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Posts under ‘Brent Bravo Scandal’

Brains behind Shell’s iconic Brent bid final farewell

One of the brains behind an iconic piece of the North Sea oil and gas landscape will have a last chance to say goodbye before it is dismantled for good.

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Shell’s Brent Delta platform was a major part of offshore infrastructure for more than 40 years.

But, last month, the top was removed from the waters, leaving its legs behind, and transported to Hartlepool as part of the decommissioning process.

The huge 24,000 tonne topside, which weighs the same as the Empire State Building, is currently being stored in an Able UK’s shipyard, where it is waiting to be taken apart and recycled.

However, Shell gave some of its former employees the chance to bid farewell to the platform, which generated more than £35billion over its four decades. read more

Symbol of North Sea oil’s heyday towed into Teesside scrapyard

by: , North East Correspondent

While the Brent Delta decommissioning is not controversial, Shell’s proposal to leave the concrete and steel structures that support the four Brent topsides in the sea, as well as other materials, are being opposed by environmental groups.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Pioneering Spirit : World’s largest vessel sets record after 24,000-tonne oil platform lift

Sky News: 29 April 2017

The largest vessel on the planet has successfully carried out the world’s biggest lift at sea, plucking a 24,000-tonne oil rig platform from the North Sea.

The mammoth engineering task was carried out as part of the first phase of decommissioning one of the most important oilfields in the region.

Engineers took hours to position the specially-built £2.4bn Pioneering Spirit into place around the Brent Delta platform.

But it took just seconds for the powerful hydraulic system to lift the topside off its supporting legs, setting a world record in the process. read more

Shell hit with prohibition notice on Brent Charlie

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Shell had failed to put appropriate controls in place to protect workers from dangerous gases in one of the platform’s legs.

HSE said the company had identified the risks of exposure to hydrogen sulphide and hydrocarbon gas while accessing the column C1 leg.

But Shell did not adequately describe how control measures would be “organised, controlled, monitored or reviewed”, according to HSE.

The prohibition notice was served early in February. read more

Shell move ‘could be in breach of international law’

Environmental groups claim Shell’s plans to decommission one of the North Sea’s most iconic fields could breach international law.

The oil giant lodged plans to decommission the Brent field with the UK government in February.

It wants to leave the legs of three of the platforms in place rather than removing them, which Shell has described as the safest option.

Environmentalists say the plans are not detailed enough to justify the move. read more

Brent clear-up to test ‘leave no trace’ obligation

by: Andrew Ward and Nathalie Thomas in London

Much of the detail has already been revealed. Shell is aiming to remove the 24,000-tonne “topside” of its Brent Delta platform next summer. A specially designed ship the length of five jumbo jets will then carry the structure to a yard in Teesside for recycling.

However, the focus of the consultation is expected to be on Shell’s plans to leave most of the subsea infrastructure in place, including giant concrete legs each as heavy as the Empire State Building. read more

Bill Campbell support for Shell plans?

 “Shell attacked over plan to ‘litter the sea’ by leaving behind oil rig bases”

By Bill Campbell

Littering the North Sea appears a rather emotive statement by the Professor, quite appalling, completely unacceptable etc. He also links the plans for the concrete structures to an outsourcing of jobs from Glasgow which is unrelated to the structures.

Professor Russell previously wrote about the storage cells containing radioactive material also in an exaggerated way, the sludge contains naturally occurring low-level radioactive material which many studies declare does not pose a risk to persons or the environment. read more

The Uncensored History of the Shell Brent Oil and Gas Field

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By John Donovan (updated 18 November 2016)

Energy Voice has announced that it has teamed up with Shell to “celebrate 40 years of Brent”.

A series of related “promoted” articles are being published. I take that as meaning Shell is paying for the articles. If this assumption is correct, the only history included will be of the whitewashed variety.

I doubt there will be any reference to the consequences of Shell’s appalling safety record on the Brent platforms, with falsified safety records, a “Touch F*** All” regime in regard to critical equipment maintenance, followed by the cover-up and the deaths on Brent Bravo, leading to a record-breaking fine. Will the unseaworthy lifeboats get a mention? Of course not. Shell continued to put production and profits before safety. Just read this index of related articles. read more

Scottish Oil Experts Scold Shell for Platform Abandonment Plans

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50Two renowned oil industry experts from Scotland have vigorously criticized Shell’s plans to leave major parts of four platforms in the Brent field standing when it decommissions the aged field that gave the name to the most widely used international price benchmark.

Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan, respectively chairman of the Scottish Oil Association and researcher at the Robert Gordon University, noted in a paper that the concrete structures will take hundreds of years to disintegrate and represent a potential hazard that local people will have to pay for, rather than the field operator. read more

Eiffel Towers in the North Sea – Shell’s decommissioning plans another Brent Spar PR disaster?

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Alex Russell and Peter Strachan: from Robert Gordon University

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2016

Shell is preparing to start the decommissioning of its four gigantic oil platforms in the famous Brent field in the Scottish part of the North Sea – a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, write Professor Alex Russell of the Oil Industry Finance Association and Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University, the company plans to dismantle only the topsides of the platforms. It wants to leave the Eiffel-tower sized legs, including 64 giant storage cells at the base of these structures, in place. They will take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Russell and Strachan call on the UK government and other North Sea governments to call a halt to these plans. They also demand that the Scottish government will have a say in the project. read more

Hundreds of North Sea workers down tools on Shell oil rigs

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Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 16.40.56

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 16.45.26Jillian Ambrose26 JULY 2016 • 1:26PM

Around 400 North Sea oil workers have downed tools on Shell oil rigs in the sector’s first spate of industrial action in 28 years.

