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Posts from ‘December, 2012’

Motiva Reports Compressor Shutdown at Port Arthur, Texas, Refinery – Filing

Published December 31, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC reported that a wet gas compressor at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery experienced an emergency shutdown Saturday, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company reported that charge rates were reduced to help stabilize operations for the restart of the compressor.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell PLC couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Motiva is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. read more

Shell Oil drilling vessel is adrift in Gulf of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An unmanned mobile oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell is adrift — again — south of Kodiak Island after it lost towlines Sunday afternoon from two vessels trying to hold it in place against what have been pummeling winds and high seas, according to incident management leaders: In October 1980, in a situation eerily similar to what is happening now, 18 crew members were evacuated off a jack-up drilling rig named the Dan Prince as rough seas in the North Pacific 650 miles south of Kodiak threatened to destroy the unit, according to news reports at the time. Crews couldn’t attach a towline. The rig then sank, according to an online listing of rig disasters.

Posted on Monday, 12.31.12

By Lisa Demer of The Anchorage Daily News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An unmanned mobile oil drilling rig owned by Royal Dutch Shell is adrift — again — south of Kodiak Island after it lost towlines Sunday afternoon from two vessels trying to hold it in place against what have been pummeling winds and high seas, according to incident management leaders.

A team of 250 people from the Coast Guard, the state of Alaska, Shell, and one of its contractors was hunkered down Sunday, mainly in Midtown Anchorage’s Frontier Building, trying to resolve the ongoing crisis with Shell’s drilling rig, the Kulluk. read more

Shell Says Arctic Drilling Rig Kulluk Recaptured in Stormy Seas

By Jim Polson – Dec 30, 2012 7:05 PM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) said an Arctic drilling barge, headed to Seattle for maintenance, was safely recovered yesterday after being set adrift during a storm in the Gulf of Alaska.

Crew of the Shell-owned barge, Kulluk, were evacuated last night as a precaution after towing resumed, said Curtis Smith, an Alaska-based Shell spokesman, in a telephone interview today. The offshore tug Aiviq recovered the Kulluk.

Shell has invested $4.5 billion in offshore leases and equipment and fought at least 50 lawsuits from environmental groups to begin drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas this year, the first wells in U.S. Arctic waters in about 20 years. The Kulluk was in need of maintenance after starting a well in the Beaufort Sea, Smith said. read more

Shell’s latest Arctic Saga



Here are some articles about Shell’s latest saga in the Arctic:

Coast Guard evacuates crew of troubled oil drilling barge: Los Angeles Times – VANCOUVER, B.C. — U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were evacuating the crew of a troubled oil drilling barge off the coast of southern Alaska Saturday afternoon after engine troubles on its tow vessel had left the barge drifting toward landfall south of Kodiak Island. The move followed a tense night, when … On Saturday afternoon, engineers were able to restart the last of the four engines on the Aiviq towing vessel and also attach a line from a second ship brought in by Shell Alaska, the Nanuq. The armada of three was … read more

Shell’s jinxed Arctic drilling farce

By John Donovan

In May 2012 I contacted a senior lawyer at Royal Dutch Shell Plc seeking confirmation that the oil giant had been unable to insure the risks involved in its Arctic drilling plans and for this reason, had self-insured. There was no response. The same month we published an article about Shell’s related plan to use oil spill sniffer dogs. Lets hope they have also been trained to swim.

Shell’s rigs eventually arrived in the Arctic after being beset by construction delays, permit problems and stubborn sea ice. read more

Shell Arctic Drill Ship adrift and in danger

By Associated Press — The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska Saturday 29 Dec — Rough weather prevented the Coast Guard from evacuating an 18-member crew of a stalled Shell drill ship in the Gulf of Alaska and another vessel is on the way to prevent the ship from drifting into the Trinity Islands.

The Coast Guard says helicopter crews tried Friday night and early Saturday morning to evacuate the crew of the Kulluk (CULL’-uck), which has no propulsion system and is dependent on other vessels to move it around.

Winds of over 60 mph and waves of about 25 feet were too much for an evacuation. read more

Aiviq: Pride of Shell’s Alaskan drilling fleet?


On 29 Dec 2012, at 09:47


Interesting facts about the Aiviq on your web site this morning.

Shell’s Alaska Mishaps Continue in Monster Seas

This link takes you to the technical and description of the  this Tugboat and its facilities which is American design, American built and crewed, cost more than $200 million!

