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Alleged bribery and corruption at Shell Motiva

By John Donovan

In view of the article published today by the New York Times – Hits, and Misses, in a War on Bribery – it is timely to reveal allegations we have received from a long term supplier to Motiva Enterprises, the U.S. company jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.

The supplier in question advised us of a favored relationship Shell has had with a rival vendor. It became plain that unless they were prepared to abandon their own principles and hand out substantial bribes, they might as well give up trying to do business with Shell/Motiva.

Contract/procurement decisions are allegedly made not on competitive pricing and first class support, but instead on the size and frequency of bribes. So its basically, cough up or give up.

The bribes allegedly come in the form of expected gifts, some of a high value, worth tens of thousands of dollars.

A culture of Motiva employees accepting gifts from vendors has been confirmed by a Shell/Motiva insider, who vigorously and sincerely insists that such gifts, which could also be described as perks, or bribes, are routine and acceptable behavior for Shell/Motiva managers. Check the postings involving “USCitizen” on our “Shell Blog” for more information e.g.1 ; e.g.2; e.g.3; e.g.4. (Each example takes several seconds to load)

At what point/value does a “freebie” given to a Motiva manager, turn into a corrupt payment?

The supplier who brought this alleged situation to our attention is thoroughly frustrated at being placed in a moral dilemma – coerced into committing a criminal offense, or walking away from doing business with Shell/Motiva.

About Motiva

Formed in 1998, Motiva Enterprises LLC operates primarily in the eastern and southern United States. Its operations include nearly 7,700 Shell-branded gasoline stations, three refineries with a combined capacity of 740,000 barrels per day, and ownership interest in 41 refined product storage terminals with an aggregate storage capacity of approximately 19.8 million barrels.


Leaflet distributed at Shell Centre in London, as reported in Guardian article (click on images to enlarge)

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