News and information on Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
LondonLad how can you honestly make a comparison between badly treated staff and Greenpeace? And have you not checked how much dirty pollution by way of CO2 an oil company is responsible for? Or all the oil spills? Where the hell is the empathy? Good grief I’m relieved to be out of that snake pit. No doubt another HR or PR (or is it CX) person will write a reply protecting their masters!
Well “going out smoothly” it is indeed a “dirty job” at the coal face – it is also very dangerous. So I assume you are someone who has zero knowledge of the oil industry or its products?!?! Do you drive a car? do you ride a bicycle? do you fly to other countries? do you live in a house? do you own a pair of shoes? etc. etc. All of these and many many more things from our daily lives rely on the oil industry and their products. It is dick-heads like you and Greenpeace who have virtually no idea about the oil industry. Why even John Donovan made a fortune out of working with the oil industry until he fell out with Shell. Oh it’s great to be back and being able to comment on some idiot comments.
you guys are all crazy. its just a dirty job with a dirty company. Make your money and move on… treat them like they treat you – what have you done for me lately.
Academics have been stating over the last 30 years about the need to change careers 3 times in your lifetime. With respect to Oil, this is potentially twice. 1988 and 2014. Staff are pretty much the same as contractors these days; difference being that contractors carry most of the workload.
Read the article about energy storage revolution. This will drive a stake in the heart of the US coal industry, except for certain used and export, and it will drive natural gas prices into the ground. It will also prove a boon to hybrid vehicle technology, which will help cap the demand for liquid hydrocarbons for motor fuel. Looks like the days of expensive oil maybe gone forever.
Amused Non Expat – A bit surprised at your rationale. Because you perceive expats to be overpayed, it is ok for Shell HR to impose a new HYPOtax? Get the wording, this is not a tax, it does not go to a government, will not go to funds to build schools, housing, healthcare. No this hypotax goes to Shell general funds (who knows to pay the high dividends). I have been on both local and expat side, and agree Shell has been a good employer as a whole, I just have issues with unscrupulous HR staff who trod decency so easily. I know numerous staff who have been send to a location with certain promises, only to find out the reality is much less. If you work in HR, please do some self reflection on who in Shell actually earns your sandwich for you…
Sadly I do agree with Shareholder, that it appears this time around the smart people are cashing in on Shell, signs all around that the ship is aiming for big rocks.
To Amused non expat- am thinking you might know how much the redundancy payments are in cash terms to be able to comment….are you in HR? (probably has a high CEP and a Shell tattoo somewhere on your behind). Last time I checked, this is a forum for people to speak openly about ALL and ANY issues relating to Shell, whining or otherwise. Consider it cathartic for people to get it off their chest, and be included in conversation that creates a bit of camarardarie, lest it happen in the corridors of Shell.
Not gloating at all, nor envious so nothing to let go. Just pointing out reality which appears to have been overlooked by some folks. To the best of my knowledge I cannot recall anyone committing suicide over a redundancy but I may be wrong.
To amused non expat.. Envy of your fellow expats will eat away at you. Let it go. And i advise you to not gloat at those about to lose their jobs (expat or not). People have been known to commit suicide over such life changing moments. A bit of dignity please.
“Expat Staff” were you so innocent as to believe Shell promised you job for life. If Shell has really given you promises in contractual terms then you re very lucky. I did disagree however that you would have been better off as a contractor, whose life and work is always at the will of the employing company and can be changed at a moments notice. Expats were immune from that exposure and you should be grateful for that. As for Shell only having the “people who can’t cut it in the real life” to imply that is a totally ridiculous statement and belittles the many of us left. I would suggest it is the expat who doesn’t know what the ‘real life’ is all about and is just finding out.
I have worked for shell in over 12 international posting over my time. At present i am on garden leave waiting for the redundancy paper work, and have been told that i will not have any real option of securing a position in my home country. When i left on expat conditions some 27 years ago, there were lots of promises, and even more conditions expressed in contracts / agreements. One central theme to this is that the company would have my back and ensure that i would have a job when i came home. Part of the carrot associated with the sacrifice. Now, its just a numbers game. Tax equalization agreements in my contracts covered taxes while in overseas locations. I agree that the current approach could be considered fair and just, but not when the terms and conditions and HR staff always stated i would always have a job at home after my many years of service in remote locations. Anyone who worked in Nigeria, Oman, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, China for long periods of time much of it away from friends and family will understand. We have been shafted. It would have been better to be a contractor for hire over this period, as they have had been able to just walk away from assignments, work for Exxon or BP for a stint and come back to packages often better than staff. With the expectation that staff will be protected, contractors are just hire and fire. Heaven forbid you or a family member get sick… How many cancer deaths have left the families with extremely difficult repatriation, and much smaller sums than promised? I for one will now go back to being a contractor, lots of our suppliers and service companies will be paying top money when the pendulum swings, and shell will have only the people who can not cut in the real world left.
I find it amusing that we have highly (over) paid Expats now whining about having to pay tax on what will be considerable redundancy payments. This whole entitlement/greed attitude is one of the problems which has got Shell into this overstaffing situation. Just remember that a lot of the redundancy payments are WELL in excess of statutory minimums and are ex gratis payments and can be taken away at a moments notice. This whole expat ‘entitlement’ attitude is sickening and people should look in the mirror sometimes. Most of you have had a good ride on the gravy train but the train is about to hit the buffers. Time to step off and walk away.
Concerned about unscrupulous HR careerists being (again)in charge of the current downsizing operation. Do they understand (or do they care) when they are cutting too deep into the framework of technical expertise and loyalty that used to be the foundation of The Company and the envy of its competitors ? Do they really know for sure that the oil price will stay low for longer ? I sense that a lot of staff have had enough and are following the lead of Mr Van Burden (5.3mln EU salary + 9.7mln performance shares in 2015) and are now preoccupied filling their own bank accounts with as much voluntary severance pay as possible before the whole thing collapses. Sad story.
I am so sad to hear of the crappy treatment of former colleagues. So much for the Shell People Survey or safety culture. It looks like Shell’s greed has risen to the surface. I am relieved to have retired early. You Can Be Sure of Shell (screwing over their staff). Shame on you Shell. Looks like this rabble of attack dog lawyers, HR and their masters make Phil Watts look like a saint!!!!!
Former Shell: Most of my career with Shell I have worked in countries where no income tax is paid. Midway my career Shell introduced the hypotax. They claim this is for equal treatment. Well, had I worked in the Netherlands I would have build my AOW, I would have participated in tax free saving schemes, free house loans (try to get a mortgage as expat), etc. This equal treatment argument by Shell is just another way of getting half back of a bonus, reward, severance scheme, etc. Nothing fair about it. If you still work for Shell have a look at all the suddenly changed policies under HR (june/July), the world is changing. HR is charged, it seems, with getting rid of staff the most cheap way. Many expats are half the cost of regular Dutch staff to get rid off. Sad indeed. Who still looks at competence these days……
Count me in guys! I’ve also been treated disgracefully.
It’s times like this I wish we had a union to speak to. I’ve been given a date, told ive not options but to take the package and forget about the two decades i’ve devoted to the company. What happened to People Values? I don’t mind too much about leaving but being treated like dirt wasn’t part of the Employee Value Proposition. HR @ Shell are the biggest whores of all. No emotions. No principles, a bit like the hired guns of the wild west.
If you are looking for a good law firm to take a legitimate case pro-bono you might try the law firm of Mayer Brown. They have a London office. It is a good law firm and they do a fair amount of pro-bono work, but you need to have a good case.
On the whole Expat pay-offs and tax thing – pretty sure that with a few examples (UAE) etc, what’s now happening is that the tax bill that Shell has to pay when it makes the severance payment to the employee is just recovered by Shell.
Until then, basically what happened if you were made redundant in a host country, you could (in some cases) get payment tax free. Indeed, many many people were helped to move to those countries for “half an hour” before the decision was made. The reality is that there is still real money going through payroll, and so tax is really payable (with the exception of tax free countries) and Shell used to pay that for staff.
I kind of get why they don’t want to do this anymore…
John Donovan- do you know any lawyers who are willing to do any pro-bono work for the issues we are all raising here regarding taxes, dodgy reorganisations, unethical practices? Do get the feeling that Shell has shown its Achilles heel and needs to be exploited whilst the issues at stake are fresh and forefront of affected employees.
Police Alcohol and Extraordinary gifting on Corrib. Michiel Brandjes gave OSSL tea and buns and a hearty congratulations on achieving a one on one resolution meeting with BVB …still waiting for the meeting …men of integrity?
Cesar …the pimps don’t pay the whores (so I’m told) but BVB and Brandjes throw the false arm of resolution round the victim before slipping the Micky in …and doing the dirty deed ..some decent Shell and soon to be ex Shell disgusted by Shells actions here.
Amen to that Regular Browser. I’ve seen very decent and talented colleagues being treated like ladies of the night ie first the deplorable act against them and then being paid off at the end of it by the HR pimps. I hate to say it but the show is about to come to an end for this arrogant dinosaur. It’s one thing that they bully people like you Mr Donovan, but when they turn on their own staff, these are sure signs of the beginning of the end.
Surely there MUST be something we can do about this? Aside from thieving of government taxes, I heard that the reorg in Rijswijk had hit a wall after a group of Employees got it halted on grounds of it not following the established process. Can anyone who is in that group extend the investigation so as to cover all Shell companies and JV’s in the Netherlands? I’m sure they would love to hear some of the stories that have been flying around! Somebody ought to be having a field day regarding the legality of this reorg- it defies belief. I feel sorry for the people who will be left working for this monster. GET OUT however, whenever you can. There is life outside Shell by the way 🙂
Unfortunately Dutchdude both the UK and Dutch governments are so deep in the pocket of Shell that nothing would happen. It would take extraordinary publicity and public pressure to get anyone to pay attention and given that these payoffs even with the tax theft are out of the realm of possibility for most of the populace there is likely to be little sympathy. It is not the first time and won’t be the last that ‘creative’ HR types have found ways to screw the worker out of monies. They have done it with ‘Local’ terms for people who are clearly expats, LNN terms, the Dutch 30% ruling, Expat assignments for home country staff, mandatory offshore banking for a number of territories and assignments and the list goes on. Even Deloitte is culpable in the way it prepares tax returns to benefit Shell. My personal view is that although sad the ones that can get out with any kind of payment are probably better off outside of what is clearly becoming a sinking behemoth that will realise too late the value that many of those it is shedding bring to the company – all of whom have largely been sacrificed on the vanity project that is the overpriced BG acquisition and the reluctance to accept that the days of high oil price (at least stable and sustained) are over.
Do note that you can appoint your own tax representative to file your tax returns rather than Deloitte, making Shell chase you for payments rather than the otherway around. It’s a risk to do this of course, but possession is always 9/10ths of the law as they say Take a look at the tax policy….
A few weeks ago there were some posts about Shell pocketing the tax relief of those taking the severance package. I had expected a bit more comments on this? Is the principle of tax not that it goes to the government? Since when do we allow companies to impose their own tax? Apart from the unfairness to the employees who worked for this and made sacrifices, it feels incorrect and arrogant. Tax should go to the government and tax relief to the person who is entitled to it. It should not be allowed to be taken away by unscrupulous HR staff. If there is a reader here who works for the government tax department please raise this with your employer (UK, Holland, …). I bet that each severance employee rather pays tax to his government than to Shell.
BVB please note three top irish bankers sent to jail today for corporate corruption, will the unfinished business of Shells CEO Nolan demanding lies and statement falsification to obstruct justice put policemen in jail as well?
BvB is definitely not an idiot. He should though stay away from gambling after making a spectacularly bad bet on BG. The consequences of his ill-fated gamble caused distress to the many thousands who have paid for the bad bet with their jobs. BvB will still earn millions despite his miscalculation over the controversial deal. Further proof that he is not an idiot.
Peter Robins, do you actually work for Shell or just looking from the outside as some of your facts are so wrong its laughable. As for calling BvB a “dutch idiot” you could not be further from the truth. BvB is far from an idiot, he is managing one of the worlds largest companies in a period of low oil prices whilst balancing a mega takeover. In my opinion, and many others opinions, he is doing a great job considering.
I got a kick out of the photo with the Shell oil logo giving the world the middle finger. Someone has a sense of humor.
Re. The “suspicious drowning” – there is absolutely no cover up. This incident is very regularly referred to by senior management in global talks to staff at the same level of detail as other serious incidents that happen. I think someone is trying to see conspiracy where there is none…
Salute North Sea workers and support fully their strike against the repressive Shell management’s discrimination in deciding the job cut target and distribution of severance pay benefit. Teach these leaders a lesson.
Peter Robins – severance formulae are based on years of service and it certainly does vary by country – but “minimum 3 years salary” is simply not true. Having got that wrong, the rest of what you say loses credibility. Get the facts straight, please.
Read the article about RDS looking for gravity waves. Shell should look into the joint NASA/DoD/BAE project called ‘Greenglow’. It too was focused on the hunt for gravity waves.
Shell not only greedy but discriminate racially between Asian and European works with respect to severance pay. When in Netherlands it is offered minimum 3 years salary, in Asia it is only a months pay per year of service. Since in Asia Shell has started business in some countries only a decade ago, this severance pay comes only a few months salary for staffs of those countries.
Time has come Shell should start cut jobs from top which is not done till date. By cutting a few lower rank jobs company will not benefit as saving will not be substantial. Only if EC, EC-1, EC-2 jobs are cut as well as the pay and benefit of remaining members of these bodies are cut substantial amount can be saved. But since this will involve the pay of the CEO, he will never agree with this and continue his drive from bottom. Even as racial overtures, highly paid expats are not being touched only local employees are being targeted in Asia where severance package is also poor compared with Europe.
ALSO COMMENT ON THE ARTICLE: SHELL NORTH SEA STRIKE: WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
This was inevitable after discrimination and rigid attitude of Shell management of only targeting lower rank staffs and their benefits without touching senior staffs. Discrimination between region to region in severance pay is making staffs boil and other staffs will also go to strike after North sea.
Ah! RDS is stealing from its laid off employees. How nice. That is so much how RDS operates. What an ethical crew. What a great company to work for. Let’s have a bid cheer for RDS. What? All I hear is raspberries. Oh, my.
The leaked confidential Shell PowerPoints Presentation covering severance pay can be viewed in its entirety via this link: http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2016/07/07/greedy-shell-takes-redundant-employees-tax-breaks/
As if its not bad enough to endure the indignity of being made redundant after many years as a loyal employee – human sacrifice for the sake of the ill-fated BG Group takeover – Shell top is is now intent of robbing us of tax breaks. How low can you get? Totally unscrupulous.
The respect I once had for BvB has completely evaporated after this disgusting machination on tax breaks meant for innocent victims of his power play for BG Group. A disgrace.
Peter Robins it somewhat diminishes your argument to refer to BvB as a ‘Dutch idiot’. Whilst you and I might agree on the fallacy of some of the choices made he is not an idiot and is responding on the counsel of his EC. We might also agree on the unfairness in relation to the packages being offered but like it or not Shell like anyone else is a business it does not exist to be charitable. Part of the reason the Dutch terms are so generous is due to the lobbying of the staff unions – something which could also be done in other locations if there was the energy and commitment to do so. I would point out that many locations are being offered much more than what the law requires which, for all its faults, is a credit to the company as it is going beyond what its legal requirements are. I would also point out the axe is falling disproportionately to the BG employees, so whilst anyone losing their job is a tragedy (particularly in this environment) some people are feeling more pain than others. The unfortunate fact is that the majority of the EC and higher management are wedded to a world of higher rents which oil and gas affords them. The business is not structured culturally to accept the much lower returns that other avenues offer. It is regrettable that the company does not have the vision to see past short term operating goals but the blame there also lies with the institutional shareholders whose indifference contributes to the impasse. The BG deal, whilst hideously overpriced, is the right strategy in the very near term to shore up that high rent behaviour but I will agree that over the long term it will seem like a less sensible decision.
van Beurden is a Dutch idiot who knows nothing outside fossil fuel when the need of the hour if renewable. Five years down the line, the decision of van Beurden to take over BG will be considered as blunder by his predecessors like he is doing now. Job cuts due to company’s benefit is understandable. But hi is ot doing it in company’s interest, then why no top level EC, EC-1 jobs have been cut? Why expats are not losing jobs inspite of non-productive and costly. It is Dutch bluffing to investors in the name of BG integration, taking benefit for their own countrymen of 3 years salary for every Dutch retiring whereas offering a few months pay for other countries.
Shell job cuts till now are only cosmetic one targeting only lower rank low cost employees leaving the higher rank high cost non-productive expats and job group A, B and 1 ranks. The powerful EC and EC-1, EC-2 rank employees is done their best to retain their jobs untouched and made fool the investors through job cut numbers without divulging the exact saving due to these cuts. But in 2009 transition the situation was different under stewardship of then CEO Peter Voser. He ensured to cut jobs from higher rank targeting the costly employees of costly countries and ring fenced cheap country staffs. But this Shell management is too busy to save their own jobs than thinking of company benefit. This management also doing racial discrimination in paying severance package among employees of Europe and Asia. Let us see how long these management can save their jobs through such corrupt exercise.
Shell is always a company doing discrimination although they write “an equal opportunity company” as their policy. The recent example of such discrimination is their severance package offer for their Netherlands staffs and Indian staffs. Governed by strict Govt. rule, presence of staff council and CEO is a Dutchman Shell has declared severance package for their Dutch staffs with three years pay, although the pay package Dutch staffs receive among highest in the world. But the same company has offering one month salary for each completed year of service for Shell’s Indian permanent staffs taking advantage of corrupt Govt., no staff council and native staffs at receiving end of this discrimination. Shell has history of more than 100 years of such discrimination and racism in this modern world although their management team bit the drum of equality, inclusiveness and fair treatment. Join our drive to denounce such hegemony by an international company of civilized world.
Comment on the article: Royal Dutch Shell Set to sink?
With poor management, rampant corruption and racism this is inevitable within short time. The situation of low crude price is being handled by Shell management shabbily. They are trying to show the shareholders action by cutting jobs in thousands, but actually the job cuts are not being done without any rational or transparent manner to reduce cost and enhance efficiency. When costly expat employees are being retained due to their skin colour, cheap and efficient local employees are being targeted. With such poor management the fate of the company is known to world.
The oil and share price are both rising. I’m hoping that this doesnt stop the company from getting rid of the poor performers and half of the US workforce (who are busy sitting around moaning about the Hague).
The more things change the more they stay the same. Back in the ‘bad old days’ RDS was in bed with Hitler and his gang of goons. Now RDS has decided to get in bed with Putin and his gang of goons. At least RDS management is consistent in its policy of who it will deal with in the ‘foreign’ markets.
Affected Shell employees going to challenge job cut decision to Indian court.
The 250 odd employees of Shell India who received letters from management saying their position is affected have decided to challenge Shell in Indian court against the letter issued to them. As per them it is illegal in India to cut job because of less work.
(COMMENT ALSO POSTED ON TWO RELATED ARTICLES)
In the late 1950’s world oil consumption was just shy of about 20 million bbl/day. Today we consume close to 90 million bbl/day. Anyone want to guess why we have a CO2 induced climate change problem ???
Relieved, with so much emphasis put on self serving careerist moves and ensuring their high CEP there is no time for forward planning or thinking. Part of managements problem is it has a very short memory and has been corrupted by ‘group think’. The model for progression does not allow for dissenting views – something not unique to Shell amongst big oil. As a result any semblance of commercial savvy is lost on folks who are only interested in making an impact in the 2-4 years before they get rewarded for sycophancy. It does an enormous amount of discredit to the competent and smart people working to make the company better but they certainly do not have the management and executives they deserve. Personally I see it as a direct consequence of the choices and ‘advice’ that was embraced from the 90’s onwards, BvB would do well to sweep the deck if he wants to cut the fat but we know that will never happen so the great con continues, a shame really.
Has anyone in Shell management ever heard the old adage ‘buy low and sell high’? Shell plans to dump assets at a time when the price it will get for those assets will be quite low. So much for management foresight.
Grotemol, Yes, you’re right. It has been Shell’s global; policy to go Open Plan with offices only for SEGs for the last 10 years or so. So finally the US staff are falling in line. I don’t like Open Plan but I dislike exceptions even more
Boardroom Blunder is a massive miscalculation on Shells part. CEO who demanded the lies to save a top cops bacon departed as the youngest retiree from a Shell Directorship ever. Cover up continues but is fast unraveling for both the Police Commissioner (coat on shakey nail) and Shell
Latest talk around WCK is that we will all be ‘hot desking’ when the two downtown and NOLA offices close. Bruce and his SEG buddies will be fine sitting in their 400 sq. ft office while the rest of us have to hot desk a 30 sq.ft cube. No wonder so many of us work from home. How can we attract the bright young stars if all you offer them is half a desk if they get to work early?
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My Shell friends, despair not. Ye who have little faith. The real job cuts are to come. This is the calm before the storm and then the HR mafia will target the pay heavy workers. But dont expect the HR net to catch the rubbish workers. They always slip thru the net due to friends in the right places (and long tongues). Sack the lot of them Benny van Beurden and watch the shareprice rise as fast as a butt kissers CEP. Oh happy days 🙁
The job cuts in Shell India means only for lower rank staffs. All JG-2 and above staffs or the expats are not touched. It is cosmetic with respect to cost reduction as local staffs are the cheapest among all other regions and country. In India there is no protection from their corrupt Govt. nor there is any social security. India base country staffs are cheapest among whole Shell with respect to salary and benefit thanks to low Indian Rupee exchange rate with dollar. Still only 10% of lower rank local staffs have been targeted without touching the high cost expats or JG2 and above. This shows Shell’s dishonesty and insincerity to cut cost. In face for India it is naked racism is being followed for job cut.
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Unlike 2009 transition when down sizing was done in transparent manner first targeting the expat and higher salaries employees, this time lower rank staffs are targeted first when EC, EC-1, EC-2 staffs was untouched. The reason given of BG integration or lower for longer oil price is a fake eye wash. Why EC, EC-1 managers salary and benefit is not cut before going for job cut?
Forget the hogwash about renewables, my guess is that the dividend is definitely going to get cut.
The cat is now out of the bag !! Renewable energy sources mean the end to BIG OIL. Well, almost the end. That is Shell’s judgement. Forgive me if I don’t weep crocodile tears. Apparently RDS finds climate warming, and its consequences the only acceptable option. I mean, what would the world do without BIG OIL and the corruption it breeds ???
Paul Goodfellow is a pure genius. I mean who else could come up with this brilliant strategy !!
“We need to reduce our cost base, improve production efficiency and have an organization that best fits our combined portfolio and business plans, ” Mr. Goodfellow said.
How much is he paid?
Incompetent American managers (Houston based) such as J. Ledbetter, L. Hayes, B. Stoyko are in the process of destroying Shell Canada.
…….and “relieved” we never learn. Our news boss, Culpepper, is the ex head of HR in the USA who has already shown his ineptitude by spending large amounts of money on putting workers into cubes which most of us hate. Everyone now tries to “work from home” !!
Relieved: spot on! When he arrived in SIEP he told us that Shell had the best resourcing system in the world. And he was right. Next thing he did was to destroy that model completely by importing a bunch of no-good americans (there also are some very good americans…), pushed the remuneration of the top to extreme levels and then was parked as ‘president’ in the USA. He loves travelling in style and surrounding himself with sycophants. Plenty of those in the US of A, the land of the ‘free’ and the weasels. He left a ‘Me First, screw the rest’ attitude throughout and the results speak for themselves. He reminded me most of the evangelist Billy Graham, with the difference that Hofmeister was a complete windbag claiming to be an Amish. An insult to the Amish!
Read the article on Hofmeister. The man is a self-promoting weasel/slime ball. And he clearly doesn’t understand the oil industry very well. But then he did not grow up in the oil industry. Before his stint at Shell USA he was a Human Resources professional in the aerospace industry. He should have stayed there.
The Dutch have always been protected by their ‘Staff Council’ which is a trade union by any other name. The staff hide behind this and have been immune to cuts and redundancy despite being grossly over staffed with high job group people. This will hopefully come home to roost soon as they start to fight amongst themselves to make the savings in the centre as there is nothing else left. Those of us left count ourselves lucky we still have a job but the workload just went up 5 fold !!
Oh yes, that article by Prabhat Sakhya is probably one of the best examples of lazy journalism I have seen for a long time. His prediction of the demise of Shell and BP is laughable as it is based on just two consecutive periods when the oil prices has floundered. Of course it does come from the aptly named Motley Fool.
We all know what kind of management RDS has. This is no secret and RDS employees live with this fact everyday. So, in light of this knowledge does anyone serious expect RDS management to be ‘fair’ and ‘generous’ when it comes to disposing of excess staff ??? Come on people. Staff is a disposable asset to be managed in the most profitable manner possible. All RDS employees are expendable, it is simply a matter of who goes first.
And your point being?
NL staff get much more employment protection than UK staff, hence UK staff get laid off first. It would be interesting to see the figures from the 2010 cull of which nationalities suffered most.
Don’t worry, it will all be in Bangalore soon – then God help us.
Interested to know if any current Shell employees have picked up on the unfair approach to the current reorganisation. Management in Netherlands are seeking RFA’s and operating to a different timeline to the UK and Australia, with Australia being able to steam ahead with their reorg plans as they do not have the same constraints. So much so, that impacted employees are being asked to second guess whether they need to apply for jobs in their base countries or to stick tight and see out the brutal and unfair approach to reducing staff numbers in their current host countries. What gets me is the fact that Shell talks about being a global organisation yet works very much to a local agenda- presumably because of the various employment laws which are stronger in the westernised world contrasting with the slacker legislation in others which make it cheaper in the long run to fire staff. I wonder how long it took the bean counters to work that one out?
Shell gave up its Arctic leases in the late 1980’s because of the lack of economic viability of the hydrocarbons the discovered in that early drilling program. Well, management changed and guess what? Someone sold new senior management a bill of goods and here Shell is once again, i.e., at the same place as it was in the late 1980’s. Anyone want to try this a third time around ? Maybe spending another $7+ billion will prove to be the charm.
In 2007 we were informed we had to pay back 128 million out of our pension because the UA 488 out of Edmonton lost it on a bad investment but when you do the math and run the numbers it doesn’t make sense. Every member, travel card and permit sacrifice their pension for 4 years to pay it back and from what I been told were still paying back their loss to date.I talk to retired members and soon to retire member that are still waiting on their pension and a total of their funds.If they don’t have our pension and spent it we want them to pay the tax on it.
Say in 2007
20,000 members working full time
$24,000 a year for each member
Turns into $480,000,000 a year.
And that’s just half of your members.
Where did all the money go? And that’s 20000 men and they had what 70000 men working in 2007.Your union had Suncor, Syncrude, Albion, Scottsford, Kearl, Firebag, cnrl, Dow Chemical, and Petro. So where did 1,680,000,000 go?
Our working dues is 128$ x 70,0000 men x 12 = $107,520,00. Now what did your union do with everyone’s money and that goes for your members money? How can they loose government-regulated pension and if they spent it, shouldn’t they pay taxes on it bc it tax-free money they spent.
10 percent of that is a lot of tax money.
To Regular Browser:
I have a friend who owns a 2008 Toyota Prius that gets about 65 miles to the gallon on the highway when driven at slightly less than 65 mph. It averages about 45 mpg. I have driven the darned thing and this ain’t no bull. These cars cost less the $25K now. You do the math. I am not impressed by Shell’s new vehicle.
come now Relieved, for once Mr Donovan should be praising Shell for philanthropy. It is very clear that almost everyone on Earth would prefer to walk than to get into that glorified Fisher Price car. I find it ludicrous that with all the brainpower in Amsterdam and Rijswijk focussed on such a product the best they could come up with was, as you put it the glorified Smart Car (with a fisher price paint job) that still for some flabbergasting reason runs on Petrol despite the fact that there is no city on Earth pushing for this type of car that is not anything other than electric. Shell is in total denial about the disruptions it is facing, I think the axe should be swung higher up the food chain than the poor folks in The Hague, Rijswijk, Reading, London, Aberdeen, Houston, Calgary and Perth who are currently facing an uncertain future.
I find Shell’s ‘bug eyed’ creation interesting but most probably doomed to failure. Battery technology is advancing so fast now that Shell’s glorified version of the of the ‘Smart’ car is probably to face a similar fate.
Really? That was a pure rant against the Nigerian government from what I can tell. Could we persuade you to be shorter or give us a link to your blog? Did you mention Shell at all?
ON GAS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA – WHAT PRESIDENT BUHARI NEEDS TO DO
With the prevailing harsh economic realities facing the Nigerian economy due to the free fall of oil price in the global market, which has practically affected every sector of the country, there is need for more attention to be diverted to the development of other energy sources to revitalize the energy industry. This is where the development of Nigeria’s abundant natural gas reserves comes into play. Unfortunately, not much has been witnessed in this direction in terms of developing it to what it should be.
As an environmentally friendly and efficient “energy source”, natural gas is today considered the cleanest-burning conventional fuel, producing lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions than heavier hydrocarbon fuels such as coal and crude oil. Natural gas fuels power stations for electricity supply, heats buildings and is used as a raw material in many consumer products, such as those made of traditional plastics. But despite its importance, the Nigerian Government over the years has not been given natural gas development in the country the rightful attention it deserves. With a proven reserve of more than 260 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Nigeria’s gas reserve is triple the nation’s crude oil resources as at 2013. Hitherto, Associated Gas encountered during the normal course of oil production has been largely ‘flared’. Nigeria is reputed to be the largest gas-flaring country in the world. By not fully harnessing its gas resources, Nigeria loses an estimated 18.2 million U.S. dollars daily according to some reports.
It is in the light of these, obviously unfavorable prevailing circumstances in the industry that we strongly believe there is need for the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to first have some caliber of people who have the relevant expertise, proven integrity and credibility in ‘the development of gas’, and they should be strategically placed in sensitive government positions in the Presidency, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support the ongoing good efforts of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC. The truth is that, for the President Buhari government to turn around the Gas industry, “it would depend on the caliber of people who will be working with the government”, their credibility would be what would be working for them. To this end, the Federal Government should make use of ‘technocrats’, especially those that have been active (or retired), in Multinational Oil and Gas Companies like Shell (SPDC), to deliver as many of their programmes in the industry as possible. They promised to put in these basic criteria on how they are going to operate and they would expect everybody who is working for them to operate in a transparent, ethical manner.
The truth is that there are indeed ‘exceptional experts’ within the organized private sector whom the present government needs to bring on board to turn things around in the nation’s Gas development objectives. The Federal Government as led by President Buhari cannot do it alone. As we have observed with Alhaji Abdulahi Bukar, an expert in Oil and Gas facilities development, who, after retirement, joined what was then called Goge Joint Venture with Frontier 1, which is one of the marginal Oil Fields from the marginal Oil forum from 2003. And with his Team, they have commenced looking at the development of Fuko Marginal Oil Field in Akwa Ibom State, which everybody thought it was Oil but it turned out to be Gas. That was the key seed that started the 7 Energy Frontier Joint Venture partnerships, which is producing gas, the Aku Gas Pipelines that are all over the South East, Nigeria, with approximately 227kms of Pipelines. The Uquo Gas processing Plant and Gas Sale Contract is said to serve five customers, the main customer being the Ibom and Calabar IPP Generation Stations belonging to NDPHC, as well as Unichem Cement Factory of Lafarge, and Notore Fertilizer Plant in Rivers State. The Uquo Gas Field will help to generate an additional 1000MW of Power supply for Nigeria by the end of 2015, helping to increase Nigeria’s grid Power Generation by more than 20%. The project has been hailed as a success story of the FGN’s marginal Field Programme by Federal and State Governments.
We believe that for any elected Government, just like we have in Nigeria at the Federal level, there are two things to note. That Government has to take care of the majority that elected them into office, but they also have to take care of the minority, who may not have agreed with them, but they are still part and parcel of the country and we believe their needs must be addressed. We also believe this Government under President Buhari has the wherewithal, vision and resolve to actually address ‘knotty issues’ on Power Generation, on Gas supply; not only for Power Generation but also for industrial use, on the liquid/fuel issues that have been bedeviling this country for the last 20 to 30 years, and also to see to our reawakening of values, discipline; to make sure we become our brothers’ keepers in order to create an environment that would allow a large number of Nigerians currently unemployed to be brought back into the economy in productive employment and delivery.
Agreed that the nation’s Oil and Gas industry is very vast and there are so many areas and issues that are begging for attention to be addressed, but we strongly advise that, having assembled a formidable force of technocrats as experts in Gas Development within and around the Presidency, the next line of action is for the Government to sit with these ‘experts’ and together; agree on what exactly is achievable within the shortest possible time limit, as well as long term goals.
As rightly noted by Alhaji Engr. Bukar, “we have suffered major deterioration in the energy sector for a number of years. There are some highlights, but then if you notice, there has been an appreciable lack of investments in exploration and operations, so our reserves are going down.” So there is need for these experts in Gas Development so appointed by the Presidency, to set the targets that we should address as a nation. They should call all the key investors, that is, the key stakeholders and make sure that the message is understood and their confidence is restored and then, they should establish a new platform as to how they can work together with these investors/stakeholders and also ensure that; not only do they agree with the people who are going to be the key players, but they also agree with all other stakeholders at various levels in the country, including those at the host community levels. This is to ensure that everybody understands that there is something in it for them, and you need to be able to address the various issues in a multi-faceted way.
Still in this direction, Alhaji Engr, Bukar noted that “a lot is happening in terms of what everybody can see along the roads, now let me take you a little back into history. People forget that the President was the Minister of Petroleum in Nigeria when the Kaduna and Warri Refineries were built, and all these Depots, including the Atlas Cove were built. He was there as Minister when the product delivery pipelines, including the Gas line from Ode to Ajaokuta were built. In 1984, when he became Head of State, it was under him that Bonny LNG was revived. So you are talking to someone who is relatively conversant with the energy industry and I believe it will not be difficult to convince him on what needs to be done, how it can be put in place and how it can be measured.” He also strongly advised that “You need to mobilize huge amount of resources in terms of Nigerian manpower and investment money both from inside Nigeria and from outside Nigeria. So you need to give a clear transparent system that would allow that money to move, you need to have credible and bankable projects. You can address the gas and the Gas infrastructure to bridge Nigeria’s needs for Power supply by allowing access to reserves, by allowing bankable Power Projects and by allowing bankable Power infrastructure to be put in place for the length of those projects which would allow people to work painlessly, without too much headache.”
When asked how can Nigeria under the present government address the problem of power supply in the country? Alhaji Engr. Bukar stated in his words that “Nigeria now generates between 4,000 and 5,000 megawatts of electricity and it is actually a great shame. I don’t know if you remember the late Bola Ige who was the first minister of power in Obasanjo’s cabinet. Bola Ige was very obsessed with getting it right, but in the 3rd quarter of 1999, there was a power system collapse. So he said by March 2001, he would be able to repair everything and get power supply back to 4,000 megawatts. By the grace of God, he did it. Yes he did, you can go back and see the advert on March 2001, telling you that we have now achieved our target, let’s plan the way forward. Regrettably, he was no longer there to articulate and move on the plans. So new actors came and they moved from where he left and started putting in power stations that were created. Unfortunately, we got bogged down in what I call lack of the institution that I have mentioned, lack of clarity and all those things I mentioned earlier.
“Yes we talked about building power stations, but when we started to dictate where the gas would come from, that became a problem. Because we are not funding the JVs who are supposed to deliver the gas for what they are asking, we were never able to deliver the gas correctly at the right time to meet demands for the power stations and other industrial needs. So when we had built the power stations, we suddenly realized that we did not have enough gas supply to feed it, we also suddenly realized that we did not have the transmission system on the ground to take power out of that generating station to the public and we put in a lot of money and others and because of dislocation, dare I say some unethical practices, they were never delivered according to agreed plans. So that lack of consequence management caused great harm and actually led to corruption. A lot of people took money and never delivered anything, it is true. So what we should do is that whenever we are building the next set of power plants, we should carefully plan to address all the needs and make sure that resources are not only budgeted, but they are allocated to cover what would bring those systems into production in time. Nigeria is going to grow from 5,000 megawatts now to 40,000 megawatts.”
Bukar’s counsel to President Buhari on how to constitute his cabinet and his advice for Nigerians concerning their involvement in the administration is that: “the President has got an extremely huge and onerous responsibility. The 174 million Nigerians expect a very huge amount of efforts and change from him and he requires the services of able, competent Nigerians to deliver that as well as the understanding, cooperation and patience of the populace to understand what is going on in order to ensure that he delivers his dream to the people. The people need to recognize that you cannot make all the changes everybody wants with the flip of a switch. It takes time, it takes efforts, and it takes constant invigoration for people to understand. Yes, this is what you said you would do and this is what you are doing. Anything that is outside it, we should come back to the true path we have set for ourselves. People would have to also realize that those who are there now are Nigerians. So my advice is that Buhari should put in place people who have wisdom and conviction; they should be technocrats who can deliver things on the field and can run the processes efficiently, ethically and in a balanced manner, making sure that we have got an all-inclusive environment for all Nigerians to feel that the government represents them and is delivering on their behalf. This is a very crucial point.”
Nigeria’s gas flaring re-emphasizes the aphorism that “we are rich in energy resources but poor in energy supply.” The Associated Gas Re-Injection Act was made as an Act to compel every company producing oil and gas in Nigeria to submit preliminary programmes for gas re-injection and detailed plans for implementation of gas re-injection. It made it illegal after January 1, 1984 to flare gas without the permission of the Minister of Petroleum. The targets to stop gas flares have since then moved from 1984 to 2008 and 2011. But gas is still being flared up to date. Quoting Mr. Emeka Okwuosa, Group Managing Director Oilserv Ltd, Nigeria flares about 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas a day (bcf/d), which could fuel about 7000MW of efficient thermal electric power, over 1,400 agro-processing facilities, 350 textile plants, 70 fertilizer plants with opportunities for creating over one million jobs. This amount of gas flare represents 12.5 per cent of all global flared gas.
Seriously, these figures and estimates of what Nigeria is loosing as a result of the gas being flared daily and not utilized, is more than enough to make any purpose-driven government to promptly take proactive steps to reverse and address the situation in the interest of the Nigerian common citizenry.
In a recent publication by Techno Oil in their “Going Green Revolution”, it was noted that Nigeria with a population of over 160 million only consumes 0.5kg per capita; Ghana with a population of 24.34 million consumes 3.0kg per capita; Cameroon with a population of 20.55 million consumes 1.9kg per capita; South Africa with a population of 53.3million consumes 5.5kg per capita and Morocco with a population of 33.24 million consumes 44.4kg per capita. We can imagine the disparity. No wonder relevant stakeholders within and outside the country has often referred to Nigeria as “the gassy country with no gas”. This is hinged on the obvious; that Nigeria is funding below her weight in the domestic gas market.
In 2014, Nigeria lost about $1billion as oil companies operating in the country flared a large proportion of the gas produced from January to September 2014. According to data from the NNPC, about 295 billion standard cubic feet (scf) of natural gas was flared in the nine-month period. International Oil Companies (IOCs) and indigenous players burnt a total of 43.7billion scf in January, 50.1 billion scf in February and 38.3 billion scf in March. In April, 22.3 billion scf of gas was flared; 19.7 billion scf in May and 23 billion scf was wasted in June. In July, 29.1 billion scf was flared; 39.1 billion scf in August; 29.5 billion in September; and 44.37 billion in November. According to the NNPC’s Monthly Petroleum Information, in December 2014, Nigeria lost $133.716 million, which is about N26.743 billion to gas flaring, as oil and gas companies in the country flared 20.11 per cent of their total gas production. Specifically, companies produced 221.634 billion scf of gas, utilised 183.78 billion scf and flared 44.573 billion scf.
The Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) put the average price of gas at $3 per unit of 1,000 scf, translating, to $133.716 million for 44.573 billion scf flared, and $551.346 million for 183.783 billion scf utilised. If 1.2 billion scf flared per day (According to Mr. Emeka) has the potential to generate up to 7000MW of electricity, the aggregate gas flared in 2014; about 376.41billion scf can translate into 21.97GW, in addition to its inputs in agro processing, textile plants, fertiliser plants, and the number of jobs created from the multiplier effect. Despite the penalties, oil and gas operators have continued to flare gas and regulators seem to have looked away. While there is need to interrogate the positions of penalty payments considering the joint venture/ arrangements, there is also the need to revisit the issues of gas pricing and availability of gas infrastructure; else the question will be the relative cheapness to flare gas than monetise gas. To this end, efforts should be made to harmonize and reconcile domestic gas pricing across markets in Nigeria while seeking ways to attract and sustain foreign investments and funding for gas infrastructure especially for the improvement of gas to power in Nigeria.
Though, Nigeria is the second largest producer of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Africa, and the sixth largest producer in the world with over 3million metric tons annually. However, current per capita consumption of the gas in Nigeria is about 0.8kg/annum. This is the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa; lower than those of Nigeria’s West Africa neighbours who do not produce the product. Annual LPG consumption in Nigeria in 2010, was put at 120,000MT, whereas, in Lagos alone, there is a potential market for 1,000,000MT annually. Yet, stakeholders in the industry are daily crying shortage of gas supply for domestic, industrial and power generation usage. How can we be crying shortage of what the country has in abundance in reserve? The problem squarely lies with the country not giving gas development and utilization the rightful attention it needs.
The International Energy Agency predicts that the demand for natural gas will grow by approximately 44 percent through 2035. Perhaps, this explains why International Oil Companies (IOCs) like Shell are investing more in natural gas as they are divesting from their crude oil assets in Nigeria and other countries. This also explains Shell’s huge gas investments in Russia, for example the Shell Sakhalin Natural Gas Plant in Russia is one of the world leading gas projects. Shell also has the largest Gas-To-Liquids Plant in the world in Ras Laffan Industrial City, 80km North of Doha, Qatar. Apart from producing diesel, petrol, and kerosene, the Plant produces base oils for top-tier lubricants, which is a chemical feedstock called naphtha used in making plastics and normal paraffin; also used in making detergents.
The Federal Government of Nigeria can, for instance, replicate all of this and even more in the country if strategic natural gas development projects like the New Utorogu Gas Plant (aka Utorogu NAG 2 Project) in Ughelli South LGA, Delta State, as well as the Utorogu NAG-2 Condensate Tank Farm, are given the needed attention. There is need for instance, for the Federal Government to make this gas development projects a “top priority” by giving them the needed funding and attention. The New Utorogu Gas Plant, which is currently being handled by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) after Shell (SPDC) Divestment in Delta State, seriously needs all the funding it can get from the Federal Government so that NPDC and its contractor MAKON Engineering & Technical Services Ltd can finish the project strong, as well as the said Condensate Tank Farm.
The importance of Gas development cannot be overemphasized. As environmentally friendly and efficient energy source, natural gas is lighter than air, colorless, odorless and tasteless. For this reason, odorant is added to the gas to make it noticeable and objectionable for safety reasons. Natural gas can be compressed and, therefore, transmitted in large quantities through relatively small pipe diameters when under high pressure. Nigeria cannot afford to continue flaring gas and complain about inadequate gas supply; whereas the country is blessed with abundant gas reserve/deposits that are begging to be developed and utilized, hence, the need for the Federal Government and industry investors to adequately fund the operations of the NPDC and its gas development activities in Utorogu areas of OML 34.
Aside export purposes, Natural Gas can also be used to satisfy the following in Nigeria: Domestic Gas demands since natural gas dispensed from a simple stovetop can generate heat in excess of 2000°F (1093°C) making it a powerful domestic cooking and heating fuel; produce Hydrogen, which is a primary feedstock for the chemical industry and an important commodity (hydrogen agent) for oil refineries, and the fuel source in hydrogen vehicles; natural gas can be used for transportation, including Aviation fuel, as compressed natural gas is a cleaner alternative to other automobile fuels such as petrol and diesel; Natural gas is a major feedstock for theproduction of ammonia, via the Haber process, for use in fertilizer production; and most importantly, Natural gas is a major source of electricity generation through the use of gas turbines and steam turbines. Most grid peaking Power Plants and some off-grid engine-generators use natural gas. Natural gas burns more cleanly than other Hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil and coal, and produces less carbon dioxide per unit of energy released. Natural gas is also used in the manufacture of fabrics, glass, steel, plastics, paint, and other products. We can imagine the enormous employment opportunities available in this sector if given the proper attention.
With all of this at the back of our mind, we can therefore understand the need for the Federal Government to focus more attention towards gas development in the country. As a matter of fact, with appropriate funding, the above stated gas projects in Utorogu OML 34 and others across the country can ‘energize’ the whole of Nigeria if given the needed attention. Utorogu can become Nigeria’s “energy source centre” that can provide all the nation’s gas supply demands and for export purposes.
Without a doubt, special attention should be given and sustained in the Oil and Gas sector (which is still Nigeria’s mainstay), and the Joint Venture (JV) funding. There is a need for President Buhari to greatly improve on this, particularly in the area of Gas Development and Production. This is the surest and quickest way to redeem us from the present ‘economic hardship’ we are facing in the country. The Presidency just has to keep ‘servicing’ the Oil and Gas sector for things to ‘normalize.’ The funding of the JV has to be made a priority to develop gas as Nigeria has a lot of gas potentials. But let us bear in mind that the increase in the production of crude oil means there will be an increase in the production of Associated Gas (AG) as well. As we know, crude oil comes with gas, hence it is called Associated Gas. The gas is actually in two forms: Associated Gas (AG), which is either dissolved in and is involuntarily produced with oil, or lying on top of oil in a combined oil and gas reservoir. The other is Non-Associated Gas (NAG), which comes from reservoirs containing gas only. But increase in the production of NAG, means there will be increase in the production of Condensate. On the average, about 1000 standard cubic feet (scf) of gas is produced in Nigeria with every barrel of oil. Therefore, with oil production of some 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd), for instance, about 2.2 billion scf of AG is produced every day. The question has been how Nigeria should utilize the AG currently being flared.
On gas flaring, there were some major efforts by IOCs like Shell (SPDC) to reduce gas flaring in the country to the barest minimum, as you cannot really eliminate gas flaring completely. Some of these options for Associated Gas utilization as planned by Shell, for instance include the Re-Injection into reservoirs, fuel for industries, fuel for power generation, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicular and other uses, Extraction and bottling of LPG constituents for commercial consumption, Feedstock for Industry, Liquefied Natural Gas for export, etc. In fact, part of the concrete efforts made by Shell (SPDC) in this regard was to initiate the present Utorogu Gas Plant Phase 2 (aka Utorogu NAG 2) Project in OML 34, Delta State, which is meant to gather AG from the surrounding oil fields to address the gas being flared around the said areas. But that gas Project, which is near completion and has been taken over by NPDC/NNPC after Shell Divestment in Delta State, is today being neglected and suffering due to lack of funding by the Federal Government and other JV partners. One would have thought that such a sensitive gas project like the Utorogu NAG 2 Project would be made a priority by the relevant stakeholders as part of efforts to address this problem. But that remains to be seen.
This is why many like us believe that the Federal Government has not been sincere in addressing this problem of gas flaring/gathering and the development of gas in the country because of politics and vested interests, which has made the continued existence of the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) as a complete bottleneck in addressing these problems. How can the country continue to have a gas company that does not produce gas, but is only good at Piping, Metering and Marketing the gas produced by others like Shell (SPDC), Chevron, Texaco, Mobil, Seplat, and Nigeria’s NPDC, etc. In other words, the NGC is just there as a ‘middleman’ waiting for gas produced by others to distribute. This makes the NGC’s existence in the industry ‘irrelevant and needless’, hence, the NGC should be done away with. It simply does not make sense. In fact, one is forced to ask what the NGC is doing as a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in the development of natural gas in the country. We can see that the NGC, as a subsidiary of the NNPC, obviously constitutes as a bottleneck to the nation’s aspirations of utilizing its abundant gas resources for the Power sector and industrialization sector. Despite their inactiveness in gas development and transportation, the same crops of leaders in the NGC are still allowed to remain for several decades now.
On several occasion, we have advocated for the complete scrapping of the NGC and the liberalization of the gas sector to allow investors to come in. The Federal Government must completely scrap the NGC in order to improve in the development of gas and its utilization in the country. The NGC can be done away with because they are just a Marketing Company that sells the gas produced by IOCs and the NPDC. There is need for the Federal Government to allow IOCs and other oil and gas companies producing the gas to sell same directly to the end users. NGC does not play any role in the production of the natural gas produced in the country. The IOCs and JV partners have the capacity and capability to build gas infrastructures for this purpose.
Experts in the industry have revealed that some of the impediments to Gas development in Nigeria include the: Inadequate Gas Supply Infrastructure; inappropriate/unrealistic pricing of gas, especially for domestic use; Absence of institutional and regulatory framework; Low level of industrialization and inadequate consumptive capacities. And for these to the addressed, there is need for the government to create an enabling environment for investment in the gas sector; ensure a comprehensive, integrated power-gas approach; development of gas infrastructure; ensure appropriate regulatory framework and energy market reforms.
The crux of the matter is that there is need for the government to put in more effort and focus in the development of natural gas for domestic and export purposes. For instance, the seeming low level of utilization of cooking gas across the nation can be effectively addressed with the formulation of a policy by the Federal Government that will serve as road map for the next five years. According to the Managing Director of Nipco, Venkataraman Venkatapathy, he noted some few years ago that the forward path which will dovetail into effective promotion of LPG as veritable substitute to kerosene as household cooking fuel can save the Federal Government foreign exchange to the tune of 245billion naira ($1.25bn). He maintained that with the abundant natural gas resources in the country the nation should become one of the highest users of LPGs as cooking fuel with all its attendant benefits.
Conclusively, for the way forward, we believe it is expedient for the Federal Government to “liberalize the natural gas sector” just the same way it has done with the crude oil sector. In other words, apart from the already existing Joint Venture (JV) partners the Federal Government has with IOCs like Shell (SPDC), Chevron-Texaco, Mobil, Agip etc, they should ‘open up’ the gas sector with investor-friendly policies agreements and conducive environment for interested private investors in the Organized Private Sector to come in to harness, develop and distribute gas for the country’s domestic demands and for export purposes. Foreign and indigenous private companies should be given ‘free hand’ and necessary operating license under required Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) signed with the Federal Government for the development and proper utilization of the country’s abundant natural gas resource. This should be done the same way the Federal Government has a PSC signed agreement with the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) in the crude oil sector. So that the investors in the gas sector, will have the leverage to harness, develop and distribute gas for both Power utilization and industries in terms that will benefit them and all-and-sundry.
It is high time the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari takes concrete steps in the gas sector that would promote gas utilization in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner fuel alternative and feedstock. A complete overhaul of relevant policies, and most especially the NNPC and its subsidiary-NGC, is eminent if we are to achieve this vision where natural gas will overtake liquid fuel as the fuel of “first choice” for Nigeria’s Power utilization and industries. There is need for the President Buhari administration to take the bull by the horn and make things happen for the benefit of all as regards the country’s abundant gas reserves. We ask that the right things should be done.
Zik Gbemre, JP.
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes
I find comments about the gas industry’s competitiveness relative to coal interesting giving all the major coal companies in the US are in bankruptcy or approaching bankruptcy because of their inability to compete with coal. Even large exports to China aren’t going to pull these companies out of their financial difficulties.
Let us all call the LNG processing prototype what it really is – a ‘mega-barge’. And a very dangerous mega-barge.
With regard to the Siemens, RD Shell, et al, corruption article – I do believe the old saying ‘Birds of a feather flock together’. Is quite applicable in this case. Are any of us really surprised at all of this ???
It is pay cheque, not pay check.
Brun ? You mean burn.
The word is Posse
Mole – big deal. Come into the real world son. You clearly don’t understand the size of Royal Dutch Shell.
This is an Anglo Dutch Company, you should respect its roots and heritage, it is not North American.
The blind….leading the blind at RDS these days.
It is unfortunate that Royal Dutch Shell is now led by TEAM “B”. All the good folks have been pushed aside.
Shell Canada has lost all control and decision powers to the incompetent folks in Houston. Houston is led by a POSSY of folks like LE HAYES and LEBETTER that are no more than incompetent managers looking to collect a PAY CHECK. In the meantime they slash and brun smart CANADIAN employees and move jobs to incompetent USA staff that just happen to be their friends and former Military supporters. What a Shame!!!!
Shell is closing the Calgary Lube&Grease plant in 2016. More layoffs in Canada.
Shell the target of a corruption probe? NO! Say it is not so! What is this world coming to! Santa Claus is dead. Oh! The inhumanity of it all!
Contrary to what today’s newspaper reports might suggest, Shell wasn’t “dragged” into the long-running OPL 245 scandal – Shell was involved in orchestrating it from the very start. Since expenditure at this level must have required the approval of the EC it will be interesting to see whether Shell will let us know which members of the EC were responsible for approving the scam.
Shell Canada is in final talks with potential suitors for its Retail Gas Stations. Sources say that 7/11 will pickup Ontario sites while Couche-Tard gets the rest of Canada.
Relaxed: there are not many unconventional fields that are “profitable” at $50-$60/bbl, and most unconventional wells need to be redrilled every 1-2 years. Deep water wells are expected to produce far longer without intervention, and are generally very profitable at $50 – provided only that the host governments don’t get too greedy. So the GoM will survive at low oïl prices, whereas Brazil and Angola might not.
Would like to add to the good post from relieved. I feel going forward that the biggest technical obstacle limiting the high side of oil prices may well be oil fracking. At $50 or$60 a barrel huge state sized fields are profitable in the U S with huge reserves. It’s hard for me to understand how long term prices can break thru that ceiling when hundreds of rigs then show up and start flooding the market a few months later. It really makes me wonder if deep water, especial offshore Brazil, projects aren’t really going to be hurt with limited long term prices and only short term upsides.