The technical specification is amazing with four diesel engines and two propellers of the latest and most advanced type,  thrusters at both the bow and stern, so much electrical power it could run a small town and redundancy available :- begs the question of why all this advanced specification failed.  It is very doubtful that it was any of the main systems, so what was the cause?  Maybe the root cause was within the complex control systems and all the interlocks built in to prevent mal-operation by the crew.  Me thinks too complex as such a vessel should be manned by fully competent staff who have had the necessary training and experience with such complex control systems and more importantly, knowing what action to take in the event of an emergency situation. read more

Shell’s Alaska Mishaps Continue in Monster Seas

Coast Guard cutter hits trouble trying to aid Shell rig off Alaska

The Aiviq and Kulluk as they set sail from Seattle earlier this year for offshore drilling in Alaska (Royal Dutch Shell / December 28, 2012)

By Kim MurphyDecember 28, 2012, 2:59 p.m.

SEATTLE — Adding to a season full of headaches for Shell Alaska’s debut offshore drilling program in the U.S. Arctic, the company’s Kulluk drilling rig was stuck in monster seas off the coast of Alaska on Friday as its tugboat’s engines failed and the Coast Guard cutter that came to assist became entangled in a tow line.

There were no immediate threats to crew or equipment, but Shell Alaska was rushing additional aid vessels to the scene as the Kulluk, which drilled the beginnings of an exploratory oil well in the Beaufort Sea over the summer, sat without ability to move forward in 20-foot seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak. read more

Tug Towing Shell Drilling Unit Suffers Engine Failures Near Kodiak

By Chris Klint Channel 2 News10:37 a.m. AKST, December 28, 2012 ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

The U.S. Coast Guard is responding Friday to engine failures aboard a tugboat towing one of the drilling units used by Shell Oil in the Beaufort Sea this year, a day after news broke that a drillship from the project had been cited by the Coast Guard in Seward.

Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley says the tugboat Aiviq reported the problems about 50 miles south of Kodiak, while towing the mobile drilling unit Kulluk.

“The crew of the Aiviq reported that they were able to restart one of the (ship’s) engines and is currently awaiting assistance from the crews of the response vessels Guardsman and the Nanuq, which departed Seward and are expected on-scene early Friday afternoon,” Mosley wrote in a Friday statement on the incident. read more

Safety, pollution issues hold up Shell drillship in Alaska

Ben Anderson | Dec 27, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer — a 571-foot vessel integral to the company’s Arctic oil drilling aspirations — has been held up in Seward for several weeks to address what the Coast Guard described as  “pretty serious” issues with the ship’s safety and pollution- prevention systems.

According to Petty Officer Kip Wadlow, a spokesman with the Coast Guard in Juneau, the Noble Discoverer was put under what’s known as “port state control detention” on Nov. 29 when the drill ship was towed into Seward, thanks to a problem with its propulsion system. read more

Noble Sees Shell’s Alaska Rig Ready for Drilling in 2013

By Jim Polson – Dec 27, 2012 7:20 PM GMT

Noble Corp. (NE) expects to have its Noble Discoverer rig ready for Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) to resume drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea next year, after fixing issues raised during a U.S. Coast Guard inspection.

The Coast Guard determined the ship’s propulsion and safety management systems need attention, the Zug, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today. Noble expects to fix the ship before the Arctic drilling season begins when sea ice clears in six months or so, said John Breed, a company spokesman in Sugar Land, Texas. read more

How Chris Finlayson bungled the Mother of all Projects: Sakhalin II

Chris Finlayson representing Shell and Alexander Medvedev, Gazprom’s Vice Chairman

By John Donovan

Chris Finlayson, the newly appointed Chief Executive of BG Group, held a leadership position in Shell’s Sakhalin II project in Russia from September 2005 to September 2009. The venture was described as “the Mother of all Projects” by the Financial Times.

We have already published an article about his involvement in the Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal, providing evidence – in the form of authentic Shell internal documents – supporting my conclusion that he was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive to protect the interests of investors. read more

Prophetic 2004 photograph of Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts

Prophetic 2004 photograph of  the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman and fraudster Sir Philip Watts (above) from a Sunday Telegraph article published on 18 January 2004 days after the Shell reserves scandal made news headlines around the world. Right, a photograph from 2012, also of Sir Philip, but rematerialized this time as the Rev. Sir Philip Watts. Personally, I think his most memorable role was when he materialized as a spaceman. Hope someone warns his congregation not to mention anything that might remind him of his colorful past, for example, when he was allegedly an arms supplier in Nigeria. (Article posted by John Donovan) read more

BG Group corporate incubator for Shell strays?

