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Malabu Oil Deal: Investigators Reveal Roles Played By Obasanjo, Russian Pres. Putin, Gusau, Etete, And Ex House Of Rep Member, Bature

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK OCT 15, 2017

The Malabu oil scandal, which began in 1998 under the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha, had the quartet of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau a former National Security Adviser; Mr. Dan Etete, former Petroleum Resources Minister; Russian President Putin and House of Representatives member, Umar Bature as lead actors at various stages.

The transaction, which birthed the scandal, began when the Abacha regime decided to encourage indigenous participation in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. The regime allocated oil blocks to Nigerian companies at a reduced cost of $20 million per block. read more

Zambian villagers win right to sue Vedanta in English courts

Separately, Leigh Day is representing residents from the Niger Delta in a case against Royal Dutch Shell and has appealed against a High Court ruling earlier this year that the company could not be sued in London over oil spills in Nigeria. That case will be next heard in November.

Barbara Lewis: OCTOBER 13, 2017 / 2:33 PM

London’s Court of Appeal on Friday threw out miner Vedanta’s attempt to block the Zambians’ legal action over alleged pollution of their villages.

Vedanta said in a statement it would seek the right to appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest in the English legal system, adding the decision was on jurisdiction only and “was not a ruling or a determination on the merits of the claims”.

Three senior High Court judges dismissed an appeal by Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)against a ruling in May last year when a High Court judge decided the claim could proceed in the English courts on behalf of 1,826 Zambian villagers. read more

Group drags Shell to London court over 2011 Nigeria Bonga oil spill

A Non-Governmental Organisation has filed a suit in a London court against Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company, SNEPCO, over a 2011 oil spill in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The NGO, the Oil Spills Victims Vanguard, filed the case on September 21 at the TTC High Court of Justice, London, on behalf of the victims of the Bonga oil spill.

The spill, said to have been caused by an operational error on the part of SNEPCO, had about 40,000 barrels of crude oil discharged into the Atlantic Ocean, and affected at least 350 communities in Delta and Bayelsa states. read more

Oil Majors Face Lawsuits on Climate Change Issues

October 06, 2017, 04:44:00 PM EDT By Zacks Equity Research

Two major Californian cities – San Francisco and Oakland – have filed lawsuits against five oil and energy super majors in late September. The cities have taken legal action against Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell plc, ExxonMobil Corp. and BP p.l.c.

The companies have been accused of causing an adverse impact on the climate, resulting in global warming. The plaintiffs hold these fossil fuel companies accountable for rising sea levels, changing landscapes, higher global temperatures and increased risk of storms and droughts. read more

Citizens must “flood the courts” in fight for climate justice: economist

Deep-pocketed oil companies – from Exxon Mobil to Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell – should bear the bulk of the legal blame and responsibility, but legal tools could also be used to seek remedy from governments.. In September, cities including San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies using the “public nuisance” doctrine, seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels.

Adela Suliman: OCTOBER 4, 2017

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world faces a ticking time bomb in the form of global warming, and recent disasters caused by extreme weather should motivate individuals to urgently seek “climate justice”, said leading U.S. economist Jeffrey Sachs.

The U.N. special adviser urged citizens to “flood the courts” with legal cases demanding the right to a safe and clean environment, and to pursue major polluters such as big oil companies and negligent governments for liability and damages. read more

Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy Doomed It To Dirty Electricity — And Now Darkness

A class-action lawsuit filed in 2015 accused PREPA of more than $1 billion in fraud, claiming it had taken kickbacks from oil suppliers including Brazil’s Petrobras and Royal Dutch Shell.

By Alexander C. Kaufman: 28 Sept 2017

Puerto Rico plunged into darkness last week after the second major hurricane in a month crippled its aging, debt-laden electric utility. The island is projected to be without power for six months or more, as people swelter and lifesaving medical equipment saps generators in what House Speaker Paul Ryan declared “a humanitarian crisis” on Tuesday.

But it’s not just old, storm-vulnerable transmission lines that need to be replaced.

Forty-seven percent of the power the troubled Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority generates is from burning oil ― one of the most polluting and least efficient sources of electricity. An additional 51 percent of Puerto Rico’s energy blend comes from a mix of coal and natural gas. Just 2 percent was drawn from renewable sources last year. read more

California cities sue big oil firms over climate change

Gary McWilliams: SEPTEMBER 21, 2017 / 2:34 AM

(Reuters) – California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents.

