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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

Royal Dutch Shell Implicated in Nigerian OPL245 Corruption Scandal

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 23.20.44Can’t help wondering whether Malcolm Brinded will be “helping the police with their enquiries” regarding OPL245 as he was in charge of E&P at Shell at the time. Assuming that Shell/ENI lose the block, I presume there will be a $550 million hole in the Shell accounts to explain…

By John Donovan

Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of oil company Eni and one of his director colleagues are under investigation, suspected of involvement in the corruption of Nigerian politicians. 

Extract from a Bloomberg news report “Eni says CEO probed over $1.1billion Nigeria deal….”

Eni teamed with Royal Dutch Shell Plc in 2011 to buy Oil Prospecting License 245 for $1.1billion. The deal was challenged last year by a Nigerian parliamentary committee, which recommended revoking the rights. The acquisition process was “highly flawed,” the committee said. Global Witness, a London-based corruption watchdog, has also criticized the deal and the involvement of Dan Etete, a former Nigerian oil minister.

A related Wall Street Journal article reports:

 “In a statement, Eni said Milan prosecutors have placed Claudio Descalzi, its CEO since May and longtime company veteran, under investigation as part of a preliminary probe related to the acquisition of the large Nigerian offshore oil block OPL 245 in 2011.”

Extract from a related FT report

The announcement by Eni, which denies any “illegal conduct” in the matter, is a significant development in a long-running political and legal drama surrounding one of Nigeria’s most prized oil blocks with reserves estimated at 9bn barrels.

Extract from a related article by Sahara Reporters

Dotun Oloko, an anti-corruption activist who has spoken out about the shady dealings, said “The freezing of $190m in proceeds from the OPL 245 oil deal is good news for the people of Nigeria, many of whom live in poverty despite the country’s oil wealth. $1.1bn was diverted from the public purse, this needs to be recovered as well as get to the bottom of the role companies and individuals played in this heist.”

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Shell to pay $48m Nigerian bribe fine

SHELL IN BRIBERY FINE

(Shell must pay a $30million “criminal penalty” over charges it paid $2million to a sub-contractor “with the knowledge that some or all of the money” would be used to bribe Nigerian officials to allow equipment into the country without paying duty. Shell, which has not admitted guilt, must pay a further $18million to repay profits and interests.)

RECEIVED FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

John

Can’t help wondering whether Malcolm Brinded will be “helping the police with their enquiries” regarding OPL245 as he was in charge of E&P at Shell at the time.

Assuming that Shell/ENI lose the block, I presume there will be a $550 million hole in the Shell accounts to explain…small beer compared with Shell Oil’s “unconventionals” debacle, but how much longer will the shareholders accept these losses? Or perhaps they expect the recipients of their 2011 largesse to simply give it all back?

Ronnie Biggs could only have dreamt of such a heist!

Royal Dutch Shell News Thursday 11 Sept 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 00.56.29By John Donovan

The US and EU are ready to impose new sanctions on Russia arising from events in Ukraine. See extract from a fuelfix.com article published under the headline: “Sanctions threaten Putin’s oil deals with Exxon Mobil, Shell”

Other vulnerable international operators include Royal Dutch Shell, the world’s second-largest energy company by market value. Multiple investments by The Hague-based company in Russia include ventures to use advanced reservoir-management techniques to revive and increase crude output from Soviet-era fields and to explore some of the nation’s vast, untapped shale formations. “We are continuing to review the latest sanctions to assess the potential impacts on our business, and engaging with the respective authorities to gain further clarity,” Kayla Macke, a Shell spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “We are taking action to ensure we comply with all applicable sanctions or related measures. We’re keeping the situation under close review.”

A Russian news organisation, rt.com, has published an article covering the same story, under the headline: “US, EU to ban Exxon, BP and Shell from oil exploration in Russia – report”

Extracts

The EU and the US are going to ban energy giants like Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell from searching for crude oil in Russia’s Arctic, deep seas and shale formations, three American officials anonymously told Bloomberg. According to one official who spoke to Bloomberg, the new round of sanctions may target Arctic exploration prospects, as the new ban – if implemented – will further impact sharing “sensitive technologies” and services with Russia. Such exports must be authorized by member states if the products are destined for deep-water oil exploration projects in Russia.