Presumably Shell and Inpex were hoping to offload the Prelude vessel onto the Indonesians. The announcement of the indefinite delay to the Browse FLNG development was apparently delayed until Shell and Inpex were sure that the Indonesians would not take the Prelude vessel… I wonder if there are any other unsuspecting countries who would be interested in buying an unfinished prototype “cyclone proof” FLNG barge. Madagascar? Egypt? Nigeria? Israel? Namibia? There’s no shortage of stranded gas out there.
I almost don’t care what the latest rise in the price of oil may be. The industry is beginning to face the inevitable consequences of the advance in new technologies and those are inevitably going to have a very large impact on the long term future of the oil industry. Hybrid vehicle sales are continuing to climb even when gasoline sells below $2/gallon US. We have not yet reached the time when oil and coal are no longer the economic kings that fuel our economies, but we are getting there, and at a rapidly increasing pace.
Talking up the market is obviously a cheap strategy. But it is also a dangerous one that could potentially backfire on Russia and OPEC if it doesn t lead to actual changes in supply.
Seem a lot of people have “inside” views. Well from the outside it looks like Marvin was moved on. The Hague got control back and Upstream Americas (as was) is confined to the history books. I would expect to see more job losses in the rest of Shell now as the BG merger takes hold with more and more central management from the Dutch staff who are all high performers of course.
Your posts are far too long to read especially in the column format. Please give us the shorter version and you may get more support.
ON NIGERIA OIL WORKERS SHUT DOWN OF NNPC OVER ‘UNBUNDLING’ – NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE NIGERIAN COMMON MASSES
We strongly condemn the recent shut down of all offices and facilities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), by its oil workers, in protest of the recent splitting/restructuring of the nation’s oil company into Seven Independent Units by the Federal Government. If the restructuring of the NNPC into several units is intended by the Federal Government to make it more effective, efficient and to drastically reduce the bureaucratic bottlenecks evident in the NNPC as the independent units will be made to ‘manage their own resources and workforce’, then we do not see anything wrong with this. Hence, we do not see the reason for the so called shut down of operations by its workers.
Firstly, let us correct the impression already created by the media that what the Federal Government has done is an “unbundling of the NNPC into different parts”, which many (especially NNPC) has thought might adversely affect/reduce the workforce. But what we believe the Federal Government has done is a “restructuring” of the NNPC to make it more functional, effective and efficient in their services. There is a difference between the two terms ‘unbundling’ and ‘restructuring’.
This was also highlighted by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and GMD NNPC, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, when he announced the restructuring of the NNPC into seven independent units, namely Upstream, Downstream, Gas & Power Marketing, Refineries and Ventures, Corporate Planning & Services and Finance and Accounts. Each of the Units would be headed by Chief Executive Officers, namely Bello Rabiu for Upstream; Henry Ikem-Onih (Downstream); Saudu Mohammed (Gas & Power Marketing); Anibor Kragha (Refineries); while Babatunde Adeniran would be in charge of Ventures. The CEO in charge of Finance & Services would be Ishiaka Abdulrazaq, while the Executive Head, Corporate Services will be Isa Inuwa.
On the workers’ obvious fears, the Minister clearly said the exercise has “zero sum in terms of job loss. The principle of restructuring approved by the President is that nobody losses work. I do not have everyone gets busy, unless for reasons of bad staff performance and fraud. There is no mass attempt to let people go.”
He said the decision to embark on the ‘restructuring’ followed an analysis of the number of staff, which revealed that the corporation was overstaffed, and therefore the need for them to be meaningfully engaged. The only way to realize that objective, the Minister said, was to create jobs for everybody in the system to enable him has something doing. In his words: “We don’t want people coming to the office to read newspapers. We want everybody to get busy and earn money. If we do that we will realize that there would be adequate staff to man the different units, and that we don’t really have the problem of over-staff after all.”
With this understanding, it is plainly seen that what the Federal Government want is to do in the NNPC with this restructuring, is to make more effective, proactive, efficient and functional. So we do not understand why there appears to be so much discontent amongst workers of the oil corporation.
As far as we are concerned, all those kicking against the restructuring of the NNPC as planned by the Federal Government, are doing so for their own selfish interests and not in the interests of the plebeians (common masses) and the Nigerian economy. This includes the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), who are the two major unions in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. For PENGASSAN, they have argued that the union was not carried along in the decision to split the company. While for NUPENG, they said the union would not accept the decision without knowing how the manpower that would operate in the restructured units would be managed. We believe these are flimsy excuses used by these unions to justify their strike action. With the explanations given by the Presidency about its plans for engaging in the said NNPC restructuring in the first place, any sane industry player in sector should back the government efforts and not make things worse with a strike action. Also, must these unions use strike actions to communicate their grievances towards the government? What happens to a round table dialogue/discussion or other corporate means to address issues?
The nation’s oil and gas sector is already heated-up and under pressure for a while now over the downward trend of oil price, depleting foreign reserves and pressure on the Naira; why should the NNPC workers make things worse with their ill-advise strike action? If they really mean well for the nation’s economy, then they would realize what the Presidency is trying to achieve with its planned restructuring and they would give the President the needed support.But like we said, it is obvious that some few persons in the circles of country’s oil company are ‘massively benefitting/gaining’ from the status quo and the NNPC as an “umbrella corporation” where Executive decisions are tied to some individuals. Hence, these set of people are using the NNPC workers to frustrate the plans of the President who is trying to address the loopholes in the industry. This group of persons and the said NNPC workers that are currently on strike are obviously ‘anti-people’ and ‘anti-government well-intended objectives’. We strongly condemn their industrial actions, which is not in the interest of the nation’s economy but for their selfish gain.We therefore urge that they promptly call off their strike and support the good intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Not surprising. And the fact that they moved oil sands into downstream packages up that business nicely.
Shell Canada is working with a third party to sell all downstream assets in 2017 (Retail, Terminals, Refineries)
Relieved – the senior manager retirement age is still 60 in Shell, so that is not why Odum left. It was a long time coming for him now, however I would think he struck a rather nice deal for himself and receives his full pension when leaving the company. Shell usually does that with top brass who are nearing retirement age.
Again, I see lots of complaints from Nigeria. Like vultures on a dead body they flock on whomever appears to have money. And when stolen funds get returned, they steal it again! Hats off for these nigerian entrepreneurs..
Read here the story on ‘might as well steal it twice’. http://tinyurl.com/h9yucog
When are complaining Nigerians going to do something constructive about their own country?
Relieved – have you read the reports? They state he is 57. So I think your theory is flawed. If you look at the facts of his tenure then he should have been brought to task years ago. Maybe his links to the White House kept him in power but the Americas were out of control with their spending.
You could argue that Relieved were he not 57. No, Marvin FINALLY got called out for his incompetence. His presiding over the disasters in the Arctic and in the $40 billion shale misadventure finally caught up with him as all those who took the fall earlier had gone and BvB finally saw him as the liability he was. That was why he was ‘moved’ into the departure lounge position in the first place. I cannot think of a single executive offhand who willingly got off the gravy train before their time regardless of what Corporates press writers spin. The interesting thing will be to see how many of his equally culpable lieutenants (particularly in commercial) follow him to the exit as the BG merger progresses.
It is my guess that Marvin Odum is retiring because he has reached a mandatory retirement age for senior managers. When I worked for Shell that age was 60, although the board could extend the retirement age under special circumstances. As far as I can tell Marvin is retiring because the corporate rules say he must retire, not because he was ‘booted’ out.
At last, a CEO that has the balls and guts to make decisions.
Looks like US is going to get a long overdue shake up and clean out under AB.
Should have been sacked after the Kulluk incident. Wasted billions of dollars and should be hauled before the shareholders to explain where the money went. Apart from sponsoring sporting events in the US. of course !
Marvin has finally “left Shell”. The result of this is that The Hague finally gets to control the Americas operations under Andy Brown, something it has been trying to do ever since Voser gave it away.
Strange move to put a farmer from Alabama in as Country Chair, he has a hard act to follow with Marvin and Hoffmeister both were polished and impressive in public. Bruce is more like the Borat version, just hope he polishes those cowboy boots.
Shell are seeking a clear picture from the old guard on Corrib regarding the OSSL claims of police alcohol. For their part senior police are now asking serious questions of the remaining named policemen (guards) implicated in the alcohol accusations. More to follow.
RDS is looking at selling off Canadian downstream assets (retail, distribution terminals) in order to fund the BG takeover cash crunch. A secret group is currently working on this initiative and expect more news by end of Q2.
It’s not lost here in Mayo that Media got plied with booze by Shell but we are to believe that policemen and policewoman braving the wind, rain and freezing conditions on land and at sea ( Liam Grimes ) got no under the counter benefits for their efforts.
WE KNOW THEY DID.
Texvette, Marvin may have been closed down but it didn’t stop him wasting millions on the 2017 Superbowl, presumably he will have a ticket in exchange for the millions while his ex staff will be serving him cold beers. I just don’t get it, UA is short of money and we waste money on a super rich sport.
Looks like Marvin Odum was stripped of key responsibilities and placed in a lame Role. Ironically he will have to clean up the messes he left in Alaska and Unconventionals. A bit of Karma, but he should no longer be on the payroll after all his major mistakes.
The merger of Shell T&T and Royal Dutch in 2004 resulted in a major loss to the UK exchequer, as the taxes previously paid by Shell T&T went to the Dutch government instead. Presumably the taxes previously paid by BG will now go to the Dutch government too?
The sale of US natural gas to Europe is all about sticking it the eye of Mr. Putin. Putin has had a bad habit of using gas supplies to extort the EU into giving him what he wants. However, this exportation of US gas will not last forever and the EU needs to get off the dead rear ends and develop their own resources.
I have worked for Shell for more that 10 years and have always defended our business principles even in Nigeria where it is tough not to submit to temptation to move things along easier. The Shell Business principles have always been a cornerstone of the principles by which we work and now we find Ben and his cohorts have not paid any Corporation tax in the UK. Simon Henry, as a British citizen you must be ashamed if this is just slightly true, if not get the lawyers to issue statements and put the Sunday Times in its place.
SHELL CANADA employees are being forced to take a pay cut and shed vacation days while colleges in the USA keep on rolling with no change. Once again CANADIAN employees are treated like second class slaves by the USA masters. It is about time that Shell CANADA separate from the USA and chart its own destiny. Shell USA are a bunch of racist pigs!
London Lad ….Corrib has had five CEOs …that signed letters as Managing Director. The man sacked on January 1st who vilified OSSL in a need for cover up of alcohol gifting to the Irish police was a Director: his name is John Egan.
Two contrasting views on Corrib Gas published by your paper makes interesting reading:
Corrib gas a ‘template’ for ‘how not to undertake a development’
British engineers’ group say more democratic approach could have avoided cost overruns.
Brendan Cafferky’s opinion of the Corrib Gas Project – “This project is, in my opinion, an example of how to protect the environment” is the expression of his decade long unstinting support of Shell.
The Pro Gas Mayo group has three or four members, none of them living in the vicinity to the terminal or gas pipeline which may explain why safety issues did not arise for them. Mr. Cafferty seems not to be aware that Corrib Gas Partners can sell their share of gas to whomever they wish but not the Irish Nation. Once Corrib gas is pumped into the Bord Gais gas network it can be sold by way of sale, gas swap and virtual trading – even outside of Ireland. Just because the terminal is in Ireland does not guarantee security of gas supply to Irish customers. It’s a free market.
Mr. Cafferty is not very good on Norwegian history.
Norway’s policies on oil and gas were decided at a time when Norway was told that the nation will never be an oil and gas rich nation, luckily for the Norwegian people they decided to stay in control of their resources just in case. That was in the early 70th and by now they can afford to reduce royalties and tax.
Unfortunately, the Irish decision makers decided in the late 1990 to change fiscal terms and hand all Irish natural resources to the industry, lock, stock and barrel. Time will tell how much Ireland will have lost.
I rather agree with the British Engineers – Corrib Gas is a story of how not to undertake a development. If it is left to Mr. Cafferty = I guess he would do it all again, in the same way.
I have no doubt “Corrib CEO’s” that there has been (at least) three Shell Corrib CEO’s. However, they are not MD’s of Shell (i.e. not Shell Group MD’s which I got the distinct impression that Siggins was possibly attempting to infer). As far as I remember from my days in Shell and MD was not a CEO. Bottom line remains that thankfully for the vast majority of local (and no doubt national) folk the project has gone ahead for the benefit of all.
The real reason behind the Shell-BG merger is that it is cheaper for Shell to go exploring for oil and gas on Wall Street than it is to explore in the ‘natural world’. Witness the Alaska debacle. In the long run this merger may prove to be quite profitable. Time will tell.
Lorna Siggins is accurate three CEOs on Shell Corrib announced in print “mistakes were made on Corrib” Pyle (Rip), Nolan, and Crothers. Corrib has had five CEOs. A statement in itself, London Lad.
Me thinks that Lorna Siggins of the Oirish Times needs to name the actual “several Shell managing directors who have acknowledged mistakes” over the Corrib project. I didn’t think Shell had that many Group Managing Directors!! It remains the case that it is the few NIMBY’s who did not want this project to go ahead for the benefit of the country who continue to cause trouble. Just look at the picture posted on this website – far less than 50 people seem to be demonstrating about the project. These people need to get into the real world for the sake of their children and grandchildren. Maybe they want to run the country on potato fuel as the green alternative?
Corrib was acquired by Shell as a result of Shell’s takeover of Enterprise Oil. Many of the problems which have been documented on this site highlight the shortcomings inherited from Enterprise. Hopefully the integration of BG’s assets into Shell will be more successful.
January 29, 2016 UPDATE
Forces, whom I believed aligned with lawbreaker, SHELL, and the Supreme Court of the Philippines whose inaction to prosecute and/or discipline SHELL , Te, Lapitan et al, evidently proved to be their protector, were successful in their effort to stop me from posting to my personal blog by invoking violation of User Content and Conduct Policy. Though this restriction could give a major debacle in my effort to expose SHELL and the SCP symbiotic relationship, this incident in fact gave me a major victory in the sense that my campaign had yielded a remarkable psychological advantage. It got my needed media attention. I hope the Supreme Court move quick not to lock me up but to institute the much needed reform to effectively rid out inefficiency, incompetence, gross inexcusable negligence and corruption in the judiciary and the whole government machinery that the Filipino people dreamed of in a long time.
Shell Oil must cut all Contractors from WIPRO, ACCENTURE AND IBM since these contractors are all under performers and these Wipro, Accenture and IBM Contractors are not having relevant experience but they bring all freshers/ Zero experienced people to work on IT projects and claim huge hourly rate that is equal to be paid for highly experienced people. These WIPRO, ACCENTURE AND IBM companies including its PMO staff must be fired immediately to save future investments on business improvements. The work/task that can be completed in one day will be completed in 10 days by these Contractors since they get paid for all these days and Looks like Shell Oil is paying for under performed employees that needs to be paid for highly performed employees. Shell must have job cuts with immediate affect by giving Pink slips to all Contractors of Wipro, IBM and Accenture including all PMO Staff.
As one of the many let go by Shell in the recent cull in November I was not impressed by the way senior leaders clung to their jobs. This is now going to get even worse in my opinion as Shell announces more job losses. Even the inmates will be turning on each other as there is nobody left in the asylum and yet strangely the senior leaders still remain in place. The same senior leaders who got us into this mess seem to think they are the best to get Shell out of it. Good luck boys, its great watching from the outside for a change. Oh yes and don’t expect New Orleans to survive as Andy Brown’s boys come to town.
Wow I am once again in agreement with my old mucker “Relieved”. This low oil price is yet another blip in the oscillation of oil price. In R.T. this basically still shows a gentle increase as shown in numerous websites : http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/Inflation_Rate/Historical_Oil_Prices_Table.asp
I am sure that these sort of charts have been used by the various “planners” of RDS for the BG bid. Mind you, when working for RDS I never really trusted some of the scenarios used by these Central Office “boffins”. As far as I am concerned the purchase of BG remains a good deal. Exxon next purchase for Mr. van B??!!
RE:Drum Major – Whilst crazy days may indeed be ahead of us this whiplash (and it will be a whiplash) in the price of oil is not good for anyone. The shakeout will prove to be interesting.
Strange that Shell pulls out of a ADNOC gasproject but continues with the BG deal (if the shareholders allow it). Project costs must be at an all time low now and over 30 years this should be a good deal with the same arguments as used for the BG deal! More gas, more reserves, growing market, prices will increase, shift towards gas, etc etc.
And with Prelude coming along, I worry that in this depressed market there will be tremendous costcutting. This is always good as long as it does not involve cutting corners. But who can guarantee this??
The pressure on the top of Shell must be significant judging from their forced smiles!
So Relieved, whilst not as useful an empty steel oil drum is worth as much as a full one. Crazy days ahead, oil shares should be sold now.
RE:Steel barrel price ? The current list price for 55 gallon steel drums appears to be around US$60. Steel is not cheap anymore. Try the web for better listings.
John Donovan, perhaps readers in the know could tell us how much does a steel barrel for oil cost and at what point will the barrel be worth more than the oil? My guess is 12 or 13 US dollars. Thanks for your great site.
To Old EP Hand: Yes, conventional oil and gas will be here for a good long time. It is a matter of economics.
It’s curious that, according to press reports, global production of oil is increasing to record levels, and the surplus is being stored offshore in increasing numbers of tankers. The price can supposedly only go down. It is strange to hear first hand reports from the field that suggest the opposite: production supposedly collapsing due to a lack of well maintenance and field development. Oil price rises may be much nearer than some of the traders are assuming…
Just check out this presentation on Ted talks.
The green maffia is trying to scare everyone into paying more taxes so they can have more green conferences in nice places and pontificate.
But these facts stand in the way so they are being ignored by this same mafia, most liberal media and other fast talking moviestars or politicians. Oil and gas is precious and we should not squander it. But it will be around for a considerable time!
The number of hydbrid gasoline/electric vehicles in the US is expanding dramatically.This is happening simply because of economics – its pays to buy one of these vehicles even when the retail price of gasoline is at US2.00/gal or less. Mileage improvements for passenger vehicles are dramatic, depending upon make and model, but are on the order of 80%. For heavy commercial vehicle it is on the order of 50%. So, not only does the oil industry face a glut of supply it faces the advance of technology that is radically improving consumption efficiency. That translates into lower demand or, in the near term, declining demand for crude. I don’t know as if I would trust Shell crystal ball regarding the increase in crude prices. It will increase, no doubt, but the rate and the degree of increase may not be what Shell wishes it to be.
The author of this comment is Fegalo Nsuke, publicity Secretary of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).
The situation in Ogoni is very pathetic. Pain, anger, frustration, sicknesses, malnutrition and poverty are dominant with no signs of relief. The memories of state-sponsored persecution live with us and successive governments continue to prosecute the agenda of hatred against the Ogoni.
The people have been underestimated, considered to be small and weak and adjudged incapable of any negative impact on the economy. This contemplation has empowered our tormentors to unleash the most inhuman treatment on the Ogoni.
In a supposed federation of 36 states, the Ogoni do not have a state of their own. The right to self-determination enjoyed by the majority ethnic groups in Nigeria is denied the Ogoni. The revenue generated from Ogoni, is more those of 20 states in Nigeria, yet the Ogoni, a distinct people with unique language and culture are not allowed to determine their future in their own state. Ogoni is not cared for, denied every thing enjoyed by the majority ethnic groups in Nigeria and subjected to the most inhuman conditions that assure them of no future. Death is for Nigeria, the sure end of the Ogoni.
In seeking to reclaim their rights, Ogoni leaders in 1990 came up with a historic document, The Ogoni Bill of Rights, which spells out their demands on the Nigerian federation. Nigeria did nothing to address the issues and a series of protests from the Ogoni were to follow.
The protests were targeted at Shell’s racist business practices in Ogoni. Shell’s usual response was to invite the Nigerian security forces whose ruthlessness left the Ogoni with an unending pain. Thousands killed, women raped, children killed and abused, thousands imprisoned and living conditions only get worse. Ogonis had been’ battered by a government that should have protected them. The climax was the November 10, 1995 hanging of nine of our leaders including Dr. Barinem Kiobel, Rev. John Kpuinen, Ken Saro-Wia and 6 others.
Convicted by their conscience, the Nigerian government ordered an environmental audit of Ogoniland and on August 4, 2011, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) released the audit report on Ogoni environment.
The UNEP report represented the first major success for the Ogoni as a scientific study by an independent body justifying the complaints of environmental damage leveled against The Shell Petroleum Company. Shell had operated in Ogoni for over 50 years and left nothing other than a completely devastated land. The U.N report said the pollution of Ogoniland would take 30 years to cleanup. Prior to this report, Shell had persistently claimed innocence of any wrongdoing in Ogoni.
Over four years later, the Nigerian government is yet to implement the report. The non-implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoniland points the fact that the Nigerian government is indeed committed to the systematic destruction of Ogoni. The government has taken over 30billion dollars worth of oil between 1958 and 1990 and have left oil spills to damage the area without any positive response.
The 30 day ultimatum issued by The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) on January 4, 2016 in Bori, calling for urgent action to implement the Ogoni environmental audit report or face series of mass action has come at the right time. MOSOP has spoken the minds of the Ogoni people. A people with no other alternative but to march against genocide and confront a seemingly insensitive Nigerian government. Ogonis cannot wait to see everyone die before they move to save and secure their future. We have a responsibility to stop the genocide!
With two refineries, two seaports and two power plants in Ogoniland, I am sure the government cannot risk an “occupy campaign” from Ogoni. Ogonis will consider occupying the oil and gas free zone, seaports and refineries endlessly until we are heard. We will come out with our foodstuffs, cloths and take over these territories to force the Nigerian government to act now.
The time to act is now. The Nigerian government has to address the Ogoni problem, beginning with the cleanup of the environment.
Author: Fegalo Nsuke is publicity Secretary of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).
JANUARY 7, 2016 UPDATE_SHELL Follow the Law or get out….
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (SHELL) greed and unlawful endeavor extend even to the point of robbing employee retirement pay by circumventing the Retirement Pay Law. I have called the attention of the Supreme Court of the Philippines through Atty. Theodore Te, the PIO Chief, since September 2015 about this matter, but up to this time January 2016, the good PIO Chief refused to give my complaint against SHELL due course. I even tweeted the honorables CJ Sereno and Justice Leonen about my plight that SHELL ROBBED MY RETIREMENT PAY but after a couple of days their tweeter accounts disappeared and as I feel it, both justices gone into hiding, perhaps to deny knowledge of my predicament and consequently, escape blame for their inaction. With these experiences dealing with SHELL and the Supreme Court I have reasons to believe that SHELL will not be bold enough to disregard the law without the protectors in the Supreme Court and this protection, of course is not free. However, these “honorable” people though have learned to transfer shame from their faces to the soles of their feet, could not withstand the mounting pressure for reform from the enlightened citizenry.
COMMENT IN RESPONSE TO ARTICLE: “Chris Blackhurst: Shell and BG’s £47 billion merger could really pay dividends”
Yes, Lloyd’s amalgamated with HBOS to produce one big bad bank. And so why did the Lloyd’s shareholders vote it through by 90%? Well maybe it was because the majority were also HBOS shareholders, much like this case where many institutions hold both Shell and BG shares. Do you really think they’ll vote NO and risk a collapse in the BG share price and resignation of the Shell BOD? You think Shell won’t be tempted to cut the dividend if the deal collapses and oil stays this low? Are the media so incapable of joined up thinking? Exxon would just love a NO vote, in fact they’re probably IMO, sponsoring a lot of the negative media stories over the past 12 months.
Ben’s luck could be about to change with a flare-up in the middle east rather than in Ireland. The oil price will soon react if Saudi-Iran hostilities spiral.
Bad luck in offshore Alaska. Dry well after Ben van Beurden approved another ill-fated attempt at Arctic drilling.
Misfortune in the Dutch courts with a precedent-setting decision that Shell can be sued in the Netherlands for alleged pollution and human rights claims arising in other countries. In the case in question, Nigeria. Was the unexpected decision a consequence of Ben firing Shell’s top lawyer Peter Rees two years ago? The court decision could cost Shell many billions.
More bad luck with the collapse in oil prices after Ben made a takeover bid for BG Group.
Would he have made today the deal he offered last April with the oil price factored in at $67 per barrel? I think we all know the answer.
Why is he not attempting to renegotiate?
Boldest Shell leader for many years but dogged by miscalculation and misfortune.
RDS sees its long term future as primarily a gas company. That has been clear for some time. It sees a ‘big’ future for gas in its corporate crystal ball and in that context the BG deal makes some long term sense. Time will tell.
Saw the article entitled ‘Your Company is Evil’. Well, that is a matter of perception. However, there is no question that Shell’s management is totally amoral. And that goes for most mega-corporations. Get used to it.
Say Relieved, what tax is applied to petrol (gasoline to you over the pond) compared to Coca Cola?? My view has always been that the US does NOT tax fuel (gas/petrol) enough compared to most modern societies. HOWEVER, as a person who does not believe in the crap that the likes of Greenpeace et. al. pontificate about long may the Yanks lower tax on fuel!! Happy Christmas to all.
If anyone is interested, retail gasoline prices throughout most of the U.S. are now below US$2.00 per gallon. Instead of a merger with BG, maybe Shell should consider a hostile takeover of the Coca Cola Company. The retail price of Coke is around US$4.00 per gallon.
December 19, 2015 UPDATE
My close family relative who now lives in my home address in the Philippines reported to me that at least on four occasions this past month of November 2015 men coming to interview them guised as LPG inspectors, census surveyors or my old friends and asking questions seemingly far beyond they supposed to be asking like personal information about the members of my family and place where they can be found and about myself…when I will be coming back home. My close relative felt something is not going right. As SHELL being portrayed from several of John Donovan’s article like the case of Ken Saro-Wiwa, it is not far that what happened to Ken Saro-Wiwa, could be done best in the Philippines given the culture of impunity they enjoyed, as I experienced and being observed, under the protection of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
December 14, 2015 UPDATE
Up to this time the Supreme Court of the Philippines PIO Chief, refused to respond on my inquiries and worse I feared that my messages are not reaching Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. So I searched for her tweeter account and I found it together with another, for Associate Justice Marvin Leonen tweeter account , where I tweeted them both my article “SHELL ROBBED EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PAY”, a couple of days ago. But now that I am about to tweet them again, I could not find their tweeter accounts anymore. I have a suspicion that both Supreme Court Justices hides to avoid answering complaint against SHELL and the PIO Chief.
Say “Bogey Boy” did Mike Napier (never heard of him but I assume he is / was your boss / ex-boss) fire you and that is therefore your main gripe? You are correct about Shell wanting to make money – surely all companies want to do this (and are required to do this by their shareholders)? That said, all companies must adhere to the law of the land in doing so. Global warming? …. too much time spent on this subject, seems to be an easy excuse by government representatives, show-biz people and media reporters to go on a jolly trip around the world to pontificate and burn up the planet by flying there!!
RDS is looking to exit the downstream markets in Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, and Germany
I cant wait to see what rubbish shell say about climate change now. Shell appear like a lost lost sheep. The dull rancid stale corpse VP Mike Napier of communications will order more lies to make it look like shell stand for something. they only care about making the dollar. Most of the worker know this too. Shell is abomination. Comment ends. Photo of Mike Napier immediately below.
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation misappropriated my retirement pay for their obligation for the payment of separation pay. This is against the Retirement Pay Law in the Philippines. Now that I am retired I started claiming my retirement pay from Shell but Shell refused to honor the company’s obligation under the law. I filed petition to the Philippine Supreme Court but the high ranking personnel, the PiO Chief is delaying and/or preventing the petition due course.
Any hope of knocking US shale production out of the global markets long term is futile. While there may some short term success, that oil isn’t going anywhere and as soon as oil prices recover so will shale oil production. The one effect excess production will have is to bankrupt the Russians, which probably is not a bad thing.
If you don’t want that sort of excitement on this blog Outsider then don’t post it. Clearly a serious accident but nothing to do with Shell in this instance.
There we go, as soon as I post about those NIMBY Oorish over Corrib we get the blog going. So Donovan 4 (yes four!!) initiated a legal challenge against Shell – just goes to show what the sensible folk of Mayo want from a project that will bring money and jobs to the area. However, the likes of the Harrington’s appear to be stuck in the 19th century.
For those craving more excitement on this site, see: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35016461
I for one would prefer to have less excitement. 30+ fatalities, 30+ families bereaved.
Have to agree “Cowboy” – it’s for that reason I sometimes put some end-of-the-week postings to stir some input!! So here goes …. (1) Has all this Corrib NIBY (not in my back yard) stuff stopped progress in Ireland? – same sort of people that you see objecting to bombing ISIL etc. (2) the RDS buying of BG has gone ahead despite all the gloom merchants, (3) what about my old mucker in Malaysia who tried to take SSB/SSPC to court? Jeez, and we are still 3rd in the Premiership!!
Site is getting stale and boring. Anything new. Seems only a bunch of losers are commenting here.
Lorraine Mitchelmore is really leaving because Shell is disgusted with MARVIN’s strategy to gut Shell CANADA. Shell CANADA is now but a mere shadow of the strong company it was prior to the RDS takeover. RDS has systematically dismantled and reduced Shell CANADA to a small player in Canada to the point where it has dropped to number 3 or number 4 in Canada. This is a JOKE and will only get worse as MARVIN and the other global clowns prepare to further weaken and destroy Shell CANADA. That is the true story.
You can add Pickard to your list of Marvin rejects, he is rapidly running out of people to blame ! In the last 4 years the senior leaders ‘discarded’ by Marvin has been awesome. Someone should buy him a mirror .
And again Shell Moerdijk failed to start up due to a fire in the compressor room. The guestion is how long will the delay be this time?
I suspect the Saudis have multiple objectives in mind by keeping up their production, not the least of which is to stick it to the Russians. By boosting production in the early to mid-1980’s and causing a collapse in the price of oil the Kingdom effectively bankrupted the old Soviet Empire which doomed to to collapse. The Saudis are no friend of Putin or his cronies.
Marvin has now fired Shell Canada country chair (Lorraine Mitchelmore). Once again the Americans are messing things up here in Canada!
The articles about the BG takeover are focussed on the short term prices of oïl and gas, but the oïl and gas development projects that Shell and BG undertake have a time horizon of 20 years or more.
While the analysts and journalists are focussed on quarterly results, the companies that they analyse are looking a little further into the future. There is no question that the prices of oïl and gas will rise again as the current lack of investment causes production to fall, whilst demand is steadily rising. Whether it is in six months or two years nobody can tell.
Any major upstream development investment decision made within an oil company is based on the net present value (NPV) of a project, even when the cash flow of the project may be negative for several years after approval. On this basis, even the most pessimistic current estimates of future oil and gas prices will result in a positive NPV for the BG deal.
What terrible lazy journalism by Neilan. In claiming Shell shares have “tumbled” whereas in fact they only went down by 2%. Thats hardly a ‘tumble’ in anyones eyes. It sounded like it was a shock to her that Shell made a loss. Where has she been the last 9 months? What will her next article be? “Germany Invades Poland”
Carmon Creek, Alaska, Eagle Ford ….. Would someone PLEASE tell me something Marvin has done right? If Ben keeps him on, his new title should be CFO (cluster f**k officer).
maybe somebody should tell the BIDNESS article has the BP logo on it not the BG one. Ifpeople wish to write such stuff v it makes one wonder how informed they really are?
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN:
Yes, it was a Bidness.com howler that I should have noticed. Now rectified.
The Saudis have chosen Poland for a reason. With Poland’s total oil imports a bit above 24 million tons per year, with 20 million tons coming from Russia, this is a historic opportunity to not only shake off its energy dependence from Russia, but also to become an major Saudi oil hub in Europe.
Poland’s Northern Port in Gdansk can receive up to 35 million tons of oil per year with a possibility to increase this capacity by at least 25%, i.e. to some 44 to 45 million tons per year, what leaves some 20 million tons per year of excess capacity.
As the most recent reports state, the Saudis extended an offer to Poland to co-finance the construction of oil storage facilities and pipelines redirecting the oil to the Baltic States, Ukraine and the Visegrad Group member states. This alone would reduce Russia’s oil exports to Europe by a whopping 13%, thus reducing its annual export revenue by $12 billion (at $30 per barrel) to close to $20 billion (at $50 per barrel).
Poland, of course, will be more than happy to throw as much sand into the Russian financial gears as possible, since it’s the main driving force behind the creation of the European energy union and stripping Russia of its all monopoly pricing power on the EU energy markets. Germany and France, as well as the Scandinavians will likely comply.
Petroleum News: Burger delivers: MMS reappraises Chukchi well; may be largest hydrocarbon find on Alaska OCS
MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE: Summary of Economic Study of the Burger Gas Discovery, Chukchi Shelf, Northwest Alaska
From these two articles it is clear that the big problem for Shell was the lack of oil and the now low prices for both gas and oil. This prospect contains a huge amount of gas and gas condensate but it is not economic to develop at current commodity prices. Shell’s hope (if it ever existed) of finding oil was probably futile wishful thinking and doomed from the outset. If this prospect were located onshore it would probably be economic to develop, even if the gas were re-injected and only the condensate was produced. This field falls into the category of a ‘super giant’ field.
Given all that is and was known about this prospect, it would appear someone at Shell really goofed in deciding to commit the kind of financial resources that were committed to this project. From an economic standpoint this was a very high risk project from the beginning.
The big problem for Shell is that the accumulation is mostly gas and gas condensate, with little or no oil. Given current gas prices in the US and the low price of oil there is simply no way that Shell could make development of this prospect pay off, no mattter what the politicians in Alaska might claim.
Read the post about Sullivan’s comments. He is a classic political hack who is completely ignorant of basic econimics. It Shell had found significant volumes of oil (and not gas) then they would be planning to move forward. The bottom line is always the bottom line.
LondonLad and Dononvan, you are correct – there are credible articles linked on the website. This one article was so misleading and so wrong that I had to react to it.
Oct 11,2015 – Sullivan Reacts to Shell Arctic OCS Announcement
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) released the following statement after Shell’s announcement that it is abandoning its Arctic drilling program, citing high costs and the “challenging and unpredictable federal regulatory environment.”
Senator Sullivan said: “Shell’s announcement is being cheered by environmental groups, but it’s a very sad day for Alaska and for working Alaskans and Americans across the country. From the beginning, through unprecedented regulatory hurdles and delays, the Obama administration and its environmental allies have created the conditions for Shell to abandon its Arctic drilling program. And they succeeded. Shell spent seven years and $7 billion trying to drill a single well in America’s Arctic, where hundreds of exploratory wells have been successfully drilled. Under such circumstances it would be extremely difficult for any company to move forward.
“Now, countless jobs will be lost, American’s energy security will be diminished, and the Arctic environment will be degraded with the least environmentally responsible countries leading development. Make no mistake: Countries like Russia and China will continue to develop the Arctic’s natural resources, but will do so with little regard for the environment.
“The Obama administration hit the trifecta: killing jobs, undermining energy security, and degrading the environment. Now more than ever we must work to create an efficient, timely and certain regulatory regime for the United States that helps create jobs, energy, and infrastructure, and promotes partnership with the private sector to grow the economy. As Alaskans, we must start weighing each and every regulatory and policy decision as if our economic future depends on it – because it does.”
Just love the recent article on The Nigerian Alison-Madueke by Sahara Reporters in which, quote “ …… southern government officials and leaders try to outdo each other when it comes to corruption”. If true, how come this greedy corrupt bitch could afford such expensive property in London (and elsewhere) based on her Nigerian ministerial salary plus her Shell pension!! It is a cancerous problem in Nigeria and TO A DEGREE in SPDC / SNEPCO / NLNG etc. Seen it and heard about it first hand whilst working there.
The Arctic fiasco seems to suggest that incompetence extends all the way from the operations people back to the explorationists themselves… Lawrence was sacrificed to shield Odum last time, but the number of “dry” holes that have been drilled over the past few years appears to be considerably in excess of the industry average… I wonder if Odum has the connections to save himself now?
I hardly think that Greenpeace “news sources” can be deemed as reliable. They are very well known for their manipulation of numbers / statistics etc. Others, such as the Guardian newspaper and the BBC are so left wing biased that even Jeremy Corbyn must wonder at their reliability 😉 But adding to Tom Prudential (surname close to reality??) I totally agree about the SOCPF twaddle mentioned in this sites bullshit advertisement, as I mentioned before. However, Tom I have to agree with Donovan for once that not all articles / commentaries on this website are unreliable / untrustworthy.
Well, Shell’s abrupt departure from the Arctic is rather puzzling given all their bravado about the potential of the Burger prospect. While they have said very little about the drilling results, from what has been said I would guess they got bit by a reservoir quality/ development issue, i.e, poor reservoir development and not enough oil to justify going ahead with what would obviously have been a very expensive, technically and politically challenging project. There is never a ‘sure thing’ in the exploration business and maybe those YoYo’s in Houston have learned a valuable lesson – Don’t bet the farm on a ‘sure thing’. Given Shell’s expenditure on this project someone clearly oversold the potential to upper level management. And upper level management wasn’t savvy enough technically to see through the smoke and mirrors (Peter Vosser, et al). If Shell is going to be an ‘upstream company’ then the bean counters cannot be the ones who run the operation.
The article about Shell pension being underfunded is totally incorrect. They may be talking about a small subset of the Shell pensioners, but the US and Dutch funds are overfunded. Geez, cant trust anything on this site.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN
A sweeping and obviously unfair condemnation bearing in mind that the vast majority of articles published here are from the most respected news sources in the world. Are you referring to this article or a related comment posted on the Shell Blog?
The justification (such as it is) for the payment of obscene remuneration to Shell’s head honchos (24.2m Euros to the CEO last year) is that we buy wisdom, competence and knowledge. When they blow 9bn Euros in The Arctic in this way the whole pack of cards collapses. van Beurden should go and return his bonuses immediately. Don’t hold your breath.
It must have been an interesting conversation between Ben and Marvin. “What do you mean there is no oil? You wasted 7 billion? Oh dear another nail in Marvins coffin.
Pretty much correct Relieved it is all about $$$ (or in “our” case £££). RDS is correct to adhere to most (yes most) of the shareholders who require a healthy return on capital employed together with a good dividend. Sure there are objections from NIMBEY’s and Greenpeace etc. but at the end of the day we have to advance society and at the moment this cannot be done with renewables.
We MUST (?) drill in the Arctic because Shell missed out on the huge oil shale bonanza in the lower 48. North Dakota now produces 1.2 million barrels of sweet crude a day and is going to do so for a long time to come. That is almost 1/2 billion barrels of oil a year. And that oil isn’t going anywhere even if the Saudi’s manage to depress oil prices and shale oil production for a few years. Estimates for oil reserves in the Wiliston basin of North Dakotan, Montana and Alberta are on the order of 40 billion barrels recoverable out of somewhere around 1 trillion barrels of oil in place. There is no other country in the world that offers the profit potential that the Alaskan offshore offers. That is why Shell MUST drill in the Arctic. It is about $$$ for Shell, not about the long term need for oil. And Shell would no doubt want to export Alaskan oil to obtain the higher international price. So, the notion that drilling in Alaska is about American oil independence is a fraud as well. Shell’s only motivation is $$$. The bottom line here is the bottom line.
Strange to say the least. According to the latest Shell Overseas Contributory Pension Fund newsletter it states the following : Value of the fund is £3.83 billion with a funding level of 102%, with an overall investment return of 7.2%. There is also a comment from the Actuary stating “The recently introduced Contribution Reserve Account will help to provide security for members’ benefits while reducing the risk of over-funding in the long term”. This would appear to show that the (advert) commentary by Lisa Smith of iExpats is way off the mark in terms of her stated numbers for SOCPF and her “fear factor” is merely there to promote business?
Aaagh glad to be back in Blighty and able to regularly read some of the nonsense written about Shell / Corrib. Well Maura Harrington I for one will NOT be signing such a petition. Thus far Shell has NOT been found guilty of anything (apart from trying to advance the lives of Irish people). You NIMBEY’s need to wake up and smell the coffee. This project is NOT of global significance (and hardly national I would suspect) – apart from this biased website and the likes of the left-wing Guardian newspaper I have NOT seen this project mentioned. I would suggest that you need to accept that nations progress with some sacrifices and with the benefit for their children and grandchildren. Stone Age thinking does not work in the modern world.
NAM earthquake topic.
Mr Spong is one of Netherlands top earning lawyers, and with no doubt his team will make a nice dime out of this one. I may sound biased, but the compensation that NAM has been paying for many has been generous and quite significant for the houses at stake. A court also ruled that people living here need to be further compensated for loss of value of house. Even if no damage has been suffered! I live outside this range and my house has lost at least 30% value the past 8 years! As for Mr Spong, better read up on your terminology or else your case will be dismissed quite quickly. The drilling is doing no damage nor is it putting people’s lives at risk.
Shell is increasingly showing her reluctance to support current efforts to clean up Ogoniland. The company probably feel embarrassed that despite her claims of innocence, a scientific report by the United Nations proves over 50 years of her iniquity, right degrading and immoral acts against the Ogoni people.
The company has repeatedly accused the Ogoni of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, urging a stop to these activities which Shell so well knows are activities too sophisticated for poor uninformed locals to be engaged in.
Shell pretends not to be aware of the cartel engaged in crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta and will rather want to put the blame on impoverished Ogoni people, a people the company has so brutally dehumanized and rendered nearly incompetent to engage in any meaningful acts of economic progress on the Ogoni soil.
In an article titled “Govt’s Culpability in Crude Oil Theft” Thisdaylive.com reports that the recent ban on 113 vessels from Nigerian territorial waters by President Muhammadu Buhari, is an indication that the previous administration probably knew the oil thieves but lacked the political will to clamp down on the perpetrators.
The article continues: “THISDAY, Global Financial Integrity conducted the survey by interviewing oil thieves, bunkerers, illegal refiners, oil industry practitioners and government officials”.
Shell will need to request the list of interviewed oil bunkeres and thieves from ThisDay if the company still claims ignorance of who the oil thieves are.
Shell is too desperate to find an excuse for her evil deeds against the Ogoni people and her lying tendencies wouldn’t allow her speak the truth about illegal refining and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.
I reason that the situation in the Niger Delta may, unfortunately, never get better as gladiators like Shell may allow the illicit oil bunkering to find a justification for their failures and incompetencies in the Ogoni region and the Niger Delta at large.
Shell’s unrepentant attitude of lies and hatred for the Ogoni who have exposed her deep rooted crime against the Niger Delta will not let her admit her knowledge about an international cartel that is simply exploiting a corrupt Nigeria and her security lapses and remain unhindered in the lucrative oil theft business.
Should the guys at Shell still claim they know not the oil thieves, then they need to read just these 3 publications to guide them a bit:
1. On March 28, 2014, Premium Times reported the arrest of 2 Britons engaged in oil theft in Nigeria
2. On December 19, 2012, the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) placed foreign nationals under watch over crude oil theft
3. Former Delta State governor, Emmanuel Oduaghan accusses international community of culpability in crude oil theft in Niger Delta
So, who are the real oil thieves in Nigeria? Your guess could just be as good as mine.
Author: Fegalo Nsuke, member of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People wrote in from Bori, Ogoniland.
Good to see in today’s Myanmar Times newspaper that She’ll plans to start seismic in all 3 of their deep water blocks in October. With a commitment of 1.2 billion U.S. dollars let’s hope there is are a number of economic discoveries to be made for Shell and Myanmar.
Hopefully the “masters” of NAM are also stuck with bill for earthquakes allegedly caused by the Groningen field gas production DSM are as guilty (or innocent ) as NAM their contractor.
The new Upstream Americas HSE org charts have been released without many surprises. More managers less staff while the safety performance under the current VP HSE has been slowly getting worse and still the worst in Shell. Will the last workers in Shell to leave show the managers how to turn the lights off?
Hello Relieved, who says we should go back to large scale indisciminate use of insecticides? Dogmatic opposition to DDT meant NO DDT at all. By using knowledge and applying DDT minimally and where one gets the biggest bang for the buck is something else.
Similar for the use of the most safe and clean power generation, greenpeace remains dead set against all use of nuclear power. This alone has a high chance of creating a power shortage in the world in about a generation from now since nuclear power is IMHO an inevitable in between phase between today and the future of completely sustainable energy supply, predominantly solar power.
And please don’t start mentioning Chernobyl and read up on the facts. Terrible disaster but the nuclear bombs set off in the 50s and 60s in the atmosphere created a very well-documented fall-out that was the equivalent of 2 Chernobyls per week for a year. And the world has only improved since then…
I am never surprised by hard core oil and chemical industry types. Why don’t we bring back all those banned pesticides because the clearly ‘save lives’, not to mention enrich those who manufacture them. You would be amazed and the number of genetic deformities that show up in wildlife in the Brazos River Valley in Texas that are directly attributable to the heavy and widespread use of herbicides and pesticides. These people have failed to learn the lesson of nature that little birdies know by instinct, and that is: ‘It is fatal to sh*t in your own nest.’
LondonLad, well said. Completely agree. You did not mention it but is was in the link you supplied. Greenpeace is responsible for millions of malaria deaths due to their dogmatic opposition of DDT. This is very well documented. I dare not take the word murderers in my mouth…
They are a professional marketing organisation that terrorises many companies, governments and individuals into doing the wrong thing. There is no accountability. And in the netherlands it is a stepping stone for making political careers after the photogenetic attraction of young activists wears off. In another generation from now it will become clear they have been responsible for forcing governments and companies into destroying wealth and creating hunger as well as energy shortages.
By that time they (and the politicians with a greenpeace background) will explain in the media that they have been misunderstood, misinterpreted and with the knowledge of today ‘we might have done things slightly differently’. Perhaps a small ‘sorry’. They, as few others, know the strength of manipulating the large number of ‘useful idiots’ in our society, thereby raking in a lot of money.
Found the following on Greenpeace and their usual dubious antics (much more on them in the article at :
Greenpeace is the largest environmental organization in the world, with an international membership of over 3 million and offices in over 40 countries. Forbes magazine once described it as “a skillfully managed business” with full command of “the tools of direct mail and image manipulation — and tactics that would bring instant condemnation if practiced by a for-profit corporation.” But Greenpeace has escaped public censure by hiding behind the mask of its “non-profit” status and its U.S. tax exemption. In other countries, however, Greenpeace has not been as lucky: Both Canada and New Zealand have revoked the organization’s non-profit status, noting that the group’s overly politicized agenda no longer has any “public benefit.”
Greenpeace was originally the brainchild of the radical “Don’t Make a Wave Committee,” a group of American draft-dodgers who fled to Vancouver in 1969 and, supported by money from anti-war Quaker organizations, got into the business of forcibly blocking American nuclear tests. Over the years the group has loudly made its feelings known on a variety of issues (nuclear testing, whaling, and global warming, for instance), and its Amsterdam-based activist moguls pull the strings on what is estimated to be a $360 million global empire.
In the United States, however, Greenpeace is a relatively modest activist group, spending about $10 million per year. And the lion’s share of that budget in recent years has gone to outrageous attempts to smear agricultural biotech products, consumer electronics, and the logging and fishing industries.
• Greenpeace campaigns against all forms of energy production except for wind and solar. Unfortunately, a whopping 98 percent of the world’s energy supply comes from sources other than wind and solar, This is not likely to change anytime soon due to the cost, both in dollars and in raw materials, required to produce wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays.
• Greenpeace claims to be dedicated to saving the whales. They are happy to exploit the emotional impact of the slaughter of these noble creatures to raise funds and recruit members, but less interested in acting to end the practice of whaling worldwide. In principle, Greenpeace is not even opposed to whaling.
• Greenpeace is against the use of numerous chemical substances including, but not limited to, elemental chlorine, one of the building blocks of life on our planet. Considering that chlorine is responsible for providing much of the world with clean drinking water, and the Earth’s population with some 85 percent of all pharmaceuticals and vitamins, this hard-line stance is must be considered both uninformed and inhumane.
• Greenpeace is unwavering in its conviction that the “unforeseen” health and environmental consequences of planting genetically engineered crops that can grow in hostile environments will forever outweigh any potential humanitarian benefits. While they mount protests aimed at ripping these mutant “Frankenfoods” from the soil and the supermarket shelves, impoverished populations around the globe suffer from the preventable pandemic of malnutrition.
• Greenpeace remains bent on destroying aquaculture industry while they continue to raise alarm about the status of wild fish stocks. Using the apocalyptic image of oceans picked clean of all aquatic organisms, Greenpeace keeps raking in the donations while battling against an industry that is already taking great pains to ensure its sustainability.
Instead of working hand-in-hand with business owners to forge a path towards a sustainable future like other less myopic environmental organizations, Greenpeace’s dogmatic adherence to the precautionary principle causes them to overlook the fatal flaws inherent in their own radical policies.
I have received a couple of formal emails today from OSSL complaining about the comments made by the person claiming to be Jerry Fletcher from Mayo.
This is the content of their second request today:
May we respectfully request that recent postings on you website that relate to OSSL in the matters of taxation, lies, corruption and false invoicing, in our business transactions with
Shell E&P Ireland be remove from the site.
We at OSSL refute completely all aspects of these postings attributed to a “Jerry Fletcher,” and trust you will act immediately to comply with our request.
With regards to taxation, I am not sure if that is a reference to VAT on the invoice OSSL issued to Shell requesting payment for alcohol OSSL distributed to the Irish Police on behalf of Shell, or to some other taxation matters.
As to corruption, OSSL has admitted distributing gifts to various parties on behalf of Shell including the free alcohol to the cops. All designed to smooth the path of the controversial Corrib Gas project in Ireland.
Have to agree with Jerry that OSSL has not produced any financial transaction records to support their various claims. OSSL says that the reason is because Shell insisted on being given all such information so that no trace was left of the corruption scheme.
As to false invoicing, I assume that this is what OSSL has described in hundreds of emails as disguised invoices passed through Roadbridge, a main contractor.
The alcohol was transported across the Irish border by OSSL. What was that all about?
Where was it purchased?
One thing for sure. OSSL directors cannot be described as angels.
They had the goods on Shell and decided to blow the whistle.
I described their actions as blackmail against Shell, but no one seemed bothered.
I reported that matter to the Irish Police but no action was taken.
The bombardment of OSSL emails against Shell has continued for years.
OSSL advised me that the Irish police are engaged in a criminal investigation against them over alleged harassment, presumably by email. Do not know the status of the case.
There is an excellent chance that Hilary Clinton will be elected President during the next election cycle. This does not bode well for Shell or any of the other majors seeking to exploit the offshore US Arctic oil reserves. While Shell may indeed prove up the reserves in their Burger prospect, getting the permits to produce and build pipelines is another matter. Count on long legal battles.
Forgot to mention, it is Mr. Jerry Fletcher a Mayo resident. As for the guards, have some balls and arrest the OSSL Directors.
COMMENT BY JOHN DONOVAN:
Jerry, you and I are now in total agreement. The Irish police have ample legitimate grounds on which to take action against OSSL for an array of offences. It does not make sense why they have not done so unless they know that action would open a can of worms.
THIS POSTING BY JERRY FLETCHER SUSPENDED.
Mr Jerry Fletcher, you are invited to supply me within 14 days verifiable evidence to support your serious allegations against OSSL, which OSSL insist are unfounded and defamatory. Please also supply your Mayo address including postcode. Your address will not be published. Please send required information to [email protected]. Your posting is suspended until the expiration of the 14 day period, when in the light of any information supplied by you, I will decide whether to repost your comments.Contact me on the same email address if you want copies of the relevant postings.
John Donovan for royaldutchshellplc.com: 25 August 2015
Mr or Mrs Jerry , you are wrong on all fronts, senior
Counsel states that the veracity of Ossls delivery of factual honest evidence on the top police man’s demands for statement falsification by OSSL and the delivery of alcohol by Shell gave “enormous weight” in the unanimous acquittal of Shells pipeline neighbours. On the matter of evidence, you would do well to follow @osslsafety on Twitter and Facebook and watch the police and Shell being completely hampered by the truth.
REPLY TO JERRY THE TROLL: You clearly have no knowledge about the educational background of Maura Harrington, or you would not accuse her of being stupid. Maura is far from being stupid. As for your allegation that OSSL directors lied in court if that is the case why have the Irish authorities not taken action against them for perjury? As for corruption, OSSL directors freely admit to distributing bribes on behalf of their then client, Shell EP Ireland. I named the recipients years ago, including senior Irish police officers. No one sued me for defamation.
Mr Jerry Fletcher, you are invited to supply me within 14 days verifiable evidence to support your serious allegations against OSSL, which OSSL insist are unfounded and defamatory. Please also supply your Mayo address including postcode. Your address will not be published. Please send required information to [email protected]. Your posting is suspended until the expiration of the 14 day period, when in the light of any information supplied by you, I will decide whether to repost your comments. Contact me on the same email address if you want copies of the relevant postings.
About a week ago, Shell’s Deer Park refinery had a massive release of almost 200 tonnes of liquid butadiene. This material is similar in nature to the chemicals released at the BP Texas City refinery in 2005 (killing 15 and injuring over 170). The amount of material released was so great; the cloud passed through the refinery and was detected by ambient air monitors over 10 miles away. Why haven’t people heard about this?
Big thanks for all your work, love the site. Thought you might be interested in this: http://chukchiwatch.blogspot.com/2015/08/drilling-in-chukchi-sea-is-shallow-safer.html
geruchtenmolen you are correct in your assumptions except some functional areas will lose 40% and not before time. Costs up 60% and FTE’s up 40% under Hollowed. That’s a lot of Aggies he brought in ! The old boy network if finally crumbling. I winder when the Ice Queen will take over Marvin’s role?
Subject: Hero to zero…. how Shell crush once willing allies …no voice ..until now.
Who were OSSL? Is anybody listening in Shell?
On Christmas Eve 2007 ….Shell telephoned Neil Rooney he was at home for the Christmas holiday …Shell informed Rooney that a lady near Shells landfall site had a visit from Shell that morning the visitor a Shell local liaison officer learned that the lady’s television was broken.
