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Shell’s CEO welcomes outcome of Scottish Decision

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 11.48.19STATEMENT BY ROYAL DUTCH SHELL CEO BEN VAN BEURDEN

“Shell welcomes the decision by the people of Scotland to remain within the UK, which reduces the operating uncertainty for businesses based in Scotland,” van Beurden said in a statement. “Shell will continue to work closely with both the UK and Scottish governments to help the industry deliver vital energy supplies through investment in the UK’s oil and gas resources. We look forward to continuing our proud association with Scotland.” He also called for quick implementation of the recommendations in this year’s Wood Report, a review led by Aberdeen businessman Sir Ian Wood.

Shell/OSSL: The Irish Policing Fiasco Continues

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By John Donovan 

SHELL FUNDED CORRUPTION IN THE CORRIB GAS PROJECT IN IRELAND

According to an Irish Independent article, the former Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, who corresponded with me in relation to the OSSL corruption allegations against Shell and the Irish Police, has launched a blistering attack on the bosses of the watchdog Garda Ombudsman service (GSOC).  

The GSOC is the hopelessly incompetent outfit responsible for a so-called “investigation” of the OSSL allegations. In fact, they never even approached a key witness, Mr Marc Fitzgibbon, a senior Dublin lawyer. He was personally present during a series of meetings with top people at Shell, when OSSL demanded and Shell agreed to pay OSSL for  goods and services used to bribe various parties on behalf of Shell, including senior Irish cops. 

Displayed above is part of the content of an email sent earlier today by OSSL to the new Irish Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald. 

If this is all unfounded lies, why hasn’t Shell taken legal action to prevent publication of such damaging allegations? The company has a legal army of several hundred litigators backed by unlimited financial resources. Why the reticence to protect Shell’s reputation? Draw your own conclusions. 

Safe Sex and Corruption in Nigeria – OPL245

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Vanguard cartoon from allAfrica.com article: “Nigeria: U.S. Report Shows Corruption, Rights Abuses”

FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR 

Safe Sex and Corruption in Nigeria – OPL245

In the Economist article from last year – Safe sex in Nigeria - the numbers simply do not add up. The explanation given is that “others” had benefited from the proceeds of the OPL 245 sale to Shell and Eni.

The obvious conclusion is that these would have been people directly connected to the Nigerian government and Etete.

One possible conclusion that is not discussed is that people within ENI and/or Shell may also have benefited during the distribution of the funds. It would not be the first time that “conflicts of interest” had arisen in Shell and ENI.

Approval for expenditure of this magnitude has to come from the very top. Shareholders should be asking for some clarification.

EXTRACT FROM THE SECTION IN THE ECONOMIST ARTICLE – “WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?”

QUOTE 

The attorney-general has rejected as “without basis” claims in the Nigerian press that much of the money the government paid to Malabu in the 2011 deal was “round-tripped” back to bank accounts controlled by public officials. But where that money did end up is shrouded in mystery. Of the $1.1 billion, $800m was paid in two tranches into Malabu accounts. This was then transferred to five Nigerian companies that appear to be shells. One of these, Rocky Top Resources, received $336.5m, some of which seems to have been passed on to unknown “various persons”, according to the EFCC’s report. Some $60m went to an account controlled by Mr Etete, who has said that he received $250m in total for his role in the deal. He said in court that “Malabu shareholders decided to spend their money the way they deemed fit” and that he is investing on their behalf.

UNQUOTE

SHELL MOTIVA NORCO: PENDING ARTICLE ABOUT VICTIMISATION IN A HOSTILE, SINISTER WORK ENVIRONMENT

By John Donovan

We plan to publish an article on Saturday relating to the Shell-Motiva Norco site.  It contains serious allegations from a highly credible source about a hostile working environment, employee victimisation and related sinister activity. The draft article was supplied to Shell on Monday so that Shell-Motiva and a senior named employee have had the opportunity to refute the allegations and/or obtain an injunction.