A BloombergBusinessweek article by Eduard Gismatullin points out that the liquefied-gas-for-transport market is growing faster in China than in North America. The company is examining opportunities to develop the business in China, which already has more than 100,000 vehicles running on LNG, said John Abbott, Shell’s head of refining.

Next, an informative interview: Shell CEO talks investors, safety and renewable energy in Rigzone interview

Extract

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has only spent a few months on the job, but he sees opportunity for the company to spend its money wiser, be more proactive about safety measures and play a bigger role in developing renewable energy sources, according to an interview published by Rigzone.

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE

Bloomberg News reports that Bob Dudley of BP and Ben van Beurden of Royal Dutch Shell have issued statements wading into the Scottish Independence debate on the side of maintaining the existing UK.  

The Telegraph also makes reference to the same development:

Extract

BP formally came out against Scottish independence and Bob Dudley, its chief executive, backed warnings by Sir Ian Wood, the oil industry’s most eminent businessman, that Alex Salmond’s economic case for separation relies on highly inflated estimates for North Sea tax revenue. Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, also backed the assessment published by Sir Ian, who warned that Scottish voters were using their hearts rather than their heads in the independence debate and urged them to re-examine the economic case.

Extract from a related article

Royal Dutch Shell also has in its payroll approximately 12,000 people from the area. The European oil major is already beleaguered by a falling bottom line and has been hiving off its North American and international assets.

OSSL/SHELL: AN ANONYMOUS LETTER WITH A DUBLIN POSTMARK

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well. The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred.

By John Donovan

I have published below a letter received today from Ireland. It relates to OSSL allegations against Shell.

Although the source is anonymous, the letter writer seems intelligent and genuine.

Otherwise I would not publish it or respond to what is said.

The first version is exactly as received.

In the second version, for ease of reference, I have inserted my comments in red text.

AN ANONYMOUS LETTER WITH A DUBLIN POSTMARK

Sept 4, 2014

Dear Mr Donovan

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well.

The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred. That might distort whatever independent perspective and credibility you could have as a commentator and a potential force for change. A good example of this is your sponsorship of this fellow Desmond Kane. You have failed to apply even the most basic standards of journalism to this man’s claims.

His latest Facebook assault on rural Mayo homeowners is a case in point.

There are no secrets in small, rural communities. People in Mayo see Mr. Kane acting as a bully and his claims have no credence because local people know the truth. There are no “special gifts” that he rants about – just normal works for residents directly impacted by Shell’s construction of their project several years ago.

Have you ever taken the time to speak with the residents that Kane is vilifying? These are not some people involved in some grand conspiracy – they are families with young children and seniors who lived near the haul route who are appalled and bewildered at his tactics. Whatever they accepted from Shell was completely in line with projects anywhere in Ireland for people impacted by construction adjacent to their property, such as yard works, sheep pens to protect livestock from traffic and lie like. The work was done openly and in public. The families Kane is targeting live in a cluster of houses right beside a public road. Any work done is immediately visible and cannot be hidden. Anything they got from Shell would be immediately known and discussed by friends and neighbours in their regular coming and going to each other’s homes.

It is obvious that Kane is just greedy. He worked with Shell for years and by all accounts made millions from the company – have you ever asked him how much he billed them over the years? From your site, it says he made a settlement with Shell in 2012. If so, why is he trying to get more money? So he signed a legal agreement and then decided he wanted to get more cash and has resorted to any means to get it? That just shows how dishonest his behaviour is. If his claims are legitimate, why doesn’t he sue Shell again and make a case in court with the facts? Instead, he has you doing his dirty work for him while he reduces Ballinaboy residents to tears of frustration and exposes their children to the taunts of their classmates. This is cowardly and despicable behaviour and you should be ashamed of your part in it.

