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Posts Tagged ‘WikiLeaks’

Shell sponsored conflict and corruption in Nigeria

From pages 12, 13, 14 & 15 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

The report is made on behalf of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)
Author: Albert ten Kate: May 2011.

SHELL IN NIGERIA

Shell assesses its contribution to conflict

With regard to conflict in the Niger Delta, Shell often profiles itself as one of the main victims. In July 2009, the company wrote: “We hope people recognise that the employees and contractor staff of [SPDC]…have to carry out their work against a backdrop of crime, violence, threats of kidnap and community actions.” Indeed, the Niger Delta is an extremely difficult environment for any company to operate.

However, one could also assess how Shell’s activities might contribute to conflict. In 2002 and 2003, Shell commissioned such research. The resulting report, released in December 2003, was written by three external conflict resolution experts. The insights in the report drew “heavily on the experiences of more than 200 individuals consulted during its preparation.” Shell had declined to publish the independent report, but it was leaked in June 2004. The report states that “after operating in the Niger Delta for over 50 years, SCIN [Shell company in Nigeria] is an integral part of the regional conflict environment (….) and the manner in which the SCIN operates and its staff behave creates, feeds into, or exacerbates conflict.” read more

Royal Dutch Shell improper meddling in politics

From pages 41 & 42 of “Royal Dutch Shell and its sustainability troubles” – Background report to the Erratum of Shell’s Annual Report 2010

The report is made on behalf of Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)
Author: Albert ten Kate: May 2011.

Interfering with politics

Improper involvement?

Oil and politics have a lot to do with each other. The home states of Royal Dutch Shell are the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. These countries might want to secure their oil/gas imports and the economic benefits of having an international oil company based within their territory. These interests might overpower ethical interests, such as the protection of human rights in countries hosting the oil company. Home states often might have the same business interest than “their” oil companies.

Oil companies may lobby their home states, so these will pay more attention to oil business possibilities. Oil companies may speak kindly of regimes that are in fact abusing human rights. Oil companies might keep their finger on the pulses of home as well as host states, in order to keep informed of the latest political developments. read more

Shell ‘co-opting’ Nigerian militants

By John Donovan

In June 2009 we reported that a Shell Nigeria insider had disclosed to us that senior colleagues had a commercial relationship with militant leaders of gangs carrying out attacks on Shell employees, pipelines and installations. We established that the source was authentic. Indeed, to our surprise we discovered that The Financial Times had already confirmed the basics of our source’s allegations (see “Shell gives Nigerian work to Militant companies”).

There were two possible interpretations. read more

WikiLeaks: Cable reveals Shell funded Nigerian rebels ‘peace camp’

Confidential Diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Abuja in 2005, Nigeria, reveals Shell paid $100,000 to fund a gathering of Nigerian rebels, supposedly a “Peace Camp”. When militiamen discovered that the meeting was funded by Shell, they rioted and gang members fought among themselves.

THE CABLE

251052Z Apr 05

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LAGOS 000605

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W
STATE FOR DS/IP/AF
STATE FOR INR/AA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/25/2015
TAGS: NI, PGOV, PHUM, PREL

SUBJECT: MILITANT DELTA YOUTH SET ASIDE ARMS AND DIFFERENCES read more

Shell to be grilled over Nigerian oil tensions

Royal Dutch Shell will be questioned by politicians over its operations in Nigeria – two months after tensions over oil exploration in the region flared up again.

Members of the militant Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on patrol. Photo: EPA   By Rowena Mason 6:30AM GMT 05 Jan 2011

Dutch lawmakers have arranged a hearing, described as a “fact-finding session”, after several MPs travelled to the troubled Niger Delta region.

A ceasefire between militants opposed to foreign oil exploration and the government broke down in November.

Pipeline bombings caused output to fall 40pc in Africa’s top oil producer until a ceasefire in July 2009. However, this collapsed when 13 hostages were taken from Afren and ExxonMobil’s oil installations this autumn.

Nigeria’s army, navy and air force launched a large offensive six weeks ago, storming rebel camps and jailing insurgents. read more

WikiLeaks: Shell says ‘amateur technocrats’ run Nigerian oil and gas sector

By John Donovan

According to a U.S. diplomatic cable classified as “confidential”, a senior Shell executive Peter Robinson, informed a U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs that “amateur technocrats run the oil and gas sector” in Nigeria.