Shell-Motiva to pay $4.5 million after violations of federal labor law

Shell-Motiva is to pay $4.5 million to over 2,500 former and current employees arising from violations of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act.

By John Donovan

Shell-Motiva is to pay $4.5 million to over 2,500 former and current employees arising from violations of the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act.

The U.S. Labor Department said that Shell-Motiva made workers attend mandatory pre-shift meetings before the start of their 12-hour shifts.

“Employers are legally required to pay workers for all hours worked,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said in a written statement. “Whether in the international oil industry, as in this case, or a local family-run restaurant, the Labor Department is working to ensure that responsible employers do not experience a competitive disadvantage because they play by the rules.”

To find out if you’ve got back wages coming in the Shell/Motiva case, call 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or the Labor Department’s Houston District Office at 713-339-5500.

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Shell joins battle against Ebola in Nigeria

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

All credit to Shell for its donation of ambulances, trucks and medical supplies to the Lagos and Port Harcourt Ebola Centres, as reported by ThisDayLive.

Extracts

Shell’s Corporate Media Relations Manager, Mr. Precious Okolobo, said in a statement at the weekend that the company’s anti-Ebola support initiative started in August and was ongoing, with personal donations by staff into a special internal Ebola Fund. According to Okolobo, donations have been pouring in from staff of Shell companies in Nigeria into an internal Ebola Fund. He said Shell would match the voluntary contributions and donate the total sum to one of the key relief agencies active in combating the Ebola Virus Disease in Africa.

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED ARTICLES

Ebola in Nigeria: Royal Dutch Shell issues warning to employees

This article is of great concern to Shell employees in Nigeria

Follow-up: German Minister Calls for Shell Boycott

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Email received from stakeholderdemocracy.org

Dear good people

I read your article on the German Minister and his comments with interest. We are an NGO working in the Niger Delta (50 staff Port Harcourt, 8 London) to improve environmental regulation and have developed a system (oilspillmonitor.ng) that allows Nigerian regulators to manage their data on oil spills and make this publicly available.

We would be most grateful if you might help us to publicize this and gain recognition for our work by helping us get votes for this system which has been put up for an award by linking through to this enews piece:

If you think this is appropriate for your audiences perhaps you’d think about posting it for us on your social media channels and networks.

With thanks

Rory

Royal Dutch Shell Fire Sale Continues

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41According to a Financial Times article, “Royal Dutch Shell has revived plans to dispose of its European liquefied petroleum gas business four years after a second failed attempt to sell the assets.” 

Shell has already disposed of under-performing assets around the globe, including Australia,  the USA and in the North Sea. The latest move is part of the $15 billion fire sale announced by the incoming new CEO Ben van Beurden earlier this year, following the surprise issuance of a Shell profits warning that shook the markets.

Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26By John Donovan

Christopher Helman of Forbes has neatly summarised the misadventures of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska…

“Consider for a second the $5 billion misadventure that Royal Dutch Shell has had in Alaska. Here’s a quick recap: In 2008 Shell acquired the rights to exploration blocks in the Beaufort Sea north of the North Slope. Shell, in 2012 (after years of studying whales and seals, negotiating with the native peoples, and satisfying draconian EPA rules governing diesel emissions in the middle of freaking nowhere) finally floated its Kulluk drillship into the Beaufort, where it only got to drill for a few weeks before having to be towed back to port lest icebergs crush it. On the way out it got grounded on the rocks of Kodiak Island. Shell decided to press pause on its Alaska project, and Shell shareholders can only wish that they had never heard of Alaska.”