It is one thing to take on a company, but quite another to let Kane say and do anything with your active support to embarrass and pressure bystanders in an attempt to get a reaction and get more money. Isn’t that simply extortion?

The means do not justify lie end, Mr.Donovan. If you want to be taken seriously as a credible and objective journalist, start asking some simple questions, check what is factual and stop condoning personal attacks on people that aren’t involved in whatever disputes Mr.Kane has with Shell.

A Concerned Citizen.

LETTER ENDS

HERE IT IS AGAIN WITH MY COMMENTS INSERTED IN RED TEXT

Sept 4, 2014

Dear Mr Donovan

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well.

I am accountable. I have never posted, published or sent any communication anywhere, other than in my name. No cowardly hiding behind anonymity for me. 

The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred. That might distort whatever independent perspective and credibility you could have as a commentator and a potential force for change. A good example of this is your sponsorship of this fellow Desmond Kane. You have failed to apply even the most basic standards of journalism to this man’s claims.

No hatred of anyone. I do object to hypocrisy i.e. a company claiming that it always acts in accordance with its claimed business principles. It is deeds not words which count. As to standards of journalism, I passed on everything in my possession on this matter to a senior correspondent at The Guardian, Ed Vulliamy, who has visited Ireland  a number of times in connection with the allegations. Mr Vulliamy had extensive contact with the Gardai, Shell and other parties before publishing his article. 

His latest Facebook assault on rural Mayo homeowners is a case in point.

I have no responsibility for the OSSL email campaign, nor what they publish on Facebook. UK recipients are free to report them for harassment. I don’t know what the law is in Ireland in that regard. I think their campaign is counter-productive and at times disgraceful.

There are no secrets in small, rural communities. People in Mayo see Mr. Kane acting as a bully and his claims have no credence because local people know the truth. There are no “special gifts” that he rants about – just normal works for residents directly impacted by Shell’s construction of their project several years ago.

This seems to be an admittance that Shell has funded work for residents. According to Mr Kane, in one instance €890,000 Euros was spent on one house - several times what its value was before the work. I do not know if this allegation is true. 

Have you ever taken the time to speak with the residents that Kane is vilifying? These are not some people involved in some grand conspiracy – they are families with young children and seniors who lived near the haul route who are appalled and bewildered at his tactics. Whatever they accepted from Shell was completely in line with projects anywhere in Ireland for people impacted by construction adjacent to their property, such as yard works, sheep pens to protect livestock from traffic and lie like. The work was done openly and in public. The families Kane is targeting live in a cluster of houses right beside a public road. Any work done is immediately visible and cannot be hidden. Anything they got from Shell would be immediately known and discussed by friends and neighbours in their regular coming and going to each other’s homes.

Mr Vulliamy did speak personally to locals during his visits to the locality. Since I do not know who you are, I don’t know if he spoke to you personally. 

It is obvious that Kane is just greedy. He worked with Shell for years and by all accounts made millions from the company – have you ever asked him how much he billed them over the years? From your site, it says he made a settlement with Shell in 2012. If so, why is he trying to get more money? So he signed a legal agreement and then decided he wanted to get more cash and has resorted to any means to get it? That just shows how dishonest his behaviour is. If his claims are legitimate, why doesn’t he sue Shell again and make a case in court with the facts? Instead, he has you doing his dirty work for him while he reduces Ballinaboy residents to tears of frustration and exposes their children to the taunts of their classmates. This is cowardly and despicable behaviour and you should be ashamed of your part in it.

Mr Kanes previous income from Shell has no bearing on the main issue. Mr Kane freely admits bribing third parties, including the Gardai, on behalf of Shell. If Shell has already paid him for the alcohol then they should not pay again. If he is demanding payment from Shell to buy his silence, then Shell should call in the police, if they are sober. As I understand it, OSSL delivered the alcohol to senior Gardai officers. Perhaps they sold it all off to a third party to make a killing (tens of thousands of Euros) rather than distributing it all to ordinary Gardai officers, as Shell intended. Perhaps ordinary cops got the blame without getting the booze?