The 24-hour strike began at 6.30am on Tuesday alongside an ongoing refusal to work overtime and will be followed by further stoppages in the weeks to come, trade union Unite warned.

Offshore oil workers employed by Wood Group to work on Shell’s giant Brent oilfield platforms voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action earlier this month, after talks over plans to bring in longer hours and lower pay broke down. read more

How do you hold a strike on a North Sea oil platform?

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Hundreds of RMT and Unite union members who work for Wood Group are set to stage the 24-hour industrial action on Tuesday in a dispute over pay.

It will be the first industrial action of its kind in the offshore oil and gas industry in almost 30 years.

But how do you actually conduct a strike on a North Sea oil platform?

Those union members involved on the seven Shell platforms will go to designated areas – but will respond should there be an emergency situation.

There will not be the traditional high-profile picket lines that people associate with strikes on land. read more

Wood maintenance workers back strike on Shell UK platforms

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Markets | Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:53am EDT

* Support for strike over pay and working conditions

* Shell platforms concerned include Brent, Shearwater

As many as seven of Royal Dutch Shell’s North Sea platforms could be hit by the first strike action in the basin in 10 years after Wood Group employees working on the facilities voted on Wednesday in favour of industrial action.

Wood Group workers are employed on Shell platforms to carry out maintenance work. A person familiar with the operations said this meant production from the platforms was unlikely to be affected by potential strikes in the short term. read more

Shell North Sea strike: What we know so far

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Written by Niamh Burns – 13/07/2016 7:43 am

Oil workers could strike today for the first time in a generation after talks broke down between unions and Wood Group.

The move comes after oil major Shell found itself at the centre of the workforce dispute which has paved the way for industrial action.

BREAKING: RMT workers vote in support of strike action.

Unions decided to ballot their workers in May after initial talks regarding 30% pay cuts to eight of Shell’s North Sea platforms, including the Brent field, failed to provide a solution. It’s the third pay cut since 2014. read more

Green groups urge Shell to remove Brent platform legs

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Written by Mark Lammey – 06/07/2016 7:11 am

Green lobbyists and politicians yesterday accused Shell (LON: RDSB) of shirking its environmental responsibilities with its plans to leave the gigantic legs of its Brent field platforms in the North Sea.

Mark Ruskell, Scottish Greens MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said the Brent field had generated millions for Shell and its shareholders and should be left in the same condition in which it was found.

On Monday, Shell said it would recommend leaving the 300,000 tonne legs from three of the field’s four platforms in place, along with storage cells, the lower section of the Alpha platform’s jacket, drill cuttings and heavier pipelines entrenched in the seabed. read more

Shell plans to leave Brent platform legs in North Sea

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Written by

Oil major Shell (LON:RDSB) confirmed its intention to leave the giant legs of its Brent field platforms in the North Sea at the end of its multibillion-pound decommissioning campaign.

Duncan Manning, Shell’s business opportunity manager on Brent Decommissioning, said removing the 300,000 tonne legs would be “riddled with safety risks” and had little merit for the environment.

Mr Manning also said only the upper part of the Alpha platform’s jacket would be taken away as it is too heavy to be removed in one piece. read more

Shell delays North Sea Brent platform decommissioning to 2017

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By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 18:24, 4 July 2016

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) – Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell will start dismantling its nearly 40-year-old Brent Delta platform in the North Sea in 2017, a senior manager said, delaying the process by around one year.

Brent Delta, as tall as the Eiffel Tower, is the first of four Brent platforms to be decommissioned and one of the first large-scale projects to dismantle a depleted North Sea oil field.

The start of the complex work, which has been planned for 10 years, has been delayed to next year after it took longer than expected to equip the specialist vessel which will transport the 25,000-tonne topside of the platform to Hartlepool harbour where it will be taken apart. read more

Shell seeks exemption to North Sea clear-up rules

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Andrew Ward, Energy Editor: July 4, 2016

Royal Dutch Shell wants to leave behind steel and concrete structures as large as the Empire State Building when it abandons one of the biggest oil and gas fields in the North Sea.

FULL FT ARTICLE

Shell cleared to lift Brent Delta topside in one go

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 20.32.37Worlds biggest ship, Pioneering Spirit, formerly a Nazi named vessel, the Pieter Schelte, is cleared to lift Brent Delta topside in one go

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.157 July 2015

Oil giant Shell is to press ahead with plans to remove the topside of the Brent Delta platform in a single lift after its decommissioning project was cleared by the UK government.

Shell will use a heavy-lift vessel to remove the 24,200-tonne structure once preparations have been completed.

Work has already started on strengthening the topside in anticipation of a 2016 lift.

UK ministers cleared the project following a 30-day public consultation.

The lift will be carried out by the Korean-built vessel Pioneering Spirit after “thorough preparations and weather assessments”, Shell said. read more

Shell fined for leak on platform where workers died

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Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 08.28.32Thursday 2nd July 2015

Oil giant Shell has been fined more than £6,000 after a diesel leak on board the same North Sea platform where two workers died 12 years ago.

