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Shell News Tuesday 28 March 2017

Summary

  • The myth of a secure price range for OPEC in its battle against shale.
  • Why OPEC has painted itself into a corner, forcing it to extend lower output.
  • What’s far more important than OPEC and others’ cuts.
  • Cuts or not – low-cost shale producers like Shell will produce at a profit.

FULL ARTICLE

Shell News Saturday 25 March 2017

EXTRACT: A whistleblower has accused oil giant Shell of concealing data on the health effects of two major oil spills on communities in Nigeria. In a letter seen by the Independent, Kay Holtzmann, a former employee at the company, said data gathered in the Bodo community which was devastated by two huge oil spills in 2008 and 2009, showed levels of pollution were “astonishingly high”. He also accused the company of refusing to make the findings public. Mr Holtzmann was the former director in charge of Shell’s project to clean up oil spills…

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Current Shell News Stories 23 March 2017

Shell’s tacit acknowledgement of a ‘culture of fear’

By a Regular Browser

Well it is refreshing that there is tacit acknowledgement of the ‘culture of fear’ not just in Norway but more broadly in the company. Although Shell does indeed welcome ‘alternative viewpoints’ to do so is a career ending decision. This is supported by numerous Shell People Surveys over many years where this has been raised as an issue time and again. Management ‘listen’ but the status quo remains. Like all large corporations Shell is not interested in anything which disrupts the existing power structures and fiefdoms – though there are some places where the culture is a little more open. Those who do choose to speak out either get sanctioned via their IPS or CEP and are marginalised, while the sycophants and nepotists rise to the top to ingrain the culture. This has been particularly apparent since the merger with BG and the message is Shell folk should be grateful that they have a job and should put up and shut up. Rocking the boat on HSE, the pay freeze, filling of jobs with unqualified graduates or brown losers etc. Management have succeeded over a number of years in taking a once great company and turning it into a mediocre shadow of its former self characterised by mismanagement and poor strategic choices. This is a great shame as there are a lot of dedicated and talented employees across the company, though they do not stand a chance in a culture that does not reward competence but sycophancy.

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Shell Upstream Director Admits Culture of Fear Among Shell Employees

By John Donovan

Shell Upstream director Rich Denny has tacitly acknowledged a culture of fear among Shell employees at the Nyhamna gas plant in Norway. He claims that although it is not the dominant culture, he cannot dismiss that some Shell employees apparently do feel afraid to speak up.

The admissions were contained in another message from Rich Denny published on the Shell web which is Shell’s response to the report commissioned and published by the SAFE Union. The comments from Mr Denny can only be construed as a comprehensive attack on the integrity, content and findings of the SAFE report.

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OPL 245: A falling out of thieves

The unbecoming squabbling between the crooks involved in the OPL 245 corruption scandal has taken a new turn.

Malabu Oil and Gas has filed a lawsuit in the Nigerian Federal High Court against the Nigerian Federal Government and six other parties involved in the $1bn plus scandal. 

The new action arises from the Nigerian court decision a few days ago to pass ownership of the OPL 245 block back to Shell and Eni/Agip. 

The defendants include: 

  • Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited
  • Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited
  • Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Limited
  • Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • Former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete
  • The Nigerian Minster of Petroleum

I have not indicated which parties are honest and which are crooks. It is impractical to do so because, in matters involving Nigeria, it is sometimes difficult to separate one from the other, bearing in mind that three Nigerian Presidents have all been implicated in the amazing unsavoury spectacle. The judiciary is also riddled with corruption.

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Shell Multimillionaire CFO Simon Henry Departs Today

UPDATED WITH MORE LINKS: “Simon Henry has loads of money now. Plenty to pay lawyers to sue me for defamation if anything I have stated is untrue. He also has me to thank for the above Daily Mail article.”