Shell requested of Rooney that he act immediately to rectify the broken television.
Rooney got into his car drove five hours via Enniskillen where he purchased a new model television and drove to the lady’s house in Glengad.
Rooney fitted ..tuned in ..and demonstrated the television to the obviously delighted lady.
For good measure (given it was Christmas ) he also gave the lady a box of biscuits and a bottle of brandy.
The lady requested that he remove the old television which he did ,he then drove five hours back to his home in Northern Ireland.
On the second of August 2012 in a room in Dublin two Shell people, one Head of Legal and one CEO, were asked by Rooney for a simple recommendation on paper that he had served the Shell Corrib project well ……..his request was refused.
Mr Paul Walsh of Shell was signatory to and distributor of a document stating that Neil Rooney is a convicted criminal ……..the document is a falsehood designed to discredit Rooney and OSSL.
If you are Shell and reading this …..it’s a factual account and corroboration is available but who cares?
Somebody cares but we haven’t found them yet …..for AGM 2016…
Looks like Ann Pickard is ready for a role in Game of Thrones
21 days to cap a well ?
Shell Corrib residents told in court last week that they have THIRTY SECONDS
to evacuate their homes in event of a rupture of the Corrib Pipe ( 4 occurrences in the last year ) I ask your readers is this enough time ?
Looks like your latest picture Mr. D of Ann Pickard appears to show she’s picked up a few pounds since I last saw her!! 😉
Why is it Muara Harrington that my defence (but not always) of Shell is seen as being an internet Troll? It would appear to me that this term is used too often by people such as yourself because your case against Shell has NOT withstood the courts. Having worked for 30 years with Shell I can see many faults with the company but FAR more positives. Fact is that NIMBY’s such as yourself have a problem with progress and will come up with all sorts of nonsense to attempt to support your objections. Perhaps it is you that is an anti-Shell Troll? As I have stated in an earlier posting the likes of Greenpeace are prime examples of this (aka Brent Spa). FACT is nothing has been proven in court against Shell. I suggest O’harrington that you attempt to get into the 20th century and advance your society better.
12-21 days to cap a oil well blowout ??? Hmmm. And where would a good deal of that oil find a resting place given the prevailing ocean currents ?? How about the NE coast of the US. I think Shell might want to rethink their plan. Making a mess of the NE US coast would most probably cost them Alaska.
Interesting – but not unusual for a troll – London Lad has gone silent on ‘Booze for Cops’ since the two OSSL men gave their sworn testimony at Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court. The sworn testimony stated that Shell DID provide booze to cops and, equally deadly, a police superintendent DID state his intention to use a digger to ‘drive the f****** into the sea’.
I would be of the, admittedly layperson’s view, that, in the absence of recourse to legal redress by either Shell or its vassal Irish government, the sworn testimony of these men – now a matter of public record – can be taken as FACT.
For Shell, its vassal Irish state, its apologist trolls such as London Lad, it’s put up or shut up time …
So reality is beginning to sink in to the folks in Upstream Americas.
A massively bloated organization has is finally making some cuts, although by my account it is probably half of what it needs to be.
In addition to some Shell staff reductions in the 15-30% range, they announced the closing of the Pittsburgh office (about time!).
Maybe Shell will finally wise up and close down the New Orleans office as well.
For those, like myself, who are forever fed up with the lies that are stated by Greenpeace, NIMBY’s and other denier’s (aka The Guardian) I suggest they see some truths by reading an article in today’s Sunday Telegraph (2nd August) by Christopher Booker entitled “The real ‘deniers’ here are the warmists” (page 22).
Mr D, RPS Shells leading Protect Team on Corrib, inform Shell that all “crossing land agreements” used near the terminal are invalid because “agreements plus” we’re used to satisfy some landowners and not others. The people on the basic package of compensation want answers. Shell are viewing the situation as deeply damaging and are seeking answers from the Corrib team and RPS, coupled to the police corruption confirmed in court here last week this is potentially a project stopper.
RDS needs to stop and review how large military organizations have dealt with guerrilla wars. I think they will find that such wars a very expensive and rarely won, regardless of the assets that a well equipped military organization has at its disposal. Shell is facing a guerrilla war with the environmental movement in Alaska and elsewhere, and they are not doing well. It is costing them a great deal of lost time and money. They are also loosing the PR battle.
REGARDING YOUR ARTICLE: Here’s How Shell Can Restart Its Tar Sands Projects In Canada:
This is the way Shell would re-start the project of Carmen Creek Oil Sands Project.
Shell is engaging two engineering companies to competitively bid against each other to lower the capital cost. Lowering cost will include tactics of reducing safety and health & safety safeguarding provisions.
The Shell project organization and engineering organizations within the company are in charge of lowering SAFETY standards, and are rewarded to take short cuts, to get the project going.
ARTICLE: Following Explosion, Shell Moerdijk Criticised by Dutch Safety Board
A bit surprised at the constant reference to security, I think in the UK we are all aware of what security means, Do no understand why the reference to the failure to follow procedures etc, unawareness of potential for chemicals reacting into explosive mixture to be failures in health and safety rather than our common understanding of security, it may just be a language thing, maybe London Lad and Relieved may clarify.
ARTICLE: Shell awards contracts for its $40bn Browse project
If I were Technip (Browse etc) who quote their expertise in leading FLNG since inception I would be a little more muted after all this plane (live and operational FLNG offshore installation) has not yet left the Tarmac.
Yesterday in a court-room in Mayo, the state and Shell, and a highly regarded Judge heard clear confirmation of collusion between the police and Shell CEO Terry Nolan in matters of a criminal nature regarding statement falsification and corrupt gifting to the police by Shell. The state prosecutor responded to the submission by asking two questions of OSSL. Did you see the Celtic game last night? And do you watch Gaelic football? No other response to the testimony was made by Shell or the state or the police.
Here we are again on a Friday night and looking back on some of the blog comments I notice that “Alan Poole” has NOT lived up to his promise as yet!! Quote : “I will be revealing truths about people I’ve worked for and with” – It appears that you are slower than two mating tortoises in posting your promises.
Update to last posting. Two questions asked by Shell. How long have we known this? …..since 2009. Any witnesses? to Nolans visit / demands to lie? Yes. 4 witnesses all available to you .
To Corrib Watcher, I was the only Shell witness at the Pollathomish Police Beatings. I gave an exacting account of Gannons actions and words. I was visited by the CEO of Shell in person and instructed to change my account of what happened. When I refused I assume that the CEO decided it would be best if there was no witness rather than an honest one… my statement has never been found by police, Shell or GSOC, in perverted move to protect Gannon …Shell CEO Nolan cost himself his job, but not before Shell assured me I would never work in the Oil &Gas industry again.
Jeeeeez Corrib Watcher, I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say – is it my English Tea that is blurring my vision or is it your Irish Nimby Alcohol that is making your postings unreadable?!?! Ease off on the free Shell booze then post your comment.
John, lessons to be learned for all on Corrib; just one question from me… Why was the only non protester present when SUPERINTENDANT GANNON declared I will drive these ####### into the sea at Polothomish Pier incident (see youtube video) not asked for his clear precise and honest account of Gannons actions on that “black day” for Irish policing, why?
Well Wayne you’ve still not answered my question as to why you think that Shell has not been prosecuted for all these booze / OSSL accusations. Is it perhaps all the local Oirish Nimby’s who don’t want progress at any cost viz Corrib?
There is public outrage when the US government spends $9million a day fighting ISIS. I bet Ben is furious Upstream America is losing similar amount per day. Meanwhile Bruce celebrates by announcing what a success his $700 million office block is. It may be for you Bruce sitting up there on the 12th floor, try living on the 6th floor where there are 150 men sharing one restroom. Life in the cubes is terrible that’s why so many people walk around campus !
Mr. Rooney – Any guess as to why I use the pen name ‘Relieved’. I enjoy bathroom humor on occasion as well.
Hi London Lad, you have my name and you use for attempt at humour; you on the other hand hide your identity – akin to writing on the toilet door – says it all really.
Begosh & Begorrah OSSL & Rooney (keep to your daytime job of football) you still try and convince the world that Shell is sooooo wrong – so why is it that the legal courts say otherwise?? And, as I have said so many times on this blog, this global warming issue that the greenies always attempt to raise – why is it so bloody cold here in Blighty at the start of June??
Toxic waste and silent CEO … It’s now up to Shell to show beyond doubt that OSSL had toxic waste and not police alcohol in the van ..BVB you have been misled …where did the toxic waste lie originate ?
Mr Donovan …may we request that this Question is asked of BVB on your Shell Blog.
We asked him at the AGM but he did not answer.
Mr van Beurden if OSSL are indeed telling the truth that they were never involved in the dumping of toxic waste as per a document “distributed” by Shell ….and Shell know the document is false ,….then how does he feel about it being used to discredit the key witness in the Shell police alcohol claims made by OSSL?
Shell Ireland know the document is false there was no toxic waste ..there was alcohol.
An answer please Mr Van Beurden …you have the proof in your hand.
I noticed the comment by Shell leadership that the world ‘desperately’ needed Arctic oil. Hmmm. The total consumption of crude these days approaches 30 billion bbls annually. With total Arctic oil reserves estimated to be around 90 billion bbls, that means there is roughly three (3) years worth of consumption to be had in the Arctic, with about one third to be found in US waters. A whopping three (3) years, and one (1) years worth of consumption respectively. It seems to me that US Arctic oil is needed by Shell far more than the world needs it.
I have read the blog for a number of years and have become increasingly irritated by the negative postings. I have now retired from Shell after 32 years service, including the North Sea, Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi. I will be making further postings revealing a few home truths about some of the people I have worked with and for, in these various locations.
The revelation that the Omani gov’t was/is spying on Shell should not come as any big shock. The revelation that Shell has its agents imbedded in foreign governmental agencies should also come as no big shock. It is the nature of the international oil business, and just a cost of doing business internationally. It is also common knowledge that RDS regularly spies on its own employees. There is nothing new here.
…..Senior Irish Police officer Superintendent Gannon informs OSSL that the demand for lies about his actions against the people of Erris whilst assisting Shell to progress the Corrib Gas Development …is a matter between them (OSSL) and Shell …remarkably the Superintendent claims he had no knowledge of the resulting “demand for lies” by Shell following the Pollathomais Pier incident recorded on U Tube, the demand was delivered personally by a Shell CEO claiming to be acting on Gannons behalf …… the plot thickens …..OSSL
Obama is a boob. He wouldn’t know a good ‘standard’ if it bit him in the backside. And neither would DoI. The USG is managed by fools and charlatans.
Relieved: Unfortunately the rigs now in use are OLDER than the rigs that were previously deployed. The Polar Pioneer is from 1985 while the Noble Discoverer is the same vessel, built in the early 1960’s as a log carrier, that was used previously.
I find RDS’s ‘new’ drilling rig for the Alaskan Arctic to be a considerable improvement over their past choices. It is also probably a far more expensive rig to lease. However, if RDS had made this choice years ago, instead of running with its fleet of aging rust buckets they might have completed a well or two and probably would not be facing the opposition they have today. Shell has shown that its management is notorious for making bad decisions that in turn produce serious liabilities. Maybe they have gained a little wisdom, but don’t count on it. Odum is still running the show.
Some of the other stuff in the FT article about Shell BG is really interesting. Such as who will bear the brunt of job cuts.
And Chris Wheaton, fund manager at Allianz Global Investors, plays down the idea that it will be BG staff who will bear the brunt of the cuts. He argues Mr van Beurden “has identified the Shell culture needs changing, that you can’t just have a bunch of really clever people sitting round a table in a room talking about stuff”.
“Sometimes you’ve got to be nimbler, act like you’re smaller. This will inject a whole new set of DNA into Shell,” he says.
Happy birthday with the domain name! And may your site be a pebble is the shoes of the high and mighty in Shell for many years to come!
Oil price fixing conspiracy by BIG OIL, including RDS ??? Say it is not so !!! RDS is a good corporate citizen. We know this because their propoganda organs tell us so. My, My, My. This must be a conspiracy on the part of evil, greedy governments and incompetent bureaucrats.
McKinsey are allegedly making solid progress in Upstream Americas according to ‘inside sources’ with reports of up to 30% surplus in some areas. Meanwhile HR are trying to persuade people there are no packages coming while quietly offering their own staff hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to leave early. I wish I worked for Bruce !
John, Shell / Garda alcohol story, quite amazing the cops are harassing the vendor with threats of imprisonment just ahead of the AGM, the dogs in the street know what happened here Shell are bully boys and they do use the cops like puppets it’s actually quite frightening.
ABRUPT EXIT OF SHELL TREASURER ANDY LONGDEN
I believe that high profile gaps in Andy’s broad scope of his roles & responsibilities (R&R), 12 years in the same role, (too long for a senior executive), loss of key sponsor(s), and the perceived need for a game changer that
delivers on Ben’s strategy, new operational approach, and heavier (Treasury, M&A, Pensions, and governance) Finance footprint, might have been key in his departure.
Also, remember that Andy and Ben Van Burden come from very different backgrounds. Ben is a Shell homegrown senior leader (with 30+ years), while Andy is an experienced hire. Common knowledge is that the retention history for experienced hires senior leaders is poor at Shell. Why? My understanding is that because Shell is a relationship company, many experienced hires are unable to adequately fit in and build the mentor/sponsor /other relationships that are critical for success in the company.
As to high profile gaps in Andy’s scope of R&R, any could have been used as a justification for a change such as:
1) Pension costs ($2 billion increase in pension funding is projected for 2015 (see Shell Annual report note 17 – Retirement benefits), Also, there was noise around Shell realizing over $600 million USD in pension losses in the highly publicized Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, uncovered in 2008,
2) UAU M&A and billions in write downs,
3). Ongoing governance issues, (flawed decisions and/or absence of appropriate actions or interventions because of management tension to achieve targets, inadequate oversight/asset integrity),
4).Other Treasury activities, (such as financial performance, cash management, investor relations, sub-optimum share based compensation delivery schemes, poor
capital discipline, to name a few.)
So will Total play the White Knight to assist BP in avoiding a hostile takeover? Total are also a potential takeover target, so they may have good reason to help BP out.
Thanks for the advice you posted for those who may be considering bringing suit against Shell. It was quite interesting. I am certain potential litigants will find it informative and helpful.
According to figures published on this site, Shell replaced just 26% of the reserves that it produced in 2014. The Groningen field represents a significant fraction of Shell’s remaining reserves. If Groningen production is halted to reduce the risk of earthquakes, the impact on Shell’s remaining reserves will be significant.
Very bold of Ben van Beurden. Most courageous Shell leader for many a year. Still many pitfalls, as can be seen in some of the most recent articles about the BG takeover. Not least the fluctuating oil price. Good luck to him.
Now that BG is off the table the question is who will pick up BP ??? It won’t be RDS but it could be Exxon/Esso.
Shell have bought BG for GBP47bn
Interesting that former MD of SPDC and Country Chair Mutui Summonu now has an advisory with a company that purchased assets from SPDC.
Just read the article about why we should care about the Pemex oil production platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. It would be instructive to recall that befores BP’s recent problems the largest oil spill to occur in the Gulf was the Shell Oil production platform disaster at Bay Marchand Oil field in 1970, and about which you published an article. That disaster occurred as a result of sloppy engineering and work practices. The sloppiness resulted from Shell management’s efforts to cut costs and maximize production. This sort of this could easily happen in the Arctic as well given Shell’s past and current ‘TFA’ attitude toward platform safety, etc.
EXTRACT FROM EMAIL SENT BY DESMOND KANE OF OSSL TO PAUL GOODFELLOW OF SHELL ON 4 APRIL 2015.
Mr Goodfellow …..a senior engineer in your employ sent me in a vehicle to meet with a senior police officer from the sub Aqua division of the Irish police.
My task was to hand over Christmas Alcohol to be shared with the police operatives who had assisted Shell at sea in Mayo in progressing the Corrib Project.
What I’ve just written is a fact ….however I’m challenged by Mr van Beurden whom I met on this matter last May to bring him further evidence of this claim …both your man and the policeman have failed to confirm ( or so I’m told ) their arrangement on that day making it difficult but not impossible for me to satisfy Mr Van Beurden.
Can you help ?…….I have no problem with what Shell instructed me to do on that day I do however have a massive problem with the obscene subsequent cover up by Shell and the police.
There is no shortage of gas fields offshore Australia, but there are very few customers willing to pay the price of Australian LNG. Delaying exploration of the Browse basin would seem to be perfectly logical in the current environment. Gorgon was discovered in 1981, but in the absence of customers, development did not start until 2009, and first production was at the end of 2014.
POSTING BY “THE CHRONICLE”
Wonderful town hall from Marvin yesterday telling us how we must all look for cost savings and ask ourselves what we have saved in the last two weeks. He then got into his private 24/7 limo and headed off to the airport to board his private jet! I wonder if that is included in the multi million travel budget?
Dear Mr Donovan,
It would appear you are not aware that the Minister and the Police Commissioner together with past and present CEOs of Shell Ireland are stifling the passing of the key information that proves beyond a doubt that the alcohol was sent by Shell and received by named police officers.
At a five hour meeting in a Dublin hotel requested by the Irish Police Superintendent Thomas Murphy demanded that OSSL furnish him with the following information …..
………who instructed a Garda called Liam Grimes to meet with the OSSL vehicle on the by pass in Athlone to offload the alcohol?
………OSSL’s participation at the meeting was instructed by Connor Byrne senior manager on the Corrib Project but OSSL did not have any part in ensuring that Liam Grimes would be on the bypass to accept Shells alcohol.
In order to satisfy Superintendant Murphy OSSL set about obtaining this key piece of information several dozen requests were made in writing to Shell …the Commissioner ..and the Minister given that it was a police/Shell arrangement both those parties must have the ability to access the answer.
Both Shell and the police have refused to release the answer demanded by Superintendent Murphy .
OSSL also wrote to Liam Grimes via the Minister and Commissioner but he has refused to respond also.
Murphy was very clear on this matter ” get this answer ” he stated and you get the required proof.
Unfortunately we were unable to break the silence .
POSTING BY OSSL
Shell Corrib teams actions towards OSSL and makes them palatable at AGM with offers….of meetings with the vendor ……meetings that never materialise.
….ample proof of what OSSL are claiming exists but OSSL’s offer of a transparent “walk through”….of the facts is declined by senior Shell people who could act to protect Shell integrity if there was a willingness to do so.
The Irish police …Shells partners in alcohol gifting in 2007 and especially Chief Superintendent John Gilligan think that the code of silence will prevail in dismissing OSSL ‘s factual account of the alcohol deliveries made by Shell.
The “obscene to palatable “actions of Jacinta Healy who demanded (and got) tennis courts at her home part paid by Shell …then denied their existence when questioned by a Shell CEO…despite photographic evidence …..is a further endorsement of this abhorrent treatment of a small willing ally of Shells who fulfilled Shells instruction to the letter in satisfying local demands for covert gifting.
How did Jacinta convince Shell there were no tennis courts built at her home ?….when she stands in the queue at the local Spar shop with the men who built the courts and the people who change the nets …because she claimed the original nets were poor quality …..what does she tell them?
How do Shell.. Police and ..local landowners when in receipt of what they know to be the truth sit so comfortably with each other?
Perhaps this years AGM will bring some answers .
(BOX CAN BE DRAGGED TO READ ALL OF THE ABOVE TEXT)
POSTING BY NEIL ROONEY OF OSSL
Shell party tonight marking the completion of Corrib. The stink of unfinished local matters will be all that’s left when they exit the area ,not a single Corrib Shell man or woman could look OSSL in the eye and explain their despicable actions in the treatment of decent people.
John, You do have a good sense of humor. Cheers.
Happy St. Patty’s day to one and all.
$17 million, really? The stock price is at a 5 year low and redundancies are around the corner. I hope you sleep well at night, Ben.
If BvB manages to put an end to activities such as those inspired by his predecessor Watts (above), the unconventionals debacle, and OPL 245 he will have earned his salary many times over
Bribery, extortion, intimidation by Shell
What is this latest news ?? Bribery, extortion, intimidation by Shell and its hireling goons ??? Please say it is not so. My Oh My, what is this world coming to ??? SOP on the part of Shell, regardless of their PR campaigns claiming otherwise.
LOOKS LIKE MARVIN ODUM (ABOVE) FINALLY WOKE UP
Looks like Marvin finally woke up and is appointing a non American to cut down his massive overhead. Malcolm Mayes, the ex Exxon Ozzie is well placed to see through the plan to cut $1B off the budget.Two strong ego’s advising Marvin now in Culpepper and Mayes, wonder who will ‘win’?
OGONI OIL AND GAS STRATEGY – THE WAY FORWARD
With regards to the much reported Ogoni crises and the recent ‘re-awakening’ of the possibility this crises by the Shell/Belema Oil Ltd deceptive plot concerning the Divestment of Ogoni oil fields, we consider it necessary to reiterate previous stands and make this clarion to all well-meaning Niger Deltan.
Let us all work together to save Ogoni from economic slavery. Let Ogoni people take control and remain stooges to other people. We should support and work with a company owned by, or with significant interest by Ogoni people. If there is none, form a Hydrocarbon Prospecting and Management Company to be the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to present for the oil block divestment bid. This is the best option for Ogoni, to ensure the following minimum expectations are delivered.
READ FULL POSTING BY ZIK GBEMRE HERE
The contrast between the media attention given to Petrobras’ corruption scandals and those of Shell and ENI in Nigeria is curious. Perhaps Shell and ENI have better PR departments? Or perhaps it’s simply that corruption involving Shell, ENI and Nigerian politicians is not considered newsworthy?
RE: SHELL CONFIRMS OIL LEAK FROM UNDERWATER FACILITY IN BAYELSA STATE
With the recent confirmation by Shell of an underwater leak/discharging of crude into Ogboinbiri River in Bayelsa State, which was first reported over a month ago (23/01/2015), we find it really appalling that Shell is often in the habit of dragging its feet in addressing reported oil/condensate spills in its operation areas in the Niger Delta region.
We condemn Shell for dragging and dilly-dallying too long to act on addressing the said spill which started gradually until it spread across the stated River in Bayelsa State. Why should Shell wait until there was so much noise and outcry from the locals and stakeholders before the company decided to act? Why Should Shell toil with the life-sustenance of its host community locals in their bid to sustain oil and gas exploration and production in the Niger Delta region? They sit in their cozy air-conditioned offices enjoying themselves while the locals that bear the brunt of the extractive industry are left to wallow in pain and misery? Would it have taken anything for Shell (SPDC) to address the said spill immediately it was first reported? Obviously not! Then why wait for things to go really bad before acting?
The said River in Bayelsa State is the ‘major’ economic life-line of the host community locals, both in drinking, domestic use and fishing.
But now, it has been grossly polluted by the said oil leak from the underwater facility operated by Shell (SPDC). This is rather unfortunate and highly condemnable.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
Well said Londonlad, completely agree. Nigerians seem to have forgotten their vicious civil war. With the Biafra war already 43 years behind us, it means that probably 75% of the population (or more) was born after this terrible episode. Another civil war could happen overnight again. And the fittest and most vicious will win and kill the weaker ones.
I usually agree with your views except when you start to be disrespectful towards John Donovan. You and I most likely have been colleagues and you have to admit that the great transformation from the mid 90s onwards has wiped out the ‘old’ Shell that was more or less a decent company outperforming all the others in the period 1975-1995. And John merely likes to point out that the senior management is very often not walking their talk! Rattling the Shell cage is a good thing, it keeps those inside on their toes. And you know as well as I do that gorillas breed gorillas and with the introduction of people with the wrong attitude (me first, screw the rest and all packaged in wonderful words) the gorillas have taken over. Because of Watts and his cronies Shell (EP) missed the chance to correct itself after the Overpromise/Underdelivery presentation in 1999. Thank god I still see some decent and very clever moving up so there is a glimmer of hope. But the transformation back to a decent company will be extremely difficult.
Say Zik what do you think about the latest atrocities committed by those Nigerian animals calling themselves “Boko Haram”? Oh no, of course, they won’t provide you and your Delta thieves with any money will they. Be warned Zik, you and your greedy little compatriots will come completely undone unless you face up to your problems in the NE of Nigeria. Shell and all your attempts to bleed SPDC dry will come to nought if these Islamic nutters come to power in Nigeria. Stop trying to stuff your Swiss bank accounts with money and try and stop this band of killers from destroying your country.
Question for you Donovan – were you in bed with Shell (i.e. selling your game at the Shell petrol stations to make personal profit, and of course nothing wrong with that) during the time of the apartheid in South Africa?
REPLY BY JOHN
If we had been asked to supply our services to Shell in South Africa during the Apartheid era, I guess we would have tried to find out more about what was going on. The truth is that the situation never arose. 35 years later I cannot recall if we even knew about the involvement of Shell. It only became apparent to me after obtaining “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” published in 2007 and a book published in 2012, “Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark: Corporate and Police Spying on Activists.” As to adding one of your comments to an article, just request that at the time and it will be done. As you know, you also have a standing invitation to supply Shell related articles for publication on an unedited basis. Regarding Zik, I will find a way to accommodate his contributions without taking up excessive space on this forum.
Agree that most of the bloggers on this site are ex-Shell staff with a gripe or have worked for / with them then felt screwed by them so start a complaint column / website. Zik is no different. Donovan at least allows people the chance to minge & whinge but I certainly would suggest a little “box” somewhere on this site where Zik’s very lengthy stories can be parked for those who have difficulty sleeping. Not much of a defence from me I’m afraid, but, I thought my response to those moronic green students from Stockholm (bleating on about climate change) would have been stuck below their “pleeing” article and not in the blog. No influence over the editor of this site I’m afraid.
Looking at Zik’s long winded story, he sounds like an ex Shell disgruntled staff groaning and morning. Wonder what he has done when he was in Shell services.
John – Zik has a right to his views and expressing them on your site. However, in my opinion, your site is being “hijacked” by Zik. I find I am visiting the site much less since it has become Zik’s Personal Forum.
John, can you please give this Zik another platform? He hogs your Shell Blog with all his verbal diarrhea. And remember this is Nigerian diarrhea, very powerful stuff. Methinks he downs 4 bottles of STAR before fouling up your blog. Even the Londonlad got infected. Him done gone bush-oh. Eeh, his headengine gone crazy and he now also put de verbal diarrhea in de blog-oh. But he make more sense.
RE: NEW SHELL MD IN NIGERIA
According to the subject report, the assumption that Nigerian Politicians are “honest and straightforward” is absolutely false. If they were, Nigeria with its ‘enormous oil and gas wealth’ would have become the “Dubia Of Africa” like we have in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And like the Nigerian Politicians, the person of Mr. Osagie Okunbor, who has resumed as the new MD/Country of Shell (SPDC). Mr. Osagie Okunbor, is the exact opposite of such words like “honesty, integrity and straightforwardness”; hence we do not see him as the right replacement to take over the ‘good works’ left behind by Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu in Shell Companies in Nigeria.
The above report has claimed that Mr. Osagie Okunbor worked very hard and attained different levels of leadership positions in Shell (SPDC), but this is baseless because we know that it was the Edo State connections in Shell (SPDC) that projected Mr. Osagie Okunbor to the position of the VP Human Resources which he was occupying before this recent appointment as MD/Country Chair. He did not attain to that position on merit or hard work, as they are trying to make us believe.
The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know, is an “Edo State tribalist bigot” who does not have what it takes to be MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria neither can he project Shell and its operations in Nigeria in good light. The Mr. Osagie Okunbor we know cannot manage/relate with host community stakeholders in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
There is an element of ‘god-fatherism’ playing out in the selection/appointment of Mr. Osagie Okunbor as MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). From what we can deduce, it is obvious that Mr. Osagie Okunbor was projected for the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair for ‘selfish’ interests of a cabal in the Shell system. Out of the three past Nigerian MD and Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), two of them are from Edo State. Whereas, there are other ethnic groups like the Isokos, Ogonis, Urhobos, Ijaws, Itsekiris etc that are from the ‘core Niger Delta States. What happens to these other ethnic groups? Are there no qualified Nigerians outside Edo State that can fit in far better as MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC).
To put it bluntly, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, like most Nigerian Politicians, does not have the “leadership qualities” to even be considered for the position of the MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) Nigeria. He does not have the capacity to carry relevant stakeholders along or manage Shell (SPDC) operations in Nigeria. He was only put there to serve the interest of a cabal. This is no exaggeration, but we are stating the bitter truth and the undeniable fact as we see it.
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
No.28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout, Effurun-Warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
RE OGONI PEOPLE REJECT BELEMA OIL, EXPRESS FEAR OF STATE REPRESSION
We express our support to the enlarged Congress of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum that recently overwhelmingly rejected the takeover of Ogoni oilfields in the Niger Delta by Belema oil Ltd. This is hinged on the fact that Shell is said to be the one behind the Belema Oil Ltd Company that is currently instigating some Ogoni locals and Chiefs against the educated class, elites and Opinion Leaders of Ogoni land.
We are highly disappointed with, not only the Nigerian Government for not giving this issue the attention it deserves, but also Shell as an oil giant that has decided to sponsor Belema Oil Ltd to resurrect and instigate crises in Ogoni land. Shell has, through Belema Oil Ltd, fraudulently collected signatories as consent from selected Ogoni locals and Chiefs after inducing them with money and cow gifts, just to have their way in Ogoni oil fields. And like we said, this is typical of Shell’s style of operating in everywhere they are, especially in this part of the world; where they always project “Profit first before and above the lives and wellbeing of the locals that own the resources.”
Shell and Belema Oil Ltd should have known that the money and cow gifts given to selected Ogoni Chiefs and locals (for the oil giant to have their way in Ogoni land), will ONLY POSTPONE THE EVIL DAY.
Shell’s ‘thirst for drilling oil and gas’ in Ogoni land without the implementation of the UN recommendations on Ogoni land Clean Up and other issues, has completely blinded the oil giant to have warranted their choice of using an oil company (Belema Oil Ltd) that has no known track record to operate the Ogoni oil fields. And we are still finding it hard to understand what Shell (SPDC) will gain as a company if Ogoni land starts to ‘burn again’ with crises that would lead to the loss of lives, particularly the lives of the Ogoni elites and educated class and Opinion Leaders. What will Shell gain if human blood starts to flow again in Ogoni land just for ‘selfish interest of Shell and Belema Oil Ltd?
The same things we witnessed in the past that led to the death of Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others is gradually but steadily playing out in Ogoni land again with this “Shell/Belema Oil Ltd deceptive plot.”
Similar to what we have been hammering on for the past few weeks on this same issue, “the MOSOP chapter leaders noted that resuming any kind of activities at the Ogoni oilfields without resolving the issues of state creation for the Ogoni people as a distinct group within the Nigerian state, a proper clean-up of Ogoniland, and adequate compensation for the destruction of the environment will lead to another era of state repression and human rights violations in Ogoniland.” As reported in the link: http://www.ogoninews.com/ogoni/297-ogoni-people-reject-belema-oil-express-fear-of-state-repression.
The crux of the matter is this: ENOUGH OF THE SHELL-INSTIAGTED CRISES IN OGONI LAND THAT LEADS TO BLOODSHED OF INNOCENT OGONI PEOPLE.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
No.28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout, Effurun-Warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
Both Londonlad and the students of Stockholm International School might find it useful to read Bjørn Lomborg’s books on both climate change and misuse of statistics.
Plea to idiot Stokholm students – wake up and smell the coffee (see attached). That said, why doesn’t Zik use some of the hot air he produces to heat peoples homes in the winter. Attached from a recent daily Telegraph.
The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever
When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.
Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.
This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.
Following my last article, Homewood checked a swathe of other South American weather stations around the original three. In each case he found the same suspicious one-way “adjustments”. First these were made by the US government’s Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN). They were then amplified by two of the main official surface records, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), which use the warming trends to estimate temperatures across the vast regions of the Earth where no measurements are taken. Yet these are the very records on which scientists and politicians rely for their belief in “global warming”.
Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely “disappears” Iceland’s “sea ice years” around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.
One of the first examples of these “adjustments” was exposed in 2007 by the statistician Steve McIntyre, when he discovered a paper published in 1987 by James Hansen, the scientist (later turned fanatical climate activist) who for many years ran Giss. Hansen’s original graph showed temperatures in the Arctic as having been much higher around 1940 than at any time since. But as Homewood reveals in his blog post, “Temperature adjustments transform Arctic history”, Giss has turned this upside down. Arctic temperatures from that time have been lowered so much that that they are now dwarfed by those of the past 20 years.
Homewood’s interest in the Arctic is partly because the “vanishing” of its polar ice (and the polar bears) has become such a poster-child for those trying to persuade us that we are threatened by runaway warming. But he chose that particular stretch of the Arctic because it is where ice is affected by warmer water brought in by cyclical shifts in a major Atlantic current – this last peaked at just the time 75 years ago when Arctic ice retreated even further than it has done recently. The ice-melt is not caused by rising global temperatures at all.
Of much more serious significance, however, is the way this wholesale manipulation of the official temperature record – for reasons GHCN and Giss have never plausibly explained – has become the real elephant in the room of the greatest and most costly scare the world has known. This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.
By Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph, 9th February 2015
SHELL IS AT IT AGAIN INSTIGATING CRISES IN OGONI
We are still finding it hard to understand what Shell (SPDC) will gain as a company if Ogoni land in the Niger Delta starts to ‘burn again’ with crises that would lead to the loss of lives, particularly the lives of the Ogoni elites and educated class. The same thing we witnessed in the past that led to the death of Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others is gradually but steadily playing out in Ogoni land again with this “Shell/Belema Oil Ltd deceptive plot.”
Shell is said to be the one behind the Belema Oil Ltd Company that is currently instigating some Ogoni locals and Chiefs against the educated class and elites of Ogoni land. They have even gone to the extent of blackmailing and arm-twisting the Ogoni elites just to have their way in Ogoni land.
As far as we and many other relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta region are concerned, this ‘Shell/Belema Oil Ltd business’ in Ogoni land is a complete fraud shrouded in secrecy and deception. If it is not, why is Shell through Belema Oil Ltd tactfully avoiding the Ogoni educated class and elites that have better understanding of the Ogoni Issue in the divestment of Ogoni oil fields? Why put the lives of these Ogoni elites on the line by making them be at loggerheads with their brothers and sisters they have succeeded in buying off? They fraudulently collected signatories from selected Ogoni locals and Chiefs after inducing them with money and cow gifts, just to have their way in Ogoni oil fields.
Perhaps, this is typical of Shell in everywhere they operate, especially in this part of the world; where they always project “Profit first before and above the lives and wellbeing of those concerned.”
Let it be known to all that the OGONI ISSUE HAS REMAINED UNRESOLVED. Shell has not played its part in the addressing all the atrocities and environmental degradation they have committed in Ogoni land. We simply cannot understand why Shell has not complied and completed the recommendations in the UN Report in addressing the Ogoni crises before they decided to divest Ogoni oil fields? Why all the haste? Why all the clandestine activities with Belema Oil Ltd in Ogoni land? Why is Shell fond of ‘using the backdoor’ to pursue and actualize their ‘profit-oriented’ objectives in their E&P activities, especially in this part of the world? When will this stop?
Shell seriously needs to ‘retrace’ its steps and holistically and transparently carry every Ogoni (both the educated class, elites and locals) along in whatever they want to do in Ogoni land; either through Belema Oil Ltd or any other oil company for that matter. Like we noted before, IF THIS IS NOT DONE, THE OIL BLOCK MAY BE SOLD, BUT IT WILL NOT BE OPERATED. The Ogoni people want to participate as ‘Partners’ in whatever Shell wants to do in their land. They want ‘full Inclusiveness in operations of the oil block’ and proper Engagements carried out across all social strata of the nation. Anything short of this will be futile and counterproductive.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
No.28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout, Effurun-Warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
ON SHELL’S ALLEGED DECEPTION IN OGONI – WHY THE HASTE IN THE DIVESTMENT OF OGONI OIL FIELDS?
With more (investigated) revelations coming in as regards the subject matter, we are greatly appalled to find out that it is actually true that Shell (SPDC) is said to be the main brain behind the push for Belema Oil Ltd to buy over and operate the Ogoni oil fields. That means in the midst of all the ‘noise and controversies’ being made as a result of this, Belema Oil Ltd is just a ‘front’ of Shell (SPDC) put in place by the oil giant to protect its interests in Niger Delta of Ogoni land in Nigeria which have been shut down for over 22 years following the mass protest by the people and civil disturbance in the area (which led to the murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others), occasioned by the total neglect and injustice on the people by the Nigerian government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company-SPDC.
As had reported in our past write ups, Shell is said to have sold its oil blocks in Ogoni land to Belema Oil Ltd, and drilling is set to commence as the company has reached agreement with some community chiefs who are said to being used to collate signatures endorsing the sale of the oil and gas in Ogoniland. Some top Shell officials are believed to, not only have strong links with the company, but are also the ones behind every of its moves in Ogoni land.
As we speak, Shell (SPDC) is using its usual deceptive strategy of “divide and rule” in Ogoni Land to actualize its objectives. At the moment, Shell is said to be the one behind Belema Oil Ltd that is buying and delivering cows and ‘gifts’ to selected locals and community Chiefs/leaders in Ogoni land. And in doing this, Shell is cleverly trying to boycott and bypass the educated class, elites and opinion leaders of Ogoni. In fact, right now, Shell is said to be using Belema Oil Ltd to instigate some of the Ogoni locals and Chiefs against the Ogoni elites – teaming them as “city-based” elites of Ogoni indigenes.
Shell seems to have forgotten that without the ‘active’ inputs, participation, contribution and being-carried-along of the Ogoni elites, educated class and opinion leaders, no oil company will succeed in operating any Ogoni oil field. Why should Shell want to bypass these educated (elites) relevant stakeholders of Ogoni people? Have they forgotten that it was the same educated class and elites like Ken Saro-wiwa that brought the ‘Ogoni Issue and Crises’ to lime light and international attention? So why boycott them with this deceptive strategy using Belema Oil Ltd as a front?
As we noted in one of our last write up, community sources revealed that that some Ogoni community leaders were recently flown to Lagos to hold secret meetings on the oil block sale and may have been compromised after which they received documents with which to collect signatures from the Ogoni people as consent to the sale of Ogoni Oil.
The same strategy they have been known for using in different parts of the Niger Delta region to cheat and defraud the locals from having ‘ample opportunities’ to become “partners” in owing and benefitting from their God-given resources, that is exactly what Shell is repeating again in Ogoni land.
For an oil company that has no known track record and history of operating any oil fields, one begins to wonder why Shell, with its enormous global repute in oil and gas E&P, should decide to use Belema Oil Ltd to operate in the very sensitive Ogoni land. More so, why all the haste in the divestment of the oil fields in Ogoni land without first addressing the accumulated years of environmental degradation and pressing issues affecting the Ogoni people. Why the hurry? It is obvious that those concerned are too much in hurry to divest the said oil bloc without first addressing the problems of the Ogoni host community or even carry all relevant stakeholders along in the entire process. It is as if the oil company, Belema Oil Ltd, is being forced down the throat of the Ogoni people.
Like we repeatedly said before, the elites and educated class and opinion leaders of Ogoni have detailed a breakdown of what they expect to drive any agreements to herald resumption of oil and gas activities in Ogoni. And we strongly believe that whichever oil company that wants to partake in the Shell Divestment in Ogoni OML 11, such company must carry these group of persons along.
A DETAILED FOLLOW-UP ON THE ALLEGED SHELL DECEPTION IN OGONI
The above subject matter has in the past few days, generated quite a storm as more details regarding the issue raised have started flooding in from different concerned stakeholders who completely agreed with us that indeed, there is a deception in the whole game plan. As regards this issue, many have noted, it is a calculated conspiracy to deny Ogoni people their rights to participation in E&P activities and access to means to end the many years of economic deprivation. The truth of the matter is that there are some greedy political powers behind this, and it is the trademark of the corruption in the industry. It is doubtful if any true Ogoni person will just sit and allow a single company with no track record or corporate structure to take over oil fields without addressing pertinent issues that resulted from the many years of crises.
Every social group is free to express their views, and so the Ogoni Chiefs and youths have indicated what they want. But there are other social groups who show more concern for Ogoni problems and have better understanding of the complex issues. Their voices and views will also be heard.
To this end, below here is a (sourced) detailed breakdown of what the elites and educated class and opinion leaders expect to drive any agreements to herald resumption of oil and gas activities in Ogoni. Also below here is a list of promises by the said Belema Oil Ltd. And looking at it carefully, it does not take an Einstein to see that they are all UNACHIEVABLE; BUT JUST A WISH LIST AIMED AT DECEIVING POOR AND ILL-INFORMED MEMBERS OF THE HOST COMMUNITIES (LOCALS).
POSITION OF OGONI LEADERSHIP FORUM ON PROPOSED DIVESTMENT OF OIL FIELDS IN OGONI (OML 11) BY SHELL PETROLEUM DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
The Ogoni Leadership Forum is made of senior Ogoni indigenes, elites and opinion leaders with diverse experience spanning business, engineering, politics, law, academics and corporate leadership. The group has met severally on issues concerning the sociopolitical and economic development of Ogoni, and has shown interest in the proposed divestment of Shell (SPDC) from OML 11. Their primary goal is protection of Ogoni interest and ensuring that the best deal is structured for sustainable economic development of Ogoni people, and protection of the environment. The Forum has held meetings with Shell and prospective investor interested in purchasing the 45% JV divestible equity in OML 11, and is open to meet with others with similar interests that affect development of the hydrocarbon resources within Ogoni, so that they can guide the decision making process and advise Ogoni nation appropriately.
The following were presented as minimum expectations, or terms and conditions to be considered to secure the support of Ogoni:
1. Engagement of all the major community social groups and organizations (Chiefs, Youths, Women, Elites, MOSOP, KAGOTE, etc) is necessary to secure the Social License (LTO) to guarantee freedom to operate on completion of the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA).
2. Investor to make an unequivocal commitment to support and work with all stakeholders, to ensure full implementation of the UNEP report.
3. Accept the model of PARTNERSHIP for Ogoni in a Joint Venture arrangement, giving equity stake of at least 20% in the operating company. This partnership is to be formed through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), a company with significant ownership by Ogoni people as investors. They will be listed on the CAC documents and hold the equity as Trustees on behalf of Ogoni.
4. The profit sharing model is not acceptable, as declaration of profits is subjective and is at the discretion of the operator who has the sole right. In such situations, operators will deduct operating expenses, taxes and royalties, interest on borrowed money, and declare what cannot be verified or audited. The communities end up with nothing.
5. Ogoni to be represented by their nominees on the board of the operating company or the company that takes over from Shell.
6. The top management of the company to have members from Ogoni in key positions of decision making.
7. In line with Nigerian Content Act of 2010, Ogoni people should be given first preference in contracts to be awarded. This is the sure way to spread the dividends and ensure spread of wealth across Ogoni.
8. Qualified youths and skilled persons from Ogoni to be fully employed. Those who desire work but lack the skills should be given the training to develop their skills and competences to improve their level of capabilities to function effectively in the oil industry. In addition to this, run a scholarship scheme targeted at development of management level and senior professional personnel from Ogoni.
9. Establish the main operational office with decision making authority within an Ogoni oil producing community, or preferably in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni.
10. Follow-up successful exploration and production with establishment of gas based and petrochemical industries for employment and wealth generation; and IPP for power generation to stimulate growth of SMEs. The Ogoni environment is precious and sacred, and must be protected. Consequently, only companies with sound Technical capability, financial strength and good operating track record should be supported and given the social license. Our goal is to end poverty and economic slavery in Ogoni. This is possible if we participate fully in the business of oil and gas exploration, development and production of Ogoni oil fields.
It is imperative for the Ogoni people to just remain calm and ask questions. No need for the Ogoni people to rush into agreements that will impoverish and enslave them for decades to come. Shell should be encouraged to pursue the divestment process in a ‘transparent manner’ as a respected professional corporate organization. Due process should be followed and Ogoni people carried along to avoid future problems, and not some ‘selected’ Ogoni leaders who might not have the entire mandate of the people to go into such an agreement.
More so, there are many other qualified companies out there who have shown interest and they should be welcome to discuss with Ogoni people openly. The best investor will sail through, and will be welcome by the entire Ogoni people. IF THIS IS NOT DONE, THE OIL BLOCK MAY BE SOLD, BUT IT WILL NOT BE OPERATED. No one should take Ogoni people for a ride. Ogoni people want their fair share of the bread directly (Partnership, Inclusiveness, Engagement), and not through SURROGATES. Ogoni people want to participate as Partners, they want full Inclusiveness in operations of the block and proper Engagements carried out across all social strata of the nation.
On the promises made by the Belema Oil Ltd, a concerned stakeholder asked: “Does Belema oil claim to have resources to achieve the list of promises in this document? What an excellent deception for the ignorant. These intentions are fake. People who parade themselves like this can only thrive in a lawless environment.” Below is the document.
THE BELEMAOIL PRODUCING MODEL
Belema oil shall create an industrial hub in Ogoniland through setting up of the following ventures as a strategic human capacity development and strong regional empowerment medium.
1. Setting up Belema oil Producing asset in such a manner that will create technical/non technical labour employment, high/low risk contracting and support services where Ogonis will participate through partnership with competent ventures.
2. Setting up of Belema Refinery that will refine various petroleum products and services to create employment and supply services to better the people.
3. Petrochemical Limited as major employment spinner to create over 500 employment window and empowerment as a result of the chain.
4. Build a cryogenic gas plant and processing of gas for flared gas reduction and environmental pollution.
5. Methanol plant set up and production of other associated gases for commercialization and wealth creation for both communities and company.
6. Building of automobile industry.
7. Building of personnel base and game village for recreation.
8. Building of Belema Training Centre.
9. Setting up of Belema Technology University.
10. Award of scholarship to all indigent sons and daughters of Ogoniland that wants to acquire western education at home and overseas.
11. Provide support to widows, the aged, orphans, less privileged and physically challenged in Ogoniland as key economic players and contributors.
12. Support light and light-medium scale businesses with training and financial aide to grow better and be able to compete and create more wealth.
13. Assist by encouraging Ogoni’s companies interested in specialized type of work to partner with competent organizations and jointly go into such specialities as to build capacity and immediate wealth creation.
14. Set up community business offices in safe and most conducive part in order to bring Belema to us and us to Belema.
15. Belema will be an agent of multi-motional wealth creation for us, the people of the land and shall be available to hold one-on-one strategy meeting to better improve all oil bearing communities, covering OML 11 communities, e.t.c.
From the above, we can see that even the Belema Oil Ltd did not follow the ‘Position’ of the Ogoni leaders as regards any company that wants to partake in the Shell Divestment of OML 11 in Ogoni land. Though, Belama Oil Ltd listed so many things, which we know they will never be able to put in place, it is worthy to note that “no time frame” or realistic projections were given by the company to assure the Ogoni people that all the ‘promises’ made will see the light of day. The said ‘promises’ are just good on paper without any time frame. For being the principal actor in all of this, Shell will be held responsible of any lapses or hiccups that might emanate from the whole thing with Belema Oil Ltd. Like we said before, this ‘Ogoni story’ and how it is being handled by Shell, has the propensity to ‘resurrect’ the Ogoni crises, and Shell will be blamed for everything.
From the look of things, it is obvious that Shell, Belema Oil Ltd and those relevant stakeholders were too much in hurry to divest the said oil bloc without first addressing the problems of the Ogoni host communities or even carry the locals of the communities along in the entire divestment process. It is as if the oil company, Belema Oil Ltd, is being forced down the throat of the Ogoni people. But whatever the case may be, we strongly believe that whichever oil company that wants to partake in the Shell Divestment in Ogoni OML 11, such company must follow and adhere to ALL the positions stated above by the Ogoni Leadership Forum. Anything short of this should be seen as fraud, and rejected.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
No 28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout,Effurun-warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
A FOLLOW-UP ON THE ALLEGED SHELL DECEPTION IN OGONI
We consider it necessary to categorically state here that the essence of our earlier write up on the subject issue was to draw the attention of relevant stakeholders in Shell and for them not to take this ‘Ogoni story’ (as reported here: http://www.dailytimes.com.ng/article/shell-belema-oil-deal-affront-ogoni-struggle-%E2%80%93-erafoen), for granted but give it the necessary attention. This is because the said story was exactly some of the circumstances that had led to the infamous Ogoni Crises which led to the death of the “Ogoni 9” and greatly affected the global image of Shell.
The said ‘Ogoni story’ are not speculations as others might want us to believe, but they are facts. Relevant stakeholders would agree that “there is no smoke without fire” and for situations like this one, there is always an ‘element of truth’. More so, Shell does not know it all, hence, concerned stakeholders like us will always raise a ‘red flag’ when we see things trying to repeat itself. That is why we are asking that Shell should not downplay this issue like they always do with many similar issues and try to justify their every action.
What we expected Shell to do as regarding the subject story was investigate, ask relevant questions and make amends where necessary. For instance, is there a company by the name Belewa Oil Ltd? If there is, what is their relationship with Shell and the Ogoni people? If there was an alleged signed pact between some leaders of the Ogoni community and the said company with Shell, does the community leaders concerned have ‘the complete mandate’ of its people to do so? Even the community leaders that were alleged that their signatories were collected concerning the deal; the question is do they have the complete mandate of the Ogoni people?
These and many more are the questions. This is important because, considering the fact that community leadership changes from time to time, the said oil company and Shell might be dealing with the ‘wrong set of community persons’. Again, it was this sort of ‘confusion’ that contributed greatly to the Ogoni crises that led to the death of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and the eight others. More so, how can Shell be divesting a place where it has problems that have not been resolved with the host community? The fact that Shell did this in their Western Operations in the Niger Delta and ran to the East, also in the Niger Delta, that does not mean it will also work in Ogoni, where more environmental atrocities have been committed by the oil giant.
The cross of the matter is that Shell is not sincere in holistically addressing the Ogoni Issue, otherwise, the above Ogoni story will not have come up in the first place. Let us reiterate here that the above Ogoni story and how it is being handled by Shell, has the propensity to ‘resurrect’ the Ogoni crises.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition(NDPC)
No.28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout, Effurun-Warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
An Exxon acquisition of BP would leave it in virtual control of Alaska’s North Slope and leave Shell in the precarious position of having to pay high transport fares for use of the Trans-Alaska pipeline.
I have not posted a comment by Zik Gbemre submitted for the Shell Blog under the headline “A LOOK AT PRAYER-SEEKING POLITICIANS AND NIGERIAN PASTORS” because it is about Nigerian political and church matters, not about Shell.
ANOTHER ALLEGED DECEPTION – SHELL IS AT IT AGAIN IN OGONI
Despite the fact there are strong indications that full oil production activities will soon resume in the Niger Delta Ogoni land in Nigeria after being shut down for over 22 years following the mass protest by the people and civil disturbance in the area (which led to the murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others), occasioned by the total neglect and injustice on the people by the Nigerian government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company-SPDC (the operators of the oil fields), it appears all is not yet well with the way Shell is handling the situations regarding the Ogoni dilemma.
Our attention was drawn to a recent development in which the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has raised alarm following reports that Shell may be attempting to thwart the recommended cleanup of Ogoniland through a deal with a local company called Belema Oil Ltd.
Shell is said to have sold its oil blocks in Ogoniland to Belema oil Ltd, and drilling is set to commence as the company has reached agreement with some community chiefs who are said to be being used to collate signatures endorsing the sale of the oil in Ogoniland. Some top Shell officials are believed to have strong links with the company.
Community sources revealed that that some Ogoni community leaders were recently flown to Lagos to hold secret meetings on the oil block sale and may have been compromised after which they received documents with which to collect signatures from the Ogoni people as consent to the sale of Ogoni Oil.
ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Uyi Ojo said: “This is another deception coming from the stable of Shell. This divisive experiment is a serious affront on the peaceful Ogoni struggle for environmental justice and targeted at causing confusion so as to create a window of escape for Shell to evade its responsibilities in the clean-up of Ogoniland. We totally oppose this. Belema Oil is Shell’s new ploy to betray the Ogoni cause. It is intended to stymie the communities’ collective bargaining power. We align with Movement for Solidarity for the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and other Ogoni groups that believe that only an Ogoni Congress can speak for the people who are yet to fully recover from the years of untold hardship visited on them by Shell and the federal government of Nigeria”.
The crux of the matter is that Shell must be held accountable and responsible for the decades of its environmental degradation and human rights abuses in Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta. Aside the need to halt this backdoor deal, there is also the need for Shell officials that are said to have a stake in Belema Oil Ltd to be investigated so as to determine how much they have done to frustrate the implementation of the UNEP report through their Shell-run oil company that “seeks to put potential profit first before people and the environment.” The Nigerian Government and relevant authorities should not fold their hands and allow this perceived ‘deception’ said to being perpetrated by Shell to go on.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition(NDPC)
No.28, Opi Street Ugboroke Layout, Effurun-Warri,
P.O. Box 2254, Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.
Lot of talk in the US that Goodfellow’s job in the UK is just a temporary and he will returning to The States in 12-18 months time. Good God! What job would the EC be foolish enough to give him? Most bets are Deepwater EVP but some folks think he could be replacing Marvin! Either one should cause a significant drop in share price (eventually — when a debacle like the reserves crisis happens, and it will).
Congratulations on your PR victory. You have done a good thing although I do believe you have made a new enemy. Oh, well. The Crow Indians of Montana say that a warrior’s greatness is determined by the greatness of his enemies. It is just an old American Indian saying. You have a great many admirers as well. Again, congratulations.
John, you forgot to mention Justin Welby, the head honcho of the anglican church! Here from wikipedia: Welby worked for 11 years in the oil industry, five of them for the French oil company Elf Aquitaine based in Paris. In 1984 he became treasurer of the oil exploration group Enterprise Oil PLC in London, where he was mainly concerned with West African and North Sea oil projects. He retired from his executive position in 1989 and said that he sensed a calling from God to be ordained. He has worked for ELF (not the most honest company in the world) and was handling the treasury for Enterprise. He must have seen so many bad things he is now repenting I assume? When will we see lord Browne ordained?