Sean McCue, 22, and Keith Moncrieff, 45, lost their lives when they were overcome by gas while working on the energy firm’s Brent Bravo rig in 2003.

The oil company was previously fined nearly £1 million after admitting safety breaches which led to their deaths.

Yesterday Shell UK bosses returned to the court after approximately 13 to 15 tonnes of diesel spilled into the North Sea despite warnings over the transfer system going back over a decade. Senior management from the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary appeared in the public benches at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company pleaded guilty to an unlicensed release of fuel. read more

Oil giant Shell fined over Brent Bravo leak

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15Oil giant Shell fined over Brent Bravo leak

Oil giant Shell has been fined thousands of pounds after a diesel leak on board a North Sea platform.

Between 13 and 15 tonnes spilled into the sea from the Brent Bravo, 116 miles north east of Lerwick, in May 2013.

Senior management from Shell were at Aberdeen Sheriff Court where the company admitted the release of fuel.

Sheriff Kenneth Stewart fined the company £6,650, reduced from the maximum possible due to the early stage of the guilty plea.

A Shell UK spokeswoman said: “We regret that the release occurred – no spill is acceptable. read more

Special relationship between a Shell oil executive and a Government Minister contributed to offshore deaths?

Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 09.24.14Love hurts: How a special relationship between a Shell oil executive and a Government Minister contributed to offshore deaths 

SELF-EXPLANATORY EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN TO BARONESS HELEN LIDDELL: 

From: John Donovan 

Subject: THE EMAIL YOU RECEIVED FROM MR BILL CAMPBELL

Date: 9 March 2015 22:50:38 GMT

Cc: Campbell <Cambell

To: [email protected]

Dear Baroness Liddell,

I understand you have received an email from Mr Bill Campbell, the highly esteemed retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International.

As you are aware, it relates to your alleged contact some years ago with Mr Malcolm Brinded, when he was a Shell Managing Director whose responsibilities included Shell North Sea Platforms.  read more

The Case against Malcolm Brinded CBE

Email Dated 4 March 2015 from Mr Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International, to Mr Billy Gordon, a senior officer of Police Scotland

The Case against Malcolm Brinded CBE: 

Dear Mr Gordon

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your continual support especially over the period when the Fiscal Anne Currie was carrying out her investigation into the conduct of Shell and HSE officials (2009 – 2011), Appendix C of the attached refers. If you check your files you will bring to mind that early in 2012, I sent a joint communication copied to you and the Royal Dutch Chairman (RDS) Jorma Ollila and his Legal Counsel Michiel Brandjes. We discussed in some detail the contents of a conversation that took place shortly after Shell had issued a press release (Appendix A) with a complete denial of the claims made both on BBC Scotland TV and the oil and gas industry trade Magazine Upstream. As a result of this communication, and by April 2012 ,Malcolm Brinded was released from the employ of RDS, his release initiated by his employer. For the record, as you are aware I was not allowed to come to Aberdeen to make a statement or to convey the many pages of evidence in what is a complex business. Acting to the instruction of the Fiscal Anne Currie the evidence was passed by Grampian police to her. read more

Shell criticised after Brent Delta worker hurt by flying cylinder

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 07.34.47From a BBC News article published 11 February 2015

Oil firm Shell has been criticised after an offshore worker was seriously injured when a compressed gas cylinder flew through the air and hit him.

The incident happened on the Brent Delta platform in the North Sea on 10 November.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said Shell did not have a safe system of work, and issued the company with a prohibition notice.

Shell said action had been taken to address the issues raised by the HSE.

RELATED BBC NEWS ARTICLE PUBLISHED 14 June 2006

Shell ‘ignored accident warning’

Oil giant Shell has been accused of operating platforms in the North Sea at dangerously high risk levels.

Former senior manager Bill Campbell, who led a safety review, claimed the company ignored his warning in 1999 that an accident was bound to happen. read more

Nazi named ship a bloodstain on the name of Shell

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UPDATE BY JOHN DONOVAN 6 Feb 2015

According to a Dutch magazine article published today, Shell had a long connection with Pieter Schelte Heerema, who, on May 17, 1942, was promoted by Heinrich Himmler no less, to SS- Untersturmführeris. Shell is currently scheduled to be the largest user of the Nazi named ship. Consequently, Shell has the clout to put immense pressure on Edward Heerema to change the name, under the threat of cancelling the contract. Surely Shell has contingency insurance in place to cover any losses, knowing beforehand that it was playing with fire in contracting to use a ship with such a toxic name? Astonishing similarity with the Brent Spar decommissioning affair, which turned into a PR disaster for Shell and seems destined to happen again in this foreseeable “storm of criticism” unless Shell acts decisively. Regular visitors to this website know that I have been warning Shell for ages about associating itself with this Nazi named ship. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the sleazy sinister son, Edward Heerema, is unhinged in relation to this issue. Shell should bear this obvious fact in mind. By naming his pariah ship after his father, Mr Heerema has transformed a relatively obscure Nazi into an internationally infamous Nazi and in the process, drawn a lot of unwelcome attention to himself and his tax affairs.  read more

GET THE WORLD’S BIGGEST SHIP, NAMED AFTER A NAZI SS OFFICER, OUT OF OUR WATERS

An article by Steve Turner published on the EqualTimes.org website 4 Feb 2015 under the headline:

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“We survivors do not want our past to be our children’s future,” said Roman Kent last week.