“Nowhere in the flattering and in my judgement misleading CV for Finlayson is there any mention of the words safety, health or environment. It eulogises Finlayson for his optimising of production and operating performance, well that is what TFA was all about.”: “Anyway for fair reason or foul, Finlayson arrives, Carne leaves, Finlayson reaches the Board, Berget maybe gets his marching orders. Maybe all pals together they were keeping BG seats warm for the next Shell bum or maybe there was more to it as suggested, anyway it shows BG Advance as an entity acting as a corporate incubator for Shell strays?”

By Bill Campbell, retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

Post Piper Alpha it was readily apparent to Lord Cullen that the legislation pertaining to offshore oil and gas extraction was weak with regards to pinning down responsibility and accountability. At that time the statutory instrument SI 1019 made the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) specifically responsible for what happened offshore re health and safety.

SI 1019 essentially made the OIM Captain of the ship and Occidental Directors appeared on paper at least to be twice removed from how these issues were handled offshore on their installations. read more

Motiva Port Arthur Restart Delayed Until Next Week – Source

Published December 21, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC most likely will not be able to restart for a few more days a main processing unit at its refinery expansion in Port Arthur, Texas, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said Friday.

Motiva has been struggling to restart the 325,000-barrel-a-day refinery expansion’s crude distillation unit since the unit went down in early July. The $10 billion expansion was to bring the combined refinery’s capacity to 600,000 barrels a day and make it the largest in the U.S. and one of the 10 largest in the world. read more

BG Group CEO Chris Finlayson and the Shell ‘Touch Fuck All’ Scandal

“Hyman et al should be reminded that Shell pled guilty on behalf of its Directors to all charges placed before them. So whatever gloss you paint over the turd, Finlayson and Brinded failed as Directors in their principal duty to comply with the Law so that risks to those persons exposed to these risks offshore were minimised, as was their legal responsibility.”


It appears that not just individuals but organisations have selective memory.  LK Hyman, BG Group, and others should bear in mind the facts that criminal neglect of maintenance over a prolonged period 1999 to 2003 caused the deaths of two men in Sept 2003 after the release of over 6000 m3 of gas into an enclosed space – that is what the Inquiry found and he needs to be reminded that Chris Finlayson and Malcolm Brinded were responsible in Law for the well being of 1000’s of employees over that prolonged period. As stated in writing by the then Lord Advocate in a parliamentary reply the haphazard management of safety over a prolonged period contributed directly to the deaths and the Director of these offshore activities during this period was Finlayson. He had been forewarned in 1999 that a serious accident event was inevitable if actions were not taken and he failed, failed totally, to heed these warnings. We got lucky in a sense that the gas did not ignite which as a consequence could have led to a Piper or Deepwater type of catastrophe.  Hyman et al should be reminded that Shell pled guilty on behalf of its Directors to all charges placed before them. So whatever gloss you paint over the turd, Finlayson and Brinded failed as Directors in their principal duty to comply with the Law so that risks to those persons exposed to these risks offshore were minimised, as was their legal responsibility. read more

Shell CEO Peter Voser tainted by UBS Scandals

Voser was said to have provided significant input to the stabilization of the scandal ridden Swiss bank. Ironic spin given that the Swiss Justice Minister warned only months later that UBS was in danger of collapse. It actually has a reputation riddled with more holes than Swiss cheese. In February 2008, Peter Voser was appointed as Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee.

By John Donovan

From April 2005 to April 2010 the current Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the Swiss national, Mr. Peter Voser, served on the Board of Directors of the Swiss bank UBS AG. He was a member of the governance and nominating committee and of the strategy committee. In February 2008, Peter Voser was appointed as Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee. A fact also confirmed on page 19 of UBS review 2008. He was well paid. For example, in the year 2008/2009, Voser received over $1 million USD (in Swiss francs) from UBS in “compensation” and shares.
read more


“With regards to the reserves fraud, Mr Finlayson was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive, supposedly protecting the interests of investors”; “That should be of great concern to investors in BG Group. Surely the company could have found a new CEO untainted by scandal?”