John, you seem to have a knack for spoiling Shell’s grand plans. Ruined the celebrations when you stole the domain name of the about to be unified company, cost Shell its majority stake in Sakhalin and have now tarnished the announcement of our North Sea platform decommissioning project by undermining confidence in Allseas judgement and sentiment towards that equally hapless ship, before it has even started work for Shell. Probably like many other regulars thought you were going well over the top publishing one article after another but your determination paid off. I doubt anyone who has anything to do with the vessel will ever forget that it was christened with a Nazi name.
Every seaman knows that changing a ship’s name brings bad luck. Especially if you do not purge all the references to the former name. Not even Pieter Schelte can stay on any documents. However Allseas with their admiration for the Nazi Pieter Schelte Heerema has chosen to rename their Nazi ship into Pioneering Spirit. Which is still a reference to the evil SS-man and even retains the P and S of Pieter Schelte. No sane minded seaman will take the risk to sail on this ship. Evil reigns there. Beware of the bad spirits!
Reserves should fall with the oil price – the amount of technically (and economically) recoverable oil from a given field depends on how much a company is willing to pay to extract it. And that will be a function of the price of oil at the time the oil is expected to be produced…
Great job. We picked up the story from your amazing website. It was only days ago that Shell was claiming the name had nothing to do with them.
STV ARTICLE 3 FEBRUARY HEADLINED Energy giant criticised over ship named after Nazi war criminal
“Shell has awarded a contract to Excalibur Marine Contractors, part of the Allseas Group, to provide for the lift and transportation to shore of the topsides of the Brent Alpha, Bravo and Delta. Shell cannot comment on the name of the vessel, which is entirely a matter for Allseas.”
Shell soon changed its tune and piled pressure on Allseas to cave in.
Really impressed. Shows what can be achieved when someone is fearless and relentless. Noticed that Shell kept insisting that the name was a matter for Allseas until the heat got too hot to handle. I signed your petition and congratulate you on the outcome.
Well done, your tenacious reporting on the name of the Heerema vessel has paid off. It came quicker than I thought, but they obviously weghed the pros and cons and decided to chuck it in. I am telling you that Edward Heerema will be very angry. People like that hate to lose. And he may forgive you for now, he will never forget you so be careful!
Great stuff, chapeau!
People should recall that the Swiss were Nazi Germany’s largest arms supplier during WWII. They were supposedly neutral, but in fact collaborated extensively to keep their ‘neutrality’ and independence intact. Let us also not forget about all that Jewish money stashed in Swiss banks that has ‘disappeared’ somehow. It should not surprise anyone that it is a Swiss company that has created this public relations disaster. The Swiss have always looked the other way at deviant behavior so long as there was money to be made.
I have a proposal for renaming the ‘Pieter Schelte’ that should not offend anyone. Why not call it the ‘Simon Wiesenthal’ ??? Wiesenthal is well known for bringing wayward Nazi war criminals to justice. Does anyone have any objections ?? It is just an idea, but a good deal better than naming it after a Nazi war criminal.
Interesting speculation regarding a takeover, especially since BP publish their own 4Q and annual report tomorrow
During the past three years the OPL 245 story was revealed in court hearings in London, was investigated by the Italian police, resulted in the arrest of members of ENI’s senior management and in spite of the enormous sums involved, nobody seems to bear any responsibility. The losers in all this are clearly the shareholders of Shell and ENI. What happened to the fiduciary duties of directors, such as those required by the Companies Act (2006)? Or does an internal army of 1000 lawyers mean that Shell and its directors are above the law?
My guess is that the acreage set aside in the Arctic Ocean is of little interest for oil and gas companies and will therefore have little impact on Big Oil’s exploration plans for that area.
So we are within 24 hours of RDS results and only a few more for CVX and XOM. I have not seen any comments about book losses on fields due to low oil prices. Do analysts understand basic book keeping and mark to market? We’ll find out on Thursday, I guess
It appears that Shell will be alone in operating offshore Alaska. In the absence of the economies of scale that would have been provided by the presence of other operators in the region, Shell will now have to pay 100% of the costs of the required infrastructure. In conjunction with a $45 oil price, and an understanding of the realities of operating in the region, I suspect that the economics of the Alaskan adventure are now looking rather poor. Time for a $6 billion write off?
This Nazi fellow whose name graces this largest of all ships fled to S. America to eventually become an immensely wealthy shipping magnate. I am curious. Where did this dude get his investment capital from ?? Pilfered Nazi gold (i.e., Jewish gold) ?? He apparently fled with a bundle of cash. I am certain that an unemployed ex-Waffen SS officer with a bad reputation would not get anywhere without ‘friends’ and ‘contacts’ from the old world. Can anyone elucidate ??
John, I see that you are up to your old shenanigans again, i.e., embarrassing disclosures. Well done.
Outsider: Total probably is not mentioned because they already were severely cash-strapped before the oil price plunched and they are selling asets to fund their Yamal LNG project in Russia. Due to the sanctions that venture can’t get exterenal funding anymore so the shareholders (Total 20% besides the Russians and Chinese) will have to largely cough up the 20+ billion USD for it. So I doubt they are in a position to take-over. Besides that, the corporate cultures between BP and Total are totally different, so integration would be hell…
Strange that the Economist omits Total (market cap $130bn) from the list of potential buyers for BP
In response to your atricle… Word in the halls of Woodcreek is that Goodfellow was promoted a year ago when the Unconventional business was downsizing. By the way, that picture of him looks downsized by about 100 pounds.
I agree with the comments on Goodfellow. I too worked for him a few years ago. My concern is the fact that he has had fatalities on his watch and now gets a senior role. What sort of message does that send?
Matula can’t control disastrous IT costs and remains in charge. Outen spearheaded numerous NBD failures and terrible deal performance. Now heads up strategy? Ahem. Napier spent many years as head of real estate, and is now amazingly head of communications. A bit like tony blair being made UN mid east peace envoy. Golligher has achieved nothing in a very lacklustre career. Pickard always a bully and now heads up the calamitous Arctic campaign. Whatever next? Brinded brought back to take charge of HSE? Time for me to fill my 4×4 with some cheap gas. Over and out.
Crouching Tiger: We are on the same page! I like your list as well. I can’t believe MEO and most (all?) of his LT is still on the payroll. With crude prices being so low, all the warts will begin to show in Deepwater. How much longer will van Beurden stand for the lack of performance in UA?
I am very happy Goodfellow is on his way out. I have worked with him. He leaves a pile of destruction behind him. Golligher, Pickard, Outen, Napier, Culpepper, Conway, Matula, Henry, Odum etc should also get shown the door as they add little value. F150: I work in Houston and in Shell for a long time and know only to well that useless people come from all nationalities. I hope HR do what they are paid to do instead of plotting disgusting IPF revenge strategies.
So, Christmas has finally arrived in The States with the announcement that Goodfellow is finally leaving. After seeing the havoc he has inflicted in Deepwater and Unconventionals it will be good for folks like Crouching Tiger to see the damage non-Americans can do to shareholder value. Remember Walter, Phil and David Greer?
Brent now at $45
The falling oil price will hurt the majors disproportionately due to their high fixed overheads. The majors will still be profitable but will soon start selling (or abandoning) assets which, as a result of the overheads, produce a lower rate of return. The smaller, nimbler companies that buy the assets at knock down prices will generate much better returns from the same assets. And as the majors spread their fixed overheads over their fewer remaining assets, these assets will themselves become increasingly marginal. Some people may remember Schoonebeek…
Good to hear those on the Calgary gravy train are being thrown into the expensive tar. Agree to the overheads point. Next it is the time for the army of useless Houston support staff. Yes all the HR mafia, PR spin doctors, bean counters and arctic gun slingers to name a few. Time for President van beurden to dispose of the inmates at Guantanamo Creek and Camp Xray One Plaza.
Crouching Tiger what makes you think Odum will survive. The cull has already started in Canada with 150 people leaving by March. Odum is making a great start in reducing his massive overhead but has a long way to especially as Concentration Camp Culpepper nears completion and the overhead costs kick in for that. Hollowell must be licking his chops right now with the success in the Gulf keeping UA afloat
Odum will survive. But not his band of merry incompetent texan men. The oil rush is over my yankee doodle friends. I belief the knifes are being sharpened at HQ. Thanksgiving may just come early this year. Only OPEC cutting production can save Texan Turkey from being on the summer menu.
Mr. Donovan. Your site seems to be the focal point of speculation about a Shell BP merger. Do you have inside information? What is going on behind the scenes?
Brent now at $53 according to Bloomberg
There Be Dragons: I’m surprised that Odum has survived in Shell this long in spite of poor performance (well I guess I am not surprised since Shell does not require accountability). I’d be shocked if he could survive a merger.
Would the new board really include Odum given his ‘success’ in Alaska? If this did really happen there would be some serious collateral damage in both the Upstream bloated orgaizations.
Hasn’t Cosan, Shell’s partner in Brazilian ethanol been cited for engaging in slave labor practices ?
Signing the SGBP is one thing. Bringing the 5% who ignore the SGBP into line will not be so easy. I wish BvB good luck and a happy New Year.
Saw your article on Shell’s espionage saga. Rumor has it the US Attorney General in now involved.
My, my. Shell involved in espionage ?? Say it isn’t so. Acoustics and electromagnetics are two hot button topics at DoD and DoE. If your allegations are true, then Shell is playing with the wrong snake.
Zik, Osagie was transferred to The Hague a year ago as his final preparation to replace Mutiu. I agree with you that Osagie is not the type of gentleman and businessman that Mutiu is. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of people like Mutiu.
Osagie has made career pushing paper around Human Resources Department. He didn’t do that very well, but he was protected. In addition to Basil, Chris Finlayson was his godfather. Chris brought him to Brunei when Chris was based there and hurried him back to Lagos when Chris took over as number one in Nigeria.
Osagie, Basil and Chris share poor judgement. The fact that after his short stint in British Gas he took on a Directorship with one of the notorious oil companies in Papua New Guinea (inter Oil), is further proof of that.
But let’s face it: Osagie will take the job unless you or others can provide concrete evidence that can be confirmed through investigation by Shell. Hard evidence of shoddy values will persuade Shell to change its mind. So use your contacts and find the smoking gun
A STERN ADVICE TO PREVENT SHELL FROM MAKING A SERIOUS BLUNDER IN THE APPOINTMENT OF THE NEXT MD/COUNTRY CHAIR, AS MR. MUTIU SUNMONU GOES ON RETIREMENT
With rumours going round that the Royal Dutch Shell is bent on appointing Mr. Osagie Okunbor as the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair to take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, CON, who is going on retirement soonest, we consider it necessary to once again render this strong advice, considering the sensitivity of the subject, so as to clear the air, put things in their right perspective and reiterate our stand.
Without mincing words, making Mr. Osagie Okunbor the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC), Nigeria, to take over from Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, will be the ‘biggest’ mistake and a ‘corporate blunder’ Shell will ever make. It will be like Shell using its own hands to ‘destroy’ the company’s operations in Nigeria. Again, this is no exaggeration, but stating the bitter truth and the undeniable fact as we see it.
Often times, people are remembered by the legacies (be it good or bad) and impact they must have made and left behind in the life of others or the organization or company they have worked for. However, when such legacies left behind in a company like Shell (SPDC) are seen as a good one, it is far more important for such good legacies to be sustained by those coming to take over. As the current Country Chair/Managing Director of the Royal Dutch Oil Company based in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, bows out of office soonest, the question of who takes over the mantle of leadership becomes very expedient to put into consideration and find answers to.
Indeed, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu won the hearts of many with several qualities, notably; he was and still is painstaking, accessible (open doors), erudite, accommodating, slow to anger, humble, detribalized, tested and trusted, an ambassador devoid of mediocrity, megalomania and above all intelligent. These facts and attributes were also recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria which was quickly followed by the prestigious award of the National title/Honour – CON (Commander of The Order of The Niger), by the President of Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, two months back. It is therefore crucial to state here that no Nigerian Oil Chief has ever received such a National Honour award.
The ‘oil Executive’ Mr. Sunmonu, is also known to have received tens of titles (many he had refused) from several host communities where Shell Nigeria operates. In these host communities, choruses of praises are still opened and rained on him even in the face of oil exploration challenges.
This unprecedented development in the history of oil exploration and production, particularly in the Niger delta, should not be left unabated if the status quo must be retained and maintained without a paradox. Hence, it is “Who The Cap Fits” that should only be considered to take over from Mr. Sunmonu, so as to continue with the good legacy he will be leaving behind, and not some ‘desk-top’ or ‘sycophant’ individuals that do not have what it takes to deliver.
In other words, the next Managing Director/Country Chair of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has to be someone that first, has a vast experience in Gas Production, especially now that the whole world is aiming for cleaner sources of energy; which gas production offers. The next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair should also be someone that was an Asset Manager and has gathered that level of expertise, just like Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu who was once the Asset Manager in Southern Swamp operations (Area C) Western Division in Delta and Bayelsa States, Shell Nigeria.
As MD/Country of Shell (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu brought his experience as an Asset Manager. As an Asset Manager in Shell, you are always on ground and this makes you close to the oil and gas facilities, the various host communities and the locals, and the company’s staff as well. These are the attributes that greatly helped Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu as MD/Country Chair of Shell and a great achiever. On the other hand, appointing Mr. Osagie Okunbor is baseless because it will not bring any positive impact to Shell (SPDC) operations in NIgeria.
Some persons in the Shell system have claimed that “Mr. Osagie Okunbor worked very hard at different levels of leadership”, but this is pointless because we know that it is Mr. Basil Omiyi and the Edo State connections in Shell (SPDC) that projected Mr. Osagie Okunbor to the position of the VP Human Resources. He did not attain to that position on merit or hard work, as they are trying to make us believe. The question is what job was he doing or has he done to be considered for the said position? Appointing an Edo State man to occupy the position of Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair will not help the Niger Delta region. Edo State is just in the Niger Delta region by ‘geographical manipulations.’ The ‘core Niger Delta States’ are: Delta State, Bayelsa State, Rivers State and Akwa-Ibom State. The core Niger Delta people do not consider or regard Edo State people as Niger-Deltans. They are not part of us. Mr. Osagie Okunbor is a Benin man from Edo State, as such, he has no affiliation with the core Niger Delta people. Mr. Osagie Okunbor cannot, or even know how to manage/relate with host community stakeholders in the volatile Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He is also a very ‘unpopular’ Shell (SPDC) staff within and without host communities of the Niger Delta region.
This is Nigeria, where the oil, gas and condensate explorations and productions are not like what we find in other nations that Shell is operating in. The complexities, challenges and demands of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria are quite overwhelming; hence it requires a well-grounded technical and operational person with the leadership qualities and professionalism to adequately manage Shell (SPDC) operations in the country. This becomes necessary when we consider the fact that Shell (SPDC) is still the pioneers and the biggest International Oil Company (IOC) in Nigeria. Therefore, Shell should have someone that is well-grounded in the Nigerian oil and gas industry who completely understands the working/operational environment and can fully represent the interest of Shell in Nigeria as well as that of relevant host communities’ stakeholders.
Therefore, it is imperative that the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair has to be someone that is well-grounded in “engineering background”. Having an MD/Country Chair with an engineering background for an oil and gas company like Shell (SPDC) has a lot of advantages than having a man with a “clerical background”. An MD/Country Chair Engineer understands every component of the industry right from the project design to the workability of the oil and gas assets in his jurisdiction. As the ‘boss’, an MD/Country Chair Engineer knows the ‘technical’ details of the demands of his office and he/she knows what to do at every point in time. But the “non-engineering” Executive will have to depend on other people for everything. He cannot prepare ‘technical presentations’ and cannot answer questions on technical issues.
At the top, an MD/Country Chair with a technical engineering background will be able to adequately manage the oil and gas assets and people better than a novice like Mr. Osagie Okunbor for example. Well known and well-established International Oil Companies (IOCs) like Shell always discourage and stop any form of ‘favoritism’ or ‘who-know-man’ just to favour a friend in a sensitive job appointment. Like we have reiterated severally in times past; somebody like Mr. Osagie Okunbor has nothing technically-concrete to offer if appointed the next MD/Country Chair. He should be left to handle ‘clerical issues’ alone in Shell.
Let us reiterate here that it is not a question of one being a Vice President or a Director (through ‘who-know-man’) in Shell Nigeria that qualifies one to become the next MD/Country Chair, but it is about one having the vast requisite technical experiences and ‘character’ to adequately handle the demands of that office. The next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair should be someone that has competence on the job. This is something Mr. Osagie Okunbor would not be able to offer.
The next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) has to be someone that is ‘firm’ and has proven his or herself to be a ‘dependable’ and ‘reliable’ Executive not just for Shell as a whole but also for the locals of the host communities in Shell operation areas of Nigeria. He should be someone that is not an Edo State ‘tribalist’ or any ethnic tribalist for that matter. The next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that has an ‘independent’ mind yet ‘humble’, and can use his/her discretion and wisdom to address host communities issues affecting locals before they go out of proportion, as well as issues bothering junior Shell staffs too, just like Mr. Sunmonu is known to have done. That is, the next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that will not look down on host communities’ stakeholders as well as Shell junior staffs. Otherwise, host community issues will often snowball into unanticipated crises while junior Shell staffs that do not have a voice, will suffer greatly, particularly those that have served the company greatly for years but yet, are sent out through the back door without nothing, over flimsy excuses on health grounds that are no fault of theirs. We know exactly what we are saying based on recent happenings, so this is no exaggeration.
There are people who pretend to be good but in actual fact, they are not; the relevant authorities in Shell Hague should consider these facts in appointing the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). If possible, those considered to be eligible for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell Nigeria, should be made to come out and contest for the position through ‘rigorous tests’, both written and oral tests on the technical knowledge of the oil and gas operations of Shell Nigeria.
It is now unavoidable to prevent the oil rich communities and indeed the Nigeria people from weeping if the sad error of replacement is executed by misguided judgments on the part of the Royal Dutch Management, sequel to our earlier write ups on this issue.
Many Nigerians are currently waiting with anxiety as to who would take over and continue the good works of Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, CON. Relevant authorities and Shell Management in The Shell Hague, should therefore be very thorough before naming the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair. A greater portion of the future of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry rests on that decision.
And now we know the rest of the story. Shell’s appetite for creating Swiss shell companies for the purposes of hiding income and dodging taxes started around 2005, the time old Peter Voser took over Shell. Bean counters have no business running oil companies. They don’t know the industry.
The current rapid drop in oil prices is not simply a matter of market forces at work. Remember the last time oil prices tanked and banks in the US got themselves into trouble ? At that time Merrill Lynch owned more oil future than any other entity. Bank of America now owns Merrill Lynch.The world’s trading and banking houses are clearly dumping high priced long term contracts in an effort to cut their losses. There is more to the price of crude than simply supply and demand. The traders have panicked an so the price of crude has ‘tanked’. We have seen this before. Next time they will drive the price higher than markets forces warrant.
When Peter Voser’s departure as CEO was announced, it was explained that Peter wanted time for his family, hobbies and to give back to society. Today it was announced that he’s being proposed as Chairman of ABB (his previous employer) and he also took a directorship at a Singaporean Sovereign Invetsment house some months ago. This makes his departure story look suspicious. Maybe the board was aware that he overpaid for unconventional acreage in the USA and that his China adventures were quickly going nowhere but down.
Is it time for the RDS board to be a bit more forthcoming with its justification?
NOW THAT MR. MUTIU SUNMONU IS GOING ON RETIREMENT, WHO TAKES OVER AS SHELL NIGERIA MD/COUNTRY CHAIR?
As the current Country Chair/Managing Director of the Royal Dutch Oil Company based in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, bows out of office soonest, the question of who takes over the mantle of leadership becomes very expedient to put into consideration and find answers to.
In other words, the next Managing Director/Country Chair of Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has to be someone that first, has a vast experience in Gas Production, especially now that the whole world is aiming for cleaner sources of energy; which gas production offers. The next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair should also be someone that was an Asset Manager and has gathered that level of expertise, just like Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu who was once the Asset Manager in Southern Swamp operations (Area C) Western Division in Delta and Bayelsa States, Shell Nigeria.
Let us reiterate here that it is not a question of one being a Vice President or a Director (through ‘who-know-man’) in Shell Nigeria that qualifies one to become the next MD/Country Chair, but it is about one having the vast requisite technical experiences and ‘character’ to adequately handle the demands of that office. He should be someone that has competence on the job.
The next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) has to be someone that is ‘firm’ and has proven his or herself to be a ‘dependable’ and ‘reliable’ Executive not just for Shell as a whole but also for the locals of the host communities in Shell operation areas of Nigeria. He should be someone that is not an Edo State trabalist or any ethnic trabalist for that matter.
The next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that has an ‘independent’ mind yet ‘humble’, and can use his/her discretion and wisdom to address host communities issues affecting locals before they go out of proportion, as well as issues bothering junior Shell staffs too, just like Mr. Sunmonu is known to have done. That is, the next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that will not look down on host communities’ stakeholders as well as Shell junior staffs. Otherwise, host community issues will often snowball into unanticipated crises while junior Shell staffs that do not have a voice, will suffer greatly, particularly those that have served the company greatly for years but yet, are sent out through the back door without nothing, over flimsy excuses on health grounds that are no fault of theirs. We know exactly what we are saying based on recent happenings, so this is no exaggeration.
There are people who pretend to be good but in actual fact, they are not; the relevant authorities in Shell Hague should consider these facts in appointing the next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC). If possible, those considered to be eligible for the position of MD/Country Chair of Shell Nigeria, should be made to come out and contest for the position through ‘rigorous tests’, both written and oral tests on the technical knowledge of the oil and gas operations of Shell Nigeria.
It is now unavoidable to prevent the oil rich communities and indeed the Nigeria people from weeping if the sad error of replacement is executed by misguided judgments on the part of the Royal Dutch Management, sequel to our earlier write ups on this issue.
Zik Gbemre, JP
London Lad: we agree that buying BP now is writing an open check. Until its legal liabilities are established (and possibly confirmed by a higher court), a buyer has no idea how to assess the future cash commitments related to Gulf spill. The difference with the BG situation is that a more creative Shell Board would have considered what BG did itself later on: namely floating off the downstream gas business and its retail charging and collection business. In other words, it was arisk that could be managed> Macondo is not (at this point).
As a result, Shell lost a great opportunity.
Relieved: My point entirely. If unconventional (ie Bakken/Eagle Ford….) wells need to be worked over after 1-2 years of production (at a cost similar to the drilling of a new well) we will see a rebalancing of supply and demand within a couple of years – it will not be economical to maintain production and the wells will be shut in or abandoned. Wells that have already been drilled are “sunk costs” and will be produced for as long as possible, as is always the case. The difference with unconventionals is that “as long as possible” means 1-2 years rather than 10-20 years as was the case with conventionals.
Outsider: North Dakota just celebrated the production of 1 billion barrels of oil from the Bakken shale. Two thirds of that production came in the last 3 years. These wells pay off very quickly at $100 a barrel but production declines very rapidly as well. The same holds true for the Eagle Ford shale in Texas. With drilling stalled in these two areas production will decline quickly,as will the ‘new’ shale oil supply of US produced oil. This could take a couple of million barrels out of US and world daily production. Oil prices won’t rebound overnight, but they will rebound and go higher unless other sources of energy expand or new technologies for energy production mature and expand. Without new drilling and new supplies coming online oil production world wide will decline. Low prices expand demand. Eventually, there is a collision between supply and demand, and it won’t take long to occur. We have seen it before.
Relieved: I agree that the price of oil in cyclical, but the production decline of unconventional wells is much faster than the decline of conventional wells. I would expect a year or two before there is a marked decline in unconventional production sufficient to balance overall supply and demand.
Oil prices have relatively long term (relative to other commodities) price swings. In general the highs (or lows) come and go about every seven years (roughly). This swing time is related to the lag time necessary to bring on new production, and for current productions levels to decline enough to stimulate higher prices and increased drilling and production.
Exxon is probably generally correct in their assessment of where oil prices are headed over the long term. As production now declines because of low prices for crude, it won’t be long before prices start an upswing. Whether BP can last another couple of years at current or lower prices for crude is another matter.
The most obvious rival source for large-scale hydrogen is nuclear power generation not unreliable wind and solar. This was proposed in a paper presented at a nuclear forum some 20 years ago on the hydrogen economy. Hydrogen from nuclear = no/low CO2 emissions- unlike natural gas or other fossils
Given the recent US Supreme Court ruling against BP in its efforts to limit damage claims it would appear that their balance sheet just took another hit. How much of a hit is a matter of speculation at this point in time, but it won’t be chicken feed.
Total and BP have worked together on JVs for many years, and Total (especially under Desmarais) have a successful track record at mergers. Add to that Total’s new found enthusiasm for London (perhaps a UK tax domicile?) and it’s just a question of how much the liabilities scare them. Not much obvious overlap/conflicts in either Upstream or Downstream either.
Have to agree with “earclosetotheground” that this rumour is almost certainly a result of the “city” boys making money to pay off their mortgage (again). Why should Shell take on the toxic element of the Gulf spill? No chance. I was involved with the possible bid for BG back in the 90’s and the final put down on this was the problems BG was then having with domestic supply aggro in the UK.
With regard to the defamation suit now working its way through the US court system – I know of another case Shell is likely to face, regardless of how this case works itself out. And this one could make the news.
Shell’s hubris is amazing, and it is time people started taking it to task.
If I had received a 1000 Pounds every time the Shell/BP rumour came up, I would be a rich man by now. If you think about it, you know it is unfounded market speculation that has allowed a few people to make money by selling after the rumour started to ciculate
Welcome back LondonLad. You are correct, things were getting a bit stale on this blog. Maybe you can liven it up.
If Shell paid a $30 million penalty as a result of paying a $2 million bribe, can we expect to see a $15 billion penalty for the $1 billion bribe paid by Shell and ENI to acquire OPL245 ?
Oh dear oh dear oh dear Donovan. Up to your usual tabloid titilation and “add-ons” again. Referring to your article on the “Worst oil spill into the Niger Delta for years” the referenced article states very clearly “slick strectching for miles …… across swamps and INTO the ocean”. Yes Donovan INTO. This merely likely supports the usual problem in the Delta (and stated by SPDC) that thieving Nigerians caused the problem. Trying to imply that the leak was several miles offshore and then attempting to condone the thieving Nigerians by adding that they could only have done this using submarines merely underlines the lack of understanding you have with the Niger Delta (as does the likes of “Relieved”). There, that should get some response and liven up this somewhat dormant blog.
REPLY TO LONDONLAD BY JOHN DONOVAN
Surely you did not think the comment about submarines was serious?
There is a very old joke about how copper wire was invented, i.e., is was discovered by two Dutchmen fighting over a copper penny.
This joke reflects the notorious attachment Dutch for money (the are not alone). Given this cultural bias it should not be a surprise that RDS takes every possible route to avoid paying any more for anything than is absolutely necessary. And they go to great lengths to accomplish this, even engaging in unethical and criminal behavior. Well, like I stated, they are not alone. But birds of a feather do flock together.
I noticed that Toyota is coming out with a car powered by fuels cells that operate off hydrogen. Today the hydrogen comes from natural gas, so we don’t save anything in the way of CO2 emissions but there are any nitrogen oxide emissions (the smog gas). Tomorrow the hydrogen may come from solar and wind power. Does anyone think Toyota is making a serious mistake on betting on a hydrogen future for transportation ??
We have been through Shell’s creative reserve estimations before. Are we now being treated to round two ??
Ireland is supposedly a modern republican democracy, yet its officials and their stooge cops act as if they are a former Soviet satellite. John Locke said: ‘Where the law ends, tyranny begins.’ I think it is time for some internal housecleaning within the Irish government.
Mr Supershell – do you realise how hypocritical you appear? You criticise this website and its owner but you visit regularly. Also do you not believe in freedom of speech? In my long career at Shell I have found many people from the US with such strange and draconian opinions. If you don’t like the website you are free get your information elsewhere.
In my opinion Bill Campbell is right about his risk assessment of the Prelude. If there is an accident (and sooner or later an accident will happen) the damage will be much larger than on a comparable site on shore.
In my view an accident resulting in a fire is inevitable. Especially because the focus of Shell’s project department is on planning and budget. Taking shortcuts on quality and safety, including the violation of international standards is not a problem for the Shell top management. On a project like the Prelude the pressure on delivering on time will be enormous, this will effect the quality and therefore increase the risk.
A second issue is operational errors leading to fires. The question is not if it will happen, but when it will happen. Just analyse the number of fires on a on- shore Shell site! Keep in mind that the real number will be higher, because Shell is doing it’s utmost best to hide and downplay any kind of negative publicity.
Mr Donovan, your speculative article on the pending retirement of Mr Brandjes, RDS Company Secretary, is less than honourable. Other than the regular visitors to your website (myself included), he is probably the only person in the world who has been reading the conjecture and general guff in your emails for the last xx years. His sense of duty to the Company is admirable! Deep down you must be longing to get out of the life of updating your miserable website and find a new purpose. Would Mr Brandjes’ retirement be an appropriate trigger to do so?
No. Wishful thinking on someones part. I enjoy having a free hand to publish information about Shell and hope I will continue to do so for many years to come. Bit puzzled why you remain a regular visitor when you describe the website as being miserable. What’s the compulsion to return? Are you paid to visit? Is it not part of your job to do so? You are aware of Shell’s policy of how best to deal with the existence of this website. It is not working. The damage to Shell has been enormous – literally billions of dollars (Sakhalin2) – and well worth the time and cost to me. I know that many people must be baffled why Shell does not take legal action against me bearing in mind that some articles, such as the spoof article you complain about, may appear rather forthright. The reason why I am not buried in injunctions is because of meticulous research to ensure I can substantiate in court everything I publish about Shell and its management. In other words, I have the documentary evidence. If convinced information is true I am prepared to publish it, including leaked documents, such as from Lavelle, the Dublin law firm, that no other website or news source would dare to publish. I do not have to obtain approval from an editor or from lawyers. It is my decision alone. That makes this website a very dangerous Internet outlet for Shell attracting as it does, disgruntled parties from around the globe. Hence the spying activity and attempts to close it down and kill news stories about our activities. I did have some regard for Mr Brandjes when he initially acted in a gentlemanly fashion after being appointed as my designated contact at Shell, but it eventually evaporated, along with his good manners.
It is not so much the size of RDS that justifies breaking it up but the over dominance of the Upstream. There is no way that a separate Oil Marketing business would have managed decline in the way that that the Upstream and Finance dominated RDS has. In the old days the CMD struggled with Marketing but we had 100+ OpCos who just got on with it – very well in the main. But once the centralisation imperative took hold 10+ years ago Shell lost its competitive edge in local markets. Thinking Global but acting Local is what built Shell’s brand but Acting Global and not thinking at all has damaged it. The OpCos were abandoned and when that happened all the necessary local focus went as well. Decision-making is so removed from the market that any attempt to identify the Shell brand with an individual market’s needs has gone. And the only criterion of measurement that matters is cost.
Is it too late to hive off Shell Marketing as a truly separate business and manage it as such – not as a poor relation of the big ticket Upstream? Possibly. But it’s worth a try.
I am continually amazed at RDS’s inability to ‘neutralize’ your operation. Absolutely amazed. It is indicative of the level of incompetence now endemic within the ranks of RDS upper level management. But then again, if RDS management was responsible and competent you would not have much to report and therefore would not be the HUGE pain in the backside you are today. Personally I think many of RDS’s problem stem from size and that the company is now much like the old Roman empire – too large to manage effectively. Maybe it is time to break up the operation into smaller operating companies.
John, I read your amusing article about your alleged past. I got a good chuckle out from the article. No, you are not a current or former RDS spook, of that I am quite certain.
At four o’clock yesterday Shells head of legal Bridgid Lowe contacted alcohol confirmation lawyer Marc Fitzgibbon and informed him that following information obtained from “John Donovans website” it was a “mistake” to contact
the OSSL solicitor and request a conference call that would have included Statoil and Vermilion. There was no apology sent to OSSL.
Relieved, no hope this Zik will listen to you. It is the prerogative of the chairman to ignore everyone, paying attention to others would be a sign of weakness. And he thinks all the readers are Nigerians. They have learned to simply ignore the very long and incomprehensible speeches of the chairman. During a speech the chairman must use difficult words so he appears educated and impresses his audience. Just read ‘How to be a Nigerian’ from Peter Enahoro. First published in 1966. Nothing has changed since then, except they now have smartphones, internet and drive on the right side of the road. And the country in general is much poorer and worse off. So, just be like a Nigerian and ignore the crap from the chairman.
Zik, old man, you are defeating your own message by being so long winded. Keep it short and sweet and to the point. Very few have the patience to wade through your tomes.
WHO TAKES OVER FROM THE CURRENT SHELL NIGERIA MD/COUNTRY CHAIR?
Indeed, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu won the hearts of many with several qualities, notably; he was and still is painstaking, accessible (open doors), erudite, accommodating, slow to anger, humble, detribalized, tested and trusted, an ambassador devoid of mediocrity, megalomania and above all intelligent. These facts and attributes were also recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria which was quickly followed by the prestigious award of the National title/Honour – CON (Commander of The Order of The Niger), by the President of Nigeria Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, recently. It is therefore crucial to state here that no Nigerian Oil Chief has ever received such a National Honour award.
The ‘oil Baron’ Mr. Sunmonu, is also known to have received tens of titles (many he had refused) from several host communities where Shell Nigeria operates. In these host communities, choruses of praises are still opened and rained on him even in the face of oil exploration challenges.
Let us reiterate here that it is not a question of one being a Vice President or Director (through ‘who-know-man’) in Shell Nigeria that qualifies one to become the next MD/Country Chair, but it is about one having the vast requisite technical experiences and ‘character’ to adequately handle the demands of that office.
The next MD/Country Chair of Shell (SPDC) has to be someone that is ‘firm’ and has proven his or herself to be a ‘dependable’ and ‘reliable’ Executive not just for Shell as a whole but also for the locals of the host communities in Shell operation areas of Nigeria. The next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that has an ‘independent’ mind yet ‘humble’, and can use his/her discretion and wisdom to address host communities issues affecting locals before they go out of proportion, as well as issues bothering junior Shell staffs too. That is, the next Shell Nigeria MD/Country Chair has to be someone that will not look down on host communities’ stakeholders as well as Shell junior staffs. Otherwise, host community issues will often snowball into unanticipated crises while junior Shell staffs that do not have a voice, will suffer greatly, particularly those that have served the company greatly for years but yet, are sent out through the back door without nothing. We know exactly what we are saying based on recent happenings, so this is no exaggeration.
Many Nigerians are currently waiting with anxiety as to who would take over and continue the good works of Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu. Relevant authorities and Shell Management in The Shell Hague, should therefore be very thorough before naming the next Shell (SPDC) MD/Country Chair.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
I have read about this saga of Irish lushes so hard up they took booze in payment for ‘services rendered’. If I were Irish I would be miffed at the implication that the Irish are a mob of drunken fools. However, even Irish cops in the US are noted for their ability to ‘look the other way’. It must be something to do with the personality type.
Your blog Indicates the lawyer clearly confirms police alcohol being discussed by Shell /OSSL. Your readers should be aware the JV of Statoil, Vermilion, and Shell, immediately contacted the lawyer direct …what about? All parties refusing to say but after three years of silence Vermilion and Statoil now have something to say, but we don’t know what.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Just as long as I can drive my new Jag and keep my winter in the UK a little warmer to make my bones move more easily.
AND, I would like to add to the Simon Henry blog made by others that it merely emphasises the fact that Financial Managers (at whatever level) have very little idea about the E&P business and should NOT have the authority to sign off documentation on the behalf of the E&P experts. This is a fact that I verbally made very clear to Bichsel many moons ago.
Simon Henry is correct. But he forgets to add ‘to do it well’. He seems to be completely detached from reality and his statement is a slap in the face of the professionals who do not get listened to!
The Moerdijk statement that the site is down de to a steamleak is Shell newspeak for damage on the 3 high pressure steam boilers.
North America Retail is being downsized once again by BARBARA STOYKO. As per the last “head cut” that BARBARA managed, CANADA was the victim despite better earnings than the USA. There is a bit of “INBREEDING” at play by Barbara Stoyko as she is living with a Shell retail USA employee that she supervises. This is very common down in the USA, where there are no morals or governing best practices. SHAME on you BARBARA STOYKO!!!
Simon Henry is correct when he says that it is not difficult to drill in the Arctic. However, drilling is just a small part of the overall process. The discussions should be based on all of the activities involved in exploration, development and production processes, including such issues as potential well control problems, accidental discharges and equipment failures. These are not supposed to happen, but as both Shell and BP have proven, they cannot simply be overlooked. The destruction of the Kulluk did not occur during drilling operations. The Macondo blowout occurred after drilling operations on the well had been completed. Shell have access to the technical resources and skills to minimise the risks, but have shown that they are unable to deploy them successfully in the Alaskan Arctic. The blind confidence of inexperienced drilling staff is perhaps the greatest single risk.
There is an almost perfect correlation between Multinational Oil company profits and the price of Crude Oil. The higher the latter, the higher the former. Changes within the business operations, cost reduction exercises and other reorganisations and the like, can affect financial performance on the margins. And instituting such changes can give Directors the feeling that they are “doing something” to justify their windfall level remuneration. But, in truth, it’s the traded value of Crude which really drives the dosh. So falling prices are bad for Shell, Exxn and the rest of them Arguably, however, they are good for the rest of us.
There are those who argue that the higher the oil price the stronger the drive for diversification will be. Renewables become more relatively viable if Crude prices are high. But Shell, having established Wind, Solar, Forestry and other unconventional energy businesses got out of most of them despite the rise in Oil prices. Even the (highly questionable) Governments’ subsidies for renewable energy were insufficient to keep Shell in the game. And falling prices make it unlikely that they will return.
One of the drivers of falling prices is the gradual increase in production – especially in the United States – of hydrocarbons (mostly Gas) from Shale. Fracking is changing the face of the energy scene, and not just in America. The US could become self-sufficient in Energy as a consequence, an extraordinary turnaround. The energy business is a classic example of where price is a direct consequence of the interplay of supply and demand. As supply of oil and gas from new non OPEC production such as shale increases the price falls. For the first time for a while the Sheikhs and their friends are not telling us how much we’ll pay for our gasoline!
The prediction of oil price trends is a dodgy old game and one major shock can lead to panic and price rises. That said there is reason to be bearish on oil for at least the medium term. There is an uncomfortable dilemma ahead for the Oil Majors. Unconventional oil and gas production – be it via fracking or by moving into environmentally questionable areas like the Arctic – is expensive. And yet if the reliance on Middle East and other traditional producers is to be reduced then this has to happen. But the bean counters are going to be worried about project viability if the Crude price keeps falling. My guess is that the hurdle rate for investment approval slips negative in many cases at $80 a barrel or less.
Consolidation of the energy sector may be the way forward. Rumours of BP and Shell dusting off the merger files sound logical to me. BP is far from out of the mire of the Browne and Hayward years yet. But come the dawn, and if the lawyers confirm that all the lawsuits are behind them, then a Shell/BP merger seems more likely than not. The opportunity to build a great Europe-based Energy multinational around the strong(ish) foundations of RDS and BP would be attractive – not least to the European Union. The nightmare alternative, by which either or both fall into the hands of Russian, or Chinese or Arab predators is not!
“Follow the money” is never bad advice. And along with “Who benefits” I’d recommend it at this time. The next few years will see major changes, some surprising, to the global energy scene. The power is shifting. The prizes are high! Who will win? We’ll see.
I would like to repeat a warning I have mentioned before about postings on this blog. Websites allowing aliases to be used are especially vulnerable to manipulation. That includes Wikipedia and blogs such as this one. It follows that I can only vouch for the bona fides of postings made in my name or by contributors who choose not to use an alias. Some contributors using aliases, such as “Outsider” and Musaint/LondonLad have built up a reputation over several years for the integrity of their postings on this website. Some contributors use multiple aliases when in fact they come from the same source.
Mr D there’s not one amongst us on Corrib who
doubts the Garda got the alcohol and in decent quantity ,when a lie is working you don’t change it
so Mr D “put up or shut up”
Who really cares ?
Tune In: Call out the Mounties and run those uncouth barbarians out of the country.
SHELL USA is trying to flex its muscle with Shell Canada……looks like the ignorant BUBBAS down South are winning!
It would appear that Marvin is afraid to cut into the largest part of his overhead, the safety department. This department has grown top heavy with JG 1 and JG A staff and reducing lower level staff while the record remains the worst in Shell. In HR we are having yet more cuts, seems I picked the wrong career.
A snippet for you John,
Shell CEO Crothers cuts into his holiday to handle ‘toxic waste” on Shell Corrib Claims against vendor not
quite sure were the truth lies on this one, great site John keep it up. Cheers.
John, If your Blackmailer Is OSSL they are as I write Outside their “target” HQ telling the world about their
“Scam” is that how blackmail works?
For Zik: You are being a bit long-winded, buddy.
SHELL SALES OF OIL BLOCKS – WHAT IS THE BENEFIT TO HOST COMMUNITIES OF NIGER DELTA?
The Royal Dutch Shell is at it again as it has concluded the sale of its four Nigerian onshore oil blocks–Oil Mining Leases (OML) 18, 24, 25 and 29 – in addition to the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) – which it put up for sale following a 2013 review of its business in the country. According to a report, in an effort to reduce its exposure to onshore operations, which are more prone to security threats, Shell is divesting 30 per cent of its interest in the four blocks, while Total and Eni are selling 10 per cent and five per cent respectively. The remaining Fifty-five per cent will be retained by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) under a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the new buyers. The divestment is also part of the Anglo-Dutch giant’s plan to dispose of $15 billion of assets globally in 2014 and 2015.
The problem we have with all of these concluded sales by Shell in its Western-Nigeria operations and now the Eastern operations is that it has no direct benefits to, or role by the host communities that have been bearing the brunt of the extractive industry for over fifty decades now.
On the Divestment of Shell (SPDC) onshore assets in the Niger Delta region, Shell initiated this process which according to them, was to help grow local capability. Oil blocks in Shell’s Western operations in Nigeria were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners. But neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these as partners, and this generated a lot of community backlash with threats from local communities to block operations. There were protests in the oil city of Warri and other places but all to no avail. Now the same thing has happened in the East; in Bayelsa and Rivers States. Again, there are no indication of direct role for, or benefits to the host communities that have borne the brunt of the devastation and exploitation for all these years of oil and gas exploration and production.
Plans are on for OML 11 & 17, some of the wells are in Ogoni, which has witnessed the most destructive evidence of environmental pollution from oil and gas exploration and production that are yet to be resolved till today. The question is, should the Nigerian government just allow these sales to go on without prescribing equity participation for the communities as a way of compensating them? Buyers of these fields become extremely wealthy. Is there anything wrong with the host communities of the Niger Delta being extremely wealthy as well? The sale of these four assets will bring the number of oil blocks sold by Shell to 12 in the last four years, as the oil major had previously sold OMLs 4, 38, 41, 26, 30, 34, 40 and 42 to local investors and their international partners. Of the eight oil fields previously divested by Shell, only OMLs 4, 38 and 41 are operated by the new buyer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, while the operatorship of the other five blocks were transferred to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Under the current divestment programme, the report noted that Shell signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with the Aiteo Group, which is acquiring OML 29, the most prolific of the oil assets offered to buyers, and the Nembe pipeline recently in Lagos, Nigeria. Other partners in the Aiteo Group-led consortium include Tempo Energy Resources, which has a 10 per cent stake and Taleveras with five per cent equity in the consortium.
The disposal of the Nembe pipeline, which moves oil through the Niger Delta to the Atlantic coast, is seen as Shell’s biggest move yet to exit onshore crude production in Nigeria. The 60-mile Nembe Creek Trunk Line is one of Shell’s two key pipelines in the Eastern Niger Delta, which the oil giant replaced in 2010 at a cost of $1.1 billion. The company also said recently that alongside its partners, Total and Eni, it had signed an SPA to sell 45 per cent in OML 18 to a consortium led by Canadian oil and gas company Mart Resources. Reuters reported that Mart Resources confirmed that it had entered into an agreement recently for the acquisition of OML 18, whose production it said ranged between 20,000 to 30,000 barrels per day from around 30 wells. Mart Resources is part of the Erotron consortium that won the bid for OML 18. Its other partners include indigenous operator Midwestern Oil and Gas and Suntrust Oil. The sale process “has not yet fully concluded but we can confirm that we have now signed the share purchase agreements for these oil mining leases and the NCTL,” a Shell spokesman said.
“Nigeria remains an important part of Shell’s portfolio, where we will continue to have a significant onshore presence in oil and gas, and which has clear growth potential, particularly in deep-water and onshore gas,” he added. For OML 18, the Erotron consortium was reported to have offered $1.2 billion for the oil block; Aiteo offered $2.562 billion for OML 29 and the Nembe pipeline; Pan Ocean Corporation Nigeria Limited offered to pay $900 million for OML 24; while Crestar secured OML 25 having offered $500 million for the oil asset. However, despite the execution of the SPAs between Shell and the buyers, the transactions would only be deemed truly sealed after a ministerial consent is granted by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as provided by the Petroleum Act. However, the buyers have expressed confidence that the Minister would sign off on the deals soon.
Again, looking at all of these oil block sales by Royal Dutch Shell in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, the big question is; in what way would these benefit the host communities that have been bearing the brunt of the extractive industry?
We were irked recently when a report by Rachel D’Oro of the Associated Press titled “SHELL, ALASKA NATIVES TO SHARE IN OFFSHORE DRILLING PROFITS, noted how a worthy Shell initiative in Alaska positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast. An extract from the said report reads: “An Alaska Native regional corporation and six Native Village corporations signed an agreement with a Shell Oil subsidiary Thursday (7/31) that aims to share the profits from offshore drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast. Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced the formation of a new company called Arctic Inupiat Offshore LLC. Its participants include six village corporations on the North Slope. The agreement with the Shell subsidiary, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., gives the Alaska Native company the option of acquiring an overriding royalty interest from Shell’s drilling on leases in the Chukchi Sea.” And according to the Shell Alaska Vice President Pete Slaiby. He said the agreement also underscores Shell’s commitment to provide opportunities for the communities.
The report also noted that “Shell’s decision to invest in the future of the region and its people should be applauded,” Murkowski said in a statement. “This announcement ensures that the people of the North Slope Borough share directly in the oil and gas bounty off their coast. It also gives locals a say in what happens near their communities.”
We could not but wonder why Shell would do what they are doing in Alaska but fail to do same in other countries and places like the Niger Delta region in Nigeria?
The UNEP report funded by Shell was issued just over 3 years ago, and in the report both Shell and the Federal Government of Nigeria were indicted and specific actions aimed at remediating the severe environmental damages were assigned to all parties. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done nothing to address the issues and the communities impacted continue to suffer. Shell as the global operator that claims “best operating practices” is also not doing anything to get the government to respond.
This attitude would never be exhibited by Shell if it were in the US or Europe. The Macondo case of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and the way the US government dealt with them is clear. BP was severely punished and the affected communities very well compensated for loss of business. Because the Nigerian government is weak and has no interest in what happens to the Ogoni communities for instance, Shell seems to have taken advantage of this by doing nothing, in violation of global standards. Shell knows they cannot do this in countries with better and stricter regulatory governance. But still, that does not excuse Royal Dutch Shell from not doing the right thing.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
Finally – is it wishful thinking about Odum’s long overdue departure or is it based on fact ?
Just read an email ,Shell expose OSSL for dumping toxic waste across the border in N Ireland ,brilliant
deflection from Garda Booze nice one Shell .
Current Shell Senior operative on Corrib yesterday released (in writing) a malicious statement regarding the driver of the police /Shell 2007 alcohol delivery .The
release of the grotesque completely erroneous statement is timed to counter the news that the Minister for Justice is welcoming a reopening of the investigation into the “cops booze ” claims .
We now plumb the depths like never before .BVB must act to halt this villainous behaviour from Shell Ireland .
If Odum does go he goes 4 years early. Mandatory retirement is at age 60. Odum is 56.
It looks like Odum will finally be given his marching orders. I wonder if we will see other casualties of the CEO shake up. I’m glad I don’t have the letters UA in my ref indicator at the moment. Its been a long-time coming.
Let me tell you about one of the mess in Malaysia too. We made a mess of the Gumusut leased contract, damaged our relationship with Petronas. Now Ashley Bates CP GM got promoted to be VP CP. He is helped by non other Top Shell salesman Wayne H . Russ you have been conned. Get Ashley to sort out the mess before he goes. Ask the business for feedback. Don’t trust Wayne too much.
In the US the kind of legal shenaningans this ‘CW Law’ gang pulled would get someone disbarred might even lead to criminal charges for the individuals involved and the law firm itself. And you have to love RDS for trying to pull this kind of sleazy legal hat trick. RDS is such a good corporate citizen. None better.
Why is Peter Sharpe EVP Wells not made accountable for the Arctic belly flop? Everyone just blame the Americans.. Time to get someone new in drilling to turnaround Wells performances.
With the oil price falling i wonder if we will start to see the expensive UA projects being dropped. Shell can no longer continue to ignore the way things are going in the US. A good excuse for us to tidy up the inefficenies in the U S of A. Time to cut the useless and wasteful dumb kid’s allowance.
Well the recent corroborate good NEWS as you hsve posted… Maybe with all that extra money they can pay the OSSL COMPANY …,,,,
No one will read beyond the first few sentences of this plagarised verbiage from Zik. When is he going to take any notice?
Zik. Far too much. Most people will get bored to death after the first few paragraphs.
THE POSSIBILITY OF EARTHQUAKES AND THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF OIL & GAS EXPLORATION IN HOST COMMUNITIES OF THE NIGER DELTA
It is an established fact that when it comes to the very lucrative extractive industry of oil and gas exploration and production in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which the Royal Dutch Shell has spear-headed in Nigeria for over 50 years now, nothing has been more devastating and disturbingly-pronounced than the adverse environmental degradation often left behind by this economic venture. Sadly, aside the obvious environmental degradation in the Niger Delta caused by oil and gas spills in the extractive industry, there are even more deadlier and harmful environmental impacts like possible earthquakes that are subtly being created by the extractive industry in region, which if not taken into consideration and measures put in place to ‘prevent’ or ‘accommodate’ it by both the oil and gas operators in the region and relevant government authorities, could spell doom for all and sundry.
The environmental impact of oil spills and gas exploration impact in the Niger Delta region has always been the focus of most stakeholders in the industry when it comes to addressing the environmental impacts of the extractive industry. But virtually nobody is raising alarm and talking about the gradual adverse impact of gas exploration being created underneath the earth’s crust. A lot of stakeholders in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry are not aware that the constant exploration of gas for instance, unsettles the natural arrangement of what is underneath the earth’s crust, which could ultimately lead to serious earthquakes that will claim countless lives on many host communities locals.
This same problem created by the extractive industry, is currently being faced by locals of Groningen province in the Netherlands. It was reported that an earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale was felt in Groningen province recently and was considered a “significant quake in the Netherlands.” Social media channels were buzzing with news from people who felt the quake, some of whom were in Groningen city itself. “I have never felt such a strong one,” local councilor Paul de Rook said on Twitter. There have not yet been any reports of damage, news agency ANP said. The quakes are caused by the ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under the province. Gas extraction company NAM has not yet commented on the strength of the recent quake but the tremors are thought to have been strongest in the villages of Ten Boer and Bedum. NAM happens to be a 50:50 Joint Venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, and is currently assessing claims from hundreds of people who say their homes have been damaged by the quakes.
It was also reported that the government of Netherlands has sharply reduced gas extraction volumes in the worst affected areas. In fact, at the beginning of this year the government of Netherlands has agreed to scale back gas production because of the earthquake risk. Total’s production, which reached almost 53 billion cubic metres last year, will be cut back around 20% to 42.5 billion cubic metres this year and in 2015, and reduced again to 40 billion cubic metres in 2016. This will cost the treasury €2.3bn in lost income over the three-year period. In addition, Ministers have earmarked an extra €1.2bn for Groningen province to strengthen buildings and the infrastructure. NAM has received more than 250 reports of damage, over 130 of which were in the city itself, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper said.
Earlier this year, the Economic Affairs Minister, Henk Kamp, had set aside €1.2bn to compensate people whose homes have been hit by earthquakes. Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for a debate with economic affairs minister Henk Kamp about the earthquake threat. NAM has had some 19,000 reports of quake damage so far, and carried out 3,000 street inspections. A further 5,000 homes still need to be inspected, the director told the NRC.
The above described situation in Groningen province of The Netherlands, clearly tells us that the host communities of the Niger Delta region, particularly host communities like Utorogu-Iwhrekan community in Ughelli South LGA, Delta State (that is rich in gas deposits), are predisposed to face the same earthquake challenges in the near future because of the years of gas extraction in the said areas by first; The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), and currently, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It is therefore expedient for these oil and gas operators and relevant authorities/stakeholders in the industry to put this issue of possible earthquakes in the Niger Delta region into consideration, while going about their oil and gas exploration activities. Let us reiterate here that the stated three communities above will be the most impacted, if there is any possible earthquake because of the proximity and closeness of these direct host communities to each other.
While battling with and addressing the obvious environmental impacts of oil and gas exploration activities in the Niger Delta region like oil spills and gas flaring, there is need for operators and stakeholders in the industry to equally bring into the picture, the possibility of earthquakes caused by the ground settling following the extraction of natural gas from under earth crusts of the Niger Delta region areas.
