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Posts under ‘Shell Oil Reserves Scandal’

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

Lament for Royal Dutch Shell


Kashagan AKA “Cash All Gone”

Forgot the initial cost estimate, probably around $8-10 billion. Now 10+ years too late and ballooned to $50 billionMost normal companies would have gone bust long ago.

Shell inherited some beauties from the boys of the roaring 90s. I hope someone will write a book one day on this era. 

Reserve crisis, Pearl, Sakhalin, Kashagan, Alaska, tarsands, and I must have forgotten a few. Repeated over-promise and under-delivery. All many billions over budget, extreme overruns in startup, loss in AAA status, removal of operational and technical expertise. I find the silence on Prelude ominous. Probably goes the same way as the others. read more


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19 July 2016

Mr. Gary Thomson SI-LSC/K
Shell International Limited
40 Bank Street
London E14 5NR

Dear Mr Thomson

Data Protection Act 1998 – Subject Access Request (SAR)

Thank you for your email dated 19 July 2016.

Please find enclosed completed application forms together with a postal order for £10 made out to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

I obtained it before finding out that the fee can now instead be paid to a charity.

As you are aware, I operate – a website focussed on the activities of Shell. read more

Nothing New About Shell Settling Fraud Cases

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From April 2016:

Shell guilty of energy fraud and market manipulation in the US

From August 2004:

Shell settles fraud case for $150M

Oil company agrees to pay SEC for overstating reserves, also settles market abuse case in Britain.

The settlements are not just for fraud but range all the way to complicity in murder.

New York Times: “Shell Settles Dumping Suit for $3 Million“: 9 February 1995

New York Times: “SHELL SETTLES ROYALTIES CASE FOR $33.5 MILLION“: 21 March 2002

Shell Oil Company Limestone Township $26 million settlement: December 2007

Plaintiffs win $66 million from Shell Oil after making the mistake of relying on Shell’s “honesty and integrity”: 17 May 2008

Houston Chronicle: Shell will pay millions to settle air pollution suit: 23 April 2009

Guardian: Shell agrees to pay compensation for execution of Saro-Wiwa: June 2009 read more

Dubious Corporate Legacy of Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 14.41.35By John Donovan

Interesting to read that seven years after the departure of Sir Mark Moody-Stuart (right) as chairman of the mining giant Anglo American, the company is in difficulties.

See Dow Jones news article: Anglo American to Downsize Further After Steep Loss.

Apparently the troubled company is in the throes of “an aggressive restructuring.”

Reminiscent in some respects of the state of affairs at Shell during and after the tenure of Sir Mark as Group Chairman.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2004 “How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal. read more

Phil Watts: Oil man, turned Spaceman, turned Holy Man

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 22.04.1908 February 2013  Written by Michael Owens

The former chairman of one of the world’s biggest companies is about to take on a new challenge in a small corner of east Berkshire.

The Rev Sir Philip Watts spent 35 years working for oil giant Shell before his ordination as a priest in 2011.

The 67-year-old, known to all as Phil, served as a curate in Binfield, where he has lived with his wife Jan for more than 20 years.

The father-of-two is now taking up a new position as Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Waltham St Lawrence. read more

At what point in the continuing collapse in oil prices will Shell be forced to pull out of the BG Group deal?

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Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 09.03.45By John Donovan: 7 JAN 2016

The continuing collapse in the price of oil is turning into a nightmare for the board of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

Especially for CEO Ben van Beurden and CFO Simon Henry, who have staked their reputations on completing Shell’s takeover of the BG Group.

This would not be the first major crisis at Shell for either executive. Both had involvement in the 2004 oil and gas reserves scandal. Ben van Beurden was personal assistant to the Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts who was forced to resign. Simon Henry had a starring role

Both managed to survive but are unlikely to do so if the BG deal falls through, as is increasingly likely, because of the ill-fated miscalculation over oil prices. 

With hundreds of millions being paid to financial advisors, surely it was not beyond the ingenuity of those involved to have catered in the terms for the possibility of a severe fluctuation in the price of oil?  read more

Aggressive bidding after reserves scandal put Shell on path to Arctic disappointment

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$7 billion bust in the Arctic Ocean

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By Jennifer A. Dlouhy: 5 Oct 2015

WASHINGTON — Shell’s dreams of an Arctic oil bonanza were dashed with disappointing results from a critical exploratory well this summer, but they were in full force seven years ago, when the company aggressively outbid competitors to nab drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea.

Reeling from a scandal involving overstated reserves and desperate to replenish its portfolio, Royal Dutch Shell spent $2.1 billion buying up those Chukchi Sea leases, vastly outspending the competitors who plunked down just $800 million combined in the same government auction. read more

When Shell senior management had a collective mental health crisis

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Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 16.30.33As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: November 2, 2004

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

Long known for its sober geological expertise and conservative image, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant in the 1990s embraced New Age management. At other meetings, managers were told to shake their arms up and down in “energizer” exercises or stare into the eyes of colleagues while confiding their innermost thoughts, say attendees.

This cultural revolution ultimately led Shell into one of the worst crises in its history as the company turned to accounting maneuvers to hide its failures in finding energy. This year it admitted that it dramatically overstated its oil and gas reserves. read more

Ghost of Exxon Valdez Haunts Shell in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 23.33.36Andy Rowell, September 11, 2015

There are many contradictions about Shell’s Arctic misadventure to drill for oil, but three are the most striking: Firstly the company is spending billions of dollars and risking the reputation of the company on oil that can never be burnt.

Secondly, Obama having just allowed the company to start drilling in the Arctic, then visits the region to warn about climate change; something that his Administration has just made worse.