It is one thing to take on a company, but quite another to let Kane say and do anything with your active support to embarrass and pressure bystanders in an attempt to get a reaction and get more money. Isn’t that simply extortion?

I am very careful about what I publish and take full responsibility for all such publications. I disassociate myself and this website from OSSL attempts to obtain money from Shell, its increasingly offensive email campaign and its postings on Facebook. My only interest is in exposing the truth about bribery of senior Gardia officers by Shell.  

The means do not justify lie end, Mr.Donovan. If you want to be taken seriously as a credible and objective journalist, start asking some simple questions, check what is factual and stop condoning personal attacks on people that aren’t involved in whatever disputes Mr.Kane has with Shell.

A Concerned Citizen.

I am not a journalist, but a mere blogger operating a website focussed on Shell. I do not pretend to be anything else. 

Shell prepares pullout from Ogoniland

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 15.23.15By John Donovan

Ogoniland is back in the news again.

According to Africa Energy Intelligence.com:

“Shell is highly discreetly working to sell its licenses in the Ogoni region in Rivers state, the theatre of violent clashes between local inhabitants and Nigeria’s security forces in the early 1990s. Since that time the once-prolific area has ceased…”

The whole article, running to 653 words, can be purchased for €8.2 Euros. 

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC NEWS TUESDAY 09 SEPT 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 13.29.23Analysts hint at merger of Shell and BP

According to an article by Keith Findlay published by energyvoice.com: “Falling fortunes at BP and Shell could force the two oil and gas giants into a “mega-merger” within a couple of years, some City analysts believe.  Some of Shell’s big shareholders are said to be frustrated by the company’s spending on expensive far-flung projects that fail to yield.” MORE HERE

SEE ALSO: Shell BP Mega-Merger?: 29 May 2014

Shell accused of a Jekyll and Hyde Approach to Climate Change

A BloombergBusinessweek article reveals that “For all its vaunted language, Shell continues to fund and support several groups pursuing the opposite aim: to stymie climate policies sprouting up around the globe that the Trillion Tonne Communique applauds.” According to the article: “Shell has backed other groups opposing regional climate rules. The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, which includes a Shell executive on its 16-member board, hailed the country’s repeal in July of its carbon policy, which made Australia the first developed nation to rescind a price on carbon emissions.”

Preposterous payoffs

The London Evening Standard has published an article about “some of the gifts handed to departing big-hitters.”  In the article, which cites the departure of Malcolm Brinded from Shell, “Lucy Tobin looks at the art of the preposterous payoff.” I am not sure if Brinded can be rightly described as a “big-hitter.” Some of his detractors at Shell would probably want to slightly modify the description. 

Extract from the London Evening Standard article

But how about brushing away a little problem with a house sale? When Malcolm Brinded, former head of exploration at the oil giant Shell, left the firm in 2012 he wanted to move from the Netherlands, where he’d relocated for the job. But the house he’d bought for €3.4 million just wouldn’t sell. So Shell bought it for him — paying a price decided by three independent valuations, which was €2.4 million, and then compensated him €992,199 for the property’s loss in value.

From an article published in Carson, California, by the Daily Breeze

…Shell Oil Co. is being sued on behalf of thousands of current and former residents of the 50-acre neighborhood, which was doused in smelly, petroleum hydrocarbons when an oil tank farm there was destroyed to make way for homes in the 1960s.

Glasspoint Solar Inc Gets $53 Mln Financing Led by Shell and Oman

The FT reports that “In an unusual alliance of old and new energies, Royal Dutch Shell, the European oil group, and a sovereign wealth fund from Oman are leading an investment of $53m into a small solar power company that uses its renewable energy to increase crude oil production.”