He spoke at the site of the Auschwitz death camp, seventy years on from the liberation of those imprisoned in this hell.

Roman was one of 300 survivors, reunited to remember the 1.1 million people who perished there at the hands of the Nazis.

As they gathered, the world’s biggest crane-vessel was preparing for the UK.

The Pieter Schelte is named after a SS officer, a war criminal, a man jailed for the enslavement of 4000 men on the eastern front, a man who allegedly spoke of the Aryan supremacy and in the most abhorrent terms about the Jewish people. read more

Allseas Group’s Nazi-honouring vessel ‘must be banned’

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 00.45.39“For Allseas to name its vessel after a convicted Nazi war criminal is utterly shameful…: ”To even countenance honouring a Waffen-SS officer just shows how twisted, arrogant and out-of-touch Allseas management is. The Pieter Schelte should not be permitted to operate until it changes its name.”

Article published by Scoop.co.nz (New Zealand) Wednesday, 4 February 2015, from a Press Release by ITF Press Officer

Allseas Group’s Nazi-honouring vessel ‘must be banned’

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is demanding that Allseas Group SA, the owner of a ship that honours convicted Nazi war criminal Pieter Schelte, immediately change the vessel’s name.

The Pieter Schelte is a Panamanian flag of convenience vessel, contracted by Shell to service its Brent platforms situated on the UK continental shelf. It was named in honour of the Allseas Group’s owner’s father, who was a Nazi Waffen-SS officer.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin said the vessel’s name was a disgrace and it should not be permitted to operate in UK or European waters. read more

UK Unions intent on sinking Shell’s Nazi ship, The Pieter Schelte

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 19.09.50By John Donovan

Scottish TV news is reporting that the UK National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, and its sister unions, are outraged by the fact that Shell has awarded the Brent oilfield decommissioning contract to a ship with a Nazi name, The Pieter Schelte.

The unions intend to take coordinated action to stop the continued use of the scandalous Nazi linked name on the high seas.

Numerous articles have been published today as a result of a PR campaign by Shell in which it ironically claims to have learnt the lessons from the Brent Spar debacle. The STV story is the first to mention the Nazi name controversy. read more

Shell’s titanic task of breaking up massive North Sea oil structures

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 23.14.09Article by Peter Campbell On The Brent Delta Rig In The North Sea published by The Daily Mail/This is Money 2 Feb 2015 under the headline:

CITY FOCUS: Shell’s titanic task of breaking up massive North Sea oil structures as life of rigs comes to an end

Even though we are in British waters, the closest train station is Bergen, in Norway. In fact, the rig that we are standing on is so remote that London is three times further away than the Arctic Circle and the nearest landfall, on the Shetland Islands, is more than one hundred miles to the South West.

But Britain has this remote patch of icy water to thank for much of its prosperity over the last three decades. The Delta oil field, only a few miles from the border that divides British waters from Norwegian, has been one of the most productive ever discovered. read more

Pieter Schelte: Criticism swells of Heerema’s ‘bad name’ heavy lift

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 15.40.22NON-PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATION OF AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY THE DUTCH FINANCIAL TIMES UNDER THE HEADLINE:

Criticism swells of Heerema’s ‘bad name’ heavy lift

Alexander Weissink
Sunday, January 25th, 2015, 11:26
Updated: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 16:56

The Dutch owner of offshore company Allseas in Delft is increasingly criticized for the naming of its newest vessel. Edward Heerema named the largest floating crane in the world after his father Pieter Schelte who was an officer in World War II in the German Waffen SS before he made his name as an offshore pioneer.

The Guardian

The Guardian Saturday citing various Jewish organizations complained about this tribute. The vessel with a size of eight football pitches and a cost of € 2.4 billion was early this month the subject of a ceremony on its arrival in the port of Rotterdam. In the backwater of Maasvlakte Pieter Schelte is being assembled in the coming months. After that lights the vessel obsolete oil platforms in the North Sea from their pedestal and drains. read more

Proof Errant Shell employees can end up in jail 

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 12.36.53By John Donovan

Shell employees can potentially end up financially destitute or in jail for acts of negligence, for lying or falsifying records on behalf of Shell, or when giving misleading evidence on behalf of Shell in a court case.

The news story below – Oil Worker Faces Stiff Penalties After Airport Spill – comes after years of claims from Shell senior management about the top priority it gives to safety issues.

Shell appointed a safety Czar in July 2007. 

In 2008, it was discovered that even the life boats on a Shell North Sea Oil rig were unseaworthy. read more

Rail chaos at Finsbury Park: Trusting ex Shell executives to run a railway network?

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(THE ABOVE SCREENSHOT IS FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE INDEPENDENT PUBLISHED SUNDAY 28 DEC 2014)

Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 13.22.02ARTICLE BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

Could you really trust ex Shell executives to run a railway network?

In the usual manner *TFA Malcolm the Tank Engine arranged for his apprentice Marc Carne to take over as CEO of Network Rail, but like his disciples Bjorn Berget, Chris Finlayson, Gregory P Hill, dear Marc is a follower, not a leader, how otherwise would TFA Brinded have recruited them as his obedient servants in the first place.

