Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Bill Campbell quoted in Final Report on BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Under the heading of “Learning from Accidents:”, page 231 of the Final Report published by the U.S. National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling

Extract from Chapter 8, page 233

Shell’s safety response. Shell, a long-time leader in Gulf of Mexico operations (before BP surpassed it, as described in Chapter 2), has had its own safety problems. Two men died in a gas leak on the company’s Brent Bravo platform in 2003; former Shell senior manager Bill Campbell, who had earlier led a safety review, said after the accident that his 1999 warnings had been ignored by the company.99 Shell denied that it operated at high levels of risk.100

Shell subsequently tightened and simplified its safety rules.101 Shell also has promoted the use of the “safety case” worldwide (a risk-management approach to regulation described in Chapter 3).102 It has adopted the safety-case approach even in the United States, where it is not required to do so, and has promoted it for the industry more broadly.103 Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company and director of Shell’s Upstream Americas business, told the Commission’s November 9 hearing that “the safety case in deepwater drilling shows how we identify and assess the hazards on a rig; how we establish the barriers to prevent and control those hazards; how we assign the critical activities needed to maintain the integrity of these barriers.”104

Odum said that Shell also encourages workers to call for work to stop when they suspect that something is proceeding improperly, and gives awards to these “Goal Zero Heroes” (referring to the corporate goal of zero accidents).105 He added that audits are key to system safety and that “in 2009, DuPont administered its safety and culture survey in our drilling organization, comparing us to the world’s best across a range of industries. While we ranked world-class overall, improvement areas were identified.”106

(No mention of Shell’s “Touch Fuc* All” safety culture?

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.