John Donovan

In January 2004 news broke about the Shell reserves fraud. These examples from hundreds of news reports speak for themselves:

Daily Telegraph: Shell drops ‘bombshell’ on reserves: 9 Jan 2004
The Times: How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation: 10 Jan 2004
The West Australian: Investors howl for Shell’s blood: 12 Jan 2004

Shell executives, led by then chairman Sir Philip Watts, who has recently repented by becoming the Rev. Sir Philip Watts, admitted they had repeatedly lied to investors about the true level of Shell’s oil and gas reserves. Shell senior management had engaged in a massive cover-up to fool the market i.e. deceive its own shareholders. Shell admitted that it had misled investors. read more

Shell scraps drilling plan in contested Canadian area

18 December 2012

* Shell to focus on larger shale plays

* To build water recycling plant using royalty credits

* 4-year moratorium was due to end

By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc has scrapped plans for a coalbed methane gas project near Canada’s Pacific Coast in the face of local opposition and weak natural gas prices, ending an eight-year battle over development, the company and the British Columbia government said on Tuesday.

In addition, the provincial oil and gas authority said it will not issue any more drilling rights in the Klappan area, which the local aboriginal community had identified as having special cultural and spiritual significance. read more

Shell commences Corrib Gas onshore pipeline tunnel

Monday, December 17, 2012 – 06:58 PM

Shell E&P Ireland has said tunnelling has commenced on the Corrib Gas onshore pipeline in Co Mayo.

The company said a specially designed boring machine called ‘Fionnuala’ installed the first concrete ring in the tunnel beneath the sea floor yesterday morning.

Construction of the tunnel, which will carry part of the Corrib onshore pipeline, is expected to last 15 months.


​Contact with BG Group about its controversial new CEO Chris Finlayson

BG Group is aware that we will publish more articles and evidence about Mr Finlayson and his time at Shell in coming days, including the “TOUCH F*** ALLsafety culture on North Sea rigs, which cost the lives of Shell offshore workers (with his own comments on this novel but deadly policy)

By John Donovan

We have today sent to BG Group (copied to Shell) a draft article about its newly appointed CEO Chris Finlayson and his involvement in a Shell scandal.

This was the covering message:

Dear Paula

Printed below is a draft article we intend to publish at 11am tomorrow.

This will give your company (and Shell) the opportunity to seek an injunction to prevent publication if you challenge the veracity of what we say or the authenticity of the evidence.

If we receive no reply before 11am tomorrow, we will assume that the facts are not disputed and will proceed with publication.  More links will be added. read more

Shareholder alarm over appointment of BG Group CEO Chris Finlayson

Can BG Group shareholders and employees place their trust in the newly appointed Chief Executive, Chris Finlayson? Unfortunately the answer is NO. In the next few days we will publish confidential Shell internal documents, leaked information, court documents and video evidence to support this conclusion. Mr Finlayson has been involved in multiple cover-ups at his previous employer Shell, costing Shell shareholders billions of dollars, with huge consequential damage to its reputation.

By John Donovan

Last Wednesday we published an article about the newly appointed Chief Executive of BG Group, Chris Finlayson under the headline: Finlayson is no Chapman

It concerned his role in a “Touch F*** All” safety culture on Shell North Sea platforms and the related cover-up.

The Independent picked up the story and published an article on their website and in newspapers in the UK and Australia: BG’s new chief ‘breached safety rules when at Shell’

That in turn triggered a related conversation on the interactive investor website discussion forum on the BG Group (discussion reproduced below) under the topic: “New Man Looking Bad Appointment.” read more

Shell, the Supreme Court, and Corporate Liability

By Sara Murphy December 14, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A  ) is the respondent in a landmark case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The outcome of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum will have significant implications for the oil and gas sector, and potentially for other extractive companies operating in sensitive regions.

This, among other factors, could signal a new era of costly corporate liability for human rights and environmental violations around the world. The days of corporate impunity are drawing to a close, and companies that hope for sustained access to critical resources must deal better with the communities where they operate. Investors would do well to pay attention. read more

Shell fuels rumours of BP buyout plan

Shell has reignited speculation about a potential takeover of BP…

Anglo-Dutch oil group’s boss says a takeover was considered in past two years and refuses to deny it has dropped the idea

Shell has reignited speculation about a potential takeover of BP after its chief executive spoke publicly about the Anglo-Dutch group’s recent interest in buying its fiercest rival, whose share price is still recovering from the Gulf of Mexico blowout.

