Royal Dutch Shell plc .com Rotating Header Image

Shell being blackmailed?

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 08.24.58UPDATED FRIDAY 24 OCTOBER 2014 – SEE BLUE TEXT BELOW


By John Donovan

There is evidence, some of it covertly obtained, that Royal Dutch Shell Plc may be the victim of a sustained blackmail operation.

Shell has not called in the police to investigate. Why not? Because certain information held by the party making repeated money demands to Shell, including directly to Ben van Beurden and other senior Shell executives, is true and if the current cover-up unravels, will result in a scandal of epic proportion involving Shell and a host government.

I am in possession of extraordinary evidence and have no intention of being silenced. If Shell does not call in the police, I will do so myself and hand over the entire evidence for investigation.

Mr Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate, is fully aware of this matter, which involves top executives at Shell.

Peter Voser, Ben van Beurden and Jorma Ollila have all had direct contact with the party making the money demands.

The question of a possible breach of fiduciary duty by Royal Dutch Shell executives may arise from the lack of proper action by Shell to protect shareholder interests.

More information will be added here as the situation develops. 


I know from insider sources and can prove it, that Shell senior management is in crisis mode on this matter as a result of the content of an email I sent to a law firm last Saturday, 18 October and copied to Mr Michiel Brandjes, my designated contact at Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

If Shell is being blackmailed, as I have strong grounds to suspect, then I doubt that any blackmailer in history has made as many demands for payment, nor at such a high level in a targeted corporation.

I gave the law firm and Shell 14 days to take action before I intended to do so myself. Given the lack of even a brief acknowledgement and taking into account developments inside Shell, I may move forward with my own plans to put the relevant evidence about this complex sleazy affair into the hands of the appropriate judicial authorities in the coming days without waiting any longer.

It is incredible to me as a Shell shareholder that senior Shell management has tried to ignore the pressure being applied to the company on an international basis.

It is a fact that all four of the top Royal Dutch Shell Plc board level executives named above have personally spoken with the party trying to extort money from the company. The blackmail allegation is based partly on a confidential Shell document supplied to me and related covertly obtained evidence, all of which is in my possession.

Suffice to say that I have, as a result of this story, received written warnings about my personal safety and security.


As anticipated, I have now received multiple threats from a law firm. The threats are designed to frighten me into not handing over important evidence to government and judicial authorities (along with a request for a police investigation). I have responded in a robust manner and invited the law firm to take action. As Shell knows, I don’t respond well to threats. As far as I know, the law firm does not represent Shell, but Shell is actively involved in applying pressure. Mr Michiel Brandjes is fully aware of today’s sinister development.


Mixed Signals between China National Petroleum Corp and Shell

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The comment refuted media reports that Shell senior executives had showed signs of wanting to cut the company’s expenditures on the project many times…

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said it was not informed that its Dutch partner would downsize the investment on their jointly explored shale gas project in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News reported on Monday.

An unnamed CNPC representative was quoted by the report as saying that the cooperation between CNPC and Royal Dutch Shell Plc remains the same. The two signed a shale gas production sharing contract in Sichuan in 2012.

The comment refuted media reports that Shell senior executives had showed signs of wanting to cut the company’s expenditures on the project many times due to the exploration difficulties as a result of complicated geological conditions and dense population.


More alleged fraud in Nigeria

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The trial of Chidi Adabanya, a former employee of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), who, along with some officials of the Bayelsa State Government, allegedly obtained the sum of N1.9 billion from the oil company through a phony consultancy contract for development permit in the Gbanran- Ubie project, has resumed  before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja.


Shell Sells More Nigerian Assets

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 23.07.22

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

According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal, Shell has signed agreements to sell off all of the Nigerian oil assets it put on sale in 2013. Shell has now made sale and purchase agreements for four Nigerian oil blocks. 


Total CEO’s Larger-Than-Life Character Respected Across Energy Industry: Shell CEO

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 22.56.48

Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden speaks during a press conference.

MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – French oil and gas company Total CEO Christophe de Margerie was a larger-than-life character that was respected across the energy industry, energy group Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

“I’m extremely sad to hear about the tragic loss of Christophe de Margerie. Christophe was a larger than life character, a leader respected across the energy industry and a friend,” Beurden said.

“My thoughts are with his wife and family, and his many thousands of colleagues at Total,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and French President Francois Hollande have also expressed their condolences over de Margerie’s death.

The Total chief executive was on board the business jet departing for Paris when it crashed late Monday night in Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 Airport after it hit a snowplow during takeoff. De Margerie was the only passenger on board the aircraft, apart from three crew members. No one survived the crash.

Russia’s Investigative Committee is investigating the accident, considering traffic control errors, the snowplow driver’s actions, poor weather conditions and pilot error as possible causes of the plane crash. The investigators said that the snowplow driver was drunk but the driver’s lawyer said his client was sober due to a heart condition preventing him from drinking.

Shell Midstream Partners files for $750M IPO

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29NEW YORK — Shell Midstream Partners LP filed for an initial public offering that could be worth about $750 million before expenses and discounts. Shell Midstream was formed by Royal Dutch Shell, and it will focus on acquiring pipelines and other midstream assets. Shell Midstream’s assets include stakes in Zydeco Pipeline Co., Mars Oil Pipeline Co., and Bengal Pipeline Co., which all operate in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

Read more here

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.

