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Posts from ‘August, 2014’

Ebola in Nigeria: Royal Dutch Shell issues warning to employees

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

I received an email from a regular contributor at noon today advising that “Ebola has reached Port Harcourt now. No doubt you are aware Shell has ‘some’ operations there…”

The contact also supplied a BBC News article: Ebola spreads to Nigeria oil hub Port Harcourt

Before I had time to decide whether to comment, Reuters published an article “Doctor dies of Ebola in Nigeria’s oil hub Port Harcourt”


Port Harcourt lies at the heart of Nigeria’s two million barrels per day oil industry, Africa’s biggest, and is a hub for expatriate workers in major international oil companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, ENI, Total and Exxonmobil. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Files Arctic Drilling Plans

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 00.00.49A Shell spokesperson claims that the company’s latest Arctic exploration plan takes into account lessons learned from the 2012 operation (which turned into a dangerous farce after Shell engaged in reckless machinations in an effort to evade tax).

By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has filed a plan with US federal regulators that could result in a resumption of its Arctic drilling campaign in the summer of of 2015.

However, the oil giant still has significant regulatory and legal issues to deal with in the meantime.

A Shell spokesperson claims that the company’s latest Arctic exploration plan takes into account lessons learned from the 2012 operation (which turned into a dangerous farce after Shell engaged in reckless machinations in an effort to evade tax).  read more


Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.59.38A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified. The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell. It seems from recently published articles that despite all the pledges and the appointment of a so-called safety Czar, nothing has changed.

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.44.48By John Donovan

In 2005, Shell received a record breaking fine of £900,000 at Stonehaven Sheriff Court, for a series of safety failings on the Brent Bravo platform, which led to a gas leak inside the giant platform’s utility leg and the tragic avoidable deaths of offshore workers.

A safety audit on the Brent Bravo platform in 1999 led by Bill Campbell exposed a “Touch F*** All” culture with safety records routinely falsified.

The damning audit report was passed to then Shell EP director Malcolm Brinded, who made promises to remedy the situation that were not kept. Instead Brinded decided to put profits before safety. Hence the subsequent deadly explosion followed by a cover-up at the highest level of Royal Dutch Shell. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Retreat from Nigeria

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29The FT states: “Shell’s phlegmatic chief executive Ben van Beurden will need to hold his nose when he takes the money…” and in a related article, describes Shell’s actions as a “retreat from the Niger Delta” (triggered in part by militancy, violence and bunkering).

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 08.53.45By John Donovan

The global firesale of Shell assets continues with the sale of four oil fields in Nigeria for $5 billion

The FT states: Shell’s phlegmatic chief executive Ben van Beurden will need to hold his nose when he takes the money… and in a related article, describes Shell’s actions as a “retreat from the Niger Delta” (apparently triggered in part by militancy, violence and bunkering). 

Extract from latter article: 

“…a militant uprising in the Niger Delta last decade led to severe supply disruptions, and though the worst of the violence has subsided, criminal gangs continue to cause havoc, siphoning off huge volumes of oil from the pipelines that criss-cross the delta.” read more

Potential Bad News for Royal Dutch Shell and BP

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

An article by Matthew Smith published by Seeking Alpha warns about the potential adverse impact on the share value of companies with “exposure” in Russia, such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

The CEO of Shell, Ben van Beurden, is well aware of the risk to Shell’s Russian assets and future prospects, which explains his humiliating bowing to President Putin when they met just weeks after the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. Obviously a believer in appeasement.  read more

Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014


Jeroen van der Veer, the former Royal Dutch Shell CEO who evaded responsibility for his role in the cover-up of the Shell reserves fraud, claims that the sanctions against Russia are not working and are counter-productive. This analysis comes from the man who badly misjudged the Putin regime in 2006 and as a result, ended up meekly surrendering Shell’s majority stake in the Sakhalin 2 project. 


