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Email correspondence with Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate: 10 February 2009


From: John Donovan []

Sent: maandag 9 februari 2009 18:58

To: Brandjes, Michiel CM SI-LC

Cc: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-RDS-CCO

Subject: Shell Safety Issues

Dear Mr Brandjes

I have printed below some comments received from a person well qualified to pass comment on Shell matters, particularly on Shell safety issues. Since he is outspoken in regard to Mr Brinded, it seems proper to give Shell an opportunity to comment. Any such comments received will be published on an unedited basis. If any information printed below is categorically untrue or inaccurate, please feel free to point this out. Any inaccurate information stated as fact will be deleted. In the absence of any response we will assume that Shell does not deny the facts as stated. 

If I do not hear from you before 6pm Wednesday (11 February), I will assume Shell will not be taking up our offer because it  does not take issue with the stated facts and we will proceed on that basis. If you need more time to respond that it not a problem; please just let me know by 6pm Wednesday that a reply will be forthcoming. 

Mr Bill Campbell is not the source, although he may share most of the views expressed.

Best Regards

John Donovan

Despite all the publicity of your web  site, and all the evidence compiled by Bill Cambell, exposing the dreadful  short comings of Shells North Sea Safety record, they continue in the same  vein!

If  the situation continues to be so bad in a highly regulated area the question  needs to be asked, “What about the rest of the Shell Global  activities” 

For the HSE to have been involved in 207 cases means  each reported  case is classified as serious, what about the  incidents which did not have to be reported to the HSE?  The average  industry safety analysis ratio is around 7 to 1 to the next level of  seriousness.  Using this as a guide line then Shell may have experienced  in excess of 1400 incidents NOT reported to the HSE.  A statistic that  ponders the question are the words uttered by the Shell spokespersons    “Safety is our highest priority and remains paramount” made of  straw????

In the New Year  “rally the troops” e-mail from  Malcolm Brinded  cost cutting is the order of the day, even to how many  view graphs are to be used!  The underlying tone is more people are being  readied for the sad title of “Not core business anymore” and the exit  door. At the same time get rid of Contractor and Consultants. At the  last round of cost cutting many Staff who Knew the E&P business inside out  were dispensed with to be replaced by Contractors and  Consultants. Now  get rid of them who will Shell get the expertise and knowledge from to carry  the business forward and meet ambitious business promises? (read targets)

The next issue conveniently left out is the gross  overspend of recent projects!!!!  All of which were minutely vetted by  Brinded is his well known “Micro Management style” before Board approval, how many billions are there here needs to be asked.  

Sakhlin  Project,     Approved  at $6 billion now looking like $20 billion not forgetting the loss of equity  to the Russians.

Pearl GTL project    Approved  at $5 billion now looking like $15 billion and at least 18 months behind  schedule.

Harweel  Oman      Not  sure of approval figure but understood to almost 5 times over original  estimate.

So how do these grossly underestimated costs get past  the concept stages.  This can only be done by being economical with the  truth to his fellow Board members at approval and then blaming everyone else  except himself.  Can this also be the same story when applied to North  Sea Operations and the disgusting attitude towards Bill Campbell and his audit  results highlighting premeditated and gross negligence by the same person.  

Brinded appears to be again going down the path of cost cutting  at any price, perhaps the last actions of a man defending his position blaming  everyone else, taking the spot light off his own failures.

Why does the Chairman not stop this nonsense ????

Only History will  tell us the true facts once the smokescreens have long blown away leaving us  all with nothing but the phrase “I told you so, so many many  times”



Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 08:14:08 +0100
To: <>
Subject: RE: Shell Safety Issues

Dear Mr Donovan,

The Company does not not wish to comment on the statements made but the absence of comment on its part is not to be taken as an acceptance of the accuracy or appropriateness thereof in any way.

Best Regards,
Michiel Brandjes
Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate
Royal Dutch Shell plc

Registered office: Shell Centre London SE1 7NA UK
Place of registration and number: England 4366849
Correspondence address: PO Box 162, 2501 AN  The Hague,
The Netherlands

Tel: +31 70 377 2625 Fax: 3687
Email: MichielBrandjes@


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