Outside the protected arena of Shell, and in the public domain, we sense their true worth. read more

Combustible pioneering behemoths – the Hindenburg and Shell Prelude

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By John Donovan

I am not sure that directly comparing the explosive potential arising from the Hindenburg and the Shell Prelude is strictly appropriate. However, what is beyond doubt is that these pioneering ventures both captured the attention of the worlds media and a loss of containment on the Prelude could potentially create another catastrophic event.

The Shell Prelude, by far and away the biggest vessel the world has ever see, is nearing completion in South Korea. A well placed whistleblower says that Shell management has ignored his warnings over shoddy work in the construction and outfitting that puts safety at risk. read more

Pending Vacancy for Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc?

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 19.17.03APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR A PENDING VACANCY AT ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC FOR THE POSITION OF COMPANY SECRETARY AND GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE. THE VACANCY ARISES FROM THE PENDING RETIREMENT OF THE CURRENT HOLDER, MR MICHIEL BRANDJES (ABOVE).  GENEROUS SALARY, CHAUFFEUR, PRIVATE JET AND BONUS SCHEME FOR THE RIGHT PERSON.

ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Must have flexible integrity, a wiliness to bend rules and regulations, communicate in double Dutch, participate in cover-ups (e.g. the Brent Bravo scandal), mislead financial regulators and shareholders (reserves scandal), ignore emails, even from Shell shareholders; delay issuance of profit warnings; put the best interests of crooked Shell directors first, in the confident knowledge that they are insured against incompetence, negligence and dishonesty, and can still walk away with an $18.5 million payoff (Sir Philip) even if they ruin the company.
  • Be prepared to conspire with colleagues, anticipating potentially embarrassing questions that might be raised at the Shell AGM and devising deliberately evasive and misleading answers.
  • Willing to have tea and biscuits with Messrs Kane and Rooney when they make their annual OSSL blackmail pilgrimage to the Shell AGM,  demanding payment for alcohol used to bribe Irish cops on Shell’s behalf.
  • Vigorously defend Shell’s whitewash of its support for Hitler and the Nazi.
  • Fend off all claims that Shell has stolen Intellectual Property.
  • Be prepared to authorise private undercover spies to infiltrate and destroy/undermine perceived enemies, such as Greenpeace and anyone that sues Shell.

This assessment of ideal requirements is based on the current occupant of the office of Shell Company Secretary and his recent predecessors.

Interested?

This is the link you need to use for all Shell job applications. 

http://www.shell.com/global/aboutshell/careers.html

Note from John Donovan. The timing of this invitation is based on my information that Mr Brandjes is 60 years old in December and will be retiring from Shell. If this is wrong, then he only needs to let me know and it will be removed immediately. I would send him an email to double check but he never bothers to reply even though I am a Shell shareholder. Nonetheless, I hope that he has a long enjoyable retirement whenever that day arrives. read more

SpaceShipTwo Explosion: Shell Prelude another pioneering venture fraught with risk

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 10.07.59The New York Times magazine has published an informative article by Robert Sullivan about Prelude, under the appropriate headline:

“The Biggest Ship in the World (Though It Isn’t Exactly a Ship)”

The dangers associated with innovative  technology, with potentially disastrous consequences, are heightened following the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo rocket ship explosion in the US.

To obtain an overall assessment on risks relating to Prelude, the article by Robert Sullivan is best read in conjunction with a series of articles by experts triggered by a well-placed whistleblower directly involved in the equally pioneering Shell Prelude project. Includes articles by Bill Campbell, the retired distinguished HSE Group Auditor of Shell International and Hans Bouman, another retired Shell guru with a track record of spotting potential pitfalls in major Shell projects. read more

Shell evacuates workers from Brent Alpha and Bravo

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.22.47By John Donovan 

After all the Royal Dutch Shell senior management promises to improve safety on Shell North Sea platforms, serious incidents continue to occur. 

EnergyVoice.com is reporting that Shell workers have today been evacuated from the Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms after a crane dropped a large container into the North Sea. 

Extracts

The container, which was in the process of being winched onto a support vessel when the incident unfolded, initially rested dangerously close to a mass of subsea pipelines which connect into the Far North Liquids & Associated Gas System (Flags) pipeline. read more

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL ‘TOUCH F*** ALL’ APPROACH TO OFFSHORE DRILLING

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

We warned BG Group about Chris Finlayson

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 14.28.09“BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson has been ousted by the oil and gas explorer’s board following a disastrous 16 months in the job….” No one can say that we did not repeatedly warn BG Group about the competence and ethics of Chris Finlayson…

By John Donovan

The news media is reporting that former Royal Dutch Shell executive Chris Finlayson has quit as CEO of BG Group.

Actually, he was unceremoniously fired.

Extract from article published by The Independent: “BG Group chief Chris Finlayson resigns after 16 months at the helm

BG Group chief executive Chris Finlayson has been ousted by the oil and gas explorer’s board following a disastrous 16 months in the job.  He is understood not to have another job to go to… In an unusually blunt statement Gould said: “The board felt that it was in the best interests of the group to accept Chris’ resignation and seek fresh leadership.” Since taking over Finlayson has presided over a succession of profit warnings and a 37% slump in annual profits… read more

Safety at risk under Malcolm Brinded

Entirely the wrong man to entrust with an oversight function in relation to the safety of rail passengers. He was shunted out of Shell under a cloud. If that is a model of the Shell Prelude in the background of the photograph, it is not an encouraging omen.

