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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

RELATED

Ken Saro-Wiwa 20 years on: Niger Delta still blighted by oil spills

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

Shell faces court over Ogoni deaths

Royal Dutch Shell is facing a fresh legal challenge over alleged complicity in the execution of nine people killed by the Nigerian government after protests against the oil industry in the 1990s.

Esther Kiobel the widow of one of the “Ogoni nine”, has brought a civil case in the Netherlands. She fought a legal battle to have the case heard in the United States, but it was rejected in 2013.

In 2009 Shell agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a separate action over the deaths, but it denied the allegations. read more

‎Widows of Ogoni leaders killed by Abacha sue Shell in Netherlands

Oladeinde Olawoyin

The widows of four of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 have filed a civil lawsuit seeking compensation and an apology from Royal Dutch Shell.

The widows are Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula.

According to a writ filed in a court in The Hague, the widows are seeking compensation from the company for alleged complicity in a military crackdown, leading to the deaths of their husbands.

The Nigerian military cracked down heavily on local opposition to oil production by a Shell joint venture in the Niger Delta region in the early 1990s. read more

Nigerian widows seek to sue Shell in Dutch courts

Shell was alleged to have helped in the arrest of Nigerian men who had sought to peacefully disrupt oil development in the region because of health and environmental impacts

Four Nigerian women are taking legal action in the Dutch courts against Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell accusing it of complicity in the 1990s executions of their husbands by the Nigerian military, Amnesty International said Thursday.

The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel, the widow of Barinem Kiobel, who was hanged in 1995 along with writer and campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others. Three other widows are also joining the action in The Hague.

A writ was set to be placed before a civil court in The Hague on Thursday alleging that Shell was complicit “in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men who were hanged by Nigeria’s military government in the 1990s,” Amnesty said in a statement. read more

Ogoni widows file civil writ accusing Shell of complicity in Nigeria killings

The widows of men who were hanged by Nigeria’s military government in the 1990s have launched a civil case against Shell, accusing it of complicity in their husbands’ executions.

Esther Kiobel, the widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel, and three other women whose husbands were hanged in 1995, served a writ in a Dutch court this week, following a 20-year battle with the oil giant.

Kiobel’s husband was executed along with the writer and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and seven other men, who became collectively known as the Ogoni nine. They were hanged in a military court following a peaceful uprising by 300,000 Ogonis against Shell’s widespread pollution in Ogoniland. read more

Widows of executed Nigerian activists seek Shell apology, compensation

By Ron Bousso | LONDON

The widows of four of nine men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 have filed a civil lawsuit seeking compensation and an apology from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) for alleged complicity in a military crackdown, according to a writ filed in a court in The Hague.

The Nigerian military cracked down heavily on local opposition to oil production by a Shell joint venture in the Niger Delta in the early 1990s. The four widows allege that Shell provided support to the military in the crackdown that ultimately led to the executions of the men, known as the Ogoni 9. read more

Dutch Quakes Rattle Exxon, Shell — WSJ

Big gas field is causing tremors, exposing energy firms to criminal probe and rising bills

By Sarah Kent Dow Jones Newswires

GRONINGEN, The Netherlands — For decades, the giant Groningen gas field beneath the flat, green farmland in the north of this country counted among the greatest prizes for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Then the earthquakes started.

Shell and Exxon are pushing back through their joint venture, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV or NAM.

NAM said it is considering formally contesting the government’s decision. It also expressed surprise at the Dutch court order to the prosecutor to open a criminal investigation this year… read more

Shell found to be in civil contempt of court orders in relation to Rossport lands

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 – 05:46 pm

The Supreme Court has found Shell E & P Ireland was acting in civil contempt of court orders when it entered nine years ago onto commonage lands at Rossport located on the modified route for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline, writes Ann O’Loughlin.

