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Nigeria: Maybe Shell isn’t that bad

By Emily Grainger

I am currently investigating Shell’s position within Nigeria, more specifically the Delta; when I came across your website. It is crammed with an insane amount of information I can’t even begin to take half of it in, it’s a great resource, thanks.

Something I never thought I would say before investigating their operations in the war zone that is the Delta is that maybe Shell isn’t that bad. I am more than sure this comment will rub a few backs up – passionate is an understatement for the debate established on here! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say categorically whether or not as a company I think they are ethical or not. YES they chose the Nigerian Government over local communities as their key stakeholder, but that’s because without them they wouldn’t be able to operate at all within the region let alone country.

Growing up I always thought in the back of my head: Shell… they are bad. I remembered vaguely at the age of 7 hearing about the Ogoni activists executed because of their protests for basic human rights to the wealth of their countries resources and since then have avoided buying their products. BUT 98% of all the oil spills occur because of militant activity and the volatile environment of the country. It’s a war zone! Global compact says you must deal with local communities responsibly (in which I 100% agree with) but I can see the other side of this very complicated/controversial coin. Shell could say that this works within a functional society but law and order has broken down to such a catastrophic state in the area that the rule of Govn. and law – does not apply.

I can’t help but think that no matter what they do (PR wise) to try and portray their efforts to make a difference the media will always screw them. Negative coverage is SO MUCH more interesting to read and we all love a good rant.

It would be great to hear what everyone thinks of my views.

Feel free to read more on my blog (if of interest) –

With regards to Shell – What happens when you are doing your best but the media screws you? Instead of trying to do good your just painting yourself green?


I have a comment for Ms. Grainger:

Shell not so bad? Ms. Grainger is going to get an education. In all honesty I too thought Shell was a great company when I first went to work for them. Boy did I get a surprise. I almost quit the first month I worked for them. However, I decided I was dealing with an localized ‘aberration’ and not the corporate ‘norm’. I was wrong, once again. The ‘aberration’ was better than the ‘norm’.

It is not a question of the rank and file employees being ‘bad’, that is not the issue. The issue is the policy decisions made by senior management.

When she finishes in Nigeria perhaps she would also like to assist the US Dept. of the Interior and the US Dept. of the Navy, NCIS, in their espionage investigations of Shell USA. Perhaps she might find the answer to RD Shell’s interest in, and efforts (alleged) to obtain access to, highly classified military technology that as a matter of law, the US espionage statutes to be exact, Shell was prohibited from having access to.

Maybe she might want to help Donna Getz obtain some degree of justice and compensation for the permanent physical harm Shell did to her and other members of her family.

And then there is Dr. Huong. Let’s not forget this poor man.

And on it goes. Just a thought and a suggestion.

I wish her well in her endeavors. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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