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Retired Shell official accuses company of ‘more leaks than the White House’

Bill Campbell, retired HSE GROUP AUDITOR, Shell International, comments on Paddy Briggs damning conclusion about Shell FAT CATS

The Lonely Elephant

Prelude may or may not turn out to be a white elephant but certainly from the leaked transformation documents it would appear it will be in any case a lonely elephant. 20 some years in gestation it appears that mega FLNG projects are out. As for the fat cats Paddy if Shell continues to leak (Pernis et al), more leaks than the White House, the fat cats may not be around. Are they taking their eye of the ball – who is running the business, with all this transformation stuff and reported loss of common sense and experience I read about on this website from current employees, it makes you think. read more

In Good Company: Coal miner’s son Jeremy Bentham of Shell comes clean

Shell sees itself as an energy services company rather than an oil and gas operation, he explains. While it has a strong base in oil and gas, it also has a deep understanding of the chemicals business. Meanwhile, other business streams are constantly evaluated for viability. “We have a very, very strong oil and gas base and that part of the company will remain important for many years ahead,” Mr Bentham says. “But new business developments will go on top of that as these areas eventually diminish. So, we will be a part of broader transitions.” Already, the business has changed. The gas side of the equation overtook oil some time ago. Likewise, the chemicals side will only strengthen as the world ceaselessly seeks efficiencies requiring lightweight solutions and more insulation. In time, there will be solar. Shell is already one of the top marketers of biofuels. It is for reasons such as these that Shell Wind Energy was founded in the 1990s. FULL TIMES read more

Leaked Shell Transformation Plans: Part 4

By John Donovan

Published below is a further multi-page segment from Shell’s leaked internal document mentioned in a Reuters/New York Times article published on Monday: Shell Plans 400 Job Cuts at Dutch Projects and Technology Department. The plans are much greater in scope than suggested by the headline. Their implementation will result in a managerial jobs upheaval and significant job cuts as a consequence of the acquisition of BG Group and the decline in oil prices. This time I have left in the page numbers, which appear at the foot of each page and sometimes interrupt paragraphs. read more

Seeds of unease over Shell US Cracker Plant

A different perspective from the above recent PR tour by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf of the construction site for the new US Shell Chemicals Cracker Plant is provided in a letter published by The Beaver County Times. See below. This is how controversy kicked off in Ireland when local people raised legitimate questions over the Corrib Gas Project and were treated with disdain by Shell. Disdain turned to jailing of protesters and Shell sponsored corruption to buy the support of the Irish police before Shell gave up and sold out its stake at a loss. The project was hopelessly over budget and ended up delayed by many years.  read more

The Ogoni 9 trial served to safeguard the common interests of Shell and the Abacha regime

Shell falsely claimed to be following an apolitical course whilst exerting its influence through quiet diplomacy. In reality, it was very much involved with the course of the events during the trial… Shell’s lawyer was present at the bribing of witnesses who had to give incriminating statements against the “Ogoni 9”; they were offered compensation and a position at Shell;

By John Donovan

The numbered paragraphs below are extracted from the 138 page Esther Kiobel Writ served on multiple Royal Dutch Shell companies on 28 June 2017. More information about the latest litigation, this time in the Dutch Courts, is provided after the extracts. As can be seen in the footnotes, the allegations are supported by voluminous evidence.