This damning verdict, of great embarrassment to Royal Dutch Shell, was made in February 2010 and was recorded in a confidential cable from the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria reporting on a meeting between Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, and members of the International oil community in Lagos, including Peter Robinson and another Shell VP, Ian Craig. read more

WikiLeaks: Oman secret plans to take gas fields away from Royal Dutch Shell

By John Donovan

Secret cable from U.S. embassy in Muscat records a meeting in March 2008 between U.S. Admiral William J. Fallon and Sultan Qaboos. During the meeting, the Sultan expressed concerns about Iran and also revealed intent to “boost production by taking smaller and less productive gas fields away from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) — 60% owned by the government and 34% owned by Royal Dutch Shell — and awarding them to outside companies such as
British Gas and BP.”

Viewing cable 08MUSCAT174, ADMIRAL WILLIAM J. FALLON’S MEETING WITH SULTAN

Reference ID: 08MUSCAT174 Created: 2008-03-01 05:05 Released: 2010-11-28 18:06 Classification: SECRET//NOFORN Origin: Embassy Muscat

VZCZCXRO2105 PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHROV DE RUEHMS #0174/01 0610549 ZNY SSSSS ZZH P 010549Z MAR 08 FM AMEMBASSY MUSCAT TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9318 RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MUSCAT 000174 

SIPDIS 

NOFORN
SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/01/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER ENRG KWMN IR IZ MU
SUBJECT: ADMIRAL WILLIAM J. FALLON'S MEETING WITH SULTAN
QABOOS 

Classified By: Ambassador Gary A. Grappo for Reasons 1.4 (b, d) 

-------
SUMMARY
------- 

1.  (C) Sultan Qaboos discussed both domestic and regional
issues during his February 19 meeting with Admiral William J.
Fallon, CENTCOM Commander.  On the domestic front, the Sultan
described his desire to empower the government to be more
responsive to citizen concerns.  Seeking to strengthen the
role of Omani women, the Sultan plans to convene a conference
in 2009 designed to increase the participation and leadership
of women in all aspects of Omani society.  Sultan Qaboos also
shared plans for continued infrastructure development in Oman
and described efforts underway to obtain more natural gas.
On Iraq, the Sultan advised against a premature withdrawal of
U.S. forces and stated that more regional assistance would be
forthcoming if Iraqis would "come together" to take charge
of, and invest in, their own country.  Sultan Qaboos shared
U.S. concerns about Iranian meddling in Iraq and elsewhere,
but contended that Tehran knew confrontation with the U.S.
was not in its interest.  Iran's "charm offensive" in the GCC
had succeeded in lessening suspicions of some officials about
the true intentions of Iranian policies.  End Summary. 

2.  (C) CENTCOM Commander Admiral Fallon, accompanied by the
Ambassador, met February 19 with Sultan Qaboos bin Sa'id for
approximately 2 hours at one of the Sultan's castles -- Husn
al Shumugh -- in the interior of Oman.  (Note:  The Sultan
was outside of Muscat on his annual 4-6 week "meet the people
tour" during which he visits selected sites outside the
capital.  End Note.)  The Sultan appeared in good health and
was cheerful, although he commented that his role as ruler of
Oman was demanding and did not allow him time to do all the
things he wanted to do, such as reading more books.  "My
office is wherever I am," he stated, noting that he
constantly had to attend to paperwork and urgent requests
from his staff, among other tasks.  The Sultan added that
despite his busy schedule, he always made time to "watch the
news," though he did not elaborate on his preferred media
outlet. 

-------------------
CONCERNS ABOUT IRAQ
------------------- 

3.  (C) The Sultan expressed concern over a premature
withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.  Recognizing recent
improvements in the security situation, he counseled that
American troops should only leave "when the time is right."
He stressed that Iraqis had to "take charge" of the fate of
their country, but questioned whether the different factions
would be able to "come together" to accomplish this.  He
pointedly asked the Admiral, "Do you really think Prime
Minister Maliki and his government are capable of pulling the
country together?"  The Sultan did not directly respond to
Admiral Fallon's comment on the need for assistance and
investment for Iraq from elsewhere in the region.  Instead,
he stated that if the Iraqi people helped themselves and
invested in their own country, others would follow suit. 

