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Royal Dutch Shell tax dodging key factor in Kulluk debacle

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 01.26.25By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has a history of tax avoidance stretching back many decades. A Shell spokesman has confirmed that the Kulluk was being towed from Alaskan waters for tax reasons. The timing was designed to take advantage of a tax loophole, which allowed the oil giant to avoid $6 million in Alaska state taxes. Should be no surprise since the company is infamous for putting profit before offshore safety. And the company is now run by a pair of ruthless bean counter fat cats, Voser and Henry.


From the information on this site, the need for a “Safety Case” approach for Shell’s Alaskan operations seems to be overwhelming. Helicopters that couldn’t fly in ice and fog, two vessels aground, and the failure of the containment dome are all examples of how the prescriptive approach used in the US does not work when circumstances change. Shell has experience of operations all over the world, but apparently applied only their knowledge of operations in the Gulf of Mexico to their Alaskan fiasco.

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