But some residents say the proposal doesn’t come close to fixing the problem. Barbara Post, president of the Carousel Tract Homeowners Association, said residents are contracting cancer and other debilitating diseases at an alarming rate because of the contamination, and they want to move. “If this lasts long enough, we’ll all die in here,” Post said. “Nobody knows what we’re really going through, honestly. The stress, the uncertainty, the worrying. Nobody knows until they’ve walked in our shoes.


Mixed Reaction to Shell’s €750,000 investment in Irish Broadband

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 15.39.36

By John Donovan

The Irish Examiner reports that Shell has announced that it will provide high quality broadband for Mayo and Galway in Ireland. The 132 kilometres of high capacity fibre optic cable will run alongside the Corrib Gas pipeline. The Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny was present and gushing at the launch.

However, by a sheer fluke, “some people in the towns of Rossport and Pullathomas, north of the terminal, who have battled the pipeline for almost a decade, won’t see any of the benefit.” Betty Schult of the Kilcommon Lodge in Pullathomas told that the move is “propaganda”. “It’s a pittance in comparison to the damage they have done to the environment. It’s beside the point. (Extracts from a news report in the

The Shell to Sea Campaign is also less than impressed.

Extracts from their News Release earlier today:

Shell to Sea dismisses Shell’s announcement that it will provide €750,000 installing fibre-optic broadband as a fistful of beads and baubles in comparison with the billions of euros worth of gas that was gifted to them in the Corrib Gas field. 

Former Managing Director of the Corrib Gas project, Brian O’Cathain previously stated in 2010 “That Corrib will never pay tax”.

Maura Harrington stated “Shell says it will spend €750,000 (tax deductible), big deal. Shell again clicks its fingers and Enda Kenny comes toadying to do the needful.”

Shell Arts Sponsorship Protest at the National Gallery

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has suffered a string of PR debacles. 

In October 2013, Shell Out Sounds, a group of singers, musicians and activists who opposed Shell’s sponsorship of Southbank Centre, staged an unsanctioned performance from the Royal Festival Hall’s choir seats in protest of a Shell Classic International concert. 

The campaigners condemned the so-called ‘oil-branded concerts’ and condemned Shell for its record of environmental damage.

The venue dropped Shell: “Campaigners celebrate end of Shell’s Southbank sponsorship”Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 17.18.29

This was followed by a further PR set back in August of this year when “Shell to Sea” campaigners in Ireland mounted a public protest about Shell’s sponsorship of the largest traditional Irish music Festival, “Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.” 

Within days, the Irish Times published an article reporting that “The organisers of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann have bowed to pressure and rejected sponsorship of the annual traditional music festival by oil giant, Shell.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 17.35.19

A few days ago, the official media launch of the National Gallery’s Shell-sponsored Rembrandt exhibition was interrupted by an unexpected musical protest. Ten performers launched into an energetic reworked musical version of “Dr Faustus” in front of surprised journalists, staff and gallery-goers.

At one point in the song, the narrator sang:

Museum man, he bought their plan / To sell his staff, to private hands

Make deals with corporate monsters / Like Shell the oily sponsor

Security guards attempted to stop the singers but could not prevent the performance from happening. The performance finished with the singers symbolically casting the oily Shell-devil from the building.

The campaigners protest included targeting Shell’s tar sands operation in Canada. 

A link to the full article, from which some of the above extracts are taken, is provided below.

The article mentions the recent success of the Greenpeace campaign against Shell’s Arctic plans, resulting in Lego dropping Shell as a sponsor. 

SEE: “Musical anti-oil and privatisation  protest disrupts launch of National Gallery exhibition”

Shell 15 page confidential statement about OSSL allegations

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 14.13.30

By John Donovan

I have provided a link to a 15 page document dated 3 October 2014, which Shell supplied to OSSL, the Irish company that has made serious allegations against Shell.

The information in the document may be of interest to some readers who have followed the long running saga and likewise newspapers and TV and radio stations who have covered the story.

As will be seen, Shell repeatedly states that OSSL has demanded money from them when all claims by OSSL against Shell have, according to Shell, already been settled. 

Shell has provided the most comprehensive statement of events that I have seen thus far. 

It includes Shell transcripts of discussions between Mr Desmond Kane of OSSL and top people at Shell, including Peter Voser, Ben van Beurden and Jorma Ollila at Royal Dutch Shell AGM’s held in 2013 and 2014. 

As can also be seen, Shell is still withholding information – this time on the grounds of legal privilege. 

OSSL – Shell SAR Response

So has the saga come to an end? Were the corruption allegations unfounded?

No, on the contrary, the allegations are factual and the story will soon become even more interesting. 

Michiel Brandjes a key executive at Royal Dutch Shell

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

On 12 October 2014, The Sunday Times Business Section published a front page article about the departure of Jonathan Lloyd, the company secretary of Tesco:

See Tesco turmoil grows as key executive quits

His position at Tesco seems to have been identical to MIchiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

“…Lloyd was listed as part of the board on Tesco’s website…” He advised the board on legal and governance issues.

Brandjes is listed as part of the board of Royal Dutch Shell Plc on He advises the board on legal and governance issues.

Lloyd is described by The Sunday Times as a key senior executive.

It follows that the same applies to Mr Brandjes, who is approaching retirement.


Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 19.17.03Michiel Brandjes

Company Secretary

Born December 14, 1954. A Dutch national, appointed as Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate of the Company in February 2005.

He joined Shell in 1980 as a Legal Adviser and was later appointed Head of Legal in Singapore. Following a period as Head of Legal in China, he was appointed Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company. In June 2014 he was appointed a Non-executive Director of Constellium N.V.

%d bloggers like this: