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Sexploits of former Royal Dutch Shell Executive Andrew Manley 

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 17.46.28By John Donovan

Andrew Manley worked at Shell for 30 years, leaving at the end of January 2010.

By then he was Downstream-One Programme Director. 

Mr Manley was a hapless individual and his emails were prone to leakage.

I published them, including the one when he announced his departure to no doubt delighted colleagues.

The IT project he led was plagued by delays. 

Mr Manley left to become an overpaid “high-flying Ministry of Defence mandarin.”

He grew very close to his 32 year old private secretary Laura Clare who he quickly promoted to be his chief of staff. Both are shown right. She obviously had impressive credentials.

Once again he became embroiled in a bungled IT project but quit his £200,000 job during an inquiry into whether he had an inappropriate relationship with Ms Clare. 

As if he would.

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Big Oil Could Be In Big Trouble

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00By John Donovan

A number of current articles warn of falling oil prices. A article says that oil prices have fallen below $100 to the lowest level this year and that natural gas has fared even worse. reports that the price of oil has plummeted, and that the fall is accelerating. It also points out that big oil has taken on $106 billion in new debt. A related article warns of $96 Billion of High-Risk Oil Megaprojects. The Russia/Ukraine crisis is partly responsible for the uncertainly and anxiety.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com News Roundup: 18 August 2014

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Firstbiz. has published an article setting out 5 things it says you should know about the Sultan.

See “Meet Sultan of Brunei, the man willing to shell out more than $2 bn for Sahara’s hotels

Extract: “Ironically, the Sultan’s Beverly Hills Hotel and Dorchester Collection properties in the United States have been subject to a boycott by many, including Hollywood personalities, following the Sharia penal code — which levies harsh punishments like flogging, the severing of limbs, and death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers — that was instituted in the country of Brunei in early May.” 

Royal Dutch Shell gave a $500,000 gift for a lavish Brunei royal wedding in September 2004. The Sultan must have been short of readies. Many would view such a large sum as a bribe. The Sultan is worth an estimated $20 billion and lives in an 1,800-room palace.


Seeking Alpha reports that President Obama is closer than ever to imposing the first minimum standards for oil and gas activity in U.S. Arctic waters, as Royal Dutch Shell pursues permits that could allow it to resume drilling in the region next year. MORE


The Irish Times is still publishing articles about the “backlash” over Shell sponsorship of an Irish dance festival, which led to the organisers returning sponsorship funds to Shell. See “The ethical minefield of arts sponsorship” Shell has earned a bad reputation in Ireland as a result of the Shell led Corrib Gas Project, which is engulfed in controversy and scandal.


The Guardian has published an interesting article by Jeremy Leggett under the headline: “UK energy dependence – five hidden costs expose truth about tracking.” According to the article: “The shale boom is a bubble waiting to burst as economics of extraction falter and the trickle of bad environmental news starts to swell” MORE


An article by Lauren Krugel, published by The Canadian Press claims  that “Some of the world’s costliest energy projects are in Alberta’s oilsands and some could be cancelled without higher oil prices, according to a new report by a London-based financial think-tank that focuses on climate risk. The study by the Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) highlighted 20 of the biggest projects around the world that need a minimum oil price of US$95 a barrel to be economically viable.” MORE

Roundup of Royal Dutch Shell News 16 August 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41SHELL’S USA FIRE SALE

The New York Times reports that the Blackstone Group, a private equity company, is paying Royal Dutch Shell $1.2 billion for a stake comprising more than 107,000 net acres in Louisiana. MORE

A related article by features a quote from Marvin Odum, president of Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. division, Shell Oil Company. Marvin said in a statement: “We are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions.” MORE

The same news story is also covered by RTT News: Vine, Blackstone Energy Partners To Buy Shell’s Haynesville Assets For $1.2 Bln

BIDNESS ETC, is an innovative news based website founded by “a team of more than 100 financial wizards, musicians, rock stars, artists, singers, aspiring philosophers and tech geeks.” It reports that Rex Energy is paying Shell $120million for a 100% interest in Shell Western Exploration and Production Inc. in the Marcellus, Burkett and Utica shales in Pennsylvania and Ohio. MORE

The same new story is covered by MORE

The disposals are also reported in a Reuters article which says “Shell, like many other global oil companies, is carrying out a broad cost-cutting drive aimed at boosting profits. Chief Executive Ben van Beurden is seeking to offload $15 billion-worth of assets by the end of 2015, including in North America.”