Peter Voser, the Shell boss, told a German newspaper that Shell had considered a move on BP in the past two years and answered “no comment” to the question of whether that ambition remained.

“I can’t imagine that there was anyone in our industry that didn’t have a look at it. At the end of the day we’re all business people,” Voser is quoted as saying. read more

Shell mulled BP takeover in past 2 years: report

By MarketWatch

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB) has considered a takeover of BP PLC BP -0.16% during the past two years, Shell chief executive Peter Voser says in the advance release of an interview with the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung to be published Saturday.

“I can’t imagine that there was anyone in our industry that didn’t have a look at it, at the end of the day we’re all business people,” Mr. Voser is quoted as saying.

Mr. Voser notes that following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, BP’s share price fell sharply, and still hasn’t completely recovered. read more

Shell considered buying BP: paper

FRANKFURT | Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:50pm EST

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) considered making a bid for rival BP (BP.L) in the past two years, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said in an advance copy of its Saturday edition.

Chief Executive Peter Voser told the paper, “I can’t imagine that there is anybody in our industry who did not look into this scenario. At the end of the day we are all businesspeople.”

Upon being asked whether Shell was currently interested in BP, Voser told the paper: “No comment.” read more

Others Should Follow Waitrose’s Lead – Put Shell on Ice!

In a double blow to Shell, Waitrose have also declared their support for Greenpeace’s ‘Save the Arctic’ campaign – to create a global sanctuary in the high Arctic.

Posted: 13/12/2012 11:41

This was meant to be a blog about Waitrose’s relationship with fossil fuel giant Shell (Waitrose had been considering plans to open up shops in Shell petrol stations across the country), calling on Waitrose to end their partnership with the mass polluter.

But Waitrose must be mind-readers because on Wednesday they did just that. Well they didn’t quite go that far, but they did say they have put any further plans on hold, or as environmental group Greenpeace preferred to call it, on ice. read more

Will Shell Oil’s Arctic ‘beer can’ hold up better in second-chance containment trial?

Alex DeMarban | Dec 13, 2012

The containment dome Royal Dutch Shell hopes never to use has been transformed, following an accident this September that left it “crushed like a beer can” — hampering the company’s groundbreaking effort to suck oil from the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s North Slope.

The failed Puget Sound sea trial for the unique dome, essentially an undersea oil-sucking vacuum cleaner, plus construction delays on the Arctic Challenger barge that will house it, stymied Shell’s plans this summer to drill deep enough to reach oil this summer. read more

BG’s new boss ‘breached safety rules at Shell in the North Sea’




Mark Leftly: Thursday 13 December 2012

Oil & gas giant BG Group has asked a former Shell executive who was once accused of dangerous health and safety breaches in the North Sea to be its new boss.

Chris Finlayson, who is a BG board member and joined from Shell in 2010, was one of the men who were accused by an insider of having been involved in a Touch F*** All policy when he was a director for the company’s UK division in the late 1990s. read more

Shell related article links 14 December 2012

Selection of Shell related article links kindly provided by a regular contributor

All Roads Lead to Natural Gas-Fueled Cars and Trucks: Forbes-While oil development will continue to dominate its portfolio, the energy developer is now … Shell is well positioned to meet this demand,” says Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company. … What else may block the road?

Amnesty International Warns Shell of Need to Clean up Nigeria Oil …: IndustryWeek-LAGOS – Amnesty International says oil giant Shell (IW 1000/1) could face increasing litigation internationally over oil spills in Nigeria, where … read more

Waitrose halts plans to expand Shell partnership

After intense campaigning from Greenpeace, the supermarket has suspended plans to open more shops in petrol stations

Greenpeace has claimed victory after intense campaigning prompted Waitrose to put on hold its plans to expand its partnership with Shell – the oil company which is planning to drill for oil in the Arctic.

The UK supermarket had been considering opening new shops in Shell petrol stations across the country, but Waitrose managing director Mark Price has confirmed that the roll-out of the forecourt partnership has been put on ice until after 2013. The supermarket has also declared its support for the creation of an Arctic sanctuary under the aegis of the United Nations – a move that would throw a serious spanner in the works of Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the region. read more

Finlayson is no Chapman!