The British government has just introduced a rule requiring oil, gas and mining companies registered in the UK to disclose all payments made to the governments of countries in which they operate. The new rule, which comes into force in 2015, is designed to result in greater transparency, something alien to oil companies such as Shell. Problems may arise in relation to Nigeria where Shell has a decades long history of corruption involving a succession of odious regimes. read more

Shell smashed to bits across Adelaide, South Australia?

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29“Printed below is an email received from a Mr Bruce Hubbard. Does Shell wish to comment? If you tell me that its is all false, or contains false information, then I will not publish it. If I receive no response within 7 days I will assume Shell does not take issue with the allegations and has no comment to make.”

By John Donovan

I have printed below the content of an email I received from Mr. Bruce Hubbard together with a related email I sent to Mr. Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary and General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc. As can be seen, I gave Shell the opportunity to deny the allegations. I have not received any response. 


From: Bruce Hubbard <[email protected]>
Subject: Shell smashed to bits across Adelaide, South Australia
Date: 6 August 2014 04:32:17 BST
To: [email protected] read more

Shell one of 5 Companies Al Gore Says Are Doomed

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 09.25.26“Royal Dutch Shell is another company with a doomed oil sands project, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative. Its Carmon Creek project needs oil prices to hit $157 per barrel in order to be profitable. On top of that, Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to drill for oil in the Arctic, which has already wasted $5 billion of investors’ capital and would waste more money if drilling restarted.”

By John Donovan

According to an article by Matt DiLallo published by The Motley Fool on 23 August, former US VP Al Gore believes that the balance sheets of ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, ConocoPhillips, Total SA and BP plc include $7 trillion of worthless ‘unburnable” carbon assets. 


“This unburnable carbon is the oil, gas, and coal that is still in the earth that, if extracted and burned, would push the globe over the edge in terms of climate change. Because this is an edge we can’t cross, it would suggest that the companies owning the assets are all but doomed.” read more

Robert Writt vs. Shell Oil Company – Update

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The litigation relates to a corruption case in which Shell was ordered to pay $48 million (£29.4m) in civil and criminal fines after its contractor (Panalpina Inc.) bribed Nigerian customs officials. It appears Shell decided  to make Robert Writt the fall guy for Shell’s involvement in the massive corruption scheme (targeting officials of a host country) by turning Writt in to the US federal authorities in the belief that Shell was safe from legal retribution by him. The Appeals Court decided otherwise. read more

Update on OSSL Corruption Allegations Against Shell

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.29.11By John Donovan

A contributor to the Shell Blog has requested an update on the long running OSSL saga. OSSL is the former “Mr Fixit” company working for Shell in Ireland that blew the whistle on alleged corruption surrounding the controversial Corrib Gas Project.

There have been two internal investigations by Royal Dutch Shell and three by the Irish police authorities. All reached the conclusion that there is no evidence to support the OSSL allegations.

In fact, there is evidence but for obvious reasons, neither the police nor Shell want to reveal the truth. read more

Shell stops shale gas production in Eastern Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell says that it has suspended shale gas production in eastern Ukraine due to security concerns. 

A Shell spokesperson said:

“Currently we are not conducting drilling in eastern Ukraine. The security situation is such that we are not able to carry out certain activities scheduled by the shale gas production agreement for reasons beyond our control. Hence, we took a step specified in the contract to announce force majeure regarding certain obligations set in the agreement on gas production at the Yuzivka field. Shell’s interests in shale gas production in Ukraine remain the same, and we will continue to execute all kinds of operations that we can carry out safely.”  read more

Sexploits of former Royal Dutch Shell Executive Andrew Manley 

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 17.46.28By John Donovan

Andrew Manley worked at Shell for 30 years, leaving at the end of January 2010.

By then he was Downstream-One Programme Director. 

Mr Manley was a hapless individual and his emails were prone to leakage.

I published them, including the one when he announced his departure to no doubt delighted colleagues.

The IT project he led was plagued by delays. 

Mr Manley left to become an overpaid “high-flying Ministry of Defence mandarin.”