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Mining giant BHP Billiton has appointed former Royal Dutch Shell executive Malcolm Brinded to its board as a Non-executive Director.  He is also a Non-executive Director of the Network Rail Board in the UK, where he chairs the Safety, Health and Environment Committee. (Information published today)

Ironic bearing in mind the evidence assembled by Bill Campbell, the highly respected former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International confirming that Brinded already has the blood of Shell offshore employees on his hands. The evidence relating to Shell’s notorious “Touch F*** All” safety culture on the Brent Bravo North Sea Platforms while Brinded was in charge, includes tape recorded conversations with senior Shell officials. read more

Shell risked offshore workers lives to dodge Alaskan tax bill

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 07.03.50Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety. Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska. It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill. Personally, I do not believe enough attention has been drawn to the ethical issue of Shell deliberately putting peoples lives at risk in a calculated gamble.

Royal Dutch Shell Safety Last, not First

By John Donovan

Despite all promises to the contrary, Shell is still putting monetary considerations before safety.

Just read some of the recent articles about Shell’s reckless conduct in offshore Alaska.

It put the lives of offshore workers and the environment at risk to avoid a potential multimillion dollar tax bill.

This extract from a US News & World Report article published yesterday is typical of the many comments published elsewhere:

Notably, in September 2012, a Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig ran aground in Alaska as workers attempted to tow it beyond the state’s waters. A Coast Guard report released Friday found that the Anglo-Dutch oil company decided to move the rig – and insisted on doing so through dangerous stormy weather – to avoid paying new Alaskan taxes. The report also detailed myriad safety issues. read more

Shell Prelude FLNG: loss of containment of hydrocarbons almost inevitable

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 13.18.45The revolutionary concept of offshore LNG installations (FLNG) is said to have economic and environmental advantages. A distinct disadvantage however is that the risks to health and safety of persons employed offshore on the LNG FPSO’s, such as Prelude, will be higher, when compared to onshore LNG plants of similar capacity, specifically the potential for loss of life; …loss of containment of hydrocarbons is likely to occur on Prelude during its operational life, either through flaws in the design, human error or failure to inspect and maintain. It’s almost inevitable.  It’s only to be hoped that the consequences of these losses never reach their full potential. 

By Bill Campbell, Retired HSE Group Auditor, Shell International

Prelude FLNG turns conventional wisdom on its head

The revolutionary concept of offshore LNG installations (FLNG) is said to have economic and environmental advantages.  A distinct disadvantage however is that the risks to health and safety of persons employed offshore on the LNG FPSO’s, such as  Prelude, will be higher, when compared to onshore LNG plants of similar capacity, specifically the potential for loss of life. 

This article concentrates on the perfect contradiction that exists between managing risks on an onshore LNG plant when compared with floating LNG. Whereas onshore plants, handling hazardous substances reduce risk by physical separation, such separation, although attempted on Prelude would not be accepted onshore because the separation distances are inadequate.  Prelude will store high quantities of cryogenic hydrocarbon liquids on the installation.  The heat energy of the liquids is enormous.  This contradicts the £6 billion or so expenditure in the North Sea, post Piper Alpha, to do as much as reasonably practicable, to reduce the heat energy available so that escalation of hydrocarbon events are limited such that the Temporary refuge (TR), normally the Living quarters, and including escape routes to the TR and evacuation from it, will not be impaired within one hour to allow safe evacuation of the facility.  The frequency of TR impairment should be demonstrated to be no more than once in 1000 yrs.  It’s a high standard to achieve.  read more

Royal Dutch Shell Prelude Safety Debate

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29OFFSHORE EXPERT: “Having read this Prelude document a few times to take it all in, it seems to me that the main issue is how do you design for a 10,000 year event?” COMMENT: “I am not an expert and would only say that so-called 10,000 year weather events seem to be occurring annually at the moment. If Noah was still around, and residing in Southern England, he might well be looking for his carpentry tools.”

COMMENT FROM A RETIRED SHELL OFFSHORE MANAGER

John,

Regarding recent discussions on this website about Shell Prelude FLNG project, information available via this link provides useful input.

The 28 page section of a 75 page Shell document gives a description of the development and goes into great detail, providing answers to most of the issues raised by a fellow Shell Retiree.

Having read this Prelude document a few times to take it all in, it seems to me that the main issue is how do you design for a 10,000 year event?

The many issues raised with respect to cyclonic activity, waves, wind and the ability to weather vane are answered.  There are two thrusters located near the stern with a total power of 6 megawatts or 8,000 HP.  More than ample to ensure the heading of the facility is optimum at all times. Other issues with respect to Green house gas emissions during operations and other environmental are dealt with in detail. read more

Health & Safety Executive feared ‘catastrophe’ on Shell North Sea Platform

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 07.03.50Extract from an article published today: The incident was stood down later that morning, but inspectors have accused Shell of failing to have systems in place that would see equipment which is exposed to the elements checked regularly for rust. The notice – which was made public yesterday – stated: “You (Shell) failed to have effective arrangements to ensure work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is inspected at suitable intervals, and an adequate record of that inspection kept, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.”