Also in the USA, a panel of three judges upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a contract suit against Shell Oil Co. by operators of its gas stations, saying a U.S. district judge had not abused his discretion in tossing the case after finding the plaintiffs deliberately destroyed evidence. MORE


Vitol completed its purchase of Shell’s downstream businesses. MORE 


An article by Micheal Kaufman in BIDNESS ETC provides an overview on Shell’s performance this year, and analyzes if the company is on track to achieve targets set out at the start of the year: MORE

Seeking Alpha features an interesting related overview article by Ray Merola published under the headline: “New Shell CEO Takes Out The Trash.” It says: “First, van Beurden lost no time aiming to restructure parts of the business; first, focusing upon shoring Shell’s woeful performance in the North American energy fields, and second, divestiture of other weak assets.” 

According to, “Shell’s turnaround will continue to deliver”

A related Motley Fool article, in which concern is expressed about sanctions on Russia, asks: Is It Time To Sell Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP plc?


Reuters reports that a Shell proposal to move by rail up to 60,000 barrels per day of North American crude to its Washington state refinery will not have to undergo a lengthy environmental review. MORE

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 09.49.25SHELL ARCTIC DRILLING

The battle to stop Shell drilling in the Arctic is still in progress. Law360 says that environmentalists have asked a US court to revoke the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s approval of two Royal Dutch Shell PLC units’ spill response plans for exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. The environmental group coalition is seeking to vacate the U.S. Department of the Interior bureau’s approval of Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. and Shell Offshore Inc. spill response plans for drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas… MORE


UPI reports a part of the largest floating liquefied natural gas facility in the world is on the way to a South Korean shipyard. Shell said the turret module, part of the mooring system for the Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Facility, is on its way from Dubai to a shipyard in South Korea, where the entire FLNG is set for construction. MORE


The Editorial Board of the New York Times has published an important article: Oil’s Devastating Legacy in Nigeria 


“Three years after the United Nations Environment Program issued a comprehensive assessment of shocking levels of pollution in the oil-producing region of Ogoniland in Nigeria, little appears to have been done. The 2011 report said that it would take 30 years to repair the damage. Last week, Amnesty International joined other groups in issuing a damning follow-up by accusing the Nigerian government and the Shell Oil Company of essentially ignoring the entire problem.”

This Is Money reports that “Shell on brink of announcing multi-billion pound sale of four onshore oil blocks in Nigeria”


The sale of the four oilfields is expected to raise at least £2billion for SPDC, amid fierce competition for the assets. A separate source with knowledge of the bidding process said: ‘They [winning bidders] have paid massively over the odds.’

IGNORING CLIMATE CHANGE IS A RISKY BUSINESS says that a report released in early July by The Carbon Tracker Initiative and Energy Transition Advisors suggests that up to $77 billion worth of Royal Dutch Shell’s investments in new fossil fuel projects could be stranded if new climate change policies are introduced, as some observers believe is inevitable. MORE

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com News Round-up 12 August 2014

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A frosty reception for Shell sponsorship; Oil and Gas company debt soars to danger level; Shell a gigantic flea

By John Donovan


The Telegraph City Diary column has commented on Shell’s embarrassment at arts sponsorship monies being returned to the  company in Ireland. “First the Antarctic, now Ireland. The list of countries where Royal Dutch Shell receives a frosty reception continues to lengthen. The energy major has been told that its sponsorship money for the Emerald Isle’s biggest folk festival, the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Sligo, is no longer acceptable, after eco-campaigners kicked up a storm.”

