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Email sent to Daily Telegraph journalist Simon Goodley from a Sakhalin-2 insider (about David Greer, Ian Craig and ‘birthday presents’)

December 2007

(Published unedited)

Dear Mister Goodley,

I stumbled on your article “Nothing slick about this right Regal mess” on the site

Apart from the fact that it just adds on oil gossips gushes, it also reads “Shell, which once employed Greer until his David Brent-style motivational email was leaked to the press” which would imply that he left the company because of this leaked memo.

Do you really think the second most senior manager of a project this size (20 billion USD) would leave the company he’s been working for more than 20 years because a memo has been leaked to the public and he could not live with the shame of having, like many other Shell managers before him, “hired” the wording of it?

Mister Greer actually left the company more than two months after his memo was leaked and for a completely different reason.

At one time in the project, he took the decision to turn the lump-sum (fixed price) contract for the construction of the pipeline between the Onshore Processing Facility in the north of the island and the LNG plant and Oil Export Terminal in the south into a cost-plus-fee contract (variable price).

This decision was mainly taken because the contractor couldn’t really cope with the falling rate of US dollar against the Russian ruble, the increased costs of works linked with Russian authority imposed engineering decision for river crossing and seismic protection of the pipe and was on the brink of walking away to “cut the losses”.

Although this contract amendment was done (to my knowledge) in accordance with the procurement rules of the project and went through a tender board, the “birthday present” given to the contractor led some people to believe that David Greer actually “agreed” to the modification of contract terms in return for a personal profit.

An internal inquiry followed which didn’t prove any wrong doing but shattered the already fragile cohesion of the senior management team and the final straw came when Ian Graig (chief executive of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company or SEIC) refused to publicly “state his confidence” in Greer.

We regret Greer who is for sure an over-confident-bully-Scottish-clan-leader but really added momentum needed to move forward in a bureaucratic environment brought by Shell in the first place and “reinforced” by Gazprom “arrival” (Should I say “invasion” ? Probably not, they are “at home”)

More trouble is ahead now with a “witch hunt” focused on Greer-appointed-people-and-contractors following his personal implication in the failure by Shell to purchase Regal exploration assets in Ukraine*

This will achieve the complete demoralization of “troops” ahead of the announcement of new delays, cost increase and other failures to deliver in environmental protection+

(*) The Regal production assets, even largely insignificant and still politically fragile would complete in upstream the downstream assets purchased previously from NK Alliance (150 petrol station and probably soon a refinery).

“Our very local oil gossips” gushes that maybe Ian Graig was himself the whistle blower in the  pipe contract corruption allegation in order to get rid of a guy that once refused to take him in his team+ but also that Greer or close collaborators left the company with tons of compromising documents (“kompromat” in Russian) namely proofs of violations by SEIC of the PSA (production share agreement) that Gazprom would dream to get hands on in order to weaken further the Shell management team of the project who is still “at the helm” and get rid of them as soon as all the start-up difficulties are overcome+he blew the whistle and the butterfly effect went on and he got blown himself+

If it sounds interesting to you I can keep you posted on the dirty tricks of this small scale Scottish clan war in which the casualties will spread from Kiev to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk+

Best regards

(We have the email address for this insider)

The relevant Daily Telegraph article…

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

One Comment

  1. Campbell says:

    There is a lot of truth in this article. I know that Craig worked secretly behind the scenes with crooked people like Andre Zalpin and Angelo Bellizzi from Strawberry Hills/Mischka pub to try to embarrass the General and all of his many good friends on the Sakhalin Project like Bert Grannas and William Mcgillivarey. It was Craig who hired Jim McGuire and asked him (paid him ?) to leak the General’s emails. Since then, Craig has launched attacks on anyone from Sakhalin Energy or Shell Ukraine who tries to communicate with the General or his friends. Cell fones and telephone calls are bugged, staff are followed and spied on, computers are taken off people, sms messages are read by Craig’s KGB agents and emails are read secretly on a regular basis. Whether the emails are work related or private, they read them all. So everyone in Shell Ukraine and Sakhalin Energy should be worried, big bad brother Craig and his friends in Moscow and Shell M I6 are watching you and your emails and sms messages. This big brother tendency will only get worse once they contract out all of the IT work. Then everybody in the contracted companies will able to read everybody’s emails so much fun and entertainment is assured as more and more emails will be leaked for everyone to see.

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