The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron Corp, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. read more

San Francisco sues Big Oil for billions over climate change claiming they knew the dangers for decades

‘Instead of owning up to it, they copied a page from the Big Tobacco playbook,’ says San Francisco’s city attorney

The Golden Gate Bridge across San Francisco Bay

The US cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing five of the world’s largest oil companies for the coasts of walls and other defences against rising sea levels, saying the industry made vast profits from fossil fuels while knowing they were causing “an existential threat to humankind”.

Drawing a direct comparison to the tobacco industry’s sale of cigarettes despite knowledge of the health risks, the city attorneys announced they had filed separate lawsuits against BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips. read more

SF, Oakland sue top five oil and gas companies over climate change

San Francisco and Oakland on Wednesday announced lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies. (Courtesy photo)

The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market”

By on September 20, 2017 10:59 am

The cities of San Francisco and Oakland have filed separate lawsuits against five major oil and gas companies for allegedly contributing to the costs of climate change and sea level rise by producing massive amounts of fossil fuels, city leaders announced Wednesday.

The lawsuits against Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell claim the companies have known for decades that global warming and sea level rise were accelerated by the investor-owned producers of fossil fuels, but the companies still continued to “aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market,” according to a news release from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. read more

Eni/OPL 245 growing global bribery probe

Jaclyn Jaeger | Extracts from article published Sept 19, 2017

Italian oil giant Eni in a public filing this month revealed further details about what corruption allegations and investigations its facing around the world.

Corruption allegations against Eni now include Nigeria, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Algeria, and Congo. The number of enforcement authorities, employees, and subsidiaries involved in these allegations has also grown.

Block OPL 245 — Nigeria. Eni first mentioned allegations of international corruption in a Form 6-K (Report of Foreign Issuer) in 2014. In that report, the company said that it had been served with a notice of investigation in July 2014 by the Italian Public Prosecutor in Milan “relating to potential liability on the part of Eni arising from alleged international corruption.” read more

Oil waste eating away plumbing in contaminated Carousel tract neighborhood, study says

This issue with sewer pipes is the latest development in a decade-long saga for Carousel tract residents. Developers of the 285-home community, which borders Wilmington, secretly buried remains of a former Shell Oil tank farm a few feet beneath the homes in the 1960s. The burial was kept secret until routine testing discovered soil pollution in 2008.

Years of state-led environmental investigations into massive oil contamination at Carson’s Carousel tract neighborhood missed a key problem for residents living amid the mess: the sewer pipes under some homes are literally corroded into dust.

Beyond the high cost of replacing sewer lines, the oil-degraded pipelines could present yet another major health concern for residents across the 50-acre community, a new city-commissioned study has found. read more

Kiobel v Shell lawyers hearing 12 Sept 2017

Andrew Denney, New York Law Journal: September 12, 2017

Forcing Cravath, Swaine & Moore to hand over documents related to litigation against Royal Dutch Shell to a plaintiff seeking redress in Dutch courts would give rise to “discovery litigation tourism,” an attorney for the firm said Tuesday in arguments before a federal appeals court.

Esther Kiobel, who was unsuccessful in her effort to hold Shell liable in American courts for the 1995 execution death of her husband and eight others under the Alien Tort Statute, has taken her fight to the courts in the Netherlands. read more

Lawsuit: Shell Knew Climate Risks in Providence and Ignored Them

A lawsuit alleges Shell Oil is failing to protect the Providence, R.I., waterfront from climate impacts. Photo credit: Jef Nickerson via Flickr

By Karen Savage: September 12, 2017

The oil giant Shell has known for decades about the dangers of not protecting its facilities—and in turn its neighbors and the environment—from the growing risks associated with climate change, alleges a lawsuit filed by the Conservative Law Foundation, a Boston-based environmental law and advocacy group that operates across New England. read more

Shell and Dow Hid Cancer-Causing ‘Garbage’ in Pesticide, Contaminating Drinking Water for Millions in California

Contact: Monica Amarelo (202) 939-9140: [email protected] FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TUESDAY, APRIL 11, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO – For decades, Shell and Dow hid a highly potent cancer-causing chemical in two widely used pesticides, contaminating drinking water for millions of people in California and beyond, according to lawsuits detailed in a new report from EWG.