The Telegraph has published an alarming article under the headline: “Oil and gas company debt soars to danger levels to cover shortfall in cash” It warns: “The world’s leading oil and gas companies are taking on debt and selling assets on an unprecedented scale to cover a shortfall in cash, calling into question the long-term viability of large parts of the industry.”

Related: “Saudi Arabia gas project has failed, admits Shell”: 05 Jul 2014


An article published by The Gladstone Observer contains a memorable comment on Shell’s long-standing shareholding in Woodside Petroleum. “The fact is that it has been a mutually detrimental relationship according to the Woodside board, which regards Shell as a gigantic flea in the company’s ear.”


The Nigeria Sun newspaper has published an article about the failure of Shell and the Nigerian government to clean up severe environmental pollution arising from Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta. “A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) detailed assessment of pollution in oil-producing areas of the region published in 2011 had earlier stated that it would take up to 30 years to clean up affected areas.”

Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup Monday 11 Aug 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Rejection in Australia, Oil Spill Fire in Nigeria, Fire sale in the USA, Asbestos lawsuit in the UK

By John Donovan


The Australian reports that a fortnight after Woodside Petroleum shareholders scuttled a $2.7 billion plan to remove Royal Dutch Shell from the company’s share register, Woodside has bought a 40% stake in a joint venture deep water exploration project off west Africa.


According to the FT, Shell is preparing to dispose of its 50 per cent stake in a Louisiana gasfield to Blackstone for $1.2bn, as the oil and gas group retreats from one of its souring investments in North America. Private equity group, Blackstone, is named as the likely purchaser.  The article contains reference to the “fix or divest” policy of Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden in relation to Shell’s under performing North American upstream business.


A New York Times article says that even as Russia and the West keep raising the stakes in their economic sanctions battle, the one commodity that could matter most — Russian natural gas — seems still to be off limits. If correct, that will be a relief for Gazprom and its Sakhalin2 junior partner, Royal Dutch Shell.


A Sahara Reporters article claim that a fire suspected to have been started by oil workers engaged by Shell on Sunday gutted a spill site on a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) oil field in Ayambele and Kalaba communities in Yenagoa Local Government of Bayelsa State. Friends of the Earth is said to have condemned the act of burning spilled crude oil. is reporting an oil spill from a Shell pipeline in the Local Government Area of Rivers State. “Some members of the affected communities described the spill as massive, but, Shell said the volume of oil involved is yet to be ascertained.”


The Liverpool Echo has reported that a former Shell employee, 67 year old Bill Jones, is suing Shell after he was allegedly exposed to deadly asbestos dust on a North Sea rig more than 40 years ago. Mr Jones claims: “The dust I was exposed to was in such great volumes that, often after emptying sacks of Flosal, the room became a swirling mass of dust as the powder billowed up. My colleagues and I looked like snowmen within minutes, we could not help but get completely covered by it.” No doubt fearful of further claims, Shell declined to comment on the case.

Greenpeace has continued its campaign against Shell’s Arctic drilling plans and Shell’s tie-up with Lego by mounting a protest  on Saturday outside Bluewater’s LEGO store, calling for an end to Lego’s relationship with Shell.

OSSL whistleblower allegations against Shell and the Irish Police

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.34.44By John Donovan

The OSSL email campaign against Royal Dutch Shell and various parties including the Garda, who accepted ‘sweeteners’ from Shell dispensed by OSSL, continues unabated, 7 days a week.

OSSL acted as a “Mr Fixit” on behalf of Shell in relation to the controversial long delayed and miles over budget Corrib Gas Project in Ireland, before falling out over money. 

As I understand the situation, the OSSL campaign has two objectives.

One is to expose the truth after a series of cover-ups by the Irish Police and Shell.

The other objective is to obtain further payment from Shell. In this connection, Shell says that a full and final settlement of contractual matters took place in 2012 and a Settlement Agreement was signed by OSSL in the presence of its legal advisers.

