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Will Shell have to abandon the Prelude experiment?

Will Shell have to abandon the Prelude experiment?

From John Donovan: 8 Jan 2022

Dear Mr Andrew Smith

I am writing to you in your capacity as Country Chair of Shell Australia.
I have copied the email to Shell Legal Director Mr Donny Ching and Shell CEO Mr Ben van Beurden because the subject is a matter of great importance. Namely the lives and well-being of Shell employees and contractors working on the Prelude experiment.
I attach a link to an article I published yesterday evening:
The article was prompted by an email I received from Bill Campbell. I provided a link to his impressive Shell related credentials. He is one of the worlds leading HSE experts in matters relating to Shell projects.
Bill contacted me again soon after I published the article. He is deeply concerned that neither Shell nor the news media, other than the oil and gas journalist Mr Peter Milne, for whom we both have the greatest respect, seem to have grasped just how dangerous the current situation is.
I have written to you and your two Shell colleagues named in this email so that Shell senior management will not be able to deny being repeatedly warned by Mr Campbell over many years about Prelude issues that have culminated in the current alarming situation.
Mr Campbell warned Shell about HSE issues on the Brent Bravo North Sea rig when the audit team he led uncovered a “Touch Fuck All” approach to maintenance and related falsified safety records. He rang alarm bells on that occasion. The lack of response from Shell senior management resulted in the deaths of Brent Bravo workers and a deserved record-breaking fine for Shell.
Is Shell going to do the same again?
Mr Campbell and I joined forces to bring the Brent Bravo scandal to the attention of UK MP’s who formed a cross-party group to investigate Shell North Sea activities. Our campaign was picked up and reported by the mass news media including the press, BBC radio and coverage on Channel 4 TV news.
The Brent Bravo debacle reflected very badly on the UK Health & Safety Executive. I, therefore, hope that NOPSEMA does get into contact with Mr Campbell by replying to his email in a positive way. He may be of great assistance.
I am sure Bill would also welcome contact with Shell or from the Maritime Union of Australia. Accordingly, a copy of this email is also sent to the National Secretary of the union, Mr Padraig Crumlin.
In the last email I received from Mr Campbell late yesterday evening, he expressed concern that as long-term Shell shareholders with a special interest in Prelude we are not doing enough. Hence the initiative in sending this email.
As he said in his closing comments last night, “Seriously, the lives of 293 souls may depend in the final analysis to sorting out this mess…” 


John Donovan



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