Wales, the Miami-Dade County Resource Recovery Facility in Doral, Motiva Enterprises in Tampa, Tampa Electric Company’s Big Bend Station in Apollo Beach, and Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

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New research reveals Shell paid militants who destroyed Nigerian towns

PLATFORMLondon.org

Monday 3 October 2011

Shell fuelled human rights abuses in Nigeria by paying huge contracts to armed militants, according to a new report published today by Platform and a coalition of NGOs and featured in The Guardian. [1]

Counting the Cost implicates Shell in cases of serious violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region from 2000 to 2010.[2] The report uncovers how Shell’s routine payments to armed militants exacerbated conflicts, in one case leading to the destruction of Rumuekpe town where it is estimated that at least 60 people were killed.[3]

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Shell ads banned over fuel claims

19 October 2011

Shell has been criticised for exaggerating a promotion for cost-cutting fuels.

The company has been banned from using two of its adverts which promote a money-saving fuel because they have been ruled to be misleading.

A direct mailing advert, sent in March, said Shell scientists had developed a regular fuel to help consumers save money.

It said: “Their latest fuels – Shell FuelSave Unleaded and Diesel – are designed to help you save fuel and money. These advanced fuels each have a special formula enriched with Shell Efficiency Improver combined with a special detergent package – designed to improve your fuel economy from the very first fill.”

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Shell fuelled human rights abuses in Nigeria – NGO

Mon Oct 3, 2011 6:39pm BST

* Shell funded clashing armed gangs – watchdog report

* Oil major denies it caused any human rights abuses

* Company is selling off Nigerian oil blocks

By Joe Brock

ABUJA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – An industry watchdog accused Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) on Monday of funding armed gangs in Nigeria and said this had fuelled human rights abuses in Africa’s most populous nation.

The company, the biggest operator in the West African nation’s oil industry, denied the allegations.

Platform, a London-based non-government organisation monitoring the oil and gas industry, said in a 75-page report that the Anglo-Dutch major paid government forces who have attacked, tortured and killed Nigerians living in the creeks and swamplands of the Niger Delta.

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Shell Motiva release of carcinogenic chemical at Norco plant

By John Donovan

18 September 2011

Bloomberg has reported the release of a carcinogenic chemical –  butadiene – by Shell/Motiva at its Norco plant in Louisiana.

Butadiene is listed as a known carcinogen by the Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry and the US EPA. At acute high exposure, damage to the central nervous system will start to occur. Symptoms such as distorted blurred vision, vertigo, general tiredness, decreased blood pressure, headache, nausea, decreased pulse rate, and fainting may be witnessed. As the exposure to butadiene occurs at a higher level and for a longer duration, the effects witnessed will become more serious. (INFORMATION FROM WIKIPEDIA)

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Shell’s shameful track record in Brazil

From pages 17, 18 & 19 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

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

A Shell pesticide factory

For a decade or more, beginning in 1977, Shell produced organochlorine pesticides (aldrin, dieldrin, endrin etc.) and other pesticides at a plant located near Pauli?nia, about 125 kilometres north-west of Sa?o Paulo, Brazil. The plant covered approximately 40 hectares.78 Due to its severe health impacts, by 1990 the use of aldrin and dieldrin was totally banned in the USA and Brazil.

After negotiations starting in 1993, in 1995 Shell sold the Pauli?nia facility to the companies American Cyanimid and BASF. A sales condition was that Shell would assume legal responsibility for the pollution at the site. In 2000, BASF took full ownership of the facility.79 In 2002, BASF shut it down the facility after a ban by the Brazilian Ministry of Labour, in view of existing contamination and serious risks to human health.

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Shell to Pay $500,000 for Pollution in Texas

The settlement was reached after Harris County accused Shell Chemical, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, of failing to notify officials about the toxic releases


HOUSTON September 6, 2011 (AP)

Shell Chemical LP has agreed to pay $500,000 to a Texas County over five different air pollution events at its Deer Park refinery.

The settlement was reached after Harris County accused Shell Chemical, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, of failing to notify officials about the toxic releases. There are two schools and many homes close to the Shell refinery in Deer Park, about 18 miles southeast of Houston.

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan says he is pleased Shell agreed under the terms of the agreement to notify officials within 24 hours of any chemical releases. The law already requires petrochemical companies to notify the county, but Shell apparently failed to do so in five events between 2008 and 2010.

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EU prepares to embargo Syrian oil in line with US

The new measures if approved are unlikely, however, to prevent European oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell or Total from continuing to produce crude in Syria through joint ventures.