The chemical 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, was formerly an unwanted and ineffective byproduct in Dow’s Telone and Shell’s D-D pesticides. Internal documents uncovered in lawsuits filed by communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley show that the companies saved millions of dollars a year by not properly disposing of TCP, a chemical a Dow scientist once called  “garbage,” as hazardous waste. read more

IN-HOUSE LAWYERS Shell rejigs in-house team and names new UK head of legal

Alex Berry: @AlexOnLegalWeek: 04 September 2017

Shell has overhauled its UK legal team, appointing Sarah Morton as its new UK head of legal, replacing Michael Coates in the role.

Morton, who is also now associate GC for Shell’s downstream northwest Europe business, takes up her new role after nearly six years as Shell’s managing counsel for global litigation for Europe, Middle East & North Africa. In this role she built and managed a team of lawyers, recruiting from both inside and outside of Shell. read more

Shell Withholds 100,000 Documents Critical To Ogoni Nine Case

The oil giant, Shell, is refusing to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents on the arrest, detention, and execution of nine Ogoni men in the 1990s, Amnesty International has said.

BY PUNCH NEWSPAPERSEP 08, 2017

The oil giant, Shell, is refusing to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents on the arrest, detention, and execution of nine Ogoni men in the 1990s, Amnesty International has said.

The execution of the “Ogoni Nine”,  including the renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the government in 1995 sparked global outrage.

Others executed along with Saro-Wiwa were Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine. read more

Ogoni Nine: Shell’s lawyers refusing to hand over “critical” evidence – Amnesty International

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The civil suit filed against Shell in the Netherlands for its alleged complicity in the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists by the Nigerian government has taken an interesting turn, as lawyers to the oil giant are being accused of refusing to hand over evidence said to be critical to the case.

The nine men, popularly referred to as ‘Ogoni Nine’ were executed in 1995 by Nigeria’s military regime under controversial circumstances. read more

USA: Shell’s law firm refuses to hand over evidence critical for Ogoni Nine case

8 September 2017, 10:55 UTC

Shell’s US law firm is refusing to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents crucial to a legal case in the Netherlands which is alleging the oil giant’s complicity in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men in Nigeria in the 1990s, Amnesty International said ahead of a US Court of Appeals hearing next week.

The execution of the “Ogoni Nine”, including the renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, by the Nigerian state in 1995 sparked global outrage. It was the culmination of a brutal campaign by Nigeria’s military government to silence protests in the oil-producing Niger Delta region. read more

‘Ogoni cleanup has been politicised due to diverse interests’

Activists in Port Harcourt, Nigeria protest to demand that Shell pay reparations and clean up its oil spills. Photo: © Amnesty International.

By Edu Abade: 04 September 2017

The Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo (right), in this interview with Edu Abade says the cleanup process of Ogoniland announced at the commencement of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration with funfair has been politicised due to diverse interests. He argues that Shell’s membership of the governing council can only be likened to a judge sitting on his own case. He also expressed concerns over the desecration of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has culminated in the partial passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) recently by the Senate. An environmental activist for more than three decades, Ojo insists that oil as an exhaustible resource, will become obsolete on 20-30 years and advises Nigeria to explore alternative sources of energy. read more

Oil giant Shell fined over North Sea diesel leak

NEWS FROM JULY 2, 2015 RELEVANT TO RECENT EVENTS

Oil giant Shell was today fined over £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 one million pounds 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. read more

Lawsuit accuses Shell of discharging pollutants in Providence River

By Alex Kuffner: Journal Staff Writer: Posted Aug 30, 2017 

PROVIDENCE — One of the region’s leading environmental groups has filed a lawsuit in federal court that accuses fossil fuel giant Shell of violating the federal Clean Water Act by discharging toxic pollutants into the Providence River from its storage terminal on the Fields Point waterfront.

The Conservation Law Foundation also alleges that the multinational corporation headquartered in the Netherlands — the second-largest oil and gas company in the world — has failed to take adequate steps to protect the facility from rising waters caused by climate change and a projected increase in the frequency of coastal storms and rain events. read more

CLF Sues Shell After DEM and EPA Ignore Company’s Violations of Clean Water Act

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff: August 29, 2017

PROVIDENCE — The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is again taking on a fossil-fuel titan. This time, the environmental legal firm is suing Royal Dutch Shell and its many subsidiaries for violating the Clean Water Act at its oil storage and fuel terminal on Allens Avenue.