Bloomberg News has covered the same story…

Extract

Glasspoint Solar Inc., a closely held producer of solar equipment used for enhanced oil recovery, received $53 million from a group of investors led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund. The funds will be used to accelerate the deployment of Glasspoint’s solar-steam generators in Oman, the Fremont, California-based company said today in a statement. Glasspoint’s systems concentrate sunlight on tubes to create steam that’s injected to help retrieve heavy crude oil.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26An article published by The Telegraph claims that “Arctic drilling is inevitable: if we don’t find oil in the ice, then Russia will”

Extracts

The technical challenges of operating in such a harsh and remote environment were highlighted last year when Royal Dutch Shell had to suspend operations off the coast of Alaska after the Kulluk drilling rig ran aground in stormy weather. Faced with legal challenges to its licences in the Chukchi Sea and the need to make multi-billion-dollar savings on capital expenditure in January, Shell’s new chief executive, Ben van Beurden, appeared to signal that the company would possibly walk away from the area. However, late last month the Anglo-Dutch company surprised the market and the wider industry when it submitted a new proposal to the Federal government to restart exploration activities offshore in the Alaskan Arctic. The Shell plan reportedly involves using two rigs in the Chukchi to reach production eventually of around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude. Shell has already spent around $5bn (£3bn) attempting to extract oil from the Alaskan Arctic and its desire to return to the Chukchi is indicative of the importance oil majors now place on the region, which could ultimately deliver 1m bpd if put into full production, according to some estimates.

Shell CEO on global turmoil’s impact

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 21.14.49Screenshots from a Fox Business video of an interview with Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden on 4 Sept 2014 shows the uncertainty that surrounds Shell. Mr van Beurden bluntly made it clear at the May 2014 Shell AGM that Shell’s priority is what is in the economic interests of Shell shareholders, not geopolitical concerns i.e. the invasion of Crimea. That explains why he happily bowed to Putin days after the annexation. Whatever the spin, ethics and moral issues are ruthlessly put to one side. The lack of scruples by companies such as Shell, has encouraged the Putin regime. Driven by the same motive, access to hydrocarbon reserves, Shell also connived with Hitler in his territorial ambitions. More recently, Shell traded with Iran despite US sanctions and Shell spin to the contrary. Like in relation to Shell’s claimed business principles, it is Shell’s deeds, not the mixed messages, which count.

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HENCE

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Why doesn’t Shell sue Donovan for libel?

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 15.49.41Such deliberate misinformation (propaganda, to put it politely) is also totally at variance with Shell’s claimed core business principles. This proves beyond any doubt that the media and the public should not believe anything Shell says. The company even lies to itself.

By John Donovan

Why doesn’t Shell sue Donovan for libel?

I feel sure that this is a question that many visitors to this website have probably asked themselves many times.

It is a question that Royal Dutch Shell put to itself in July 2009. 

Below is an extract from an authentic confidential Shell internal document dated 08 July 2009 in which this very question was raised in relation to “the Donovan’s.” Shell lawyers have redacted names shown on the “Confidential Focal Point”document, other than the names of my late father and myself. A series of questions are posed and then answered, to provide a contingency script if certain anticipated questions were raised by the news media, or at the Shell AGM. 

Extract from the Shell document “Donovan Campaign Against Shell:

Why do you not sue the Donovans for libel?

• The experience of corporate defamation plaintiffs is that, even when successful, such cases draw far more attention to the untrue allegations that they would receive without the case having been brought. Accordingly, while we do not exclude this as a possibility, this is an approach to be adopted only after the most careful consideration.

This answer was completely disingenuous, as Shell had already decided long before, that Shell would not take legal action against the Donovan site. In other words, they had already excluded the possibility. 

See this authentic Shell internal email sent just a few weeks earlier, on 19 June 2009.

Extract

Also, eg we have long decided not to take legal action against the site (although Donovan would probably welcome this)…

So the relevant information Shell set out in the contingency briefing for the media and the public was 100% at variance with what Shell had already decided. 

Such deliberate misinformation (propaganda, to put it politely) is also totally at variance with Shell’s claimed core business principles.

This proves beyond any doubt that the media and the public should not believe anything Shell says. 

The company even lies to itself. 

Other information in the focal point document is also fundamentally untrue. 

Incidentally, days after the focal point propaganda information was circulated, Shell was plotting on how to get this website closed down

By coincidence or otherwise, the website has remained under regular cyber attack by an unknown party with deep pockets. 

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