He grew very close to his 32 year old private secretary Laura Clare who he quickly promoted to be his chief of staff. Both are shown right. She obviously had impressive credentials. read more

Big Oil Could Be In Big Trouble

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 18.34.00By John Donovan

A number of current articles warn of falling oil prices. A article says that oil prices have fallen below $100 to the lowest level this year and that natural gas has fared even worse. reports that the price of oil has plummeted, and that the fall is accelerating. It also points out that big oil has taken on $106 billion in new debt. A related article warns of $96 Billion of High-Risk Oil Megaprojects. The Russia/Ukraine crisis is partly responsible for the uncertainly and anxiety. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com News Roundup: 18 August 2014

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Firstbiz. has published an article setting out 5 things it says you should know about the Sultan.

See “Meet Sultan of Brunei, the man willing to shell out more than $2 bn for Sahara’s hotels

Extract: “Ironically, the Sultan’s Beverly Hills Hotel and Dorchester Collection properties in the United States have been subject to a boycott by many, including Hollywood personalities, following the Sharia penal code — which levies harsh punishments like flogging, the severing of limbs, and death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers — that was instituted in the country of Brunei in early May.”  read more

Roundup of Royal Dutch Shell News 16 August 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.37.41SHELL’S USA FIRE SALE

The New York Times reports that the Blackstone Group, a private equity company, is paying Royal Dutch Shell $1.2 billion for a stake comprising more than 107,000 net acres in Louisiana. MORE

A related article by features a quote from Marvin Odum, president of Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. division, Shell Oil Company. Marvin said in a statement: “We are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions.” MORE read more

Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com News Round-up 12 August 2014

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A frosty reception for Shell sponsorship; Oil and Gas company debt soars to danger level; Shell a gigantic flea

By John Donovan


The Telegraph City Diary column has commented on Shell’s embarrassment at arts sponsorship monies being returned to the  company in Ireland. “First the Antarctic, now Ireland. The list of countries where Royal Dutch Shell receives a frosty reception continues to lengthen. The energy major has been told that its sponsorship money for the Emerald Isle’s biggest folk festival, the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Sligo, is no longer acceptable, after eco-campaigners kicked up a storm.” read more

Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup Monday 11 Aug 2014

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Rejection in Australia, Oil Spill Fire in Nigeria, Fire sale in the USA, Asbestos lawsuit in the UK

By John Donovan


The Australian reports that a fortnight after Woodside Petroleum shareholders scuttled a $2.7 billion plan to remove Royal Dutch Shell from the company’s share register, Woodside has bought a 40% stake in a joint venture deep water exploration project off west Africa.


According to the FT, Shell is preparing to dispose of its 50 per cent stake in a Louisiana gasfield to Blackstone for $1.2bn, as the oil and gas group retreats from one of its souring investments in North America. Private equity group, Blackstone, is named as the likely purchaser.  The article contains reference to the “fix or divest” policy of Royal Dutch Shell CEO, Ben van Beurden in relation to Shell’s under performing North American upstream business. read more

OSSL whistleblower allegations against Shell and the Irish Police

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.34.44By John Donovan

The OSSL email campaign against Royal Dutch Shell and various parties including the Garda, who accepted ‘sweeteners’ from Shell dispensed by OSSL, continues unabated, 7 days a week.

OSSL acted as a “Mr Fixit” on behalf of Shell in relation to the controversial long delayed and miles over budget Corrib Gas Project in Ireland, before falling out over money. 

As I understand the situation, the OSSL campaign has two objectives.

One is to expose the truth after a series of cover-ups by the Irish Police and Shell. read more

Twister B.V. by name, Twister by nature?

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Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 17.47.17By John Donovan

Knowing from personal experience the track record of Royal Dutch Shell in stealing ideas, I must say that I am staggered by the audacity of Shell in trying to draw (trick?) inventors into entrusting the ruthless unprincipled oil giant with their brainchild.  The scheme (scam?) is run in various guises, including Shell GameChanger,  Shell Ideas360 and Shell Innovation Challenge. Shell is even offering substantial cash prizes as an enticement. See current example (above) from Shell Australia. read more

The assault on Lego

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 14.33.21By John Donovan

The Greenpeace led assault on Lego continues with an article published today by The Guardian newspaper under the headline: “How Lego lost its innocence”


“A co-promotion with Lego is a lucrative PR stunt for Shell. But as Greenpeace is keen to point out, Shell is an appalling choice of partner, not least because of its controversial plans to extract oil from under the melting Arctic region.”