CLF says it was forced to take Shell to court after the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were notified of Clean Water Act violations but failed to take action.

In addition to polluting the Providence River, the terminal is also accused of failing to plan for sea-level rise and other climate-change impacts. According to state flood maps, the terminal would be flooded by any category of hurricane.

“We can’t wait around for the next natural disaster to inundate our communities. Shell’s facility sits on the banks of the Providence River, poised to spew toxic chemicals into our waters and our neighborhoods with no adequate safeguards in place,” CLF president Bradley Campbell said. read more

Scandal-tarred Malcolm Brinded becomes President of Energy Institute

Exclusive: New Energy Institute president ‘fears for North Sea’ if innovation falls by wayside

The Energy Institute’s new president has said he fears for North Sea’s future if industry and government fail to stimulate innovation.

Malcolm Brinded, a former executive director of Shell, also urged the UK Government to provide the greater certainty around energy policy.

In his first interview since becoming Energy Institute (EI) president in July, Mr Brinded warned failure to do so could mean missing out on ambitious oil production targets.

Industry and government are targeting the extraction of another 20billion barrels of oil over the remaining lifetime of the North Sea.

The MER (maximising economic recovery) UK strategy was launched in March 2016 to assist with the task. read more

BHP Billiton unveils board shake-up as two directors depart

Shell, where Mr Brinded was a director for 10 years until 2012, is facing an investigation over alleged corrupt payments to acquire an oilfield off the shore of Nigeria in 2011.

23 AUGUST 2017 • 11:07AM

The world’s largest mining company is to shake up its board after two directors announced they would be stepping down – one after just six months.

The FTSE 100 group also announced that former Shell executive Malcolm Brinded would be stepping down after three years on the board as a non-executive.

Mr Brinded would not be seeking re-election “given his involvement in ongoing legal proceedings in Italy relating to his prior employment with Shell”, Mr Nasser said. read more

BHP Billiton replaces directors Brinded and King

BHP Billiton replaces directors Brinded and King

The firm says that, “given his involvement in ongoing legal proceedings in Italy relating to his prior employment with Shell”, Malcolm Brinded has decided not to stand for re-election as a non-exec.

Live ReportingBy Bill Wilson 23 August 2017 7.29

A shake-up at the board of mining company BHP Billiton has been announced this morning.

Firstly, the highly experienced Terry Bowen and John Mogford have been appointed to the BHP Board as independent non-executive directors.

But it is the departures that are more interesting.

The firm says that, “given his involvement in ongoing legal proceedings in Italy relating to his prior employment with Shell”, Malcolm Brinded has decided not to stand for re-election as a non-exec.

And “owing to concerns expressed by some investors”, fellow non-exec Grant King has decided that he will not stand for election at the 2017 annual general meeting. read more

Trump Rolls Back Anti-Corruption Efforts in the Oil Industry

In Nigeria, one anti-corruption campaigner fears that if the era of U.S.-led transparency initiatives is over, the relapse will be stark. In April, Global Witness published e-mails documenting the case of a payment of more than a billion dollars that Royal Dutch Shell and the Italian oil company Eni made to Nigeria through unusual channels. According to Global Witness, Shell “knew it was party to a vast bribery scheme,” and international investigations are under way.

By : 11 August 2017

The rule, which was mandated by a law co-sponsored by former Republican Senator Richard Lugar, of Indiana, and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, of Maryland, was designed to combat bribery and corruption, especially in poor countries governed by kleptocrats. Thirty other countries, including Canada and the members of the European Union, had already adopted similar requirements. Yet the American Petroleum Institute and companies such as ExxonMobil, at the time when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was still its C.E.O., had lobbied against the rule. They said that it was costly to implement and gave unfair advantage to overseas competitors to which it did not apply. When Trump took power, the lobbyists got their way. read more

The Abrupt Demise Of Dutch Gas

The phenomenon is no novelty, with 80 000 damage claims totaling €1.2 billion having been filed with the government and NAM, the operator of the Groningen field, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

By Viktor Katona – Jul 20, 2017, 3:00 PM CDT

The largest and oldest-producing gas field in Western Europe, the Groningen field, is on the verge of being shut down.