4.  (C) The Sultan appeared to follow events in Iraq closely.
 He commented, for example, that the Kurds had apparently
"come out well" in recent central government talks on budget
issues, and asked about the status of electricity production
in Iraq.  The Sultan seemed to take a particular interest in
Admiral Fallon's discussion of Iraqi Shia leader Abdul Aziz
al-Hakim, including the status of Hakim's health and his
possible successors. 

--------------------------
INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
-------------------------- 

5.  (C) In addition to emphasizing the need for outside
investment in Iraq, Admiral Fallon highlighted the importance
of assistance from regional states for infrastructure
development in Afghanistan and other Central Asian nations.
Again the Sultan sidestepped the issue and shifted the
conversation to the critical role of roads and highways in
economic development.  He then mentioned infrastructure
projects for Oman currently under consideration, including
construction of a new dam and a freight rail line from the
northern port of Sohar to the planned port in Duqm.  The
Sultan hoped that the southern port of Salalah could be
linked by rail to Muscat and, eventually, to other GCC
states. 

MUSCAT 00000174  002 OF 003  

--------------
IRANIAN ISSUES
-------------- 

6.  (C) The Sultan commented that the Iranians are "not
fools," and claimed that Tehran realized there are "certain
lines it cannot cross" (i.e., direct confrontation with the
U.S.).  Regarding GCC relations with the Iranian government,
he stated, "Iran is a big country with muscles and we must
deal with it."  He continued that Iran's "charm offensive" in
the region had achieved a degree of success as some GCC
authorities (he did not mention names) were now less
suspicious of Iranian intentions.  The Sultan added,
laughing, that "I must say that as long as (the U.S.) is on
the horizon, we have nothing to fear." 

7.  (C) Responding to Admiral Fallon's frustration with
Iranian interference in Iraq, the Sultan remarked that
Iranian meddling abroad was "almost a game" to the regime in
Tehran, and said that Iran's leaders would have to stop this
practice if Iran wanted to "join the world as a noble
country."  The Sultan hoped that Iraqi leaders would clearly
tell and convince Iranian President Ahmadinejad during his
upcoming visit to Iraq to cease Iran's unhelpful interference
in their internal affairs.  On the possibility that Iran is
waiting out the President's final term before re-assessing
its strategy, the Sultan said that Tehran should realize that
it has to deal with the U.S. as a country, and not just the
current administration. 

------------------
THE SEARCH FOR GAS
------------------ 

8.  (C) After noting Iranian dependence on imports of refined
fuel, the Sultan described Oman's efforts to obtain more
natural gas to fuel growing domestic power needs and
large-scale industrial projects.  Oman had committed too much
of its limited gas production to long-term liquefied natural
gas (LNG) export contracts.  As a result, the government was
trying to boost production by taking smaller and less
productive gas fields away from Petroleum Development Oman
(PDO) -- 60% owned by the government and 34% owned by Royal
Dutch Shell -- and awarding them to outside companies such as
British Gas and BP.  The Sultan claimed these firms were in a
better position to increase productivity in these fields, and
pointed to the progress of U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum
Company in raising oil production in former PDO concession
areas, such as Mukhaizna. 

9.  (C) Looking offshore, the Sultan said he hoped that new
gas fields would be found in the Gulf of Oman to help ease
the country's natural gas shortage.  India's Reliance
Industries was currently exploring a deepwater oil and gas
block in this body of water, but had made no significant
discoveries yet.  Qatar would begin supplying gas to Oman by
2013, the Sultan noted, but not in quantities sufficient to
meet outstanding needs.  He added that Oman was still
supplying limited gas from Musandam to Ras al-Khaimah in the
UAE due to an agreement he made with its emir -- and which
the Sultan felt he could not break -- well before Oman was
squeezed for this resource. 

---------------------------
THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
--------------------------- 

10.  (C) Sultan Qaboos shared that he placed a great deal of
importance on education, and noted that a study of history
provided the context needed to better understand present
trends and events.  Regarding claims that some rulers in the
region wanted to keep their people uneducated in order to
more easily control them, the Sultan explained that this
strategy could easily backfire as it also left the populace
more susceptible to influence by extremists, such as the
Muslim Brotherhood.  Former Egyptian president and
pan-Arabist leader Gamal Abdal Nasser, the Sultan said, had
"set the region back" by being "anti-everything" and engaging
in vitriolic rhetoric designed to keep the masses ignorant. 

