Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image Shell CEO Letter of Censure to Malcolm Brinded, Executive Director of Shell EP

Jeroen van der Veer drawn into Brent Bravo unlawful deaths scandal

By John Donovan

In August 2006, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek “Open Letter” to Shell CEO, Jeroen van der Veer about the Brent Bravo scandal asking… When is Shell going to sue former Shell International Group Auditor Bill Campbell for defamation?

It appears that I should have addressed the question to Bill Campbell asking when HE would be issuing defamation proceedings against Shell. He is currently preparing to issue a libel action against Shell following the breakdown of a mediation process which has been secretly going on behind the scenes for some time.

While it seemed to the outside world that the repercussions of the Brent Bravo scandal had subsided, with media focus switched to BP’s troubles, Shell has in fact been trying to keep a lid on sensitive information emerging relating to the untimely deaths of innocent Brent Bravo workers. Sensitive because the machinations personally involve Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer and Malcolm Brinded, the Executive Director of Shell EP. As will become clear, Brinded had a vested interest in trying to cover-up past events.

Campbell decided to make a principled stand against unprincipled Shell executives who failed to deal competently and ethically with corrupted safety procedures exposed in a safety audit of the Brent Bravo North Sea oil platform led by Campbell. Shell typically reacted with threats and a campaign to discredit him followed by an attempt to pacify Campbell when their reprehensible tactics were exposed. Apparently Shell forgot that Campbell retains the support of many Shell insiders.

From reading the Campbell documents (links below) supplied to us by a source (not Bill Campbell), it is obvious that Campbell was shaken to his core by the way Shell management savagely turned on him after he acted in accordance with Shell’s core business principles, which have been promoted over the years in global advertising campaigns. Campbell had been convinced that Shell management meant what it said about honesty, integrity and respect for Shell employees.

He was taken in, like others before him, by the high moral tone of Shell’s propaganda – The Shell General Business Principles (the SGBP), directed at a gullible public. The point arrived when the penny finally dropped and Campbell realised that the great company he loves is now run by charlatans who, contrary to the PR hype and spin, put profits and personal gain before principles.

Campbell discovered the harsh reality: an astonishing true story of deceit, deception, coercion, malice, corruption, libel, treachery, cover-up (with vital documents, by coincidence or otherwise, conveniently disappearing like magic from more one location) and above all, breathtaking hypocrisy e.g. the unprincipled actions of Shell management, completely at odds with the pious pledges in the SGBP.

Relevant events also involve other Shell directors, senior managers and officials including Tom Botts, Jakob Stausholm, Richard Sykes, Chris Finlayson, Keith Ruddock, Peter Wyatt, Kieron McFadyen, Bob Sprague, James Smith, Greg Hill and David Bayliss.

Because of the importance of the matters covered in this article, we emailed extracts to Keith Ruddock, Shell International General Counsel for Exploration and Production with an offer to supply the complete draft article.

You will see from the email correspondence which was all between me (John Donovan) and Mr Ruddock, that both parties, Bill Campbell and Shell, entered into a “Making of Amends” process. This involved Shell making amends to Mr Campbell, not the other way round.

In this connection, the main focus of the discussion was on a “Letter of Censure” sent by Jeroen van der Veer to Malcoln Brinded. Mr Ruddock stated in one email: “I do not believe that there is any basis for you including reference to any such purported communication in your article.” Unfortunately for Mr Ruddock there is irrefutable evidence of the letter and its content.

To read the full article including associated documents and email correspondence, go to…

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