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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.
We Mobilize Others to Fight for Individual Causes as if Those Were Our Causes
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.
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.
Zik Gbemre, JP
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)
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?
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN
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 A@s off when she told him to sit down…she’s very slight and thin. Poor Jo…issues everywhere she’s worked.
@ 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.
REPLY BY JOHN
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!!
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN:
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 development of ‘unconventional’ sources of hydrocarbons. They puttered around, but didn’t take the matter seriously, especially the shale gas concept. It is the ‘group think’ problem of big companies. Now they are paying for their lack of imagination. I see no signs that this company will change.
Voser also knows that he can say whatever he wants about the Arctic – he won’t be around in 2025 to explain why it hasn’t happened. Just another case of overpromise, if only to explain where the shareholders’ billions have gone
Shells stupidity on Corrib Project making it very hard for Minister Shatter to defend Garda actions against the decent people of Mayo #ownupshell
The Polar Pioneer is currently in Tromso, 17000 miles from Anchorage via Cape Horn. That’s going to be a very long, very expensive trip.
Why has Shell decided to risk using the Polar Pioneer, another second-hand rust-bucket drilling rig (in this case nearly 30 years old), in Alaska’s Arctic? I thought Shell were supposed to use the most cutting-edge modern practices in the Arctic. Can Shell not afford a new rig? Or does Shell think Alaska’s Arctic is too marginal to justify a new rig? Or, does this say anything about the financial health of Shell’s Arctic operations, or about the company health altogether? Please advise!
Shell Malaysia has the first Gas to Liquid plant in the 90s. Despite a bit of setback initially,it is still very profitable for its quality, low cost and great business environment. So why not expand the facilities in low cost environment in Malaysia instead of in US. MB
Why is Shell sending the American cowboys to China to develop the unconventional when they rank 13th in US. This can’t be right.
If the fines paid by the banks for rigging interest rates are any sort of guide, it will be very expensive for the oil companies if they are found to have been manipulating oil prices
Can’t speak for Cambodia, but police corruption still just about illegal here in Ireland for the time being anyway.
I saw the article on waste water production projection in Alberta. For Those Interested – New York’s Central Park is one (1) square mile in area.
Why does this website comment so much about a small small topic in Ireland. Are Shell doing so well that this is the only point to criticize them so much. Here in Cambodia they are well liked.
Police Bribes….WHY ….is the CEO of Shell …personally attending meetings in Den Haag London and Dublin about police bribes ….that didn’t happen …WHY ?
It would be nice if Shell’s new Prelude LNG ship functions better than BP’s Thunderhorse platform did. I think Shell need to hire some very qualified marine engineering inspectors to supervise the construction work on that ship. But what do I know ? Any comments LondonLad ??
Hi Irish police ,its one thing
staying stum about your booze arrangements with Shell (bribes in any other country ) but when a judge is asking the questions about the relationship between you and the oil giant ,and you don’t answer truthfully then it’s a miscarriage of Justice ( in any other country )
“Interest “of Mayo Justice your late on the case Shell in charge in the Mayo courts no question about it.
Cops booze thin end of the wedge .but some one has broken rank and all will be exposed by ombudsman .
Info required please / did an irish policeman gain a conviction of an Erris man on Thursday whilst denying
He offloaded a large amount of alcohol sent by the people at Shell or Statoil the prime movers of the court case /please respond on this platform /very dangerous situation /
Shells Byrne did not send Alcohol to the Garda Shells John Egan did , Byrne just a victim like
OSSL #voserwillcloseitout #spinlessmanagement
Hi John, Radio Station Shell alcohol sender, John Egan Director still at his desk ….Garda alcohol sender Connor Byrne “sacked for abusing Shell Gifting policy” so what is Shells policy ?
The Shell Blog facility is back and fully operational.
Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read??
John, oil man of the year Peter Voser ,promised me resolution at the Den Haag AGM ..one or two witnesses present I believe he’s a man of integrity and will deliver ….Shell Garda ,alcohol gifting now officially a criminal matter and people caught in the crossfire should not have to wait any longer for justice …action now Mr Voser !!!
LondonLad: I like a man with a sense of humor.
Given the fact that RDS now lies in 5th place compared to its peers will we see Vosser give back his “oil executive of the year” award.
Lower 3rd Q profits at RDS have been known / predicted for more than a week – e.g. Telegraph and Express have stated as such in their Business sections. “There can be no doubt that this fall in profit has been insider information for several weeks now” – of course it has been known for a number of weeks at RDS board level, as it should have been. Inferring that this is something illegal or unusual is yet again tabloid titillation from this website. Actually their results, albeit disappointing, were better than a number of analysts had forecast. I thought belly-aching was more your forte Relieved – hence your alias.
To LondonLad: Will you please quit your belly- aching. You know quite well that
RDS and its management doesn’t get half of what it deserves in negative publicity. If RDS was not behaving badly this website would have not anything to publish. And by the way, lumping me in with the likes of Greenpeace is truly a compliment, and I thank you for it.
To George Hamilton : firstly this site has shown very little respect for several RDS employees over the years, and continues to do so with much venom at times. Secondly, as for Donovan to accuse me of making personal and unpleasant comments it is like “pot calling kettle black”. Those with an agenda clearly against RDS should also read their own vitriolic comments which often come across as people with a stability problem. This hysteria about alcohol misuse in Ireland just about summarizes the problem with this site – apart from a few (aka photos posted on this site) activists and obscure local newspapers nobody has shown an iota of interest in this subject in the UK or elsewhere. People such as those from Ireland / Greenpeace / Relieved etc. etc. don’t need to immediately try and deflect comments that attempt to defend some (yes, some) of RDS actions / activities. I have also complained about RDS, aka the first point on my last posting, but just because I don’t vent my spleen against RDS my negative comments about them are glossed over. REPLY BY JOHN: I agree that some other contributors are unfair and unkind to you LondonLad. Your relatively rare negative comments about Shell are not glossed over by me. It is also true that we have been disrespectful of certain Shell people on what we considered, and what I still consider to be perfectly valid grounds. The difference is that what we said was always in our own names. This meant that if anything we stated was inaccurate or untrue, the named party was able to seek redress. As to the Irish cop corruption scandal, do you consider The Sunday Times, The Irish Times and The Observer to be local obscure newspapers? All have covered the story. Likewise major Irish radio and TV broadcasters. Note that you are still persisting with your unpleasant personal comments while hiding behind an alias. That is disappointing.
The European community is not very happy with the US NSA for all of its monitoring of European telecommunications. However, there is a very, very close relationship between NSA and British SIS so I suspect the Brits were involved to some degree. What is interesting about all of this is that these folks may have swept up conversations, emails, etc., between RDS, et al, that pertain to the oil price fixing scheme they are under investigation for allegedly perpetrating. If it should turn out to be true, and there a good chance that this will be the case, then BP, StatOil, and RDS could be in very serious trouble IF NSA and SIS have records of their conspiracy. Wouldn’t that be ironic. This is such an interesting development. An international criminal conspiracy ??? In the US it would fall under the RICO statutes, among others, and in the US people would go to prison for a long time. The same could hold true for RDS’s supposed targeting of the US Dept. of Defense. That would be espionage. I wonder what NSA and SIS actually did sweep up ?? Maybe Mr. Snowden can shed some light on all of this.
London Lad, two things a bit more respect for Donovans Family please, secondly it’s public knowledge here in Mayo that the joint venture between An Garda Siochana and Shell regarding alcohol supplies is the subject of official enquiry by the relevant authorities, with prosecutions powers, which hopefully will expose the wrongdoing and the subsequent cover up, well highlighted on this site .
I agree that Shell’s scenario prediction was not always that great – I had many a clash with those God’s in The Hague who thought otherwise. Some 9 years ago their prediction for the future was US$14 for a mid-range scenario for oil projects and new acquisitions. Hmmmmm. However, do we know how accurate other major’s performed? I again reiterate my 3 points last Friday : 1) have Shell been bought before the courts re this hyped up story about alcohol “abuse” in Ireland? 2) have Shell been bought before UK courts for alleged pump price fixing? and 3) has Shell been proven to be stopping / greatly reducing capex investment worldwide? Regarding #1 I still cannot find any reference to this “hysterical” story in the mainline UK papers or main internet sites – perhaps sensible people have more serious and important matters to be concerned about. Oh, P.S. Donovan, my mother died in August (aged 93) but I don’t try and use this as an excuse for my defence of Shell when it is attacked by people who have an agenda against them and / or have very little knowledge about the oil/gas industry. REPLY BY JOHN: Sincerely sorry to hear about your mother. The difference is that my father co-founded this website and news of his death was publicly known, including a reference to his passing in a whole page article in The Observer devoted to the Shell corruption story in Ireland, which sparked all of the “Hysterical” coverage on Irish TV, Radio, magazine and newspapers to which you object. As to the alleged pump price fixing, I have republished allegations and news originated by professional journalists working for the national and international news media. I cannot recall making any comment on the subject myself. Your postings are unfortunately becoming personal and unpleasant – comments I doubt you would make unless hiding behind an alias.
John ,excellent exposÃ© on Garda alcohol how was this allowed to happen? Where now for Shell? CEO number five for the Corrib? Why the Lies? Will Voser intervene? whats the top cop saying? Shell has lost the plot in Ireland,major disgrace.
PV Transition 09 is a mess n the strategy refresh created further mess. It is obvious PV never intended to stay long. In China it’s a bigger mess run by a group of expensive amateurs expat. What happen to the good old Shell. Poor Ben has a tough job ahead to turn the ship around.
This ‘booze for the Irish’ scheme of RDS’s is AMAZINGLY STUPID. Who was the retarded jackass running this operation ??? They should be hung out to dry (no pun intended). This saga reads like a rejected soap-opera. No wonder RDS is beginning to have ‘troubles’ with its business model. Nobody is minding the house. Where is/was the adult supervision ???
Michael Crothers has been
badly let down by those that ran the Corrib project long before he arrived .
But on realising this he has chosen to continue the lie regardless of the cost to others , Garda Homeowners ,and support companies are all just cannon fodder in the need for cover up .also do you notice that all Corrib Cock
Ups ( CCUs) the list is long ,are of Shells own making .
My heart goes out to those
Garda who played the Shell game only to be let
Relieved: the market capitalisation of Shell is just one half of the net asset value – compare this with Chevron where the market capitalisation and net asset value are approximately the same. Shell is a prime candidate for a takeover or a breakup. The only question is not “if” but “when”.
Old EP Hand: I seriously doubt RDS will wear down John, but they could damage the company so seriously its pieces become worth more than the whole if the company is broken up.
LondonLad: Whatever happened to your fellow kindred spirit, US Citizen ??? He seems to have abandoned you to spar with the ignorant, illiterate, spiteful anti-Shell barbarians all by yourself. Ah well, we all have our crosses to bear. KBO, your comments are occasionally entertaining.
London Lad your posting confirms a lot of Shell poor decision making, never forget Shell to Sea, love them or hate them, correctly brought Shell to book on many occasions and in a lawful manner. Shell to Sea have saved lives in contrast to Shell who have cost lives drilling in unsuitable soil, as well advised to them by their own experts at the beginning of this project .
Awesome issues here. I’m very happy to see your post. Thank you a lot and I’m taking a look forward to contact you.
Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?
Here we are again, it’s Friday night and this website continues to pontificate about how Shell is going to be screwed by this country + that country + this organization + anything else that moves on this planet, and oh a possible hostile takeover. Thank goodness that those idiots in Greenpeace are being screwed by that nice guy Mr. Putin else Shell might also have to worry about this glorious factually inaccurate organization. So “nodding donkeys” (aka Outsider and Relieved + those Irish who’d rather live & “travel” in the dark ages) have Shell been : (1) bought before the Irish courts for their alleged alcohol “conspiracy” with OSSL? (2) bought before the UK courts for alleged pump price fixing? (3) proven to be “stopping capex” investment worldwide? (4) shown to be wrong in getting rid of non-profit making activities recently? The list goes on and on. Yet the nodding donkeys on this site merely attempt to try and show Shell and its workers in the worst possible light. Fact is that places like Nigeria would go down the toilet if Shell pulled out. Cherry picking snippets from various news articles from obscure newspapers around the world (many with their own green / anti Shell agendas) doesn’t fool those with more than one brain cell. It’s a shame but over the years I sense that this website is run by someone who has a real stability problem. A few years ago there was a degree of balance in some of the arguments for / against Shell. Now it’s almost hysteria against anything Shell does. COMMENT BY JOHN: What does it say about you bothering to post extensive comments, as you have today, on a website operated by someone who, in your opinion, is mentally unstable, as your comment clearly implies. It would not be surprising if I were a little unsettled given that my 13 year old Labrador passed away on 21 June and my 96 yr old father five weeks later, both in particularly distressing circumstances. Your timing in making such a personal accusation is therefore unfortunate. The truth is that we post positive and negative news about Shell. Please don’t blame me just because there is so much negativity about Shell at the moment emanating from Peter Voser, major news organizations and the financial media. It is Shell that is currently unstable, not me.
How can a single guy like PV do so much damage to a huge company like Shell? His TO9 reorg was a braindrain exercise and politicians won out. There is a huge shortage in Shell for technical competent staff and managers. I have nobody above me currently who understands even 20% of my discipline. I fear this will get much worse before it gets better. To the next boss: don’t run a technical company like an investment company.
Greetings, I think your blog may be having web browser compatibility problems.
When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however,
if opening in IE, it’s got some overlapping issues.
I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
Aside from that, wonderful site!
If irish policemen bite the dust because we lied its just collateral damage all’s
fair in Oil&Gas #cheerscoppers
Melt down on Corrib shockingly poor management team and now losing the support of the police locally into the bargin Voser needs to act now .
John time to ask some questions the word here in Erris is that the Garda investigation is over and that Ossls claims have been found to have substance Commissioner now involved .check it out .
If RDS were to be hit with large fines and damage claims from a price fixing scheme then they would clearly become a take-over target.
It is common knowledge that BP, Exxon and Total (and possibly others) planned hostile bids for Shell after the reserves fiasco. Shell’s current underperformance in comparison with the market, together with huge write-offs on unconventionals and the Arctic suggest that some of these plans may be under consideration once again, perhaps with Chevron added to the list of potential bidders.
Relieved: I agree but also would point out how RDS stock price has only increased 11% since Jan 2010 whereas XOM (28%) COP (29%) and CVX (55%) have done much better. They also didn’t waste millions on restructuring. Yes PV will be remembered for sure!
Peter Voser’s disappoints about Shell’s performance in the US are his way of saying Shell USA management ‘screwed the pooch’. Shell has nobody to blame for its ‘disappointments’ but itself, and that means senior level management. Time for some house cleaning at the top.
To Outsider: You are correct. However, in nature it would seem that most forms of scum ‘float to the top’, so to speak. RDS is no exception. Being an ex-Shell type I speak with some knowledge of the phenomenon.
Hi all and John recent postings shock but don’t surprise ,the abuse of a small Irish vendor pales into insignificance but confirms the mindset of some in Shell #bullyboys
Relieved: I’m as horrified as you to read the story about Leroy Caillet, and know that it reflects the behaviour of a small psychopathic proportion of Shell’s employees. Fortunately, there is a far greater number of decent, honest people at Shell who will also be horrified. Hopefully these people will one day control the show.
I read the article about those folks who lost their father in a accident that Shell blamed on their deceased father. How typical. Remember the case of the woman in Alberta or B.C. whose family suffered from H2S gas poisoning which Shell denied any knowledge of ??? What can we say about RDS management ??? They are simply a collection of mean, lowdown, dirty, lying Scum. Now, they may have been born that way, or they may simply be former abused children who cannot help themselves because they don’t know any better. Who knows. But the fact remains that RDS is managed by Scum, and anyone working for, or doing business with the SOB’s should realize that.
I don’t know how much money Shell left on the table after the last round of bidding for Chukchi leases, but it was in the hundreds of millions. Shell did the same thing in the ’80’s. You’d think these guys might wise up, but don’t count on it. Shell apparently has money to burn (more money than they have good investment opportunities, or so they think) and they do know how to burn it. So, burn baby, burn.
LondonLad: You seem to think I may have Irish heritage. Not so. I am Scots-German, mostly Scot. That accounts for my ‘contrary’ nature. And you know how the Scots and English have gotten along over the last 1000 years or so.
Today’s press reports that Shell is pulling out of its shale investments in Texas and Colorado, and being replaced in the Chukchi Sea and the Niger delta suggest that a major realignment is taking place
Saw the comment about RDS’s invitation to share information with them. Kind of reminds me of the old saying: ‘Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly.’ Sharing ANYTHING with RDS is a fools exercise.