By Justyna Pawlak: 25 August 2011

European Union governments are likely to embargo imports of Syrian oil next week to ratchet up pressure on president Bashar al-Assad, although new sanctions may be less stringent than those imposed by Washington, EU diplomats said.

A round of discussions was held in Brussels on Tuesday and EU capitals raised no objections to banning Syrian crude imports, in a move similar to a decision by the US earlier this month

The new measures if approved are unlikely, however, to prevent European oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell or Total from continuing to produce crude in Syria through joint ventures.

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Halt Shell projects in North Sea, says WWF

Extracts from “Halt Shell projects in North Sea…”:

Shell technical director Glen Cayley has apologised and admitted the existing pipeline inspection and maintenance programme had let the company down.

WWF Scotland also described Shell’s performance during the spill as a “lesson on how to look evasive and shifty”.

BY CATRIONA WEBSTER: 22 August 2011

A LEADING environmental charity has called on the UK Government to restrict all Shell operations in the North Sea until a full audit of its installations is carried out.

WWF Scotland made the plea after it was revealed that the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had censured the oil giant 25 times in six years for breaking safety rules.

It was also reported yesterday that an internal investigation by Shell eight years ago raised serious concerns about safety in the Gannet oil field, where the company has been fighting to stem the worst North Sea oil leak in over a decade.

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Revealed: Shell’s poor safety record in the UK

“Shell’s poor regard for safety and their terrible communications over the last 10 days should be ringing major alarm bells…”

Last week’s North Sea oil spill was not the first time Shell had found itself in trouble. Environment Editor Rob Edwards reports

Shell has been officially censured for breaking safety rules 25 times in the last six years and has one of the worst safety records of the major oil companies in the UK, an investigation by the Sunday Herald has revealed.

The British oil multinational has been prosecuted, fined and formally reprimanded for repeatedly failing to maintain pipelines and other vital equipment in the North Sea, for failing to report a dangerous incident, and for failing to protect workers from hazardous chemicals.

The revelations, from records held by the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), have led to renewed criticism of Shell in the wake of last week’s oil leak from a pipeline to the Gannet Alpha platform 112 miles east of Aberdeen. The company has been slammed for failing to be open about the leak, which it claimed to have sealed on Friday.

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Shell stops North Sea leak after 10 days

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Scottish government launches investigation into safety procedures after worst oil spill in UK waters for a decade

The Shell oil spill in the North Sea. The marine coastguard has estimated that the oil on the sea surface covers about 6.7 sq km. Photograph: Marine Scotland

Shell has finally stopped the leak from its faulty oil pipeline in the North Sea, ending the flow of oil undersea after 10 days of the worst oil spill in UK waters for a decade.

Divers closed a relief valve which was the source of a small secondary leak, discovered after the first major leak in the pipeline at the Gannet Alpha platform had been plugged last week. Government officials are now opening an investigation into how the leak occurred and whether the correct procedures were followed. They will also have to decide whether Shell should pay for government expenses incurred in the clean-up operation.

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Why is Shell still present and operating in Syria?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

By John Donovan

EXTRACT FROM EMAIL WE RECEIVED ON 14 August 2011

In light of US demands on the international community that the EU and others break their ties with Syria, you may wish to investigate why Shell is still present and operating as usual in Syria. Unlike most foreign investors and operators that pulled out of Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and other countries at the first signs of government repression, Shell and its expatriate staff have remained in Syria to this day.

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Shell mum on flow from oil pipeline leak

Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:24am GMT

LONDON Aug 15 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell said an oil leak from a ruptured pipeline into the North Sea was slowing but refused to say how much oil has already leaked into the sea.

Oil from the Anglo-Dutch oil major’s pipeline has been spilling into the sea since last Wednesday but the rate of flow has been reducing since the company shut off the well the same day.

A spokesman for Shell on Monday declined to comment on how much oil has leaked, although Alex Salmond, leader of the Scottish regional government, told the BBC on Saturday that around 100 tonnes of oil or about 750 barrels had spilt.

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Shell accused of secrecy over North Sea platform oil leak

By Ian Forsyth

Published: 15/08/2011

OIL giant Shell was accused last night of being secretive about a North Sea oil spill.

The company was criticised for lack of transparency by both environmental body WWF Scotland and wildlife conservation group RSPB Scotland over the continuing incident at the Gannet Alpha platform.

Between 12 and 120 barrels of oil are understood to have leaked into the North Sea, 112 miles east of Aberdeen, from the pipeline spill spotted last Wednesday. It was two days later, on Friday, when the media was informed.

