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Leaked Shell Email from Frank Willsdon, General Manager, Stanlow Refinery

From a Shell Insider

Email sent today to all Shell Stanlow Refinery employees from Frank Willsdon (right), General Manager: Stanlow, UK

Subject: Stanlow Strategic Review Announcement

Dear colleagues,

Further to the townhall meeting and team briefings held earlier today, I can confirm that we are in negotiations with Essar for the potential sale of Stanlow, Heide and Harburg refineries. For the time being Shell will not be holding discussions with any third party other than Essar, although this does not guarantee a sale and it is too early for Shell to confirm a deal or comment on timescales.

Given this latest development in the strategic review, we are now going to establish a UK staff consultation forum in readiness for consultation.    The Consultation Forum is being established for employees who may be affected by the potential sale of the Stanlow refinery and associated local marketing businesses – this includes some employees who are only partially impacted and may not be included in any transfer.  Electoral Reform Services (ERS) will be administering the process of nomination and election of the forum representatives on our behalf and will be contacting you in the coming days.  Those employees covered by the Collective Bargaining agreement in Stanlow will not be required to elect representatives as they will be nominated from within the current Shop Stewards committee and will not therefore receive the email from ERS.

As previously stated, the review of Stanlow is to determine the best long-term ownership options for the Stanlow Refinery and associated local marketing businesses. Shell has an obligation to ensure best value is being achieved with all its assets and this involves talking with third parties from time to time. This is part of normal Shell portfolio activities and is consistent with Downstream’s strategy to concentrate our refining footprint.

We will endeavour to minimise this period of uncertainty. Continuing to deliver strong business results will position the refinery and associated local marketing businesses in the best possible situation, whatever decision is made.  As ever, safety remains the top priority.

You have my commitment to continue to update you on progress. If you have any questions regarding the review please address these to any of the Leadership Team or to me directly.  Additionally, the strategic review website remains an ongoing source of information with factsheets, Q&As and the opportunity to post new questions to be answered.

Frank Willsdon


Shell Stanlow workers offered for sale like slaves in public auction: 24 August 2009

Stanlow Refinery Workers Ready to Fight Shell: 10 Sept 2009

Shell: Talking To Essar About Sale Of German, UK Refineries: 30 OCTOBER 2009

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN) is in talks with Essar Group and no other company about its plans to sell two refineries in Germany and one in the U.K., a company spokesman said Friday.

The sale includes some local marketing operations, but not Shell’s retail operations, the spokesman said. No price or time frame for a potential sale has been agreed, he added.

Shell plans to sell the Heide and Harburg refineries in Germany and the Stanlow plant in the U.K. as part of its restructuring program aimed at increasing profitability and efficiency.

Company Web site:

-By James Herron, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)20 7842 9317; [email protected]

Shell says India’s Essar in talks to buy refineries Reuters 30 October 2009 and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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