To â€œRelievedâ€ â€“ the Oirish, or should I say their ancestral trouble makers across the pond, should realise that the reserves quoted on this website (from carefully chosen left wing organizations) for various exploration blocks are grossly exaggerated. I would say that most Yanks who pontificate about making sure other countries tax their population for this that and the other look at themselves. Why do the Yanks have such cheap fuel â€“ their stupid Government subsidize fuel. Simples.
I see the ‘shell to the sea’ campaign is finally beginning to pay off. The Irish need to also institute a royalty fee on all produce oil or gas. In the US it is between 1/8 and 1/5 the sale price of the raw product. That would add another couple of HUNDRED BILLION $USD to government’s general fund. This is the kind of money that is at stake for the Irish government and it is why the oil co.’s (especially RDS) are so willing to buy off Irish politicians. Bribery is simply a cost of doing business for them, and it pays off handsomely.
RDS is very disingenuous about their marketing plans for the fuel they would produce from that proposed GTL plant in Louisiana. The liquids would be exported and sold overseas because it is so much more profitable than selling it in the US. That is why so much diesel refined in the US is already sold overseas. US crude sells for about a 20% discount to that in international markets and while crude cannot be exported from the US the refined products can be exported. This is all about cheap US gas and the premium pricing of fuels in foreign markets relative to the US market. The US should also prohibit the exportation of refined fuel products if the raw feed stock material was produced in the US.
A GTL plant in Louisiana? Sounds great as long as natural gas is available at a very low cost, and capital amortization is paid by somebody else… GTL in Qatar and Brunei works, but only because the gas is free… The only justification for GTL in the US would be to force up overall demand (and hence prices for everyone else). Would Jindal really support a project whose sole function is to manipulate the market, hurting both domestic and industrial gas consumers?
The article on this website under the headline: Shell screwing dealers in Northeast USA?: Motiva no longer operates the retail outlets, they have leased all to wholesalers (jobbers) who in turn set the prices for the rents, and the gasoline. they have also done away with the trucking fleet, (you won’t see any shell trucks on the road) which means the wholesalers contract with common carriers to deliver the products to the stations. this is part of the plan to concentrate on operating terminals and refineries and move away from the retail sales. even though they no longer operate the stations, the products are still loaded at the motiva terminals. they have also sold off several underperforming northeast terminals as part of a restructuring plan. not to defend the company, but it appears the wholesaler is the “bad guy” in this case.
Good to see that the Russians are taking the Greenpeace activists / yobs to court for boarding an oil platform. Several years in the Gulags may straighten their yobish behaviour out.
West Awake E in Irish Whiskey …your correct not in Scotch as per my post ,
I knew Des and Neil since before Shell were here very helpful in every way big help to Entrerprise and Shell a shocking disgrace what Shell done to them
To, also a john in Mayo, Point of order (hic) there is no E in Scotch Whisky
Hello John my tuppence worth is as follow the Gards here confirmed the alcohol to Shell it’s Shell that’s in a tizzy and doesn’t know what to do ,and the gards are pretty upset with Shell .Great web site the truth hurts.
The famed Shell Scenarios crystal ball never revealed a world in which its so-called No.1 Enemy would be operating globally under the Royal Dutch Shell Plc top level domain name, dealing on Shellâ€™s behalf with job applications, business proposals, Shell pension enquiries, complaints, invitations to speak at conferences, and even terrorist threats. This was a scenario apparently deemed too far beyond the realms of possibility to be contemplated, but it is nonetheless the incredible reality and has been for getting on to a decade. How on earth did such a supposedly far-sighted management end up in such a humiliating situation, which has already cost the company billions of dollars? The news media, who have described â€œthe Donovan websiteâ€ as being â€œAn open wound for Shellâ€œ, are welcome to see the evidence substantiating everything stated above.
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 â€œOutsiderâ€ have built up a reputation over several years for the integrity of their postings on this website.
Mr Donovan, London Lad, George Hamilton, shareholder complicity in this matter is not in evidence we have our CEOs assurance of resolution and we should have clarity soon rather than later, because its getting a little bit stinky, Thank you.
John .message for S to S
Don’t no how to contact direct NEXT WEEKS bottle
has to be SHELLS BELLS
London Lad don’t try to make little of this well reported item on Shell and law enforcement officers ,local concerned people have been battered round the head by these alcohol fuelled officers you are wrong to be complacent in your capacity as a shareholder wise up my friend and less of the mindless irish twang it’s not
Nice and a gentleman wouldn’t do it .
John, glad to hear you are indeed still enjoying running your website. I just believe it must have been more fun for you when you were still receiving the occasional e-mail from them instead of the current silent treatment.
@Relieved: your contribution really lifts the quality of conversation. Thanks! REPLY BY JOHN: I believe the policy is counter-productive and more recently – the unacknowledged death of my father – reflects very badly on senior management, but its up to Shell. The days of gentlemanly conduct from Shell leaders such as Sir John Jennings, with whom we developed a cordial relationship, appear long gone. Sir John ran the show, not Shell lawyers. Admire your restrained response to “relieved”.
Settle down boys and girls ,Voser demanded resolution because of Donovan’s postings he set up a non Irish enquiry behind closed doors this team hung their heads in shame when they heard all
But cover up seemed the best route “no evidence was the war cry “but Ossl don’t agree we will bring you kicking and screaming to the evidence and reluctantly expose the cops the landowners and your (Shell) corrupt middle management on the Corrib #errisbehindossl #actnowvoser #policecomeclean
Elmer and John Shell ,,were getting worried about a lack of challenge from Shell to Sea and decided to breath new life into them ,what a job they made of it ,fantastic #halfwits ,yes I applaud OSSL #neverliedown
Oh well, here we are on Friday evening and all I can see in the â€œShell Blogâ€ is a lot of nodding donkey comments agreeing in various degrees about RDS involvement in supplying alcohol to the Oirish Police via OSSL. Have to say by the way Donovan that the pictures of half a dozen protestors with very large flags in front of the Irish police is very impressiveâ€¦.. NOT. Just shows the true interest of the local population in this tabloid story. This story hasnâ€™t got much media attention in the main line newspapers (including the tabloids & the Guardian) â€“ probably seems to them that this is no story at all?? Why donâ€™t Shell respond to your innuendos / accusations / titillations â€“ perhaps they have far more important things to do for their share holders than respond to someone who has a huge chip on his shoulder from some perceived violation many years ago. As a shareholder I can commend this approach from Shell. Itâ€™s also strange that no formal move has been made by the Irish judiciary system to involve themselves with some form of prosecution over this issue â€“ no issue perhaps and merely yet another attack by people who have a grudge against Shell. Ooooo I await some umpteen pages of defence and references â€¦â€¦â€¦.
Loony Tunes yes sir Shell man playing Mr Big demands 300 plus cops get “well looked after ” demands no local purchase and no traceability enter OSSL ,first class outfit ,job done Mr Big under investigation but its a big secret ,he can’t get OSSL coverd with a false invoice because all eyes are on him but OSSL don’t know this and give him breathing space . Bombshell Mr Big Phucked out for massive abuse of “favours” AKA cops booze
OSSL forced up the ladder for a result re payment where’s the proof ? Asks a Canadian chappie you destroyed it says OSSL
Tough Shit says the Canadian and by the way Phuck off out of this project
Looney Tunes are funny this is not
This little saga of RDS and the Irish is like a bad Looney Toons cartoon, and someone at RDS was truly looney tunes to think they could get away with this stunt. Morons.
For Supershell: You missed your time and place in history. You would have done very well in the Germany of the 1930’s. You would have made a good storm trooper.
supershell, hi Shell pay much attention to this site when Voser met OSSL he said as much Shell had a fourteen hour meeting with OSSL part paid some members but not others ,tried to silence them but failed ,watch this space the best is yet to come .
Some very bad stuff that does indeed shame the name of Shell .
Shell is no longer responding to John Donovan’s probes and claims. It’s not much fun having an enemy that no longer wants to play. REPLY BY JOHN: On the contrary, it keeps me amused and has cost Shell billions of dollars. For over a decade, Shell has not wanted to play, except by its own rules, and has ended up in an intolerable situation whereby the company is publicly humiliated on a regular basis. Don’t take my word for it. This is what a Shell official said about us: “John and Alfred Donovan well known in UK/Hague. They perceive Shell played them and so have made it their mission to embarrass, belittle and criticize Shell, which they do quite well. Their website, royaldutchshellplc.com is an excellent source of group news and comment and I recommend it far above what our own group internal comms puts out.” Shell has long been active behind the scenes, in the shadows, hiring spooks and lawyers in an attempt to counter our activities. That all backfired spectacularly when we became aware of Shell’s dirty tricks operations, partly as a result of being contacted by a very high level source in Shell Global Security, who became ashamed of Shell’s corporate espionage activities. Personally I think Shell senior management tactics of sticking their heads in the sand and hoping we will lose interest and go away, has been disastrous for the reputation of the company.
Hi supershell ,interesting put down by you ,rebuttal possibly an option in the beginning but neither the policemen or Shell have that option now denial now not possible .Shell Corrib Boys and Girls could cop a plea of insanity in preference to denial it would be more believable .
super Shell don’t you mean re bottle didn’t think this would flush YOU out but it has is the noose tightening on their lying little necks ?
The practice of accusing Shell of something outrageous and then claiming that lack of rebuttal equates to proof of that claim is getting quite tiresome. Does anyone agree? (ref. OSSL emails to Shell and Irish Police18 Sept 2013)
Shell have shown a blatant disregard for all the people who make project progress possible I.e. the police the landowners the vendors , no regard whatsoever as to who gets damaged by their lies and cover up ….why don’t the police wise up ?.
Shell you are a corporate disgrace now you are lying to the police where will it end may be an honest cop will come forward
Shell pulled the sex, booze, and drugs stunt with employees of the US Dept. of the Interior, MMS, and it worked. Why should it shock anyone that Shell would try a similar stunt in Ireland ? Low lifes are cheap and easy targets for bribery, etc. This is just business as usual for RDS.
London Lad ..Whos us ? ..your difficulty to comprehend is yours alone ..read Donovans comprehensive file on OSSL then you will understand .
Begosh and begorrah â€œGeorge Hamiltonâ€ and â€œThe West Awakeâ€ â€“ please keep off the Guinness before making your posts as they are somewhat undecipherable to us mere mortals. Clearly you have both been getting some of Shellâ€™s handouts over there in Oirland.
I must ask Crothers you gave OSSL a glowing report “exteamly flexible on a difficult project “we know what you mean” go to get it done vendor” why the need to meet them in sleazy hotel rooms ? What are you worried about ? Why when you declared you dismissed them” immorally “from the project do you continue to abuse your position of power and deny them (three people ) a living a situation you could correct with a wave of your clean hands
The court documents you display speak of the need to avoid creating a martyr by the local police amongst the protesters Shell and the police saw the need to disappear the OSSL honestly given statement and then to disappear the statements author GANNON NOLAN where are you ? Explain please
John , something stinks can we ask Shell why after promising to do so they could not reveal the content of a opinion to match an OSSL opinion agreed by legal people for both parties as a sort all solution did that hidden opinion expose Shells extremely difficult position (your OSSL file refers ) Mr Voser this stinks
John ,your Irish Times posting earlier possible that Roadbridge don’t know what went on but categoric denials of illegal and unethical actions need serious back ground checks before going to print .Ossl and Roadbridge may both have been duped by Corrib Team
Who is going to take the blame for the latest fiasco/cock-up at Port Arthur ??? RDS is good at pinning the blame on the innocent and the contractors and rewarding the incompetent.
Garda booze YES press boozeYES covert gifts YES
disguised invoices YES
demands to lie YES
Subcontract the blame YES vilify the innocent YES …HOW BUCKING DARE YOU SHELL COME CLEAN NOW
John please inform OSSL as follows ,multiple members of the press ,who could do Shell no good but also no harm if they so chose were the beneficiaries of Shell Director John Egans largess in contrast the police force locally who assisted Shell day and night on land and at sea got nothing at Christmas ,
Pack you bags Egan and Co times up we don’t believe your non denial ,thanks John .
Corrib Gas middle management ….I don’t include Crothers in this he was late on the scene and can be forgiven he relied on many of you for guidance and got misled …
YOU SHAME THE NAME OF SHELL…God forgive you we never will .
Would any one agree Shell and Garda are engaged in a shameful act ,not giving and taking booze ,but covering their wrong doing by making villains out of a small vendor in order to cover their tracks ,well here’s a news flash its not working
John a message to OSSL demand knowledge of the current contact details of Gannon Nolan Byrne all probably still with Garda and Shell get a skilled legal person involved its clear that both organisations are covering up the truth great support for you in Erris even from pro gas people
RDS’s claim that they can drill safely in the Arctic reminds me of Neville Chamberlain’s claim that there will be ‘peace in our time’. It was and is all a load of BS. Hitler went to war with RDS’s support and there will (still) be massive oil spills in the Arctic. The big question is – Who will get stuck with cleaning up the mess?
LondonLad: I am glad you found your time at RDS rewarding. Many do not. I for one am delighted I left RDS behind me years ago.
LondonLad: are you mellowing?? I don’t think anyone has ever said that they believed all of RDS was rotten…but we all have issues with the 5% who have their own agenda and regard everyone else (both inside and outside Shell) as “collateral damage” in the achievement of their objectives
Thinking about my last posting â€“ why donâ€™t all the protagonists who complain about / defend RDS meet up over lunch (perhaps John can get RDS to pick up the tab!! and get some of them to attend) at an agreeable date and venue. Iâ€™m sure the likes of Di Oâ€™Rea & Nigerians alleged be living in extreme poverty in the Delta can be linked via Skype to the restaurant.
To â€œRelievedâ€ aka Di Oâ€™Rea â€“ why is it that anyone who comments on some of the stupid negative comments about Shell placed on this site are immediately branded as someone who works (presently) for RDS? I worked for 30 + years for the company and did NOT like some of the elements of the job and the pontification from The Hague (most particularly from the HR function). However, they were / are a company at most levels who believe / d in what they were / are doing was / is of true value to shareholders AND the community / country they were / are working in. There are many that attempt to slag RDS off â€“ presently the Oirish, Greenpeace, anarchists, Ludditeâ€™s and corrupt Nigerians (purporting to defend the rights of the Ogoniâ€™s) but at the end of the day we all want to move around this planet which requires hydrocarbons, fracking, etc. etc. It is the whipping up of hysteria by those who have no idea about E&P activities (e.g. Greenpeace & fracking activists â€“ most of whom are paid for by the UK tax payer and very rich parents) that at the end of the day should look at themselves and ask who is going to pay for my life in 20 years time and how am I going to go around the world and enjoy my parents legacy?!?!
To: On The Job: Do you work for RDS, per chance? You have a wonderful sense of business ethics.
WARNING ABOUT POSTINGS ON SHELL BLOG: 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 â€œOutsiderâ€, have built up a reputation over several years for the integrity of their postings on this website.
Middle management corruption in Shell and Statoil is acceptable if it gets the job done wise up you silly locals .
Is the editor of the western people aware that three people lost their jobs in what Michael Crothers states was an immoral fashion because of this booze gifting scenario wafer thin lies from Shell keep these people current employment a damnable situation .Mabey an honest Guard will come forward with a second confirmation of 2005 alcohol distribution .lets hope so …..FREE THE OSSL THREE from this shameful cover up .
Very very interesting John Donovan One newspaper on side =100 euro expenditure Three Hundred Gards on side on the television beating the living day lights out of innocent local people to secure a successful project = 30.000,00euros I’m now getting the picture
Whatever happens next, will anyone try to assess the real costs of the OSSL debacle to Shell and others? Apart from the public opprobrium resulting from the exposure of Shell’s dubious practices, and Shell’s own legal fees, the costs to OSSL in achieving any sort of victory are huge. In addition to OSSL’s own legal costs and the income they have lost during the dispute, Shell will ensure that OSSL are removed from the list of “approved contractors” shared by all of the E&P companies, preventing them from obtaining future work in the oil industry. Shell knows that OSSL will never be able to prove “Tortious Interference” in court, even if they could afford to take on the might of Shell’s legal army. And there will be no compensation for OSSL’s employees who have been made redundant as a result of Shell’s actions.