Shares in BG Group dropped today on the news that Chris Finlayson, a former Shell senior executive, will be taking over from Frank Chapman, another former Shell senior executive, as CEO of the gas giant. As one Shell related source has commented to me today:

“Finlayson is no Chapman!!!!

Staff at BG Group may also be dismayed to learn of an allegation by whistleblower Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International, that Mr Finlayson gave false information to the UK Health & Safety Executive in regard to Shell’s infamous “Touch F*** All” safety culture on North Sea rigs, which cost the lives of Shell offshore workers. read more

Jeroen van der Veer exit from Shell

I am only surprised that an ex CEO of Shell leaves the board at a young age. Is Jeroen washing his hands in innocence or trying to put light between him and Shell?? In the past they used to hang in there for long periods until they had to get up too often to take a pee during shareholders meetings. But in recent times Herkstroter left premature, so did Moody-Stuart. And Watts sought salvation…


Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced today that Mr Gerrit Zalm has been appointed a Non-executive Director of the Company with effect from January 1, 2013. Mr Zalm is the Chairman of the Board of Management of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., a position he has held since February 2009. Prior to that Mr Zalm was the Minister of Finance of the Netherlands from 1994-2002 and from 2003-2007. Mr Zalm will seek re-appointment by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled to be held in May 2013. (information taken from Shell website) read more

UK retailer Waitrose puts a halt on Shell venture

The tie-up had riled environmental lobby group Greenpeace, which started a protest campaign at the beginning of the month to force Waitrose to cut ties with Shell in opposition to its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

LONDON | Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:33pm EST

Dec 12 (Reuters) – Waitrose, the British supermarkets chain owned by John Lewis, said on Wednesday it would not go ahead with plans to expand a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell at the oil company’s petrol stations.

The firm, which currently runs 15 small kiosks selling snacks and sandwiches on forecourts, will maintain those operations but will not extend the joint format into 2013, Waitrose managing director Mark Price said.

The tie-up had riled environmental lobby group Greenpeace, which started a protest campaign at the beginning of the month to force Waitrose to cut ties with Shell in opposition to its plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. read more

Troubled Motiva refinery crude unit shut by small fire

Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:41pm EST

* Repairs to fractured pipe could take several days, sources say

* 325,000 barrel per day crude unit was in process of restarting

* New crude unit had previously been shut due to corrosion issue

* Gasoline prices jump on fire, pare gains after damage report

By Erwin Seba

PORT ARTHUR, Texas, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises aborted the restart of a major new crude oil unit at its Port Arthur, Texas, plant after a fractured pipe caused a small fire late on Tuesday, the latest glitch to bedevil the country’s biggest refinery. read more

Deterding orders-Hitler acts

News reports from long ago are emerging on the Internet as newspapers create digital searchable online archives. This is a disastrous development for  companies such as Royal Dutch Shell that have been around for a long time and have a toxic history to hide.

By John Donovan

News reports from long ago are emerging on the Internet as newspapers create digital searchable online archives. This is a disastrous development for  companies such as Royal Dutch Shell that have been around for a long time and have a toxic history to hide.

An article published on 3 April 1933 by the Border Cities Star, a Canadian daily newspaper, reported allegations made in Pravda, the official political publication of the Soviet Communist Party in Russia. They accused Sir Henri Deterding, the tyrannical head of Royal Dutch Shell, of funding Hitler and described the Nazis as “obedient agents of their benefactors,” claiming: Deterding orders-Hitler acts.” read more

Selection of Shell related article links 11 December 2012

Selection of Shell related article links kindly provided by a regular contributor

Oil Investors Face Serious Risk, Report Says: Environmental Leader-While the report focuses on Shell, it aims to act as a blueprint for investors of any multinational oil companies. The report provides investors with …

Aker Solutions awarded global frame agreement with Shell: Reuters 11 December 2012 – The international oil services provider Aker Solutions has signed a frame agreement with Shell for the delivery of subsea …

Majors court kingpin Eni on Mozambique gas bonanza: Reuters-Eni talking to Shell, Exxon, LNG buyers – source … a giant gas find in Mozambique, rival oil companies are falling over each other to get a piece … read more

Shell Invests $26 Million in GlassPoint to Get Heavy Crude Deals

By Wael Mahdi – Dec 11, 2012 8:00 AM GMT

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) invested $26 million in GlassPoint Solar Inc. to help it secure contracts in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman to extract dense crude using steam produced from a solar plant, the California-based company said in a statement.

