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Posts Tagged ‘Jeroen van der Veer’

Musings about the OPL 245 Shell/ENI corruption scandal and the sinking confidence in Prelude

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I would have thought that Simon Henry’s position as CFO should now be untenable, in view of the apparent lack of effective financial governance in Nigeria while he was CFO. 

By John Donovan

A large number of press articles have appeared recently mentioning Ben van Beurden. 

Since these articles are presumably fed to the press by Shell’s PR team, and Shell is not a one-man company, I checked to see whether other Shell directors have appeared recently in press releases.

The results are somewhat curious. For example, searching for Matthias Bichsel on Google News shows that articles were published about him at least weekly until October last year, but the articles then stopped abruptly. References to Simon Henry seem to have dried up a few weeks ago – until mid-March there were articles on Henry on an almost daily basis, but recently there has been nothing. Harry Brekelmans seems to have had a low profile since his appointment, so it is harder to see whether any change has occurred. Andy Brown has almost as many press articles as Ben van Beurden. 

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Ex-Shell CEO joins Statoil’s board

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Van der Veer was the chief executive officer at Royal Dutch Shell from 2004-2009, when he retired. Van der Veer then continued as a non-executive director on the board of Shell until 2013. He started to work for Shell in 1971 and has experience within all sectors of the business. In addition, Van der Veer is the chair of the supervisory boards of ING Bank and Royal Philips Electronics and member of the supervisory board of Boskalis Westminster Groep, and has significant competence within corporate governance.

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In defence of Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

By a regular contributor

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Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

Perhaps worth noting is that investment decisions on the scale of the recent Shell write-offs would have required approval by the entire EC in the Hague long before BvB was around. Few of the EC members who made those decisions are still present. 

It seems strange that so many of the huge projects which have been abandoned are in North America, and serious questions need to be asked about why approval was given by the EC for these huge projects. Only one member of the EC is directly involved in North American activities, Marvin Odum. 

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The credibility of Royal Dutch Shell oil demand forecasts

By John Donovan

Forecasts of future oil demand and oil prices made by Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden have been widely reported.

See syndicated Reuters article.

He is not exactly a disinterested independent observer, as his personal income and the well-being and profitability of the oil company he leads, depends on these issues.

Some might consider his forecasts to be wishful thinking.

It is an appropriate moment to look back on directly related forecasts made 7 years ago by one of his predecessors.

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How could Shell have got it so wrong on oil? 

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43In October of this year, just 9 weeks ago, when oil was at over $90 a barrel, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden expressed his confidence that oil would return to what he described as “very robust” pricing. He said that the oil price had been remarkably stable and that in the short term, Shell has a trading strategy to inoculate itself from the swings and “maybe even make money out of it.”

In view of the immediate subsequent slump in the oil price and the anticipated disastrous impact on Shell, he may now wish he had been less confident about the prospect of actually making money out of a downward swing. 

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Shell’s Unloved Business Principles

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 14.24.25By John Donovan

I have published a number of articles highlighting the fact that Shell appears to have no regard at all for its own claimed business principles displayed on the Internet, which have not been signed/endorsed by the current CEO Ben van Beurden. 

Shell’s disdain for its governing constitution, Shell Business Principles

CEO Ben van Beurden too honest to sign Shell’s Business Principles?

Someone has correctly pointed out that if you visit shell.com on the shell global  webpage, it is possible to download the Shell General Business Principles “in your own language.” If you select “English,”  the version that appears was signed by Jeroen van der Veer, the CEO in 2005, now long retired from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

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Sad faces at Shell?

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26Last month, the suits over at Shell put on their sad faces and went to the White House to ask for more time to burn through another billion or two. I tell ya, these guys are gluttons for punishment. After eight years and more than $6 billion, Shell has come up completely empty on its promise to bring a bounty of Arctic crude to market from the Chukchi Sea.

Jeff Siegel has authored an interesting article:

Shale Oil vs. Arctic Drilling

The extract below sets out his advice to Shell on Arctic drilling.

