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Shell Corrib Gas Project flood of leaked internal emails

By John Donovan

I have published below Shell internal emails and minutes of a meeting, all relating to the Shell led Corrib Gas Project in Ireland.

All of the items been supplied by a group of Shell Corrib employees who wish to be known as “Celtic Tiger 5?.

This is what they claim:

We are Celtic Tiger 5 who are current shell employees working in/or for Shell Ireland. We represent HSE, Commercial, IT, Construction and are interested in spreading correct information to the outside world and our fellow citizens in the West. Please feel free to publish this information on your website…

As previously indicated, Shell will be concerned about the prospect of another active subversive employee group within the company following the leak to us in February of the Shell Global Address Book in what was described as the worlds biggest breach of employee details. The leak turned into a global PR black-eye for Shell.

Relevant email correspondence today with Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Email from John Donovan to Richard Wiseman

From: John Donovan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 09 August 2010 09:15
To: Wiseman, Richard M RDS-LSX
Subject: Corrib Gas Project: More leaked Shell internal emails

Dear Mr Wiseman

The trickle of leaked Shell insider documents and internal communications from the Corrib Gas Project in Ireland seems to have turned into a flood.

Please see three further leaked Shell internal emails printed below involving high level employees, including the Project Director in 2007, Mr Tom Hooft van Huysduynen.

Please let me know by 4 pm today if there is any reason why we should not publish the emails and minutes as proof that the leaks situation is self-evidently out of Shell’s control. This is despite the global spying operation against Shell employees by Shell Global Affairs Security (CAS) designed to prevent such information from reaching us.

I have given a deadline because you have not responded to my recent emails containing no deadlines. I tried the no deadline approach after your complaint about the imposition of deadlines – “I can by no means guarantee always to receive your emails within 24 hours of your sending them…”
Please let me know if you need more time to deal with the matter.

If you indicate that any email is a fake, it will not be published.

Any comment you wish to make will be published on an unedited basis.

John Donovan


From: [email protected]
Date: 9 August 2010 11:07:55 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: Corrib Gas Project: More leaked Shell internal emails

Dear Mr Donovan

We do not propose to respond to the allegations and our refusal to do so should not be taken as an admission that any of the assertions is true.


Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1
Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: [email protected]


—–Original Message—–
From:     Hooft van Huysduynen, Tom SEPIL-EPE-T-IP
Sent:   05 July 2007 16:16
To:    Cetti, Julian A SEPIL-EPE-C-R; Murphy, Conor SEPIL-EPE-C-D; Costello, Gerry J SEPIL-EPE-T-IP; Uglow, Susannah M SEPIL-LSEP-E-I; Pieren, Marcel SUKEP-EPE-T-D; Barrett, Thomas W SUKOP-DIC/713
Cc:    Pyle, Andy C SEPIL-EPE-T-I; Nolan, Terry J SEPIL-EPE-T-IM; McLaverty, Agnes K SEPIL-EPE-T-IP; Hamilton, Ann M SEPIL-EPF-E-C
Subject:    Annual Lease return

Ladies & Gents,

We have had a very very long session on the 2006 ALR. We have agreed that it is key that we listen and take on board formal remarks on reserves made by PAD. The PAD wants to see 785 Bcf reserves and he tells us in no uncertain terms what format this should take. Marcel will do a QA/QC check on what wording will be acceptable to Shell, but it is critical to SEPIL we do find acceptable wording to PAD. Also I stated I do not intend to risk relationships with BGE and PAD on the basis of stand alone Flow Assurance results. I see FA as an important planning, engineering and operational tool, but not as an absolute tool; it is only a prediction. Only after production start up will we be able to calibrate the model to actual performance. In other words, it is stupid if we stick to the 739 Bcf (or worse) to the Government at this stage and we are shooting ourselves in the foot. So we are all very clear why it is so important to revert to the 785 BcF (by the way note 783 BcF is the 10% cut off requiring a new PoD). Equally, we are not running back to the Government if P6 results indicate downside rather than upside (or the other way around for that matter). P6 results will be formally reported back via the formal process of the 2007 ALR, which we should try to issue as soon as possible after the re-modelling has taken place, somewhere early Q2 next year. If the 2007 ALR indicates reserves changes in excess of 10% (up or down), there is an existing proces via the ALR on how to initiate a PoD change on reserves, somewhere in 2008.

The atttached ALR, with the exception of the subsurface Chapter 4, has now been throughly revised and rewritten, inlcuding partner and legal checks. The attached ALR now follows exactly the recommendations issued by the PAD. Gerry Costello will now informally test this with PAD after receiving wording from Mrcel on reserves. Gerry will also ask PAD whether we can issue teh document except Chapter 4.

