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Published below is self-explanatory email correspondence involving Keith Ruddock, General Counsel, Upstream International, Shell International B.V. The emails are followed by a statement from Bill Campbell, the former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International. His statement is the subject of the emails.


From: [email protected]
Date: 5 February 2010 12:24:50 GMT
To: [email protected]
Subject: Chairman accepts cover-up took place


I would be very pleased if you could see fit to publish the attachment aimed at your many readers who are Shell, or ex Shell employees, shareholders and or investors who also track your site

You no doubt will check with Keith Ruddock and would ask in the unlikerly event he raises objections that you copy these to me so that I can pass on the CPS

Otherwise there is not need to respond



From: John Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 05 February 2010 13:42
To: Ruddock, Keith A SI-LSEP
Cc: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-RDS-CCO
Subject: Fwd: Chairman accepts cover-up took place

Dear Mr Ruddock

Please see email below from Bill Campbell and the content of the attachment.

I intend to publish his statement on Monday unless you advise before then of any objection as to factual accuracy, or request more time to consider the matter. As usual, you have an open invitation to supply for publication with his statement, any reply Shell wishes to make. This would be published on an unedited basis.

Best Regards
John Donovan


From: [email protected]
Date: 5 February 2010 17:23:05 GMT
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: Chairman accepts cover-up took place

Dear Mr Donovan

I have received your email of 5th February below. I see no basis for the contention which Mr Campbell is making that Shell’s Chairman “accepts that a cover up took place” or any of Mr Campbell’s other related assertions in the proposed article.  This matter is in the hands of the Procurator Fiscal and accordingly I believe it would be inappropriate to comment further.

As previously indicated on a number of occasions, the lack of a rebuttal from, or comment by, Shell does not in any way constitute an acceptance on Shell’s part of the accuracy of any of the points made by you whether now or in the future, and whether on this or on any other matter, and we continue to reserve our position accordingly in respect of those matters.

Yours sincerely

Keith Ruddock

Keith Ruddock
General Counsel Upstream International
Shell International B.V.
The Hague, The Netherlands – Trade Register no. 27155369
Address: c/o Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, The Netherlands
Email: [email protected]



Readers of this web-site will be aware that in Scotland the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) assisted by Grampian Police are currently investigating the role played by Shell, and officials of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) based in Aberdeen, in relation to the Brent Bravo fatalities in September 2003.

As a result of these investigations and evidence now in the possession of the CPS your Chairman Jorma Ollila has committed Royal Dutch Shell to cooperate fully with the investigators at the CPS.

The Chairman in 2007 made a statement (in the form of a letter currently in the possession of the CPS) supported he said by the Board that he was satisfied with the accuracy of press releases made by Shell in June 2006.  These press releases were issued following the BBC Scotland TV broadcast of its ‘Human Price of Oil’ and articles in the Oil Industry Magazine Upstream.

The Shell press releases in 2006 were a robust rebuttal of allegations made against Shell that the Directors of Shell Expro in 1999.  These allegations were that Shell had failed to follow through on actions from a major audit in 1999 and as a direct consequence of this two men were unlawfully killed on Brent Bravo on 11th September 2003.  The Chairman now accepts that the press releases made on June 16th 2006 by Greg Hill, who at that time led the Shell Crisis Management Team, were false and misleading and did not take account of the following facts now held as evidence by the CPS.

These are that an internal investigation carried out in 2005/6 by the HSE on the role played by their officials within the Offshore Safety Division of the HSE based in Aberdeen found that OSD had failed to prevent a significant decline in the integrity of many Shell offshore installations.  Although OSD issued a significant number of enforcement notices, and Shell Expro Directors were warned on their failure to comply with their statutory requirements to maintain safety critical equipment over a prolonged period, the situation deteriorated.

The HSE investigation further reported that OSD officials, had been informed by the Shell Expro Production Director Greg Hill in November 2003, that his post fatalities Integrity Review had uncovered an appalling state of affairs.  The Hill Review uncovered hundreds of unapproved repairs, thousands of fire and gas sensors in a fail to danger condition, and many ESD valves either in a failed condition or which had had their performance tests falsified. Hill, said by the OSD officials to be shocked by what his Integrity Review had uncovered, painted a picture to those officials of a culture within Shell Aberdeen of bullying and harassment.  This was as a direct follow on from the sustenance of the infamous Touch F All policy, over a prolonged period from 1999 till 2003.  This Hill explained had conditioned staff to violate and deviate from procedures and standards.