Yes George Hamilton INTEGRITY RESULTS JUST IN Western People Newspaper 1 Shell oil and Gas 0. (Own goal John Egan )
John , just seen today’s London Sunday times people putting there coats on in Corrib House middle management clear out on the way this corruption not acceptable to Voser or Rees
Hi blog, I’m on the job in Mayo read your blog know OSSL not well but know them, SILLY QUESTION FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED why after ten years of good service does Shell need to only meet OSSL in seedy hotel rooms (previous Donovan articles refers) what’s the big need to distance themselves from OSSL. its at odds with Crothers calling them (OSSL ) an excellent vendor. maybe not such a silly question.
John your latest posting regarding Shell OSSL lets be clear who was at the meeting in the local hotel would this if factual dispel any doubt about the Shell cover up and cause an honest Shell man or woman to demand answers some one like Peter Rees or Peter Voser these guys won’t stand for middle management corruption to much to loose ie the confidence of the locals here in Mayo .
Did I read that correctly a minuted meeting in a local hotel confirms Shells is complicit in all that the vendor is saying THEN NAME ALL PRESENT AT THE MEETING so that Peter Rees can assess the depth of this cover up right now SHELL your not looking to clever
Peter Rees’ quotation “This is not a court of morals, nor is it a court of justice; it is a court of law” seems to imply that if Shell’s army of lawyers can mislead a court into believing that something was legal, then ethics and morality are of no concern. There is a very fine line between deliberately misleading a court using half truths and insinuations and telling outright lies. I have no doubt that when it comes to half truths and insinuations, Shell’s army of lawyers can defeat almost any honest adversary.
I londonlad heads the BS department
What a despicable mess they walked Michael Crothers into you have to say its not the way he works or lets hope not Shells got a lot to answer for they didn’t think a little hick company would fight back fair play OSSL
LondonLad: I have a piece of advice for you: Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Cheers.
Read the piece about RDS’s ‘business principle’. It is all a fraud. Pure PR crap.
Londonlad u can spin a story anyway u want if there money to be made u just have to be manipulative enough.
Great article in the Times newspaper today, page 25 (15th August) â€“ â€œLetâ€™s shatter these five myths about frackingâ€. Pity most of the yobs and anarchists canâ€™t read let alone understand scientific facts.
Honesty integrity respect for people , not on Shell Corrib different values were required there to get the job done OSSL expendable Voser failed to act as promised if he fails you what chance the rest acting with integrity
Templeofcorruption, i was goin to ask the same question!
londonlad news for u the IRA are as corrupt as the next organisation so why don t u join up! Poor u ,u sound like u ve givin up!
London lad .!! What uour job description at Shell ??
LondonLad: So you would have Ireland descend to the level of a third world country where graft is the norm? Is that really your idea of progress? I have no idea how the OSSL mess was created, and perhaps there was really nothing intended beyond a gesture of thanks to the Garda at Christmas. Unfortunately it has now become a major embarrassment for all concerned.
â€œEileenâ€ itâ€™s not a disgrace that there is no coverage in Ireland â€“ this is only a story for those who donâ€™t want Ireland to develop but would rather they continue to live in the dark ages. Trust me the rest of the UK (and most likely the world apart from the IRA loving Kennedyâ€™s) doesnâ€™t give a hoot about this low life story. I am absolutely sure that now the football & rugby seasons are about to start the story over Corrib and all the stupid hype whipped up by sites such as this (and the left wing Guardian) will drop off the news in Ireland even more. RIP all you stone age unwashed. By the way what has happened to the attacks on Shell / BP / etc. etc. over the petroleum products price fixing â€“ just another over simplistic story generated by the likes of the suing culture Yanks no doubt. Oh I do like summer time when the stories generated by the â€œmediaâ€ are often total bull-shit as there is nothing else to moan about.
Re earlier comment about lack of coverage in irish media, couldn t agree more. Its a disgrace.
Remember that former RDS employee whose ‘classified’ IP RDS targeted ?? Rumor has that NASA (Langley Research Center) has invited him to become one of their science/engineering advisors. NASA has apparently asked him to help them formulate a very long term research program. When is the last time that happened to a former RDS employee. There is life after RDS.
To LondonLad: You need to check your spelling, Old Top. Cheers.
It matters Danyell of course it does. Maybe you were being ironic but without the rule of law we have anarchy. I have no idea whether the accusations are true but they have been made and there are questions to answer.
What is it with the Irish and booze ????
Can OSSL post a copy of the PO and contract scope of work tied to the PO? I see a number is posted in the invoice (4510249377).
Does it really matter? bribes, backhanders, bungs call it whatever you want but they have existed since time began and will continue forever. Rightly or wrongly it is common business practice and like the ancient Spartans the crime was not the offence itself but being caught out.
Well said â€œRelievedâ€ you clearly still have Di Oâ€™rea in the brain. Coming from a Yank that is extremely rich!! You guys across the pond, particularly the likes of the Kennedyâ€™s who attempted to sponsor the murdering IRA, try looking at the severe corruption in the US.
On a more serious note, that is the first piece of silverware for this season that the boys have won.
To those who think the Irish should be grateful for RD Shell’s presence, I would remind them that they have options when it comes to dealing with oil companies, i.e., Exxon, Chevron, Statoil, Total, etc., etc., etc. The Irish don’t have to put up with Shell’s corrupting influence if they don’t want to. They need to get rid of their corrupted gov’t officials first, however.
What I still find so disgraceful after all this time is the absence of media coverage about the illegal/ dodgy/ underhand methods employed by state, state agencies and Shell. Nowhere on television in Ireland where it matters /high profile such as Late late Show or Prime time has there been consistent coverage. The majority of the Irish population just carries on as though this struggle in Co Mayo is not happening .
I am reminded if course that for years girls and young women were disposed of in the Magdalen Laundries (sweatshops) or shipped to England to have their illegitimate babies. Not to mention thd organised and widespread clerical abuse in every diocese here. We Irish seem to be blessed with turning a blind eye to injustice at home when money is involved. One only has to remember the Galway FF tent !!
As someone who lost her job as a result of making my opinion heard; daring to peacefully protest; writing to the press and so forth I am not surprised that free booze, DIY were given to community . Again the church has/is complicit on this. Take a bow Fr. Kevin Hegarty.
To all of you – us- who struggle for justice in a very unjust world Hope, Hope and Hope that one day we shall overcome. Xxx
The Oirish should be glad that Shell finally brings some energy into this country – literally and figuratively.
LondonLad: I suspect your attitudes pertaining to Ireland and the Irish would have been seconded by Cromwell. Remember your history. I am most certain the Irish do.
Hi London Lad ,your inability to understand surprises no one keep taking the tablets cheers .
Shell to Sea offers sincere condolences to you John and to your family on the death of your good father, Alfred RIP. Both you and he have given inestimable support to our campaign and it is heartening to see such support continue even at this time. The current sorry saga of Royal Dutch Shell v OSSL has similarities with your own experience – inept ‘leadership’ within Shell is incapable of recognising decent business practice and continues to subvert in that area as Royal Dutch Shell plc has subverted state governance for decades.
Alfred Donovan lived and died with his integrity intact.
Suaimhneas sÃorraÃ dÃ¡ anam (Eternal rest to his soul).
Can some one explain Shells ..Garda ..decent people of Erris ..KPMG ..stonewall silence is there something bigger we have not to know about ?
Jeeeeez thank God there is life outside of the insignificant and small island called Ireland. What a load of whingers and moaners who are hell bent on stopping progress. As for the alcohol angle â€“ that is rich coming from the country who get pissed regularly on Guinness and export it for considerable profit. Having attempted, on several occasions, to understand the comments from â€œGeorge Hamiltonâ€ and â€œCorrib Watcherâ€ they clearly have been on the sauce (Guinness) prior to making their postings. I genuinely cannot understand what these Mickâ€™s are trying to tell the outside world.
Three things the leading players can’t break the truth on 1 Garda SHELL demand for lies 2 Garda Shell denial of alcohol supplies 3 Shell Local Homeowners deny covert home improvements ….if Shell clearly prove “not us that would be corrupt “then the OSSL people would be before a judge by now in the meantime deny them a living is the best Shell can do ..shame on the guards shame on the householders …come clean BIG OIL and repair the damage
Pullatomish Pier on u tube a good watch no Shell man there because they had no permission to be there but they didn’t tell OSSL boy that they knew there would holy murder up there just a Shell tactic
Your lead story ,a few questions where is NOLAN where is CRONIN where is ROONEY and the big question where is GANNON some one please come forward with the answers
So sorry about the Passing of your dad John, On behalf of my family and l, Please accept our Condolences. Alfred Donovan was an inspirational in his battle against the dirty Oil Company $hell. He always stand for what he believed that is right by fighting for the Oppressed.I strongly believed that GOD has placed him in a special place and his kind, gentle, perfect soul will continue resting in the Bosom of the LORD. Alfred died an Hero, and will always be remembered for his good work. may God grant the entire family strength to bear the loss
Glad to see that those Nimby’s who want us to be subservient to the Arabs and live in caves are objecting to fracking in the UK. Why don’t they just wait for a few months until fracking has started in their area then submit fictitious claims for structural damage as the Americans have done?
Nice words from sad to hear Alfred Donovan was the giant from where I’m sitting i do think someone in Shell will step forward and offer corporate condolences lets hope so
so sorry to hear about the passing of Alfred Donovan. my condolences to John and the rest of the famly. Alfred was inspirational in his relentless battle against Shell – he proved that the “little guy” can speak out, even against oil giants. He was a relentless whistle blower. again, so sorry to hear that he’s now gone.
Well said, Paddy Briggs.
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Alfred Donovan and pass my condolences to John and the family. I guess the best any of us can hope for in life is that we made a difference. Mr Donovan did and that is to celebrate.
The age of the whilstle-blower and the activist is with us today and those who try to reveal the hidden truths are being villified by establishments big and small. It takes courage to stand up to the big battallions. I know Shell past and present well enough to know that it is not as bad as this website might sometimes suggest it is – but not as good as the Shell PR machine would have us believe either. It is only by digging resolutely for the truth that we will know on any one issue where along the spectrum form Villian to Hero the truth resides! Then, when the facts are known, we can make our own judgments. The Donovans have been diggers for truth and I commend them for it even if I dont agree with all of their conclusions !
RIP Alfred Donovan.
Well it’s taken something special for me to “revisit” this site after such a long time, but, I sincerely give the Donovan family all my sympathies on the loss of Alfred Donovan. A good innings and no doubt an honest and true man, despite my angst against some of the articles written and defended on this website.
Alfred Donovan RIP Shell didn’t know what they were doing when they picked a fight with that man. Rest in peace you were a good man indeed.
John, as a regular reader of your website my sincerest condolences with the loss of your father.
Although I don’t agree with most of the negativity expressed here, I want to express my sincere condolences for the passing away of your father, John.
Halliburton may have destroyed evidence pertaining to the testing and completion of that well, but it was BP’s well design and drilling program that was the real culprit. BP tried to save a well bore that had been trashed by a shoddy drilling program. That well was never intended to be put on production. It was a ‘throw away’ well bore because, as with most exploration wells, BP really didn’t expect to find a commercial oil accumulation.
Would it be best if Senior Corrib man Brian Foley had a little bit of recall before the people of Mayo demand clarity on this crushing of a local company because of an inconvenient truth time to come clean Mr Foley .
What’s $1+ billion and money laundering allegations when almost a USD $$$ trillion is at stake. That is real money and warrants the liberal greasing of corrupt hands.
Along with the imprisonment threat if OSSL spoke out ,at an earlier stage in this debacle OSSL were informed by a Shell senior Corrb manager that if we approached Shell higher up the ladder that he would see to it that we would never work in the oil and gas industry again we asked Michael Crothers to to explain this extremely harsh ban on future employment for doing Shells bidding and assisting in all Shells requests ,his reply as always is silence .
A top Shell executive called Frances Van dam flew from Den Hagg to meet the smallest company that Shell had ever delt with she wanted the meeting to take place outside of Ireland so two members of the small company met her in London all her questions were answered honestly and and any information she requested was give freely we OSSL had acted she said with propriety and had been selected as the Go to company when special requests were required by Shell we put forward the name of Brian Foley Senior Shell Corrib man as the person who would confirm all we had to say .five months later we OSSL were requested to travel back to London to meet with Shell CEO the outcome of the second meeting was that would seek an outside opinion on the matters in dispute and OSSL should also obtain an opinion , both opinions were to be shared openly at a subsequent meeting from these opinions a solution would be found and the matter closed. However when the opinion sharing meeting took place Shell refused to put their independent opinion on the table .
The following day their independent opinion giver was sent to the offices of Ossls independent opinion giver to inform him that if his client revelied any of the information freely given then a prison sentence would be the likely outcome because of the nature of Shells demands on OSSL , that threat has never been withdrawn by Shell dispite many requests from OSSL ….
John , remember “beware of a man in a Shell Hat” a story on the Shell senior contracts manager for Corrib Brian Foley is the man the Voser appointee is relying on for the truth to aired on the OSSL claims. He is also the man who ordered the favours, furthermore he is a friend of the Voser appointee …what chance the truth coming out – there a fox in the hen house kidding on he’s a chicken – the cover up continues: its also remarkable that he’s still in that job .
Shell Canada is in talks with LOBLAWS supermarkets to sell its gas stations
John read all you have printed about OSSL just like to add ,can you imagine the great sense of excitement at OSSL when Shell asked us to assist them in certain tricky matters to smooth the passage of their Corrib project to assist in the manner we did was they informed us was the ticket to fifteen years ongoing business for a world class client …can you imagine the horror when we discovered that we were only to be used then trashed for fear that our confidential moves made on their behalf would be uncovered to reveal what they now call corruption ..they didn’t call it that when they were making daily requests for favours we were tricked by supposed men of integrity then we took our plight to higher level even at the risk of imprisonment as threatened by Shell but that higher level fell for the crap being spouted by the irish Shell team and failed OSSL again #saddaywhenwesaidgladtohelpyou
The very top people at Shell Corrib Project authorised the home improvements for nearby locals and booze for the Garda wrong people sacked to ensure cover up but that didn’t work thundering disgrace and Voser knows it now a man is in mortal danger his price for helping bring gas ashore and doing Shells biding big disgrace but no surprises life is cheap as far as Shells concerned .
Half an hour ago at the Corrib site I asked a Shell person about the hunger striker ,yes we know about it we have a sweepstake on how many days nice people
Reports from Shells Corrib development in Mayo that local vendor is on a hunger strike demanding intervention from Shell regarding on going cover up of very serious matters including demands by Shell to mislead the police ombudsman or be dismissed from project .
I am not surprised that RDS chose the man it did for its new CEO. RDS is heavily committed to gas and gas to liquids conversion because it is so profitable. They need someone running the shop who understands what he is doing (at least in theory).
How much of the drop in Shell’s share price is related to exposure to potential claims if the EU suspicions are confirmed?
Presumably the fall in share price is the start of the discounting for the accession of Simon Henry to the throne? RDS share price has been stagnant for some time now so we must be due for a(nother) re-org !!
In June, Shell appointed as one if its Vice Presidents, Mike Muller, the person at the centre of the Brent price issue. How is it possible that the senior management did not see this? I’m sure the EU would be very interested in understanding this appointment.
It may be that BP is being taken advantage of in the post blowout legal environment, but I cannot say that this is unexpected. BP is its own worst enemy. If people are submitting fraudulent claims then BP should fight those claims. It would not be good PR, but their are being played for patsies right now. BP should take a page from Chevron’s playbook. Pay the legitimate claims and fight the fraud.
I am reacting to the article on BP’s difficulties in court in the litigious US environment. BP has a case to answer; no-one disputes that. However the feeding frenzy is a disgrace and another demonstration of “one rule in the US and another for the rest of the world.” In a few days (July 6th) our business will mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea. It is worth while remembering that the operating deficiencies of Occidental, a US oil company, resulted in the deaths of 167 men. In addition, the survivors have been scarred (physically and mentally) for life and the families have done their collective best to get on with their lives without resorting to armies of lawyers. In contrast, 11 men died in the Deep Water Horizon episode. That is certainly 11 too many but not the same scale of human disaster as was Piper Alpha. The sums being talked about as “justified compensation” for the deaths, environmental damage, loss of earnings beggar belief and could eventually destroy the company. In addition, a number of BP employees could end up with lengthy custodial prison sentences. In contrast the “damage” suffered by Occidental was derisory being Â£110 million paid to the survivors (considerably less than Â£1 million per man) and not a single Occidental employee or company official was prosecuted in a court of law. To add insult to injury. Occidental’s lawyers spent considerable time and effort following the payments trying to recover the money from contractors on Piper Alpha, pursuant to indemnity
obligations in contracts, which were common in the North Sea at the time of the disaster.