-----------------------------------
EMPOWERING THE GOVERNMENT AND WOMEN
----------------------------------- 

11.  (C) On domestic politics, the Sultan announced that he
would hold the first-ever combined meeting of his Cabinet of
Ministers and the Majlis al-Shura (the directly elected lower 

MUSCAT 00000174  003 OF 003  

house of Oman's bicameral advisory body) on February 26.  By
meeting together, the Sultan hoped that the Cabinet and the
Majlis would learn how to cooperate better and jointly focus
on important issues.  He commented that both bodies also
needed to "demonstrate more leadership" and avoid past
foot-dragging on promises made to the populace.  "People need
to see the results of decisions," the Sultan stated. 

12.  (C) Letting Admiral Fallon and the Ambassador in on a
"secret," the Sultan confided that he planned to call for a
conference of all "notable women" in Oman in 2009 in a bid to
encourage Omani women to expand their participation and
leadership in different aspects of Omani society.  Minister
of Social Development, Dr. Sharifa bint Khalfan al-Yahyaiya
(one of Oman's three female cabinet ministers) will chair the
meeting on the Sultan's behalf.  Lamenting that no women won
seats in the October 2007 election for the Majlis al-Shura,
Sultan Qaboos observed that Omani women were stuck in
tradition and needed to be empowered to "take more charge"
and to be "less shy."  "Some customs (regarding women)," he
added, "shouldn't be kept."  Nevertheless, gradual change is
occurring in Oman, the Sultan asserted.  His philosophy was
to "let it happen," rather than hold it up to public debate,
as the latter course of action often led to factional
fighting, internal strife, and other ills. 

---------------------------------------------
A RECURRENT THEME: MORE RESPONSIVE GOVERNMENT
--------------------------------------------- 

13.  (C) In concluding the meeting, Sultan Qaboos returned to
his goal of improving the responsiveness of the Omani
government to citizen concerns.  He stated that he would be
pressing "harder" on his ministers to engage in more and
better public relations efforts before the Omani police and
to effectively enforce their decisions so that the people
could see the benefits of announced actions.  Giving one
particular example, the Sultan said that rather than simply
announce a new development project, the government should
explain the downstream employment opportunities the project
would generate for Omani citizens.  Effective cooperation
between ministries and the Majlis Oman was also needed to
strengthen the civil institutional framework in Oman, the
Sultan added. 

-------
COMMENT
------- 

14.  (S/NF) In discussing his desire for operational change
in the senior government ranks, the Sultan twice implied (but
did not directly state) that such change was needed to
prepare the country for his eventual departure from power.
The Sultan's comments indicated that he may feel the
government is too dependent on his authority and should be
empowered to run more effectively without constant direction
from the palace.  End Comment. 

15.  (U) This message has been reviewed by Admiral Fallon.
GRAPPO  read more

WikiLeaks: Shell’s secret speculation about Irish gas fields

guardian.co.uk home

23 December 2010

A senior figure in Shell said that there could be dozens of gasfields similar to a major one off Ireland’s west coast that has become the focus of a bitter battle with local people, according to a cable from the US embassy in Dublin.

It reported that Julian Cetti, Shell Ireland’s head of commercial and business strategy, had said Shell’s highly lucrative Corrib gas field and another facility planned in the Shannon area by the US oil firm Hess would be enough to meet Ireland’s domestic gas demand for many years. read more

Activists demand prosecution of Shell over Wikileaks revelations

Shell had gone beyond merely doing business in Nigeria but had “perfected its despicable act of corporate rule through which it has over the years evaded justice for all its atrocious activities against the environment and the Niger Delta People.”

By Ayo Okulaja

Environmental activists have urged the Nigerian government to begin criminal prosecution of executives of oil giant, Shell, for alleged treasonable activities committed by the corporation as revealed by an online whistleblower, WikiLeaks.

In the released cables of US diplomats in Nigeria, WikiLeaks revealed that Shell’s vice president Ann Pickard admitted to a former US envoy to Nigeria that its employees were seconded to all the relevant ministries and agencies of the Nigerian government and thanks to the infiltration, the company was able to keep a tab on all governmental policies and deliberations. read more

WikiLeaks Nigeria: Royal Dutch Shell embedded spies

WikiLeaks: Royal Dutch Shell Nigerian Shame

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it is “absolutely untrue” that it has infiltrated every Nigerian ministry affecting its operations in the oil-rich nation. (Bloomberg article)

This claim is totally at odds with the WikiLeak cables published on this website. We are being asked to believe that either Ann Pickard (above right) was misquoted by the Americans, or was not telling the truth to the American government.