A three judge Supreme Court yesterday (wed) overturned as “incorrect” a 2010 High Court finding that a November 2007 order of District Judge Mary Devins prohibiting Shell’s entry onto the commonage, except in accordance with the Gas Act 1976, did not prevent Shell entering onto the commonage after acquiring a 1/62nd share of the land. read more

Supreme Court rules Shell acted in contempt over Corrib land access

 14 June 2017: 19.15pm

The Supreme Court has found Shell E & P Ireland was acting in civil contempt of court orders when, nine years ago, it entered on to commonage lands at Rossport located on the modified route for the Corrib gas onshore pipeline.

A three-judge Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned as “incorrect” a 2010 High Court finding that a November 2007 order of District Judge Mary Devins prohibiting Shell’s entry onto the commonage, except in accordance with the Gas Act 1976, did not prevent Shell entering on to the commonage after acquiring a 1/62nd share of the land. read more

Polluted-Water Case Against BP and Shell Revived

ADAM KLASFELD: 

MANHATTAN (CN) — No longer protected by its deals with California prosecutors, BP and Shell must face another lawsuit alleging that its underground storage tanks continue to pollute Orange County’s groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive.

The British and Dutch oil giants were named among the dozens of fossil-fuel companies in hundreds of lawsuits over the chemical methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).

Used to raise the oxygen level in gasoline, MTBE is banned by more than half of the states in the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency has flagged it as a possible human carcinogen at high doses. read more

Shell Must Face ‘Take-Home’ Asbestos Suit, Calif. Court Says

Shell Must Face ‘Take-Home’ Asbestos Suit, Calif. Court Says

Law360, New York (June 6, 2017, 7:03 PM EDT) —

A California appeals court has reversed itself and revived a lawsuit against Shell Oil Co. filed by a former employee’s wife who alleges she contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos that accumulated on her husband’s work clothing. The decision by the Second Appellate District panel on Friday followed the state Supreme Court’s December finding in Kesner v. Superior Court of California that employers can be held liable for injuries caused by secondhand asbestos exposure suffered by household members of employees. The panel, following the high court’s “take-home” liability… read more

Big payout for Shell and ExxonMobil from NAM holding

Big payout for Shell and ExxonMobil from NAM holding

NAM has €3.4bn earmarked for provisions on its balance sheet. A small portion of this, 15% or €495m, is reserved for claims made against the company for earthquake damage.

June 2, 2017

Shell and ExxonMobil, the two shareholders in Dutch gas production company NAM, split €496m in dividend payments in 2016. This was revealed in NAM’s first-ever published annual report on Friday, the Financieele Dagblad said. This marked the first time that it was made clear just how much the two oil giants earn from gas production in the Netherlands. NAM reported net revenues of €3.4bn in 2016.

But NAM released no comparable profit and sales figures for previous years. NAM’s profit is determined after a payment of about €3bn to the Dutch government. read more

Cravath Can’t Dodge Shell Docs Subpoena, 2nd Circ. Told

Cravath Can’t Dodge Shell Docs Subpoena, 2nd Circ. Told

Law360, New York (May 22, 2017, 3:42 PM EDT) — A Nigerian environmental and human rights advocate has urged the Second Circuit to uphold an order requiring Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP to turn over documents related to her planned litigation against Royal Dutch Shell in the Netherlands, saying the request is narrow and covers information already disclosed in a prior case.

Esther Kiobel’s brief to the appeals court comes in response to Cravath’s argument that Shell, not the law firm, must be the one to hand over the documents. Cravath had also asserted that Kiobel… read more

Malabu oil deal: Court shifts hearing of Shell, Agip, EFCC’s objection to July 5

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday fixed July 5, 2017 to hear the preliminary objections to a suit filed by Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd against the Federal Government.

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Shell Nigeria Ultra-Deep Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd; Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Ltd; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Chief Dan Etete.