As we mention reserves in this report, Marcel will deal with Group Disclosure Standards.

Ann, can you please find out whether we need to disclose to the Group the publication of Capex, Opex and Abandonment Cost as well before issuing ?


•    2005 ALR to be accepted before 2006 ALR to be submitted
•    Satisfying the Government of Ireland is a higher priority than satisfying Shell
•    A revised PoD should include just those sections which inlcude new information or modified proposals
•    The ALR format follows official guidelines, nothing else
•    The ALR wil not contain any information outside the related calendar year
•    The ALR will not volontuur information not requested, but follow the PAD recommended format
•    The forward planning in the ALR is looking forward from 31/12 of that year
•    Additional information can be provided in the cover letter, not in the ALR
•    We use 2005€, MoD € and RT 2006 €, in various parts of the report, intentionally
•    The document, we understand, does not fall under the freedom of information act, and can only be made public via the courts.


•    Late submissions can be and will have to be regularised by letter requesting approval. Gerry please issue this letter on late 2006 ALR submission (draft by James)
•    Marcel Pieren will review wording on reserves for the 2005 ALR submission by next week.
•    The wording should cover 785 Bcf reserves. Expectation reserves are 739, with 46 Bcf reserves to be added at a later date by engineering solutions, primarily the change out of a pipeline, would that make commercial sense at the time a decison is required.
•    Resolve 2005 ALR by August 2007, formal acceptance by PAD
•    Submit 2006 ALR by August 2007, after formal acceptance by PAD
•    Submit a new section in the POD for the pipeline re-route, at the time of submission to PAD for Section 40, and ABP for SIA, planned 31 October 2007
•    The cover letter to the 2006 ALR return will state that in September 2007 SEPIL plans to complete Flow Assurance work and plans to drill into P6 reservoir. The PAD wil be informed by letter of any early hard results. The PAD will be informed of all consolidated results, including new reservoir models based on P6 data, in the 2007 ALR, planned for issue April 2008 (planned end of reservoir re-modelling).

Tom Hooft van Huysduynen
Project Director
+353 1 669 4159
+353 (0) 876 603 940
Shell E&P Ireland Limited
Registered Office
Corrib House
52 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
Registered in Ireland Number 316588
Directors: AM Hamilton, TJ Nolan, AC Pyle (British)

—–Original Message—–
From:     Uglow, Susannah M SEPIL-LSEP-E-I
Sent:    06 July 2007 11:37
To:    Hooft van Huysduynen, Tom SEPIL-EPE-T-IP
Cc:    Cetti, Julian A SEPIL-EPE-C-R; Murphy, Conor SEPIL-EPE-C-D; Costello, Gerry J SEPIL-EPE-T-IP; Pieren, Marcel SUKEP-EPE-T-D; Barrett, Thomas W SUKOP-DIC/713; Pyle, Andy C SEPIL-EPE-T-I; Nolan, Terry J SEPIL-EPE-T-IM; McLaverty, Agnes K SEPIL-EPE-T-IP; Hamilton, Ann M SEPIL-EPF-E-C
Subject:    RE: Annual Lease return


To pick up on one of the points made in the Principles section of your email, it is not the case that the Annual Lease Return falls outside the Freedom of Information Act.

The ALR does constitute a record held by a public body (ie. the Department) which falls within the FOI Act.  However, the Act says that where information has been obtained by the public body in confidence or where it is commercially sensitive, the public body has the discretion to refuse to give access to the information.  Prior to making a decision to release the Department would have to consult with SEPIL (as provider of the information), although the Department would consider SEPIL’s views it would not be bound by them.  The  Department could release the information where, on balance, it is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so.
In summary, the Department could release the ALR to a member of the public if it thought that would be in the public interest.
It is important that SEPIL denotes the ALR as a confidential and commercially sensitive document so that if a FOI request is made, the Department knows to consult SEPIL on its possible release.

From: Hamilton, Ann M SEPIL-EPF-E-C
Sent: 10 July 2007 16:48
To: Hooft van Huysduynen, Tom SEPIL-EPE-T-IP
Cc: Uglow, Susannah M SEPIL-LSEP-E-I; Mc Brien, James M SEPIL-EPE-T-PC; Pyle, Andy C SEPIL-EPE-T-I
Subject: Annual Lease return


We made some slight adjustments to the numbers ( with Jims involvement).

We have an obligation under our Petroleum Lease to disclose our Total Expenditure amounts ( I have checked the guidelines with James and this is quite clearly stated).

In answer to your specific question to me, given that SEPIL will denote the submitted ALR as confidential and commercially sensitive so that if a FOI request is made the Department will consult SEPIL in its possible release. Therefore, in my view we do not need to consult Group on this issue.