Perhaps John would consider removing the BP related articles and the associated sickening comments from the US free loaders as a mark of respect to the Piper Alpha victims and their families. In the meantime I recommend all those who follow this site make a point of watching the newly released film concerning Piper Alpha “The Night The Sea Caught Fire: Remembering Piper Alpha”.
Does the presence of Simon Henry at the Bilderberg meeting with Voser and Ollila provide a clue to Voser’s successor?
Speaking of defamation, I bet RDS defamed that fellow whom they tried to get possession of his ‘classified’ IP. I bet they made up all kinds of unkind remarks and spread them around. Any Bets ??
So, RDS, et al, conspired to boost the price of oil. Let’s say they managed a $10/bbl increase. At 20 million bbls/day that means the US economy took a $36+ billion hit per year. Over 10 years that is real money. RDS is in deep trouble. In fact, they conspired (albeit indirectly) to defraud the US government. I think someone will go to prison for this.
Relieved: Apart from the regulatory vultures, I presume there is scope for class action suits. This could potentially be on a similar scale to the reserves litigation
Looks like the regulatory vultures smell blood and are beginning to circle.
The so-called energy company of the year award granted $hell by Platts is a complete mockery! This action is shame and sham of what any the lowest level competence and excellence, best practice and corporate social responsibility stands for. The Platts is a total joke, thus demonstrates gross negligence or like $hell, is derelict of the duties it claims to provide to the public. If a company which deliberately overstate its oil reserves and paid huge fines to avert prosecutions, illegally fixes prices, lies to the highest degree, and is corrupt and bribes and kills (poisons the environment and people) to make profit can win any reasonable groups’ award. Then the world is going nuts. I however know that great people and groups still exist that know groups such as $hell, thus will not grant this Platts’ prevaricated award or mistake.
I understand that the EU and the US Justice Department are also rather curious about the relationship between Shell and Platt’s – something about price fixing?
As Ogoni and someone conversant with Nigerian politics, the corrupt system and how $hell has infested the country with greed, violence, bribery and corruption, killing squads and other kinds of bad and illegal behaviors, including disrespecting the host communities of oil companies. I understand the name of the so-called oil theft game and everyday pollution caused by #hell’s recklessness since 1958 to date. Maybe Londonlad and his likes will read the developing story about an arrested $hell contractor connected with the recent oil theft that led to the shutting down of the trans-Niger pipeline, which he referenced. This isn’t the first time $hell contractors and government officials, the military protecting $hell and pipelines are caught stealing Ogoni oil and from other facilities in Niger delta. $hell recruits and pays people to steal this oil it’s stopped from officially extracting since 1993. Once this lead to fire and leaks it’s $hell that will first go to the press claiming sabotage. What a shame and what a company; sadly the world keeps watching on as this criminal company mature in oil theft, lies, bribery, corruption and killing!
Oil theft dates back to the 1960â€™s in the Niger Delta, it has escalated rapidly since the 1990â€™s . Since the 1980â€™s the greatest cause of pollution (volume wise) is that of theft (i.e. explosions, spillages etc.) caused by Nigerians themselves (just check the internet rather than sticking your head â€œwhere the sun donâ€™t shineâ€). The so called Delta â€œChiefsâ€ profit from sale of the stolen hydrocarbons and from compensation for the pollution THEY have created. Why even today this tabloid website states yet another example of theft causing an explosion, fire and pollution in the Niger Delta. Perhaps your defence of such activities (particularly via using the smoke screen of Shell) could have some hidden reason?
LondonLad: Your proposed scenario is not realistic. You live in the UK where the rule of law exists, and where the legal system has not been corrupted (at least not to a great degree) by the oil industry. The oil industry does not ‘own’ the British government like it ‘owns’ the Nigerian government. You are comparing apples and oranges, and it doesn’t work well.
Hahahahaha, London or Lagos man, those involved in such so-called sabotage are Western business men and women-some may be sponsored by $hell. It’s on record though, that most sabotage are done by government and $hell officials. The security task-force saddled with the responsibility of monitoring these pipes and $hell recruits for oil theft are those doing this act and Western (including UK) business people buy the stolen oil. The real point though, like I said before in a quizzical form and you couldn’t answer is: when did the so-called sabotage tied to militants and others of the host communities began? $hell has been spilling oil in Ogoni/Niger delta recklessly since 1958 to date. You do the math. Also, are there armed forces men and women guarding oil pipes in UK? The answer may be no. Why in Nigeria? $hell, which is your precursor can tell you why. But first, it’s its greed and determination to poison the host communities.
I wonder what would happen in the UK if I blew up the oil pipeline, that runs close by my house, which then caused oil to pollute my garden. Do you reckon I could get millions of pounds compensation via the UK (or even US) courts? Perhaps I should get some of these Ogoniâ€™s that regularly try this to help me. How much dash would they need Ben â€œif thatâ€™s your real nameâ€ Ikari?
$hell’s dubiousness in spill reporting isn’t new. It happened that the world didn’t listen due corporate influence and benefit from cheap Ogoni/Niger delta oil. Ogonis have exposed the crook known as $hell long ago-that’s why the company killed Ken Saro-Wiwa thinking he’s the only issue left. $hell Oil is a scam and should be banished if those operating it feels they’ve been bashed so much considering how reckless, corrupt and deadly they are. If the company’s management can’t show respect and decency for people and the environment as evidence seems to show across the board that they don’t. Then the rogue company should cease to operate or exist. How can any good thinking society condone such octopus, anaconda and bloodsucking cult known as $hell?
Going by the story titled: “How Shell is trying to send a chill through activist groups throughout the country” and posted to this link. Those who know the crooked and deadly company are aware of the fact this company feels it’s good at-intimidating and silencing people. The one group it can’t silence no matter the circumstances, and it knows that, is the Ogoni people. Well, I do hope this case mentioned by the referenced story will turn against the company. This way our free speech and rights to protest and petition as guaranteed by the First Amendment can be protected. If to the contrary, America is doomed as a corporate cow, after it fell for corporate influence in Citizens United Vs. FEC, and Kiobel vs Shell (among others), which were both ruled in corporate favor by a reportedly business friendly Supreme Court, which seems to not care about people and their rights, but corporate dominance.
Oh if you guys really knew the story behind OPL245 and the Malabu / Etete angle!!
LondonLad: Just for grins I googled ‘LondonLad. Hmmm. It is none of my business, but you might want to change your call sign, buddy. Cheers.
LondonLad: Where or where have you been ??? We have missed you and your cheerful disposition. Welcome back !!
â€œSomeone once said (and I wish I could remember who)â€ â€“ I thought it must be you Relieved as you seem to like the sound of your own voice!!! Oh, and if RDS didnâ€™t write down their code of ethics you would be griping about them not doing this.
We all know RDS owns Jiffy Lube in the US. Rumor has it that the engine oil sold at Jiffy Lube is not newly refined motor but recycled motor oil. Can any one confirm this ??? If so, I wonder if RDS (Jiffy Lube) is letting its customers know they are getting second hand oil. My guess is that everyone thinks they are buying newly refined motor oil. What ever happened to truth in advertising ?? Sounds like RDS may be engaged in deceptive trade practices. Would anyone be surprised ??? Here is an web advert link by Jiffy Lube about used motor oil : Jiffy LubeÂ® A Second Life for Your Used Motor Oil
Someone once said (and I wish I could remember who): ‘If you have to write down your code of ethics you have already lost the battle.’ That is clearly the case with RDS.
RDS management has a serious problem with hubris, but that is common amongst the management of large corporations. However, the lesson of some recent, and now infamous, corporate exec’s stuffed with their own self-importance(e.g., those of Enron Corp., etc.) can be found in the line by Socrates – “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make proud.”
Relieved: I know and you are completely correct. But our politically correct pointy haired bosses had lost all rationality in the transformation process. I fear this happens in most big processes.
To Old EP Hand: I consulted for Enron on that India project and those damned fools negotiated themselves into bankruptcy on that deal. To break even on their power plant project Enron needed 10 cents a kilowatt hour for their power. In India ??? There was no way the government was going to allow Enron to charge those rates for power. Enron got taken to the cleaners by what they considered 3rd world fools.
In 1969, Unocal caused a blowout in the Santa Barbara Channel which led to industrywide restrictions on the areas open for offshore drilling. Many of these restrictions are still in force today. Shell may have achieved the same result in the Arctic.
Hi there, I read your new stuff like every week. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up!
Stumbled on your website just now – just recently an event took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Me and a couple friends protested on the last day of the event, and here’s some stuff i wrote on the event. Thought it may interest you.
As the concentration of carbon dioxide has reached a record high level in the atmosphere, Shell is currently busy with one of the dirtiest type of corporate propaganda â€“ promoting itself as sustainable and concerned about the environment by spending an extreme amount of money to distort the minds of Dutch elementary and highschool students and sending them a message that couldnâ€™t be much farther away from the reality that we face today.
The public relations conducted by Shell demonstrates the extensive instrumentalization of human psychology specialized to alter the young minds and hearts to effectively mould their perceptions of the world, corrupt their values and infiltrate the language. Shellâ€™s intention is clear: to align the mentality of these students with the corporate ideological line of multinationals like Shell which are exploitative and oppressive (think of what happened in Nigeria, Iraq), overshadowing the unethical implications of their global operations, keeping their perspectives narrow and teaching them to accept this as normal. The event involves a fanfare that has the appearance of Disneylandâ€™s themepark with the look and feel of MTVâ€™s sweet sixteen-birthday extravaganza.
The facts are obvious, even the International Energy Agency recently stated that most of the oil must stay in the ground if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Thereâ€™s a very simple way for Shell to show that it cares about the environment â€“ stop taking part in the problem!
Shellâ€™s track record, scratch that â€“ criminal record, shows that it has no intention of changing its course â€“ its actions are inhuman, savage and needs resistance.
All the best,
To LondonLad: Chill out, buddy. We all get to have our say on this blog so long as we don’t get too carried away.
Well â€œOutsiderâ€ your just like the Donovanâ€™s with the little add-ons!! All I stated was that trying to reduce the tax bill by RDS was, for the share holder, the correct thing to do. Your add-on about costs, the running aground etc. were NOT condoned in my commentary. All I was addressing was the taxation aspect.
Londonlad: RDS’ actions in Alaska would appear to show a complete disregard for safety and responsible management, especially with the benefit of hindsight. Although nobody was killed or injured, this was only through shear luck. Either the risks were badly assessed or risk management was completely lacking. $90 million in costs to date, and public ridicule are far too high a price to pay for trying to save $6 million in taxes. The $5 billion invested in the Arctic to date has also been jeopardised, if not lost. If this is what you expect as a shareholder, I suspect that you are probably alone in viewing the events in such a charitable light.
So what if Shell (or any other oil company) moved an oil rig for the purposes of reducing tax payments? Is that really that big a deal in the grander scheme of things? I would expect that 99% of the readers / contributors to this website make sure that they minimize their tax payments (if not then they are rather stupid). As an RDS share holder I believe their actions are absolutely correct. However, running aground was not really advantageous and only allowed tabloid websites such as this to pontificate.
Posted by Relieved
on May 29th, 2013 at 14:32:
I have heard of â€˜slime in the ice machine !!!â€™, an infraction for which public eating establishments are often cited for by health officials, but â€˜slime in the fuel tank ??? This is a first. Slime is a bacterial and algal growth. So, how long does it take to grow â€˜slimeâ€™ in diesel fuel ?? Or maybe a water tank was used to store diesel and it picked up the slime there. Someone sold those folks bad stuff. Really bad stuff.
Posted by uscitizen on May 29th, 2013 at 14:26:
And this is the guye who waxes on about principles. I will testify to the highest authorities that I have never posted under any handle but uscitizen. Tell me John, it is real easy to check IP addresses, how did you validate that I post under different handles. Simple you did not. The bottom line is that you LIED. You are an unethical person. And you insulted 95% of your posters who post with a handle and not their name, DUH! You have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt all that I have accused you of, lying to make your case. You are shameful. And the best part is that when you read this, YOU will know that you have been caught. VALIDATION, great stuff. Lets see how you try to spin and lie about this. Tell folks how you validated that shellwatcher and uscitizen are the same poster, YOU cant!! And you accuse folks of integrity problems??
JOHN DONOVAN: â€œShellwatcherâ€ is but one of many aliases used by this person, who most often posts under the alias â€œuscitizenâ€. The use of multiple aliases is meant to deceive us and other visitors. He does not have enough courage to make postings under his real name and is totally lacking in scruples and integrity. He should use the alias â€œtrollâ€. A thoroughly unpleasant devious individual.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN: us citizen, you are partly right. I have not lied, but I was entirely mistaken in accusing you of using multiple aliases to post comments. Someone else did so, including using the alias usacitizen, that I wrongly thought was you. Consequently you are entitled to and have my unreserved apology, whoever you are. As far as I can see you have always used the same IP address for all of your postings (stretching back to at least 2011).
John, you are a God sent to the Oppressed people, and your great reward is in heaven. Please keep up the good Job. I am strongly convinced by now that $HELL and BP OIL are partners in Crime after reading through the Amicus Brief they filled in support of SHELL in The case:KIOBEL V SHELL in UNITED STATE SUPRME COURT. KUDOS! Please keep up the good Job!
Great to see Sean Churchfield being open and transparent about the mess in Alaska. It’s a pity it will probably not score him any points…
Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!
I just read the MP’s demand from Google to take websites that spread lies and hate from the Internet. I presume this will mean the end of this site. REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN: “Shellwatcher” is but one of many aliases used by this person, who most often posts under the alias “uscitizen”. The use of multiple aliases is meant to deceive us and other visitors. He does not have enough courage to make postings under his real name and is totally lacking in scruples and integrity. He should use the alias “troll”. A thoroughly unpleasant devious individual.
Interested parties to this site should review how Shell is participating in the RINS market each day. They are actively hedging buying and selling with the intent to take profits. This is driving the costs of RINS up and ultimately the cost of gasoline and diesel up. This is right in line with the price fixing allegations currently underway. All you have to do is analyze the buying and selling patterns to see the real Shell.
John: Just for grins you might want to post a link to Shell’s business principles. We need to be reminded what an ethical company RDS really is. This latest portrayal by petty government bureaucrats looking to make a name and career for themselves, at RDS expense, and shameless media outlets pursuing mega- advert $$$ is simply scandalous !!! Scandalous, I say !!! Something must be done to shut this nefarious and slanderous behavior down !!!
With the EU raids and discovery for the US legal action, there could be a lot of dirty linen finding its way into the public domain over the next few months
The market for refined petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel fuel, is now an international market. The US exports a great deal of diesel and gasoline to Europe. As a result I fully expect this investigation over market manipulation to expand to the US because the exportation of excessive amounts of refined product, or the apparent exportation of excessive amounts of refined product, can cause price hikes here in the States.
Hmmmm. BP,and Shell are partners in Crime. I now imagine why BP filled Amicus Brief in support of Shell in Kiobel v Shell at Supreme court in America
USCitizen: So glad you are back. Things were getting to be a bit boring and one-sided with only LondonLad to hold down the fort for RDS.
Relieved: Neither Watts, nor vd Veer nor Voser had the good fortune to spend a few years in Cambridge with Lord Madingley of Boots and Coots fame. I think Moody Stuart might have done…
I have not absconded John, just do not have time to waste or breath to waste on folks with a clear biased agenda. Folks who take any data and use it to build their already determined conlcusion. Later – much too busy trying to get my retirement paid for by contractors taking me to lunch twice a year, man these perks are awesome!! Again – get a life.
Maybe we ought to start calling RDS and BP management the ‘Cambridge Boys Club’ or perhaps the ‘Cambridge Mafia’. No ?? Just a thought. Anybody else have any ideas, aside from the usual obscenities.
It seems reasonable to speculate that if the CEO’s of these companies reached a deal on oil prices, then the executive committees of both companies were also involved. Members of their boards of directors may also have been involved. Given that RDS had executives from the US on the exec. committee and on the board I would guess those individuals (retired or not) are also subjects of a wider criminal investigation. Involvement of the US DOJ therefore seems to be inevitable. And who knows, maybe we shall get to the bottom of these ‘damnable and viscous lies and rumors’ about price fixing. Afterall, RDS management is governed by well established corporate ‘business principles’ and would never stoop to such conduct. Dream on, my children, dream on. Don’t you just love the arrogance of power.
LondonLad: While it is true that oil is traded as a commodity on various markets it is also true that the oil companies have been heavy speculators in those markets. That fact has been know for a long time.