GlassPoint runs a 7-megawatt, four-acre (16,187-square meter) system in Oman that is deploying enhanced oil recovery, or EOR, technology, to inject steam into oilfields to loosen deposits.

“Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain have plans to increase their production capacity through freeing heavy crude oil deposits,” GlassPoint Chief Executive Officer Rod Macgregor said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are getting there too, so it’s becoming the mainstream in the future.” read more

Shell’s investors given wake-up call as report reveals legacy of liabilities over Niger Delta

Experts estimate that more than 4,000 barrels of oil were spilled every day in Bodo Creek, Nigeria: © CEHRD

10 December 2012

Shell’s investors are facing a tougher international legal environment that is likely to have a dramatic impact on its balance sheet as claims mount from its activities in the Niger Delta, according to a new independent report from specialists at the University of Essex.

The potential liabilities range from sizeable damages for failures to take adequate steps to prevent and clean up oil spills, through to liabilities under USA and European stock exchange rules.  read more

Shell must face up to its liabilities in the Niger Delta

The oil giant is responsible for cleaning the spills and leaks throughout Nigeria’s southern regions, a new report says. 10 Dec 2012

Bodo’s fishing community in Ogoniland have taken Shell to court over alleged unpaid compensation for oil spills [EPA]

The shareholders of Royal Dutch Shell could be waking up to a multi-billion dollar headache this morning, after a University of Essex report concluded that the FTSE-listed company is responsible for cleaning up the mess it has made of the Niger Delta. The findings are the results of nearly two years of research.

The Niger Delta, an area roughly the size of Scotland, used to be a picturesque wetland. It is home to 31 million people, but over the past six decades, many of the villagers there have seen their livelihoods devastated by oil pollution. read more

Selection of links to Shell related articles


Jordan, Shell sign memo to explore oil: AMMAN, Dec 08, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — Jordan has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shell oil company to explore oil in Sirhan and …

Shell’s US chief sees Obama blessing ‘phased’ gas exports: The Hill (blog): Marvin Odum, the head of Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. arm, predicts the federal … Odum, the president of Shell Oil Co., said he envisions “phased” …

Shell drilling decision likely next year: Otago Daily Times: The oil survey ship Discover 2 arrives in Dunedin to take on fuel before … Shell, while yet to make the drill decision, has said that the earliest it … read more

Shell tried to drive Shell gas station operators out of business


THE BOSTON HERALD: Jury: Shell abused owners: Gas stations `vindicated’ in ploy by big oil company: “We’ve been vindicated,” said Mike Corbett, owner of City Square Shell in Charlestown, a member of a group of area dealers who’ve been battling Shell for more than four years over control of their stations. “This is big for us. They beat us up for so many years. It was terrible what they did,” he said.


THE BOSTON GLOBE: Jury rules for franchisees in Shell trial: 8 station operators in Mass. awarded $3.3m in damages: “A federal jury awarded more than $3 million to eight Massachusetts gas station operators after finding Shell Oil Co. used unfair tactics that were effectively intended to drive them out of business.”: “The case was also important to the world’s third-largest oil company, which has agreements with thousands of franchises nationwide.”: “The jury voted yes to the question of whether Shell ”in bad faith” set wholesale gasoline prices ”that were not commercially reasonable,” court documents said.” read more

Noble Drilling hit by another set back after fire on Shell Nobel Discoverer

Just what is needed in pristine Arctic waters: An accident prone Drilling Company employed by a reckless greedy oil giant with a notorious “Touch F*** All” offshore safety culture and a track record of unconscionable, untreated environmental devastation e.g. Nigeria.

By John Donovan

Last month the Noble Discoverer drilling ship involved in Shell’s hapless inaugural season of Arctic oil exploration caught fire in Dutch Harbor, an international port in Alaska. This followed an earlier mishap in July when it slipped its anchor in Dutch Harbor and appeared to have gone aground, though this was denied by Shell despite the visual evidence above to the contrary. 