By 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. 

His report was passed to 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

Chris Finlayson’s dreadful first year as chief executive at BG

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 13.42.40LONDON EVENING STANDARD TODAY:

Chris Finlayson’s dreadful first year as chief executive at BG Group was today capped by the news that profits slumped 37% to $4.16 billion (£2.54 billion) in 2013. The former Royal Dutch Shell executive said he shared shareholders’ “disappointment” at the oil producer’s many problems, which have included four profit warnings in little more than 12 months. Garry White, chief investment commentator at broker Charles Stanley, said: “I reckon it’s time for BG Group to be broken up.”

By John Donovan

WE REPEATEDLY WARNED BG SHAREHOLDERS AND EMPLOYEES ABOUT CHRIS FINLAYSON…

HE IS NOT THE ONLY COMMON DENOMINATOR BETWEEN ROYAL DUTCH SHELL AND BG GROUP.

BOTH COMPANIES HAVE JUST ISSUED PROFIT WARNINGS

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THE DEVASTATING ARTICLE PUBLISHED TODAY BY THE LONDON EVENING STANDARD IS SELF-EXPLANATORY

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Gloom continues for new BG boss amid profits slide

4 February 2014

Chris Finlayson’s dreadful first year as chief executive at BG Group was today capped by the news that profits slumped 37% to $4.16 billion (£2.54 billion) in 2013.

The former Royal Dutch Shell executive said he shared shareholders’ “disappointment” at the oil producer’s many problems, which have included four profit warnings in little more than 12 months. read more

Rolf Wilborg, Bill Campbell and the battle for offshore safety

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 17.44.20There is a striking similarity between Rolf’s case and the whistleblower activities of Bill Campbell, the retired Health & Safety Group Auditor of Shell International who warned Shell about evidence of false and misleading information in Shell Brent Bravo maintenance records, prior to the tragic, but avoidable explosion in which offshore workers were killed. Safety records had been routinely falsified and Shell had operated a notorious “Touch Fuck All” maintenance policy that put production (and profits) before safety.

By John Donovan

The plight of Rolf Wilborg Ex  Norwegian Petroleum Directorate regulator for the Norwegian sector offshore has been brought my attention.

There is a striking similarity between Rolf’s case and the whistleblower activities of Bill Campbell, the retired Health & Safety Group Auditor of Shell International who warned Shell about evidence of false and misleading information in Shell Brent Bravo maintenance records, prior to the tragic, but avoidable explosion in which offshore workers were killed. Safety records had been routinely falsified and Shell had operated a notorious “Touch Fuck All” maintenance policy that put production (and profits) before safety.  read more

Chris Finlayson saw himself as the victim of a brutal Shell regime

In summary, and there was evidence in 1999 to support this to a degree, Finlayson (right) saw himself as a victim of a brutal regime run out of Seafield House where the TFA mode was born and his MD Malcolm Brinded who was frantically doing everything in his power to suppress all this because he was seen by the Audit to be the principal architect of the demise in standards throughout the oilfield.  Finlayson in my book was weak, and ineffective, promoted in my opinion into a position he wasn’t competent or willing to handle.

EMAIL SENT 21 OCT 2013 TO A THIRD PARTY BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

Subject: Chris Finlayson

My dealings with Chris were a long time ago during an Audit in 1999.  This Audit uncovered remarkably bad behaviour in the then Shell Expro organisation stemming from the business drivers and messages coming from the top of the organisation.  I spent some hours in the presence of Aberdeen auditors trying to get Finlayson to retract his statements made to journalists and the BBC North reporter Colin Wight that the Touch F All concerns raised by workforce representatives were unwarranted whilst in fact the situation was worse, much worse than anyone outside the organisation could have envisaged.  Last December on his appointment as the BG Chief the Independent newspaper (Mark Leftly) run a article on Finlayson titled if I can remember BG Chief breached safety rules when he was at Shell.  Subsequently I wrote a couple of articles putting the meat on the bones of this which John Donovan published.  BG given the right to reply made no comment and to date have not requested the evidence to support although this was offered to them.
 
In summary, and there was evidence in 1999 to support this to a degree, Finlayson saw himself as a victim of a brutal regime run out of Seafield House where the TFA mode was born and his MD Malcolm Brinded who was frantically doing everything in his power to suppress all this because he was seen by the Audit to be the principal architect of the demise in standards throughout the oilfield.  Finlayson in my book was weak, and ineffective, promoted in my opinion into a position he wasn’t competent or willing to handle.
 
Finlayson however was the accountable person as Oil Director that position in the installation Safety Cases having prime responsibility for the health and safety of some 3000 staff offshore (taking into account both shifts so in terms of the potential loss of life this figure has to be taken for quantitative assessment of risk).  After the MD brought the Audit to a premature halt Brent Bravo in particular continued to operate at intolerable risk levels.  The Audit actions reluctantly accepted by Finlayson but not implemented leading inevitably to the deaths in 2003.
 
All that I can say in summary is that in allowing Brent Bravo in particular to continue in operation Finlayson demonstrated a callous disregard for his duty of care for the health and safety of employees, direct and indirect, offshore.
 
Shell appears to accept this given that raised no objections to the articles published recently to commemorate the deaths, the evidence supporting these articles can be provide to you if you think this would be helpful to your cause.
 