The biggest oil price fixers in the UK in order of “fixing” are:
1. UK Government (at a healthy 60%) – FACT
2. New York and London Stock Market traders (non-oil company traders) – FACT
3. Companies that buy up cargo loads of oil and store it offshore for the price to rise then sell at vast profits – FACT
4. Shell, BP, Statoil et. al. – ALLEDGEDLY
Lets face it, as with the LIBOR scandal, it takes more than one or two companies to fix the price of a product.
LondonLad: Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to recall RDS having the same problem over price fixing in the Phillipines.
In the States this alleged price fixing activity could be prosecuted under Federal conspiracy and Racketeering statutes (i.e., engaging in organized crime), among others. People would/could go to jail for a very, very long time if convicted of such activity.
Interesting to see on the ITV website that they state : “The price of petrol at UK pumps has increased significantly since 2004, but the majority of that is down to tax.” Most people should be aware the biggest thieves with regard to oil price “fixing” are the UK Government – 60% tax at the pump AND that does not include the tax at the wellhead of the North Sea. Cameron et al are hiding nicely behind this tabloid story. REPLY BY JOHN: Musaint, you are bunching ITN, BBC News, Channel4News, Sky News, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, The Telegraph, The Guardian, USA Today, The New York Times etc all under the your “tabloid” banner. Seems rather unfair to me. You are right about UK governments, past and present.
Well here we go again!! Oil price fixing and all the little add-ons and innuendos again by the Donovans. Strongly recommend that it’s best to read some of the UK newspapers for a more sensible write up and debate on the oil price fixing. Biggest price fixers? – the London and NY (non-oil company) traders. Why do you have to interweave so many aspects on Shell that you’ve been discussing over the last month or so, most of which are conjecture or alleged? “Royal Dutch Shell was built on price fixing” – bit of a sweeping and unfounded statement I would say. Well “Relieved” I thought you knew all there is to know about Shell as your ingrained negativeness must be based on knowledge of the company, i.e. its Business Principles. Clearly not. REPLY BY JOHN: Hello Musaint, I can recommend some reading material to you so you know the facts. Start off with A HISTORY OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, volumes 1, 2 & 3. This vast work was written by eminent historians paid by Shell. When you have read it all, as I have, let me know and I will direct you to further credible, verifiable, reference source information providing more proof confirming what I have stated. The whole evil enterprise was built on price-fixing.
Could some current senior manager from RDS tell us what the company’s business principles (really) are ???
In the same way that LIBOR is used to set interest rates around the world, the price of crude set by Platts is used to determine the value of oil globally. No surprise if oil companies were using similar tactics to their friends in the banking sector.
LondonLad: Given that you agree that RDS management is responsible for their conduct and decisions, then I take it you agree they should be held responsible for what appears to be (according to ‘Washington Observer’) a not so subtle attempt at espionage (under USA law and perhaps the Official State Secrets Act – UK). Correct ?
To LondonLad: Someday you may know my story, but for now it is not appropriate for me to comment. FYI – I did not retire from Shell. I was not so foolish as to hang around that long. Better opportunities beckoned, and there are better opportunities in this world than working for RDS. Believe me, it is a big wide world out there, with lots of better opportunities than working for RDS.
Dear Voser, You have made an impact to Shell. However there are still lots to be done. Put an Asian in the Excom. The old Western business model and management style is outdated. So do Shell a favor before you leave.
Yes “Relieved” one of the objectives of this website is to encourage discussion – and for that I genuinely salute the Donovan’s for inserting comments on the Blog from the likes of myself. Yes I was a good company man for many years – were you? I very much doubt that as the chip on your shoulder from enforced early retirement appears to blinker your thought process. I do love your comment that “RDS management IS responsible for everything it does” – YET AGAIN I ask, did you (YES YOU “RELIEVED”) voice/email/write about your concerns when you were “working” for Shell??
LondonLad – my name IS Maura, what’s yours?!
It think that, in the end, Oxford will find its arrangement with RDS to be a Faustian bargain.
LondonLad: I think that the historical legal precedent that you and RDS are looking with regards to your ‘Donovan Problem’ can be found in the quote: ‘Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest ?’
Oh, yes – RDS management IS responsible for everything it does. If they aren’t, then who is ???
To LondonLad: I do believe one of the objectives of this blog is to encourage discussion about the way RDS does business. From time to time it manages to do just that.
Just for grins – Being the good ‘company man’ that you obviously are, do you wear underwear adorned with little red and yellow Shell logo’s ?? We breathlessly await your reply.
Not quite the same as the major golf event or large office building. In this instance there is no need to smuggle in a huge bomb or hijack a plane. All that is needed is a relatively small explosive device, or a speedboat suicide attack, as per the USS Cole, to ignite a ready-made gigantic potential bomb. All that’s missing from the billion dollar Prelude vessel is a large target painted on each side. As to your self-appointed role on this website, you are as always very welcome, especially as US Citizen has absconded.
There are far too many “add-ons” and innuendos trying to pull Shell into a story (the tabloid approach as I’ve stated on many occasions). A very good example is that of this terrorist story viz offshore facilities. Hey, what about a refinery viz terrorists in the UK or USA; hey what about a large office in the world viz terrorists; hey what about a major golfing event viz terrorists – the list goes on and on. All can be woven into the name of Shell (and other oil companies for that matter). Get my point yet? No probably not as the Donovans and “Relieved” are fixated with trying to sling mud at Shell at every opportunity. By the way “Relieved” you still refuse to answer some of my basic questions, which are simple to answer. As Donovan has stated many times he merely wants to hold Shell to its Business Principles etc. – a very noble cause indeed; all I want to do is make sure these attacks on this website are based on fact NOT innuendos and half-baked stories.
With Cambridge graduates filling three positions on Shell’s executive committee (Andy Brown, Simon Henry, and Peter Rees) how did anyone get approval to set up a research facility with Oxford??
LondonLad: Me thinks you were an ex-Shell manager. Your lack of objectivity (i.e., brain washing) and immaturity give you away. This discussion about potential terrorist activity directed towards RDS’s proposed floating processing plants is
not irrelevant given the concern of RDS’s investors and insurers.
FYI – a 1 tonne charge of high explosive detonated under the keel of such a ship would undoubtedly break its back, causing it to tear apart and sink. That is how modern torpedoes work. Like it or not these ships are going to be very vulnerable targets, and RDS will need to plan and prepare for ‘hostile activity’ directed at them. It is only prudent. RDS should consult with the RN and SAS about such matters.
LondonLad: Fiction? What fiction? You make a blanket condemnation, but provide no examples – not one – of what you are describing as “fiction”.
One last comment about Shell’s proposed designe for a gas processing vessel of ‘vast size and proportions’. That darned thin has one hell of a freeboard and will be extremely difficult to handle in any kind of a wind. In a ‘big blow’ it may be impossible to handle unless it has very powerful engines.
P.S. The King is Dead, Long Live the King
To the Donovans and “Maura” I think you miss the point. No oil company can fully protect any offshore facility for 100% security and safety. This tabloid story merely highlights what I have said about this website on many occasions – yes, many facts quoted BUT far too much fiction for my liking (perhaps not for the anti-Shell brigade though). And, if Shell did have the SAS to protect a facility? Then guess what this website would no doubt blame Shell for an overkill etc. etc. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The Bonga comparison is fact Maura not fiction as you attempt to make out. As for your comments “Relieved” they merely highlight your attempt to blame Shell for everything they do. As stated and asked many times to you : (1) were you given early retirement from Shell ? hence your “problem” with the company; (2) did you complain upwards within Shell with all these negative comments / concerns which you state Shell had when you were working for them? The old “Twaddle Master” seems to have reinvented himself under the guise of “Relieved” – welcome back!
LondonLad: Do you like to dance ??
LondonLad: You complain about me drawing attention to what will be an obvious, but until now, unspoken prime (almost sitting) target for a terrorist attack, but then add to the highlighting of this hugely expensive, gigantic floating LNG facility – a ready-made gigantic bomb, by posting your own inflammatory comment. This in turn has drawn further attention to a sensitive subject and generated yet more comment and more attention. Guess this is going to be another situation like the Arctic, where Shell will have to self-insure because it will be impossible to obtain contingency risk insurance? In conclusion, you are guilty of exactly what you accuse me of doing – drawing attention to a highly vulnerable potential target for terrorist attack. (Surprised you have not mentioned the retirement of Fergie?)
LondonLad – to include ‘The same action was taken by SNEPCO fro their Bonga platform and so far (apart from one incident) it has worked’ in a comment can only be described as either pathetic or hilarious! Ever hear the maxim that some only have to get ‘lucky’ once …
LondonLad: One final comment – Do you remember what a couple of thugs in zodiacs filled with several hundred kilo’s of high explosives did to the USS Cole about 10 years ago ?? As I recall, it cost the USN about $500 million to repair that ship, and they were lucky it didn’t sink. Think about it, buddy. Convince Shell’s investors they have nothing to be concerned about.
LondonLad: My, but you have a nasty attitude towards bearers of unpleasant news. Were you one of those ‘shoot the messenger’ types when you worked for RDS ?? If investors are worried then the issue is something RD Shell management needs to address, not ignored. Investors aren’t experts in the offshore oil business and if they aren’t convinced those facilities are secure investments they won’t back them. So, RD Shell needs to do some convincing and educating. But just between you, me and the fencepost, those big 500,000 tonne proposed ships are going to be inviting targets. Perhaps too inviting. Don’t want to get surprised, do we ?? And we most certainly don’t want to have any industrial accidents either. Remember RDS has the worst industrial safety record of all the majors. I think RDS investors have a right to question policy and ask questions. It is their money, after all, not yours that is at risk.
Don’t know who the idiot trouble-stirrer is who you have given highlight to viz his/her story about terrorists with zodiac boats blowing up offshore activities, but, I think he/she needs to get realistic. No, I doubt very much that RDS design for such terrorist activities – they will however plan with local authorities to help protect their installations (AS OTHER COMPANIES DO). Structural design and security for terrorists are completely different. The same action was taken by SNEPCO for their Bonga platform and so far (apart from one incident) it has worked. If companies designed for terrorist activities then the $/bbl price would be almost unaffordable, even for the subsidized Yanks. As a shareholder I am completely happy with RDS present approach. I think the unnamed contributor needs to understand the offshore business.
For those interested in Shell’s saga with US DoD and DoN you might google ‘DRPM SSP’. These are the folks Shell apparently thinks they can bamboozle. Unfortunately, these people take their mission VERY seriously, they have no sense of humor, they don’t forget or forgive, and they take no prisoners and give no quarter. Shell management would do well to keep that it mind.
Everyone seems to have a comment about Peter Voser’s departure. How about he may just have had it. RD Shell is clearly a difficult company to manage, in large part because of the mediocrity of senior level management. Good old Peter may have simply had enough and decided to hang it up and go do something worthwhile. The cat fight over his successor has already begun and Peter is quickly being forgotten.
I don’t really care who gets the CEO position so long as they give us our offices back and stop reorganizing us. Oh sorry I just woke up!
It’s a pity Voser is leaving. He has made an impact. Suggest Shell put his job in MOR ( managed open resourcing ), So may the best man or women wins.
We salute Voser leaving when high? Wonder who is next? Hope women in Shell lives on.
With Rothermund long gone, and Voser on his way, the only surviving Swiss seems to be Bichsel – and he’s four years older than Voser
Don’t go Peter your Ossls only hope .
For those interested, I would also recommend googling ‘us uk mutual defense agreement.’ It would seem that RD Shell decided to target weapons technologies that are probably shared between the US and the UK. Not the most brilliant idea Shell management has ever had.
For those interested in RD Shell’s taste for US DOD classified technologies I would suggest googling on ‘PEOSUBS’. These are the guys RD Shell has apparently decided (foolishly) to take on and tangle with. RD Shell’s target of interest was apparently, in part, classified acoustics technology. Not a wise decision.
John and Alfred if like many others in Mayo I put my name up front it could lead to problems. Enough said .
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 contributors such as Paddy Briggs, who choose not to use an alias. Some contributors using an alias have built up credibility over the years e.g. “Outsider”
If a CHEIF SUPER in the Irish police doesn’t respond to that OSSL email it’s because he can’t break the link between what’s being said and what happened the dogs in the street in Mayo know whats going on but even they won’t bark about it
John ,when that black boot comes down on you that should be it but OSSL have had the balls to speak up there is no integrity whatsoever in the Shell team I applaud OSSL but think they are screwed as Shell required to silence the matter
Mr Donovan. Thanks for exposing the evil company called SHELL PETROLEUM (SPDC) keep up the good work
To DutchDude: You are correct. All that changes are the additives. But that wasn’t necessarily the case 30 years ago.
Hi Relieved, as far as I know all gas comes from the same tank. Go to any fuel loading point and you will see all different branded trucks lining up for the same delivery point. With a bit of luck the additive added to the tank makes the difference. The marketing boys have to do something, but as far as I could/can tell 99.9% of all gasoline is the same.
Oh, and I didn’t know Shell had the poorest safety record of the industry, I thought BP carried that flag. More info welcome. REPLY BY JOHN: You requested more information.
LondonLad: Are you a trout fisherman by chance ?? Rumor has it that Scotland has great brown trout fishing. So does Montana (the USA). If you like to trout fish go to Google Images and search on Montana Brown Trout. You will see what I mean. Cheers.
LondonLad: Glad to have you and your sense of humor back. You have been missed. I guess I will have to come up with some witty reply to your comments, or I might just let them go. Shell loyalists annoy me. While Shell was once a good company, that is no longer the case. Time to wake up buddy.
For someone who moans repeatedly about Shell, and is like a nodding donkey when it comes to agreeing with negative comments about Shell, I am absolutely amazed “Relieved” worked for Shell for so long. Are your present day gripes because you were given early retirement? – I ask this as it would help in understanding your negativity. As I have said before – did YOU complain to management/team leader etc. about your reservations/concerns about Shell’s working practices when you were actually working for Shell? “My buddies told me Shell gasoline had shortcomings” – did you/they raise the issue upwards or was this merely a moan that couldn’t be substantiated?
P.S. I assume that your term “Gas” means “Petrol” for the rest of this planet?
To anonymous Deltaic. No, Shell don’t hide their brand but they do their damnedest to hide the rottenness behind that brand – bribery, corruption and what is widely perceived as their involvement in the judicial hanging of the Ogoni Nine.
When I worked for Shell I NEVER bought Shell gasoline. Never. I had buddies who worked in Shell’s downstream division who clued me in on the shortcomings of Shell gasoline. I still won’t buy Shell gas. I buy Chevron gas whenever possible because Chevron has the in-industry reputation of best quality control and best product. Motor away America, but be careful about what you put in your tank. Come to think of it, you need avoid Jiffy – Lube as well. That is another sterling Shell operation.
Hope Shell’s planned new floating LNG facility is built to better standards than BP’s ThunderHorse. Remember that fiasco ?? However,given Shell’s sterling record of performance on other major projects I wouldn’t count on it, and neither should Shell’s shareholders.
Just love the drawing that heads up the story “Rage against the boring machine”. Person on the left typifies the demonstrator of these times – hoody and with a scarf round the face to conceal their identity. When in the wrong and fearful of being caught …………….. At least Shell doesn’t attempt to hide its brand. COMMENT BY JOHN: In normal circumstances I would agree with what you say. Unfortunately normal circumstances may not apply in Ireland if the police force is not impartial, but instead acts as a militant offshoot of Shell security, as a result of widespread corruption by Shell.
Wonder what sort of nut jobs this Greenpeace “Whistleblower” site is going to attract? Guess we should all accept that the “revelations” will be non-factual and work from that point.
Excuse me, but even Shell admits it has the poorest safety record of all the major oil companies. That is nothing to be proud of.
Shell’s new IT policy regarding cloud enterprise computing could backfire badly. IT will be a prime target for the Chinese. Sad but true fact of life.
To “Outsider” : Shell is NOT an American company so why should the corporate entity (RDS) be liable to US law for its actions in Nigeria? Americans should remember that the US arm of RDS (aka Shell Oil) was bought out in the 90’s by RDS. Shareholder numbers in the US have no legal standing for such cases either. The development team for Bonga was situated in the US merely because of certain (GoM) deepwater skills judged to then be present in the US. It also allowed many Nigerians to be cross posted to the US to gain certain skills.
Faceless identity- terrified “Londonboy or lad,” my rant is lengthy and yours short. All are rants pointing to a court decision with lots of question marks (treating Ogonis different because they’re different?) that may open up more suits. Also, Ben Ikari is different from Londonboy; why then must we write or talk the same way? Do you really hate human diversity like your master or precursor $hell hate Ogoni and its environment; and hating her more because it can no longer return to kill her children and pollute her land, air and water, yet fears more suits will come from Ogoni?