Important evidence has recently been supplied to me in relation to both issues.

As a consequence, I want to make it plain that my interest is solely in exposing the truth about the long running scandal. 

Twister B.V. by name, Twister by nature?

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Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 17.47.17By John Donovan

Knowing from personal experience the track record of Royal Dutch Shell in stealing ideas, I must say that I am staggered by the audacity of Shell in trying to draw (trick?) inventors into entrusting the ruthless unprincipled oil giant with their brainchild.  The scheme (scam?) is run in various guises, including Shell GameChanger,  Shell Ideas360 and Shell Innovation Challenge. Shell is even offering substantial cash prizes as an enticement. See current example (above) from Shell Australia.

We recently published an article about the Newton Research Partners IP theft case against Shell involving Twister B.V., a company set up by Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell in the US courts again for alleged theft of trade secrets: 20 June 2014

I have now obtained from the US courts a Petition filed by Twister B.V. in relation to the discovery process.

Discovery is the part of the pre-trial process whereby the parties to the litigation are obliged under penalty of law to exchange all documents in their possession, custody or control, which are in any way relevant to the case. This applies to any document that may contain information that would enable a party either to advance his own case or damage the case of his opponent.

You may have read a John Grisham novel, or seen a movie whereby one side in a case about to come to trial, tries to hide vital information by burying it in a mountain of documents, most of which have no connection with the matters before the Court. The film “Class Action” starring Gene Hackman provided a classic example of the “paper blizzard” ploy. It is a tactic used by Shell.

Some extracts from the Petition filed by Twister containing a STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This is a misappropriation of trade secrets case brought by Newton Research Partners, LP (“Newton”) against Shell Exploration & Production Company (“SEPCO”), Shell Oil Company, Shell Technology Ventures, Inc., Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc., and Twister, a private limited liability company in The Netherlands. See R5. Newton alleges that SEPCO misappropriated its trade secrets, and shared them with Twister (who Newton alleges to be in a joint venture with SEPCO) and that Twister is marketing and selling those trade secrets in the form of its Twister Supersonic Separator. Relator Twister is not a Texas resident. It is a private limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands. R3-Ex. B:~2. Its principal and only place of business is in the town of Rijswijk in the Netherlands.  Twister is basically a single product start-up company, with all of its employees engaged in trying to make Twister a commercially viable company.  At its essence, the litigation between Newton, SEPCO and Twister is about Twister’s only product – the Twister Supersonic Separator – and who invented the technology used in that product.

I note that Twister describes itself in the Petition as a “small Netherlands Company”. It would have been more honest to describe itself as a small company founded and financed by the biggest company by revenue in the entire world (RDS Plc ranked No 1 in 2013).

Basically, Twister was trying to force Newton Research Partners, an American company, to travel all the way to Europe to inspect discovery documents at Twisters HQ offices stored in “16 four/five drawer cabinets.” Apparently the idea was disclosed to Shell in the USA and Shell chose to pass the confidential information to Shell in Europe, in breach of previously agreed confidentiality terms.

Seems to me to be a classic example of a company attempting to pervert the discovery process by trying to put obstacles in the way of gaining proper access to relevant discovery information. In this case trying to force Newton Research Partners into making an extended expensive overseas trip involving spending many days in a hostile setting – the HQ of the company being accused of IP theft.

The last time I sued Shell for IP theft I had a very similar experience with their discovery machinations. I had to commute from Bury St Edmunds to London every day (or stay at a hotel) to inspect discovery documents at the extremely hostile premises of the London law firm acting for Shell. A lawyer representing Shell was present all of the time every day while I checked the documents – countless boxes of documents, with most of the content having no possible relationship to my case. Shell has never denied that this was an attempt to bury evidence. I was very patient and have a good memory. This was vital because information was often not together in one box, but interspersed over thousands of pages in a jigsaw of evidence, spread across different boxes. Consequently, if I found something interesting, which potentially tied in with something seen earlier, perhaps even days previously, I had to search back through endless boxes to try to assemble the pieces into coherent evidence.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems from the court documents that the relevant Court of Appeals ruled against twister on the discovery issues and awarded costs against them.  If Shell or Twister has any later ruling on this subject, I will be happy to post that information here.