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Shell fights spill near North Sea oil platform

13 August 2011 Last updated at 03:02

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has said it is working to stop a leak at one of its North Sea oil platforms.

The leak was found near the Gannet Alpha platform, 180 km (113 miles) from Aberdeen, Scotland.

The company would not say how much oil may have been spilt so far, though it said it had “stemmed the leak significantly”.

One of the wells at the Gannet oilfield has been closed, but the company would not say if production was reduced.

The company says it has sent a clean-up vessel to the location and has a plane monitoring the surface.

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Shell confirms oil leak in North Sea

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Royal Dutch Shell has said it is working to contain an oil leak at its Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, but declined to specify the size of the leak.

Shell have confirmed a leak in a pipeline serving one of their North Sea platforms. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell has said it is working to contain an oil leak at its Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea, but declined to specify the size of the leak.

“We can confirm we are managing an oil leak in a flow line that serves the Gannet Alpha platform. We deployed a remote-operated vehicle to check for a subsea leak after a light sheen was noticed in the area,” a Shell spokesman said.

“We have stemmed the leak significantly and we are taking further measures to isolate it. The subsea well has been shut in, and the flow line is being depressurised.”

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HSE feared a ‘catastrophe’ on Shell’s Brent Charlie platform

Find out more about this story in the hardcopy edition of Upstream, available online today .

MOSOP Feels Vindicated by Shell Company’s Spill Admission

MOSOP president Ledum Mitee says the admission proves MOSOP’s non-violent agitation over the years can yield positive results

James Butty: August 05, 2011

The president of the movement for the survival of the ogoni people (MOSOP) said Shell Oil’s acceptance of responsibility for two oil spills in 2008 and 2009 vindicates the ogoni people’s claims that the company had been responsible for environmental degradation in the region.

Ledum Mitee said shell oil’s mea culpa and Thursday’s United Nations report on the magnitude and impact of oil spills in the Niger Delta prove that MOSOP’S non-violent agitation over the years can yield positive results.

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Oil in Nigeria: a history of spills, fines and fights for rights

guardian.co.uk home

On Wednesday Shell admitted liability for two massive oil spills in Nigeria. Ever since oil was discovered in the country in 1956, it has been a source of strife

: Thursday 4 August 2011 09.22 BST

Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1993, two years before he was executed by the Nigerian government. Photograph: Greenpeace/AFP

Oil was first found in Nigeria in 1956, then a British protectorate, by a joint operation between Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum. The two begun production in 1958, and were soon joined by a host of other foreign oil companies in the 1960s after the country gained independence and, shortly after, fell into civil war.

The rapidly expanding oil industry was dogged in controversy from early on, with criticism that its financial proceeds were being exported or lost in corruption rather than used to help the millions living on $1 a day in the Niger delta or reduce its impact on the local environment.

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Shell admits liability for huge oil spills in Niger delta

…amount leaked into the local environment could be as much as 10 million gallons.

…”one of the most devastating oil spills the world has ever seen…”

By Richard Hall: Thursday, 4 August 2011

Oil company Shell could be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars after accepting responsibility for two devastating oil spills in Nigeria’s Ogoniland region.

The agreement comes after the community in the Delta region of Nigeria brought a class-action lawsuit against Shell in the UK, alleging that spills in 2008 and 2009 had destroyed the environment and ruined their livelihoods.

Until now, Shell has claimed that less than 40,000 gallons were spilt in the accidents. But experts who have studied the spills in Bodo, Ogoniland, said the amount leaked into the local environment could be as much as 10 million gallons.

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Ogoniland oil spills: Shell admits Nigeria liability

3 August 2011 Last updated at 16:15

Oil giant Shell has accepted responsibility for two devastating oil spills in Nigeria’s Ogoniland region.

The Bodo fishing community sued Shell in the UK, alleging that spills in 2008 and 2009 had destroyed the environment and ruined their livelihoods.

Their lawyer said they would seek hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for one of the world’s “most devastating oil spills”.

Shell told the BBC it would settle the case under Nigerian law.

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Shell accepts liability for two oil spills in Nigeria

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Oil giant faces a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars following class action suit brought on behalf of communities in Bodo, Ogoniland

The impact of an oil spill near Ikarama in the Niger delta. Photograph: Amnesty International UK

Shell faces a bill of hundreds of millions of dollars after accepting full liability for two massive oil spills that devastated a Nigerian community of 69,000 people and may take at least 20 years to clean up.