It is one in a series of recent Guardian articles highlighting the Lego/Shell connection in relationship to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans. read more

Royal Dutch Shell slashing North Sea jobs

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29By John Donovan

250 full time Shell employees and contractor staff in Aberdeen will be culled over the next year. 

According to a Shell spokesperson:

Shell is reorganising its operations to better serve the needs of its offshore facilities and to build a stronger long-term business in the North Sea. Following staff consultation, Shell expects to reduce employee and contractor headcount by a total of around 250 positions over the next year. Revisions to the onshore organisation will be implemented by the end of 2014. Shell is determined to ensure that it continues to deliver safe, competitive operations in its North Sea portfolio and maximises value from its operated assets. read more

President Obama Scuttling the good ship UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 15.55.11By John Donovan

I am a UK citizen and therefore have no say in US politics. 

I am just an observer who has travelled extensively in the USA over many decades and as a result grew to love America and its people. 

President Obama seems like a thoroughly nice man with a lovely family.

That’s the positive bit.

Some fanatical right-wingers have claimed that he is not a US Citizen.

Some have suggested he is a Muslim hell bent on the destruction of America.

All ridiculous, but the truth is that his misguided liberal/socialist/pacifist policies seem to be having a far more destructive impact on the USA than any terrorist group.  read more

Shell’s unwelcome sponsorship of the arts

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Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.18.48By John Donovan

Earlier this year campaigners and climate activists applauded the end of the Shell Classic International series at the South Bank Centre in London. 

SEE: Campaigners celebrate end of Shell’s Southbank sponsorship

Protestors, including from the Shell OUT SOUNDS organisation and strongly objected to what has been aptly described as “oil-branded concerts.”

All take particular exception to Shell’s atrocious track record in Nigeria.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.26.32Today The Irish Times has published an article reporting that the Shell to Sea campaign group in Ireland intends to mount a public protest about Shell’s sponsorship of the largest traditional Irish music Festival, “Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.”   read more

First oil produced from SNEPCO-operated Bonga North West deep-water project in Nigeria

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06 Aug 2014

Shell’s deep-water subsidiary in Nigeria, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) started oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the Nigerian coast on Tuesday 5 August 2014, another milestone for the country’s energy industry.

“This is an excellent addition to our deep-water portfolio – a key growth theme for Shell’s world-wide upstream business,” said Andrew Brown, Shell’s Upstream International Director. “It’s also good news for Nigeria, as it is a new source of oil revenues and strengthens Nigeria’s deep-water expertise, a key driver of economic development.” read more

Russia Sanctions Failing to Stanch Energy Deals With Japan

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By John Donovan

Nato says that Russia has amassed 20,000 combat-ready troops on the border of eastern Ukraine.

The US and the EU have stepped up sanction measures on Russia moving from targeted to sector sanctions. 

Unfortunately for Royal Dutch Shell its current business and future prospects depend on maintaining good relations with Putin.

Hence the bootlicking by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden when he met with Putin following the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. 

The Sakhalin II project in which Shell used to be the majority stakeholder still remains an important asset to the oil and gas giant. Sanctions may yet impact on Sakhalin II. read more

Greenpeace attacks Lego in second anti-Shell partnership video

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By John Donovan

With its usual determination, Greenpeace continues to mount a sustained innovative campaign against the plans of Royal Dutch Shell to drill in Arctic waters. 

It is worth remembering that Shell has in the past used dirty tricks, including undercover activity by its paid spies/infiltrators, in an attempt to combat and undermine Greenpeace.