Shell and the Abacha regime operated in tandem

Extracts begin

8.5 The Ogoni 9 trial served to safeguard the common interests of Shell and the regime

8.5.1 Introduction

  1. The Ogoni 9 trial was the culmination of Operation Restore Order in Ogoniland. With the Ogoni 9 trial Abacha disposed of the Ogoni’s main political representatives in an extreme attempt to finally break the resistance. The trial served a common goal, the resumption of oil extraction in Ogoniland, and followed the ceaseless urging of Shell to bring order to matters. Professor Olubayo Oluduro said about this:“Although Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight Ogonis were ostensibly charged and tried for murder, it is obvious to the world that they were actually arrested and executed for expressing their discontent with the environmental harm caused by Shell and the Government in their native Ogoniland.”383
  2. As was explained in chapter 4, the Ogoni 9 trial, which commenced 6 February 1995, was a carefully prepared show trial. The 15 suspects had, when the trial started, already been held in custody for more than eight months without official charge, although it was clear that they had been apprehended on suspicion of involvement in the murder of the four traditional Ogoni leaders on 21 May 1994. Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel and Baribor Bera did not hear the official charge until 28 January 1995, while Nordu Eawo and Paul Levula received the indictment on 28 February 1995. In this period the hearings of the specially set up Ogoni Civil Disturbances Special Tribunal also started. Footage of these hearings is submitted as exhibit 247. Fragments from them can also be seen in the revealing documentary “In-Remembrance Ken Saro-Wiwa” (exhibit 252).384 The trial would last until 31 October 1995 and end with the death penalty being carried out on nine of the fifteen suspects, who were executed on 10 November 1995. The serious human rights violations to which the suspects were exposed during the trial and that ultimately led to the executions are described in chapter 4.
  1. Because it soon became clear that the suspects would not receive a fair trial and were in fact political prisoners because of their opposition to Shell, all eyes were on the company. Shell falsely claimed to be following an apolitical course whilst exerting its influence through quiet diplomacy. In reality, it was very much involved with the course of the events during the trial, and in the meantime fully dedicating itself to its negotiations with the regime regarding the NLNG project which would be settled at the same time. At no time whatsoever did Shell reveal any dissatisfaction with the course of events, not even when it sent a tepid letter to Abacha just before the execution of the Ogoni 9 with a request for a pardon, for which it had apologised to the regime in advance.385 While Nigeria had by then been internationally degenerated into a pariah state, Shell continued to collaborate with the regime just as intensively.
  2. The fact that Shell’s involvement in the trial went beyond implicit support is evident from the following facts and circumstances, which are explained below:
    •  Shell itself sent a lawyer to the trial, who kept it well informed and supported the position of the prosecutor by means of a so-called watching brief;
    •  Shell lied publicly about the role that its lawyer fulfilled at the trial;
    •  during the trial Shell maintained contacts with the judges who had been appointed to decide on the case;
    •  Shell’s lawyer was present at the bribing of witnesses who had to give incriminating statements against the “Ogoni 9”; they were offered compensation and a position at Shell;
    •  Shell’s protégé Okuntimo played a dominant role during the trial;
    •  at no time did Shell publicly or discretely distance itself from the course of events during the trial;
    • Shell kept emphasising its economic interests to the regime and during the trial negotiated with the regime regarding new projects in Nigeria. One month after the executions the large-scale National Liquid Natural Gas project was announced, by which the collaboration between the regime and Shell was extended for many years.

8.5.2 Shell sent its lawyer to look after its interests

281. Shell sent its own lawyer O.C.J. Okocha and his colleagues to the tribunal with a so- called ‘watching brief’. A watching brief in the Nigerian legal system is a way for a third party to keep informed of developments in proceedings in order to safeguard its direct interests in them. To this end the lawyer who has the watching brief usually works closely with the public prosecutor. Nigerian jurisprudence shows that a watching brief may be refused if a party has no interest in the trial: read more

Warning of US sanctions ‘disaster’ for Russia energy projects

By: Henry Foy in Moscow and Andrew Ward in London

International energy investments in Russia will suffer from new US sanctions imposed on Moscow, executives have warned… A senior executive at a western oil group with a large presence in Russia told the Financial Times that the new sanctions “could be a disaster” given its current business in the country. Mr van Beurden said Shell had authorisation from Dutch authorities to press ahead with financing of Nord Stream 2, but was waiting to see how the US situation “evolves.” FULL FT ARTICLE read more

Shell cannot say it was not warned about Prelude FLNG

Warning by Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International: Hydrocarbon leaks on offshore installations are unavoidable!

The answer to the question, can offshore installations meet a zero tolerance standard for hydrocarbon leaks, is easily answered, they cannot! Keeping hydrocarbons in the box appears beyond the wit of man. 

The support for this rather pessimistic view is based on actual historic data from the North Sea. It should be noted that this key indicator is the number one, the foremost technical integrity measure recorded by the HSE offshore division in the UK. All operators also are required to have it as their top indicator and non-reporting of hydrocarbon leaks is an offence in Law. So there is a degree of confidence in the accuracy of this data.  read more

Alarm Bells: Shell Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box


Hydrocarbons continue getting out the box

With a Fire breakout at Pernis and a leak at Singapore refinery, both incidents over the last few days, it seems loss of containment is a continuing serious issue both onshore as well as offshore.

Much has been written about FLNG suggesting Prelude for example simply just cannot afford leaks and fires because of the potential consequences – but can they be totally avoided, can they?

Can any offshore installation meet a zero tolerance standard for leaks? read more

LNG possibility lives on, even after death of Pacific NorthWest LNG

And two other large global energy players with regulatory approval from the B.C. and Canadian governments say they are trying to position themselves to be ready to make a decision on building their own billions-of-dollars of mega-projects in northwest B.C. to coincide with increased demand they forecast could kick in by the middle of next decade. Those projects are LNG Canada led by Royal Dutch Shell plc and Kitimat LNG, a 50-50 venture of Chevron and Australian-based Woodside Energy. read more

Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden says his next car will be an electric Mercedes S500e