“Londonlad” or is it Londonboy? Well, Lengthy or short is ranting, if you know the meaning. There are different kinds and shapes of writing, so length will differ as I’ve motioned to you previously. More importantly,I’m one person no one, especially Western media can threaten or abridge my rights to free speech and expression. These among others are natural rights no one gave me, thus shall exercise to the fullest-orally and written. Note also that Ben Ikari isn’t a faceless Londonboy or lad. I will not be you or like you; will not change for you or anyone, period! Lastly, you’d have been right about the Kiobel’s decision if the minority justices didn’t place several question marks on the position of the majority conservative justices, which is the entire decision. Other legal luminaries are also asking questions, which points to the fact that Ogonis are treated differently because they’re different and it’s about $hell and other Western corporations. No matter how long $hell and its cronies such as your faceless self will have their day in a court of moral standing.
In Kiobel et al vs Shell, the US has shown that sense at long last prevails. There, I said that in just a few words rather than a lengthy rant aka Ikari.
I find it amazing that Shell uses the reasoning that it has insufficient connections with the US to make it subject to US law. Why was the development team for the Bonga project based in Houston? How much of RDS stock is held by US citizens or funds? How many times has Shell claimed support from the US taxpayer or authorities as an “American” company?
In Kiobel et al v. $hell, the US has shown that oil is thicker than blood, as was also represented in ’95. This was when former Pres. Bill Clinton chose the so-called diplomatic sanctions, yet buying Niger delta oil misnamed Nigeria’s instead of insisting with economic sanctions that Nigeria/Abacha shouldn’t kill the Ogoni Nine. Having said the above, I thank the US Supreme Court for entertaining the Ogoni case. It’s been interesting to see the court open its door to listen to arguments and address the fabric of the case.
The outcome though, shows a betrayal of the original intent of the ATS, international Covenants, proceedings, other US legal precedents, including Sosa, that was set by the Supreme Court. The deal is simple: corporate influence used by mostly conservatives to protect their interests. It’s such influence that made the Pres. Obama government pretend its foreign interest or policy will be in jeopardy should $hell, which is a US company by adoption face trial in America. The same American government claims human rights is a serious component of its foreign policies, and it supports and fights with victims of these rights. Obama also reiterated this human rights policy position in his Oct. 25, 2012 reply to my protest letter of August 31, 2012.
This foreign interest reverberated severally in the court’s decision as a huge premise for corporate protection. The Justices are respectfully entitled to their opinions, but the disagreement on “reasoning” shown by the minority (liberal) justices and written by Breyer exposes the legal inconsistency or selective justice and hypocrisy brought about by such corporate, commerce/so-called conservative influence. Therefore, this decision is a device to protect $hell, USA and other Western corporations and empowering them to further torture and kill. As with the conservative Justices, what the Republican Party is doing in Congress currently as they struggle to protect corporations and the rich points to why this decision isn’t new to me.
In short, though had little hope, I saw the national interest/commerce dimension from the outset and refused to vote for Obama in Nov. 2012, therefore my protest letter cited above. Finally, in the decision, the over all argument that $hell has little presence in New York and being a public trading company on the New York Stock Exchange is inconsequential. No matter how small its presence, $hell is $hell and it’s been doing billions of dollar business in US and with the government (the failed Arctic Mission, for instance) for years. It’s investing in the communities and floating educational and social incentives. It’s also creates jobs for thousands of Americans despite its so-called small presence in New York. Indeed America is benefiting huge from $hell like it also benefited from Ogoni oil and still benefiting from Niger delta oil. The company has huge presence in USA, making it a local company by adoption, even though originally foreign in the books.
In any case, however, Ogonis will have to cheer up for making this bold statement of fact regarding natural, human rights or justice and exposing American hypocrisy on its commitment to internationally protected rights such as rights against torture,other crimes against humanity and genocide, which this case was/is about. There is hope to explore other legal options to seeking justice against $hell, and making oil exploitation in Ogoni harder. Ogonis will not give up despite the fact that the court and US government have approved and protected corporate torture instead of denouncing and providing remedies for victims and punishing the torturer (s) as their books orders.
Well done to the US courts for throwing out the ridiculous attempts by Nigerians to fleece yet another international company, in this case Shell. Why don’t they try Pyongyang next?
To RDS Employee: I am ‘assuming’ nothing. However, from my experience at Shell exploration staff rarely, if ever, indulged in the wholesale G&C production dept. staff loved so much. So, you are correct, not everyone at Shell is tainted.
To Deltaic: I was describing G&C in the US. In fact, it got so bad that one sr. VP of a services vendor had the audacity to complaint to one of Shell’s VP’s that they were getting their fair share of ‘the business’ relative to what they were spending on gratuities, etc. The reaction of the Shell VP was to ‘forbid’ the acceptance of such gratuities by the engineering staff. Not a popular move with the staff, and it only lasted only until the VP retired. Then it was business as usual.
Excellent observation “RDS employee” – I wonder if “Relieved” joined in with all this alleged corruption, bribery and ignoring of Shell’s business principles? Probably did if he knows so much about it – or did he report it to the management or authorities of the country?
RDS man you are correct re integrity however on Corrib I can claim to fill a mini bus of Shell management past and present who are complete strangers to the truth and devoid of any real integrity
Voser is going to act in cleaning up that team watch this space
Relieved, that’s $hell against Ogoni people for you! The crazy and greedy,corrupt and environmentally racist, terroristic company has a standard in Ogoni/Niger delta of Nigeria that is completely different from its Western/American standard. To be fair though, the corrupt, incompetent and deadly Nigerian government, $hell’s partner in crime allows such unhealthy and backward measures. The company may have been is convinced that Ogonis mean business vowing it can’t return to their (our) land. Like you said, the case at the U.S. Supreme Court may also have added to its fear of the seriousness of Ogoni people resisting and exposing her to the world. Ogonis know they can’t trust $hell, and know one should.
Relieved, don’t judge others by your own admitted poor standards. You incorrectly assume that Shell Employees have no integrity yet have no proof apart from your own self admission.
Saw your comments about ‘code of conduct’ etc. Of particular note was the definition of ‘bribery’. when I worked for Shell vendors would trade free season tickets, etc, in return for ‘favorable consideration’ on well drilling, logging, completion, workover, etc. contracts. The vendors were quite successful with this form of G&C (graft and corruption) and Shell’s staff participated in it willingly. It was a petty, back-handed form of bribery, of course. As far as I know, these business practices continue to this day. My point here is that for decades, and on day to day basis, Shell staff have routinely ignored Shell’s vaunted ‘business practices’. And everyone knows about it. This sort of thing goes on at the jr. engineer level to senior management. Shell’s business practices guidelines are a joke.
Is this alledged OSSL invoice genuine or what. Perhaps it’s indeed a fake in order that the likes of anti-Shell folk will eventually look idiots when the truth comes out? That would be such a shame.
Police alcohol . John you will hear no denials because the details you have are exactly correct the garda locally and nationally are disgusted by Shells handling of this matter they feel for the people caught in the middle but can’t afford to speak
So, 20 years after walking away from their oil fields in Oganiland Shell is NOW going to go back in and decommission those facilities ??? Maybe the case before the US Supreme Court has finally gotten their attention. Those folks at Royal Dutch are such a responsible lot.
Any company behaving like that in the US would find itself saddled with hefty criminal sanctions and fines, and senior level management would be facing jail time. In this country (the USA) that kind of conduct is clearly criminal.
The ‘special relationship’ between Putin and the Dutch reminds me of another ‘special relationship’ the Dutch had with a fellow named Hitler. As Yogi Beara once said: ‘This is deja vu all over again.’ Well almost. time will tell.
To Deltaic: Thank you for your vote of confidence, even though it was meant ‘tongue-in-cheek’. FYI, I have spent over 25 years in the industry so I have learned a thing or two, in operations, engineering, and R&D. I would remind you that it was ‘bean counters’ placed in high level executive positions that decided Shell USA should surrender its lease holding on the Alaskan North Slope in the 60’s and early 70’s because ‘there was no way to get the oil to market’. Yep, Shell gave away the Alaskan North Slope to those ‘idiots’ at ARCO, SOHIO, and EXXON, et al. In the end the ‘bean counters’ always make the major strategic blunders because they don’t really have a fundamental understanding of the business and how to mitigate risk. Running an oil company is a card game to these guys. Eventually, they lose big-time.
Do we know what the criteria is for a person to win this Petroleum Executive of the Year? Why wasn’t Relieved given this award – he seems to know so much about Shell and the oil industry?
reading the list of Petroleum Executive of the year reminds me of the list of Nobel Peace prize winners. There are some good people on, the rest is politically correct and/or has paid a lot for the election. Voser is a very poor choice, he does not know petroleum has been involved in screwed up projects and cheating banks. And then I saw a picture of that idiot no-brain Maria van Hoeven, the ultimate token woman on whatever organisation needs token women, and I knew enough….
In reading articles about PV’s failures, TP’s screw-ups and some more local fails by certain individuals, i’ll just say, come-on-karma! The damage done to individual’s lives by the cold-bean-counter-self-serving recklessness of this leadership may only end up being repaid by their own suffering. Perhaps JF may also want to understand the natural laws of causation that is sometimes called karma. No belief in a supreme being is required. COMMENT BY JOHN DONOVAN: I am guessing that “PV” is Peter Voser, “TP” is Tom Purves, not sure “JF”?
Would ‘Bloody Kefuffle’ be an apt (and polite) description of RD Shell’s Alaska program, or am I being redundant ?
You gotta love those business principles of Shell. An example to all corporations aspiring to fame and fortune. Or is that infamy and fortune ???
With regard to those loans Shell made available to its senior level management for legal defense. I presume they were all paid back in full ??? If not, I presume they were declared as ‘income’ and those individuals payed the appropriate level of income tax ??? Does anyone have any insight to how these loans were closed out by Shell ???
Shell anti-Semitic ? Oh, please say it ain’t so !!! Of course Shell is anti-Semitic, but in a low key manner these days. It pays to be anti-Semitic, big time. So that is the way Shell shall do business. Money is money, after all. And Shell is in the business to make money. Given Shell’s well known corporate history does anyone think that Shell is not anti-Semitic ?? Come on, get real.
My comment on tabloid writing refers to your usual “Shell add-on” to any article even remotely linked to Shell. In this case to the article from that well known and read paper “The Epoch Times”. Sorry, but I prefer to believe what I read in journals from the Royal Horticultural Society. REPLY BY JOHN: You are spinning again. This is not an article remotely linked to Shell, but one that directly names Shell. The conclusions are categorical in relation to Shell chemicals.
I did not realize you were such an expert in entomology and beekeeping, etc. A retirement passtime perhaps ?? If so, with all that honey apparently at your disposal one would think you would have a sweeter disposition.
I am sure (at least I hope so) that the article about Shell killing off the bees is tongue in cheek, however, having seen some of the twaddle recently on this site I am not so sure. Would suggest you read the article from the Royal Horticultural Society (somewhat more reliable than tree hugging articles you have published) to give a more balanced summary of the problem.
Indeed if you “spray it directly onto the bees they may be harmed” which together with “incorrect application by farmers” of pesticides will potentially harm bees. Bottom line here is that if the people who use pesticides don’t read the instructions then it is their fault, not the likes of Shell. Reading in depth (for example as mentioned on such “reliable” left wing channels as the BBC, e.g. Bill Turnbull who is an avid beekeeper) THE main problem is the parasitic mite “Varroa”.
Once again tabloid writing on this website helps it to loose a great deal of credibility. (You should have issued this stupid story yesterday on 1st April !!) REPLY BY JOHN: MUSAINT/LondonLad, You seem to forget that the article was published not by a tabloid, but by The Epoch Times, which publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Extract from their mission statement: “The Epoch Times is an independent voice in print and on the web. We report news responsibly and truthfully…” With regards to the other “tree hugging” articles, are you referring to the one about Shell’s toxic contamination in Curacao or killing off workers in Brazil? In the latter case, Shell/BASF have agreed to pay $316 MILLION in compensation to workers exposed over three decades to toxic chemicals. Unfortunately you are making an April fool of yourself. Might be an appropriate time to buzz off and switch to a new unblemished alias, again.
T from L regarding your last comments a trust was broken threats were made a world class company responded like an ally cat OSSL challenged them and should be applauded for their courage in doing so . On a difficult project sometimes moves are made to ease the passage and advance the progress we all in the industry know that however you don’t leave a shitty mess in the corner like this you tidy it .
The invoice is correct as were the previous police alcohol invoices .
To George Hamilton: you confirm exactly what I assumed – the “invoice” is not an invoice but some half-baked attempt of one-sided Minutes of meeting. As you so eloquently say: I am not aware of the details – and I don’t claim to – I am just challenging the authenticity of the “invoice”. In fact, by this OSSl, if the whole booze story is true, admits to being involved in fraud and corruption, which is something any lawyer/legal department for any company would advise against strongly…. And please, don’t start with the “small very honest company loses it’s virginity due to the big bad Shell bear”… If this whole story is true and what is stated on the “invoice” is true, OSSL, if they employ anyone with more 2 brain cells, knowingly agreed to be involved in corruption….
Hello tired from lies .. You have no background to go on I think your nom de plume should be blind to the truth
The invoice is correct Shell have been aware of the debt since they organised the booze for the police in Dec 2007 instructions on alternative wording for the invoice were promised by Shell Senior personnel on the Corrib Project but failed to materialise the last straw for OSSL was to raise an invoice clearly stating exactly what was supplied and how it was supplied READ THE INVOICE ALL PARTIES INVOLVED ARE NAMED . Also in an attempt to sort things out MICHAEL CROTHERS CEO SHELL Ireland informed OSSL he did not know how to Pay for the alcohol .. Then went on to explain that it was OSSLs problem HOW ? The two previous years alcohol was also supplied at Christmas to the police and paid by SHELL in a disguised invoice at their insistence
To Outsider: No. But in order to avoid such an event Shell’s 2nd rate safety record needs to be made public so that everyone knows what kind of ‘Touch F* All’ attitude Shell has not only towards the safety of its staff and contractors, but obviously toward the magnitude of environmental damage they could do if they had a major incident. I think that Shell management thinks they can ‘put in the fix’ politically should their be a major incident by greasing the palms of the appropriate politicians in Washington.
John, you had your own business – have you ever come across an invoice like the one OSSL claims is authentic? I can tell I never have… It’s so obvious a fake that your own credibility and of this site will suffer from it. I understand your long standing quarrel with Shell, but let’s avoid moving into la-la land and making a caricature out of ourselves… REPLY BY JOHN: I made it clear that we do not know if the invoice is authentic. If Shell or the Garda says that the invoice is fake, then we will remove it and publish nothing further about the OSSL/Shell dispute. I can say that the invoice was supplied by our regular contact with OSSL. When this company first contacted us in Sept 2012, we took up the allegations directly with Shell, but Shell did not respond. This was before we published a single word on this matter. The invoice was supplied to us along with a covering email dated 27 March 2013 purportedly sent by OSSL to senior people at Shell (including Peter Voser) and to a senior Garda police officer. In my view the whole situation is bizarre. In normal circumstances the police should step in to investigate, except that they are accused of being a main beneficiary of the alleged corruption. Irish Shell was a regular client of ours. Lovely people to deal with at that time, 30 years ago.
John – The Shell Alumni News is probably intended to be an “in house” publication. However, it is included in the public website for Shell Canada and US. I was made aware of the article by a retiree who received the printed copy of the publication at her home. I went to the Shell Canada and US website and found the article. So – while probably intended to be “in house”, the publication is in the public domain free for all to see.
Told you so OSSL complied with Shells requests then when thought the better of what was going on crushed them like a bit of shit to cover their tracks sound familiar any one ?
Deep poo is also on the cards for Shell Corrib outrage at treatment of small vendor is growing partners Statoil and Vermillon Oil demanding answers on police alcohol claims
Relieved: In Norway, they don’t use rigs that are 40 years old, they have a regulator with teeth, and they have employees who refuse to undertake tasks they consider to be unsafe. The Norwegians learned the hard way after the Alexander Kielland and other incidents. Do we need an event on the scale of the Ocean Ranger/Piper Alpha/Alexander Kielland in the US before somebody wakes up?
In the 1980’s Shell drilled in Alaska, from manmade islands and from drillships and had no unusual difficulties like those that they have experienced this year. So, what gives ?? Are complete incompetents running the management shop ??? Shell USA clearly needs a housecleaning at the top because it is apparent those people have no real idea what they are doing. Shell doesn’t have these kinds of problems in Norway. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned there.