Within Shell, Matthias Bichsel is credited with the establishment of a group called the “Competitive Intelligence Unit” (CIU) which was nothing more than a group within the company dedicated to industrial espionage. It was perhaps this group whose activities led to the case involving the “Twister” technology. There are plenty of references to the CIU on the web too, and it may be useful to people involved in “discovery” to identify people within this group. While gathering intelligence on competitors is normal, there is a suspicion that this group did not always operate within the law.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.42.05

The assault on Lego

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 14.33.21By John Donovan

The Greenpeace led assault on Lego continues with an article published today by The Guardian newspaper under the headline: “How Lego lost its innocence”


“A co-promotion with Lego is a lucrative PR stunt for Shell. But as Greenpeace is keen to point out, Shell is an appalling choice of partner, not least because of its controversial plans to extract oil from under the melting Arctic region.”

It is one in a series of recent Guardian articles highlighting the Lego/Shell connection in relationship to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans.

Interesting to note that thus far there is not a single mention of the campaign on the Wikipedia “lego” article

Perhaps like the Wikipedia article on Royal Dutch Shell, any critical information is removed by those paid to protect brand reputation. 


The Lego logo is courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Royal Dutch Shell slashing North Sea jobs

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

250 full time Shell employees and contractor staff in Aberdeen will be culled over the next year. 

According to a Shell spokesperson:

Shell is reorganising its operations to better serve the needs of its offshore facilities and to build a stronger long-term business in the North Sea. Following staff consultation, Shell expects to reduce employee and contractor headcount by a total of around 250 positions over the next year. Revisions to the onshore organisation will be implemented by the end of 2014. Shell is determined to ensure that it continues to deliver safe, competitive operations in its North Sea portfolio and maximises value from its operated assets.


Shell to shed 250 jobs

Energy giant shell is set to cut 250 jobs at its North Sea headquarters.

Aberdeen workers hit as Shell axes 250 jobs

Shell to cut 250 North Sea jobs

President Obama Scuttling the good ship UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 15.55.11By John Donovan

I am a UK citizen and therefore have no say in US politics. 

I am just an observer who has travelled extensively in the USA over many decades and as a result grew to love America and its people. 

President Obama seems like a thoroughly nice man with a lovely family.

That’s the positive bit.

Some fanatical right-wingers have claimed that he is not a US Citizen.

Some have suggested he is a Muslim hell bent on the destruction of America.

All ridiculous, but the truth is that his misguided liberal/socialist/pacifist policies seem to be having a far more destructive impact on the USA than any terrorist group. 

Immigration is out of control.

Russia is out of control.

The US Internal Revenue Service is out of control. 

The US economy remains troubled, with a huge ever-growing deficit.

Obamacare is now seen by the majority of Americans as a wrong move in the first place, which was then incompetently executed. 

And there is one scandal after another; Operation Fast and Furious, the Benghazi shambles and cover-up, the Veterans health admin debacle and the IRS being used for political purposes. All occurring while the President is preoccupied either with touring overseas apologising for America’s past conduct, playing golf, vacationing, or engaged in political fundraising. 

The man doesn’t seem to have a care in the world, while we all watch the good ship UNITED STATES OF AMERICA slowing sinking in power, prestige and respect. That is not good for the freedom loving people of this world. 

The USA still remains the sole superpower, but not for much longer and its decline will continue and perhaps even accelerate if it remains on the current downwards trajectory.

In frightening contrast, China is growing in economic and military strength at breakneck speed, as is its territorial ambitions. 


Obama, With Reluctance, Returns to Action in Iraq: New York Times newspaper 8 August 2014

Fear of ‘Another Benghazi’ Drove White House to Airstrikes in Iraq: New York Times 8 August 2014

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