—–Original Message—–
From:     Murdoch, Jim SUKEP-EPE-T-WP
Sent:    05 September 2008 15:04
To:    s711dsv SUKEP-EPE-T-WM; s711ndsv SUKEP-EPE-T-WM; S711WSS SUKEP-EPE-T-WM; 711 OIM (E-mail)
Cc:    Kazi, Mudassar SUKEP-EPE-T-WP; Christie, Steven SUKEP-EPE-T-WS; Keith Miller (E-mail); Morrice, Chris SUKEP-EPE-T-WS
Subject:   Corrib P5 deviation

Boris, Brian, Graham, Graeme

suspect you’re not fully aware but during some productioncasing design validation checks an issue arose surrounding the 20″ connector tensile/compressive capacity.  Due to thermally induced loads there is a modeled scenario (Wellcat) that results in connector failure and a leak developing across the connector.  Structurally there is no risk to the well but it potentially opens up the “B” annulus.  This would not normally be a problem but there are potentially some exposed (hydrostatically pressure) sands in the B annulus that are not isolated by the 9 5/8″ cement job.  Fluid type is uncertain but in the event that there is loss of hydrostatic head, (due to mud degradation), there are hydrocarbon present (low probability) and the sand can flow there is a risk that hydrocarbons flow to the failed/leaking connector resulting in flow from the B annulus.  For this to happen the cement that was seen to surface of this string would also have to have failed.

As you can see a number of failures have to occur before this could actually happen hence it is considered a very low risk.  This said we have captured within the attached deviation form and by limiting the flowing period during the clean up phase the thermal loads that the connector will be subjected will not exceed the connector rating envelope.  Further modeling done to date has shown that the connector should not have been subjected to thermal loads that would have failed the connector during the well test with Enterprise in 1999.

This said we should monitor the wellhead both prior to and during the well test with the ROV (see mitigation measures #3 2nd page of the attached document) for bubble generation indicating that we have failed the connection and that fluids are migrating through the B annulus.  Acknowledge will be difficult to monitor and assess as we do anticipate some release around the wellhead which is not untypical due to thermal expansion.

Have a look at the attached and we can discuss, taken the liberty of checking for additional ROV crew although realise that bedding is an issue.



Jim Murdoch
Senior Well Engineer
Shell U.K. Limited
1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen, AB12 3FY, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1224 88 2983
Email: [email protected]

From: Taylor, Ian C SUKEP-EPE-T-D
Sent: 18 September 2008 15:35
To: GX EPE ALL PTs and WAs
Cc: McRobbie, Ian I SUKEP-EPE-P-SD
Subject: Revised UK Well Failure Model – rev 3 now out !!

Dear All

The UK well failure model (as used in eWIMS) has been updated.  It can still be found under the following link

As always, all Well Failure Models can be accessed from the TS09 webpage :

Main Changes :-

·         New failure code for control line failure.
·         Introduction of new well type – subsurface abandoned.
·         General tidying up of wording !

Please destroy your old printouts.

Ian Taylor
Production Technologist
Well Integrity Team Leader – EPE

Shell U.K. Limited
Registered in England and Wales
Registered number: 140141
Registered Office: Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Correspondence Address :
Shell U.K. Limited
1 Altens Farm Road, Nigg, Aberdeen, AB12 3FY, United Kingdom

Email: [email protected]


—–Original Message—–
From:   Kedian, Matt MJ NORSKE-EPE-T-D
Sent:    26 March 2009 10:20
To:       Argo, Douglas W SUKEP-EPE-T-D
Cc:       Taylor, Ian C SUKEP-EPE-T-D; Thomas, Vaughan NORSKE-EPE-T-D
Subject:           Corrib Well Ownership


At the VR BPR in February we mentioned that it does not appear that there is a clear owner of the existing Corrib wells.

Nothing is happening with the wells at the moment but in the event an issue arose it is not clear to me who would be responsble now that Stephen Castle has left.

Would you be able to give some steer on who should be responsible, or if the current status is acceptable.



Corrib Asset team Meeting 26 March 09

OR&A team: Mark Carrigy, Stuart Basford, Mike Fraser
EPE-P-SO: Simon Fisher, Bill Leyshon, Iain Barraclough
Corrib asset : Aad Allard
X border: Matt Kedian, Vaughan Thomas

Apologies: Charles Churchfield, Steve Jeans
Not required to be present this meeting: Tom Hooft van Huysduynen

1) HSSE area remains a resource gap. Agency staff has now been identified to fill gap and will shortly be on seat. No risk identified of HSSE deliverables being delivered late.

2) OR&A plan now compiled as one plan: all resources except for HSE resource above believed to be satisfactory to deliver this plan.