In addition to the HSE investigation Shell carried out its own internal investigation which reported back to the then Shell CEO in July 2005.  The Shell Chief Internal Auditor Jakob Stausholm, who led the Shell internal investigation, found that in relation to the follow-up from the 1999 Audit there was no evidence that the immediate actions accepted by Shell Expro Directors in 1999 to reduce risks had ever been undertaken.  Further the longer-term actions to correct negative behavior had been truncated whilst incomplete.  As a result of the cooperation with the CPS it is now understood that a copy of the Shell Internal investigation has passed to the Procurator Fiscal leading the investigation.

All the above has to be viewed in context with what Jorma Ollila, supported by his Board, said in his 2007 letter.  He agreed, having before him all the information covered above, that Shell Expro in 1999 had vigorously responded to its 1999 Audit findings which it accepted in full.  He agreed with the press release that the Shell Expro vigorous response had led to a significant improvement in safety in the period from 1999 up to the fatalities.  He also agreed with the press release where Shell absolutely rejected the allegations that it had ever operated any of its installations in a dangerous condition.  He based his confidence on the accuracy of the 2006 press releases because he was satisfied that these concerns had been fully investigated but you now are aware that his own internal investigation in 2005 indicated significant shortcomings in the 1999 follow-up.

Your Chairman is because of his statements given in writing in some personal jeopardy because it can be reasonably assumed that he was complicit in the cover up of what the CPS have ascertained are to be serious issues of a criminal nature.  Whether prosecutions will flow from all this is still to be determined but the Scottish authorities have acted already and fundamental changes have already been initiated or are planned.

A unit has been set up, based in Glasgow, staffed jointly by CPS and HSE officials who will have the joint responsibility of investigating the accidental deaths of persons at work and of prosecuting duty holders who are found to have been negligent.  In 2003 this was the singular responsibility of the Procurator Fiscal Depute in Aberdeen so this failed arrangement is now restructured to bring it more in line with the rest of the UK.

The Scottish Government commissioned Lord Cullen to Review and recommend changes to the Fatal Accident Inquiry legislation in Scotland.  This was motivated, at least in part, by the public disquiet about the shortcomings of the Brent Bravo Inquiry.  Lord Cullen made a number of recommendations in his recently published report.  One of the most fundamental of these if implemented relates to the holding of fresh proceedings.  In summary, if it is found that a Fatal Accident Inquiry was not presented with evidence that should have been presented, or in the aftermath of an Inquiry new evidence comes to light, then a further Inquiry can be held.

It is clear, and not contested by the CPS and the HSE, that evidence relevant to the Brent Bravo Inquiry was not provided to the Sheriff by either Shell or OSD officials who both had a vested interest to cover up their combined failures.  This is one of the principal reasons why the current CPS investigation is ongoing.

It is to the eternal shame of your Chairman, your ex CEO van der Veer, and it seems the complete Board of Royal Dutch Shell, that these changes have been implemented, at least in part due to their corruption and criminal neglect.

As an example of the moral delinquency of the board of Royal Dutch Shell, and its Chairman, your ex CEO Jeroen van der Veer has been maintained by the Board as a non-executive Director with the portfolio for Social Responsibility.  This is despite van der Veer being the sole signatory to the revised Business Principle which for the first time in 2005 added a clause making it mandatory for Shell to comply with the Law in all countries in which it operates.

Here is yet another case in these troubled times where corruption and deceit is accepted and where the perpetrators are rewarded for failure. Many of you are perhaps for the third or fourth time being asked to reapply for your jobs after probably giving good and loyal service to Shell for many years and many more of you are being let go.  Perhaps you now realise, that all this good stuff about honesty and integrity, and compliance with the Law is meant for you and not for the hoodlums who now manage and direct what used to be a worldwide organization with an unblemished reputation.

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

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