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Royal Dutch Shell hardline attitude to its employees

By John Donovan

CBC News says that Shell has been reprimanded by Canadian authorities for refusing to allow employees a few hours off to vote in a federal election.

See: Shell reprimanded for federal voting infractions at Fort McMurray mine

This is, however, a relatively minor infraction of employee rights compared with other issues of contention involving Shell and its employees.

One example is when Shell suddenly decides to axe thousands of employees, as a consequence of a “transformation” or some other cost cutting excise brought about solely by the actions of grossly overpaid senior managers. How must supposedly redundant Shell employees feel when invited to reapply for their own jobs?

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Royal Dutch Shell PLC saddled with a mountain of debt


By John Donovan

The Wall Street Journal does not mince its words.

In an article published today, it says that Shell has saddled itself with a mountain of debt as a result of its takeover of the BG Group.

Article author Sarah Kent points out Shell’s  debt-to-equity ratio is far higher than its major rivals.

The same concern is expressed in a related Wall Street Journal article: Shell’s New Year Promise: Slimming Down

Although Shell promised to offload $30 billion of assets, it has thus far sold only $5 billion worth.

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OPL 245: Shell and Eni executives set to be arraigned

By John Donovan

The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has reportedly launched a manhunt for Dan Etete, the former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Etete has been charged in Italy and Nigeria with alleged money laundering and fraud.

A senior detective at the EFCC says that Etete seems to be on the run.

Shell and Eni and some executives of both companies are set to be arraigned in a Milan court.

Dan Etete turns on his accomplices Eni and Shell

By John Donovan

The Premium Times reports that “Dan Etete, a former Minister of Petroleum caught at the heart of the $1.1 billion Malabu Oil scandal, has accused the Nigerian government of leaving out Shell and Agip in the criminal charges it filed last week.”

The same article went on to state that “Although Shell and ENI have repeatedly claimed they did not know the money was going to end up with Malabu, investigations in Nigeria and Italy, as well as leaked documents, revealed that claim to be false.”

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No response from Shell to allegations of defective Pearl GTL gasifiers

Pearl GTL is the world’s largest plant to turn natural gas into cleaner-burning fuels and lubricants

By John Donovan

No response from Shell to my emails on 28 December concerning insider allegations that “Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

Since there is no confirmation or denial, I can only assume no one is available to deal with such trifling matters in the holiday period.

No doubt the Qatar authorities will press for an answer, as did the Russian government when we passed on insider allegations in respect of the Sakhalin2 project 10 years ago. That episode cost Shell its majority stake in Sakhalin Energy and ended with the resignation of Shell exec General David Greer OBE. 

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Alarm Bells – Shell Pearl GTL gasifiers crippled?

“Pearl’s gasifiers are crippled because of water-side corrosion on the syngas effluent cooler (SEC) tubes. The shells of all of Pearl’s SECs will have to be cut apart so the tubes can be replaced. Somebody made a massive design error.” 

JOHN DONOVAN EMAILS TO SHELL 28 DECEMBER 2016

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>

Subject: Fwd: Pearl GTL gasifiers are crippled?

Date: 28 December 2016 at 18:25:12 GMT

To: Michiel Brandjes <[email protected]>

Cc: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brandjes

I am contacting you as my designated contact point with Shell at least until this weekend when you retire. 

Please see my email correspondence with Neil Gilmour, Shell VP CP Integrated Gas & Projects.

Mr. Gilmour is on leave, hence my approach to you. 

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Shell’s complicity in human rights abuses in the Niger Delta


By John Donovan

As we approach the start of 2017, Shell’s conduct in Nigeria is coming under intense scrutiny by prosecution authorities and is also the subject of civil litigation, both current and pending.

The charges include corruption, environmental contamination, and gross human rights abuses, including cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. 

Shell senior management cannot say that it was not warned. The following is an extract from a letter sent in February 2012 to Shell executives in London, Nigeria and Den Haag.

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ENI AND SHELL TO BE PROSECUTED OVER OPL 245 $1.1 BILLION CORRUPTION SCANDAL

By John Donovan: 24 December 2016

A translation of a 12-page final report by Italian prosecutors reveals that following an extensive investigation, they intend to prosecute ENI and their apparent accomplice Shell for their roles in the OPL 245 $1.1 billion corruption scandal.

ENI seems to have been the lead partner in crime.

The following extracts are from an article published today by PremiumTimes.

The investigations also revealed that contrary to claims by Shell and Eni, officials of the Italian firm negotiated with former Nigerian petroleum minister, Dan Etete, and definitely knew the money they were paying to the Nigerian government would end up in Malabu accounts controlled by him.

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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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Explosive allegations around Shell and Eni’s OPL 245 deal

The Italian paper Il Fatto has published a piece with some explosive allegations about the OPL 245 deal being made by the Milan prosecutors’ at the conclusion of their investigation into Eni and Shell’s role in the OPL 245 case.

Pdf of the related Milan prosecutors notice OPL 245 investigation

Comments on this development are as follows: 

“Shady deals allow corrupt elites to profit at the expense of ordinary citizens.  Shell and Eni now have to answer to the Italian courts, the public and their shareholders for their part in the corrupt deal for OPL 245 – oil companies can’t get away with this kind of behaviour any longer” said Barnaby Pace, Campaigner at Global Witness. 

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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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Nigerian authorities bring money laundering charges against former Nigerian Oil Minister Etete and former Justice Minister Adoke over OPL 245 oil deal

“Shell has insisted that they did not pay Malabu directly and that all payments went to an escrow account held by the Government of Nigeria.”

22 December 2016

The Nigerian law enforcement agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has charged the former Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (2010-2015) and former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete (1995-1998) with money laundering. The case centres on the 2011 sale of the Nigerian oil license OPL 245, after years of investigation by NGOs Global Witness, Re: Common and Corner House into the deal. 

“We applaud the Nigerian authorities for fighting back against corruption without fear or favour, making sure there are real consequences for taking part in shady deals like with OPL 245.” said Simon Taylor, Global Witness Director. 

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