Experts who studied video footage of the spills at Bodo in Ogoniland say they could together be as large as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, when 10m gallons of oil destroyed the remote coastline.

Until now, Shell has claimed that less than 40,000 gallons were spilt in Nigeria.

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Another leukemia patient sues Shell, BP

The complaint alleges that Shell has known about the dangers of benzene causing cancer for decades, but publicly minimized and hid those dangers.

By SANFORD J. SCHMIDT: The Telegraph: July 22, 2011 7:58 PM

EDWARDSVILLE – For the third time this year, a victim of an aggressive form of leukemia who spent time in Roxana schools has filed suit against Shell Oil Co. and BP, claiming benzene around its refinery caused the disease.

Greg Wells of East Alton, who formerly lived in Wood River and attended Roxana schools, has been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia.

His lawyer, Christopher Dysart, said his client was diagnosed in May 2010.

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Shell, Dow lose court challenge to EU antitrust fine

LUXEMBOURG, July 13 | Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:07am EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Dow Chemical (DOW.N) lost a court appeal on Wednesday against a fine levied by EU regulators five years ago for taking part in a cartel, but the court cut a fine imposed on Italy’s Eni (ENI.MI).

The General Court, Europe’s second-highest, also annulled penalties levied against Czech petrochemicals group Unipetrol (UNPEsp.PR) and Polish company Trade-Stomil.

“With regard to Unipetrol, its subsidiary Kaucuk and Trade-Stomil, the Court considers that the evidence admitted by the Commission is not sufficient for a finding that those companies participated in unlawful agreements,” the court found.

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WWF slams Shell reef drilling plans

2011-07-08 14:15

Sydney – Australian green activists expressed outrage on Friday at a government decision to allow energy giant Shell to drill for gas at a pristine reef that was listed as a World Heritage site just two weeks ago.

Ningaloo Reef is considered a natural wonder, sprawling some 260km along Australia’s west coast and teeming with hundreds of tropical fish and coral species.

The UN’s cultural body Unesco listed the remote Ningaloo coast as a World Heritage site late last month due to its reef, sea turtles and white whales.

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Greens in shock over Shell drilling rights

Drilling is planned near heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.

CONSERVATIONISTS say they may appeal a Government decision to allow Shell to drill near the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef.

The Department of Environment said Shell could drill the Palta-1 exploration well, about 50km west of the Ningaloo Marine Park border, if it abided by conditions, including taking measures to avoid significant impacts on threatened species and migratory creatures such as whales.

The controversial decision has sparked outrage among conservationists, including The Wilderness Society, the World Wildlife Fund and the Greens.

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Shell ‘disappointed’ by ruling on fracking ads

Advertising Standards Authority orders the multinational to withdraw “unsubstantiated” and “misleading” claims it made in a series of full-page print advertisements

SUE BLAINE: Published: 2011/07/07 07:13:09 AM: Photo: Reuters

PRO-FRACKING advertisements Shell SA placed in national newspapers were a technical statement of its opinions on the gas extraction technique to promote public understanding of the implications of shale gas exploration in SA, Shell SA chairman Bonang Mohale said yesterday.

Mr Mohale was speaking after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered the multinational to withdraw “unsubstantiated” and “misleading” claims it made in a series of full-page print advertisements about its aim to use the controversial gas extraction technique in a 90000km² area of the unique Karoo biome.

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Shell platform to shut down amid continuing concerns about safety

JULY 6, 2011

The Shell-operated Brent Charlie platform 125 miles north-east of Lerwick is to shut down from next Friday on the orders of oil industry regulators amid continuing concerns about safety.

No oil has been pumped ashore from the installation, the hub for the Brent pipeline that comes into Sullom Voe, since January and gas production, which goes through the FLAGS pipeline to St Fergus on the north-east coast of Scotland, has been restricted to one well.

But now the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has served Shell with a legally-enforceable prohibition notice which means the operator will have to cease production entirely. An HSE spokesman declined to give details of the “safety issues” it was concerned about for legal reasons.

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Shell shock: Energy giant censured for ‘fracking’ ads

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – Jul 06 2011 20:00
Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell was ordered on Wednesday to withdraw claims about controversial shale gas drilling in an advertisement carried in several South African newspapers.

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell was ordered on Wednesday to withdraw claims about controversial shale gas drilling in an advertisement carried in several South African newspapers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the company had made claims that were unsubstantiated and likely to mislead, in a complaint brought by a lobby group that is fighting a bid by Shell to explore for gas deposits.