If that happens, it will entail the tumbling of Netherlands’ indigenous gas production, making it a net gas importer. This is a bitter pill to swallow for producers in the Netherlands, EU’s leading gas producer up to now, given that the Dutch led the world in the 1970s in natural gas exports volumes (the ramp-up in exports was so massive that the Dutch government implemented export caps to put some freeze on it). For Dutch locals, however, this might represent a long-awaited victory and a sign that governments can pay heed to their concerns, if sufficient pressure is applied. It remains to be seen whether an abrupt end to gas production in the Netherlands is in anybody’s interest. read more

This could be the next big strategy for suing over climate change

July 20 at 1:13 PM

Two California coastal counties and one beach-side city touched off a possible new legal front in the climate change battle this week, suing dozens of major oil, coal, and other fossil fuel companies for the damages they say they will incur due to rising seas.

The three cases, which target firms such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, assert that the fossil fuel producers are collectively responsible for about 20 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions between 1965 and 2015. They claim that industry “knew or should have known” decades ago about the threat of climate change, and want companies to pay the costs of communities forced to adapt to rising seas. read more

Shell Oil sued over claim of sexual harassment, discrimination in the East Bay

NEWTON worked at SHELL as a refinery process operator.  During her tenure, she was discriminated against and harassed by supervisors and co-workers because of her gender. She was taunted with comments like, “If your pussy hurts, just stay home.” (Extract from complaint – link below)

By | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group: PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

MARTINEZ — A former employee at Shell Oil’s refinery in Martinez is suing the massive oil company for “sex-based harassment, sex discrimination, (and) failure to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination and harassment,” according to a copy of the lawsuit given to this news organization and originally filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. read more

Shell among firms fined over Indian oilfield dispute, report says

Written by

The dispute over the Panna Mukta oil field when in favour of the Indian Government, the Economic Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Reliance Industries and Shell have appealed the decision in a UK court, the report said.

The arbitration panel sided with the government in ruling that profit from the fields should be calculated after deducting the prevailing tax of 33%, and not the 50% rate that existed earlier.

The decision will significantly increase the government’s share of profit petroleum. read more

Lawsuits rise against Big Oil

While Washington dithers, the courthouse could become the next battleground against climate change. San Mateo and Marin counties, along with San Diego County’s Imperial Beach, filed lawsuits Monday against 37 oil, gas and coal companies, accusing them of ramping up extraction of fossil fuels for decades even though they knew the resulting carbon pollution would have devastating effects on the planet.

To anyone who followed the long legal fight against Big Tobacco, the arguments have a familiar ring. The plaintiffs claim the defendants: read more

Shell, RIL, ONGC fined $3 billion in PMT oil field dispute: report

Mumbai: The government has ordered Reliance Industries (RIL), Royal Dutch Shell and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) to pay $3 billion in penalty following an arbitration award in the Panna Mukta Tapti (PMT) oil field dispute that went in favour of the government, Economic Times reported.

“The arbitration panel had upheld the government view that the profit from the fields should be calculated after deducting the prevailing tax of 33%, and not the 50% rate that existed earlier. This will significantly increase the government’s share of profit petroleum. The tribunal also upheld the government’s position that marketing margin should be included in the price of gas, which would also increase its share of profit petroleum as well as a royalty payment,” the ET report said. read more

Oil companies facing legal action after breakdowns, flaring and pollution

Rob Edwards: 16th July 2017

THE multinational oil companies that run the Mossmorran petrochemical complex in Fife are facing a legal crackdown for breaching pollution limits and endangering health after nine days of “unplanned” gas flares.

ExxonMobil and Shell are also being beset by demands for an independent inquiry into their ageing plants, which suffered a series of breakdowns last month. The worst incident resulted in a large pall of thick black smoke over Fife on June 18.

Both companies have been accused of “showing contempt for the community” by failing to turn up for a packed public meeting in Lochgelly Town Hall on July 5. Angry residents also attacked public agencies for failing to do enough to protect them from pollution, noise and vibrations. read more

Appeals court says third-party companies are liable for compensation in offshore Shell drilling unit collision

Appeals court says third-party companies are liable for compensation in offshore Shell drilling unit collision

by Todd Barnett | Jul. 15, 2017, 8:00am

NEW ORLEANS — A federal appeals court recently ruled that two third-party companies involved in conducting an archaeological sonar survey near an offshore drilling unit in the Gulf of Mexico are not responsible for compensating the two companies found liable for the accident.