This is of course all part of a desperate attempt at crisis news management by the Royal Dutch Shell propaganda ministry. read more

WikiLeaks Touches Shell

Bloomberg News

Executive Ann Pickard, now in Australia, said Shell had ‘people’ in Nigerian ministries, according to a cable.

By JAMES HERRON in London and WILL CONNORS in Lagos, Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell PLC feared it could lose the bulk of its oil-license acreage in Nigeria after the country’s new Petroleum Industry Bill is passed, according to one in a series of diplomatic cables that offer glimpses into the intersection between business and politics in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

“The PIB will redefine how a company can hold on to its exploration and production blocks, limiting what can be kept to two kilometers around each well,” said the cable from the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to government officials in Washington. The message followed an Oct. 13, 2009, meeting between Dundas McCullough, the U.S. deputy chief of mission in Abuja, Nigeria, and Ann Pickard, who then was Shell’s vice president for sub-Saharan Africa. “We could lose 80% of our acreage” under rules that would redistribute undrilled areas, she was quoted as saying. read more

Cables Paint Shell as Dismissive of Nigeria

By JAMES HERRON in London and WILL CONNORS in Lagos, Nigeria

Royal Dutch Shell PLC feared it could lose the bulk of its oil-license acreage in Nigeria after the country’s new Petroleum Industry Bill is passed, according to one in a series of diplomatic cables that offer glimpses into the intersection between business and politics in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

“The PIB will redefine how a company can hold on to its exploration and production blocks, limiting what can be kept to two kilometers around each well,” said the cable from the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to government officials in Washington. The message followed an Oct. 13, 2009, meeting between Dundas McCullough, the U.S. deputy chief of mission in Abuja, Nigeria, and Ann Pickard (right), who then was Shell’s vice president for sub-Saharan Africa. “We could lose 80% of our acreage” under rules that would redistribute undrilled areas, she was quoted as saying. read more

WikiLeaks: Royal Dutch Shell Nigerian Espionage

FROM A FORMER EMPLOYEE OF SHELL OIL USA

No matter your opinion about Wiki-leaks and the founder of that organization, there is little doubt that the latest revelations regarding the degree of infiltration of Royal Dutch Shell into the Nigerian government have been potentially a great service to the people of Nigeria.

The release of these documents is also a PR nightmare for RD Shell. Does anyone now believe RD Shell management about the level of their involvement in the framing and execution/murder of Ken Sara Wiwa ? Clearly, RD Shell management knew exactly who was doing what and when. And they knew the Sara Wiwa was a target long before his arrest. Yet they did nothing, and warned no one of the governments plans. Appears like collusion to me.

And then there is the massive amount of bribery of Nigerian officials, in which Shell played a significant role. Given RD Shell’s level of knowledge of governmental affairs, those bribes most certainly were highly targeted pay-offs. read more

WikiLeaks: NIGERIA: SHELL CLAIMS PRODUCTION UNAFFECTED BY ATTACKS

Viewing cable 08LAGOS368, NIGERIA: SHELL CLAIMS PRODUCTION UNAFFECTED BY

Reference ID     Created     Released     Classification     Origin
08LAGOS368     2008-09-19 16:04     2010-12-08 21:09     SECRET//NOFORN     Consulate Lagos

VZCZCXRO7080
PP RUEHDE RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0368/01 2631613
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 191613Z SEP 08
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0170
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHHH/OPEC COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9823
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0037
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0140
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE read more

WikiLeaks: SHELL MD DISCUSSES THE STATUS OF THE PROPOSED PETROLEUM

Viewing cable 09ABUJA1907, C) SHELL MD DISCUSSES THE STATUS OF THE PROPOSED PETROLEUM

Reference ID     Created     Released     Classification     Origin
09ABUJA1907     2009-10-20 06:06     2010-12-08 21:09     CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN     Embassy Abuja

VZCZCXRO4227
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1907/01 2930617
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 200617Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7262
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS PRIORITY 2129
RUEHSA/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0101
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC read more

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