Having this in mind, we believe, will help operators, regulators and relevant authorities in Nigeria’s extractive industry to know the level of natural gas exploration that could be considered harmful to the earth, and how this can be managed in the interest of all. It will also help relevant government authorities, regulators and stakeholders to manage human and material loss in case of possible earthquakes and also put in place “preventive measures” that will strengthen buildings and infrastructure in the direct host communities like Iwhrekan and Otu-Jeremi Communities in Ughelli South LGA, and Otor-Udu Community in Udu LGA, all in Delta State, and the region as a whole to withstand possible earthquakes. It will also help relevant government authorities to put in place ‘compensation mechanisms’ for host communities stakeholders that might likely suffer possible earthquakes in the future.
Knowledge is power, and prevention they say, is better than cure. In as much as such natural disasters cannot be prevented, now that we are aware that man-made activities like natural gas exploration can equally bring about such disasters like earthquakes, there is need for proactive steps to be taken in policy making and regulatory measures. That is why we believe International Oil Companies (IOCs) like Shell (SPDC), which has been operating in Nigeria for over fifty decades, should be made to face the music if there is any possible earthquake in the region in the near or far future. This should also include areas like Delta State, where Shell has Divested its oil and gas interests in the Land areas, e.g. Iwhrekan and Otu-Jeremi Communities in Ughelli South LGA, and Otor-Udu in Udu LGA, Delta State.
Now that Shell has Divested its assets and has exited the land areas of Delta State, will they leave the responsibility of bearing the consequences of their years of natural gas exploration to NPDC that just took over these assets? Considering the fact that NPDC is just a new comer that has taken over these divested Shell assets in the land areas of Delta State, Shell still has to take responsibility of the deplorable legacy they have left behind in these land areas. And having benefitted a lot from the oil and gas exploration in these land areas of Delta State, Shell has to contribute the lion share to the direct host communities for possible earthquakes.
For being the pioneer of oil and gas exploration in Nigeria, and having spear-headed natural gas exploration in particular in the Niger Delta region, Shell Nigeria should be ready to carry the burden of possible earthquakes that might happen in the region in the future. The Nigerian Government and relevant authorities in the industry should also take note of this and ensure that the interest of the host communities locals who are usually the ones that bears the grunt and pains of the extractive industry, are not left to wallow in their misery.
A Dutch newspaper report that Shell Moerdijk is down untill at least the end of this year due to a steamleak. I asume they are having problems with the high pressure steam system.
To Deltaic: Don’t have to attempt anything. Shell’s negligence and incompetence and the venality of its management ‘team’ make that completely unnecessary.
One of the posted comments about Jo Kerkhoff mentions G4S, the contractor the former fed was working for. He got his revenge but there was a price to pay, as he is finding out. He should have done his home work before having anything to do with G4S and Shell. In the 2013 Public Eye Awards, G4S came third in the “peoples choice” category behind Shell and Goldman Sachs, as the worlds worst companies. Shell’s frightful track record is well documented. For G4S, take a few moments to read the “controversies” section of the Wikipedia article on the company. Negligence, incompetence and fraud. The two companies are so much alike. From the G4S perspective, was it wise to upset a man with so many connections? I have checked out Xxxxxxx xxxxxx online. Investigator for the Secret Service, DOJ, Treasury and Coast Guard. What was he really doing at the Norco site? Is there a hidden reason he was shunted out double quick? The incident is a potential commercial disaster for G4S coming as it does just a year into a five year contract to provide Shell with security services in more than 30 countries.
Information added by John Donovan.
I have redacted the name of the former U.S. Secret Service Agent.
Don’t worry “Guest” the two anti-Shell luddites (“Outsider” and “Relieved”) continuously attempt mischief and sensationalism. I just wish that I was as pure and adequate as they are, clearly others are not.
To Guest: The point here is that had Shell been doing preventative maintenance, as is the norm, the crane would not have failed. Crane failures like this are indicative of a serious lack of attendance to maintenance issues. In the US OSHA would be all over this and Shell would be facing stiff fines and penalties.
Guest: Cranes that are properly maintained and operated within their limits do not fail. Either the crane had not been maintained properly, or it was being operated outside its limits.
You really are a sensationalist. A crane failed and a container fell. The appropriate actions were taken. Nobody was injured, no asset damage occurred. Shell took actions to evacuate non essential persons. Yet you still sensationalise it on your site.
You really are a very sad person.
September 30, 2014
SHELL’S DEPLORABLE LEGACY IN DIRECT OIL AND GAS PRODUCING HOST COMMUNITIES IN DELTA STATE
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), which is a Nigerian offshoot of The Royal Dutch Shell Plc, has been operating in Nigeria for over five decades and still counting. And Delta State, can best be described as one of its main operation areas that habours its Western Division operations. Shell’s first real exploration in Delta State was a gas well in Erumukhowarien (around where we currently have Beta Glass), in Ughelli East which started in the late 1950s. But despite its over five decades exploration and production activities that started in Delta State from here, Shell did not meet up with the expectations of the host communities’ locals, as expected of an International Oil Company (IOC).
Today, every host community where Shell has ever operated in the land areas of Delta State, there is clear marked anger amongst families/locals who make up these land host communities, towards Shell and everything that concerns Shell as an IOC. Even though, Shell had Divested its interests and has left the land areas of Delta State, the anger from the host communities locals in these land areas still persist towards Shell.
This ‘anger and hatred’ towards anything Shell amongst families/locals that make up direct land host communities in Delta State, is born out of the pathetic and deplorable legacy that was left behind by Shell. Among other things, such legacies include years of environmental degradation and pollution of farmlands and fishing rivers; acquisition of ‘farmlands’ (which is the peoples economic lifeline), without appropriate ‘compensation’ to address the locals future; discriminatory employment opportunities, and where there are employment of locals, it is usually “casualized” (i.e restricted to casual labour); execution of Community Development projects/Programmes that are never sustainable; inappropriate and neglect of spills etc. Also, Shell host communities’ locals in the land areas of Delta State are seen by Shell, to only be good for ‘minor’ contracts like pipelines/flowlines surveillance, grass-cutting, housekeeping services, etc.
Looking at all the direct host communities in the specifically land areas, which include Utorogu-Iwhrekan, Otor-Udu and Otu-Jeremi; Ughelli East Communities of Erumukhowarien and Effurun-Otor; Ughelli West communities of Ekakpamre and Uvwiamughe, and many other direct communities like Olomoro, Uzere, Kokori, Evwreni, etc, the locals of these communities cannot boast of having any of their indigene who has occupied or is occupying a Managerial Position in Shell. Even when you look at the few ones (in the midst of many) employed in Shell, you cannot see one indigene of these Shell direct host communities listed above, that has risen to a job group 4 level. That has been the pathetic situation sustained by Shell in relation to its host communities’ locals in Delta State where the company has operated for over five decades now. In fact, this has been the situation right from the inception of Shell operations in Delta State till date.
Even with the creation of Sustainable Community Development (SCD) in Shell, whose duty is to look after the direct host communities, the situation has been aggravated and made worse by its cry for budgets that were demanded by these host communities. Worst still, these direct host communities cannot boast of sustainable pipe bone water and electricity supply. Whereas, in the operational yards of Shell Offices within these direct host communities, they have uninterrupted and stable power supply and pipe bone water, among other fringe benefits. Most times you see Shell Yards ‘beaming with lights’ while their surrounding direct host communities are in darkness with nothing to show forth as oil/gas host communities.
Even where few Community Development Projects/Programmes exist with direct host communities, they are left to rot away without any sort of maintenance structure/system on ground. Some projects like school blocks and laboratory blocks are observed not to be equipped for proper usage. We have many Shell projects like the Osubi Market Stores, which was built over 20 years ago but have been left to rot without proper use. Most of these CD projects were just built by Shell through PMC (Project Management Committees) and GMoU (Global Memorandum of Understanding) schemes that only end up enriching some community individuals through the collaboration of Shell personnel.
The so-much-publicized and talked about GMoU for instance has been carried out by Shell without ‘sincerity of purpose’. Since its inception in Shell’s Western operations area, the GMoU initiative has brought nothing but crises, confusion and conflicts amongst direct and indirect host communities in Delta State. This is simply because the GMoU initiative was designed to “short-change” direct host communities, as they are haphazardly clustered by Shell to breed confusion and conflicts, while at the same time enrich some individuals in the system. The direct host communities for instance, are clustered with indirect host communities thereby creating a whole lot of problems for all stakeholders. The GMoU initiative and its clustering attribute, has made indirect host communities that do not have real Shell facilities/assets to benefit more than the direct communities which have functional and ongoing (Divested) Shell projects/assets and facilities in the land areas of Delta State. For example, the only real direct host communities in Ughelli South 1 Cluster, which include Iwhrekan, Otu-Jeremi and Ekakpamre, are not benefitting from the GMoU initiative funds. Rather, it is the indirect host communities that are benefitting more from the implementation of the said initiative that is fraught with fraudulent activities.
For proper understanding, direct host communities as used here refers to communities that are the direct host to (Divested) Shell’s oil wells, gas fields, oil and gas facilities and exploration and production facilities/assets, while indirect host communities are communities whose only bearing of being called host communities is tied to them having pipelines passing through their communities.
Speaking of direct host communities, as a result of the environmental pollution created by Shell during their oil drilling, gas exploration and pipeline construction activities, etc, these host communities have been exposed to all manner of ‘insecurity issues’ unjustly. That is why we believe the SCD in Shell should be asked to explain why these direct host communities were neglected by Shell for so long before their exit from the land areas in Delta State? The SCD in Shell should be held accountable in this area because the livelihood and socio-economic life of the locals of these direct host communities have been paralyzed. Their fishponds and fish-farming activities have been destroyed; their farmlands have been acquired with ‘peanuts’ by Shell for oil and gas exploration and production activities. What Shell usually paid as “compensation” for lands acquired for their oil and gas exploration and production activities were never enough to take care of the future of locals directly affected. In fact, these so called ‘compensations’ and ‘Land Acquisition Monies’ often paid by Shell to direct host communities cannot be said to last even for a week for the said locals concerned to cater for their socio-economic needs.
With this sort of practice, how then would stakeholders in the industry judge Shell’s talk about Sustainability? Is there anything “sustainable” about their style of short-changing the direct host communities in Delta State, and the Niger Delta area as a whole? How can Shell be talking about sustainability when the ‘socio-economic future of its direct host communities ‘locals’ are never factored in Shell’s future plans and operations?
This was why we were irked recently when a report by Rachel D’Oro of the Associated Press titled “SHELL, ALASKA NATIVES TO SHARE IN OFFSHORE DRILLING PROFITS, noted how a worthy Shell initiative in Alaska positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast. An extract from the said report reads: “An Alaska Native regional corporation and six Native Village corporations signed an agreement with a Shell Oil subsidiary Thursday (7/31) that aims to share the profits from offshore drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast. Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced the formation of a new company called Arctic Inupiat Offshore LLC. Its participants include six village corporations on the North Slope. The agreement with the Shell subsidiary, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., gives the Alaska Native company the option of acquiring an overriding royalty interest from Shell’s drilling on leases in the Chukchi Sea.” And according to the Shell Alaska Vice President Pete Slaiby. He said the agreement also underscores Shell’s commitment to provide opportunities for the communities.
The report also noted that “Shell’s decision to invest in the future of the region and its people should be applauded,” Murkowski said in a statement. “This announcement ensures that the people of the North Slope Borough share directly in the oil and gas bounty off their coast. It also gives locals a say in what happens near their communities.”
We could not but wonder why Shell would do what they are doing in Alaska but fail to do same in other countries and places like the Niger Delta region in Nigeria? For instance, on the Divestment of Shell (SPDC) onshore assets in the Niger Delta region, Shell initiated this process which according to them, was to help grow local capability. Oil blocks in Shell’s Western operations in Nigeria were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners. Neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these as partners, and this generated a lot of community backlash with threats from local state communities to block operations. Why did Shell not consider direct host communities’ locals as ‘partners’ that ought to continue benefitting from the natural resources of their lands and coasts?
Now, Shell has left these direct host communities in land areas of Delta State in the name of Divestment; leaving in their trial legacies of ‘sub-human’ living and socio-economic conditions for the locals to contend with. Having given up their farmlands and fish-farms (acquired with peanuts by Shell), which are their main economic activities, the locals of these direct host communities have been degraded economically and exploited financially; leaving them in abject poverty and environmental squalor. Shell has left all their operations in the land areas of Delta State, and has abandoned the direct host communities’ locals to their fate with nothing to compensate for their relinquished farmlands and fish-farms.
When Shell came into these direct host communities, they took 90% of the people’s economic livelihood in form of their farmlands and fish-farms, and had given them peanuts in return, without consideration whatsoever about the peoples future. Where will these direct host communities go from here after these afflictions? How will they sustain their socio-economic wellbeing and that of their future generation when their farmlands and fish-farms have been either acquired by Shell (before the company exited the land areas of Delta State) for their (now divested) oil and gas business, or the environment have been grossly impacted by Shell’s exploration and production activities? How will direct host communities like Iwhrekan, Otor-Udu, Otu-Jeremi, Erumokhowarien, Effurun-Otor, Ekakpamre, etc, whose lives and economic wellbeing are tied to the ‘operations of the extractive industry’, take care of themselves and that of the future of their children?
Sustainable Development that does not factor and take care of the socio-economic future of the locals cannot be said to be Sustainable Development.
To Alyeska1: I am certain you are correct about having a former Fed in the fold. It is my guess that is why Shell’s former Chief of Global Security left a few years ago, a fellow by the name of Garcia, and an ex-FBI type. These guys don’t have divided loyalties and have signed USGloyalty oaths that endure for a lifetime.
The world does not end and begin with Shell and so when better opportunities arise it is foolish not to take advantage of them. Besides, we all know Shell is not nearly the company it was once, not by a long shot. I have no regrets and I have done far, far better than I would have if I had stayed with Shell.
Aaaah here we are, Friday evening (at least here in old blighty), glass of red wine in my hand and I see that the usual old Shell stagers are still up to their scare mongering about the “Prelude” project. Still believe you know better than the present day experts lads?? Remember your skills and knowledge are now somewhat outdated. Chaps, we need to advance for the sakes of our grandchildren not go backwards as some like IS want us to do. Meanwhile “Relieved” remains the hardcore anti-Shell commentator aka “I’ve-been-shafted-by-the-company-and-want-revenge”. Even old “Zik Gbemre” made a very short (for him at least) commentary about Mutiu Sunmonu getting his Nigerian award. Well done Zik – short is better. Oh yes, before the “hang Shell from the rafters” brigade respond, I fully accept I am also again defending the actions of Shell.
I have been reading the recent comments and as a former Shell USA employee I can only shake my head in disgust. There was a day when was a ‘good company’ to work for, and it was truly fun to work for Shell (at least Shell USA), but that was long ago. Management proliferated (mostly the mediocre types) and the company has gone to sh*t as a result. I doubt Shell today can keep good staff for very long. As a result my guess is that Shell is going to f*ck up big time one of these days and pull a BP Gulf of Mexico style stunt that will damage the company beyond repair.
September 24, 2014
CONGRATULATIONS MR. MUTIU SUNMONU FOR BAGGING NATIONAL AWARD
We Congratulate the Country Chair and Managing Director (MD) of Shell (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, for being among prominent Nigerian Professionals to be honoured by the Federal Government of Nigeria with the National Honours Award; Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
This has been our advice to the Nigerian Government right from the Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s (Rtd) regime; that the National Honours should not only be conferred on Politicians who are known to have looted the nation’s treasury, but the National Honours Award should most importantly be given to prominent professionals in other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
We are glad that the present Nigerian Government has followed our advice in this regard, by recognizing prominent professionals like the Country Chair/MD of Shell (SPDC) to be among the recipients of the 2013/2014 National Honours at the formal investiture this year in Abuja. Mutiu is considered among the ‘non-government’ recipients that have contributed to the economic growth of Nigeria. This is also the first time a serving Nigerian MD/CEO of Shell (SPDC) will be given such a National Award.
We join in Congratulating Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu for the said National Award.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
I work with someone who worked at that site and she acts just like Jo. Could they be the same person? Is Jo her real name?
although this is about Norco, I can honestly say the words back stabber, rude, mean spirited, bullying, vindictive, inadequate and many others too numerous to list could describe the supervisors at the Motiva terminal where I worked and would still like to be working, but It seems the good ol’ boy (and girl) network is the accepted management style at Motiva. I was told that most management people are untouchable no matter how wrong they are, or what they do! I wanted to work a few more years, but I left one month after making my 80 points, took the pension and got another job. It all comes down to ” the names may change, but the bulls**ts the same” no matter where in Motiva you are, or were employed!
Shell Oil is one of the most corrupt companies on the face of the Earth. No doubt the former secret service guy would make them nervous. No telling what he saw or stumbled across. I’ll bet this goes far beyond some loud-mouth lady being pretentious and crappy. I know a few active and former secret service agents, and performing a “surveillance,” especially one so lame, on one is not a good idea at all. These guys are heavily trained operators and I can guarantee you whomever did the surveillance had no idea what kind of potential danger he was in. Once with the Government, always with the government, that I can tell you about secret service agents. Also, who in the hell does such things? Ridiculous. I smell lawsuit, and if I were Shell I’d pay this guy a large sum of cash before he rips them a new one.
Typical Shell Management. This guy should have said he was a guard-shack supervisor and dummed down his resume. I can guarantee once upper management found out his background his time was limited. Shell Oil, of all companies, couldn’t have a former fed snooping around their operation. Plus it sounds like this Kerkoff lady is a Jerkoff:1)
Jo Kerkoff worked for me in the past. She was often too aggressive with the way she conducted her job duties, although sometimes it was warranted. However, she seemed to enjoy being unpleasant toward other people, especially subordinates. It seemed to me she was overcompensating for feelings of inadequacy. I hope that’s all, but I suspect she just enjoys being rude and abrasive. The agent must have laughed his [email protected]
@ Bayou55: True, true. I know the man that’s being referred to in this article. He had things figured out from day one. Even I was shocked at how quickly he had figured out what (or who) the problem was at Shell. Even he knew his days were numbered according to what he told me. When he found out someone was listening at his door you should have seen his face!!! Any by the way he was a true security professional – not a make-believe one like jo and Mike.
From the article: “Is she a kind, considerate person of integrity, a professional who treats colleagues with respect and is a pleasure to work with, or the opposite – bullying, abrasive, rude and vindictive?”
I don’t work directly for her, but basically work with her daily. At first I thought Jo’s “short” and “snappy” way of speaking and emailing was because she was just in charge of so much. I was wrong. All of comments others have posted are unfortunately true…especially the word “backstabber.” Jo is mean and could care less for anybody who does not agree with her. She is not a “…professional who treats colleagues with respect and is a pleasure to work with.” Jo is all of the words you used – bullying, abrasive, rude and vindictive – and more. I do not like conflict, and hate to speak bad about people, but I’m so happy someone has brought Jo’s unprofessionalism to light. I don’t feel sorry for her at all.
Wow no need for me to post – you summed it all up contractor. Everything changed when she (Kerkoff) showed up. We have a nickname for her. To not be lewd all I’ll say is it’s a play on the name Kerkoff with the fist K replaced by another letter!
I work at the site for a contracting firm who works directly with Shell/Motiva security. I worked for the company before the arrival of Jo Kerkoff and before her boss, Mike Cisneros, was promoted to overall supervisor. Prior to Jo’s arrival, everything ran smoothly on the security end of things and everyone got along. Almost as soon as Mike got promoted and brought Jo on board, the entire complexion of things at the site changed. It became obvious that if you did not do everything Jo wanted, to include fire or remove employees she didn’t like, for any reason at all, you were going to be fired as a contractor. She is a rude, bullying, mean, xxxx, spiteful, liar. She will tell you to do one thing verbally, and later if that turns out to be wrong or not something her supervisor Mike wants or likes, she’ll deny ever telling you to do it or to take the action in the first place. She is untrustworthy, a back-stabber, and is not respected by anyone of her employees or any contract employees, except for the ones that play her game, appease her, and that she knows she can manipulate. She loves to manipulate and use one against the other. She loves to cause trouble for people whenever possible. I actually believe she enjoys causing pain for good people and will immediately try to get rid of anyone that sees her for what she is. No doubt in my mind that the agent referred to in the article saw through her facade almost immediately and when she realized that he was not going to play her games and tolerate her nonsense, she took steps to get rid of him. Her boss basically doesn’t know what he’s doing, so he does pretty much whatever Jo tells him. He is basically a figure-head. Ether way, I can guarantee you no one knew more about security oversight than the former Secret Service Agent, and that’s precisely why he was drummed out of his position.
I worked at this site as a contractor and had to deal with this person. The person referred to as “Jo” is actually a woman. I experienced the same lack of normal professional communication from her on numerous occasions and it was obvious that she was a neophyte who was way in over her head. The unreal thing is that there is nothing going on at the site that requires her to be so unpleasant and military-like. She acts, looks and talks like a U.S Army soldier. Her job is incredibly easy. She basically supervises a small staff, does reports, and oversees a security contractor, I believe G4S. That’s it! There is no reason for her, as she did with me also, to be so rude, mean-spirited and ridiculous. I used to work quite frequently for Shell, and she and her attitude is one of the reasons my company doesn’t do much work for Shell anymore. What a joke. I feel sorry for the former U.S. Fed, but he obviously intimidated Jo and her staff by the way he was allegedly treated. Listening through a door…how childish and preposterous for a major oil company. Very, very sick.
I can tell you first hand that Jo Kerkoff is one of the most unpleasant women I have ever dealt with. She has the professionalism of a neophyte. Her issue is that she wants to be in control of anything and everything to cover for her inadequacy as a professional and manager and I have often wondered who she is related to there in that corrupted place. Perhaps this agent did find out something they didn’t want him to know. I can guarantee you Kerkoff thinks she is some kind of hot s@%t, which she is certainly not. She is what I call a “this is my kitchen” type person, and makes back door deals, screws people over routinely, and is one of the least respected folks by any contractor at the Shell/Motiva site. He boss is also a joke who is more worried about appearances than real security. That’s the likely reason a bonifide security professional was treated so poorly. Kerkoff and her boss wouldn’t even qualify for the first step of the the Secret Service process, much less win awards, etc. This poor guy must have thought he was in The Twilight Zone.
After working at this site for many years I can identify with this man’s plight. The “good ol’ Boy” – or in this case “girl” – network is well engrained there. Such Megalomania is common at Shell/Motiva. I’m so happy I’m out of there. The agent should count his blessings – although I realize that’s of no consolation to his livelihood. What a shame but unfortunately not surprising at all.
After working at the Shell Motiva site for many years, I can vouch for every word above. The “good Ol’ Boy” – or in this case “girl” – network of management at the site was sickening. I am so happy to be long gone from that horrid site. The former agent may want to count his blessings, although I realize that’s of no consolation for his livelihood. Good Luck Sir!
Blackops is correct. I saw an article on here that used the words bully, dictator, control freak, and money waster to describe a motiva supervisor, well that seems to be the case in many of motivas workplaces. those things, along with managements hooray for me and f*@% everyone else attitude only serves to create a toxic workplace environment. I had my choice of several work schedules, worked the midnight shift just to avoid interaction with the “good ol’ boy” supervisors, until I just gave in and retired much earlier than I had planned.
SHELL MOTIVA NORCO: PENDING ARTICLE ABOUT VICTIMISATION IN A HOSTILE, SINISTER WORK ENVIRONMENT:
Shell Motiva is one of the most unprofessional sites in the oil industry, so tell us something we don’t know! I’m so glad to be away from that “good ol’ boy” network of bafoons you have no idea. Can’t wait to see what’s going on there now.
SHELL AND ITS TRAIL OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION OF NIGERIA
When it comes to the very lucrative extractive industry of oil and gas exploration and production in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which Royal Dutch Shell has spear-headed in Nigeria for over 50 years now, nothing has been more devastating and disturbingly-pronounced than the adverse environmental degradation often left behind by this economic venture. The environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region by the over five decades of The Royal Dutch Shell operations in the region is so pronounced to the extent that it has been observed by foreign neutral individuals and organizations.
For instance, in a recent report, as highlighted by John Donovan, Germany’s Development Minister Gerd Müller, attacked the ‘production practices of Shell’ during a speech at the Berlin Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK) event. Müller denounced “Shell’s poor regard for the environment” and said that during a recent trip to Nigeria, he witnessed the pathetic oil production methods of Shell. In his words: “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.”
The German Minister said the company prioritized profit over concern for the environment. “That is unacceptable,” Müller added. Though, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Agip and Total are also active in Nigeria, Shell is the major oil extractor in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The report also noted that Environmental activists have long protested Shell’s oil production in the Niger Delta. Amnesty International and other groups released a report in August 2014 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 (UN) assessment of the pollution in 2011 estimated that it could take up to 30 years to clean up.
In their defense as usual, the report noted that Shell has blamed the spills on local villagers of host communities who “drill holes into the pipelines to steal oil, leaving the pipelines open and causing spills.” Aside the fact that the company’s figures on the frequency of these incidents have been contested by Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth International, the question is; whose responsibility is it to protect the pipelines and sustain good practices of environmental protection? Shell is the one that placed/laid these pipelines/flowlines in different areas of the Niger delta region for their oil exploration and production business. And if the pipelines and flowlines are broken by oil thieves, who will now be held liable to clean-up and remediate the environment and bring it back to its natural state?
There is a Nigerian saying that “if a dog should bite and injure people, it is the owner of the dog that will be held liable.” Also, aside the issue of oil theft, there are countless incidents of “equipment failures” of Shell pipelines and facilities that have impacted the environment of the Niger Delta region. The crux of the matter is that Shell has not done enough with its environmental policy when it comes to protecting and restoring the Niger Delta environment that were adversely impacted by its operations. For instance, Shell did not do enough in restoring the environment before the Divestment of its assets/interests in Delta State. And it is not too late for the company to come make amends and do what is expected of it in restoring the oil-impacted environment.
Some years back, when the unexpected British Petroleum (BP) Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico (South America), happened, it built up a global storm of agitations and awareness on the real ‘cost of oil exploitation and its adverse effects on the environment’, especially in Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta area, that have been subjected to all manner of environmental degradation and related issues for more than five decades. The Nigerian government and the International Oil Companies (IOCs), particularly the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), were fingered as the main culprit that should be blamed/held responsible for not doing enough to address the situation with oil spills in the Nigeria.
It was reported then that oil spill accidents worst than the spillage in the said Gulf of Mexico have happened in the course of Nigeria’s 50-years history of crude oil exploitation. In fact, a panel of independent experts, which carried out a painstaking research and traversed the Niger Delta in 2006, revealed that up to 1.5 million tons of oil, 50 times the population unleashed in the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster, has been spilt in the technologically precious Niger Delta over the past 50 years.
With the mind-bugging revelation that oil spill in Niger Delta is estimated at $10 million per day, many believe it is high time IOCs like Shell should reposition itself to adequately address oil spill incidents during their operations (even if they have divested and left the place), and for the Nigerian government to become more ‘responsive’ like the US Government had done on the Gulf of Mexico example, in addressing oil spill incidents in the Niger Delta area. While some are of the opinion that Oil companies prefer “ad-hoc repair of pipelines (where, rather than overhaul oil pipelines for longevity, they prefer to respond to repairs when the pipelines fail); others have thrown their blame on both the government and IOC’s like Shell for continuing with their “tunnel vision-option” of protecting profits, at the expense of human livelihoods and health.
From the standpoint of the host communities in the Niger Delta region, the IOCs and the Nigerian government are to blame for all the oil spills in the region. In the words of the Paramount ruler of Kpor Community in Ogoni area, Chief Taoh, he identified that: “Shell only cares about clamping the Oil and forget about the Community. They did not pay compensation or even clean up the affected environment (referring to a Spill in Ogoni Community and Edagberi of Egenni-Rivers State). There has been a lot of oil spill in Kpor and yet nobody bothers. My fishing pot was affected and economic trees were destroyed. In fact, no person can farm in the areas that were impacted by the Spill”, he said. Chief Toah regretted that the Nigerian government and Shell have remained insensitive to the plight of his own community, which has according to him, continued to suffer monumental and costly damage due to oil”.
Many of us will never forget “The Ogoni crises” of the Niger Delta region, famously known as the “Ogoni 9”, which culminated in the murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others. The Ogoni crises, which is yet to be resolved by Shell and the Nigerian Government till today, will always remind us of how oil giants like Shell creeps into oil-bearing countries and practically hold host governments’ by the jugular to have their way in sustaining ‘oil profits’ over and above human lives and environmental degradation.
However, it is never too late to make amends. Firstly, Shell is expected to render an unreserved apology to the Niger Delta people, especially those in Ogoni, OML 42, 34, 30 etc, for the company’s poor environmental policy and practices in the last five decades. If Shell really has “Respect For People” as they usually preach, then they have to show it by doing this. After which, Shell should promptly take practical steps in permanently addressing all the pending and evident environmental degradation issues caused by oil spills left behind by Shell operations in some of these areas in the Niger Delta region, especially the company’s Divested areas in the region. These moves, we believe, is the only ‘little’ remedy that Shell should muster to somewhat ameliorate the grievous environment-degradation-legacy left behind by The Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Nigeria.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
I noticed the German’s are calling for a boycott of RDS because of their conduct in Nigeria (not to mention elsewhere). Hmmm. I wonder how RDS would react if a high level US government official were to likewise join the call for a boycott. Does anyone not think that would get RDS management’s attention ??Hit them in their wallet hard and things will change. The shareholders will see to that. Stranger things have happened.
Wondering and John Donovan: ample proof is already with Shell and the Irish police…but it’s too damming for both Shell and police so they play the silent game. There has been massive abuse of Shell and Police procedures by Corrib Shell middle management and local policemen. The current CEO on Corrib for Shell informed us that it was unfortunate we got caught in the ” crossfire ” ..that’s the only bit of truth so far to come out of Shell.
Mr. Donovan, it would be good if we could see some documents and proof in the OSSL case. Thus far there have only been promises that these would be forthcoming. It is about time you shared your data with the public at large. Otherwise I have to wonder whether your site is really trustworthy — lots of words but no proof points whatsoever.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN
I have already supplied over 100 pages of evidence to the Irish Police authorities who did not even bother to contact a vitally important named party – Mr Marc Fitzgibbon, a lawyer and senior partner in the Dublin law firm Lavelle, who was directly involved in negotiating a secret agreement with Shell on behalf of OSSL, covering goods and services distributed as bribes by OSSL on behalf of their masters, Shell EP Ireland. Tens of thousands of Euros were spent in an attempt by Shell to smooth the path of the troubled Corrib Gas Project.
Relieved, I hear you regarding ethics people at Shell. We have them and they are powerful. Note to CEO van Beurden, you intervened on May 20th regarding OSSL – it seems you did not act as promised (recorded live) now we read of Children being”taunted” are you happy with that?
For Aberdeen Calling : Shell’s ethics people ?? Didn’t know they existed, except in name only. Surely you speak in jest.
Your concerned Citizen letter prompted me to look at Facebook and your OSSL postings. Its plain to see there is a problem, your letter writer limits his concern to the locals and recipients of what OSSL claim “was extraordinary gifting “perhaps some blame sharing would be appropriate, if the “bairns” are getting taunted in school then the matter should be investigated by Shells ethics people.
Thick skull yes London Lad
Anti RDS no, anti victimisation of small vendor yes, the dogs in street here in Mayo know the truth, and you will soon, cops got the booze, Shell sent the booze. NO REAL PROBLEM THERE ALL LEVELS OF GIFTING ON CORRIB WERE RUNNING OUT OF CONTROL. WHEN REALITY HIT PANIC ENSUED, MAJOR PLAYERS REMOVED, OSSL INFORM SHELL A FEW LOOSE ENDS REGARD DISGUISED GIFTING REMAIN, SHIT HITS FAN, OSSL DISOWNED BUT DEFIANTLY WONT LIE DOWN AND DIE. Think on
London Lad before you judge.
I’ll attempt to get it through your thick skull “George Hamilton”, so here goes. Shell have not been taken to court despite the rants from anti-RDS people. Nothing has been proven against Shell. All that is happening is that it’s the same old inuendos, allegations and tabloid reporting. Innocent until proven guilty.
Texvette and London Lad re the vendor OSSL. Donovan doesn’t print crap he’s got the inside track, what your seeing here on the Corrib is a massive cover up by Shell being smashed up by determined victims of a need by certain Shell people and policemen trying to save their backsides regardless of who gets caught in the crossfire if Donovan says there is proof I believe him.
I really like this site and feel that it provides an effective outlet for information on Shell. I think most readers realize that the information is based on people’s views, feelings and perceptions and may not always be 100% factual. I have been following this site for several years but find I am visiting less and less due to recent developments: 1) the continued OSSL allegations (absent of ground-based facts) and 2) this site being “hi-jacked” by Zik.
Well said “Warri Veteran” I have similarly requested him to precis his very lengthy eulogies about the Delta people etc. etc. However it has now dropped off the edge of the blog after two of “Zik’s” contributions. More words “Zik” does not mean more sense or even the truth.
On another point I do like the usual “guilty until proven innocent” reaction on this website to this boring OSSL saga. “The truth about OSSL allegations” doesn’t add any new information and doesn’t prove Shell to be guilty. Despite all the rhetoric from anti-RDS fanatics on this site NO LEGAL ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN AGAINST SHELL!! So in my view Shell remains innocent of all “charges” m’lord.
Zik, my friend, please stop writing those long epistles in Donovan’s blog. I am certain that if you send him the text by email, he will post your stories in the main body of his website, he might even make a special subject for you ‘Zik’s observations of how the nigerians are oppressed by everyone but themselves’ or something to that effect. Now we need to scroll for a long time to see if anyone else has written a short comment. Take my word, your stuff is so long and verbose, it will not be read.
I have read the book of Peter Enahoro ‘How to be a Nigerian’. A delightful booklet which you should give as a present to your friends around the world. And you behave like ‘The Chairman’ who asks to speak for a few minutes and then hogs the audience for 2 hours. And naturally totally incomprehensible all the time. This is the nigerian way. His audience would not expect anything different. Nothing has changed since 1966 when he first published it.
So here your namesake Chief Zik (may he rest in peace) is proven wrong. He stated many times as a politician: ‘No condition is permanent’. Nigerians will never change so this is the exception that proves the rule.
My friend, stop de disting, my headengine explodes trying to understand your logic.
September 1, 2014
SHELL TO SELL FOUR MORE OIL FIELDS IN NIGERIA – THE NEED TO ENGAGE INDIGENOUS HOST LOCALS AS PARTNERS OF ASSETS SOLD
Now that it has become public that SHELL Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria has concluded plans to sell four of its oil fields in Nigeria (OMLs 18, 24, 25, 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line), precisely in SPDC’s Eastern Operations of Rivers and Bayelsa States Nigeria, as part of its $15 billion global divestment plan which Shell Officials in The Hague have officially signed, we consider it necessary to rightly advise the relevant authorities of Shell to engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast.
To this end, we advise that Shell should consider the issue of partnerships or some equity stake for the host State Governments and local communities in the said oil blocks sales. That is, Shell (SPDC) should invite the State oil companies of Rivers State (Treasure Energy Resources Ltd) and Bayelsa State (Bayelsa Oil Company) to partake as partners, and offer them some preferential equity stake in the said four oil fields being sold. This move is imperative so that Shell (SPDC) would leave a good legacy behind in its Eastern Operations.
With the pathetic way Shell (SPDC) left its Western Operations of Delta State; where its oil blocks divestment were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners, neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these sales as partners, this has the City of Warri more like a ghost city, and of course, not a good legacy to have been behind by Shell. It is therefore expedient for Shell to use this golden opportunity with the current four oil blocks sales in its Eastern Operations to invite the State oil companies of Rivers and Bayelsa States as stated to partake as partners in the equity stakes.
We believe that if Shell can initiate the above described move in Alaska that positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast, as reported some weeks back, then Shell can do same in its Eastern Operations of Nigeria.
An extract from the said report reads: “An Alaska Native regional corporation and six Native Village corporations signed an agreement with a Shell Oil subsidiary Thursday (7/31) that aims to share the profits from offshore drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast. Shell and the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. announced the formation of a new company called Arctic Inupiat Offshore LLC. Its participants include six village corporations on the North Slope. The agreement with the Shell subsidiary, Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc., gives the Alaska Native company the option of acquiring an overriding royalty interest from Shell’s drilling on leases in the Chukchi Sea.” And according to the Shell Alaska Vice President Pete Slaiby. He said the agreement also underscores Shell’s commitment to provide opportunities for the communities.
Now if Shell can do this in Alaska, they can equally do same in Rivers and Bayelsa States of the Niger Delta region. The way Shell (SPDC) left Delta State ‘dry’ with no good legacy should not repeat itself in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
However, to make amends of the pathetic legacy left behind in its Western Operations (of Delta State) and to salvage the bad image of the company in the Warri Delta State, we strongly advise that Shell (SPDC) should reintroduce all its Community Development Projects/Programmes and Scholarship Programmes in OMLs 34, 30, 42 etc. doing this will address the bad legacy left by Shell in its Western Operations, specifically Delta State. Shell should not leave Delta State like they exited from Oloibiri (where it first discovered oil over 50 years ago), with a very unattractive legacy. Shell should understand that this is where the company has operated in over fifty years and has made so much money yet without much Shell presence anywhere until more recently with the Ogoni issue.
If Shell says it initiated the Divestments of its onshore assets in the Niger Delta region to “help grow local capability”, then it should strategically involve host State Government and locals to be partners in the equity stakes of the Divested oil and gas assets. This, we believe, is the best legacy Shell can leave behind in places where it has operated in over five decades. We ask that the above advice should be given the needed attention.
Beer and wine is still freely served at Corrib project. You just need to know where to go and ask. It is a crying shame, but in line with the Irish habits.
In the 8/25/14 Washington Post, on the front page, there is an article about tracking the location of people using their cellphones, even if their GPS tracking mode is disabled. It would not be surprising to know that RDS uses such newly available to track all types of ‘persons of interest’. Employees and potential industrial espionage targets be informed.
August 25, 2014
QUESTIONS FOR SHELL REGARDING NIGERIAN OPERATIONS
We recently stumbled into a report by Rachel D’Oro of the Associated Press titled “SHELL, ALASKA NATIVES TO SHARE IN OFFSHORE DRILLING PROFITS, which is a worthy Shell initiative in Alaska that positively engages host community locals as ‘partners’ to share directly in the oil and gas bounty of their coast.
The reported also noted that “Shell’s decision to invest in the future of the region and its people should be applauded,” Murkowski said in a statement. “This announcement ensures that the people of the North Slope Borough share directly in the oil and gas bounty off their coast. It also gives locals a say in what happens near their communities.”
Looking at the above development and report, we could not help but raise some questions regarding Shell’s obvious discriminatory and baize style of operations in different parts of the world. We could not but wonder why Shell would do what they are doing in Alaska but fail to do same in other countries and places like the Niger Delta region in Nigeria?
For instance, on the Divestment of Shell (SPDC) onshore assets in the Niger Delta region, Shell initiated this process which according to them, was to help grow local capability. Oil blocks in Shell’s Western operations in Nigeria were sold to mostly Nigerian companies who were in partnerships with foreign funding and technical partners. Neither the host Delta State Government nor local communities were considered in these as partners, and this generated a lot of community backlash with threats from local state communities to block operations. Shell (SPDC) seems not to have learnt lessons from that experience, as they have just recently concluded similar sale of blocks in the Eastern area covering Rivers and Bayelsa States, again without considering the issue of partnerships or some equity stake for the host State Governments and local communities.
Why does Shell not learn lessons and do things right in order to avoid recurrence of problems from its host communities? Why does Shell (SPDC) not consider inviting the State oil companies of Rivers (Treasure Energy Resources) and Bayelsa (Bayelsa Oil Company) to partake as partners, and offer them some preferential equity? Shell (SPDC) has lost a golden opportunity to take the lead in the industry in Nigeria and change their community integration policy as it is practiced now in other countries, like the example above in Alaska.
The UNEP report funded by Shell was issued just over 3 years ago, and in the report both Shell and the Federal Government of Nigeria were indicted and specific actions aimed at remediating the severe environmental damages were assigned to all parties. The Federal Government of Nigeria has done nothing to address the issues and the communities impacted continue to suffer. Shell as the global operator that claims “best operating practices” is also not doing anything to get the government to respond. This attitude would never be condoned by Shell if it were in the US or Europe. The Macondo case of BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and the way the US government dealt with them is clear. BP was severely punished and the affected communities very well compensated for loss of business. Because the Nigerian government is weak and has no interest in what happens to the Ogoni communities, Shell seems to have accepted that and taken advantage to do nothing, in violation of global standards. So why does Shell condone evil practices in Nigeria, allowing such environmental devastation to linger without adequate attention? Shell knows they cannot do this in countries with better and stricter regulatory governance.
Another aspect is Shell and their community legacies. Shell started from Oloibiri (now in Bayelsa State) and left the town dead and desolate. Shell was in Warri, Delta State, where they sold out and have left Warri an “industrial ghost town with most businesses dead”. In fact, Shell (SPDC) left and abandoned hundreds of Office Building Blocks and Residential Buildings in Warri, Delta State, which are today overgrown with weeds and overtaken by rodents. Shell has equally completely withdrawn and stopped all its Scholarships and Community Development Projects/Programmes meant for host communities of its Western operations like OML 34, OML 30, OML 42 etc.
Now they are planning to leave Port Harcourt. So they also plan to leave Port Harcourt desolate with industries dead. Is this the legacy Shell wants to leave everywhere they operate in the Niger Delta? Is this the sort of legacy any reasonable corporate entity should leave behind in Nigeria where it has operated in over 50 years?
Shell is planning to divest more blocks in its Eastern operation areas. Does that include the Ogoni blocks? And how can they use this to address the lingering problems with Ogoni people? Will Shell not see this as opportunity to redress bad decisions made in previous Divestments and invite State companies to participate and own equity like they have done in Alaska?
These and many more are questions we would want relevant authorities of Shell (SPDC) and Shell International in The Hague, including the Nigerian Government and other countries where Shell is operating, to seriously ponder on and find answers to; by doing the right thing. This we urge.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Al Gore is now just another famous powerless ‘Talking Head’. Who says we cannot and will not burn enough hydrocarbons to push the planet ‘over the edge’ into major climate change? There is not one country that is taking that issue seriously because the short term political realities are that nobody really cares enough about the issue to deal with it as required. The necessary economic and social adjustments necessary to deal with the issue seriously are ‘too painful’ to currently contemplate. So, nothing happens. It would be political suicide for the current crop of politicians. Sell your beach front property while you still can.
Thanks John for the update on OSSL. It is disappointing to read that this saga has not been concluded satisfactorily. I expect something interesting is about to be announced about Nigeria strategy first week of September.
LondonLad: Cheers to you. The oil field is indeed no place for any form of drug abuse, at any time, and that includes alcohol.
You misunderstand, LondonLad. I am not a user and would want to see any users among my colleagues.
My point is: if “No drugs” is you company policy, then fine – nothing wrong with that. As multinational corp you really don’t have an option of imposing a different policy upon your employees.
But having a policy of something: “No drugs at work”, if you think about it actually implies: “What you do off duty (including drugs) is your own business”.
And after that they speak of how they want you to be their ambassador, also outside work – taking drugs – that’s some proper ambassadorship.
Or they trying to appeal to the recreational drug-users among their employees, in a desperate attempt to make employees love Shell like it’s their mother.
I don’t know…
Maybe they just phrased it wrong, in which case someone was not thinking straight. Hey, maybe that someone took drugs the night before he drafted the policy…
Beer and wine were available in Shell canteens in the Netherlands until the early 1990s. On North Sea production platforms two cans of beer were available to everyone each day until at least the early 1980s, and also on many European flagged drilling vessels. On French (Forex Neptune, Foramer) and Italian (Saipem) rigs alcohol was available comparatively recently – I haven’t been offshore for a while so I don’t know the current situation. Transocean and Pride probably do not allow alcohol on the former Forex Neptune and Foramer rigs.
Wow I unusually find myself agreeing with both “Outsider” and “Relieved” over drugs and alcohol usage on the rigs / in the office etc. Neither were acceptable in RDS during my time (and weren’t in any other major company). Seems that old “Elmer Fud” has fired a dud with his stupid commentary on the issue – off to the Betty Ford clinic for you my lad.
SNEPCO office relocation to Warri – good points raised. I also remember Warri being a thriving community and Shell roots being in Warri for many years, before the violence and local corruption commenced. Zik I would suggest that you also need to petition a number of authorities, such as NNPC, NAPIMS and the Federal Government, as they have more local producing assets / blocks than SNEPCO, which has one block 121 km from Warri. Please also note Shell has the Forcados Terminal near Warri, the only operator in Nigeria to do so. I am personally appalled that the so called Governors, Lawmakers and people who say the represent the people of Nigeria continue to support that idiot of a President. In some respects times were better under Abacha,
Addressing the comments on drugs and alcohol – Shell has a clear D&A Policy, and those who seek help will receive it from Shell. Please also bear in mind that the D&A policy is not just about illicit narcotics, but also covers prescribed medicine that May effect an individual’s ability to perform a task. I would like to know what has happened with OSSL and their grievances with Shell.
Working and living offshore is not the most satisfying experience, and there is no doubt that in spite of drugs testing and termination of people failing urine tests, there are people who seek respite from the rig environment by using substances that are illegal in some jurisdictions. The most effective way to stop this is to permit small quantities of alcohol as was the case in the past.
With regard to the ‘drugs’ comments, I don’t know about any of you folks, but I wouldn’t want to be working the big rigs with people who were shooting up on their ‘off time’. The oil field is no place for people who do drugs. These people put others at risk of serious injury or death.
I’m not familiar with the rules, but Shell is a Dutch company
What kind of a company includes in its safety rules something like: “No drugs at work”, in a jurisdiction where any narcotic substance is against the law. What is that supposed to mean, something like: “It’s OK if you do drugs, just don’t do them at work”? Ridiculous!
And yes, Shell employees are definitely afraid to speak up, restricted by the fear of loosing their jobs.
A goed post Elmer. We has many bully’s in management and people survey results show that staff are to scared to speak against them or of the bad work and money wasting in the scare of their careers. We has dictators and control freaks at the high level. The change will come soon now we have the dutch CEP and people will get shown the doors. It is the Houston cowboys as also the HQ EVP and VPs to blame
Why was SARNIA (Canada) REFINERY Manager recently fired?
Shell’s history from its early days and until now is incredibly controversial, to say the least.
Shell’s reputation, therefore, is very negative.
Negative to the point, where the general public will never anymore associate Shell with anything positive and worthy of their respect. The general public will not ever again ingratiate in their minds and hearts the entity that calls itself Shell, no matter what it does on the public arena.
Shell is after changing the public opinion about itself.
As yet another instrument of revamping its reputation, Shell sees influencing its employees, so as to turn them into good ambassadors of Shell.
In their desire to create proper ambassadorship, the managers of Shell become blind and prohibitive towards true talent among Shell’s ranks.
There are plenty of Shell’s employees, if not majority, who are irresponsible, lazy, disrespectful and arrogant.
There are plenty of Shell’s managers, if not majority, who are disrespectful, abusive and manipulative towards their junior-in-rank colleagues and each other, although they will exert every effort to hide those predominant and really obvious traits.
However, all those individuals somehow always end up receiving encouragement and avoiding responsibility for their wrong-doings.
There are other negative tendencies in the attitude of Shell’s managers: unjustly biased attitude towards newcomers, lacking fair judgment – punish the innocent and reward those, who did not contribute to success, perceive all subordinates as equally incompetent and negligent regardless of their true abilities.
Shell makes a mistake, if it believes it can influence its reputation through its employees in one way or the other.
Trying to inspire ambassadorship among Shell’s employees is a waste of resources.
Trying to reanimate or create new positive corporate citizen image and reputation under the old “Shell” name, logo, and everything that associates with it, is a gross waste of resources, and of investors’ money.
The image of Shell is so negative, that even its employees laugh at it openly. The general public will never ingratiate Shell.
It is surprising, how Shell investors are not opposing this.
However, Shell is a huge conglomerate that does poses all the things necessary to operate in the industry: the capital, the hardware, the know-how, the intellectual potential.
Therefore, Shell is still around.
If Shell thinks it deserves to be around, then it definitely needs to change its image-salvaging policy.
Shell really wants to manipulate the public opinion, it has to stop trying to salvage or reanimate the old image of Shell.
Instead the enterprise has to recreate itself under new fresh image and insignia, absolutely not connected to the old one: not by name, not by logo, not even by association to particular individuals, insofar as the legislation in the field would permit such a move. And make sure the newly established entity, under new logo, name and image, does well with the public from there on out.
Why waste the resources, when you can just rebrand and work under name, which no one associates with anything at all from the start? A bit of time and the new name will stand for affordable good-quality products in consumer heads. Is this not what is after?
Maybe it is cheaper to waste resources on revamping old image and hope the negative reputation will die as generations become history, then it is to rebrand.
It’s a mystery…
There is a video documentary on partisan movement on the territories of former Soviet Union during WWII. It featured some footage of the Soviet partisans destroying a Nazi train carrying supplies to the Nazi army in Russia. A number of carriages were fuel-tanks. Guess what insignia had been on the tanks? – Big letters: “S H E L L”.
Today, 70 years after WWII, In Russia the masses and the public opinion are still successfully manipulated by the state, using the idea of something: “… oh, those are Nazis, hate them, annihilate them, they do not deserve to exist per definition…” I bet you could feed any lie to Russians under the sauce of: ”It’s a Nazi”
Just as Russia will hate the German Nazi of WWII forever, so will the image of Shell remain forever negative in the eyes of the general public.
Let’s allow Shell to do the thinking.
I agree that blood letting of US staff needs to happen. I believe that between now and the end of the year you will see quite some changes. Hang in there and be a little patient (however difficult it is). The Shell dinosaur (big body with small head) moves slowly but it does move…
Saw the comment on Matthias Bichsel and Twister. Anybody who knows basic facts knows this is nonsense. Twister was developed in late 1990s when Matthias was in PDOman.
Dear “LondonLad”, we wonder why you are trying to personalize the subject issue of discuss in your response. And it is also surprisingly that you are not using your real name to make comments on sensitive issues. If you are really sure of what you saying, then you should be bold enough to use your real identity. Your claim that “SNEPCO has no link to Warri area” clearly shows that you are either being fed with the wrong information, or you are simply not in touch with the ‘reality’ on ground and oblivious of the true state of affairs on the subject matter. You can call Warri whatever you like, but it is big oil giants like Shell (in collaboration/cooperation with domestic government) that are responsible for the greater percentage of economic and environmental atrocities that have contributed to making Warri what it is today; it is these same issues that stakeholders like us are trying to ‘address’ with our advocacies.
Also, it is the oil and gas wealth from places like Warri and the Niger Delta region (spanning over five decades) that have contributed to the ‘glamorous’ Shell Head offices in all the places you mentioned like London, New York and what have you. We do not expect you to understand this, since reading a fact-filled article like the one we posted on this issue, is too much for you to finish reading and comprehend. Our letter on SNEPCO relocation is for ‘serious-minded’ individuals that actually know the issues being discussed and they have something meaningful to contribute towards making the needed change. From you response below, it is clear you are completely out of this picture. Our advocacies on some of the issues we raise here, including that on Ogoniland, is not so much so to illicit responses from those concerned, but for relevant stakeholders concerned and for the world to be aware of some of the anomalies going on in the Nigerian extractive industry, which the Nigerian past and present government have not helped in addressing. Even when the response desired is not there or does not come, we are still not deterred from DOING WHAT IS RIGHT and SPEAKING OUT; trusting that one day, things will change for the better and for the good of the common man in Nigeria whose life and living standard is adversely affected by the issues raised.
To LondonLad: Twaddle, Twaddle, Twaddle. Zzzzzzzz.
Well “Gbemre” I am not surprised that you’ve had no response from the various Shell companies and Nigerian governmental departments about your request for SNEPCO to move to Warri. Basically for reasons of : (1) they are all probably still trying to wade through your VERY lengthy ramblings (2) it’s a totally daft idea, but no doubt allows some local Nigerians to make millions of dollars (3) Warri is a total sh*t hole to live in (4) SNEPCO has no link to the Warri area as you describe (SPDC has links and has an office there). Do you seriously expect any educated person to believe your arguments. Would you, based on your own stupid argumentation, expect companies with head offices in London, New York, Houston, Rio, Beijing, etc. etc. to move to Warri or any other place that might have an operated oil/gas field. NO. Wake up and smell the coffee rather than dollars. As to your twaddle over Ogoniland I fell asleep attempting to read the article so I’m afraid that a response to this is impossible. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Donovan please continue to keep the wonderful content and analysis coming. Your blog is a source of great information, and your cause is admirable. Thanks for all your efforts. A modern day David and Goliath if ever i saw.
August 11, 2014
THE EXPEDIENT NEED FOR SHELL TO RELOCATE SNEPCO OFFICE FROM LAGOS TO WARRI, DELTA STATE
We consider it as unfair, an injustice, and a clear day light continuous robbery that despite the fact that SNEPCO’s main two deep offshore Fields are situated in the offshore waters of the Niger Delta region around the axis of South-West of Warri and Bayelsa, SNEPCO still has its Head Office located at Lagos State that has no oil or gas bearing to start with. This has necessitated our countless calls on the above subject matter to the attention of relevant Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) authorities, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Delta State Government, including authorities in Royal Dutch Shell – Hague and Shell Centre-London, but up till now, we are yet to receive any response from any authorities in Shell (SPDC) Nigeria, or from the authorities of the Nigerian Government; neither has any action been taken in regards to the contents of our several letters on the said subject.
For Shell, this has been the Dutch company’s attitude of undermining the Niger Delta people in its secrecy-shrouded operations in Nigeria. Lagos is not in the Niger Delta region and has never been part of the Niger Delta region. It is in this light, that we consider it necessary to reiterate the subject matter, and once again draw the attention of relevant stakeholders concerned, especially the Royal Dutch Shell, to promptly take the appropriate steps in the relocation of the Head of Office of SNEPCO from Lagos to Warri, Delta State.