Shell wants to drill using hydraulic fracturing known as “fracking” in the country’s vast central Karoo region and published a full-page print advertisement in several daily and weeklies in April.

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Oil and gas spills in North Sea every week, papers reveal

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Shell has emerged as one of the top offenders despite promising to clean up its act five years ago after a large accident in which two oil workers died.

More than 100 potentially lethal oil and gas spills took place on rigs in the North Sea in 2009 and 2010. Photograph: Alamy

Documents list companies that caused more than 100 potentially lethal – and largely unpublicised – leaks in 2009 and 2010

Serious spills of oil and gas from North Sea platforms are occurring at the rate of one a week, undermining oil companies’ claims to be doing everything possible to improve the safety of rigs.

Shell has emerged as one of the top offenders despite promising to clean up its act five years ago after a large accident in which two oil workers died.

Documents obtained by the Guardian record leaks voluntarily declared by the oil companies to the safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive(HSE), in a database set up after the Piper Alpha disaster of 6 July 1988 which killed 167 workers. They reveal for the first time the names of companies that have caused more than 100 potentially lethal and largely unpublicised oil and gas spills in the North Sea in 2009 and 2010.

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Shell accused of supporting Syrian regime

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 10:05 AM on 31st May 2011

Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of working ‘hand in glove’ with the government in Syria where hundreds of unarmed demonstrators have been killed during protests against the regime.

The firm chartered a tanker to export almost 600,000 barrels of the country’s oil worth $55m, according to campaign group Platform. Shell declined to comment.

Platform researcher Lorenzo Paluello said: ‘While the British and Syrian public believe that suppressing a mass democratic uprising with tanks is problematic, Shell continues to work hand in glove with the regime.

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Benzene Contamination Fears in Roxana Illinois

Maria Keena June 22, 2011 1:54 AM

ROXANA, IL (KMOX) – Twenty-five years later, the Village of Roxana Illinois is being tested for known Benzene contamination. In 19-86 nearly nine-thousand gallons of Benzene leaked into the ground from a Shell Refinery pipeline. Connoco Phillips now runs the refinery, but Shell is still assuming the responsibility.

Last night,  dozens of residents heard from the Illinois E-P-A and Department of Public Health about the contaminated areas. Property owner and life long resident Dale Carroll says over a year ago, test wells were being drilled around Roxana and it was all very hush, hush. But Carroll is not surprised. In 1986, he owned a building right where the Benzene spill happened and it was not until 19-99 that the City of Roxana terminated Carroll’s lease and bought him out. Since then, the building has been vacant.

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Banana labourers sue Shell over pesticide harm

FROM PAGE 23 OF THE I NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED 20 JUNE 2011

By Cahal Milmo
Chief Reporter

Banana labourers in Latin America who claim they were left infertile and crippled by exposure to a dangerous pesticide have filed lawsuits against their former employers and chemical manufacturers, including the British-Dutch oil giant Shell.

In the latest step in their 25-year battle for compensation, 160 former plantation staff from Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica have lodged the claims in Louisiana in the United States against two of the world’s largest banana producers – Dole and Chiquita – and against Shell’s American subsidiary and the chemical company Dow.

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Shell UK sentenced over Norfolk gas blast

The damage caused to Bacton Gas Terminal by the explosion

20 June 2011

Energy giant Shell UK Limited has been ordered by Ipswich Crown Court to pay a total of £1.24million in fines and costs over the explosion and fire at its Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk in 2008.

Experts from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it was only good fortune that no one was killed or seriously injured in the February 28 blast.

The explosion blew the concrete roof off a buffering tank within the plant, hurling concrete and metal debris over a large area and sucking a nearby drain out of the ground. After investigating the incident HSE and Environment Agency (EA) jointly prosecuted the firm over safety, environmental control and pollution-prevention failures at the plant leading to the explosion.

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British court fines Shell UK 1.2 million pounds ($2M) over blast in 2008 at coastal terminal

Judge Martin Binning said Monday that workers had warned Shell many times about dangerous conditions at the plant in Bacton, on the Norfolk coast 125 miles (200 km) northeast of London.

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, June 20, 3:31 PM

LONDON — A British court has fined Shell UK 1.24 million pounds ($2 million) for safety and pollution offenses which led to an explosion at a gas terminal in England.

Judge Martin Binning said Monday that workers had warned Shell many times about dangerous conditions at the plant in Bacton, on the Norfolk coast 125 miles (200 km) northeast of London.

Prosecutor Andrew Marshall said that if the explosion in February 2008 had not occurred during a shift change, it could have killed 10 workers.

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