On June 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that Integrity Fishers Inc. and Sea Eagle Fisheries Inc. are not responsible for compensating Tesla Offshore LLC and International Marine LLC, the parties found at fault in a collision that damaged a submerged mooring line attached to Shell Offshore’s Nautilus offshore drilling unit. read more

How Europe’s Monster Gas Field Turned Into a Monster Headache

By Kelly Gilblom and Fred Pals: 13 July 2017

Judge to consider demands to close Europe’s largest gas field

Groningen has contributed almost 300 billion euros to budget

What was once a blessing is now an expensive curse

Officials are also considering criminal charges against NAM executives

Ebe Treffers’s dog was antsy for hours before the boom sounded and the house began to shake, scattering dishes across the kitchen floor.

Like other residents of the Groningen region near The Netherlands’ North Sea coast, the retired art teacher was used to the subtle tremors caused by decades of extraction at Europe’s largest gas field. But nobody was prepared for the magnitude 3.6 earthquake that struck after dark on Aug. 16, 2012, assured by both state and project officials that there was nothing to fear. read more

Corrib gas timeline: 20 years of protests and controversy

12 July 2017

Energy company Shell has sold its 45 per cent stake in the Corrib gas field to a unit of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a deal worth $947 million (€830 million).

Below is a timeline of the controversial gas field’s past.

1996 – Corrib gas field discovery declared by Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd, which submitted plans to pump it ashore and build an onshore refinery in north Mayo.

2001 – Government petroleum lease granted for Corrib field

April 2002 – Corrib acquired by Shell, which became lead developer with Norwegian company Statoil and Marathon. read more

Critics argue for Groningen shutdown at Dutch court hearing

Jul. 13, 2017 2:59 PM ET|By: , SA News Editor

Angry Dutch residents living near the huge Groningen gas field told a hearing today at the Netherlands’ highest court that production should be totally stopped, accusing oil companies of causing minor earthquakes and the government of lying.

The Council of State is holding two days of hearings to consider appeals against a government plan to cut production at the field by an additional 10% starting Oct. 1.

Gas production company NAM, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), has accepted responsibility for damage caused by the quakes, for which it is paying more than €1B. read more

Shell pays compensation to victims of Pakistani oil fire

ISLAMABAD — A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that it made full payment in damages and compensation to the victims of an oil tanker fire in Pakistan that killed 215 people last month, hours after Pakistan’s oil and gas regulator threatened legal action.

The tragedy took place after a fuel tanker crashed and started leaking on the side of a highway and hundreds of people from a nearby village rushed to the scene to collect the spilled fuel. They were engulfed in flames when the spill ignited. read more

Shell offers to compensate victims of Pakistan oil fire

A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it will pay compensation to the victims of an oil tanker fire in Pakistan last month that killed 215 people, after Pakistan’s oil and gas regulator threatened legal action.

After the fuel tanker crashed and started leaking on the side of a highway, hundreds of people from a nearby village rushed to the scene to collect the fuel. They were engulfed in flames when the spill ignited.

Pakistan wants Shell to pay $2.4 million, or $9,500 to the heirs of each person killed. read more

Pakistan threatens action against Shell over tanker fire

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: ISLAMABAD — Jul 12, 2017, 3:22 AM ET

Pakistan says it is considering legal action against a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell after the company refused to pay $2.4 million in compensation to the victims of a tanker fire last month that killed 215 people.

Imran Ghazanvi, a spokesman for Pakistan’s oil and gas regulator, said Wednesday that a probe found the company responsible for the disaster. After the fuel tanker crashed and started leaking, hundreds of people from a nearby village who had rushed to collect the fuel were engulfed in flames when it ignited. read more

Shell Pakistan says to pay fine for tanker fire that killed 217

A Pakistani subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday agreed to pay a fine of about 257 million rupees ($2.4 million) in compensation for a tanker truck explosion that killed more than 200 people last month.

The fiery blast on June 25 was one of the worst accidents in Pakistan’s history. A tanker carrying fuel rolled over in Punjab province and villagers rushed to collect leaking fuel.