I wish you luck and if I can help with any specific questions you may have please feel free to ask.
 
Regards
 
Bill read more

Evidence of false and misleading information in Shell Brent Bravo maintenance records

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 17.31.45WHISTLEBLOWER INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO CHIEF SUPT. BILLY GORDON OF THE SCOTTISH POLICE BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL. INCLUDES SHELL INTERNAL DOCUMENTATION MARKED “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL”.

EXTRACT FROM ONE STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL SHELL INTERNAL DOCUMENT – circulated to Chris Finlayson and Tom Botts

There was evidence of false and misleading information in maintenance records for safety critical equipment, for example the Brent Bravo ESDV which failed its leak-off test in April 1998 was recorded as ‘NO FAULT FOUND’.

EMAIL FROM BILL CAMPBELL TO SUPT. BILLLY GORDON, SENT 27 SEPT 2013. COPIED TO MICHIEL BRANDJES, COMPANY SECRETARY & GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC

From: [email protected]
Subject: Bundle C and D
Date: 27 September 2013 11:29:54 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]

This covers Emergency Shutdown Valves (ESDV), fire and gas detection systems designed to operate on ESDV in an emergency and unapproved temporary repairs.  This data is not disputed by Shell as being their data. This data supports the articles sent to you a few days ago.
 
Bundle C and D
 
Bill Campbell read more

INFORMATION SUPPLIED TO SHELL AND THE SCOTTISH POLICE

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 15.59.45ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC (COMPANY SEC MICHIEL BRANDJES) AND THE SCOTTISH POLICE (CHIEF SUPT. BILLY GORDON) HAVE HAD ADVANCE SIGHT OF THIS EMAIL AND ATTACHED INFORMATION FROM BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

From: Cambell
Subject: Articles
Date: 25 September 2013 12:33:02 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected], [email protected]

John
 
I want to keep up the pressure on Shell by the publication of these two additional articles that cover the hardware faults taken from Shell’s own data.
 
The Chairman wrote to me some time ago saying he agreed with the 2006 press releases, I understand his defence now is that he was misled at the time by Malcolm Brinded and his legal counsel Keith Ruddock.
 
I want to use the fact that the Chairman has not raised, and will not raise, any legal objection to these articles in this correspondence copied to the police, and the previous article re behaviours, in future correspondence with the HSE and the judiciary.
 
I will pass to all the bundles of evidence supporting these articles in due course
 
Bill read more

SHELL HAS HAD ADVANCE SIGHT OF THIS STATEMENT

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 15.42.20THIS STATEMENT BY MR BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR OF SHELL INTERNATIONAL, WAS SUPPLIED TO ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC COMPANY SECRETARY AND GENERAL COUNSEL CORPORATE, MR MICHIEL BRANDJES IN ADVANCE OF ITS PUBLICATION TODAY. THUS SHELL HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK AN INJUNCTION TO PREVENT PUBLICATION

By Bill Campbell, statement embargoed for publication on 11 September 2013

Death by Sandblasting – how production concerns, versus safety of employees, caused offshore deaths

 

The Shell Chairman and his Legal Counsel accepts that the evidence held by police that offshore staff were afraid to raise permits and had been conditioned by onshore managers to ignore safety procedures over a prolonged period is authentic

 

This story is about behaviour, bad behaviour.  It is about how offshore workers were bullied, coerced, harassed by onshore management to keep oil and gas production going at all costs and over a prolonged period of time.  It’s about how operators will do what is expected of them if they are put under unreasonable pressure.  It’s about how under these conditions deviation, or bending of rules, leads to breaking rules, and eventually to ignoring rules altogether.  Ignoring rules, despite the consequences, becomes just the normal way of doing things in the Brent oilfield. read more

Brent Bravo Deaths: Information supplied today to Shell and the Police

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 17.59.46The first article is attached which I would ask John Donovan if he could kindly print this on his website on 11th September.  In separate correspondence I will pass you the Shell evidence from 1999/2003 which is then cross compared with the prosecution findings and the public inquiry.  In all, 4 or 5 articles will be published which will support the case that Director’s of Shell were culpable in relation to the deaths, and that HSE officials were, by the examination of their own evidence, involved with Misconduct in Public Office. Perhaps the most damaging will be… Shell accepts retention of mentally unstable Manager contributed to offshore deaths…

RECEIVED TODAY FROM MR BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL. MR CAMPBELL HAS ALSO SENT THE SAME INFORMATION TO ROYAL DUTCH SHELL AND GRAMPIAN POLICE. MR CAMPBELL IS A NORTH SEA EP PLATFORM SAFETY EXPERT, OFTEN CITED IN THE PRESS AND ON TV

By Bill Campbell

We approach the 10 year anniversary of the deaths of Sean McCue and Keith Moncrieff on Brent Bravo on 11 September 2003.  Evidence led at the public Inquiry insinuated they were in part responsible for their own deaths since they carried out work without a permit. During the recent anniversary of Piper Alpha I was approached by a number of journalists to make comment in general re the effectiveness of the safety case regime and I plan to publish a number of articles and provide them with the evidence that they were misled in 2006, a number of journalists lost their jobs, or left their current employer, for daring to go up against the mighty Shell, so I can assure you there is no love lost.  After the investigation by the Procurator Fiscal – read more

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