It is no news that the crude oil and natural gas deposits are found in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, and the crude oil and natural gas are drilled/tapped in the Niger-delta region. By extention, when there is an oil-spillage, it is the fish ponds, the farmlands as well as drinking water, the natural environment and the air in the Niger-Delta that are daily polluted. And by implication, it is the lifespan of the people in the Niger-Delta region that is inadvertently and drastically cut short for breathing in contaminated air over time, and living in ‘sub-human’ degrading environment. But when it comes to locating the Head Office of the oil firms that will employ hundreds of people, or to share the spoils/benefits from the oil and gas industry, it is taken to Lagos or Abuja which has no drop of oil or cubic feet of gas. This may seem absurd, but it is exactly what is happening in the Nigerian oil and gas industry no thanks to the Royal Dutch Shell.
To put it bluntly, if SNEPCO should be allowed to continue Operating and running its EA Field (popularly known as Sea Eagle, that is located South-West of Warri, Delta State, and its Bonga Field located 120km South-West of the Niger Delta), from its Head Office in Lagos State, it is encouraging broad day light robbery. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. It is inappropriate to use the resources of one to feed another and still refuse to occupy the space provided by the owners of the same resources. One is not expected to cook food in Delta State and take the prepared food to feed people in other States; whereas Deltans are hungry and salivating. Deltans are also the ones that “suffer the environmental hazards” caused by the oil and gas exploration activities of SNEPCO, as an arm of the Royal Dutch Shell.
At the risk of diversion – albeit necessary, we want to recall a laudable step taken by former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he assumed office as civilian President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999. Reasoning that there was no seaport in Abuja, “he ordered the immediate relocation of the headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to Lagos, which has the busiest seaport in the country. It was logical, and it coincided with a Niger-Delta proverb which says “If you want the eye of a fish, your hand should tend towards the head where the eye is located.” Besides, it is an Economic Principle that Industries/businesses should be located near/close to the natural resources/raw materials concerned. Let us also reiterate the fact that the Nigerian LNG has long located its Head Office in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, with the understanding that there is need for the deep offshore company to have its Head Office close to its operations. To this end, SNEPCO should therefore have their Head Office relocated in Warri, Delta State, which is closer to where the natural resources are located, and not to remain in Lagos State.
Luckily, everything that will make SNEPCO operate its Head Office effectively and efficiently as an Exploration & Petroleum company of Shell is in Warri, Delta State. Aside the over One Thousand (1000) Houses/Office Complexes and Residential Buildings left behind by Shell (SPDC) for the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to takeover, other assets also left behind as stated above include: Warehouses, Helipads/Heliports, over Six (6) Gas-Powered Turbine Stations, Jetties, a Hospital, a Fire-fighting Station, Recreational Centers like a Golf Course, a Nursery/Primary School, etc. In other words, SNEPCO should be made to come occupy some of these Office Buildings/Blocks left behind by Shell (SPDC) in Warri, Delta State.
It might interest us to know that there is a precedent for this. During the beginning of the tenure of Basil Omiyi as Managing Director (MD) of Shell (SPDC), SPDC relocated its Corporate Head Office from Lagos to Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, for the same reasons we have clearly stated here. It is unfortunate that SNEPCO was not relocated to Warri at that time. The excuse has always been that of insecurity in Warri, but we do not think Port-Harcourt and Lagos are more secured than Warri today. In other words, the said relocation of SNEPCO from Lagos State to Warri, Delta State can still be effected, as it is long overdue.
SNEPCO was established in 1993, and signed a production-sharing contract with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to operate two deep water and three offshore licences. In 1995, SNEPCO made a major deep-water discovery (the Bonga Field), which is located about 120 km to the South West of the oil-city of Warri in Delta State. In 1999, a 5-year span development of the Bonga Field was commenced, with a targeted production capacity of 225,000 barrels and an export capacity of 150,000,000 standard cubic feet (SCF) of gas per day. Working with a crew of over 950 workers, SNEPCO (which also operates the EA Field, popularly called Sea Eagle), made its first export of gas in December 2005. Going by the records of Shell (which is not in any way small), it is about the largest floating production, storage and offloading facility (FPSO) – not just in Shell business, but in the world.
This colossal/gigantic project is just twenty minutes from Osubi Airstrip located near Warri (by flight) with a helicopter. But absurdly, SNEPCO, as a company chooses to run the EA facility in far-away Lagos, from which the flight to the same EA facility takes one hour plus twenty minutes (1:20 hours). And viewed from this angle, it is not being “cost-effective”; it is being “penny-wise and pounds-foolish”.
Without mincing words, managing an oil facility located near Warri, Delta State from a distant Lagos is a clear pointer to Shell’s disregard for the sustainable development of its host communities. But beyond that, it has the economic consequence of Delta and Bayelsa States losing revenue that should accrue to them through withholding tax, personal income tax, etc from staff and contractors of SNEPCO. And all of this will accrue to Lagos State which knows nothing about the pains of extractive industry, or suffers no environmental degradation or pollution resultant from SNEPCO exploration activities.
In our humble and candid opinion, SNEPCO has no business running its oil and gas facilities based in the Niger Delta from Lagos State, or even having a liaison office in Lagos State. Or else there would equally be no need for Shell to have offices in Nigeria: Nigerian operations might just as well be run from The Hague or Shell Centre-London in Europe.
These are some of the remote causes of bottled-up anger/tension in the Niger Delta which culminate in being vented through militant activities, kidnap and hostage-taking. We thank God for amnesty which has helped to calm the frayed nerves of the youths. But we make bold to say the Niger Delta people will not fold their arms and let this brazen injustice go on without being redressed. We are aware that Shell has sold most of its assets/facilities in Delta State. But the fact remains that trying to leave Delta State is like trying to run from its shadow. Forcados – Yokri Integrated Project and the Forcados Terminal are all vital ventures that cannot be run from outside Delta State. And this makes Warri continually relevant to Shell.
And in the face of this, we unequivocally posit that the relevant authorities concerned in Royal Dutch Shell should appropriately take the prompt steps to have SNEPCO Head Office relocated from Lagos State to Warri, Delta State. This is the appropriate thing to do, and it is only when things are done properly that ‘unanticipated’ conflicts can be averted in the Niger Delta. Shell(SPDC) and its SNEPCO company should at least respect the views of relevant stakeholders and thereby create room for a friendly business atmosphere.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
Warri, Delta State.
RE: “WE ARE GIVING FRESH HOPE TO OGONILAND CLEAN-UP”
Our attention was drawn to the above subject which was an extract statement credited to the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, in a recent interview with journalists in Abuja, Nigeria.
In as much as we appreciate such ‘renewed moves’ by the Federal Government of Nigeria to work in line with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) recommendation/report on addressing the environmental degradation and years of injustice perpetrated by past oppressive regimes in collaboration with the Royal Dutch Shell against the people of Ogoni and the Niger Delta region, we however hope and pray that these renewed moves do not end in mouth and paper. For it is one thing for the Nigerian Government to come forth and make such ‘hopeful’ and ‘promising’ declarations to address long pressing issues, it is another thing entirely for such declarations made to be honestly and holistically implemented to the latter with the ‘active’ participation of all relevant stakeholders.
It is in this light that we wish to ask if the host communities and people of Ogoniland, whose lands, fish farms, rivers/waters and socio-economic lifestyles were adversely affected by the exploration activities of IOCs like Royal Dutch Shell, are made to actively participate in the whole Remediation, Restoration and Reconciliation process of the Government plans. What is the level and extent of host community participation and involvement in the whole clean up exercise?
Even with the seven Technical Working Groups (TWGs) which the Petroleum Minister said “will be drawn from Federal and State Agencies, Academia, the Oil Industry, and Communities”, it still does not explain the level of involvement and the extent in which the people of Ogoni land will be actively involved in the whole Clean-Up exercise. The host communities of Ogoni land and its people are the ones that have been bearing the grunt and pains of the extractive industry from Shell operations, so they are the ones wearing the shoe and they know exactly where it itches the most. As such, they should have more say and representation in the entire process. In other words, the said TWGs should not be filled with people and government cronies that have little or no idea of the ‘pains’ of the locals of Ogoni land communities.
To this end, we believe there is also the need to have “credible” and “integrity-driven” Grassroots Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as “Third-parties” in a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) process as part and parcel of the Government intentions to Clean-Up the ‘environmental mess’ left behind by Shell in Ogoni land. Though, it was stated in the said report that “a Monitoring and Sustainable Group in partnership with organizations from the United Nations (UNEP, UNDP, etc) will enforce compliance and sustainability”, there appears to be no place and provision for “grassroots credible NGOs” to equally act as Third-parties to ‘externally’ monitor and evaluate the entire Clean-Up exercise. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. It is only when ‘grassroots NGOs’ are made to actively be involved in the Clean-Up exercise that the integrity of the entire process will be assured and guaranteed.
The involvement of competent and reliable NGOs through the M&E practice in this area, will bring about transparency, objectivity and integrity of the remediation, restoration and reconciliation plans of government. No matter the numbers or level of foreign partnership (like UNEP, UNDP), it cannot be compared to the ‘results’ that we can get when credible grassroots NGOs are involved in the process. Agreed that the entire process has to do with the restoration of the environment to its normal status, but the circumstances surrounding the conditions and extent of work, and the root causes of spill in the first place, are quite different in the Niger Delta area with what goes on in the International arena. Hence, credible NGOs that already have the consolidated and established ‘strong network’ base with host communities within the Niger Delta region, have the leverage to become familiar with the nooks and crannies of the region with its complexities, more than foreign agencies/organizations. This places grassroots NGOs that are credible in a more advantageous position to address whatever issues that may arise before, during and after the entire Clean-Up exercise in Ogoni land.
We therefore ask that the planned “multi-stakeholders workshop on environmental assessment of Ogoni land UNEP report”, which the Petroleum Minister said she had written to the UNEP appointed Special Envoy for Ogoniland to organize, should put the above suggestions into consideration and involve identified credible grassroots NGOs to participate in the entire process, starting with the said multi-stakeholders workshop. And like the Petroleum Minister had said in the report, it is by doing such steps (which we have suggested here), that a “robust roadmap to deliver a comprehensive remediation programme will be achieved.
Perhaps, the above plans of the Nigerian Government, we hope, will finally and permanently put to rest the ‘environmental degradation atrocities’ committed by the Royal Dutch Shell in collaboration with past repressive regime of the late Sanni Abacha, against the people of Ogoniland. Let the right thing be done, this we urge.
Link to full Report: http://ngrguardiannews.com/saturday-magazine-sp-39442427/174253-we-are-giving-fresh-hope-to-ogoniland-clean-up
Zik Gbemre, JP
NIGER DELTA PEACE COALITION (NDPC)
WARRI, DELTA STATE.
Capt. Crunch: Hey dude (or dudette), this is Donovan’s blog so he can post what he pleases. Maybe he was drawing analogies about bad management and leadership, and the consequences of it. Who knows, who cares? Relax and lighten up.
What has your anti-Obama diatribe got to do with RDS? It just makes you look stupid.
Nothing at all to do with Shell. You are free to pass opinion. So am I.
Oh Shell Canada why only tell us now. Shell US sent many Houston cowboys to China too. See what happens! Shell Upstream is pulling out of China as their costs is the highest amongst their competitors. Relationship with partner has gone sour as there is only one Cowboy way. We only pity the local who has been promised long term career.
Nobody is against SHELL USA, but we must call a spade a spade. having worked at Shell Canada for over 31 yrs, I can tell you that ever since RDS purchased all Shell Canada shares in 2009 we have been submitted to terrible management from Shell HOUSTON. All decisions previously taken in Calgary are now chanelled thru HOUSTON and it has been nothing short of a comedy of errors. HOUSTON has decided to shutdown PROFITABLE Canadian refineries and sell Canadian retail gas stations for $1. When challenged by Canadian Management, HOUSTON simply fires Calgary based stahh and replaces them by incompetent TEXAS COWBOYS that have no idea how to grow a business. When will RDS finally take control of the AMERICAS portfolio and bypass incompetent HOUSTON layer of fat and incompetence..
Greenpeace need to get their own house into order before laying the blame on large corporate companies for global warming and attempting to halt the progress of mankind. Having a CEO who commutes to & from work by plane, getting basic facts on fracking totally incorrect and fasifying the figures of pollutants still remaining on Brent Spa etc. etc. shows their credibility to be somewhat shot to pieces.
John: Your comments about Obama, and the destruction he is inflicting on the US, is very accurate. I only hope that the US can endure 2 more years of this clown until a new person can take over.
I did like your latest tabloid headline Donovan, and almost (for a nano second), thought that you were trying to imply that Obama was trying to scuttle the good ship “United” – then I read on. The cartoon of Obama saying “Sue Me” reminds me of someone else who states the same words when attempting to corner Shell or anyone else who voices contrary to this website. I do hope it’s a case of a genuine attack against the US (heh and that includes US Shell / “Relieved” et al) rather than you’ve run out of insignificant ideas to attack RDS??
REPLY BY JOHN
No, it is not an attack on the USA, but an expression of disappointment in President Obama. He seems to have lost the plot. As for running out of ammunition to fire at Shell, there is no chance of that, as will become evident in coming months.
COMMENT BY “AN OLD EP HAND”
…the lad must have been joking when he hoped you were running out of ammunition against Shell. Shell is the main supplier of this ammo!
I would like to repeat a warning I have made before about postings on this blog. Websites allowing aliases to be used are especially vulnerable to manipulation. That includes Wikipedia and blogs such as this one. It follows that I can only vouch for the bona fides of postings made in my name or by former senior people at Royal Dutch Shell, such as Paddy Briggs and Bill Campbell, who choose not to use aliases.
We all know Shell USA is led by substandard management that
needs to be put out to pasture. So, why doesn’t RDS simply get the blood letting over with and move on? Fire them, retire them, or shoot them. But get rid of them already.
Mr. Suburban Fox. you makes a very good observashon. i don think the shell company in the united state has it the same rules as ever other shell company. they no care for what the other shell people doing or about feel proud for shell. they should feel shame for no making money and waste important capito. this the very bad disgrace.
Texvette: Your reasoning is exactly why we have the problem we do. Shell Oil is not a separate company. It is just like any other Shell company and falls under the RDS umbrella. Bad performers should be booted out. Replace Odum and critters like pickard with a dutchman and watch how the profit shoots upwards. I think it should be obligatory for all Amercians joining shell to have a passport to be able to see how the rest of the world operates. Good riddance Voser. lets see if the new man ben does the right thing. he better or will suffer the same result.
“The Hague is 52 minutes driving time from the attractions of Amsterdam” – hmmmm me thinks that to be that precise someone must have done the journey a few times!!! However, despite all the little innuendoes on this site trying to say otherwise, still nothing has been proven in court against Shell & OSSL.
Well said “Concerned”, absolutely correct. The problem with the RDS Americans past & present (e.g. “Relieved”) is that so many think they are God’s gift to this planet, but, invariably they come up well short of expectations.
Whilst I’m having a moan, why does this “Zik Gbemre” keep rambling on and on (often repeating ad nauseum the words already printed on this website) trying to pin all the world’s ills on Shell. Have a try at précising your rambles Zik. As a shareholder they do a great job on the whole.
August 5, 2014
THE MANY SINS OF SHELL – EXAMPLE OF THE HITLER/NAZIS CONNECTIONS
Like a criminal whose hands have been stained with innocent blood, and whose past (like nemesis), will always catch and hunt its present, that is how best we can describe the history and current condition of the ‘evil oil giant’ known as Royal Dutch Shell. It has been said that to understand the present, there is need for us to look at the past to fully grasp current happenings. So to understand why Shell has always been in the middle of wars and crises ridden regions/societies, there is need for us to have a glance of the genesis of the Shell as a corporate oil/gas company. However, it is really sad and rather unfortunate that ephemeral gains/benefits and profits in corporate business has become far more important and valuable to Shell than ‘human lives’. The company’s roles in the different crises/wars that were, and still evident across the globe, clearly explains this undeniable fact.
To those who do not know, Shell, right from day one, has always directly or indirectly perpetrated and promoted ‘evil’ against humanity through its deceptive role in supporting evil regimes; so as to continue to make oil/gas profits and enrich itself more to the detriment of human lives. We have seen this ‘evil’ in Ogoni land of the Niger Delta Region, Nigeria; we have also seen it in Iran and currently in Russia/Ukraine. But what we see Shell doing today in Russia/Ukraine/Separatists conflict, long started even before World War 1, as well as World War 2.
Shell, as we know it today, started when a shopkeeper, Marcus Samuel, decided to expand his London business, M. Samuel & Co. The market for oil remained confined to lighting and lubricants until, in 1886, the internal combustion engine and demand for gasoline arrived with Karl Benz and the first Mercedes. By now the Samuel business had passed to his son Sir Marcus Samuel junior and his brother Samuel Samuel. They exported British machinery, textiles and tools to newly industrializing Japan and the Far East and on return imported rice, silk, china and copperware to the Middle East and Europe. In London, they traded in commodities such as sugar, flour and wheat worldwide. It was during a trip to Japan that Marcus became interested in the oil exporting business then based in Baku, Russia. In 1897, he formed Shell, after his first business, which sold painted seashells. He was knighted in 1898 for assisting in the salvage of HMS Victorious, which had grounded under questionable circumstances and was pulled to safety by the Shell tanker SS Pecten.
In 1907, Samuel’s company combined with the Royal Dutch Company of the Netherlands to create the company today known as Royal Dutch Shell. M. Samuel & Co., having transformed over the years to a merchant bank, merged in 1965 with Philip Hill, Higginson, Erlangers Ltd to create Hill Samuel, which is now a part of Lloyds TSB. However, the Samuel brothers initially called their company The Tank Syndicate but in 1897 renamed it the Shell Transport and Trading Company. Petroleum was also being produced in the East Indies, a Dutch colony, and in 1890 a company had been formed to develop an oilfield in Sumatra. This was the origins of what was to become the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company. Under the management of J.B. August Kessler, they built a pipeline and refinery at Pankalan Brandan. Kessler was joined in 1896 by a dynamic young marketing director, Sir Henry Deterding, who was to become a dominant figure in the company until the outbreak of the Second World War.
In other words, the full merger of the two companies into the Royal Dutch Shell Group came in 1907. There were two separate holding companies with Royal Dutch taking 60% of earnings and Shell Transport taking 40%. The business was run by a variety of operating companies. The merger transformed the fortunes of both companies. Under the management of Sir Henry Deterding they turned from struggling entities to successful enterprises within twelve months. The Group rapidly expanded across the world. Marketing companies were formed throughout Europe and in many parts of Asia. Exploration and production began in Russia, Romania, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States. However, in all of this, the First World War inevitably brought mixed fortunes for the Shell Group. And according to Shell Global website, Shell made a major contribution to the Allies’ war effort by becoming the main supplier of fuel to the British Expeditionary Force. It was also the sole supplier of aviation fuel and it provided 80% of the Army’s TNT. In addition it volunteered all its shipping to the British Admiralty.
But that is half the truth, if we take another look at the Shell history from Sir Henry Deterding perspective, we would see and know more about the role of Royal Dutch Shell as a collaborator and financial supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party via its founder, Sir Henri Deterding. Sir Henry Deterding was one of the first executives of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and for 36 years (1900–1936) its Chairman and the Chairman of the combined Royal Dutch/Shell oil company. He came to power after the early death of the Royal Dutch’s original leader, Jean Baptiste August Kessler. He was made an honorary KBE in 1920, ostensibly for service to Anglo-Dutch relations, but mainly for his work supplying Allies with petroleum during World War I.
According to Wikipedia, Sir Henry Deterding was called the “Napoleon of Oil”, and Deterding was responsible for developing the tanker fleet that let Royal Dutch compete with the Shell company of Marcus Samuel. He was the one that led Royal Dutch to several major mergers and acquisitions, including a merger with Samuel’s “Shell” Transport and Trading Company in 1907 and the purchase of Azerbaijan oil fields from the Rothschild family in 1911. In the last years of his life, Sir Henry Deterding became controversial when he became an admirer of the German Nazi party. In 1936, he discussed with them the sale of a year’s oil reserves on credit; the next year, he was forced to resign from the company’s board. In 1936 he bought the manor of Dobbin near Krakow am See, (Germany) and moved to that place. After he died in Switzerland he was buried at Dobbin in Mecklenburg, but his body was transferred to a grave in Liechtenstein in 1968. And according to John Donovan, he noted in one of his articles that Sir Henry Deterding’s burial ceremony at his private estate in Mecklenburg, Germany, had all the trappings of a state funeral. The spectacle of the said burial included a funeral procession led by a horse drawn funeral hearse with senior Nazis officials and senior Royal Dutch Shell directors in attendance, Nazi salutes at the graveside, swastika banners on display and wreaths and personal tributes from Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall, Hermann Goring. Deterding was an honored associate and supporter of Hitler and a personal friend of Goring.
More information from John Donovan reveals that “Sir Henry Deterding was the guest of Hitler during a four day summit meeting at Berchtesgaden. Sir Henri and Hitler both had ambitions on Russian oil fields. Only an honored personal guest would be rewarded with a private four day meeting at Hitler’s mountain top retreat.” Royal Dutch Shell was said to have conspired directly with Hitler, financed the Nazi Party, was anti-Semitic and sold out its own Dutch Jewish employees to the Nazis. Shell had a close relationship with the Nazis during and after the reign of Sir Henri Deterding, an ardent Nazi, and the founder and decades long leader of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Shell appeased and collaborated with the Nazis. The oil giant instructed its employees in the Netherlands to complete a form giving particulars about their descent, which for some, amounted to a self-declared death warrant. Shell used slave labor and was a close business partner in Germany of I.G. Farben, the notorious Nazi run chemical giant that also used slave labor and supplied the Zyklon-B gas used during the Holocaust to exterminate millions of people, including children. Shell continued the partnership with the Nazis in the years after the retirement of Sir Henri and even after his death. It was money generated on Shell forecourts around the world, profiteering from cartel oil prices, which funded the Nazi party and saved it from financial collapse. Evidence about Shell’s Nazi connections can be found in extracts from “A History of Royal Dutch Shell” Volumes 1 and 2 authored by historians paid by Shell, who had unrestricted access to Shell archives.
Sir Henri Deterding, the founder of the Royal Dutch Shell Group became an ardent Nazi and financial supporter of Hitler and the Nazi party. The huge injection of Royal Dutch Shell funds by Sir Henri, saved the Nazi Party from collapse and in so doing, indirectly caused millions of deaths in World War II. Declassified US intelligence records show Royal Dutch Shell was viewed as “a Nazi collaborator that used Hitler’s slave laborers”. A ruthless thirst for access to new oil fields was a driving force by Sir Henri (right) for his support for the most evil man in history. Sir Henri was himself described at one time as “The Most Powerful Man in the World”.
As noted in an article by John Donovan, while Royal Dutch Shell support for the Nazi all those years ago has no link to current Shell management, however, there is a link to current activities, with Shell still supporting evil regimes and leaders for its self-centered business growth. Oil and gas is the reason why Shell has signed contracts and collaborated with dictators like Libyan mass murderer, Gaddafi and Nigeria’s late Gen. Sani Abacha. “So basically, nothing has changed; Shell is still willing to deal with the devil to fuel its unquenchable thirst for oil, irrespective of moral considerations and the potential deadly consequences of handing over billions of dollars to a regime which may well end up funding future terrorist atrocities, as it has in the past.” As highlighted in the said post, in addition to the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Gaddafi was also responsible for arming the IRA, another terrorist organization. Shell had also funded the corrupt Nigerian dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, during Shell’s plunder and pollution of the Niger Delta. It is this same scenario that is currently playing out in Europe that has instigated the crises between Russia/Ukraine.
With several news reports about a meeting between President Valdinmin Putin of Russia and Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden, in which the sensitive subject of Ukraine was discussed, it is interesting to note that the same subject was also discussed at a high level by Shell in the 1930′s, on that occasion with Hitler, who like Putin, also had territorial ambitions. It was this same picture that we saw being played out in Nigeria. Like we noted in our past articles on similar subject, when it comes to the Nigerian oil and gas industry, history will always remind us of the most inhuman and despicable atrocities in Ogoni land, perpetuated by Shell in glare collaboration with the repressive military regime of the Nigerian Government under the dreaded late Gen. Sanni Abacha. The Ogoni crises of the Niger Delta region, famously known as the “Ogoni 9”, which culminated to the murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others, will always remind us of how oil giants like Shell creeps into oil-bearing countries and practically hold host governments’ by the jugular to have their way in sustaining ‘oil profits’ over and above human lives and environmental degradation.
The same way Shell instigated the crises in Ogoni land of the Niger Delta region, which has remained ‘unsolved’ till now, that is the same way they had sponsored and fueled the two world wars as well as several other war crimes against humanity. It is also the same way Shell is currently instigating the crises between Russia and Ukraine with its business operations. The same way Shell collaborated and influenced the decisions and actions of the then repressive Abacha regime to instigate the Ogoni crises in the 90s, is the same way they are currently pulling the strings of the Dutch government and whatever happens in its operations in Russia.
Sadly, in the midst of this all, Shell ‘pretends’ to be concerned about addressing the ‘damages’ left behind in its quest and thirst for ‘oil wealth’ through its operations with deceptive “SAFETY FIRST” slogans and sermons on their supposed SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES, most of which are only true on paper but never in ‘reality’. The current stand by Shell (to continue its “business as usual in Russia” despite the downing of MH17 that led to the deaths of 298 people and the worldwide condemnation/sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine), is a clear indication of this fact. Even with its recent declaration that the company will obey sanctions without hesitation, and its suspension of exploration activities in Eastern Ukraine only (so far), it still does not mean that Shell has changed in any way because the company has left its operations in Russia unchanged. This means they are in full support of the atrocities committed in Ukraine by the present Russian government. Shell does even see the need to apologize to nations and the people of the regions (like those of the Niger Delta), where the oil giant has actively participated in committing heinous crimes against humanity.
But the question is, should government of nations and big corporate companies like Shell do whatever please them in securing their economic interests, territorial ambitions and world dominance, to the detriment of its various citizenry and humanity as a whole? Should we all sit down, fold our hands and allow our environment daily ravaged and lives lost due to the excessive economic and political ambitions of oil giants like Shell with the cooperation of host repressive governments? It is time for all relevant stakeholders concerned to rise up and continue condemning and exposing these anomalies against humanity.
Shell’USA is led by a bunch of ¨bible belt¨red necks. They have no understanding of what GLOBAL realyy means. To be quite honest most of thos folks don´t even know where Canada is or that Mexicans speaks Spanish instead of Mexican. It is time to purge all the existing Houston based mentality now!!!!!
August 4, 2014
RE: 12 SHELL STAFF AND FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED ON FLIGHT MH17
With regards to the above post which reveals that Mr. Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell, said “Shell will obey sanctions without hesitation,” there are however, some issues that were not clear in the said statement and there are questions that need to considered in putting things in the proper perspective. For instance, from this statement, is Shell telling the whole world that the company is also willing to stop its operations in Russia in response to Western sanctions? Or is Shell suggesting that it will stop only the company’s exploration activities in Eastern Ukraine and not its operations in Russia?
For us, we believe there is need for the Royal Dutch Shell to completely stop all of its exploration and operations activities in Russia/Separatists as well, for whatever sanctions imposed on Russia to make sense. There is need for Shell to stop all of its operations in Russia until the sanctions are lifted and fight between Ukraine/Russia stops. And for the world to know that Shell is not in support of Russia’s aggression on Ukraine. According to the post: “Shell, which also has LNG interests at Sakhalin, has suspended work exploring shale resources in Eastern Ukraine,” which is why we said the statement is not clear on whether Shell will equally suspend all of its operations in Russia as well and not just its exploration activities in Eastern Ukraine. How come Shell only suspended its exploration activities in Eastern Ukraine and nothing was done about its operations in Russia?
Though, it was stated in the post that Shell CEO noted that: “It’s a bit early to say how it will play out, and that they will obey sanctions without hesitation,” however, Shell’s suspension of its exploration activites in Eastern Ukraine without doing nothing to its operations in Russia yet, simply justifies the fact that WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO SHELL IS BUSINESS PROFITS OVER HUMAN LIVES AND HUMANITY AS A WHOLE. And like we said in our last letter on similar subject, Shell would rather continue smiling to the banks and turn a blind eye to all the atrocities daily committed by its host country – Russia in Ukraine. This automatically places Shell in the same position as Russia, as those perpetrating the crises in Ukraine and parts of Europe, including the missile-shot Jetliner MH17.
Also, from the said post, it was revealed that Twelve (12) Shell staff and family members were killed on the flight MH17, shot down in Ukraine last month, and not four as it was speculated at first. Let us recall that before now, it was reported that Four Shell employees and 193 citizens of The Netherlands died in the crash of MH Flight 17. But the interesting thing about all of this was that in spite of the sanctions from the United States of America (USA) and EU on Russia, plus the death of 12 of its personnel, Shell still wants to continue its BUSINESS AS USAUAL in Russia. This was contained in previous posts in a statement credited to Shell CEO that “Shell puts the interests of its shareholders first, above any geopolitical considerations.” And according to the earlier post on this subject; “that is his excuse for Shell’s dealings with evil regimes in Iran and Russia, irrespective of sanctions.” Though, we had kicked against this stand by Shell, which does not in any way justify its PRINCIPLES of “core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people,” we are even more appalled that, in spite of the death of 12 of its staff, Shell still wants to leave its operations in Russia unchanged.
And like we noted in past post, by this statement, as credited to Shell CEO, Shell is telling the whole world that “profit first and the interest of its stakeholders” before anything else, including the lives of its staff and the citizens where Shell operates. That is the most ‘cold’ and inhuman disposition any corporate entity should stand on. It therefore means that Shell can also sponsor, aid and abate crimes against humanity in countries where it operates; just to protect and project its profit-oriented “business as usual”. This was how Shell aided and abated ‘war crimes’ in the 1990s in Ogoni of the Niger Delta region in Nigeria. And if we take a look at SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES, it means that all Shell is all about is to talk of high moral principles like “SAFETY FIRST” ONLY ON PAPER but in REALITY, it is a different ball game all together. But Shell has to start practicing what they preach.
While we wait to see what other actions Shell would take, aside the suspension of its exploration activities in Eastern Ukraine, we are however not convinced that Shell is ready to change for the better as a corporate company that is genuinely interested in the lives and safety of people over and above its business interests in Russia. Shell cannot just suspend its explorations in ONLY Eastern Ukraine (according to reports), without doing anything to equally suspend its operations in Russia, and think that the company has done something in obeying sanctions. Russia is seen as the main aggressor and instigator of the crises in Ukraine, so Shell’s actions must suggest to the whole world that they are not in support of what Russia is doing. This is where suspending all of Shell’s operations/explorations in Russia comes in.
I think the current weakness for Shell US is the leadership. Most of the employees that fiercely resisted the takeover by RDS are gone. Most current employee accept the fact that Shell US is a global firm owned by a European company.
To Shell Man: Wake up buddy. Management and staff at Shell USA don’t want to be ‘one company’. They never have. They want their independence and they DON’T want to spend their careers working in such garden spots like Nigeria. RDS is simply going to have to purge Shell USA of its senior indigineous management once and for all.
The sooner van Beurden brings Shell US under his control, the better. The loss making needs to stop and the mentality of Shell Oil being a different company must stop. The soreness that Shell is a European company is plain to see by every american working for Shell Oil. Come on guys we are one company.
For those of you RDS fans who may be interested, Shell USA NEVER lost money while it was an independent company. Losses only began after RDS took over the company in the mid-late 1980’s. In fairness to RDS and Shell USA, the company did take a HUGE profit hit in 1986 and afterwords because of the precipitous drop in oil prices in 1986. However, that was a ‘geopolitical’ event and a consequence of the Saudi’s flooding the market with crude (at Reagan’s request). Of course, we all benefited from the desired impact of that action by the Saudi’s. It bankrupted the old Soviet Union and eventually brought an end to it. Now we have Putin. Win some lose some. Again, the way to really hurt the Russians is to starve their energy industry of Western technology, expertise, and financing. Beware RDS investors.
July 31, 2014
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL – REPLICATING THE OGONI CRISES IN RUSSIA/UKRAINE CRISES
When it comes to the Nigerian oil and gas industry, history will always remind us of the most inhuman and despicable atrocities in Ogoni land, perpetuated by International Oil Companies like Shell (SPDC) in glare collaboration with the repressive military regime of the Nigerian Government under the dreaded late Sanni Abacha. The Ogoni crises of the Niger Delta region, famously known as the “Ogoni 9”, which culminated to the murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-wiwa and eight others, will always remind us of how oil giants like Shell creeps into oil-bearing countries and practically hold host governments’ by the jugular to have their way in sustaining ‘oil profits’ over and above human lives and environmental degradation.
The same way Shell instigated the crises in Ogoni land of the Niger Delta region, which has remained ‘unsolved’ till now, that is the same way they are currently instigating the crises between Russia and Ukraine with its business operations. The same way Shell collaborated and influenced the decisions and actions of the then repressive Abacha regime to instigate the Ogoni crises in the 90s, is the same way they are currently pulling the strings of the Dutch government and whatever happens in its operations in Russia. The same way Shell has practically destroyed the natural environment of the Niger Delta region with their over 50 years oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria, is the same way they have adversely impacted the natural environment in its operations in Russia, especially on the Sakhalin II Project, where Shell was almost kicked out of Russia many years ago over their absolutely poor environmental performance in the said place. Though, Gazprom is there in Russia, as the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and one of the world’s largest companies, Shell equally has its strong hold in Russia. In fact, both Russia-owned Gazprom and Shell actually signed in 2013 a cooperation within hydrocarbons exploration and development in Russia’s Arctic shelf and a section of deep-water shelf abroad.
We all know that the Anglo-Dutch Shell is one of the largest foreign investors in Russian gas fields in Siberia and is also the largest corporation in the Netherlands. This has automatically made Shell the most vital and important player in the economy of Netherlands. That means if anything affects Shell, it also affects the Dutch Government and the Netherland’s economy. That means we cannot separate Shell’s interests from that of the Dutch Government’s interests. And as such, the business interests of Shell obviously outweighs every other interests concerning The Nehterlands; even if it pertains to human lives. That is why the Dutch Government is not condemning Russia for its devious actions in Ukraine and even against its citizenry, simply because of its economic interests in Russia through Shell. For shying away from this, it simply means the Dutch Government are aiding and abating broad day light ‘war crimes’ perpetrated by the Russia Government.
The Dutch entanglement with Russia through Shell is emblematic of ties that many European nations have with Russia. It was these same ties that Shell had with the repressive military regime of the Abacha government in the 90s to instigate the Ogoni crises which has remained unresolved till today. Words cannot describe or quantify the environmental damage and human loss in the Niger Delta region that were caused/instigated and still perpetrated by the ‘self-centered’ economic interests on Shell with its operations in oil/gas-bearing countries. Sadly, in the midst of this all, Shell ‘pretends’ to be concerned about addressing the ‘damages’ left behind in its operations with deceptive “SAFETY FIRST” slogans and sermons on their supposed SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES, most of which are only true on paper but never in ‘reality’. The current stand by Shell (to continue its “business as usual in Russia” despite the downing of MH17 that led to the deaths of 298 people and the worldwide condemnation/sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine), is a clear indication of this fact.
But the question is, should government of nations and big corporate companies like Shell do whatever pleases them in securing their economic interests to the detriment of its various citizenry? Should we all seat down and allow our environment daily ravaged and lives lost due to the excessive economic ambitions of oil giants like Shell with the cooperation of host governments? It is time for all relevant stakeholders concerned to condemning and exposing these anomalies against humanity.
Zik Gbemre, JP
NIGER DELTA PEACE COALITION (NDPC)
July 28, 2014
RE: ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC AND RUSSIA: BUSINESS AS USUAL
It is really sad and rather unfortunate that ephemeral gains/benefit and profits in corporate business has become far more important and valuable than ‘human lives’. It makes one to wonder what the world is turning into. This was the exact impression we got when recently, the Shell CEO Ben van Beurden was straightforward in what he publicly stated at the 2014 AGM of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The Shell CEO said that “Shell puts the interests of its shareholders first, above any geopolitical considerations.” And according to the earlier post on this subject; “that is his excuse for Shell’s dealings with evil regimes in Iran and Russia, irrespective of sanctions.”
The said statement credited to Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden, can best be described as the most careless, callous, inhuman, non-empathetic and cruel statement disposition by such an oil giant. With this statement, it means that in spite of the condemnable attacks on Ukraine by Russia; in spite of the untimely deaths of 298 people that were lost (which includes Four Shell employees and 193 citizens of The Netherlands) in the crash of MH Flight 17; and in spite of the sanctions from the United States of America (USA) and EU on Russia, Shell still wants to continue its BUSINESS AS USAUAL in Russia. How does this stand by the Shell CEO, in any way justify its PRINCIPLES of “core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people?”
by this statement, as credited to Shell CEO, Shell is telling the whole world that “profit first and the interest of its stakeholders” before anything else, including the lives of the citizens where Shell operates. That is the most ‘cold’ and inhuman disposition any corporate entity should stand on. It therefore means that Shell can also sponsor, aid and abate crimes against humanity in countries where it operates; just to protect and project its profit-oriented “business as usual”. And if we take a look at SHELL GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES (link: http://www-static.shell.com/content/dam/shell/static/aboutshell/downloads/who-we-are/sgbps/sgbp-english.pdf) it means that all Shell is all about is to talk of high moral principles ONLY ON PAPER but in REALITY, it is a different ball game all together.
The above statement by Shell CEO simply justifies the fact that WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO SHELL IS BUSINESS PROFITS OVER HUMAN LIVES AND HUMANITY AS A WHOLE. And like we said in our last letter on similar subject, Shell would rather continue smiling to the banks and turn a blind eye to all the atrocities daily committed by its host country – Russia in Ukraine. This automatically places Shell in the same position as Russia, as those perpetrating the crises in Ukraine and parts of Europe, including the missile-shot Jetliner MH17.
It is in this light that we believe that, if Royal Dutch Shell does not stop its operations in Russia (as a way of registering that the company is not in support with what Russia is doing in Ukraine), in the next few days, then we ask that the European Union (EU) and United States of America (USA) should place sanctions on Shell, for practically fueling, aiding and supporting Russia’s onslaught in Ukraine.
This is the only action on Shell that we believe would send a clear message to others of its kind to change their company policies and actions when it comes to “human lives against business interests.” The Shell CEO needs to understand this fact that, no amount of business interests of company stakeholders can be used to equate or replace the life of one single individual. There is need for the US and EU to seriously sanction Shell if the company does not stop its operations in Russia. We ask that the right thing should be done for posterity and humanity sake.
a bp-shell merger would be a disaster for humanity.
both companies have some good technical people, and some dangerously useless politicians – which kind would survive the post merger musical chairs?
There is no need to merge Shell with BP. It creates an even bigger mega monster. It’s easier to do within Shell or BP one can easily reduce cost by 30%. Look at the amount of overhead and waste around. The number of highly paid executives creating process and procedures. A lot of them sits in the centre and fly around the globe. Its high time to dissect them properly if one is serious.
July 26, 2014
RE: SHELL LEAVES BUSINESS STRATEGY FOR RUSSIA UNCHANGED DESPITE SANCTIONS
With recent reports that the Dutch oil giant Shell, is determined to continue its work in Russia and will not change its business strategy in the country, despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow by the United States of America (USA) and European Union (EU), it becomes obvious of WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO SHELL – THAT IS, BUSINESS PROFITS OVER HUMAN LIFE AND HUMANITY AS A WHOLE. This is really rather unfortunate!
The above position of Shell was revealed on Friday July 25, 2014 by representative of Shell’s press service who told RIA Novosti, as posted. In the words of the said Shell representative: “Shell continues to run business in Russia both in the upstream and downstream without any changes. We monitor the situation regarding the sanctions. But so far there have been no changes in either the business itself or in the business strategy,” the source said.
Let us recall that a week earlier, the United States expanded the list of sanctions against Russia, adding the country’s major entities, including Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank, Rosneft and Novatek. According to the post, the companies have been denied access to US financial markets, while the US-based companies and individuals are prohibited from granting loans to them for more than 90 days. Earlier on, the European Union also extended its sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, adding 15 individuals and 18 companies to the blacklist. But despite all of this, Shell has remain resolute in continuing with its business and operations in Russia, regardless of what the world thinks.
By this singular action, the Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell, is telling the whole world that their businesses and operations are far more important, and the only thing that matters to the company, above the value placed on human life. Shell would rather continue smiling to the banks and turn a blind eye to all the atrocities daily committed by its host country – Russia in Ukraine. It was only last week that we joined voices to reiterate that, “despite anger over downed Jetliner, Europe is shying away from sanctions against Russia.” But now that it seems the EU and the USA are bent on making things difficult for Russia with more sanctions, so as to stop them from their onslaught in Ukraine, Shell that is in the middle of it all, with the Dutch Government, have now made it clear to the world of what is more important to them. This means, no matter the sanctions placed on Russia to dissuade them from continuing with their ill-advised actions in Ukraine, Shell is bent on staying put with their operations in Russia.
Succinctly, Shell is telling the whole world that they are in full support with the Russia Government on what is happening in Ukraine, and of course, the shot MH17 jetliner. But like we said in our last letter on this issue, the truth is that, in a situation where innocent lives were blatantly cut short by the inter-play of a supposed cold war driven by the excessive tendencies of the Russian Government in Ukraine and parts of Europe, and the Dutch Government and Shell are more interested in saving their self-centered interests, then it greatly questions the integrity of the oil giant that keeps preaching “SAFETY FIRST” in all its operations across the world.
In a situation where about 298 lives were lost, which includes Four Shell employees and 193 citizens of The Netherlands that died in the crash of Flight 17, we are greatly disturbed at the length these big corporate companies and their partners in government would go to just to be on top of their game. Shell as a company often preaches that ‘Safety’ (which focuses on the safety of personnel against injury and loss of life during their operations), is the ultimate goal of all of its operations. And that if a job is considered to be ‘unsafe’ then such a job should be discarded and done away with, no matter how much is involved. But by playing ignorant of the situation in Russia and the loss of countless innocent lives and planes getting shot with missiles, then it means Shell’s SAFETY FIRST slogan and sermons are all a complete sham in all ramifications. When it comes to human lives and business, every corporate entity and government should know where to draw the line. But Shell prefers business profits than human life. With this ‘double-standard’, Shell should just stop preaching to the world about its SAFETY slogans/sermons. There is no point trying to deceive its host countries like Nigeria and others with its SAFETY slogans when they cannot condemn Russia from its recent actions.
Like we said in our last letter on similar issue, it is also funny that Shell is plying ‘double-standard’ in its operations in other countries like Nigeria when compared to what it does in The Netherlands. For instance, in its regular Integrity Due Diligence (IDD) Audit exercise in Nigeria meant for its registered Vendors/Contractors, Shell (SPDC) clearly stipulates that for every job execution, its registered Vendor/Contractor must first confirm that “none of its owners or directors, nor its employees or associates who will benefit from or take part in the execution or performance of the Agreement, is a Government Official…” That means as a Shell (SPDC) Vendor/Contractor in Nigeria, one should have no ‘relationship with the government’ that will make the latter benefit from the job being executed on behalf of the Shell. In fact, we know of one Prince Chief Okeimute Oviri, the MD/Owner of O & Company Ltd, a registered Shell (SPDC) Contractor who was nearly disqualified because he made some published commentaries on Nigerian politics, not that he was even an elected government official. The question now is, if Shell has and encourages a closely-knitted relationship with its Dutch Government in the Netherlands, how come the situation is different in Nigeria concerning its Vendors? Shell even allows a government official to sit on its board of directors. That is unheard of in other countries like Nigeria where it operates. Perhaps, this is a topic for another day.
It is appalling and unfortunate that the Dutch Government is not condemning Russia for its devious actions in Ukraine and even against its citizenry, simply because of its economic interests in Russia through Shell. For shying away from this, it simply means the Dutch Government and Shell are aiding and abating broad day light ‘war crimes’ perpetrated by the Russia Government. This is rather unfortunate and we condemn it in all ramifications.
Zik Gbemre, JP
NIGER DELTA PEACE COALITION (NDPC),
WARRI, DELTA STATE.
Correct me if I am wrong somebody, but I believe I read that RDS’s gross revenues are equivalent to about 85% of the Netherlands Gross Domestic Product. With that kind of cash flow I would say that RDS clearly has the Dutch government in their back pocket.
THIS POSTING BY Zik Gbemre WAS TO LARGE TO BE PUBLISHED ON THE SHELL BLOG, SO IT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED AS AN ARTICLE: OBJECTION TO MR. OSAGIE OKUNBOR AS MD/COUNTRY CHAIR OF SHELL (SPDC) NIGERIA
To LondonLad and USCitizen: Welcome back! This blog was getting a bit boring without you guys, even if you are hardcore RDS fans.
Geez – Shell’s public website on GTL clearly discusses the technology it is based on, no one is trying to muddy that water but John. The key is the more than 3500 patents Shell developed to make it commerically viable. It was proven to work 75 years before Bintulu in a lab, but not scalable, minor detail huh?? Shell and Sasol made that happen with hugh research investments. If it was off the shelf, many more folks would be building would they not?? Come on, engage the brain.
Shell MDS Technology and Process
Shell MDS technology is a modern version of the Fisher-Tropsch process which was invented back in 1920s. The Shell MDS process, however, uses a much more active and selective proprietary Shell catalyst, which enables the technology to be brought to full commercial operations.
It may be interesting for your readers to know that the process used at Pearl and Bintulu is the “Fischer-Tropsch Process” developed in Germany in the 1920s due to a shortage of petroleum resources and taking advantage of an abundance of coal (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process ). It was further developed by Sasol in South Africa during the 1970s to address the shortage of oil caused by the oil embargo.
LondonLad refers to the “Fischer-Tropsch” process as SMDS (Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis) and implies that it is something newly developed by Shell. It is neither new nor was it developed by Shell. The technology was proven 75 years before Bintulu exploded, and similar plants have been in operation in South Africa since the 1970s. The only difference was that the South African plants did not have to contend with smoke from forest fires.
Why should Shell et al have to sue someone just to prove their innocence? Trouble is that there are too many people who believe in suing just to make a fast buck. (Nigerians in the Delta region spring to mind.) All I can say is that Shell does not appear to have done anything wrong (let’s face it the Irish drink at the drop a hat, so a little top up from Shell would not cause any harm) it is merely those people who want to cause trouble with Shell’s gas projects in Ireland. Why do we have to keep seeing that girl with the “Shell’s cops” banner? As I have said before, I suggest the Irish trouble makers think long and hard about the prospect of having to use gas from Putin (see what has happened to the Ukraine). There got that off my chest, albeit that it is just to reduce the amount of footage that “Relieved” has produced recently in the blog.
To Unrelieved: Having a bad day, or are you an RDS fan?
Relieved: you can stop this “sieg heil” bullshit. We get it. … or perhaps you are a closet Nazi, using this site to live out fantasies?
There is that old adage about not believing everything you read. Of course, we know that holds very true for anything RDS puts out.
John, as the new owner of RDS you must immediately update the business principles statement! First priority of an incoming chairman…..
Shell Canada has just sold over 50 retail gas stations to a third party. Longterm plan is to exit Retail within 2 years…..massive employee layoffs are expected.
John: Saw your video clip. Pictures are worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. There is no explaining this away. Sieg Heil (Hail Victory) !!
At the end of the cold war General Dynamics Corp., a US defense contractor, saw the handwriting on the wall and began to sell its operations divisions one by one, distributing the gains to shareholders as dividends. GD stock price soared because of the rich dividends. Insiders made a killing. Eventually GD was down to one operating company, Electric Boat, the primary manufacturer of nuclear submarine for the US Navy. GD pondered selling EB, thereby liquidating the company and retiring the GD brand name completely. Along came a new CEO and things changed. GD began to acquire additional businesses, and today they are now one of the ‘big 4’ US defense contractors. Maybe RDS will sell off its operating divisions, liquidate itself, and distribute the gains as dividends to the shareholders. Well, one can always hope. The world would most probably be a better place without RDS lurking about.
In a way, the merger of RDS and BP makes some sort of perverse sense. RDS is really out in the cold (no pun intended) in the US Arctic. BP, et al, own the assets necessary to make RDS’s investment in the Arctic pay-off handsomely. RDS would have to reproduce much of the in-place logistical base found at Prudhoe Bay, and then pump their oil through a pipeline they don’t own. And BP’s brand is forever tarnished in the US. They are a host of other synergies to be realized as well. Talks about such a merger, because it is NOT a merger of US based corporations are probably quite serious. This is something to watch for.
I saw your article on possible misconduct on the part of Shell with regard to proprietary trade secret information. If this fellow engaged in his business with Shell in the USA he needs to get moving with regard to potential legal action. All statutes in the US with regard to theft of trade secrets have associated statutes of limitations. Now, this fellow might bring action against Shell for breach of contract (4 year statute of limitation), conversion (2 year statute of limitation), or theft (2 years statute of limitation from date of first knowledge). The date of first knowledge clause in this statute was a gift to big business because it gives them a ‘forever’ clause to bring action against contractors, former employees, etc. There is also the Economic Espionage Statute he might consider because Shell is a foreign corp., etc., but this information was disclosed willingly. I hope this fellow got a signed NDA, otherwise he is probably S.O.L.
Your advice and warning about Shell is well founded. All those dealing with Shell need to protect themselves completely. And if Shell objects to the terms and conditions of the disclosure then don’t deal with them. However, if Shell thinks you are really on to something expect shenanigans on Shell’s part. Dealing with Shell is like dealing with the mafia. You get what you ask for – trouble, and often lots of it. As John has disclosed Shell is apparently even willing to go after highly classified US DOD military technology if they see a benefit. Industrial espionage, theft of IP, etc., is just a part and cost of doing business for Shell.
The recent appeals court decision against BP and Anadarko is an ill wind for RDS. It means they can be fined heavily for pollution-law violations resulting from gross-negligence/incompetence. Given Shell’s conduct in their recent Arctic adventure they clearly have been very lucky. However, they need to get their act together. The financial consequences of screwing up could be extremely severe, even before one considers clean-up costs. The shareholders of the company need to understand the full consequences of letting the junior varsity run the Alaskan operation.
Mr. Putin (or whom-ever you are) In the late 1930’s Europe went through a situation much like that found today in the Ukraine. They have seen this story before. Mr. Hitler was once lauded for his rebuilding of Germany, then his true nature showed itself. Mr. Putin was once lauded for his work at rebuilding Russia, but now his true nature is on display. What more need be said (Note: Hitler was not blond or blue-eyed. Putin is.).
Mr Donovan, I notice the attention you are giving to Ben van Beurden bowing to President Putin. It is not long since you were supplying the Russian government with confidential Shell internal documents that cost Shell its controlling stake of Sakhalin Energy. You seem to have rather changed your attitude to Putin?
Changed by polonium poisoning in London and the invasion and annexation of Crimea. The UK government has also changed its attitude somewhat. In 2003 Putin undertook a state visit to Britain at the invitation on the UK government and attended a state banquet where he met with the royal family, no doubt including Prince Charles, who has also changed his attitude to Putin. Shell puts moral and ethical considerations to one side.
To Old EP Hand: Having had to deal with sour service issues when I worked for Shell on the ‘P’ side of the business I am as appalled as you are at the level of incompetence displayed on the Kashagan project, and by all parties. You are correct, someone signed off on all of this, and I suspect that some technical ‘expert’ at Shell signed-off as well. Probably a 2 year engineer who got saddled with processing incoming paperwork from the operator. If Shell management was as competent as LondonLad appears to have been in his time at Shell it is no wonder that the obvious was overlooked and ignored. Probably for ‘political’ reasons. Who would want to create a stink by claiming the Italians didn’t know their own rear ends from a hole in the ground ??? Maybe the Shell staff assigned to the project had the same problem.
London lad I wouldn’t judge by the time factor , i
Factsheet: The Case Against Shell | Center for Constitutional Rights
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Niger Delta region of Nigeria in 1958 and has a long history of working … thirteen years of litigation, the case against Shell ended in a historic $15.5 million …
Comment by John Donovan:
Unfortunately the above posting is partly incoherent. The intended comment seems to be that the merits of the allegations should not be judged on a time factor, bearing in mind that it took 13 years of litigation before Shell settled a human rights claim for $15.5 million arising from Shell’s conduct in Nigeria.
As stated before, OSSL, it is indeed 5 years ago that this allegation first started. However, I guess Ireland has the same law of “innocent until proven guilty” SO why no prosecution of Shell yet? Innocent I would therefore say. All these allegations are just trying to pour a dampener on the Corrib project – what other mischief can these objectors attempt in order to stop a project that the country needs. Perhaps Russian gas might be cheaper and more reliable OSSL?
PLEASE SEE: Corrib Corruption Scandal on the Agenda at Royal Dutch Shell AGM
John, May we use your platform to inform all at Shell the following …it’s five years ago today that Shell CEO for Corrib took us into his office and informed us that a serious situation had arisen regarding Shells instructions to OSSL. He asked for two weeks of silence from us on all matters. In those two weeks he told us “I will sort it all out just be patient”. Senior Shell man Brian Foley was also in the room …..he remains in position as the top man on the Corrib project . What followed next is a comedy farce without humour. Thanks John .
Nexus, very many verbal instructions as you would expect for matters requiring confidentiality and integrity. CEO and one other senior Corrib Shell management now gone (very conveniently) and hopes of resolution in private dashed by spineless leaders and compromised police.