Something then set off a fireball.

The regulator, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), held Shell Pakistan responsible for the accident in which 217 people died and 61 were injured. read more

Nigeria Delta Communities Demand Stake in Ex-Shell Oil Block

A group of communities in Nigeria’s Niger River delta demanded a stake in an oil block it said it was promised when Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold its share to a local company six years ago.

The communities in the Gbaramatu district, near the southern oil town of Warri, want 5 percent of a lease owned by Lagos-based Neconde Energy Ltd.and state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., according to a statement emailed by the group on Friday.

Neconde “refused to fulfill the 5 percent equity share to the host communities, whose environment has been negatively impacted and devastated by oil activities, destroying our age-long traditional fishing business,” Momotimi Guwor, a spokesman for the communities, said in the statement. read more

Windows of Nigerian Activists Charge Shell Oil with Complicity in Hangings

By Global Information Network: Published July 5, 2017

(GIN) – The widows of four Nigerian activists are entering their 22nd year in a long struggle for justice and to hear them tell it, they’re feeling no ways tired.

The women, represented by the Dutch Human Rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira, filed a writ this week against the multinational Anglo-Dutch Shell seeking damages and a public apology for what they state was the company’s complicity in the unlawful state executions of their husbands.

Leading the four is Esther Kiobel, whose husband was among nine men, known as the Ogoni Nine who were tried in secret by a military court and sentenced to die by hanging because they protested the massive environmental damage to the Niger Delta region caused by oil extraction. The best known of the group was the renowned writer and community leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa. read more

Nigeria Parliament Inquiry Calls Ex-President Jonathan Over Oil Block Sale Scandal

July 5, 2017

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s lower house of parliament called on Wednesday for ex- president Goodluck Jonathan to testify in an inquiry into the contested sale of an oil block during his tenure, the investigating committee said.

Investigations into the $1.3 billion sale in 2011 of oil prospecting license (OPL) 245, which could harbor more than 9 billion barrels of oil, have involved Nigerian, Italian and Dutch authorities, two of the world’s largest international oil companies as well as a convicted money launderer. read more

ExxonMobil/Shell: Haven’t Heard of Groningen? You Might Want to Read This

One team of analyst contends Exxon’s organic growth could be hurt by problems at its Groningen gas field.

By Ben Levisohn: 

ExxonMobil (XOM) has enough problems with the price of oil dropping, but it may have on in a large Dutch gas field known as Groningen.

Exxon runs the field with Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), which is being blamed for an increase in the number of earthquakes in the region. That’s led to caps being imposed on production, and could eventually lead to a shutdown altogether say Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov and Muhammed Ghulam. They look ahead to the Groningen endgame: read more

Hiring dispute brings second lawsuit against Shell

A decision by Shell Oil Co. to reject the hiring recommendation of its former head of U.S. security has led to another discrimination lawsuit against the company, a subsidiary of the international oil major Royal Dutch Shell.

Earlier this year Crockett Oaks III sued Shell for allegedly firing him after he objected to hiring preferences based on age and gender. Oaks and a selecition committee chose a 53-year-old man with a military background for a security advisor opening, but Shell executives allegedly blocked his hiring and directed Oaks to find a young, female candidate instead, according to court documents.

RELATED: Shell sues former head of security 

The case was settled —no details are available in the federal court records —but the man Oaks sought to hire sued Shell in June for age discrimination and retaliation after the energy giant revoked his job offer. read more

Ogoni 9 widow Esther Kiobel lands day in court against oil giant Shell

(CNN)The widow of one of the nine environmental campaigners who were executed by the Nigerian military government has won a 22-year battle to bring oil giant Shell to court.

Esther Kiobel filed a civil suit early Wednesday in the Netherlands where Shell is registered and has its headquarters, her lawyer told CNN. According to the writ, seen by CNN, Kiobel accuses Shell of complicity in the unlawful arrest and detention of her husband, Dr. Barinem Kiobel; the violation of his personal integrity and the violation of his right to a fair trial. Kiobel first filed a case in New York against Shell in 2002 alleging complicity in the execution of the nine human rights activists. However, in 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that the United States did not have jurisdiction to try the case.

