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Irish Independent:Anti-pipeline alliance spurns visiting Shell delegation

By Tom Shiel
Jan 26, 2006
LANDOWNERS opposed to the onshore Corrib gas pipeline in Co Mayo yesterday snubbed a top-level delegation from energy giant Shell who travelled to the area on a fact-finding mission.
Three non-executive directors of Royal Dutch Shell plc, including Wim Kok, a former prime minister of the Netherlands, went to the Rossport and Bellanaboy area where it is proposed that gas from the Corrib Field will be brought ashore and processed.
Accompanying Mr Kok were Nina Henderson and Maarten van den Bergh. They were joined on the trip by Tom Botts, executive vice-president for Shell's European Exploration & Production business.
The three are members of Shell's Social Responsibility Committee (SRC), a committee established in 1997 to review the policies and conduct of the company in relation to its commitment around Business Principles and Health, Safety and Environment.
In this capacity they frequently visit Shell projects around the world to listen to local communities and to try to understand the impact that such projects have on the communities, customers, employees and the shareholders.
During their Mayo visit the directors met with local political representatives, resident groups, consenting landowners and other interested parties to listen to their views on and concerns about the Corrib pipeline project.
In a statement yesterday, Shell expressed disappointment that an invitation to the non-consenting landowners to meet with the board members was declined and hopes that a dialogue at a later date will be possible.
“Together with my colleagues on the board of Royal Dutch I frequently visit Shell projects around the world, as an independent observer,”
“We, the board members, are independent and are interested in how the project touches communities, employees and shareholders and in understanding the difficulties and challenges around the Corrib project from a local perspective,” said Mr Kok.
Shell said the meeting was completely independent from the ongoing mediation process that the company is continuing to participate in.

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