In the suit filed on 10th April, 2017, Malubu Oil and Gas Limited is seeking an order of court stopping Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company and Nigerian Agip Exploration Company Limited from signing the Final Investment Decision (F.I.D) for the $13.5 billion Zabazaba Deep water Project located in Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL245) in the second quarter of this year. read more

Top Shell lawyer says lower extraction costs helping oil industry cope with downturn

By in Houston, Texas, USA: 10 MAY 2017

A decline in extraction costs is helping the oil and gas industry weather turbulence, or what is often dubbed in the market as an ongoing ‘era of lower for longer oil prices,’ according to oil and gas giant Royal Dutch Shell’s top lawyer.

Speaking at global law firm Baker & McKenzie’s Annual Oil & Gas Institute, in Houston, US, on Wednesday (10 May), David Brinley, general counsel at Shell, said: “The oil and gas industry is probably at its most turbulent point in its history. Furthermore, the confluence of political, economic and social change is nothing like I have seen in my 27 years at Shell. However, it is fair to say the industry’s commitment to efficiencies is just getting interesting now.” read more

Shell to invest $25 billion in Nigeria, other countries

Shell to invest $25 billion in Nigeria, other countries

Oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, has announced plans to invest about $25 billion this year in Nigeria and all its oil and gas operation across the world.

Shell made the announcement in its first quarter 2017 financial results released on Thursday.

The report revealed that Shell netted an income of $2.2 billion and was expecting to generate $10 billion in cash flow from the delivery of some of its new projects by 2018.

The company recently announced the resumption of oil production at its 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bonga Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) field in Nigeria’s deep-waters. read more

How Earthquakes Might Be Crimes in Netherlands

Can a natural disaster be a crime? That’s the question in The Netherlands, where an investigation has been ordered into whether Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are criminally responsible for earthquakes triggered by production at Europe’s largest natural gas field, Groningen. Some of the earthquakes have been strong enough to damage homes in nearby farming communities. Though Groningen is a mainstay of the Dutch budget, its output is gradually decreasing to protect residents. read more

Kiobel v. Cravath: An Example of How a Little-Known U.S. Law can be Used as a Pre-Litigation Tool Overseas

Upasana Khatri: 22nd February 2017

When Esther Kiobel—who believes Shell collaborated with Nigerian authorities to commit gross human rights abuses, including the murder of her husband—could not find justice by suing Shell in U.S courts, she decided to sue the Dutch oil giant in the Netherlands. In support of the Dutch action, EarthRights International (ERI) helped Ms. Kiobel and her Dutch lawyers file an application under the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) Statute to gain access to important evidence originally gathered during the U.S. litigation. In December, a U.S. federal court granted Ms. Kiobel’s petition, allowing her access to documents housed in Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, the law firm that defended Shell in the U.S. read more

Bar, business groups back Cravath on fighting disclosure of Shell documents

By Jan Wolfe

The New York City Bar Association has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in backing law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore in its appeal of an order to turn over documents belonging to client Royal Dutch Shell plc in a possible overseas lawsuit accusing the oil giant of facilitating human rights violations.

The New York City Bar Association filed an amicus brief in support of Cravath on Tuesday in the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, urging the court to reverse a ruling that the law firm produce Shell documents to Esther Kiobel, a Nigerian woman seeking to sue Shell in the Netherlands after she was previously blocked from doing so in the U.S. read more

Potent carcinogen contaminated drinking water used by millions, says report

WASHINGTON — Shell Oil Co. and Dow Chemical hid a cancer-causing chemical in two commonly-used pesticides that contaminated the drinking water of millions of people in the state of California, according to lawsuits detailed in a report from the Environmental Working Group earlier this month.

TCP, a poisonous insecticide gas, was used for decades in the pesticide Telone, made by Dow, and D-D, made by Shell.