Now an oil rig at a ship yard in Singapore – the Nobel Regina Allen – also owned by Noble Drilling has partly collapsed, injuring 89 peopleSee photographs below. read more

Flaring at Shell Chemical plant in Norco to continue through Sunday

By Naomi Martin, | The Times-Picayune on December 08, 2012 at 10:57 PM, updated December 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM

A malfunctioning Shell Chemical unit located on the Motiva Enterprises campus in Norco that lost power on Thursday was restarted about 10 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release from the company. The company warned residents that the flaring and smoke that had preceded Thursday’s power outage will continue through Sunday. read more

Development challenge of Kazakhstan’s giant oilfield

Kashagan – a giant offshore oil field in the Caspian Sea – The project is better known (in Shell circles) as “Cash all gone”

7 December 2012

By Rayhan Demytrie BBC News, Kashagan oil field, Kazakhstan

t has cost $46bn (£28.8bn) to develop Kazakhstan’s most ambitious project, Kashagan – a giant offshore oil field in the Caspian Sea, the world’s biggest oil find in the past 40 years.

Kashagan holds about 13 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Simply put, it is enough to power the world for up to five months.

Once production starts next year, the majority of Kashagan’s oil will reach markets in Europe and China, making it an important non-OPEC source of energy. read more

Shell and the Dutch fascists: A study in black

We have to keep in mind that it was not only Sir Henri Deterding who was a keen supporter of the Nazi’s. In the 1930’s there were other Shell directors such as J.E.F. de Kok and *Wim Rost van Tonningen who were also keen supporters of Hitler and his henchmen.

Guest Author: Ton Biesemaat (Dutch freelance investigative journalist and writer) Article published 7 December 2012

Among individuals interested in the history of Shell, it is common knowledge that in spite of Shell sponsored academic studies, it is clear that Deterding was the man who made Royal Dutch Shell a global powerhouse in the first half of the twentieth century, but was also financially supporting the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler. This is very well illustrated by the photo of Deterdings death in 1938 on his German Mecklenburg-estate which was previously owned by the husband of Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands. read more

Starbucks a novice at tax dodging compared with Shell

Shell’s penchant for tax dodging goes back almost 100 years. In comparison, Starbucks is a mere novice.


“This elaborate charade would have delighted Deterding who, in an earlier phase of the Group’s history, had excelled in devising convoluted schemes to avoid tax…”

By John Donovan

Starbucks’ £20m gift ‘makes joke’ of tax system

Starbucks has taken the “unprecedented” step of pledging to pay £20m corporation tax, even if it makes no profit – only for the move to appear to backfire and fuel the fiasco surrounding its UK operation. (SOURCE)

Starbucks the coffee conglomerate has negotiated a deal with HMRC to repay £millions siphoned off under the guise of “brand royalties” to an external tax haven. This was in response to a growing backlash from the UK public and calls for a boycott.

The tax dodging scheme which exploited a legal loophole, is similar to the machinations of Royal Dutch Shell who several years ago shifted ownership of Shell trademarks to a Swiss tax haven with the same objective. 

See: Royal Dutch Shell Plc Tax Dodgers: Offshore – and out of reach to the Revenue read more

In second upset of the week, Shell Chemical loses power, warns of high levels of smoke

By Juliet Linderman, | The Times-Picayune on December 06, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Just five days after an equipment failure at the Shell/Motiva plant caused massive flares to shoot flames and leak thick black smoke into the air above St. Charles Parish for days on end, the Norco chemical complex announced on Thursday morning that it had lost power in the second plant malfunction of the week. In a release, Shell Chemical representatives warned Norco residents of more flaring and high levels of smoke. read more

Shell Chemical equipment failure causes flame and flares in St. Charles

David Grunfeld, The Times-Picayune By David Grunfeld, The Times-Picayune

Shell Chemical, located on the Motiva Enterprises campus in Norco, has been experiencing elevated flares, shooting flames and leaking thick black smoke into the air above St. Charles Parish. According to a report submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center, the plant is releasing unknown amounts of hydrogen sulfide, butadiene and benzene, a known carcinogen.

Posted: Thursday, December 06, 2012, 3:00 PM

Shell Spills Ethylene During Pipeline Failure, NRC Filing Shows

By Christian Schmollinger on December 06, 2012

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) spilled an unknown amount of ethylene from a 12-inch pipeline in Iowa, Louisiana, after a gasket failure, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center. The release at 5 p.m. local time yesterday wasn’t secured and a fire crew was en route to the site, the filing showed.

U.S. companies must notify the response center if they release hazardous substances in excess of reportable quantities, according to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly known as Superfund. Bloomberg News couldn’t immediately verify that the information in the NRC filing was accurate. read more

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