Don’t tell me I always support Shell and their staff/ex-staff/principles/methodologies etc. Seems like an ex-exploration manager of Shell (Nigeria) has been a bit of a naughty boy :
There is an older drill ship than the Noble Discoverer; the Noble Roger Eason was built in 1963.
Maybe Marvin Odum will next blame those elusive but pesky Arctic winged monkeys for Shell’s problems. Shell afterall is a zero-defect company. What ???
John – The Odum quote is from the March 2013 issue of Shell Alumni News.
The article starts on page 3:
How about Petr Sharpe? Isn’t he the one accountable for drilling. Poor David Lawrence, what does he know about drilling.
Maybe this island nation of Curacao can bring a suit in US Federal Court for clean-up costs and other damages under the Alien Tort Statute after we find out how the US Supreme Court rules this spring ??? After all, the pollution at this site was done deliberately an knowingly, and quite maliciously. Shell knew what kind of problem it had on its hands, but the locals didn’t. Shell snookered them.
Aaagh back from almost 3 weeks escape from our lousy cold winter (yes Greenpeace, cold, despite your pontification about these “bad” oil companies) and I find myself agreeing with “Relieved” (well almost). Shell is indeed run by bean counters – has been for the last 20 odd years. The lack of someone like Roel Murris to tell these bean counters to eff off has clearly come back to haunt the explorers of the company. Not sure that I agree with the statement that there is more potential in the America’s oil/gas shales than the Arctic – the Americans appear to be able to screw up the development of both (physically and politically).
P.S. Pity about Dave Lawrence falling on his sword, but, it was always said that he was like Mathius Bichsel but without Bichsel’s sense of humour (which is no advert when comparing to an inbred Swiss).
Shell’s failure were engineering and operational failures, not exploration failures. Shell should be doing major housecleaning in operations and drilling dept.’s. And by the way, the resource that is changing the energy picture of the America’s are the oil and gas shales just now being exploited. There is more potential in those that in the Arctic.
The Shell of the past is history. Now Shell is run by ‘asset managers and bean counters’ who have no fundamental understanding of the business.
I recently read the following comment from Marvin Odum regarding the Alaska fiasco: ” this was a marine transit issue that occurred after completion of our exploration program and well outside our theater of operations”. Give me a break ! This is a classic example of Shell trying to assign blame and responsibility to other parties. It was Shell who decided to use very old and outdated equipment, as well as attempt to move this equipment during horrible weather conditions. Shell has to take full responsibility for its’ operations, regardless of whether it is “drilling”, “marine transport”, etc.
I have finished reading through the US Dept of the Interior Report “Review of Shell’s 2012 Alaska Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration Program” dated March 8, 2013. One observation contained in Section E “Shell’s Operational Oversight and Management Systems” caught my eye.
Quote:Shell’s focus appeared to be on compliance with prescriptive
safety and environmental regulations required for approvals and authorizations, rather than on a holistic approach to managing and monitoring risks identified during operational planning.Unquote
What has happened to the development of the full safety case approach and its subsequent challenge & review which Shell insists is the norm before embarking on such an operation? How often do senior people take it upon themselves to “have a good look” once in a while? Or are we witnessing the inevitable consequence of having a Swiss bean counter in overall charge of the company compounded by Technology, Projects and Safety run by a Swiss “my way or the highway” explorer? Of course it may be that the US arm of EP or “Odum Shell” does things its own way, free at last from the pesky RoyalDutch strictures (re)developed in the 2000s in the pursuit of technical and Operational Excellence.
The company was once a byword for technical and operational proficiency but that was consigned to the dustbin of history by a previous bean counting Chief Executive Cor Herkstroter. Sadly, the question does remain:
“Shell, waar ben jij nu?”
A worker is killed at a Motiva refinery, and then there is the story about Brinded. Ah yes, Shell has an impeccable culture of safety in the workplace that begins at the top and works on down through the system. Ya, Right.
Very surprise that Peter Voser pay and bonus has gone up because of US and China growth. US operation is bleeding with high overhead and low gas price while China Gas is still alot of hot air. Get real man.
Peter Sharpe as Drilling Chief should give back some of his shares and bonus to the Alaskan and Kulluk fund.
I wonder what Marvin Odum and Pete Slaiby made off with. They did such a beautiful job in managing Shell’s Alaskan operations this year. Well done !!! What ????
Voser may make big bucks, but Ken Laye, CEO of Enron, got $30 million a year. There are big time crooks and small time crooks.
Fraud, theft, blackmail, bribery, extortion, blackmail, espionage, and what else. Oh, yes – kidnapping, torture and murder in Nigeria. These are the sort of activities RD Shell engages in when it suits their purpose. I say this in all seriousness because Shell is routinely prosecuted for these types of transgressions.What a great company to work for.
To Washington Oberver: I was simply responding to Relieved’s comment that it was a case of Americans spying on Americans. Shell Oil (the US affiliate) is wholly owned by Royal Dutch Shell plc.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is a British company, headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands. The majority of its employees are non-US citizens
This is for Outsider: What are you implying ??
To Outsider: That point is irrelevant to this discussion. As I understand the matter from what information is available, apparently Shell USA decided to engage in the equivalent of a legal mugging to obtain title to proprietary IP for which they had no legitmate legal claim. Nothing new here, they steal IP all the time. As I read the situation, they weren’t even sure what this fellow actually had, otherwise they could have taken him into court. That did not occur, and for a number of reasons. My guess is the biggest hurdle is they couldn’t say what he had and, equally important, all statutes of limitations had probably expired for Shell to make any legitimate claims against this fellow. In short, it looks like Shell didn’t have a case to make. I do believe Shell only had 4 years max. to press their case in court.
There is clearly more to this story, and I am certain Shell was walking on extremely thin ice in matter at best. The security issues mean they stepped in a pile of legal horses**t, big time. NCIS does not initiate criminal investigations of large corporations without just cause. Trust me. Where there is smoke there is fire.
Relieved: you seem to have overlooked the fact that Shell’s US technical and research functions have a very large contingent of non-US nationals from all over the world.
John, I read your ‘Spooky Affair …’ article. Not your usual fare on this site. Normally I wouldn’t bother to spend any further time on such nonsense but I decided to educate myself a little bit. Anyone with better knowledge is free to correct me if I am incorrect. As I understand the situation and US law (from what is available online) this proprietary IP and classified ‘Restricted Data’ that Shell was supposedly trying to lay their hot, corrupt little hands on is by nature considered so sensitive that only those people with a legitimate ‘need to know’ can get access to it. In fact, as I read the law, even the President of the US cannot gain access to that information if it has been determined he has no ‘need to know’. As I read the law information is classified SECRET if release would do ‘serious’ harm to US national security interests. It is classified ‘Top Secret’ if release would do ‘GRAVE’ harm to US national security interests. As I further understand the situation, those with access to ‘Restricted Data’ are required to have a DoE ‘Q’ level security clearance. This is apparently equivalent to a Top Secret level DoD security clearance. Furthermore, ‘Restricted Data’ is apparently classified at the Secret level, at a minimum.
So, as this story goes Shell was apparently trying to obtain access and ownership of proprietary IP that was classified as
‘Restricted Data’ and was related to what? Nuclear weapons design!? This is information the President of the US cannot get access to if he has no ‘need’. Furthermore Shell clearly had/has no legal right to have access to this material or to own it. Obviously, the release of said information to Shell could possible cause ‘serious’ or ‘grave’ harm to US national security interests, which is why they cannot get access to it on their own. Am I on track here ? My question is: Who the F*** sam hell is running Shell USA!! Are these retarded pea-brained jackasses out of their F*** minds !! The arrogance, hubris and incompetence displayed by this kind of conduct by senior Shell USA (obviously) management is utterly mind boggling. If this story is true, and the media takes it up and runs with it Shell’s brand name in the US is history. Toast. Trash. And Shell can expect a serious consumer and political backlash. All Shell pensioners and shareholders should take RD Shell management to task over this kind of (obviously) criminal misconduct on the part of Shell USA management. Through the damned S.O.B.’s out and hire someone competent for heavens sake. Their performance in Alaska is cause enough for that, but now we learn about this little ‘espionage’ caper as well ?? Americans spying against Americans. Give me a break. Make the bastards walk the plank.
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.
Did Shell dupe this man or was the man in the hat acting alone ? A shareholder asks is he still in the hat ? If so it was a Shell instruction
Landowners demanding answers from Shell in Mayo and getting none so shareholders don’t hold your breath very poor management situation on the Corrib Project
Can we take it that SHELL will take a close look at the
MAN IN THE SHELL HAT
Situation before the AGM some response required I think what’s going on over there ?
Read the article about Shell’s crystal ball into the future. What utter crap. 10 years ago their crystal ball has nothing to reveal about the revolution in the drilling and fracturing of source rocks. And I am certain their crystal ball had nothing to say about how their Arctic (mis)adventures were going to proceed. If we go back to 1910 I am certain Shell’s crystal ball had no inkling of WW1, WW2, the great depression, the cold war, atomic energy and the atom bomb, etc., etc., etc. That Shell document is absolutely worthless. If Utter BS. If Shell is lucky the might be able to sort of gauge events 5 years into the future. Beyond that they are playing games.
Hello “LondonLad,” I noticed you mentioned me in your recent post and got it wrong on the issues I speak to. Be informed for the last time that I am Ogoni. I speak for Ogoni or to Ogoni issues, which borders around Nigeria and $hell, your precursor. I don’t speak for Nigeria. Therefore, I don’t know what you claim $hell has done for or in Nigeria that is positive. What I know for sure is that, $hell hasn’t done anything positive in Ogoni but stole ( may be stealing more currently) Ogoni oil, collaborating with the Nigerian government to bribe some feeble and greedy Ogonis. The joint-venture holders have also been trying to intimidate those who speak out against $hell’s terrorist and devilish acts. They’ve invaded, destroyed Ogoni communities, killed the people and degrade our environment as attested by UNEP report. Ogonis whose sources of livelihood have been fishing and farming are completely deprived of their close to heart lifestyle by $hell and Nigeria both of whom I dislike for their criminal behavior and speak against. Ogoni is an environmental time-bomb waiting to explode, courtesy Royal Dutch $hell’s greed and incompetence.
John – why do you bother responding to the ramblings of LondonLad / Musaint? In a sense you are giving his contributions a form of “credibility” by taking the trouble to respond. I believe the majority read what he has to say (if we bother reading at all) and just go “ho hum”! REPLY BY JOHN: Fair comment.
REPLY TO LONDONLAD/MUSAINT: Note that you are unable to provide a single example of anything stated as fact by us that is untrue. Your latest comments are just a rehash of what you have stated before under various aliases. You did once tell me in email correspondence under yet another name (presumably another alias) that you have a grievance against Shell yourself and will probably one day reveal what it is. I am still waiting. I would be a bit worried about visiting South Africa bearing in mind recent events. Hope you have a good flight and a safe return.
Heh ho I had better sit on the naughty boys chair for a while. However before I go there, as I have stated so many times before, if you don’t like criticism or defence of Shell against some of the stupid comments on this website by people that have a huge chip on their shoulder then either : (1) try and understand why they are defending Shell (yes hard I know for some) against the likes of Greenpeace who have just one agenda – to put us back in the dark ages, (2) actually go to a place like Nigeria and genuinely understand why people like Ben “is that your real name” Ikari blows a great deal of hot air in attempting to blame all and sundry about Nigeria’s woes and totally ignores the huge benefits Shell (and other oil companies) bring to that woeful country, (3) properly educate yourself about the E&P business (don’t try and extrapolate just from a knowledge of sales) and realize that it is a far more complicated business than many try to make out on this website. The main gripe that gets my goat on this site? – the tabloid innuendos that titillate idiots that have no idea about the E&P business. Shame I cannot wait for the lengthy response I’ll get from this, I’m off tomorrow to the outback’s of South Africa for 3 weeks and will even miss the Real Madrid match (ooooo what a give-away!!).
To Texvette: Shell rarely if ever holds it senior management accountable. The only time I know of a senior manager getting sacked was when one was caught banging his secretary in his office during working hours. Shell managers are NEVER responsible for failure. It is their staff that has let them down, either through direct screw-ups or because they ‘gave poor advise’ and caused the manager to screw-up. It is always the worker-bees that are at fault for performance failings. After all, Shell only promotes the best and the brightest to “lead” the company. Ha!! Ha!! Most of those people could ‘Lead’ their way down a dark alley.
John is 100% spot on re Shell’s senior mgt, including their HR cronies, watching this website. It is a joke how much attention they pay to this, looking for the truth among the smoke. Ask Uncle Tom Purves if they read this or not. Oh yea, he is stuck up in the cold north, by Santa Claus. Might be hard to get a question him until the thaw comes. You bet your dollar they read this…
REPLY TO LONDONLAD: I have evidence in the form of Shell internal communications and documents proving this website is closely monitored by Shell management and its lawyers both in the USA and in Europe. In addition, Shell has mounted a global operation monitoring all traffic to this website from Shell premises. All part of an attempt by Shell spooks to trace our insider sources and stop the leakage of highly confidential internal information to us e.g. a database containing contact information for 177,000 Shell employees and contractors. That incident made news headlines around the world. Since 1995, Shell has been publicly complaining about our activities highlighting Shell management misdeeds. Shell has put posters on display at Shell HQ buildings about our campaigning activities, handed out leaflets about us at reception areas at Shell HQ’s, including Shell Centre and The Hague, issued press statements about us and even published an article about us in a Shell internal magazine authored by a Shell Legal Director. Shell is even more fixated by our activities than you are. As to your allegation, made while hiding behind your current alias, suggesting that we sometimes publish fiction, not fact, please provide an example? Should not be a problem if we are as lacking in integrity as your cowardly comment suggests. You have been attacking us for a long time, always hiding behind an alias, sneakily moving to a new one when you deem it necessary. As MUsaint, with theatrical gusto, you promised never to visit this website again, such was your claimed disgust, but soon popped up again using a new alias. Not the behavior of a person of integrity. We never hide behind an alias. Shell, Peter Voser, Simon Henry, Matthias Bichsel, Chris Finlayson, David Pirret, Tim Hannagan, Mark Moody-Stuart, Tom Purves, Keith Ruddock, Malcolm Brinded, the Rev. Phil Watts and all of the other scandal tainted current and former Shell executives and lawyers featured on this website know our names and where we are located. No hiding or deception on our part. I am sure my solicitor, Richard Woodman of Royds, will happily accept service on my behalf of any defamation writs. Richard has successfully represented me in six high court actions involving Shell, two of them libel actions we brought against Shell.
Wake up and smell the coffee “it4us” the RDS senior management have far more important things to do than read articles or blogs on this website. Do you honestly think they want to waste their time reading some of the drivel stated as fact on this website!! Before anyone comments, I do read some of the shorter blogs/articles out of historical interest and in the hope that I can see fact rather than fiction. Rare as hens teeth. I do however, strongly support the comments from “Texvette”. Unfortunately Teflon Bichsel will have had very little input on this venture (this should stir the stirrers), I really wish he had/has however.
Amongst their other shortcomings, RDS senior management have evidently not been reading this site closely enough. Problems with the Noble Discoverer were being pointed out in these columns (by ‘Outsider’ in particular) over a year ago. Another example of the RDS hierarchy being trained to suppress bad news ?
Shell has a history of not holding its’ leaders accountable. In spite of this, I am still amazed that no one in an executive leadership position has not been sacked as a result of the horrendous mismanagement of the Alaska operations.
BP is currently going through a criminal trial over its actions in the Gulf of Mexico. Given that RD Shell is now under criminal investigation for its, and its contractors, obviously deliberate failure to abide by US law, it makes one wonder what sort of criminal action Shell would have faced IF there had been some sort of ‘incident’ last summer. The company could have faced HUGE fines, as BP now faces. Furthermore, it is clear that management decided to take those risks, not with their own money, but with the shareholders money. There really needs to be a major change in RD Shell senior leadership (and I use that term loosely).
Having chugged through inches, closer to feet actually, (for the yanks that’s tabloid speak) of “Shell in the Arctic”, I finally came across an article on Matthias Bichsel that basically stated some mud would be thrown in his direction on this website. When can we expect to read some of this (promised for a “few days”). Yes, even I who will defend Shell on many fronts have a very sour taste in my mouth for this guy.
REPLY TO LondonLad: Posting using a single alias is one thing. I would not do so myself, but it is common practice on the Internet. Posting under multiple aliases is something else. I note there is no denial by you in this regard. I have nothing further to add to the other comments I have made.