Last month, the suits over at Shell put on their sad faces and went to the White House to ask for more time to burn through another billion or two. I tell ya, these guys are gluttons for punishment. After eight years and more than $6 billion, Shell has come up completely empty on its promise to bring a bounty of Arctic crude to market from the Chukchi Sea. The plan to tap this Arctic flow was devised more than a decade ago — before the U.S. was swimming in shale oil and before consumption rates started falling. Certainly I don’t fault management for moving aggressively on black treasure in the Arctic. At the time, it made a lot of sense. But today, with $80 crude, a boom in domestic oil and gas production, and little chance of ever successfully producing anything more than losses in the Chukchi, Shell really should just chalk the whole adventure up to an unfortunate face-plant and move on.

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Shell CEO dubious prediction on oil prices

Today we have another forecast from a Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, no doubt based on an assessment by the crystal ball gazers at Shell, the famed Scenarios team. Is it a case of wishful thinking on the part of Shell? Can we have faith in the prediction made by the current CEO?

By John Donovan

Today we have another forecast from a Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, no doubt based on an assessment by the crystal ball gazers at Shell, the famed Scenarios team. 

According to Catherine Boyle of CNBC, Ben van Beurden, Shell’s current CEO is confident that oil will return to “very robust” pricing in the long-term.

This is despite the fact that as a result of increased production by Saudi Arabia and the USA, Brent crude dropped to less than $93 a barrel last week, the lowest price for two years. 

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Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014

RUSSIA

Jeroen van der Veer, the former Royal Dutch Shell CEO who evaded responsibility for his role in the cover-up of the Shell reserves fraud, claims that the sanctions against Russia are not working and are counter-productive. This analysis comes from the man who badly misjudged the Putin regime in 2006 and as a result, ended up meekly surrendering Shell’s majority stake in the Sakhalin 2 project. 

UK

The British government has just introduced a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies registered in the UK to disclose all payments made to the governments of countries in which they operate. The new rule, which comes into force in 2015, is designed to result in greater transparency, something alien to oil companies such as Shell. Problems may arise in relation to Nigeria where Shell has a decades long history of corruption involving a succession of odious regimes.

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OBJECTION TO MR. OSAGIE OKUNBOR AS MD/COUNTRY CHAIR OF SHELL (SPDC) NIGERIA

We consider it a very unwise move by Shell that Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who was said to be the former Vice President (VP) Human Resources, Shell (SPDC), is currently being considered/prepared to assume the position of the Managing Director (MD) and Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. We strongly advise that relevant authorities of Royal Dutch Shell and Shell (SPDC) Nigeria should give this issue raised the needed attention.

Mr. Osagie Okunbor is said to be on cross-posting to The Hague, in other for him to be ‘groomed’ to occupy the said exalted position and take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, who will soon go on retirement.

Insiders Perspective on Shell VP Arjen Dorland

Royal Dutch Shell VP Arjen Dorland

Royal Dutch Shell VP Arjen Dorland

One of few respected IT-illuminati, shortly before he retired, suggested that Dorland was a bit of an animal if not held on a tight leash…

From a Shell Source

Amusing to see Arjen Dorland extolling the virtues of technological enablement of exploration within Shell especially given his limited engagement with and knowledge of this part of the business. One suggests that there is an ulterior motive here and one worth going through in detail. It’s been noted on here previously how Arjen Dorland first rose without trace at the start of the millennium in the battered Shell IT organisation, having originally been identified as a JG 1-2 maximum level employee (the Shell system, as we all know, sets CEP levels for all its staff and this system is rigorously enforced by the myriad HR managers that Shell homes and encourages). He remains to this day intensely bitter about that initial positioning and it explains his character and motivation to a ‘T’.

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Bowing to Putin

Shell's Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

Shell’s Ben van Beurden bows to Putin on Good Friday, 18 April 2014

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By John Donovan

I have checked and thus far have been unable to find any photographs of Rex Tillerson (ExxonMobil) or Robert Dudley (BP) bowing in the slightest to Putin. It seems that only Royal Dutch Shell executives, Jeroen van der Veer, Peter Voser, and Ben van Beurden, have been prepared to stoop that low.

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