OSSL – were any verbal instructions given? If so, you have recourse via your contract with Shell. Alternatively, if you have Purchase Orders (PO) for service with issued Work Completion Certificates, or Purchase Requisitions with corresponding signed invoices for any of the services provided to SEPIL can be produced as supporting evidence for any work you can make a case. Under the Freedom of Information Act you can also request information for correspondence relating to OSSL, named company directors etc that can be used to gain access to data held in Shell or other companies related to this whole affair. I want to see justice done.
Nexus, you mean well I think, the Shell demand was for no traceability of Alcohol delivered to police. No traceability does what it says on the tin .
I am currently an employee with Shell. I write under an alias as a personal choice. I would like to ask OSSL – did you ever explore taking Shell to the small claims court for the non-payment of the (alleged) alcohol delivered to the Gardia? I am not sure how Irish law works, but such an avenue in the UK, would, I believe be a recourse for you to recoup the lost monies, whilst at the same time proving the existence / delivery of the aforesaid liquor. Personally I would want to see an end to this whole saga and those that have done wrong held to account.
Hi London Lad, whoever you are, it was the UK press that broke this story! Which prompted the Irish police Commissioner to launch an enquiry. The UK
Press picked up the matter from this Shell news site.
Can someone please explain to me (and on this site I’m sure there’s many) why there is still NO mention about this OSSL / booze subject etc. in the UK or Dutch press? Have to say that well done with “In the Gulf”, I think that “OSSL” appears to be someone who is drinking too much of the Guinness prior to his postings!! Also, why is there nothing of importance concerning the alleged manipulation of oil / gas prices by RDS etc. in the UK or Dutch press. I guess that there is nothing to prove.
P.S. I have a mate Donovan who says it should be MUSaint and not Musaint…….
REPLY BY JOHN:
Will take the correction as gospel coming from you, first hand.
I would like to repeat a warning I have mentioned before about postings on this blog. Websites allowing aliases to be used are especially vulnerable to manipulation. That includes Wikipedia and blogs such as this one. It follows that I can only vouch for the bona fides of postings made in my name or by contributors such as Paddy Briggs, who choose not to use an alias. Some contributors using aliases, such as “Outsider” and MUSaint/LondonLad have built up a reputation over several years for the integrity of their postings on this website.
Please explain, what’s a salt flat?
Lots of static since ..tree hugger …posting …asking why ? Shell wanted to blame Shell to Sea for damaging something called the salt flats ….does that make sense ?…
On the subject of Shell Corrib integrity note this fact. Shell instructed OSSL in a visit to our offices to recruit “tree huggers” their words, from outside Ireland to infiltrate a new Shell to Sea camp being assembled at Glencastle …..sounds crazy …it’s a fact – that’s how desperate they had become in 2006 on the Corrib Project; another inconvenient truth for the denial machine that is Shell.
Hi Relieved, believe me where Corrib management are concerned this Shell job has plumbed some depths. Crothers CEO (currently) wanted to tidy up but was stopped because revelations were too damming.
You have got to love the Irish ‘establishment’ and RDS. What a 3rd rate, Mickey Mouse operation. Classic mediocre soap opera comedy. They could not have screwed up any better if they had tried.
Last post 100% spot on bugging geeks were brought from outside the country at Nolans demand others that can confirm are Cronin and Byrne, Foley. Don’t know about bugging Teach Erris but they stayed there.
Document doing the rounds in Mayo Shell circles showing a local hotel bugging details (Gessala), and an instruction to only use non Irish surveillance team, GSOC take note, the instruction is confirmed by Shell.
Yes indeed, in 1999 I recommended that the Brent management team be suspended pending an investigation into their chronic misconduct, do you think such a recommendation comes easily to the lips when you still have some career ahead of you. Post the Brent Bravo incident in 2003, asked to assist in the production of documents that had unexplainably gone missing from files in Aberdeen and Den Haag, and as a retained Senior auditor for RDS, initiated investigation into Malcolm Brinded and others, including Chris Finlayson in 2004, for their part in the lead up to the deaths on Brent Bravo.
You may be surprised to hear that after the 2006 press release by Shell (copied to all staff worldwide) that I had essentially lied about the criminal neglect evident in Aberdeen over a prolonged period I received an extension of contract from RDS until 2008 which as you can realise was never honoured by RDS. So all open and above board, when I decided to provide evidence to the Regulator and the CPS in 2005 I did so only after I had informed the Board in writing and Van der Veer in person at a meeting in C16. At that time as a contracted employee.
At this juncture Shell had just pled guilty to all charges of neglect in the deaths on Brent Bravo.
Unlike you, I do not seek anonymity and have never taken any action against Shell, or it’s employees without notifying them in advance. I thought from your previous blogs that you were not a great fan of Chris Finlayson, but I may be wrong in that respect. Perhaps you can write a counter piece praising his skills as a Director and leader.
Please keep up your blogs, disparity of opinion is what makes the site so useful. Many of your comments are to be welcomed if a balanced debate is to be continued.
Star Gazer; Thought they send the best Arctic Alaska Wells Manager to develop unconventional in China. It’s a major change.
18 years in Shell I am still baffled by how we can waste so much money on doomed projects (billions on Arctic wasted and the Arctic project team are all still waiting around as if Shell is going to continue). I am hoping the board get a pasting at the AGM. Its time for a change. More transparency please.
I do believe Mr. Campbell is referring to the ‘Peter Principle.’ RDS is rife with examples of this.
Absolutely agree with the comments from “MaryM” and in fact very surprised that there has been almost no reporting of this violation against international human rights by Brunei being reported in the UK mainstream papers. A religion that drags countries back 500 years or more when applied in the format of Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Iran etc. Not exactly sure what RDS can do about this as a company, more the case that the US should start some form of oil/gas sanctions against Brunei. Oh dear me how stupid of me, the US doesn’t do that against large oil/gas producing countries. Even against Russia it’s only against individuals. I do like Friday’s – such humour is often written on this website by anti-RDS individuals on a Friday. Campbell in is usual attack on RDS and senior individuals – again Campbell did you make these concerns known within the RDS system when you were working for the company? Then there’s “Wari-or” (isn’t it Warri by the way?) with his laughable comment that “Even we (in Nigeria) are more good and honest with money”. Where has all the billions of dollars of oil revenue gone to over the years “Wari-or”? Oooooo that’s right to some fat Nigerians bank account overseas. Oh and by the way I have been to Nigeria, working there for 6 years, and it’s one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
It amuses me (not in a good way) that someone who is so adamant in implementing Sharia is neglecting the basic tenets of Islam and the Qur’an which prohibit exhibitions of extravagance be it in dress, jewellery, etc. I guess he’s a “Do as I say, not as I do” kind of ‘leader’.
Extravagance – which is to exceed the limits of what is required or what is customary – is something prohibited. Those who do so will be counted among the spendthrifts, about whom Allah says: “Verily the spendthrifts are the brothers of the devils.” [Sûrah al-Isrâ’: 27]
I give as an example…the incredible event that was his 5th child’s (daughter’s) wedding…some say in excess of $20MILLION was spent on the lavish affair which saw men and women mingling and men wearing silk clothing and golden jewelery.
You are true Mr Patrick. I do not know why the culture in Shell America is so selfish and think they are the leader of the world. I can tell you my friends it wont be long before we see devastating organisational changes. Cut this disorganised teams of charlatans off. Then i tell you you watch the stock price go up in the sky. Come here see Nigeria. Even we are more good and honest with money.
Odum may indeed be a nice guy, but that probably makes him a figure head leader. Weak, grinning glad-handers don’t make good corporate leaders. Yes men perhaps, but leaders – no. My bet is that it is Shell USA’s board (i.e., the RDS gang) that is making the big decisions (and mistakes). And that is probably the way RDS wants it. Odum is simply someone to hide behind.
Hi Loud Texan, don’t think it’s just Marvin Odum , it’s the whole team and culture in UA. Indeed time for change
A good day for Shell investors. Well done to CEO. But enough is enough. why is my great company continuing to limp along with the smiling but loss making Marvin Odum as head of America. We are not making money continue embarrassing the rest of the Shell with unforgivable mistakes. A nice guy but time for him to find a job in Hollywood. Time to get back to where we should be.
Chinese oil company may be interested too . That will be real competition if Someone does not block it.
Shell might have some competition from Total if they decide to mount a bid for BG. Andrew Gould has plenty of connections in France.
Hi Michael Crothers CEO of Shell ..using this platform to let you know …ask me for favors …ask me for police booze …ask me to lie to ombudsman ….
But don’t ask me to be stupid #shellsdisgrace
Shell is a very good company. It’s the people who lead it that makes a difference. Let’s hope for that day.
Brinded, Brown, Voser, Rees, Finlayson, Carne…
I’m sure there are more names that could be added to the list, but the oil industry seems to be currently haemorrhaging senior executives… and all from a specific clique. Is there a scandal about to break?
It’s reminiscent of 2004 (Watts, vd Vijver, Boynton, Hofmeister, Botts et al) and 2010 (Browne, Hayward)
OSSL you need fools to come forward and help you, it won’t happen cops won’t speak and we can’t, cheers for everything you did for us but that’s it.
Thanks John to you and all the contributors. Shell is an arrogant company which is wasting money on a big uncompetent work force. Alaska is just one example of shameful failure. Shell’s overpaid PR monkeys have proven to be ridiculously thick for allowing the Putin visit to go ahead.
WHat on earth did Shell do to you to make you so bitter twisted and biased~?
REPLY BY JOHN:
The reasons why I set up this website can be easily deduced just by reading some of the information in these columns.
Interesting development on Shell Boozegate. Police inform OSSL they can’t ask main witness and offloader of booze anything because his rank is higher than investigators rank. Only a Commissioner can question the witness and he’s gone.
Shale gas has been produced for many years in places such as Sussex, and appears to have been used for lighting at Crowborough Station until quite recently…for example on https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/railwaycanal/conversations/topics/1213 you will find information from 1954.
It will be years before shale gas (if it can ever be produced economically) has any significant impact on gas supplies in the UK. It is not the answer to Russian gas, although it may determine the maximum price at which Russian gas can be sold.
In order to produce a significant volume of shale gas, thousands of wells will need to be drilled and fracced. There are very few drilling rigs available, suitable fraccing equipment is almost non-existent, and there are very few people available with the required expertise.
The construction of the required equipment, training of personnel, the drilling and completion of the required wells, and the construction of the required infrastructure (flow lines and gas treatment facilities) will require many years, and tens of billions of pounds of investment.
After the wells have been drilled, shale gas wells will require major maintenance work every couple of years – in many cases this maintenance will require resources comparable to those used for the initial construction of the well. This is not the same as a conventional gas well which may produce for 20 years without intervention.
Interesting article here which supports my view of UK shale gas production. It does not mention the timescale…
The amount of shale gas potentially recoverable in the UK is at least 10 times that of the famous Groningen field in The Netherlands. British shale gas has the potential to have a serious impact on Russian-European trade.
RDS negotiating sale of Canadian downstream assets.
Since when has RDS operated with ‘corporate social responsibility’. Recall RDS support for Hitler and his gang of demented perverts.
Paddy – voila! Precisely. Just what does the timing of the meeting tell us about the judgement of van Beurden and his PA advisors?
RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EXECUTIVE, PADDY BRIGGS
I’m old-fashioned (and old) enough to think that “Corporate Social responsibility” matters. I am also an RDS shareholder. Unlike some previous posters here I don’t think that dividends are the only thing that Shell or any other Company should think about. The gory truth about Western oil companies dalliances with Mr Putin and his mob are well told in Tom Bower’s “The Squeeze”.
My review of it is here:
In the light of this story I think Mr van Beurden might well have been more circumspect with President Putin at this sensitive time.
While a lot of folks are irritated by the way RDS’s fearless leader sucked up to Putin it would wise to remember Shell has a great deal at stake in the land of the Russ and that he works for the shareholders who really don’t care if he sleeps with Putin so long as he keeps those dividends flowing. It is all about money, and the appropriate amount of shameless groveling and sucking up to Putin could pay off handsomely for RDS. As far as I can see van Beurden is just doing his job. National governments make foreign policy, not corporations, although they can dn
Well, hope that Donovan reads your requirements “Relieved” and restricts articles to RDS only. Any reference to 3rd parties involved directly or indirectly with RDS must not be mentioned on the website according to you “Relieved”. Thus if anyone castigates RDS (e.g. Greenpeace over Brent Spar) they must not be mentioned? Wow what a nodding donkey with an RDS problem “Relieved”. Even Donovan is somewhat more even keeled!! Let’s face it there are a majority of people who believe RDS is far far better than is made out by people such as yourself who post like nodding donkeys on this website – yes I am one of those. All this said, fair play to Donovan he generally allows both sides of an argument to be printed (clearly something you don’t want or like).
REPLY BY JOHN:
This blog is meant for free and open discussion about Shell and related matters as has always been the case. Always happy for both sides of a debate to be published.
Sheep pen list just the tip of the iceberg of gifting, now referred to by Shell BID department as “corruption” funny they weren’t calling it that at the time.
LondonLad: Once again, people visit this website to read about RDS, not about Greenpeace, et al., like it or not.
RDS – Brent Spar – Greenpeace : spot the linkage “Relieved”?? You are the one who clearly misses the point in that statistics are used by industry, Governments, Greenpeace, this website etc. to attempt to prove a point. Having this website just for nodding donkeys such as yourself would be somewhat incestuous and very boring. Maybe to allow people like yourself to continue self beatification by attacking RDS at every (unfounded) opportunity there should be a password to allow only anti-RDS contributors?
LondonLad: You seem to have missed the fact that this website is dedicated to RDS, not Greenpeace or any other environmental conservation/protection organization. If you don’t like those folks, and clearly you don’t, then why don’t you establish your own anti-Greenpeace/tree hugger blog.
Fooling around with numbers “Relieved” is also a problem with Greenpeace. Remember all the fictitious numbers they used for the amount of pollutants in the Brent Spar. They also were eventually found out, but hasn’t stopped them blowing up the numbers to attempt to stir trouble. And again Campbell targets Shell for the use of statistics however he does just the same. Statistics can be used to prove almost any point you want – that includes some of the anti-Shell folk on this site.
Fooling about with numbers is a constant game with senior level they do it with everything. And management at RDS is not alone. Recall Enron’s debacle. Of course, RDS finally got caught big time in 2004 with its fooling about with reserve numbers. However, when it comes to risk analysis eventually the chickens come home to roost and there is a serious ‘incident’ that always makes the news. It is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’, but RDS management does not seem capable of learning from past malfeasance. If RDS management keeps fooling around in the Artic they are going to get their heads handed to them in a way that will threaten the existence of the company.
Ian Blauu: small correction, the Dutch pensionfund is handled by Shell Nederland and the bulk of the money comes from the NAM and more specific: Groningen. The Dutch pensioners are therefore quite safe for the next 20 years or so.
I prefer a CEO who keeps up the standards of decency and technical superiority. In words and actions. Grovelling to the dictators of the world is just not on! Jeroen v.d. Veer did the same when Putin stole half the Shell share. He thanked him for that. And if you behave like a serf you get treated like a serf!
I fear van Beurden has the wrong advisors in this matter. Probably americans, they get it wrong all the time!
Shellwaarbenjijnu, you know very well Shell has to rely on Sahkalin In Russia, China, Nigeria, and few others to continue to fund the Shell pension in Holland. By the way , ” Bowing” means respect in many countries.
@Ian Blauu – I was not implying Shell should exit Russia. My observation relates to van Beurden’s body language. There is no requirement in Dutch / European / Russian culture to bow unless you are acknowledging a “superior” which is akin to groveling. The CEO of Shell does not have to grovel. He is at the top of an energy company which by any measure is the superior of anything Russian.
As for Putin knowing Shell’s business better than van Beurden – of course. Van Beurden has to rely on reports from Shell staff which will have been spun and shaped to convey the message “everything is in great shape”. Putin will have his spies everywhere feeding him the undiluted truth.
Shellwaarbenjijnu: completely agree, I saw him on TV, ‘Thank you very much, Mr President, for being able to see me here today. It seems that you know our business in Russia as well as I do.’ Also follow this link http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/7039 for the full text. I am almost certain I heard him say two or three times ‘thank you Mr President’. This grovelling made my stomach turn. Had Putin asked ‘and now you kiss my ass’, I am sure van Beurden would have complied. Anything for the shareholder! Somehow I cannot see the boss of Exxon behave like this!
Shellwaarbenjijnu, Shell is a business. Ben has to keep the share price high. Exiting Ukraine’s unconventional would be the right thing to do too.
van Beurden – shame on you! The front page of the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf shows you bowing your head to Putin while he looks straight ahead. “Shell welkom in Rusland”.
Where is your pride man? Have you forgotten the humiliation heaped on Shell over Sakhalin based on trumped up charges of environmental vandalism? All originated by a ruthless kleptocrat who at the same time willfully ignores the environmental catastrophy of nuclear waste leaking from abandoned former Soviet navy submarines rotting away in the arctic. Putin is so bent he cannot lie straight in bed at night and you bow your head to him? Shame, shame, shame.
We were lucky in the 1993 SMDS explosion as it was Christmas Eve when everyone was off. For the record Train 9 is part of LNG facilities next door not part of SMDS. Just wish Prelude all the best.
@Deltaic – don’t wish to be overly “pickey” but I thought the discussion was around the safe functioning of the Bintulu GTL (pilot) plant. Train #9 refers to yet another addition to the LNG plant the functionality and safety of which was not under discussion.
Good job that those with real knowledge about projects kept going with aviation development (despite crashes and deaths) else we would be in some trouble wouldn’t we!! Guess you don’t fly Outsider. Still agree with LL as the Bintulu project has been a success despite some early problems and hence train 9 being built.
I am amazed to hear yet again that a project which resulted in an explosion and fire and the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars that had been spent on its construction is a “success” – how are we supposed to take these people seriously? According to their logic, if Prelude blows up, but later designs of FLNG plant do not, then Prelude was a success? Trial and error is not normally the design approach used for multi-billion dollar projects.
Releived and Outsider really have no knowledge of what Shell is doing or has done regarding the building and addressing of safety issues with Prelude. All that comes across to me is a couple of people who have no idea of the project but merely guess incorrectly. Either way the project goes ahead and the moaners carry on wasting their time. Having been involved with Bintulu I have to agree with London Lad and say that it has in the end been an excellent project for all concerned.
LondonLad: you answer your own question quite admirably: I believe that there are lots of advantages to new technology which should be exploited to the extent possible. However, with all new technologies there is also a risk that something has been overlooked, the consequences of which may be catastrophic – as with the effects of the smoke from forest fires on the Bintulu GTL plant. Nobody actually knows what is going to happen to Prelude when it gets hit by a cyclone, but there will be green water going across the decks and through the process facilities with enormous force.
It may be interesting for your readers to know that the process used at Pearl and Bintulu is the “Fischer-Tropsch Process” developed in Germany in the 1920s due to a shortage of petroleum resources and taking advantage of an abundance of coal (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process ). It was further developed by Sasol in South Africa during the 1970s to address the shortage of oil caused by the oil embargo.
LondonLad refers to the “Fischer-Tropsch” process as SMDS (Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis) and implies that it is something newly developed by Shell. It is neither new nor was it developed by Shell. The technology was proven 75 years before Bintulu exploded, and similar plants have been in operation in South Africa since the 1970s. The only difference was that the South African plants did not have to contend with smoke from forest fires.
Again you miss my point and don’t answer the question!! Indeed Bintulu was shut down for 2 years after the explosion in the Air Separation Unit. What was the cause? – minute atmospheric particles stemming from the forest fires which blanketed Borneo and which entered and accumulated in the ASU resulting in an explosion. This was NOT related to SMDS technology. My question is Bintulu a success – well for Malaysia and all interested parties it would appear so as they are now on to Train 9. Outsider, I think you are a glass half-empty man who does like progress (particularly from Shell).
With regard to the Prelude FLNG project I think we can all agree that Shell is trying something that has never been tried before and that it does not have the corporate culture necessary to manage that facility safely. It does, in fact, have the poorest safety record of the major oil companies. So, it is reasonable to say that management has embarked upon a development program it does have the will or the where-with-all to manage and reduce the risks associated with this project to a manageable level. We only need look and BP and its Thunderhorse project. Hence, it is reasonable to presume that sometime in the future there will be an ‘incident’ that is serious. One can only hope Shell has been able to obtain proper insurance for this venture.
LondonLad: The first Bintulu plant was destroyed in an explosion and fire, with numerous injuries to people on site. If this is your definition of success, God help the crew of the Prelude.
You miss my point Outsider. Of course there is a risk with anything a human does, be it as a single person or as a company. Let’s face it most accidents occur in the home. Should we stop progress just because of the risks involved – no as far as I’m concerned. That’s my point. As long as most risks (of course ideally all, but humans are involved here) have been identified and addressed then projects should go ahead. Comparing Prelude to a 1934 Texas refinery (plus picture) is not a direct comparison. Sure, I remember the Bintulu GTL problem well but it shouldn’t stop / delay Prelude. Has Bintulu been a success or failure? The former I believe for both Shell and Malaysia. I’m sure the glass half-full people will jump at this conclusion.
London Lad: You need look no further than the first Bintulu GTL plant or the Port Arthur refinery to see that the application of “new” technology does not prevent mishaps. I would also remind you that Shell demonstrated unequivocally in Alaska that even with new projects, they have no hesitation in using 50 year old technology when it appears to offer a reduction in costs.
Prelude – a cause for celebration as far as I’m concerned Campbell. My glass is always half-full, clearly most commentators on here have a glass that is always half-empty (as far as Shell is concerned anyway). Again the tabloid photo upfront of the explosion at the BP Texas City Refinery – scaremongering again methinks. A 1934 refinery compared to a modern day FLNG/FLPG – some people just don’t want to see progress, especially in the Shell world. Let’s just rely on the supplies from Russia shall we…….
Corrib Watcher: Don’t get your hopes too high. Dutch law and Shell’s lawyers will make it almost impossible for the Irish police to find anything of interest
John tell your LL contributor ….word is Irish Police are in Holland at Shells integrity department demanding sight of enquiry details regarding the supply of alcohol by Shell to the Irish Police. Previous attempts to gain access to the enquiry details were blocked by Shell CEO in Ireland.
LondonLad: You are a fool.
Well Washington Observer, you use the words “rumor” (we would say rumour), “alleged”, and “not privy to the details” – so really there’s not too many facts in your commentary. I would say it’s more of “hot air”, tabloid titillation” and “same-old, same-old” against Shell. I await for the usual 10 pages of defence from someone I won’t name.
The comment by “Relieved” citing a relatively obscure field in Mississippi seems to imply that sour gas (H2S) is a relatively rare occurrence. It is not. Sour gas occurs frequently in oil and gas fields throughout the world, and must always be considered in facilities design. The presence of very high levels of H2S in Kashagan was known from the time of the first discovery well. The apparent failure to incorporate design features to address the presence of 17% H2S in the development plan can only be described as gross negligence on the part of all of the partners.
Rumor has it that a complaint is about to filed in Federal district court in Washington, D.C., that is related to Shell USA’s alleged attempt to gain access to US DoD classified technology. I am not privy to the details of this case, but I would watch for it.
I find the problems at Kashagan to be absolutely unforgivable given all of Shell’s experience with sour service equipment at the Thomasville field in Mississippi, USA. Shell USA virtually set the standards for sour service equipment, not only for production well equipment, but also for the processing facilities that removed the H2S from gas and oil and converted it into elemental sulfur. What happened at Kashagan was absolutely preventable and should never have happeded. However, it would appear Shell has ‘downsized’ its technical expertise right out of the company.
Tyler, well said. Heard Ben coming to China to sign off another U$0.5bil to sink in Sichuan. As long as you have the American cowboys running the show, we really pity Shell. We dont have Odum here but we have Brad Kerr. Ben, please do something with Ole boys and get rid of the high overhead if you are serious about developing unconventional in China.
@Old EP Hand – you are absolutely spot on in respect of Odum. Of course he should be fired. He is the “captain” of the Titanic that is the Shell operation in the Americas and is therefor 100% accountable for all that goes right and WRONG on his ship. There are smooth talkers and smooth talkers but none come as close to Odum (although the likes of Botts and Hoffmeister came close). You says it stinks to heaven but that is the problem in the US. It is indeed a “heaven connection”. All these guys at the top have their Southern Baptist, Mormon, etc closed shops and they will protect themselves as they hold hands, close their eyes and “praise the lord”.
@Tyler – your point on China is similar. The “good ole boy” politics and “clappy handy” church connections do not make for clarity on accountability & responsibility and hence excellence in business results (and ethics). Let us hope (and pray??) that van Beurden puts a stop to this poison which has weakened Royal Dutch Shell since the late 1990’s.
In the FT interview of April 1 van Beurden talked of the necessity of taking tough choices. He has a number to take but firing incompetent, smooth talking, power point pilots from the US should be one of the easy ones for him to take.
Let’s talk China. Shell has made commitment to drill Sichuan Province (press release 03/2014). What the story doesn’t tell everyone is that Shell has spent 1 Billion USD and has yet to find sustainable gas. It also does not address the fact that Shell China has gone from 9 rigs to 1 rig in Sichuan. Office staff in Chengdu is over 500 people for a 1 rig operation, by the end of 4Q 2014.
Let’s not forget that Shell China has been put under the US Unconventional Wells group. These are the same ones that screwed up the US Shale Gas Projects. The new manager is Chengdu is an American who came from Alaska, we know how that turned out.
There are so many things wrong in China and RDS has no idea of what is going on.
Investors be aware that it is a sink hole with no financial bottom and the “good ole boy” politics are in play in China.
John, you say Odum should resign. I disagree completely. He should be fired. Gross incompetence of a smooth talker. And how much of the billions that Shell USA wasted on the shalegas and cock-ups in Alaska flowed into the pockets of his friends? I have no proof at all, but in my humble opinion it all stinks to high heaven!
To Bill: if you read the report I refer to, it says that the contents ignited. It even says in the last paragraph: -quote- Further, it should be noted that the ignition of the two unconfined vapor clouds of LNG in Cleveland did not result in explosions. There was no evidence of any explosion overpressures after the ignition of the spill from either the cylindrical tank or the sphere. The only explosions that took place in Cleveland were limited to the sewers where LNG ran and vaporized before the vapor-air mixture ignited in a relatively confined volume. The U.S. Bureau of Mines concluded that the concept of liquefying and storing LNG was valid if “proper precautions are observed”.
Regards the accident in Belgium, please google a bit, the accident was a ruptured high pressure gas line (40in, 85bar). Please check the place – it is more than 100km away from the regasification facility in Zeebrugge.
Regarding scaremongering – maybe I overreacted a bit, you can never exclude risk fully, but it is not exclusive to Shell and should not be an excuse to not try to evolve technology to the next level… I may be mistaken on the purpose of your article, but it seems that that is your message.
Cash all gone comments – My reply
John: Could you please include this correction as a blog from me. If the fellow cares to read the report on the website he linked it clearly states that when the fire had almost died down, the tank collapsed with some 9400 gallons of LNG spilled, this evaporated and in their words promptly ignited so we had a fire followed 20 minutes later by an explosion.
The Belgium incident is listed as an LNG incident on many websites.
I don’t quite understand the scaremongering charge, after all, these events happened did they not and were generally as a result of human error. It is to avoid the charge of bias that at all times I refer to historical failure data both related to Shell operations but industry operations also, as Cash be Gone should understand in determination of the probability of such events were are guided by – has it happened in our industry, has it happened to Shell, the answer to many of the questions is yes it has.
Cash All Gone: I think you are overdoing it a bit. Bill describes a number of incidents involving methane. LNG is liquid methane, but in the event of release it will immediately assume the gaseous form, which when mixed with air can form explosive mixtures. You are right in that LNG in liquid form is not explosive, but the time for which it remains liquid in the event of release is very short. Any escape of LNG will therefore result in a potentially explosive cloud of methane gas and air – exactly as happened in the events that Bill describes.
Reaction to Bill Campbell’s scaremongering article – please get your facts straight as the article is a brilliant mix of truth, halftruth and false statements. For example – the Cleveland incident in 1944 – there was no LNG explosion, there was fire only, except minor explosions in the sewage where the LNG got confined – source: http://www.ch-iv.com/history.html
The explosion in Belgium was not an LNG pipeline, the only regasification facility in Belgium is in Zeebrugge, at the offloading terminal. The gas explosion was caused by a bulldozer hitting a high-pressure maim ring pipeline running under an industrial area. Nothing to do with LNG except that the gas in the line may have been supplied into Belgium as LNG, but it was in gaseous form, nit liquid form in that pipeline.
I see the reasons for your gripe with Shell, but please stay with facts, not with assumptions. You have left Shell and the industry a long time ago – the industry has changed and is still changing rapidly, especially on the HSE side, as it is well understood that it is an essential part of the license to operate.
Shell Canada Retail sites are being shopped around to Husky and Valero according to inside sources within Retail Canada
LondonLad , You got it wrong. Look at why some Asian SEG left Shell. They are much smarter than the current crop of Excom. It’s some expats trying to divide and rule to lengthen their stay. Sounds like you are one of them from the time your have overstayed in Far East. Shell itself is a very Good company.
I would say “Mohd. Yusuf” it is you that has a very large chip on your shoulder, as I say perhaps because of less than average performances that have caught up on you. As I said, there are many excellent Malaysians and many that have reached the highest levels within Shell. These include chairman of Shell Companies in Malaysia, SSB & SSPC. The “recolonization” statement is merely that of someone who has failed at the workplace in his own country (or perhaps too much tuak?). You didn’t bother to reply to my factual statement that Malaysian Chinese were held back during the enforced Bumiputra first dictate. There are so many opportunities for GOOD performers in Shell, Exxon, Petronas etc. – you likely do not reach that level and hence you shot at the distant past by trying to blame expats in the companies.
As an aside Donovan does this website now make money? – I notice the gradual encroachment of adverts down the left hand-side.
Advertising revenue do not cover the cost of one server – we use two, but nonetheless, is welcome. So no, it does not make make money, but I am happy to continue funding it unless you insist on chipping in to make sure we generate lots of ongoing coverage for our Irish friends.
LondonLad, you must have retired after your tropic years in Far East. You smell like a colonial snob during my grandpa time. Many Asians have left after Shell globalized. This is another of recolonising us. Fortunately our national oil companies are getting very smart. They help stop all our easy oil money from flowing out.
The key words in your response Donovan are “have been” covered in the mainstream press. They no longer are at the moment. Secondly I thought that a person or company were innocent until proven guilty under UK and Irish law. My point is that this website and a few others think the law is the other way round. Shell has not until now been required to defend itself in court despite all the hollering of this website.
Any further mainstream news media coverage will depend on the outcome of the current investigation by the Police Ombudsman. The key item of evidence is an OSSL invoice for over €43,000 (with VAT) that I have published on numerous occasions stretching to almost a year ago. It contains detailed information, including the names of Shell employees/managers and the names of specific police officers, including Chief Superintend John Gilligan who helped unload the free alcohol. Strange that none of these named individuals have issued defamation proceedings against me. Strange that Shell has refused to state that the invoice is fake. Strange that despite two investigations by Shell and two investigation by the Irish police, prior to the current investigation by the Ombudsman, no one has branded the invoice as being fake or taken action against OSSL on that basis. So we await the conclusion of the current inquiry that commonsense suggests must either end with action being taken against Shell for corruption, or against OSSL for fraud, forgery and perjury. The invoice is either fake in which case OSSL is in the dock, or its not, in which case Shell is in the mire.
To “Mohd Yusuf” (and to an extent “AsiaDragon”) having worked in the Far East there are certainly many excellent Malaysian and Chinese staff working for Shell – a good number have reached very senior levels within the company. Some have headed Shell companies in the Far East. I fear however that, particularly Mohd Yusuf has a problem with his performance (bypassed, not really up to the required level??) and then blames it on the company / expats etc. If indeed you have a problem with Shell then apply to Petronas or some other local / international company in Malaysia. This is what happens in the UK – wake up and smell the coffee and stop blaming the expats for your inadequacies. Let’s face the fact Mohd Yusuf the Chinese were severely restricted in their advancement through Shell, Petronas and other companies because of the Bumiputra requirements. Was this fair considering that many Chinese with a far superior performance than the Bumiputra were held back??
Well OSSL / Rooney (any relation?) / Donovan – seems like it’s the same old (non) story from you lot. No substance, no conviction in the court, just tabloid sensationalism over a story (fiction or otherwise) that still doesn’t reach the mainstream newspapers here. Sure the local rag still hangs on to the story, as does this website, but surely if Shell was anywhere near to being guilty even the Irish courts would have started the prosecution process. Still like seeing that sole scruffy student with his placard in your oft repeated photograph!!
PLEASE SEE THIS ARTICLE
Perhaps you would like to see another photo, not as clear, but plenty of protestors, although probably none complying with your strict dress code see below. As I have told you before, the OSSL allegations have been covered in the mainstream press – The Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Irish Times, among others and on Irish TV and Radio. The investigation by the Irish Police Ombudsman is still in progress. I supplied evidence to the chief investigating officer last week. The Irish Justice Ministry and the Irish Police are in such disarray, its difficult to know what is going to happen next.
An ethical blind eye at KPMG and Shell just cracked open a little… new Commissioner in Ireland will want answers regarding jail threats for alcohol delivery company wrongly vilified in Shell Garda booze joint venture.
Hi …just been asked by Shell why we continue to flog a dead horse …we replied that we didn’t see them as a dead horse and that it is our firm belief that an honest man or woman with clout in that giant orginisation will step forward and arrest this ethical meltdown on the Corrib Gas Project #shellethicalmeltdown
Your ChinaDaily extract on Shell investing in Sichuan is out of date. Huibert Vigeveno, Mr Chairman please wake up. Wonder when are all your Chinese Ministry visits bearing real investment and projects. Don’t just do these shows to get your next progression to the Excom. What about local staff future and Shell long term future in China.
CashAllGone, are you saying the Shell expat JGB n A etc allow this to happen. Then Shell might as well use local Jg9 to do the job.
to Mohd Yusuf: what contracting strategy is there to form if Petronas just dictates which yard is the next in the queue to get the project?
Shellwaarbenjijnu n Relieved. The Gumusut kakap project award is the brainchild of Shell PnT led by Mathias B. It’s managed by a group of expats who don’t know how to develop contract strategy in a developing country environment like Malaysia. Some just come for three years to get their promotion and leave to a new job with promotion. Look at Hendrik Snyman, he put this experience in his CV and got a VP CP job in an oil and gas company in Australia. Many qualified Malaysian who challenged this has left because this mess.
@Relieved – you have hit the nail on the head and the sorry “hands off” approach (even as operator) appears to have been adopted in Malaysia with the Gumusut Kakap development. The contract was let to a Malaysian contractor with no experience of executing such a large project with the predictable result of quality issues, delay, rework, cost escalation, loss of production (revenue). All in the name of not upsetting a Malaysian bumi putra contractor with strong poitical connections (ownership?)
“The contract for construction of the FPS has been awarded to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC). The FPS is being constructed at MISC’s fabrication facility in Johor, Malaysia. The engineering, procurement, construction and load-out contract for the topsides and hull of the FPS was awarded to Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering.”
Your Shell Executive is playing the game still. Nobody’s bothered about 200 plus cops sharing 27k of alcohol, he wants to divert your gaze from the real matter ie..silencing the Garda and vilifying the messenger they sent to do their bidding. Your still very sharp London Lad, you have us all fooled, or do you?
I don’t think there is any devious intent on the part of LondonLad. He simply thinks its all overblown and does not matter even if the allegations are true.
To LondonLad: This is my basic bitch with RDS management on Kashagan and other projects. RDS KNEW the Italians were not up to the job, and they KNEW there were potential contractor performance issues, and they KNEW what the consequences of bungling the engineering and construction operations could be. Yet they sat around sucking their thumbs, picking their noses and scratching their dirty butts and did nothing proactive to avoid the a predictable end result. That is deliberate misconduct on their part and the shareholders of the company should demand their heads. There is no excuse for this kind of (mis)managementof shareholder assets. None.
Your photo merely proves my statement : few people are interested in the booze to Irish cops tabloid reporting / subject. One scruff with a placard ……. Wow I’m very impressed.
PLEASE SEE THIS ARTICLE
Perhaps you would like to see another photo, not as clear, but plenty of protestors, although probably none complying with your strict dress code.
What’s up with the current reorganization? It seems that people over 50 years of age are targeted for release and VERY inexperienced but young people are retained. Is this tolerated by a company who claims to be upright and to respect people?
I have been reflecting on the revealing recent comment by a former Royal Dutch Shell senior executive known on this website as “LondonLad” in which he trivialised the serious allegations that Shell has corrupted the Irish police by giving free booze to hundreds of officers alleged to be “Shell’s Cops.” This is what he said on the subject: “For those Irish who want a tipple – so what. Probably less than 0.01% of the UK / Irish population give a damn about the project and the alleged giving of some booze to the Irish police. Get over it and move on…” That is an indication of his regard for Shell’s much trumpeted Business Principles and for anti-corruption laws.
They main problem is (more so with motiva) is there are so many management people, that hiring freezes are imposed, which will not allow people to be brought in for the actual operations positions. Also many cases of “jobs” being created for certain managers when the locations they were employed were sold off, or closed. In short, too many chiefs, and not enough Indians!
LondonLad: Given the health risks associated with the accidental release of Hydrogen Sulphide, and the effects of Hydrogen Sulphide embrittlement on the strength of steel, I would have thought that is would be an area of great interest to partners. Hydrogen Sulphide gas is toxic at concentrations as low as just ten parts per million.
London Lad and all on Corrib. OSSL served Corrib well as is confirmed by current CEO in writing. In 2010 OSSL took a small confidential (at Shells insistence ) problem to the then CEO in Ireland. The CEO failed to cure the problem, three leading players on Corrib bit the dust because of the nature of the problem …a sweep up team were put in place but failed to cure the OSSL problem choosing instead to freeze them and hope for silence …the cops booze is only a tiny part of the problem ..but it’s the headline getter …we are not checking on Shells morality we are demanding some integrity from them. This won’t go away till cured .
Of course it’s a large and expensive project – I have never denied this. What I have said, and you still refuse to accept, is the level of detail that is required to be followed / checked by the non-operators. Individual weldings would be very very unusual for a non-operator to check on.
To LondonLad: Is not Kashagan a ‘large’ and ‘expensive’ project ?? If any project deserved meticulous oversight by Shell technical staff this one most surely did. Shell management screwed the pooch on this project. I have nothing further do add other than that someone needs to walk the plank over this.
Well “Relieved” that makes two of us who have worked in a similar Shell environment (operations also included in my case). Your examples of Shell staff “duplicating” the operators work is / was indeed the case for many of the large / costly projects. However, you miss my point about how far this type of “duplicate” work went. Checking individual welding work was not expected (neither was light bulb maintenance & toilet cleanliness). I say again that those with an agenda about Shell seem to attack them at every twist and turn, even if Shell had very little input into a problem or potential problem.
“OSSL” I am interested in our planet. I am also interested in moving the planet forward for our children. The small number of Irish complaining about the Corrib project clearly don’t want progress. For those Irish who want a tipple – so what. Probably less than 0.01% of the UK / Irish population give a damn about the project and the alleged giving of some booze to the Irish police. Get over it and move on (or back in your case). Still no court case for Shell on this eh!! Yes Donovan there may well have been a meeting concerning OSSL but the numbers were no doubt very small (as you yourself have shown in the past with a few scruff bags demonstrating the issue). Quoting the extreme left wing newspapers (Observer & Guardian) does not inspire me at all – they have a major problem with accepting anything that big business does.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN:
Perhaps you have not noticed, but people standing around in the wind at the Shell Centre for hours at a time, handing out leaflets, do not tend to worry too much about sartorial elegance. As to the number of people in attendance at the meeting, that is pure speculation on your part. Many Shell to Sea events have involved large numbers of protestors. Not dressed to the standard you require, but making their strong feelings known, as they are legally entitled to do. Freedom of speech, human rights, all those dreadful left wing ideals promoted by The Guardian and The Observer. Is that why you find these great newspapers so objectionable?
Some photographs of “Shell to Sea” protest events are displayed below. If the photos were larger you could get some idea of the not inconsiderable numbers in attendance.
To LondonLad: When I worked at Shell I worked upstream exploration. I have news for you. On critical wildcats we would virtually duplicated the efforts of our partners and their vendors. That meant having geologists, etc., on site looking over the shoulders and duplicating the work of the operators staff and their contractors staff. We would supervise and modify their proposed logging operations, and we would do our own evaluations of those logs, and we would submit our own recommendations to the operating company management independent of what their staff would recommend. We would submit our own completion and testing recommendations. Sometimes we agreed, often we did not. And when we did not we ALWAYS got our way. To put it bluntly, our people were more competent and better at their jobs than those working for our partners. In short Shell paid to have their staff involved up to their ‘elbows and assholes’. And it made a HUGE difference on a number of occasions. In one case we actually went back and twinned some exploration wells that had been abandoned as ‘dry’. We got 5 new gas fields and about a 1/2 TCF of natural gas in that case. We also got about 15 mm bbls of condensate. Keeping a close eye on our contractors was a very cost effective way to operate, and it paid off handsomely to do so. Don’t feed me your standard line of lazy, ignorant middle level management crap. You were obviously never involved in operations. Like I have said more than once, at one time Shell was a well run company. That day however, has long since passed into the pages of history. The company is in the hands of pretenders and dilettantes now.
Comment by John Donovan.
Added the above photo of Marvin Odum, Director of Upstream Americas, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. For some reason, his image came to mind after reading the last sentence of the posting.
Hi London Lad …who ever you are …perhaps no interest on “your” planet in the Corrib debacle but there is a good appetite for the matter amongst shareholders who witnessed Vosers discomfort at the last AGM …there are twelve very serious questions SHELL cannot afford to address in an honest manner.
OSSL EMAIL SENT TODAY TO SHELL EXECUTIVES, INCLUDING CEO BEN VAN BEURDEN.
….be prepared for the AGM …….unless you request differently ………
1:..you did instruct the alcohol supply …………….
2:..you did disguise the landowners favours …………
3:..you did demand falsification of police statement …
4:..you did send KPMG to frighten a vendor ………….
5:..you did gift an employee tennis courts ………….
6:..you did hold a meeting about disguised favours …..
7:..you did state that your actions were immoral …….
8:..you did arrange the handover of the alcohol ……..
9:..you did tell OSSL they would never work again ……
10:.you did operate a system called Jacintas garden ….
11:.you did vilify an innocent vendor ………………
12:.you did act without integrity ………………….
Have to agree with “Cash All Gone” as no partner in my 30 years in the oil industry has even gone down to the rivet welding level in checking the operators work. Indeed “Relieved” Shell did and still does second staff into an operators organization but certainly isn’t expected to check welding, light bulb maintenance, toilet cleanliness etc. etc. Of course as ever this silly story has been blown out of all proportions on this website by the usual tabloid reporting and add-ons, so don’t get too worked up “C-A-G”. For “Apprin” your comment that “competency is NOT recognized” is often the case – from the person himself / herself. The problem with humans is that they invariably have a much higher opinion of their competency / performance compared to others. I guess that you are one of those for the chop and merely don’t like it. Finally to the eternal moaner “OSSL” it seems that you together with Donovan are just about the only persons on this planet interested in this old story. No criminal charges and likely none in the future. Just enjoy your 6-Nations win and get on with your life of Guinness.
REPLY TO LONDONLAD BY JOHN DONOVAN:
Your timing is a bit off at the moment. Earlier this month you complained when I linked Shell to events in Ukraine. My article was the first to do so and was followed by numerous articles making the same connection. Now you say that OOSL and “Donovan” are just about the only persons on this planet interested in the OSSL allegations against Shell. On Sunday, a public meeting held in Ireland, streamed live on the Internet, discussed a number of issues including the OSSL allegations. One of the panel, Ed Vulliamy, the senior Observer/Guardian journalist, referred without any legal caveat, to Shell buying $70,000 of booze for the cops at Christmas. He read out correspondence he had with the Garda and his discussions with Shell officials. One Shell official threatened on the one hand to sue OSSL for defamation, while on the other declining to make an outright denial that OSSL allegations were true. He also made a strange comment that it would be best if the story was not published. The Observer/Guardian editors had the courage to ignore what could be construed as an implied threat and published the story. The entire video of the public meeting can be viewed online – the segment about OSSL/Corrib starts at about 28 mins. Furthermore, the Garda Ombudsman inquiry into OSSL allegations is still in progress. So, as much as you and Shell might wish otherwise, this story is current and ongoing. Mr Vulliamy, a friend of mine, also makes forthright comments about Shell’s ghastly conduct in Nigeria. An article about the public meeting was published on 18 March 2014 by The Irish Times.
REPLY TO LONDONLAD BY JOHN DONOVAN:
To Outsider: the difference is that as shareholder you buy a share in an incorporated entity with its own legal ‘personality’, while very often (like Macondo) these are unincorporated entities – basically just partnerships where 1 partner is assigned to operate/execute on behalf. The other partners provide assurance and due diligence, but I still have to see the first time that a non-operating partner, without good cause, will dig to the detail of verifying weld NDT test certificates.
To CashAllGone: there is a big difference between a shareholder and a partner in a project – a shareholder has no right to interfere with the day to day operations of a company in which they hold shares, and has no responsibility beyond the value of his shares if things go wrong. However, a partner in an E&P venture has far greater responsibilities. Why do you think that Mitsui and Anadarko (as partners of BP) were liable for a share of the costs of Macondo?
Shell is currently going through a reorganization scam that is simply a legal way of discriminating against anyone over a particular age and also as a way of assuring that the good-old-boy network is alive and well.
Age discrimination has been alleged and the H.R. division has put it to bed neatly while telling outright lies to complainants regarding the H.R. “investigation” results. Managers are not accountable for ruining the reputation of competent employees. Competency is NOT recognized; however, past relationships are the key to advancement by inexperienced and unethical managers. Skilled personnel are assigned tasks that keep them out of recognition while particular employees are synthetically elevated by managers.
Shell is begging for litigation in the most recent “reorganization” in the U.S.
To CashAllGone: Back in my day at Shell it was not uncommon for Shell to assign staff directly to a project for the purpose of keeping an eye on their investment, giving advice to their partners and contractors, wanted or not, and also to raise hell when things were not being done properly. As a partner in a project Shell has every right to do just that, and it is up to Shell management to insure that their money is being spent wisely. In engineering the ‘devil is truly in the details’ and it is far better to do the job right the first time than to go back and fix a cock-up. I spent a good deal of my time at Shell traveling the world doing just that. But the old Shell is dead, and such is life.
To Outsider: there is a large difference between having procedures and following procedures. I am quite sure that all relevant procedures were in place, but they probably were not followed… How can a non-operating partner/shareholder reasonably go into that detail. It’s like any Shell shareholder being to blame for what the conpany does wrong… And remember jn what country this is – probably the “independent” inspector was getting drunk instead of inspecting and just stamping whatever was put in front of him… By the way, my understanding is that the gas in the line was not sour yet, but just sweet gas to get the system going – sour gas would only be introduced once thr whole system was up&runninf smoothly due to the dangers of high H2S content…
To CashAllGone: The partners in a development have the right of access to as much information as they need and since Shell is investing billions of dollars of it’s shareholders’ funds in Kashagan, it has a fiduciary duty to ensure an adequate level of oversight. Standard QA/QC and HSE procedures should have prevented the substandard welds from going undetected especially since it was known that the pipeline would be exposed to Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)
To Relieved: it’s easy to try to live in a digital world – 1 or 0, on or off, while the real world is analog and has a whole spectrum in between… I tries to give you factual information, but I see that it is not worth the effort… Good luck and have fun…
Hi Relieved …on the matter of self serving underlings ..
Shell trying to declare that top management booze senders on Shell Corrib didn’t actually work for Shell ..our lawyer put them right on that …and they backed off and blamed us for carrying out a Shell instruction …integrity zero.
To Cashallgone: Ah yes, failure on this project is the fault of the evil and corrupt garlic eaters. How many times have we heard this same old story – Shell management is the victim of its partners, its contractors, its employees, etc., etc., all of whom are crooked, dishonest and incompetent. Failure at Shell is due to saintly management being duped by evil and self serving underlings and hirelings. Shell needs a new story. This one is worn out.
To Relieved: the issue with the CashAllGone pipeline has nothing to do with material selection. By the way, the project was executed under management of ENI, and these Italiam crooks brought in some incompetent Turkish welders who caused a lot of weld defects, which then were attacked by the gas and caused brittle failure. Shell is only involved in the operational phase, and just is a shareholder for execution. If ENI did not ask help, Shell had very little opportunity to get involved…
This is an obscenity. No ifs. No buts. It’s wrong in every way. Former Shell chief paid £22m over two years despite profit warning
Mr Resolution, Peter Voser 22 Million…it must be by agreement ….can we have our booze money now ….also by agreement and supplied by demand of Shell when you were at the helm?
Several news outlets have reported that the recent production shutdowns at the giant Kashagan field in Kazakhstan are related to H2S corrosion and embrittlement issues in the production pipelines. These should never have arisen. RDS is a partner in that project. At one time RDS had a great deal of technical expertise in dealing with gas and oil containing high concentrations of H2S. In the 1970’s and 1980’s Shell USA set the standards for the design of H2S service equipment in the US and elsewhere. These were known as the Shell NACE standards. What has happened? I take it the bean counters at Shell have disposed of its technical brains trust as an ‘unnecessary’ overhead item. I wonder how many billions that decision will now cost the company? The people running this company today are damned fools.
By definition any court record is in the public domain, so you are perfectly within your rights to publish anything that is available from the court system. Historically, obtaining the information was more difficult and required a visit to the court itself but the same rules applied.
Reference the article relating to Iain Percival that I removed at his request, after I offered to do so if he had any objection to its publication. I want to make it plain that the main focus of the article – the correspondence between Mr Percival and Mr Hans Bouman – both senior people at Shell at the time, was not private mail via their own email addresses, but Shell internal correspondence using their designated Shell email addresses. It is for this reason that it was included by Shell lawyers in Shell discovery documents that formed part of the relevant class action litigation process. It is no secret that this website has thrived over the last decade on publishing Shell internal documents and correspondence, whether leaked, obtained via SAR applications to Shell, or sourced from court records. As the activities of Wikileaks and Edward Snowden have shown, no one using the Internet or any Intranet can ever rely that any electronic communication, however confidential or sensitive, will not end up being published for all the world to see and as we now know, captured, analysed and stored in vast data centres by US and UK spooks.
With unreserved apologies if you HAVE gotten his support: I find it very sad that you would decide to publish old documents from Iain, a man whose integrity and dignity you praise. His career concerns, his job applications etc are not something that should be shown around for cheap amusement, and to keep alive your anti-Shell moaning.
Yes this stuff was already in the public domain, but your explanation for publishing essentially says “it was hard to find, so I’ve made it easy for everyone to gawp at it”.
Take the document down, and show some dignity in return.
Again to repeat, if Iain is happy then I apologise, but if not, please remove it.
REPLY FROM JOHN DONOVAN: Hello Stuart. I sent an email to Iain immediately the article was published. I explained why, for legal reasons, I did not send it to him in advance. I offered to modify or delete the article if he so desired. I have now heard from him and honoured my offer to delete it. Since there was no legal issue in relation to Mr Bouman, I did contact him in advance and obtained his consent to publish. For the record, the article has been on the US Court records system for several years available to anyone willing to purchase a copy. Once it was posted online on 10 October 2007 the entire information, including the email correspondence, was no longer private but put into the public domain as a consequence of the litigation. The same applies even to documents marked strictly confidential. I was under no obligation to contact anyone. I obtained the document completely legitimately and was entitled to publish it and a related article without reference to anyone else. I contacted both gentleman out of respect for them. There are very few current or former Shell people who I would treat similarly.
This is Kenneth Mukoro 50 years of Oil and Gas Exploration without compensation, I really appreciate you bring the truth to the world it did good, I will be willing send some information on the internet of the activities of Shell here in Nigeria, SPDC Completes 8th Nigerian Oil Mining Lease Sale, the said lease expired some years ago but it faied to renew it leaving the communities to suffer the Oil and Gas exploration without compensation.
For those interested in history Finland was part of Mother Russia prior to WW1. Russia lost Finland (or the Bolsheviks gave it away)as part of the peace settlement after the Great Revolution. Who knows ? Maybe Putin will take his emulation of Herr Hitler to an extreme and invade Finland. Stalin tried it before WW2 and got a huge kick in the backside. He then split Poland with Hitler and managed to keep a big chunk of it after the war. However, if it were not for the Germans Stalin would have succeeded in Finland. History can be quite interesting at time. I wonder if anyone out there in BlogLand has access to a psychological profile on Comrade Putin they would like to share (are able to share) with the rest of us ?? I am certain it would be fascinating reading. Putin is quite a throwback to the bad old days.
Shell CANADA and VALERO are in the process of “framing” a sales agreement for all downstream assets
Not hollering (that seems your forte at the moment) Donovan merely making the point that too often you adopt the tabloid approach when reporting on Shell, that is picking and choosing comments from other articles (often from the left wing Guardian newspaper), bundling up those that are most negative about Shell (very often ignoring the positives in the same article) and making it into a dramatic headline about Shell. I realise you have an alleged gripe against Shell but as the years have progressed your venom gets worse and worse, as I say like a cancer. There are many other anti-Shell nodding donkeys that attack them – some with justification. However, as I have asked 3 or 4 of them, some repeatedly, “did you make your concerns known to the company when you were working for them” – none have said yes. Clearly these, like yourself have a gripe (e.g. maybe forced early retirement?) but don’t care to admit it. Some of the ranting about Shell & Corrib, Shell & price fixing still haven’t progressed very far. Why? Perhaps there’s nothing in the story. Your story on Moody-Stuart and the attack on him viz Brent Spar abandonment is yet another example of your tabloid reporting – sure Greenpeace “thought it unwise” but, as is often the case with Greenpeace, based on fictitious numbers – did I see that added in the headline? No. Now breathe deeply and count to 10……..