Shell stopped using D-D in 1984, while Dow ceased usage of Telone during the late 1990s. But “garbage” chemical TCP was found in tap water supplies of about four million people in 13 states between 2013 to 2015, according to the nonprofit group. read more

Malabu Deal: NGO Seeks Inclusion Of Nigeria In Prosecution Of Shell, Eni

BY HUMAN AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA (HEDA RESOURCE CENTRE) APR 20, 2017

The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), a Nigerian non-governmental organization, has petitioned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, urging him to request that Nigeria be included in the Milan Court’s prosecution of Shell and Eni with respect to the scandalous Malabu deal.

In a petition addressed to Mr. Osinbajo, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Asset Recovery Committee, HEDA advised the federal government to request that the Italian court judge should recognize Nigeria as a civil party to the Malabu criminal proceeding in order to request adequate compensation for the damages received by the corrupt scheme. read more

Court orders Shell-Exxon criminal probe over Dutch gas quakes

Court orders Shell-Exxon criminal probe over Dutch gas quakes

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM, April 20 (Reuters) – A Dutch court ordered prosecutors to open an investigation on Thursday into whether a Shell-Exxon joint venture bears any criminal responsibility for earthquakes triggered by production at the country’s largest gas field.

No physical injuries have been caused by numerous small quakes, which have damaged thousands of buildings and structures across the north-eastern province of Groningen, and prosecutors had previously declined to act, arguing it was a civil matter. read more

Fresh Revelations of Alleged Shell Corruption to be Heard in Italian Court

Fresh Revelations of Alleged Shell Corruption to be Heard in Italian Court

By Chloe Farand • Thursday, April 20, 2017

Court proceedings are due to begin in Italy today to determine whether oil giant Shell will face trial on corruption charges over the purchase of one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

Italian prosecutors claim Shell and Italian oil major Eni concluded a deal for the rights to exploit the Nigerian deepwater oil block OPL 245 with knowledge that the money would fall into the hands of a convicted money-launderer and be turned into political kickbacks. read more

Shell and Eni embroiled in ‘unholy mess’ over Nigerian oil

20 April 2017

Shell and Eni are waiting to learn whether a judge will accept a request from a Milan prosecutor for the two companies and individuals — including Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of the Italian energy group — to face trial for alleged corruption.

Shell acknowledged for the first time last week that it knew Malabu would be compensated for relinquishing its claim on OPL 245. Anti-corruption campaigners see Shell’s admission as a smoking gun, and have seized on the leaked emails sent between senior company employees between 2008 and 2010 as evidence of bribery.  read more

Two oil giants could face trial in Italy over Nigerian deal

“Etete can smell the money. If, at 70 years old, he does turn his nose up at 1.2 billion he is completely certifiable.”

That’s a quote from a confidential email which is embarrassing the oil giant Shell. For years, Shell had strenuously denied that it knew anything about the involvement of convicted money launderer and former Nigerian oil minister Dan Etete in its purchase of the rights to one of Nigeria’s biggest oil fields.

But last week, the British environmentalist and anti-corruption organization, Global Witness, published confidential emails written by a Shell employee. This correspondence, which went right to the top of the Shell management hierarchy, proves that there was a direct link to the convicted Nigerian. After publication, Shell then decided that further clarification of its correspondence was needed. One had to negotiate with Etete “whether one wanted to or not,”  it said. read more

Malabu Scandal: Abacha’s son wants court to stop Nigerian govt, Shell, Agip from operating block

Malabu Scandal: Abacha’s son wants court to stop Nigerian govt, Shell, Agip from operating block

Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd. has asked an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to stop the sale of a $13. 5 billion deep water project located in the controversial oil block, OPL 245.

The OPL 245, regarded as one of Africa’s richest oil blocks with an estimated over 9 billion barrels of crude, was controversially awarded to Malabu in 1998 by the then petroleum minister, Dan Etete who partly owned the company through a fictional character, Kwekwu Amafegha.

The block was controversially sold to oil giants, Shell and ENI, in 2011 with a large chunk of the $1.1 billion paid ending up in private pockets including those of Mr. Etete. read more

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