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Call for a Public Inquiry into Shell offshore deaths

Malcolm Brinded, standing trial for Corruption in Italy over Nigerian OPL 245 oil deal, a key figure in many Shell scandals, including the tragic deaths on Brent Bravo.


Although I am not one of your constituents, I hope you agree that the safety of UK offshore workers is a matter of importance to ALL MP’s. Some unfortunate Royal Dutch Shell workers have already lost their lives. More lives are at stake. Please at least glance through the information below, which includes my name and address. 


Just how bad does has a company have to be before the Church of England withdraws investment on ethical grounds?

You may have seen the email I recently sent to over around 1,000 parliamentarians, including senior clergy and the former Scottish Energy Minister Baroness Liddell, who, as you will see, has a Shell connection. The email was about the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Church of England’s significant investment in Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Many thanks for all the responses received.

I would like to bring to your attention just one of the many scandals rattling around in Shell’s corporate cupboard.

I refer to the “Touch F*** All” regime on Shell North Sea platforms that has cost the lives of offshore workers. A cover-up has persisted for nearly two decades.

In 1999 a team of experts led by an independent consultant carried out a safety audit on Shell’s North Sea Platform, Brent Bravo. The team discovered an extraordinary state of affairs. The platform operated under the control of a bullying unhinged Asset Manager.

The audit team were “stunned” by what they found. Falsification of records relating to safety-critical condition; falsification of ESDV tests; unapproved temporary repairs; unacceptable bullying of staff and independent inspectors. All conducted within a *”Touch F*** All” “brutal” regime in which production was given a higher priority than any concern about risk.

The Shell executive ultimately responsible, Malcolm Brinded, chose to ignore the stunning findings by the audit team and the recommendations made by its leader Mr. Bill Campbell. Instead, Mr Brinded supported the mentally unhinged “foaming at the mouth” Asset Manager who was able to return to his tyrannical TFA post despite his instability. Compared with him, Captain Bligh was a sweetie.

The “inevitable” fatalities in 2003, accurately foretold in the review, resulted from the ruthless, unprincipled decision by Mr Brinded to continue putting production before safety. Such was his greed and ambition.

Relevant dire prediction in the audit notes:

…if we continue operating Bravo in its current condition a major incident involving injury or fatality, and with the potential of Impairing the TR is inevitable. It may take a week or a year, It doesn’t matter, it will happen.

Please read the relevant jaw-dropping typewritten “strictly confidential” audit notes that vanished from a Shell secure vault in Aberdeen. Unbeknown to Shell, Mr Campbell retained a copy for his own protection. Please have a glance through the astonishing content.

In November last year the brother of Keith Moncrieff, one of two workers who in 2003 tragically died in an accident on the Shell Brent Bravo North Sea oil platform, sent a heart-rending letter to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chairman Mr Charles Holliday. He pleaded for help in bringing “these evil men to justice” – a reference to the Shell executives and officials he now knows were responsible for what the Scottish courts determined were “avoidable deaths“.

Mr Holliday replied claiming the matters were fully investigated by the relevant authorities and it was decided no criminal charges should be brought. He also said he was sorry about the loss the family had suffered and that he hoped they understood that it would be wholly inappropriate for him to become involved in matters that had been fully and properly addressed in the past. I am sure Mr Holliday passed on the information in good faith. It is a complicated history, but the response given in his name amounted to spin and lies.

The truth is that the full damning evidence, including the crucial audit notes, were withheld from the Fatal Accident Inquiry. Furthermore, no member of the audit team or its leader was invited or allowed to give evidence. Mr Campbell alleges that there was a conspiracy involving other parties, including HSE officials, that prevented the truth emerging. Hence the call for a fully informed new Public Inquiry. Those who lost their lives deserve the truth to come out even at this late date and for the cover-up to be exposed. I am sure Mr Campbell and others will be prepared to give evidence. 


In response to a campaign led by Mr Campbell, which commenced with an email sent to every MP in 2007, around 12 did become involved. A letter he subsequently sent to those MP’s provides information about their intervention and more background detail on the whole scandalous state of affairs. Basically, thus far, all efforts to bring those responsible to account have been blocked. Mr Campbell has supplied me with numerous documents for safekeeping. They will be made available on request.


Based on the information I have seen, it is plain that Malcolm Brinded, the current President of the Energy Institute, is one of “these evil men” Neil Moncreff was referring to in his letter to Mr Holliday.

Many people, if in possession of the overall background information about the “avoidable deaths”, would consider what happened as criminal behaviour closer to manslaughter or murder. Keith Moncrieff and Sean McCue died after a massive gas escape on the platform. Shell was fined £900,000 after admitting a series of breaches of health and safety regulations. No individuals were held responsible.

Shell and the managers and executives responsible for the deaths have escaped proper justice. Shell got off lightly. The fine was but a flea bite to one of the worlds biggest businesses.

Undeterred, Shell has continued to flout offshore safety. For example, operating oil platform lifeboats that fall off platforms and were unseaworthy. You could not make it up.

Malcolm Brinded, the most senior Shell executive involved, is standing trial in the OPL 246 oil deal corruption case. Two of his fellow defendants in the trial have already been convicted and jailed.

Under the circumstances, will you support my call for an independent fully informed public inquiry into the Brent Bravo deaths?

More emails about Shell will follow on a regular basis, each focussing on a different Shell scandal e.g. Shell’s dubious relationship with the murderous Putin regime; police corruption in Ireland; How Shell propped up apartheid in South Africa; its culpability in the murder of Nigerian activists; joint responsibility for the Groningen Gas Field earthquakes in the Netherlands; the persecution of a whistleblower, Shell production geologist Dr John Huong who blew the whistle internally on Shell’s oil reserves securities fraud. Shell’s claimed oil and gas reserves were downgraded FIVE times. I will also return to the subject of Shell’s Nazi history.

Kind regards

John Donovan (Address redacted from published version)

UPDATED. The above was updated immediately I was made aware (not by Shell) that Mr Holliday did, in fact, reply to the letter he received from Mr Neil Moncrieff. I have included full information about what I am told was stated in the Shell response letter.

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

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