Jul 28 2017 at 9:03 AM

When the boss of Europe’s biggest listed oil company says his next car will be electric, it says a lot about the future of fossil fuels. Royal Dutch Shell responded to the worst oil-price crash in a generation with its $US54 billion ($68 billion) takeover of BG Group, betting that demand for natural gas will rise as the world shifts to cleaner-burning fuels. Now chief executive officer Ben Van Beurden says the next thing he’ll buy is a car that doesn’t depend on either oil or gas to run. Van Beurden will switch from a diesel car to a plug-in Mercedes-Benz S500e in September, a company spokesman said. Chief financial officer Jessica Uhl already drives a BMW i3 electric car. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell backs gas export limits

: Resources reporter, Melbourne: 28 July 2017

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has said he is very supportive of Malcolm Turnbull’s moves to impose export restrictions to increase domestic supply on the east coast, where Shell runs the Queensland Curtis LNG project. But the oil major has revealed there have been some unspecified operational problems at QCLNG, which exports coal-seam gas from Gladstone. Speaking on a second-quarter earnings call in London last night, Mr Van Beurden backed the Prime Minister’s intervention in the markets, which gives the government the power to restrict exports from any LNG project that is not a “net contributor” to domestic markets. FULL ARTICLE read more

Shell Still Thinks Canadian LNG Project Could Be a Go

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it hasn’t written off its Canadian liquefied natural gas project in Kitimat, British Columbia, yet as a global supply glut killed off a competing project earlier this week. LNG Canada, which is also backed by Mitsubishi Corp., PetroChina Co. and Korea Gas Corp., is still weighing an investment decision that’s expected by early 2019, Shell’s Chief Executive Officer Ben Van Beurden said on a conference call Thursday. “We need to get the timing properly right — we think we can,” he said. “If we look at an investment decision in the next 18 months or so, this is going to be a project that could start producing right at the moment when the spot market, the short-term market is getting very tight again.” FULL ARTICLE read more

PRELUDE FLNG is a very risky business


Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, comments on the UPI article “In Australia, Shell signals new era for LNG

For hazardous substances plants Size Matters, it’s crucial.

The size re surface deck area of the Prelude vessel wrt an onshore plant continues to be misstated, purposefully I assume. Even if the total deck of Prelude was used exclusively for the LNG process ignoring area taken up by Accomodation, Turret etc we have total of 3.6 Hectares. On average LNG land plants with equivalent throughputs are 20 times (not four times) on average larger than the 3.6 Hectares provided on the Prelude deck. As an example of this that you can check out easily on the web is that Woodside Energy has allocated 80 Hectares for its onshore Pluto LNG site and facilities or 22.2 times the total area of the Prelude deck. I took up the propaganda on size with Shell Australia a few years ago, they are the regular publisher of these alternative facts, asking them to clarify where in the world was there a LNG plant onshore occupying just 14 Hectares (4 times the Prelude total deck space). read more

Shell Profits Triple on Stronger Refining, Oil Prices

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell more than tripled its profits in the second quarter to beat forecasts boosted by strong refining operations and a rise in oil prices. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company also reported a huge recovery in cash flow to $12.2 billion and a drop in debt as its cost reduction efforts in recent years paid off. It has sold some $25 billion of assets since acquiring BG Group last year. The strong results came despite a dip in oil and gas production versus the previous quarter as a result of reduced output from a facility in Qatar. “The external price environment and energy sector developments mean we will remain very disciplined, with an absolute focus on the four levers within our control,” Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said. READ MORE read more

Royal Dutch Shell’s earnings more than triple in 2Q

By Associated Press July 27 at 2:53 AM

LONDON — Royal Dutch Shell says second-quarter earnings more than tripled as it benefited from a cost-cutting drive and recovering oil prices.The Anglo-Dutch energy giant said Thursday that profit adjusted for changes in the value of inventories and excluding one-time items rose to $3.60 billion from $1.05 billion in the same period last year. Net income rose 31 percent to $1.55 billion.CEO Ben van Beurden says the earnings reflect Shell’s restructuring to cope with lower oil prices and the purchase of natural gas producer BG Group. Shell’s oil price averaged $45.62 a barrel for the quarter, up 16 percent from a year earlier. Prices were above $100 a barrel as recently as 2014. Van Beurden says the “external price environment and energy sector developments mean we will remain very disciplined.” read more

Shell nears finishing line with $30billion divestment programme

Written by

The supermajor announced this morning that it had shed assets worth $25billion as part of the reshaping of its portfolio. This included the landmark North Sea deal with Chrysaor earlier this year, worth around $3.8billion. It also comes following the $68.2billion merger with BG Group. The supermajor also recently agreed to sell its stake in Irish gas project Corrib in a deal worth up to 1.23 billion US dollars (£956 million). The firm said adjusted earnings rose from 1.05 billion US dollars (£800 million) to 3.6 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion), an increase of 245%. read more

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