By John Donovan

Despite his well-documented role in the Shell oil and gas reserves scandal over a decade ago, Simon Henry clung on and ended up hitting the jackpot when appointed Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He is departing that job today but will become an employee of Shell International Limited on 1 April 2017, April Fools Day, for a two-month “transition” period. Perhaps he needs the time to count his cash while having a good laugh at Shell investors.

Many millions of dollars including payment for loss of office, various bonus payments and yet more millions from the sale of some of his shares – two helpings, each for over £1m.

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Shell confirms several countries investigating OPL 245 scandal

By John Donovan

Printed below are extracts from Shell’s Annual Report and Form 20-F 2016 relating to the OPL 245 corruption scandal.

Shell confirms that authorities in various countries are investigating its investment in Nigerian Oil Block OPL 245

Page 15

Authorities in various countries are investigating our investment in Nigerian oil block OPL 245 and the 2011 settlement of litigation pertaining to that block. On January 27, 2017, the Nigeria Federal High Court issued an Interim Order of Attachment for oil block OPL 245, pending the conclusion of the investigation. Shell has applied to discharge this order on constitutional and procedural grounds. On February 14, 2017, we received notice of the request of indictment from the Italian prosecution office in Milan with respect to this matter.

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OPL 245 scandal and Shell’s former MI6 spies

By John Donovan

The Observer has published a revealing article today about Shell’s involvement in the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal and its use of hired former MI6 officers in connection with the transaction. 

Reference is made to the raids made by Italian investigators on Shell’s headquarters in The Hague and Eni offices in Italy, which “yielded tens of thousands of documents and emails.”

The Observer article focusses on a $800m financial transaction involved in the $1.3bn overall OPL245 deal. It was negotiated in part by two ex-MI6 officers hired by Shell as “business and investment advisers”. Namely, Guy Colegate and John Copleston.

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Kiobel vs Shell discovery doc battle continues in US Courts

Ms. Kiobel has been trying for years to obtain justice for the murder of her husband and other abuses committed against her. That justice was denied to her in the United States, not on the merits, but due to an unforeseen limitation on the reach of the Alien Tort Statute that no lower court had previously imposed.

By John Donovan

The headline above is not strictly correct.

The current battle in the US courts IS between Esther Kiobel and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. However, the real battle is between Esther Kiobel and Shell – a long term client of Cravath.

Cravath holds over 100,000 Shell internal documents assembled by Shell for litigation brought by Esther Kiobel many years ago in the US courts. The following extract from a submission made by her lawyers on 23 February 2017 explains what happened:

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LEAKED EMAILS SHOW SHELL AND ENI CONSPIRING TO HIDE PAYMENT IN CORRUPT OPL 245 DEAL


Global Witness has published leaked emails between Eni and Shell officials conspiring to arrange the OPL 245 deal

Italian prosecutors are seeking separate charges against four senior Shell executives including current Shell Foundation Chairman Malcolm Brinded, who was head of Global Exploration and Production at the time of deal.

3rd March 2017

Oil giants Shell and Eni face historic criminal charges over a tainted $1.1 billion deal struck for Nigerian oil block OPL 245 in 2011, Global Witness reported today.  According to charges filed by Nigerian law enforcement agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the High Court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, Eni, Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited and Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited are accused of conspiring to commit “Official Corruption contrary to Section 9 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000”. Former Nigerian Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke and former Oil Minister Dan Etete were also charged with official corruption for recieving over $800m from Shell and Eni. This is the first time that the two oil companies have been charged in Nigeria for their role in the deal.

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Shell Nigerian corruption, lunch and lots of iced champagne

A few minutes ago I published an article that mentioned Shell’s long-standing connection with Hakluyt & Company, the private spy firm populated by former senior MI6 officers. 

Titled Shell directors were directors, major shareholders and for a time, the ultimate spymasters in the company. Shell was and remains a client.

I have had direct dealings with Hakluyt in connection with Shell that I can only describe as bizarre. One thing was plain. They were very concerned. A titled lawyer, Sir Anthony Hammond QC drafted the response we received. Interesting then to see an article just published by the London Evening Standard. 

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