See: MI6 ‘firm’ spied on green groups” 

Shell still has its own internal army of spies now operating under the name of Shell Global Security (previously as Corporate Affairs Security). I am sure they continue to closely monitor Greenpeace (and me).  read more

Shell connection?: Garda laptop found in a Dutch brothel

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By John Donovan

The Irish Independent newspaper has published an article reporting that a worker at a Dutch brothel discovered a bag apparently containing “a laptop and documents as well as an “insignia” that allegedly identified the owner as being a member of An Garda Siochana”  – the Irish Police force. 

I note that comments have already been posted on the article raising the subject of the free alcohol given by Royal Dutch Shell to the Garda as part of Shell sponsored corruption surrounding the Corrib Gas Project.  read more

Curious about the wording of Shell’s announcement of Bichsel’s departure..?


I’m curious about the wording of Shell’s announcement of Bichsel’s departure….

The announcement focusses almost entirely on Brekelmans, and simply says that Matthias Bichsel (right) is leaving after 34 years – hardly a glowing valedictory for the person who has been number two in Shell (worldwide) for the past few years.

Surely some words of thanks for Bichsel’s years of sterling service and achievements at Shell should have been in order? Or perhaps not, as the case may be.


Failure to clean Niger Delta oil pollution still devastating people’s health: Amnesty

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Extracts from an Associated Press article by MARAM MAZEN published 3 August 2014

LAGOS, Nigeria – Little action has been taken to clean up pollution caused by oil production in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, either by the government or Shell Oil, Amnesty International and other groups charged Monday.

Oil production has contaminated the drinking water of at least 10 communities in the Ogoniland area but neither the Nigerian government nor Royal Dutch Shell’s Nigeria subsidiary have taken effective measures to restore the fouled environment, said the new report by Amnesty International, Friends of The Earth Europe, Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Environmental Rights Action, and Platform. read more

FT: 12 Shell staff and family members killed on flight MH17

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from FT “Week in review” published 2 August 2014

Majors brace as sanctions against Russia tighten read more

Shell has declared force majeure on gas exploration in eastern Ukraine: CEO

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Extracts from a PLATTS article published 31 July 2014

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said Thursday, July 31 that the recent events around the Ukraine crisis, including the crash of flight MH17 and the subsequent US and EU sanctions against Moscow, were a “game-changer” from an international political, economic and trade point of view. Shell, which has assets in both Russia and Ukraine, has also declared force majeure on its unconventional gas exploration operations in eastern Ukraine, van Beurden said on a Q2 earnings conference call. Van Beurden said it was too early to know exactly what the impact of the latest international sanctions against Russia would be for Shell. read more

Is This the Next Big Offshore Oil Frontier?

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 09.31.18Extracts from a Motley Fool article by Arjun Sreekumar published 1 August 2014


Though the Arctic is believed to contain about a fifth of the world’s undiscovered hydrocarbon reserves, harvesting that oil and gas has proved excruciatingly difficult. In the Alaskan Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, for instance, Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling program has been plagued by equipment failures, as well as regulatory and legal issues, which forced the company to suspend its drilling plans this year. But despite these setbacks, there is one Arctic region that has generated considerable interest among oil companies and has been hailed as the next big offshore oil frontier — the Norwegian Barents Sea.  read more

The grief of Ben van Beurden

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extracts from a Daily Mail/This is MONEY” article by Rob Davies published 31 July 2014 under the headline: “Energy lift boosts shares in Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group after both post strong second quarter results”

Boss Ben van Beurden has vowed to sell underperforming assets and be more selective about spending, after beginning his tenure in January with the firm’s first profit warning in a decade. Van Beurden said Shell was ‘less exposed than some of our rivals’ to the impact of sanctions on Russia after the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine. But he focused on the emotional impact on Shell, which lost four staff and eight members of their families. ‘As a Dutchman, of course, I grieve for the many compatriots who lost their lives in this crash,’ he said. ‘Then, as CEO of Shell, I grieve together with the other 92,000 Shell staff for the colleagues we lost, together with so many of their family members.’ read more

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