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN:
Basically you accused me of exploiting the Ukrainian situation by linking it to Shell. You came unstuck because of the number of subsequent articles making the same linkage. Shame you won’t admit it. As to what you say about me taking a tabloid approach and focussing on the negative, is it not naive for you to expect a gripe site aimed at Shell to take any other course of action. If you want a positive spin on all things Shell, then visit shell.com and read their press releases. If readers are interested in a counterbalancing approach, then hopefully we provide it. Please also bear in mind that we publish all kinds of articles about Shell, whether containing positive or negative information. I have no objection to being linked to the Guardian. It is as you correctly describe it, a left wing newspaper, but nonetheless an essential read to form a balanced view of world events. Personally, I think its a great newspaper, as are some titles perceived as being at the other end of the political spectrum. No, early retirement was not forced on me. I was never a Shell employee. As to the ongoing investigations into the Corrib project and oil price fixing, only time will tell as to the official outcome. I do know that the allegations made by OSSL are genuine. I cannot say the same about the allegations of oil price fixing. I simply do not know. Turning to Mark Moody-Stuart, I have not made any comment about him for some time. The comments you refer to were made in the Guardian article, not by me. I repeat, you are blaming me for comments I never made. Contrary to your assertion, it was not my story. With regards to who is getting over-excited, other visitors can read your comments and mine and make their own judgement. In my view, you need to spend a little more time pondering on the issues and establishing facts before posting comments.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN:
LondonLad, you started hollering far too quickly about me linking Royal Dutch Shell with unfolding events in Ukraine. My article was the first to do so and others have followed since then, including articles by Reuters, Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times. I would suggest that before making a fool of yourself again, you should perhaps reflect more carefully on a relevant subject before getting over-excited and posting a comment that backfires so spectacularly.
VALERO is in discussions with SHELL CANADA to acquire downstream assets in 2015
With regard to the latest crisis in the Ukraine – It is true that many pipelines pass through Ukrainian territory. It is also true that the Ukraine is an incredibly rich agricultural region. It is also true that the eastern portion of the Ukraine has a large population of ethnic Russians, a result of many decades of Soviet occupation. If Putin gets a wild hair up his gazoo I would anticipate he would try to annex that portion of the Ukraine east of the Dnieper River. This would give him the Crimean peninsula and the industrial heartland of Ukraine, including the former Soviet closed city of Dnipropetrovsk.This city was a key nuclear weapons, aerospace, and weapons development center, which is why it was closed. It was also the home of Soviet ballistic missile design and fabrication bureaus. The Ukraine was also where many Soviet ICBM’s were based. And now it may be that the Ukraine is sitting on a treasure trove of natural gas. So, there is a reason why Putin (and Shell) has such an attachment to the Ukraine.
LondonLad: So glad you have returned. Your incisive and objective analysis is so ‘original’ and interesting. Keep up the good work !!!
Wow Donovan your latest “article” titled “Royal Dutch Shell uncertainty in Ukraine” clearly shows your hatred of Shell has taken over like a cancer. Trying to attach the name of Shell to everything that springs to mind with this terrible conflict, and previous Shell activities, shows you need to pop along to the clinic for some medication. Reply to LondonLad by John Donovan: You may not like what is stated, but it is all true. I have added several words to the paragraph about Vosers surprise resignation. I am not the only news publisher to see the link between events in Ukraine and the implications for Royal Dutch Shell and energy supplies for the EU. See “Ukrainian Unrest Has These Eight Energy Companies On Edge.” And: This Is The Gas Pipeline Map That Shows Why The Crisis In Ukraine Affects All Of Europe. For the record, I do not hate Shell nor anyone who has ever worked for Shell. I do however believe that it is wrong for Shell to pretend that it operates within an ethical code when that clearly is not the case. In my experience Shell is a ruthless, predatory, unprincipled company that prefers cover-up to transparency. Shell closed its Tell Shell discussion forum years ago – hence your regular postings here, not on shell.com. Finally, I find some of your comments offensive and displaying the characteristics of a troll, since you continue to make personal remarks while hiding behind an alias.
I have been tracking some very odd political contributions from Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron in the Ukraine. Almost seems like they were the big money behind the recent political unrest. Have you guys done the same? I traced two political parties and several prominent politicians to Shell Oil contributions.
It’s ironic that the story of the fire at the Convent refinery is posted adjacent to Bill Campbell’s article about Prelude. If it can happen in a refinery such as Convent or Texas City, it can certainly happen on board a ship.
Just a reply to the so called negativity. I think I stress that without risk taking man would still be living in caves. As far as FLNG I was involved as a Gamechanger member in RTS in the late 90’s in approval of seed funding for the project which I very much want to succeed. The article is essentially about design philosophy related to risk on what are very special industrial plants handling hazardous substances (offshore installations) and the paradox about what would be acceptable in a planning application on land compared to what is done in international waters on the high sea.
I believe the period of highest risk likely to be during the initial start up, chilling the tanks etc, in 24 years of design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of offshore installations I cannot recall everything going by the book, there is always something waiting to bite you on the bum. On a Cormorant Alpha, or a Brent Charlie, there were mechanisms, rapid blow down etc to get rid of the heat energy, but not on Prelude.
If it has a problem over the years my bet would be that it was not related directly to loss of LNG but gas from the front end process or from the supply of gas that routes way back to the utilities to feed the 6 boiler plants. It’s often the less sexy plant that causes the start of the domino effect. For example, in 2004 in Algeria an explosion in a steam boiler triggered a second more massive vapour cloud explosion and fire. The explosion and fire destroyed a portion of the LNG plant causing 27 deaths and 74 injuries ad material damage well outside the plant boundaries. This plant covered several square miles, workers could escape on all points of the compass, but still you have these catastrophic events, not many granted, but if the cat gets out of the bag, it can be very unforgiving, especially on the limited confines of an offshore installation. This is not negativity, its just fact. The risk matrix for Prelude will have taken this into account, so in summary, the potential loss of offshore is higher than for land plants, but even on land loss of life can be considerable. Prelude has 6 boilers, driving steam turbines, with AC Alternators producing some 100 MW, its quite a show on the utility side also.
Very happy to be a Shell shareholder and that Shell ranks top for dividends payouts. Also great to see that Shell ranks in the top 20 brand names in the UK – despite the efforts of negative nodding donkeys on this website.
Believe it or not Peter Rees
was very alarmed about the Corrib story and the cover up did not sit well with him as a man of great integrity .
John ..Re your excellent site we must declare if it wasn’t for you we would have no voice …let me tell you that the power of Shells dirty tricks department in Ireland is a marvellous sight to behold. The two most alarming items being investigated by the police GSOC overseer are Shells demands by CEO no less to falsify a police statement to protect a police officer and Shells covert gifting of alcohol to the police that were ensuring free passage to the Corrib site at land and sea, have for no good explanation dropped off the radar at GSOC ..when we asked the current CEO for a status report on both these very important matters (assuming integrity is still important to Shell) we were told by the door man at Irish HQ to take the matter up with the Minister for Justice as Crothers (CEO) did not know the answer …perhaps John we could ask the Minister through your platform?
Deltaic, is it negativity or a careful assessment by an acknowledged expert who has self-evidently given considerable thought to the relevant issues? We want to move forward but surely with proper consideration of offshore HSE issues, not with a cavalier attitude that costs lives e.g. the “Touch F*** All” approach to employee safety on Shell North Sea platforms exposed by the audit team led by Bill Campbell. Shell routinely falsified maintenance records. Bill’s warnings were not properly acted upon and platform workers lost their lives in a subsequent explosion for which Shell received a record-breaking fine. Please also note that we publish articles/comments from Shell related experts irrespective of whether the content is positive or negative. I hope that Iain Percival, the retired Global Chief Petroleum Engineer of Shell International, may enter this debate as I would be very interested in his comments. As to this website being anti-RDS, I would argue that we have provided over the last year a more accurate picture of Royal Dutch Shell than has been projected by Shell’s own website. We want Royal Dutch Shell executives to act at all times in accordance with Shell General Business Principles, which include the claimed core principles of honesty, integrity, openness and respect for people in all of Shell’s dealings. This is surely not an unreasonable ambition given that the principles were devised by Shell, are promoted by Shell and are supposedly current and binding on all Shell operations everywhere. In other words, we are only asking Shell executives to do what they already claim to be doing. If they had abided by the ethical code the reserves scandal would not have occurred. Finally, we provide the one and only Internet forum for free and open debate about RDS and related matters which incidentally enabled you to express your views. Shell closed down its own forum – Tell Shell – after being caught secretly censoring critical comments, after claiming it was uncensored.
Come on Campbell, if we all adopted your negativity to progress (yes with some associated risks) we’d still be walking with our knuckles dragging along the floor. Fortunately all the attacks from this anti-RDS website won’t stop Shell progressing.
With regard to the Prelude project I suspect that RDS management has forgotten about Murphy’s law. And this project is a ripe target for the laws of Mr. Murphy. He will raise his ugly head, you can bet your life on it. However, I would advise against betting the lives of the crew of this unique mega- barge on it.
Excellent article which very clearly puts the finger on the sore spot! As a seasoned and most senior HSE auditor you are in the best position to reflect on these points. If I still would be working I would make your article compulsory reading for any HSE or Audit course. Budding HSE and audit professionals can learn from you.
After all my years in Shell, I know of no projects in our business that have not suffered from pinhole leaks, corrosion, faulty software, poor or wrongly executed design and maintenance, etc etc. Any of these occurrences should be de-escalated quickly if the proper systems and processes are in place. Yet, things do go wrong and on a vessel like the Prelude, the potential for rapid escalation of the problem is real.
The PLL appears to have been massaged low enough on paper and so the decision makers can wash their hands in innocence if something goes wrong. With a project of this magnitude and complexity (a Moonshot or an Elephant in Shell speak?), there is only one spot where the ultimate decision to proceed is taken and that is right at the very top.
Shell used to take pride in the fact that if a project did not pass the business principles, it just would not get done. The Prelude project does not involve corrupt governments or pressure from the USA to not get involved. So the top of Shell can relax, nothing stands in the way of their business principles anymore, only some mere technical challenges. However, the business principles cover more than corruption and environmental issues. Health and Safety are also very important matters in these principles.
Perhaps it should have been decided to call this a stranded asset and not book the reserves. But we all know how important booking of reserves is!
The top of Shell consists of very smart people so they must have considered this. And then to trust the advice of the technical side after all the problems over the past 10-15 years with major projects, as frequently reported on this site of Donovan, is – to put it mildly – quite courageous. Maybe they felt like Kennedy: ‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, ’. But Kennedy was a politician with different goals. Politicians do not drill wells and develop oilfield projects!
Or Shell should have come clean and admit that this is a trial and first of a series where we will learn from mistakes in order to develop otherwise stranded assets. Now that would be real courageous!
To Bill C: You wonder if at board level the risks of Prelude are understood? Must be rhetorical, because you know as well as I do that management at the top is mainly by sound bites and assurances by other lower ranking staff members. Each level going up has a benefit in portraying the project in the best possible light. Safety concerns are at best noted down but “extreme views” are never tolerated. The principle of ALARP is one of the most misused safety concepts around. It is fair to assume that many people worked parts of Prelude and that components are reasonably safe. It is also fair to assume that nobody understands the total aggregate risk of all these components together. Irrespective of all the massive QRAs produced. Prelude is a fantastic undertaking, let’s hope it is not a similar tale as Babel tower, overreaching and the end of a huge empire.
Nexus – You are essentially correct. Actually, RDS management’s first obligation is good stewardship of their shareholders investment. That is what they are hired and paid to do. That is life in the real world. As long as management does not break the law then there can be no real complaints. Political policy issues are matters for national governments. If RDS gets in bed with, say the Iranians, then that is another matter. Iran is effectively at war with Israel, and management is ‘aiding and abetting’. Like it or not. At that point management risks some sort of retaliation. That retaliation can come in any form – political, economic, military, etc. Talking those sorts of unnecessary risks is most probably not very good stewardship of shareholder assets, legal or not.
Earthquake in the middle of the Bristol Channel – must be the result of fracking in the vicinity……. oh no of course its hundreds of miles from any fracking facility!! By the way “Relieved” you really do twaddle about RDS being anti-semitic by linking it to Woodside. Nothing to correlate there, just a very sensible business decision.
Relieved – don’t think there is much to choose between all of them. Israel has treated the civilians in the West Bank appallingly. Saudi operates a Sharia law that has little focus on justice and Qatar likes to support radical groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. When you add the ego-politics on top it becomes even harder to work out where to invest and where not for your shareholders who want a return.
To answer the question – ‘Is RDS still anti-semitic ??’ you need only watch how RDS management reacts to Woodside Pet.’s decision. We all know RDS behaved shamelessly on this question during the 1930’s and 1940’s. One might argue they were looking down the wrong end of a gun barrel at that time. Literally. Today that is not the case. Given that the Saudi’s are their business partners in Motiva, and that in Qatar they are joint business partners with the local government one might say they are looking down the wrong end of an ‘economic’ gun barrel today. Ho Hum. Life is so full of difficult choices. You can either do the right thing or the wrong thing. In Shell’s case, how Shell reacts will be determined by the quality of senior management’s character. And I think we all know that, in general, that is not worth a bucket full of warm spit. Ho Hum. What is new ?
@Raymond: my commiserations! I escaped the open offices until my retirement. Each time rooms needed to be shared from a certain jobgroup level I made a promotion and had a room to myself. I remember that in 1977 or thereabouts Don Schaefer was the great mover and shaker behind the introduction of open offices. Everyone was against and revolts were imminent, so he lined up a fact finding team of 7 senior people (all jg 1-2 department heads) plus the junior project engineer (jg5) who had to execute the plan, to visit several open offices in Germany. Except for the project engineer they all travelled first class as was the rule on business travel for jg3+. They came back and had to say it was good, provided you built the offices first class. Otherwise it would be a disaster. (They all lied, but arms were twisted…).
In the end BSP succumbed and had a disastrous open office. Rats running along the beams in the ceiling. Few people could concentrate on the work. Managers had their own office.
All capitulated to the gurus and consultants who kept selling the open office space. Then came the roaring 90s and SIEP went open office. Even jg UN (Tiny Tim, may his smoking soul RIP) were sitting in open offices. At around the same time Shell started to go quickly down the drain. Could there be a correlation with open offices?
Sickness leave goes up sharply in open offices. They are good for teamwork in some industries where people have to share ideas and emotions like advertising firms or media companies. It is fine for a short while when people have to get to know each other. But once you start to do some complex engineering and thinking, you need a quiet environment. For HR it is fine, this is simple and routine work.
The Norwegians understood it, they had nice open plan offices and for each a very small office you could sit in if you needed to think.
I genuinely feel sorry for all the people who are forced to do intelligent work in a substandard open office environment.
Poor Raymond, we have been sitting in open office for more than two years. A JG B is also sitting next to us. All in the pretext of cost saving!
Well we moved into the new buildings in Houston. What an utter disappointment. If this is the new face of Shell (small cubes, no privacy and poor working conditions ) then I can see Shell having problems attracting top people. How many top students want to work in a 6×6 cube while the head of HR lives in his glass palace? Nice one Bruce
To Kangaroo: How perceptive. It is more than an ‘impression’.
There was a day, long ago, when Shell USA had talented management and staff. That day is now in the dark and dim distant past, just a fading memory and the stuff of myth and legend.
Looks like Shell Canada is secretly trying to sell its RETAIL sites to a 3rd party grocery chain.
“Relieved” , in Australia, we don’t have the impression the Shell boys know what they are doing. In Arrow, everything they touch, the cost more than double. They seem to be using offshore deep water technology to drill simple onshore well. It’s almost three years since they acquired Arrow, they are still not producing. No wonder, their Chinese Partner is getting impatient.
I don’t agree that the US is ‘over-drilled’ and ‘over – fracked’. What I do know is that Shell USA was asleep at the switch and missed out on the best tight gas and oil plays. By the time they woke up the best acreage had all been leased. So, all Shell could do is rummage about for the scraps. And that acreage is indeed over-drilled and over-fracked given that there is little to exploit.
Old EP Hand is spot on. When I was with Shell USA the most remarkable thing about the company was how quickly the best and brightest were identified and marginalized by mediocre management. These talented people left the company almost as quickly. And the rest is history.
EP Old hand, you said it all. It is the basic strategy of divide and rule. It is also threatening to have someone smarter than you.
Londonlad and Asia Dragon:
Perhaps I can add my two pennies worth on the debate of diversity.
Asia Dragon is right when he speaks of the Chinese (and a small portion of Indians). They are as a group the smartest and hardest working people in the world. But they should realise there are many that cannot keep up with their pace and attitude.
And the lad (welcome back!) is right on Din Megat. I know him very well and he used to be a really nice person and able engineer. But then there was pressure from the authorities to promote locals. He seemed a safe bet but really had reached his limit as a Chief PE. He knew this himself and wanted more time before promotions. But this was not allowed so he went into survival mode and started bleating MBA jargon and had no time anymore for his underlings. The same can be said for Joshua Udofia. Nice guy and acceptable since he was from a small tribe. And what about George Omene, as a junior engineer he kept the oil flowing during the civil war. Nice guy but not really an intellectual and everyone who knows him knows also all the stories… All true too.
Before Shell talked about diversity, we used to really have diversity of thought and behaviour. Just look at some of the characters in KSEPL. Totally
unmanageable, but often with great ideas that led to breakthroughs. And we were leading the whole EP business in technology.
Then came the period where diversity became fashionable and it went out of the window. Token women (full of testosterone) blazed the way in (and soon out again). Genuinely good locals like Tan Ek Kia, Abdallah Lamki, Egbert Imomoh just were not allowed to reach the top. Lame excuses like: ‘not allowed by their government’ were often used. The American managers knew how to handle diversity: as long as it looked OK and you could manipulate them it was fine. Anyone with original ideas was removed quickly. Few countries are as hypocritical as the USA so they are forgiven. It is in their genes.
And from the outside things started to look more diverse in numbers. Women, other nationalities etc etc. But they all have the same mindset and diversity of thought is efficiently repressed. The fact that HR staff, Legal people and imported politicians are making careers is meaningless in a highly technological company.
You get the Hofmeisters of this world talking about Exploration and Production as if he knows anything about this! And please let nobody start explaining to me that public relations is now so important you cannot leave it to engineers.
Start with getting your marbles together and deliver first class technology and projects on time and within budget. Doing so makes government relations relatively easy. And shareholders will be happy too! Failing to do so soon leads to a downward spiral. I fear we are witnessing this right now.
Read the most recent comments about the Prelude. The comments about ‘rogue’ waves was interesting. I don’t know what the data for SE Asia are, but I do know that rogue waves in excess of 35 meters have been documented in the North Sea. There is plenty of data available from some of the oil/gas production platforms located there. I also know the US Navy has compiled data about rogue waves for various locations about the world. Someone might try contacting the US Office of Naval Research or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Admin. to see if that data is available.
For all you Prelude fans out there I have a bit of sobering information. The reason the US Navy does not built aircraft carriers any larger than they do is because they don’t know how to do it. The issues for the Navy are dynamics, i.e., shock and vibration, and long term hull maintenance. Hulls have a service life that is fatigue related. The harder you work a ship the shorter the hull life. If the US Navy doesn’t know how to built mega-ships what makes Shell think a South Korean shipbuilder and consultants know how ????
Personally, I think the real issue with the Prelude is long term maintenance. RDS has shown a predisposition to get cheap when equipment begins to wear out. We have seen this in the North Sea and elsewhere. However, fixed platforms usually don’t sink. There is a good chance RDS can put the Prelude on the bottom if they play their ‘Touch F** All’ games with maintenance on this vessel.
Kookaburra, I fully agree with you. We don’t see enough of diversity in Shell. It should not be just lip service on “diversity” referring just to Female gender or number game. We need to see more Aussies too. There is a general tendency to ignore talent from developing countries. After all most of the revenue and growth are in these regions.
“Asia Dragon” are you deliberately trying to bait the readers of this forum? Did you have a particular group of Asians in mind? More Asians at the top doesn’t guarantee any greater success in the running of the Shell business. Rather it is potentially limiting. This is why there is a need for TRUE diversity that brings a difference of background, skills and opinion to review, challenge and make informed decisions. I’ve personally watched the business go through phases where suddenly all the hires are Indian, or Asian or other target groups, and suddenly yes we may have more Indians or Asians in the organisation, but really what flows is that we end up with is “Like employing like”. We see a club of a different flavour formed. Generalising that Asians “can do it better” does not encourage robust discussion and challenge. You are merely advocating putting a different group of like minds together….There are a lot of under utilised pockets of talent in the Shell organisation and suggesting focusing on Asians is an insult to all the other talent in the company who bring or have the potential to bring value to the table.
Well. ” LondonLad” , the Economist article relates the business environment and Asian crisis created by the Western World. It also demonstrates the flexibility and robustness on the Asian businessman in time of change. By the way, It’s in their blood. There are more Asian Talent in Shell. Just make more use of them in different level. You will see a great difference!
Well “Asia Dragon” lets hope these Asian’s you are pontificating about do better than those mentioned in this article :
The last high up Asian within the Shell organization, the Malaysian Din Megat, hardly covered himself in glory.
Congratulations to Donny Ching for his appointment to be Legal Director, as a member of EC. At long last, the first Asian in the EC. Looks like Ben V B is serious about changing. He is bringing his DS A Team closer to him. Put more Asian in top management, one can guarantee Shell will quickly turnaround and run like real business.
Relieved, that Metocean data is available from OTC Paper 10791 at http://royaldutchshellplc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/OTC.pdf
Those interested in the design criteria for the Prelude LNG barge might want to contact:
Brian Casey – United Kingdom | LinkedIn
Chester, United Kingdom – Senior Naval Architect at Shell
Brian Casey. Senior Naval Architect at Shell … Prelude FLNG. World’s first … Based on ABS Safehull ‘A’ Analysis and Bureau Veritas 3D FEM / Fatigue Analysis. This fellow apparently works for RDS and was involved in the design of the Prelude.
To Outsider: That depends on the wind intensity and sea state.
With the massive loss in US , Shell should be selling off US not Australia unless they want to offset the loss from other countries.
Relieved: I presume the Prelude will be free to swing around the turret to head into wind – the topsides rise 93m above sea level so there is plenty of area exposed to the wind. However what happens when the wind and sea are from different directions, as would be expected during the passage of a cyclone?
The freeboard on the Prelude is too large to allow the ‘barge’ to remain tethered at its anchors for and aft in a ‘large blow’. Those people will need to allow the vessel to swing into the wind, otherwise they could very well have a SERIOUS problem on their hands. Given that the vessel has no propulsion it is doubtful Shell will want to tow it to a safe harbor to wait out a major storm. I don’t know what the draft on that darn thing will be fully loaded but I suspect they would need a deep water port for that scenario. Just remember what happened to BP’s state of the art production platform ‘Thunderhorse’. BP was lucky it did not sink.
John, on your article on Prelude FLNG, we wonder who will be staying and working there. We suppose Majority will be Aussies. Why have they not started recruiting? Or have we missed this.
Mr Abdul Ghafoor, Your company is very lucky to get rid of David Greer. We have a lot of big spender and Mr. “Do nothing” at high places in a Shell. We can’t get rid of them. In fact we have to pay them a healthy sum to get them off our back. See how good is our Shell Hr system.
M.S. Al-Suwaidi Industrial Services Co. Ltd.:
This is to inform you that Mr David Greer, our previous CEO, contract was terminated last year. He spent too much money, was very expensive and could not do anything in the company. He was yelling at employees and insulting all the time and was like dictator. We are happy that he has left !
RELATED: Former Shell exec David Greer on the poach
Kangaroo, I agree that there seems to be a “short term” focus rather than a long term view of the Shell Brand in Oz. It feels a bit like hocking your possessions down at the pawn shop to pay the bills. Upstream projects and LNG are clearly Shell’s current darlings, where until recently there has been little mention of cost control and spending has been liberal. I would like to think the government would be smart enough to place conditions on the upstream licenses to stop company’s from being able to just “dig it up and ship it out” so to speak without giving something back, particularly when they are essentially a vertically integrated business and it is not an unreasonable expectation. Of course, this is unlikely to happen. Unfortunately, I personally felt the final death knell for Shell Downstream in Australia was sounded when Geelong went on the market. Around the same time the term “world class terminal” was dropped for Clyde. So far the only thing that has surprised me is the speed with which the rest of the business appears to have ended up on the auction block with it. In terms of social performance and sustained development, I am sure we will continue to see this message, but there will be a lot of smoke and mirrors along with it to divert attention to that which suits the end objectives.
Kookaburra, Well said. To aggravate the matter, all the corporate overhead are not recoverable, therefore directly out from the profit margin. This include Simon Henry’s package. We wish BVB would hold on, re evaluate and if necessary selectively dispose off assets in Australia. Selling the whole downstream business is a strategic disaster which Shell will regret. Shell is still making good money in Australia. What happen to all the Social performance and sustain development which openly bragged about.
Kangaroo- As you rightly point out and anybody with any kind financial education realises, in a consolidated balance sheet it is very easy to move profits to those parts of the business where it is more advantageous or the company chooses to do so. We all know of the massive overheads from Corporate head offices that are charged out to the various parts of the business that see none of the benefits. Take these out of the equation and what a different scenario things can be. I saw some positive articles out of Stanlow after purchase by Essar who stripped out the fat and recognised the strategic importance of the site. I will acknowledge that this too could be spin. The constant negatives turned into positives. This prolonged and constant negativity (and I am talking many years of selling the message that they are poor performers for some parts of the business) is demotivating to employees and counter productive. In terms of the sale of Australian Downstream Assets, the Aust Fin Review seems to be pretty well on the money so far. This suggests that there is either someone leaking the information, or the leak itself is a deliberate part of the strategy.
Lots of talk about BVB “cleaning up the mistakes” of the past ..we can assure you Voser set out to sort the Corrib debacle involving gifting police alcohol, caving in to landowner demands for separate deals, but he was misled by the same “bad apples” that broke all the rules in the first place and failed to sort it out ..despite his AGM promises …..start your clean up in Mayo BVB .
Do not understand the linkage on integrity part. But just wonder why others can run petrol stations profitably but not Shell. One should keep it if it is giving marginal contributions. Think of the Shell brand and big picture.
Your not wrong Kangaroo.
Start with the Business integrity department BID.
About as useful as an ashtray on a motor bike, no use whatsoever. Integrity zero in Shell.
I think divesting assets in Australia is a big mistake. It would be better to rationalize and lean them. Otherwise Shell will have to buy back in few years time. The right place to cut is in the central offices in Holland where many fat cats ( some pigs ) are located, doing nothing but traveling around the globe creating work not generating any revenue. They know who you are. You can cut at least 50% without affecting the business.
John, Shell still hiding behind a wall of silence regarding the abuse of a local vendor OSSL, defending misinformation and lies BvB will do well to ask for the facts and make a judgement, if Shell are to embark on a new way forward, people are disgusted by their actions here.
John, These Shell mess do not happened overnight. It must be planned and well timed. Hope Simon Henry is not making Ben V B a scapegoat. But then we won’t be surprised as he has done to many of his previous bosses include Sir Phil W.
The following article published by American Thinker Blog is interesting because it apparently gives estimates of original oil in place for Shell’s Burger (I presume) prospect. Oil was discovered in the original drilling program in the 1980’s. Recoverable oil would be on the order of 4-5 billion bbls. At $100/bbl that makes the gross value of the recoverable oil on the order of $400 – $500 billion US. About 1/2 trillion US$.By the way, the USG’s royalty on this will be at least 12.5%. That is $50 – $60 billion US$. This is not chump change, and it is why Shell will eventually get to drill this prospect. Add in a few more discoveries and it is clear why oil and gas exploration will continue on Alaska’s North Slope. People need to prepare for that eventuality. The article in question is headlined “Shell Cancels Chukchi Sea Drilling” Extract: President Obama boasted in his State of the Union address that “over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas …
I hope Super Ben quickly disband the Superbuckets and revert back to Country model . It really confused the key stakeholders big time.
Fully agree with EP old hand. In addition , Shell US is bleeding big time in unconventional. Poor cost management and over commiting way beyond their authority. Ranking them as no. 13 in US is over generous. Wish Ben can act fast before he gets suck into these shit.
@ Mystic Meg –
Obviously they are all to blame, the amounts wasted are beyond the discretionary commitment any director may make. And they all are very clever and trained to ask the right questions. But politics have prevented them from doing sound business. Clearly me first, Shell later.
And I remember very well what we were taught during a lecture on my first course many moons ago. An old and slightly bitter manager told us: ‘You are about to start a career in Shell. I will give you two bits of advice: 1 write many reports or ensure your name goes on these reports. And 2, one day you will screw up. Just make sure that if you screw up, you do it big time. That way you can blame others and prevent from being fired.’
To me it appears that Marvin, Bichsel, Odum, Brinded, Voser etc etc may have had a similar lecture by the same man. And they, being most clever, listened well and remembered the wise lessons…. They went a bit overboard with the magnitude of the screw-up I dare say.
But I surely hope that van Beurden has the balls to fire Bichsel and Odum. Preferably publicly for gross negligence. I can never prove it obviously, but I would not be surprised if Odum’s friends and family have become very rich in gold plated contracts that are now being written off as bad investments. They have the brains, the staff and the technology to interfere timely, but they chose to look the other way. They are all guilty as hell and they know that everyone knows!!
BBC America is reporting this morning that Shell is halting its Alaskan exploration program to cut costs and realign the company in a more profitable mode of operation. I suspect Shell USA management is getting horsewhipped over this, and rightly so. Projects like this are not ‘suspended’ without much deliberation and grinding of teeth.
Who will be the scapegoat(s) for Vosers mistakes?
Will be an interesting 10 days.
Pundit is 100% correct about the HR system, and I would suggest it goes one step further. HR, despite losing its staff to offshore positions still dictates a lot of the policy but without accountability. Take the latest office design fiasco where we will offer new staff a small box to work in but wonderful non work areas ! Result nobody sits at their desk and everyone does less work but we collaborate ! How on earth can you attract the top staff to work in an environment such as that. Sitting on school meal type benches is not the best environment to work. I’ve been here for 5 years and it won’t be another 5 before I go, this is just terrible and HR think it is good with fanfares and trumpets! I don’t think so. The good old boys will leave in droves and there will be a lack of experienced staff in Shell. Sad really when you look at the history.
Old EP hand is right: until 1996, there was an HR system that was the envy of the world. Then Personnel department became HR and everything was replaced by the latest US nonsense. Shell People (HR online) was indeed a Hofmeister baby. Cost overruns were more than 100% and it had an unacceptable audit opinion: the rest is history. People are Shell’s most valuable asset but Hofmeister and Mitchell are more interested in managing their careers than those of the Shell staff, who operate and develop the fields!
For BG ‘downunder’: In the US at least one state has eliminated this sort of conduct. The state of Maryland prohibits the majors from owning retail service stations directly. They are all independently owned by small businessmen. There are plenty of them. But not a one is owned by an oil company. The scheme works well. Something to think about.
Have Shell been involved in stealing service station businesses and landholdings anywhere else in the world ? It has been done in Adelaide South Australia with the help of the Torrens land system and corrupt government officials in charge of the land register. Dead service stations right across Adelaide where they got caught. Almost a total shut down. Comment by Shell lawyer to me “women can’t run them…they take them away from women”. Privately owned sites, independent, branded Shell. The Dealer dies and Shell steal the site holus bolus from the dead dealer and his widow by fraud and claim it is theirs. You can ask the Premier (leader) of the State of South Australia Jay Weatherill. Feel free to contact him at http://www.premier.sa.gov.au/index.php/contact
John, we worked hard every year in the offshore platform but does it really matter. There is no correlation of Shell business performance to hard work and production. Can someone please help explain.
RDS might want to contact Warren Buffet at Berkshire Hathaway to see if he might be interested in a pipeline deal. BH bought Enron’s gas pipeline system when it went on the block 10+ years ago. However, Buffet is a very smart investor and RDS won’t be able to bamboozle him into paying more than the investment is actually worth.
I used to be very proud of Shell twenty years ago..but now I dare not say I work in Shell even though I am a shareholder. It’s not only fat and slow, it is jungle of internal processes, hiding behind HSE, high overhead with no accountability. It is symptomatic of a company going to be winding down. I hope Ben can turn the dinosaur around. First he has to change out few top leaders who has been around for sometimes.
I almost hear myself speaking. I remember how Hofmeister during his introduction rounds told everyone that Shell had the best HR system in the world. I know for EP that each International Staff and each local staff with a certain potential was discussed formally once per year in The Hague with three independent parties present. The godfather, the line (often the MD of the opco) and a HR representative from central office. Each staff received on average 1-2 minutes time. A lot of homework had been done beforehand obviously. And then a 1 or 2 line statement was kept on file, CEP established and development options agreed.
Then some idiot wanted change and Open Resourcing was introduced against advice of many, but hey, these were the roaring 90s….. It was the ideal tool for Hofmeister to wreck the best HR system in the world, introduce his own (american) lackeys and the rest is as they say history. This was the one job he did well: break a great system!
To break something is easy and can be done quickly. To build a good system needs time, dedication and good leadership. None of this is available anymore.
For ‘Old EP Hand’: I remember the ‘old pre-1990’ days well. Like I said, Shell is not the company it used to be. Americans in Shell are, in general, too provincial to be running an international operations. Pecten (Shell USA’s old international arm) was run very well in comparison to Shell USA’s domestic operations. About 4 layers of management was missing. And it was organized much differently than Shell USA. However, after Marlin Downy left (he was forced out over a refusal to ‘reorganize’ along the Shell USA model) it went to hell fast, like the rest of the company. It became bloated with too many people who didn’t know what they were doing.
For ‘NOT PETER REES’: I worked for Williams when I was a young engineer at Shell. He had a great educational pedigree but had no intuitive feel for E&P. As a physicist he didn’t understand the way the ‘E’ part of the company worked and operated. He started in petrophysics and blew some evaluations that upon further evaluation by other people a couple of years later turned out to be big gas discoveries. But he was well connected politically, and managed to bury that performance failure, and the rest is history. It makes sense he ended up on the downstream side of the business. That was where he could do the least harm. I am not certain how much good he actually did for Shell. There is a very good reason why he left Shell ‘early’.
Well Mr Peter Rees QC exits Shell. After Mr Peter Voser and Mr Mark Williams. I wonder what they all have in common?
Agree with Old EP Hand that the average quality of the people in Shell has gone down over the years; in my view directly correlated to the increasing prominence of an HR function that systematically fails to understand that the costs of attracting, training and retaining high quality E & P staff is (and always will be) insignificant compared to the costs of drilling and completion of oil wells or the building pipelines and other facilities in E&P projects. The real value of having high quality staff and equally competent and brutally honest middle management will manifest itself most painfully when the expected returns from projects do not to materialise as these projects encounter set-backs that outside the far too narrow and optimistic uncertainty and risk profiles.
The proposals to fund Shell Oil’s shale oil and Alaskan debacles might have originated within the US, but the funding of the proposals would have required approval from other Executive Directors before being agreed. All of the Executive Directors therefore share responsibility for the losses. Those Executive Directors with an E&P background (Bichsel, Brown, Brinded) should have been able to ask the appropriate questions before giving approval for expenditure of some $30 billion, much of which may never be recovered.
Stuart is wright: Andy was never in any way involved with the America’s. this sort of statement undermines the credibility of Old Hand’s posting. Let’s wish Andy a speedy recovery. Nobody can wish him anything else. He may not be the right man for the job, but we surely wish him good health. Watch Wetselaar: and that is a comment to Shell and all readers
Until the early 90s Shell Oil had many great designers and other top professionals. They were second to none when it came to HPHT welldesigns (and offshore development, geophysics etc). Also very pragmatic and hands-on experience. I remember Leo Broussard, genuine good old boy. He could smoke a big cigar and drink whiskey without taking the cigar from his mouth. But he knew more about well and completion design than anyone else in the world. And he was always willing to share his knowledge. Just not interested in making a career, his passion was designing complicated completions! Shell International thought in those days a 10K well was high pressure. At this time Shell Oil was already working on 25k and 30k wells. Shell Oil was not so good at deepwater stuff in hostile environments. They, like all americans, relied too much on API standards, the lowest common denominator they could get away with. The North Sea set the world standards and took the lead.
Then came the roaring 90s. Everything had to be done faster, shareholder value, bonuses, do like ENRON etc etc. This led to an influx of fast talking americans with me first, rest later attitude and the contractor will fix it. Scandals like the Tejas Gas disaster (carefully kept away from the press) and other bad things emerged (just check out the Donovan website). Phil Carrol was quietly removed about 9 months later for his role in Tejas Gas. He presided over the meeting that approved the purchase during the one time there was no rep from Shell International. Neither Herkstroter nor Moody-Stuart could attend so he moved knowing full well that Herkstroter et all were vehemently opposed. Shell Oil became a bust or boom company.
Shell Oil always has been pragmatic with a can-do attitude. But doing first thinking later and this does not work in extreme environments and pushing the design envelope. They put top people (of the old school) and formed Aera which performed brilliantly and revived Bakersfield.
And the fast talking americans then swarmed out over Shell International and changed the culture. Me first, screw the rest. The rest is history….. Do not make the mistake to assume all americans fall in the fast talking category, I have met several genuinely capable and hardworking people from Shell Oil who put the company first and the rest later. But they were a minority.
I find it interesting that Shell USA isn’t making money. Up until 1989 Shell USA had never posted an operating loss for any given year. Never. The operating performance since then has been spotty. Any one care to comment on the problems?
Old Hand, not quite accurate. Andy has/had nothing to do with the US Shale or Alaskan businesses. His role in Upstream International has nothing to do with Upstream Americas – where both these things reside.
I will say I’ve met Maarten a few times and he’s a massively smart guy, who had already been given a line business to lead and I suspect will be possibly more capable than his boss.
The lame being led by the blind: So the shock of not becoming number one was too big for Andy Brown. I wish him a speedy recovery and thereafter he should go spend quality time with his family and enjoy his earnings. On shell.com I read the following: ‘During Andy’s recuperation and until his return to work, Maarten Wetselaar, Executive Vice President Integrated Gas and former head of finance for Upstream International, will serve as acting Upstream International Director, in addition to carrying out his regular duties.’ Wetselaar is no doubt a brilliant finance man. But a finance man is really a failed banker, not good enough for the real thing… And this brilliant fellow will ‘lead’ the whole upstream as a part-time job? Has Shell not learned from the past what happens if you put beancounters in charge? Apparently not. Andy should be sent home, he has only achieved very poor results (Alaska, shaleoil USA, etc). And for this job one needs to be in top condition AND have an EP background. There are some people with the right qualifications who could do this job much better. And they are in Shell too! And it certainly is not Odum, another one who needs to be sacked. Van Beurden does not know about EP, it was not in his portfolio so he did not interfere… So the upstream is now like the lame being led by the blind. Unbelievable. I can only wish them good luck.
PetroChina top management are been reprimanded for some bad deals include Arrow. Is Shell doing anything. It’s all a con job by ex Dart Energy. Wonder who did the due diligence.
Marginal tax rate at Groningen is 85%, and RDS share is only 30%. Unlikely Groningen production level is a big profitability issue.
Sources tell me that Shell Canada’s Retail assets are being shopped around.
My guess is that Shell’s bottom line is going to take a hit of over $1bn per year with the reduction in Groningen output – does anyone have the data for a more accurate calculation?
Ben, if it is true Andy is leaving, bring an Asian to the CMD to make a real difference.
I am no longer posting comments submitted by “Kris” as the recent ones do not even mention Shell. This forum is for adult discussion about Shell and related matters including this website. Trolls are not welcome.
Andy Brown decent bloke in the loop for all Corrib gifting matters. Was he disgusted as well as Crothers Rees and Nolan?
First Voser, then Rees and now Brown…would the last one to leave the CMD please remember to turn out the lights?
John, powerful shareholders approached OSSL after they had addressed the AGM last year. They demanded to know more about our submission to Voser. They then advised that we scream the house down until the promised resolution was in place stating that it did not sit well with them what was happening. Voser sent a man who demanded more proof. He was offered a walk through of the evidence …but declined stating he had “heard enough to form his opinion” and that to visit the evidence would only bring further annoyance to the police and the landowners who were the recipients of Shells largesse at OSSL expense. Que letter four weeks later from Shell no new evidence was presented by OSSL to support their claims. Shareholders please take note .
I know that RDS fans are loyal to the point of absurdity, and are immensely proud of the fact that RDS is supposedly one of the world’s largest and best managed (according to legend) corporations, so this suggestion will be lost on them. However, for those seeking a sound investment I suggest you compare the asset valuation and the growth in that valuation of RDS to Berkshire Hathaway. I think you will be surprised. Cheers.
London Lad misses the point, as usual. The expression “Lions led by donkeys” was coined during the First World War (supposedly by members of the German general Staff) and was a commentary on the perceived quality of British commanders versus that of the soldier in the trenches. A comparison with the situation in Shell is self evident. There was no attempt to compare either Shell or this website with the First World War.
Wow what timing, thanks for the warning. Just got an email from RvP saying would I like to play for MU but I said I’m too busy waiting to replace BvB at RDS. Sorry about the acronyms – guess most of the contributors on this site must be used to them by now from the Yanks, Aussies & Mick’s etc. Someone (Relieved, Outsider or some other introvert) asked why I’d not been commenting – soooooo many more important things than this nodding donkey website to keep reviewing.
P.S. “shellwaarbenjijnu” please don’t try and compare / contrast this website / Shell with the First World War. A very cheap comparison and talking point.
FRAUD & SCAM ALERT: If you have received a communication from someone purporting to be a Shell manager/employee offering you a job, please go to links and select Shell Fraud/Scam Alert (and “Recruitment Scams” in particular). Please do not send the communications to me because they will not be posted here. For security reasons I have no wish to publish such information. I have received several such requests in the last 48 hours and have no intention of allowing this facility to be misused.
With the anniversary of the First World War this year, the expression “lions led by donkeys” comes to mind.
Unfortunately, there are very few, experienced, motivated, knowledgeable workhorses left in what was a great company built on a bedrock of serious technical expertise and exposure to the global operations.
These days, to get ahead you need to be a whizz bang excel and power point jockey and preferably to have spent as little time as possible “out there” where oil and gas are found, developed and produced.
Rijswijk knows best – just trust the omnipotent, sprawling, process bound Projects and Technology organisation.
Giving the profit warning is not what Ben may or may not have wanted but it’s a requirement from the stock exchanges to share material information as soon as it is available. So no need to speculate around that. There are much more interesting things going on
Ben needs to get a handle on things starting with the abuse suffered by the vendor in Ireland whilst “assisting” Shell to progress the Corrib shareholders witnessed Vosers false promise of resolution, over to you Ben
dutchdude is probably right; neglected for years (as Peter & friends lined their pockets) and now badly needed to pull the top heavy cart out of the mire, it’s the last remaining workhorses that will probably get the blame. Let’s hope that Ben will turn around this mentality and save this great company (and my investment in it).
Voser’s legacy. Complete decimation of knowledge and technical ability (Transition 09!!!), and now a collapse of profit. Probably another signal to chop more workhorses. Try to find those staff now-a-days in Shell, totally impossible. I agree with Relieved, although very sad to have been witness to this process.
While it is true that many contributors to this site have worked for RDS in the past, many (if not most) gave up and left the company after it was clear that the company was in the hands of mediocre management (myself included). Shell at one time was a well run company, and it was fun to work for it. But not any more. The ‘old Shell’ is long dead and gone, and the future for the ‘new Shell’ does not look bright.
John, how often have our directors in the past claimed huge successes in times of high oilprice and then modestly (in small print and low voice) stated that whatever they do will only be visible some 10 years later?
In bad times they always reminded us in fat print and booming speeches that it was not their fault and inferred it was the result of bad decisions some 10 years earlier. But from now on things would be fine, we would change and all would be well and they could still claim huge bonusses.
But let’s check back, who were in charge some 10 years ago? YES: the bully astronaut who had seen the future and liked it and the brain with the beard who predicted Shell would be producing 6-6.5 million BOE in 2014. (I believe he is now trying to make the trains in the UK run on time.)
I guess there is no real chance they hand back there ill gotten bonusses? Or give these to charity?
It is clear your job is not finished!
BVB says “not what he expected of Shell “OSSL echo those words.Will BVB order a fresh look at this damnable situation ?.OSSL
travelling to meet with new CEO to demand action .
I noticed the Aljazeera America article. Once derided for their slanted news reporting these people have done an about face and have become a serious news network. They are not yet on par with BBC but they are getting there. The 5 major US news networks are now second class to these folks.
As owner and editor you have the ultimate authority over what is and is not published on this site.
Given that Shell frequently tell their employees that they are supporting spooks through their work, surely Shell and the spooks must be on the same side? REPLY BY JOHN: It ain’t necessarily so. Spooks and investigators, one representing the US government have contacted me in the recent past in connection with certain matters relating to Shell. I supplied the US government with confidential information that had been leaked to me. On the other hand, I am also aware that Shell has sought advice about me and this website from the US government and from a specialist unit in Pittsburgh partly staffed and funded by the FBI. This was partly in regard to the leaks, which have caused consternation at Shell. On one occasion for example, I was supplied with a Shell database containing contact information – email addresses, phone numbers etc for 177,000 Shell employees and contractors. The leaks continue to this day.
Given RDS management’s taste for engaging in alleged criminal activity of various sorts it would be prudent for RDS management to presume that ALL of their telecom traffic was being monitored and intercepted by US and Brit spooks. RDS engages in quasi-legal and alleged illegal operations and so those folks under contract to RDS to provide services to those ends would also be prudent if they assumed they too were being monitored. Happy days to ALL involved !! Comment by John Donovan. The word “alleged” appears twice in this posting, on both occasions inserted by me.
It’s curious that the amount being raised by asset sales ($30bn) corresponds precisely to the figures quoted for Shell Oil’s investments in unconventionals ($25bn) and the Arctic ($5bn)
Fully agree with ” Relieved”statement. We have worked with Shell US management, there is no sense of urgency and job levels are highly inflated. Time to chop down the trees. Shakeup is an understatement.
The is no doubt that RDS needs a management shake-up and shake-out. Shell USA would be a good place to start the house cleaning and clean-up.
Good idea to commemorate the reserves scandal. But I prefer the idiot Watts in his spacesuit. As a priest he almost looks human. He is not, he is one of the great bullies that Shell bred over the years. Just lest we forget!
There is no Director support outside Ireland for the stupidity that took place on Corrib. And the failure to close out the matter leaves the grown ups in The Hague speechless.
To misquote Oscar Wilde, “To lose one director may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness”. Directors do not usually resign without very good reason – Peter Rees’ resignation so soon after Voser’s untimely departure to Switzerland can only mean that something is very seriously wrong at the top of Shell that the directors are unable or unwilling to support.
Corrib Booze and landowner love bombing ……it’s important to note Crothers not part of this system but sadly for a man of great integrity he does lead the cover up team at the insistence of the legal people, he has been incredibly naive and spouts the most incredible incorrect statements. Its possible that Peter Rees was disgusted by the Corrib Team.
Your last post, equally disgusted you missed out equally spineless. Peter Rees wrote at length about this type of middle management corruption so he obviously didn’t like what he knew about Crothers and Co on the Corrib .
Peter Rees was fully aware of Corrib Senior management diabolical treatment of a small helpful
Local vendor ,he was disgusted that such a situation was not addressed in keeping with Vosers promise .Other senior non irish Shell people including Directors are equally disgusted .
Just read the latest news on your site! No idea what is happening. This must be something big, otherwise it would be massaged much more smoothly, big wheels don’t just leave. They go spend more quality time with the family…. Presumably clash of characters and then the CEO wins. It overshadows Prelude for now. And the shareprice is just going up. What will happen Monday? Never a dull moment.
RE your article The Miners’ strike – a personal story I haven’t told before – believe me times have changed. The degree of executive freedom that Paddy Briggs had in Scotland back in 1984 is inconceivable in today’s cautious centralised world.
I don’t think Shell will divest ShellOil as its too strategic to let go like their China business. The mistake is investing in unconventional where the bigs boys are not good at. Time to let go unconventionals and focus on what you are good at. If not Shell have to start do things differently for unconventional. R
The notion that RDS would divest itself of Shell USA is quite interesting. It is an indication of how far Shell USA has fallen since the Dutch takeover in the mid-1980’s. Actually, the seeds of the decline in Shell USA’s fortunes were sown in the late 1970′ and early 1980’s when Shell USA decided to invest heavily in tertiary recovery of ‘unconventional reserves’, i.e., in heavy oil and the wholesale Co2 flooding of old fields. Shell engineers were so pleased with themselves they made it clear they saw no need for an exploration department. In the end it was a waste of resources and effort. Now, Shell USA finds itself under investigation for conspiracy to engage in espionage and to rig the international oil markets (racketeering).
Shell USA’s geniuses are not doing so well.
I wonder how the US legal system would treat RDS if they did indeed sell off Shell USA to the likes of Chevron or the Saudi’s. That unit would take with it a host of civil and potential criminal liabilities that would clearly diminish the value of Shell USA’s assets. Shell’s name brand would be irreparably harmed in the US because of the publicity, not to mention any convictions. And would RDS also want to divest itself of all those supposedly rich pickings in the US Arctic? I doubt it. That is where the real potential lies for Shell. How this shakes out will be very interesting.
Shell and Morgan Stanley would have no problem in rigging oil prices, because they are founding partners and members of the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in Atlanta. Google the “$2.5 Trillion Oil Scam – slideshare” and Google “Goldman’s, Global Oil Scam.” ICE rigs the oil prices, the oil supply-chain and the oil markets. The US and most of the world are victims of this scam. To avoid the Big Oil rip-off, plug your Tesla S electric car into your household, solar array.
We wonder why Shell bought Arrow in the first place. It’s. no brainier. With Shell gold plated standards and high overhead, it can’t be a viable investment. Wonder who is behind this acquisition. Poor Ben has to deal with all these mess.
EP Old hand n Iain- could it be the finance chiefs has more choices n most of finance folks have higher CEP in Shell as well. Wonder why Simon H still around. Joking too.
@Iain we go back a long time…. You are technically correct but I was talking CEOs, not mere underlings. You know, head honchos, the ones who could piss furthest or had the biggest you know what! We all know Maarten did not have the warmest personality of the directors in Shell. Please read this as the ultimate english understatement! Not many tears were shed when he left. Bankers and finance people are genetically quite similar and you don’t want them to run a technical business!
Several more have resigned:
Harry Roels quit because he could not stand the continuous baiting and bullying by Watts anymore. Then he became CEO of RWE and sorted out those krauts very well!
And Frank Chapman was forced to go to Nigeria after doing a first class with honors job on Troll, working 6 years 80 hrs a week and only asked for a short posting close to London to sort his own life out. But no, Watts insisted he had to go to Nigeria, real men go to Nigeria! So Frank just quit. Only then he was immediately offered a blanc cheque to reconsider but he gave Watts the bird and the rest is history.
And then there is Iain Percival who quit to do an MBA. But fortunately he came back to his senses and rejoined to become a (the) top petroleum engineer!
There must be a lot of happiness in the top of Shell! Working for a great company and hoping to become #1! What more can one wish for?
@Old EP Hand
Voser is not the first to step away from Shell at the top to “spend more time with the family”. Maarten van den Bergh surprised us all when he bailed out in 2000 to “spend more time with his family” only to pop up as Chairman of the UK bank Lloyds TSB in 2001. Such a position is not exactly a part time job so one can only speculate as to how much time the family got!
Maarten was also a finance man so possibly this is a world of finance thing. I wonder how much of the family Simon Henry sees? Sorry,I’m only joking 🙂
Voser must have been pushed or at least eased out of the door. I am not aware of any CEO of a major corporation who resigned at the peak of his tenure in order to ‘spend quality time with his family’. Never heard so much crap in my life. If there was a genuine problem in his family, it would have been made public via some leaks.
He will get a lot of time to think over his sins as summarised by John recently as well as his sins when in UBS. I hope he copes. Or will he also join priesthood like Watts?
There have been a host of articles published recently about the extent of the NSA’s intelligence gathering activities, both in the US and internationally. A unit of the NSA specializes in obtaining the ‘unobtainable’, and apparently has been quite successful. NSA targets all sorts of folks. I wonder if RDS has been targeted given their apparent appetite for classified DoD technical information and for manipulating crude oil prices. Maybe we shall find out in the not so distant future.
Corporations buy back their own stock for a number of reasons, the primary consideration being to increase stock price and dividends. Stock buy-backs are a signal to investors that corporate management sees little opportunity for stock and dividend growth in the foreseeable future. In other words, the company is, at best, stuck in a no-growth or very slow growth mode. Earnings per share are anticipated to hold steady or decline. The buy-back simply helps maintain share price and keep investors from seeing their stock holding decline in value.
Nothing substantial is going to change at Groningen, and there are two reasons why: 1)The Dutch government holds a 40% stake in the field and gets a big financial boost from gas sales, and 2) there are still penalty clauses in the gas delivery contracts with other European countries. So, guess what? Not only are RDS and Exxon on the hook for some major expenses, but so is the Dutch government.
I am very happy to see Shell becoming more Dutch. It was the brits who stole the company that was 60% Dutch and 40% british. And look what Watts and Brinded have done to the company. Putting a swiss beancounter who was soiled at UBS did not help. I prefer a dour dutch calvinist any time over one of those fast talking brits or americans who sell their soul and that of the company to anyone willing to pay.
There was a day (in the 1980’s) when RDS ranked far ahead of its ‘peers’ in ‘unconventional oil and gas’, at least in the US. Then RDS bought out Shell USA, the price of oil and gas collapsed, and RDS abandoned serious develop