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Rumours about Motiva Plant Expansion in Port Arthur Texas

By John Donovan

On 19 January disturbing rumours over the Motiva Plant expansion in Port Arthur Texas were brought to our attention. Motiva Enterprises LLC is jointly owned by Saudi Refining and Shell.

Can any inside source confirm that the project is significantly over budget?  It it true that there is a corruption problem and that some parts of the projects have been put on hold and Shell employees reassigned? Has Port Arthur Refinery Manager Tom Purvis personally taken control of the project? 

A rumour that contractors were being laid off work was subsequently confirmed in an article published by The Port Arthur News.

We regularly receive information and obviously protect the identity of sources. Within minutes of receiving leaked Shell internal emails yesterday authored by Royal Dutch Shell Plc CEO Jeroen van der Veer and EP Chief Executive Malcolm Brinded, a syndicated article – “Shell gets tough on costs as oil prices bite” – featuring extensive extracts from the email, was published by numerous news organisations including: –



Financial Post


Guardian Online

International Herald Tribune

London Stock Exchange (AFX News)


National Post


Scottish TV

The Oil Drum

USA Today

Shell is always given the opportunity to substantiate facts and comment prior to publication. Sources are never revealed. 

We recently reported on another project involving Saudi Arabia and Shell…

Shell, Saudi Arabia, Arms-for-Oil, Corruption, & Radioactive Contamination: 5 December 2008

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