3) Spares: insurance spares not yet ordered, but catalogued. WIll be ordered on Just in Time basis. Delivery within 9 to 12  months.

4) Irish government requirements for introduction of hydrocarbons are : i) Independent Safety Audit has to give the OK . ii) The ‘letter of acceptance’ to be in place. Both of these are independent of Shell requirements eg Pre Start Up Audit .

5) The Back Feed of gas by BGE has been proposed to the Irish authorities as ‘functional testing’ rather than commissioning. The Irish authorities have yet to confirm their agreement to this proposal. Main issue relates to when the IPPCL (Pollution Control Limits) comes into  effect , this cannot come into  effect while backfeeding gas as we will have no way of disposing of surface water run-off. That is a discussion Corrib still needs to have with the Authorities.
Question: If this request is refused and the period has to be treated as commisioning can any additional requirements (eg additional permits /consents etc) be  accommodated? (Action MC)

6) The current asset ownership of the wells is not clear. Wells or Operations? (Action MC)

7) The surface start up team is agreed and is being trained and mobilised. The start up team for the wells, subsea and pipelines is not agreed. It is agreed between Corrib and PT discipline that a PT resource is required. X border team believe that additional gaps exist which need to be filled by staff experienced with the OL start up.
Simon to send slide pack from Vaughan / Matt  to Aad Allard and Mark C. (Action SF)
Aad Allard to take early view on start up team for the wells, subsea and pipelines in time for GIP submission (mid April) and  next meeting (29 April) and initiate resourcing if necessary including for PT position. (Action AA)

8) Gap analysis will take place in mid 09 to ascertain whether there are any gaps in compliance with requirements of AIPS including DEM2, Blade 24 of OE. Main areas of uncertainty (eg through unclear definition) are currently Alarm Management and OE. (Info)


—–Original Message—–
From:   Argo, Douglas W SUKEP-EPE-T-D
Sent:  26 March 2009 19:10
To:       Kedian, Matt MJ NORSKE-EPE-T-D
Cc:       Taylor, Ian C SUKEP-EPE-T-D; Thomas, Vaughan NORSKE-EPE-T-D; Siemers, Gertjan GJT NAM-EPE-T-D
Subject:           RE: Corrib Well Ownership
Importance:     High

Matt, thank your for this prompt. My thoughts below, which I suggest you follow up in a meeting with those copied:

I think the relevant TA’s need to decide on responsible actions first, and then recommend ownership, rather than becoming bogged-down the other way around.

1. Check for precedents, standards, previous guidance on long term suspension (eg see extract below).
2. Summarise barrier status (as left – the ones I looked at are newly-perfed with SSSV shut, no plug).
3. Is there any protection in the field – eg boat deterring trawlers from exclusion area?
3. Agree suitable monitoring method and frequency  (eg ROV, annually), given long term suspension (to date and future), which we would be responsibly happy with. In this case, risk may be mainly reputational rather than safety or environmental (subsea gas wells).

In my mind, some form of monitoring action is required.

1. Of the above, initially PT, rather than debate Wells vs PT vs Ops vs Project.
2. Legally/organisationally, I would think accountability lies with Project team, with advice from TA’s. Project team presence in Ireland would also support this. Can you confirm that Terry Nolan reports to John Gallagher rather than Cross-Border, and that no handover to X/Border has taken place? Has Nicola stated any position on ownership?

The Revised CoP for Well Integrity  For wells that are suspended (i.e. isolated from the reservoir by a plug, either permanent or retrievable), and a wellhead and tree or a suspension flange is still in place, all the valves shall be operated and maintained on an annual basis (or bi-annual for sub sea and NUI wells where this is the established test frequency), as per closed-in wells above. Suspension plugs shall be tested as leaktight unless specified otherwise in the Suspension programme.


—–Original Message—–
From:   Thomas, Vaughan NORSKE-EPE-T-D
Sent:    03 April 2009 10:01
To:       Argo, Douglas W SUKEP-EPE-T-D
Subject:           RE: Corrib Well Ownership

X-Border has never taken ownership, and we are not the future asset – so will never own it here in VR. This is Nicola’s view, and no-one in Ireland reports to her as far as I know.

It was “believed” that WE in Dublin owned the wells as part of the project, but they have now left. There has been no monitoring of the wells to date.

Matt is looking at Corrib for the time being – so can do the practical stuff over the next few months. Ian is the TA-2 for Ireland I believe. None of the wells are in any system, such as e-WIMS. The well files are poor and scattered.

Maybe we need to formalise this. Gert-Jan send a note to Dublin stating that they are the owners, but that EPE PT will provide the technical support (Matt, you or otherwise). The other model is to have a PT in the project team – which is not currently the case.

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

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