Condemnation

The 1995 execution of Nigerian playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other human rights activists (including Kiobel’s husband) campaigning against environmental degradation of their native Ogoni land caused worldwide condemnation. Saro-Wiwa came into conflict with the ruling junta when he campaigned for the Ogoni people living in Nigeria’s oil basin in the South. The popular playwright criticized Sani Abacha’s military government and the powerful oil industry, charging that it had polluted and destroyed the region’s land and wildlife. The men would later come to be known as the Ogoni 9 following their executions. Saro-Wiwa and the eight others put to death were charged with murdering four men. They were convicted and sentenced to death at a special tribunal. Throughout, Saro-Wiwa maintained that he was being framed for criticizing Abacha’s regime. Abacha ignored pleas for clemency for the men from world leaders including then US President Bill Clinton. Nigeria was promptly kicked out of the Commonwealth of nations — an organization made up of 52 countries that were part of the British Empire — following the executions. In 2009, Shell paid out $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the now late son of the deceased Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr. and others including the deceased’s brother. The suit had accused the global oil conglomerate of complicity in the imprisonment, rights violation and ultimately, death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight others. The case took 13 years to reach settlement and Shell denied wrongdoing but said it was making the payment on humanitarian grounds according to a statement published in the New York Times.

Long struggle

Kiobel was not a plaintiff in that suit. She and three other widows have been assisted in their long-running struggle by human rights group, Amnesty International — a first for the organization. “It is one of our more remarkable cases. It is very difficult to find lawyers and courts willing to take these cases,” says Audrey Gaughran, acting Senior Director of Research, Amnesty International, in a phone interview with CNN. Gaughran remains hopeful that with the evidence gathered over the years and the location of the case, the judgment will be in the claimants’ favor. “We think Mrs. Kiobel has a strong case… we believe that Shell is complicit in the execution of her husband, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other men who were executed in 1995. We are optimistic that the court will ultimately see the same argument.”

Positive outcome

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited, through its spokesperson, Precious Okolobo said in an email to CNN: “SPDC did not collude with the authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria. “The executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his fellow Ogonis in 1995 were tragic events that were carried out by the military government in power at the time. “We were shocked and saddened when we heard the news of the executions. SPDC appealed to the Nigerian government to grant clemency. To our deep regret, that appeal, and the appeals made by many others within and outside Nigeria, went unheard.” Kiobel’s lawyer, Channa Samkalden is circumspect about a positive outcome. “It will be a difficult case, but it is also a very important one. The evidence shows how deeply involved Shell was in the activities leading to the death of the ‘Ogoni 9.’ “The fact that a court will assess that evidence and hold Shell to account will already bring some satisfaction,” she said in an email interview.

SOURCE

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Nigeria: Ogoni widows sue Shell over military crackdown

29 June 2017

The widows of four men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 are suing oil giant Shell for alleged complicity in a military crackdown.

The civil case, filed in The Hague in the Netherlands, argues that the company provided support to the army, which ultimately led to the executions.

Shell has repeatedly denied the claims.

Ken Saro-Wiwa was the best known of the nine men executed. He led protests against the environmental damage caused by oil production in the Niger Delta. read more

Widows of Nigerian activists launch civil case against Shell

June 29 at 5:50 AM THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The widows of four activists executed 22 years ago in Nigeria are launching a civil action in the Netherlands, alleging complicity by oil giant Shell in their husbands’ deaths, human rights organization Amnesty International said Thursday.

Amnesty said that Esther Kiobel is bringing the civil case at a court in The Hague along with Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula. The women are seeking a public apology and compensation.

Their husbands were among nine activists from the Ogoni tribe, led by writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, who were hanged in 1995 for the murder of four political rivals. Supporters say they were really targeted because of their involvement in protests against environmental damage by Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary. read more

IN THE DOCK: SHELL’S COMPLICITY IN THE ARBITRARY EXECUTION OF THE OGONI NINE

Oil giant Shell stands accused of complicity in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men who were hanged by Nigeria’s military government in the 1990s, Amnesty International can reveal today, following the launch of an explosive new case against the company in the Netherlands over four of the executions.

The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel, the widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel, and three other women. Esther has pursued Shell for 20 years over the death of her husband. He was hanged in 1995 along with the writer and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and seven other men, collectively known as the Ogoni Nine. At the time the executions sparked a global outcry. read more

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