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Royal Dutch Shell lied to thousands of its employees over offshore death

Printed below is a self-explanatory email sent within the last hour to Royal Dutch Shell Chairman Chad Holliday by Bill Campbell, retired global safety guru for Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Note that it was also sent to HSE officials.

I have redacted personal email addresses and corrected typos. 

From: William Campbell
Subject: Royal Dutch Shell lied to thousands of its employees over offshore deaths
Date: 17 January 2019 at 11:03:41 GMT
To: [email protected]
Cc: susan moncrieff <susanmoncrieff@>, [email protected], [email protected]

Dear Chairman

You wrote to the Moncrieff family on 2 March last year saying that their concerns re their brothers death had been fully investigated by the relevant authorities at the relevant time and it was decided that no criminal charges should be brought. The document attached, provided to me under disclosure legislation, although heavily redacted because of prejudice to legal proceedings needs, is from an investigation carried out by the HSE into the involvement of Offshore Safety Division (OSD) officials with Shell Expro between 1999 and the fatalities. The HSE were privy to the 1999 Audit Findings and the post fatalities technical review findings. The former given to them by me on 28 Oct 2003 and the latter by Shell Expro Directors some 10 days later. None of this is contentious and is covered in correspondence including minutes.

In consideration of the appalling conditions prevailing on Brent Bravo prior to the fatalities they summarised their opinion as there was quote NO evidence that OSD could have changed the outcome because the failings of Shell were so gross unquote

GROSS, adjective: (especially of wrongdoing very obvious and unacceptable, flagrant, blatant, glaring, evident and conspicuous

It is also not disputed by HSE that this report and its implications was not provided as evidence at the subsequent Fatal Accident Inquiry held over a year later thus perverting the course of justice.

If you compare the HSE findings with the statement made by Royal Dutch Shell in June 2006, that statement copied to thousands of employees in the upstream business, bears no resemblance to the facts. I told the family that with your impressive background I judged you as an honourable man but like others you appear to have been corrupted by the need to protect RDS reputation rather than to be open, honest and transparent and compliant with the law the principles you signed up to in 2015.

You could of course “walk the talk” and issue a statement supported by the Board to the effect that the 2006 press release was fundamentally inaccurate, knowingly false and misleading, and apologise to your worldwide staff for it so being. And also extend that apology to the Moncrieff family who are copied

Bill Campbell

HSE internal report etc

Email Ends

Audit notes referred to in the above mail

For more information see related article Malcolm Brinded’s responsibility for Brent Bravo deaths.  Brinded (above right) is currently a defendant in a criminal trial over the OPL 245 Nigerian corruption scandal, while astonishingly remaining President of the Energy Institute. He is no longer Chairman of the Shell Foundation. 

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