Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image An Open Letter by email to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: Shell skulduggery pumping up oil prices?

Email sent on 16 July 2007 to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Company Secretary & Corporate Counsel, Michiel Brandjes.  (Copied to Jeroen van der Veer, Jorma Ollila, Malcolm Brinded, John Hofmeister and Basil Omiyi, Country Chairman, Shell Nigeria)

Dear Mr Brandjes

Printed below is the revised draft letter/article relating to Shell activities in Nigeria. We note from Shell internal correspondence the accusation that we put unreasonable time limits when putting forward articles for comment. In fact we happily gave more time when requested in the particular instance mentioned.

We would ideally like to know today if Shell wishes to comment on this article but if you need more time, you only have to ask. If there is no response today we will assume that Shell does not challenge the accuracy of the content. If however you do decide to make  any comments they will be published unedited and included on the same basis in the email to Senator Feinstein. If you categorically deny any statement or allegation we will reconsider its inclusion.

With regard to the information supplied thus far by Shell under the provisions of the UK Data Protection Act (for which we are grateful) we have been asked by someone claiming to be Dr John Huong whether non-UK nationals are entitled to make an application in the UK under the act for any information held about them by Shell in the UK. We would appreciate an answer if that is possible.

Kind regards
John Donovan


An Open Letter by email to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: Shell skulduggery pumping up oil prices?

Dear Senator Feinstein

I have noted your interest in scrutinising the activities of Big Oil in relation to the issues of royalty evasion, drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and obscenely high profits generated from alleged price gouging at the gas pump.

In regard to the latter subject, there has been speculation concerning possible collusion in the USA gasoline retailing market between oil companies.

I want to bring to your attention skulduggery involving the oil giant Shell which definitely does impact on global oil prices. It is not a matter of speculation but fact. It is taking place in Nigeria far away from the scrutiny of U.S. Senators.

When the news media reports on rising high oil prices, militant attacks in Nigeria are inevitably cited as a factor e.g. the following extract is from a report in The Scotsman, Friday 13 July 2007: “The attacks have contributed to a drop in production of about 25 per cent, driving up oil prices worldwide with no end to the kidnappings in sight”.

Shell is the leading oil producer in Nigeria. To the outside world it appears to be an unfortunate victim of regular attacks by militants on its employees, pipelines and installations which drive up the price of oil. As you will see, the truth is more sinister and bizarre.

As the operators of what has been described by the Financial Times as “an anti-Shell website”, we were contacted by a conscience driven high level Shell insider source who gave us clues about Shell’s actions in Nigeria. They made it clear their life would be at risk in going too far in revealing the truth about issues relating to Shell, including Nigerian politics, bunkering, pollution, kidnapping, MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) and the militant activist organisation MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Nigerian Delta). We put questions to the whistleblower and subsequently spoke directly to them. In the process, we established that the source is authentic. We have also carried out our own research (which we will supply in the event of any inquiry by U.S. authorities).

We were able to confirm to a large degree what had appeared initially to be outlandish allegations.

As a consequence of our investigations, which included contact with other Shell insiders with knowledge of Shell activities in Nigeria, we are able to state, as a matter of fact, that Shell executives in Nigeria (where corruption is endemic), have been up to their necks in a sinister relationship with militant leaders.  Valuable contracts have been awarded by Shell to militants.  Shell executives, Nigerian authorities and militant leaders have been locked in a conspiratorial embrace. 

Shell would presumably say that their descent into an immoral commercial relationship with militants attacking oil company property and kidnapping oil company employees, has had the positive objective of keeping the oil flowing. In our view such unscrupulous dealings are reprehensible and likely hide an even darker secret.

The plain fact is that there is much more money to be made by stemming oil flow from Nigeria than keeping it flowing.  Production cuts have been consistently happening. How fortunate for Shell, which as a consequence, has benefitted from billions in windfall profits that have masked the billions in losses arising from Shell management incompetence in mega projects such as Sakhalin-2 in Russia. We cannot categorically say that this has been Shell’s real objective: instead it comes under the heading of informed speculation.

In 2004, the world was astonished to discover that Shell had artificially inflated its hydrocarbon reserves in a huge securities fraud. Some of the same directors who signed Form F20 returns containing false information filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission remain at the helm of Shell.  The question now is whether Shell has also been inflating profits by manipulating oil production in Nigeria in cahoots with murderous militant partners and perhaps as an unwanted by-product, has also created massive windfall profits for its competitors.  I stress again that it only takes a small crimp in the oil pipeline applied on a regular basis to drive up the global oil price and keep it at a high level, thereby generating billions of extra dollars in annual profits: in the case of Shell alone, $25.4 billion.

By way of background information, I co-own with my father, Alfred Donovan, the world’s leading online source of information about Royal Dutch Shell. We have a library of over 15,000 articles relating to Shell. Our website has a track record of exposing misdeeds by Shell management as a result of insiders leaking information to us. The Russian government has confirmed that I supplied the evidence for a threatened $30 billion lawsuit against Shell relating to environmental violations on the Sakhalin Energy project in Siberia. In December last year Shell surrendered its majority stake in the venture to bring the episode to an end.

A few weeks ago, David Greer, a Shell Managing Director seconded to the Sakhalin-2 project, resigned as Deputy Chief Executive of Sakhalin Energy following our exposure in conjunction with the Financial Times, of a scandal which emerged from insider information leaked to me. 

Many news organisations such as Dow Jones and Reuters have used information leaked to us by our Shell insider sources. Eminent energy journalists such as Ed Crooks of the Financial Times and Max Delany of The Moscow Times have written front page stories based on information and leaked documents supplied to us from Shell insiders. For this reason the credibility of our Shell insider sources is extremely high.

Moscow Times articles…

Further information about us and our website can be found on the Wikipedia article:

The Wikipedia article “Controversies surrounding Royal Dutch Shell” conclusively answers the question of whether Shell management is capable of ruthless unscrupulous conduct. The article details Shell’s fines for fictitious trading, its leadership role in illegal cartels, involvement in covert espionage activities in Nigeria and covers many other subjects such as its duplicity in the Vietnam War, where Shell supplied oil to both sides in the conflict. There is also a section covering Shell’s current continuing involvement in Iran despite the threat of U.S. sanctions and the allegations that Iran is supplying road side bombs used in Iraq, which are killing numerous U.S. and British soldiers.

Senior executives of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, including Shell Oil Company President John Hofmeister and the Chairman of Shell in Nigeria have had advance sight of this email. (Any comment by Shell will be inserted here)

John Donovan
Co-owner of the *website

(Since no response was made by Shell the Open Letter will be sent immediately by email to Senator Feinstein: It has already been published on The Wall Street Journal website)

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

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