It would seem to me that the Dutch side of RDS is slowly but purging RDS of the British side now that RDS is one operating entity.
A very waffled response Donovan to my straightforward comment that I want to have a profitable return on my investment, in this case my Shell shares. Again you use the tabloid expression of “implication” as to what my comment meant. You got that wrong! Do you not want a return on your investments? (N.B. I said nothing about profit or otherwise about this website so don’t give the usual rant about that!) Finally, if you don’t like people using aliases to argue against some of the attacks against Shell then change your methodology for people using this blog.
REPLY TO LONDONLAD: You discussed several issues mainly relating to the Shell AGM and then closed your comments with a sentence saying: “As a Shell shareholder all I want is a nice return on my investment.” The implication being that this is your priority in holding Shell shares above all other considerations. As Musaint and LondonLad you have regularly defended Shell’s indefensible record of plunder and pollution in Nigeria, despite all of its broken promises to end gas flaring; planting spies throughout the Nigerian government; engaging in corruption; conspiring with the leaders of militants attacking Shell infrastructure; dealing with murderous regimes and colluding in the murder of legitimate protestors. All okay as long as you get a nice dividend. I have operated this website and its previous incarnations, all focused on Shell, all on an entirely non commercial basis, declining all donations and all paid advertising. We hold, but have never sold, a variety of Shell domain names, including three Shell unsuccessfully attempted to seize. In short, we have never received a single penny income from operating this or any other website. We put principle first and money last. You do the exact opposite and that includes hiding behind a number of aliases when posting on this website. In addition to the aliases Musaint and LondonLad, you have corresponded with me by email using a third name, no doubt also made up. Says a great deal about you. In contrast I have never used an alias. So yes, compared with you, I do claim to be noble.
So, wanting a return on your investment is now classified as greedy!! I suppose that when you (Donovan’s) invest or were working with Shell you don’t / didn’t want any return / profit. How very noble of you. Actually I would say stupid. Most normal people who need to live in retirement want some form of return on capital invested – are all these to be classified as greedy or just those that comment positively on Shell?
Contrary to what LondonLad says, many UK based Shell shareholders, especially the elderly, are unlikely to attend the AGM when it means traveling to Holland, with all that entails. Some have held Shell shares for several decades. The last sentence in LondonLads comments speaks volumes. Many other Shell shareholders and executives have the same No.1 priority. Pure greed.
So, no audio-visual link this year. Just means that some of the UK shareholders (particularly those with burning questions) will have take a trip across the Channel to The Hague in May – I can thoroughly recommend going as the weather is normally great then. Air fares can be quite cheap, else there’s always the ferry. So no great hardship. May even stroll across myself. As for your “well informed source”, I am afraid that the majority of the company is (and has been) Dutch – so no change there!! And yet again there is the tabloid hype with “they won’t return to Shell Centre” / “they’ll move to a single centre in The Hague”. The first is untrue according to my Shell source and the second (as a shareholder) I would have no problem with, but again very very unlikely unless the lefties such as Clegg & Cable get their way on corporate and personal taxation. As a Shell shareholder all I want is a nice return on my investment.
My name is Liza Mecklenburg, representing the advertising department of the JPP Consulting company. We are interested to place an ad (banner), of your choice, on your website.
Design and sizes can be seen on our website at http://www.eandjconsulting.net/id_c3311/
Depending on the banner size you choose we can pay up to US$750/month.
If you are interested please let me hear from you.
REPLY BY JOHN DONOVAN: Liza, we receive many approaches to feature paid advertising on this website, normally via private email rather than open correspondence on our Shell blog. We also receive offers of donations to support our activities. All are turned down. We have always operated all of our websites solely on a non-commercial totally independent basis and that will continue to be our policy. Shell first publicly commented on our internet activities in March 1995. Shell subsequently settled all of the claims it described as being false paying £100,000 per claim, plus all of our legal costs. There was litigation before and after the claims mentioned in Shell’s press statement. The last in 2005, when Shell attempted to seize our domain name royaldutchshellplc.com. Eight bouts of litigation in all. Shell has yet to win any case and wisely decided years ago never to sue us again. Hence Shell is reduced to making empty threats, while we are free to speak out without fear or favor.
Comment by Iain Percival is fairly made. Speaks with considerable authority as the retired Group Chief Petroleum Engineer of Royal Dutch Shell. AllAfrica.com report may have been misled by some news reports of Shell fourth-quarter of 2011 earnings. The following is an extract from an article by The New York Times under the headline: Shell Profit Rises 15%, but Disappoints Investors: “Still, there are reasons to worry about Shell. The fourth-quarter letdown was largely due to lower earnings in Shell’s core exploration and production business, mainly because of weak performance in the Americas. Shell’s high-profile, multibillion-dollar Alaska drilling program has encountered several snags and delays, including the running aground of the Kulluk drilling vessel on an uninhabited island in late December. Mr. Voser said that the Kulluk had been damaged and that another drilling vessel required upgrades. Shell is still weighing its next steps in Alaska, he said. Shell is also being hurt by natural gas prices in the United States that have been pushed down by the boom in shale gas production. Declining prices have led it to switch strategies and drill for gas deposits that are rich in liquids, which bring in more money than gas.” The implication from the way this was written was that there was a linkage between Shell’s problems in Alaska and lower production earnings. Although referring to production earnings, perhaps this caused some confusion to those responsible for the AllAfrica article?
I agree with Mr. Percival’s comments. He is spot-on.
Any delay to Shell’s Arctic exploration drilling programme will have absolutely no impact on hydrocarbon production output in 2013 as reported by AllAfrica. This is just a load of rubbish and I am very surprised it has been posted with associated “oh my goodness” red heading. It indicates a total lack of understanding of the EP business.
About the article regarding Shell and BASF: Shell management knew what it was doing when it relocated its pesticide operations from the US (Rocky Flats, Colorado) to Brazil. Shell management knew many of their workers would contact cancer and that they were condemning them to early and painful deaths. Shell didn’t give a s*** about those workers in Brazil and still doesn’t. Shell’s only concern was profit. Today it only concern is limiting the damage settlement. In 1976, when Shell was forced to shut down its US operation, roughly 96% of all Americans had traces of Shell’s ‘miracle’ pesticides in their blood. And the cancer issue was well known at the time. A $20 million settlement offer for those poor folks in Brazil is chicken feed. Shell should be force to pay billions in punitive damages for the deliberate harm they caused in their quest to extend the life of a very, very profitable, albeit dangerous, line of chemical pesticides.
Can anyone tell me how Shell planned to handle a spill of diesel fuel, etc., from the Kulluk if its tanks had ruptured ? It appears to me that Shell blew off that problem because of weather and simply opted to deal with the problem after the fact. Obviously, they did not mobilize their spill response team because of hazardous weather conditions. Did Shell have a contingency plan ?? I mean, they were supposedly capable of handling any type of spill in any type of weather, correct ?? Right ?? Or maybe their response plan is a lot of smoke and mirrors and hot air.
Dry towing a drillship? Something must be very seriously wrong. And when the Kulluk comes out of the water the damage to the hull will be clear for all to see – look forward to seeing the photographs!
Despite new paint jobs and some remedial work it is clear that Shell’s Arctic fleet is still a collection of refurbished rust-buckets that should have been sent to the breakers long ago.
Definition of “punkahwallah”: “the wallah (boy, servant) who operates a punkah, large cloth fan suspended from the ceiling” (The slang usage is derogatory, of course)
John: All of the information you are publishing about the reserve scandal is interesting, but was ‘known’ about within the greater Shell organization for years. Going back as far as the mid-late 1980’s there was at Shell USA real ‘concern’ about the acceleration in rate of supposed reserve replacement and reserve bookings even though crude production kept declining. These ‘new’ reserve numbers were known to be suspect, but people kept their knowledge and ‘suspicions’ to themselves lest they anger the higher powers. Most alarming at the time was the very real and marked decrease in the production of light crude mirrored by the marked increase in heavy crude production. Shell was getting roughed up badly (financially) by the price differential between light and heavy crudes. In fact, in the mid-1980’s, after the fall in oil prices, it was costing Shell more to produce their heavy crudes (by $4-$5/bbl) in California than they could get for the stuff. This led to the serious financial crisis for Shell USA in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Needless to say, many the reserve bookings were fictional. While it was easy for managers to get new reserves booked it was almost impossible to get downward adjustments to early ‘over optimisn’ or ‘pre-mature’ bookings. The end result was a bloated reserve portfolio that needed some serious deflation. Unfortunately, it took until 2004 to get the job done. The real problem for Shell was, and probably still is, a corporate culture that tolerates and accepts misrepresentation and fraud on the part of management, both middle and upper level management. Middle level management lies to upper level management and upper level management lies to the board of directors and the shareholders. The shareholders would be prudent in expecting future ‘surprises’, like the 2004 reserve scandal, from Shell management.
“an old EP hand” : If you read my comment about Aidan McKay properly you will see I call him a prat for his email to Bob Sprague which comes across somewhat badly for McKay as far as I am concerned. I can also say I have no idea what you infer with “Punkahwallah” – I never worked in India or been on any area desk in The Hague working on that part of the world. I’m afraid you’ll have try much harder Sherlock!!
I was surprised to see Alf Thorkildsen in the reserves article, he was until recently CEO of Seadrill and it might have been a problem to lead a major listed company, depending on what his role was (unclear to me). Now he is partner in private equity firm Hitecvision so none of this will matter anymore as his job is to maximise profit and nothing else. Seems he has the experience.
Londonlad, you call Aidan a prat when he worked for you. I know him very well and your remark reflects some deep frustration on your side. If you are who I think you are, this remark: you were once a very good project manager, you appear to have imploded in frustration. Would it be appropriate to change your name from Londonlad to Punkahwallah?
I am hearing that Andrei Galaev has got the chop as CEO of Sakhalin Energy. Not sure if it’s because of incompetence or a move to strengthen Gazprom’s hold.
To “Relieved” : (1) I never said that you and “Texvette” were the same person – that’s like saying Sir Alex Ferguson is the same as Arsen Wenger (yes, I know you people beyond the pond have no idea who these people are – the rest of the world does however), (2) For your latest posting, I would say that BP has led the way and others will follow (oooops got that wrong, you Yanks started the ball rolling with Exxon “Valdiz” !!
According to Voser Shell’s strategy is one that ‘others can’t easily repeat.’ Given the events of the last few years the question is: Who would want to do so ??? Name a few candidates please.
With regard to the Kulluk saga and incident does the old saying: ‘Penny wise and pound foolish’ come to mind ?? You got to love those bean counters at Shell. Who is running this company anyway ?
To LondonLad: FYI – Texvette is a different party. Apparently, you now have two ‘arrogant’ Yanks you don’t care for.
LondonLad,I agree with you that most African govts are greedy, corrupt and incompetent; they’re deranged, but not without Western influence for their interest. Africans should know and do better than the stooges statuses in their land. The continent is old enough to think and act for itself despite the maneuvers from the west. More importantly, bigotry is the last thing on my mind when dealing with the Niger delta/Ogoni or overall African situations linking the west. I fight racism, inequality and oppression, repression of all forms. Also, I live in the west, see what Africans mean to most Westerners:subhumans/beasts good mostly for exploitation. So know the issues I speak to, even though some Westerners and courts are clear minded, humane and credible. The facts are: $hell Intl. makes the rules alongside Nigeria’s subsidiary and supplies necessary tools/advice to so-called $hell Nigeria or SPDC. Also $hell intl gets profit from activities by $hell Nigeria. Remember, it’s $hell intl which organized the monitoring of Ken Saro-Wiwa, whom it saw as a threat to its business and intl image. Brain Anderson (European) was the person in charge of Nigeria’s $hell then. When Saro-Wiwa couldn’t be stopped, $hell intl in collaboration with Nigeria planned with the military govt to kill him. First, $hell denied there was any environmental pollution in Ogoni where it started business in 1958 to 1993 when it said it’s stopped due to agitation against pollution, etc. Not even an iota of sabotage was raised by $hell at the start of Saro-Wiwa-Ogoni struggle in ’93. Then $hell asked Saro-Wiwa to withdraw his campaign that was hurting her. He refused and was trumped up by $hell and govt, using their media power, mostly Western. Anderson asked Owens Wiwa to tell his brother Saro-Wiwa to recount the environmental problems in Ogoni and he will regain his freedom. Saro-Wiwa turned the offer down. Finally, the so-called $hell Nigeria is just a name aimed at shelving responsibility; Nigerians don’t own $hell Nigeria, though locals are hugely employed up to MD. It’s common sense that localization doesn’t expressly mean ownership. $hell Nigeria isn’t a national oil company. These are the facts and the Hague court know this. Where then does bigotry come in, other than that the court is protecting the interest of its govt and corporation such as $hell? The court dropped all cases against the home office in Netherlands, where it sat and agree with $hell that Niger deltans are the polluters as though are corporations such as $hell, which pollutes and kills to make profit. $hell’s profit go to its home government, which runs the court, and help the development of Netherlands, Britain, etc?
Relieved, you’re right. And also I understand the issues of plaintiffs’ onus to prove their case. Evidence and the truth haven’t mattered so much where huge govt and corporate interest lies against foreigners as in this case. The courts have mostly considered national interests, especially when dealing with this kind of case. Obviously, there could be some problems for $hell, but to what degree, and how could this problem help or truly solve the Niger delta problems when the Nigerian govt is foreign govts and $hell’s stooge? The probable in-road created by this decision will be harder to follow, just as redeeming fines or penalties against $hell as clear in the Bodo-$hell case in London. So the court knows what it did and especially accepting $hell’s blame on citizens and dropping charges against $hell Intl, which makes the rules and collects the profit from Nigeria.
I found the emails interesting and indicative of the deception Shell management was clearly engaged in. They were trying to exploit the events of 9/11 to their benefit. What these emails could have done at the time they were written is cause Shell’s stock to drop significantly. I don’t think they will have any impact now. However, the emails do give a clear indication of the attitude Shell management has for Wall Street’s superficial approach to investment strategies.I do know Bob Sprague, but not well. He was a typical Shell USA manager. It is obvious from these emails that Shell management was not telling the investment community the truth about reserves, rate of reserve replacement, real rate of return on investment (ROR), and so on. It is also obvious that they really didn’t care if they were being factual or not. Their primary concern seems to be about getting caught in ‘a big lie’ about all the above. They were also clearly trying to use the events of 9/11 to their advantage if investor ‘expectations’ were not met, and as a means of ‘covering their tracks’ regarding previous deceptions. It is an interesting set of emails and clearly indicates that Shell management deliberately misled their institutional investors. It seems they were trying to keep stock prices from taking a tumble if the investors knew things were as they had been told. These emails clearly indicate deliberate fraud on the part of Shell management.
So, Ben “if that’s your real name” Ikari, it really seems that you are a bigoted African who cannot accept that independent Africa (yes, independent) cannot look after itself and merely wants to blame everybody else for its failings. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a joke on the world stage because it acts like an immature child who always wants to blame others and not admit to its own failings. As I have stated so many times, Shell is NOT to blame – please look to yourself and your corrupt, bankrupt, government for the problems that your country is in.
BBC website today : “Detective jailed for News of the World leak” – I just wonder if and when we will read “Shell staff jailed for leaks to tabloid website”? Note : Shell staff have / had signed contract obligations that are / were in place……. However, I must say that these leaks do make for lovely tabloid reading / titillation – i.e. how much can you really trust them? Have to say that I am disappointed with Aidan McKay (who used to work for me when he was in New Orleans) for being such a prat.
To Mr. Ikari: The verdict against Shell is clearly not what you would have liked to have seen, but it is significant none-the-less. It tells those who would bring such suits in the future how they need to approach the legal problem and the manner in which they need to press their claims in court. The burden of proof was on the plaintiffs, and if they did not present a convincing case then the court was right in rejecting their claims. Personally, I think this verdict poses a serious potential problem for Shell in the future. The door for future suits has been opened, and those suits, if properly prepared and presented, could represent a serious financial liability for Shell.
The interest of most Western courts, which includes The Netherlands and governments is to protect capitalism and Africa’s exploitation and oppression. Why then should I nor anyone who understand corporate influence in government and courts be surprised at the decision of the Netherlands or Hague’s court? How can a court agree the people are responsible for their own pollution, knowing that $hell accepting about 40% spill means 89 to 99%? What we know is that these courts and governments pay lip-service to the protection of international human rights and especially when their companies are in violation of the rights of Africans. Meanwhile, the Hague’s court allowing fines against Nigeria’s $he