SOURCE ARTICLE

Potential serious impact on Shell from new Sanctions on Russia

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16American and European explorers such as Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell Plc , which is drilling in Siberian shale rock formations, will have to act fast to avoid violating the bans. “Those new sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Europe on Friday will, among other things, force Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell… and other big oil companies to wind up their joint ventures with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft and Gazprom

By John Donovan

The territorial ambitions of the aggressive and dangerous Putin regime in Russia looks likely to undermine the fortunes of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil in Russia and the Ukraine. This is dispute the grovelling attitude towards Putin by Exxon’s Rex Tillerson and Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, who actually bowed to Putin in their last meeting

Energy Law360 reports that “The U.S. and European Union moved in conjunction to dramatically escalate new sanctions against Russia on Friday, ratcheting up pressure on Moscow’s financial, energy and defense sectors and further severing the nation’s corporate titans from lucrative capital markets in response to the persistent unrest in Ukraine.

According to a New York Times article: “The United States and Europe will both further tighten restrictions first imposed in July on the export of energy technology that would help Russia develop its Arctic, deep sea and shale oil reserves, officials said.

Related extracts from an article by Epoch Times

The sanctions “prohibit the exportation of goods, services (not including financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production of Russian deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil,” the Treasury said. In a coordinated effort, the European Union has matched the U.S. sanctions.  The Hague-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc has a 28 percent interest with Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom in the Sea of Okhotsk. It also has a joint venture with Gazprom in Bazhenov, a Siberian shale formation with high potential for shale oil similar to the Bakken shale in the United States.

Joe Carroll warns in a Bloomberg report: “American and European explorers such as Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), which is drilling in Siberian shale rock formations, will have to act fast to avoid violating the bans, said Mark Herlach, an international lawyer and partner at the Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP law firm in Washington. U.S. companies have until Sept. 26 to shut down sanctioned operations with Russian partners, according to the new rules.”

A Forbes article by Christopher Helman warns: “Those new sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Europe on Friday will, among other things, force Exxon Mobil XOM -1.29%, Royal Dutch Shell , Total and other big oil companies to wind up their joint ventures with Kremlin-controlled Rosneft and Gazprom .”

Extract from an RIA Novosti report 

MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – Following the new Western sanctions imposed on Russia, Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company, Shell, is considering the potential impact the measures will have on the company and has recently appealed to Russian state authorities to clarify the situation, a spokesman for Shell in Russia told RIA Novosti on Monday. “We are proud of our strong partnership with Russian companies. Shell brings its technical and commercial expertise for the implementation of energy projects in Russia. We will explore the latest sanctions and their possible impact on our business. We are in consultations with (the) relevant government agencies to obtain the most complete information,” the company’s spokesman said adding that Shell was taking all the necessary steps to act in accordance with the sanctions.

German Minister calls for boycott of Shell

“If you went to the Niger Delta and saw the standard of oil extraction, none of you would use the petrol stations of that oil firm,” he said. He said the company prioritized profit over concern for the environment. “That is unacceptable,” Müller added.

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By John Donovan

Germany’s development minister Gerd Müller attacked the production practices of Shell on Tuesday, suggesting indirectly that German consumers should boycott the companies’ products.

During a speech on Tuesday to the Berlin Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK), Müller denounced Shell’s poor regard for the environment, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

He said that during a recent trip to Nigeria, he witnessed the oil production methods. “If you went to the Niger Delta and saw the standard of oil extraction, none of you would use the petrol stations of that oil firm,” he said.

He said the company prioritized profit over concern for the environment. “That is unacceptable,” Müller added. Shell is the major oil extractor in the Niger Delta but Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Agip and Total are also active in the country.

Environmental activists have long protested Shell’s oil production in the Niger Delta. Amnesty International and other groups released a report in August that stated the oil company had done little to clean up pollution from its oil production. Such production has left at least 10 communities in the area with contaminated drinking water, according to the report.

A United Nations assessment of the pollution in 2011 estimated that it could take up to 30 years to clean up.

Shell has blamed the spills on local villagers who drill holes into the pipelines to steal oil, leaving the pipelines open and causing spills. The company’s figures on the frequency of these incidents have been contested by Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International.

About 200 business people came to hear Müller discuss Germany’s role in pushing for better social and environmental standards worldwide.

SOURCE

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