And thirdly, Shell says it can adequately clean up any spill in the region, if there is an accident. That last promise is for want of a better word, a lie. The only way to clean up a spill in the Arctic is not to spill oil in the first place. The bottom line is that any oil spilt in the Arctic may never be cleaned up, and its legacy may last decades, or even longer. read more

Inside Shell’s Extreme Plan to Drill for Oil in the Arctic

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by Paul Barrett and Benjamin Elgin: 5 August 2015: BLOOMBERG.COM

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Protesters near the Polar Pioneer.: Photographer: Keri Coles/Greenpeace

Ann Pickard

Ann Pickard – Shell VP Arctic Drilling

In a windowless conference room in Anchorage, a dozen Royal Dutch Shell employees report on the highest-profile oil project in the multinational’s vast global portfolio. Warmed by mid-July temperatures, Arctic ice in the Chukchi Sea, northwest of the Alaskan mainland, is receding. Storms are easing; helicopter flights will soon resume. Underwater volcanoes—yes, volcanoes—are dormant. “That’s good news for us,” Ann Pickard, Shell’s top executive for the Arctic, whispers to a visitor. read more

Shell CEO’s total pay soars to $25.7 mln

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Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 21.14.49Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:09am EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden will earn a total 24.2 million euros ($26 million) for 2014, making him one of the highest-earning FTSE 100 bosses despite last year’s sharp fall in oil prices.

Van Beurden’s total pay includes 5.6 million euros in salary, bonus and shares plus pension and other items, the company said on Thursday.

His 2014 compensation, when calculated in British pounds, places him as the second-highest-paid senior executive on the FTSE 100 share index after WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell, whose 2013 pay package reached 29.8 million pounds, according to think tank High Pay Centre. read more

Shell Publishes Annual Report and Form 20-F

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 09.21.50THE HAGUE, March 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE: RDS.A) (NYSE: RDS.B) Published its Annual Report and Form 20-F for the Year Ended December 31, 2014. 

The 2014 Annual Report and Form 20-F can be downloaded from .

Separately, a 2014 Strategic Report can be downloaded from .

Printed copies of the 2014 Annual Report and Form 20-F and 2014 Strategic Report will be available from April 16, 2015 and can be requested, free of charge, at . read more

Scandal hit bosses of HSBC and Shell are both ordained priests!

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By John Donovan

I wonder if Paddy was thinking of Shell when he published this on this Facebook page?

The grotesquely high “compensation packages” of the Directors of the likes of HSBC as well as being morally repugnant are also bad for business. The rewards for making it to the top are so obscene that ladder climbers will do anything to make it. So every decision they take is driven by their own ambition and their need to kowtow to those who might appoint them to these golden jobs. This is a brake on creativity and innovation and on long-term thinking. read more

SEC continuing to scrutinise Shell’s claimed oil reserves

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 15.06.08By John Donovan

A letter emailed to Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden, on 23 Oct 2014, from the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, asked why Shell had omitted to supply in a Form 20-F filing, figures for Shell’s share of Kashagan proved undeveloped reserves.

Shell’s partners in the much troubled Kashagan oil field consortium – years behind schedule and billions over budget – include Eni, KazMunayGas, Total, ExxonMobil, China National Petroleum Corporation and Inpex. The project is known in the oil industry as “Cash All Gone”. read more

Why A BP Shell Merger Is Not A Sensible Option

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Why A BP plc (BP) Royal Dutch Shell Merger Is Not A Sensible Option

Bidness Etc discusses how lower oil prices have impacted BP’s stock price, and why the merger with Royal Dutch Shell is not on the cards

Published: Jan 6, 2015 at 9:46 am EST

Crude oil prices have declined sharply this year. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has already fallen below $50 per barrel for the first time in nearly five-and-half years, with Brent crude hovering around the same level. Several US oil companies are fighting for their survival, especially after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain its current level of production. WTI and Brent crude were trading at $49.56 and $52.57 per barrel, respectively, during pre-market trading today. read more

Shell must put BP out of its misery

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.51.59Article by Jeremy Warner published on 4 Jan 2015 in The Sunday Telegraph

Valued at nearly £140bn, Shell is today worth almost twice as much as BP. Shell must put BP out of its misery before anyone else pounces. Here’s an idea that has investment bankers drooling in anticipation, but needs to be killed off here and now before it becomes self fulfilling… I can’t speak for Shell, but I can report that there is absolutely no appetite for it within BP, which is as bemused as me by the rumours.

Here’s an idea that has investment bankers drooling in anticipation, but needs to be killed off here and now before it becomes self fulfilling – that the time may finally be ripe for Britain’s two oil majors, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, to bury the hatchet and merge, or rather, for the much stronger Shell to takeover the weakened BP.

I can’t speak for Shell, but I can report that there is absolutely no appetite for it within BP, which is as bemused as me by the rumours.

The concept is, of course, scarcely new. We know that exploratory talks have been held on several occasions in the past. Lord Browne, the former BP chief executive, no less, has admitted to them. read more

Prospects of a Shell BP merger

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 12.29.57FROM A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR

Firstly, falls in oil price and resulting low stock prices tend to result in waves of takeovers.

Examples during the low price era of the late 1990s – early 2000s:

· Exxon took over Mobil
· Statoil took over Saga, Norsk Hydro
· Chevron took over Texaco, Unocal
· Total took over Fina and Elf
· BP took over Vastar, Amoco and Arco

Shell is notably absent from this list – over the past ten years the gossip on the street has considered possible mergers involving Shell, BP and Total and even the demerger of Shell Oil, but the numbers apparently did not add up. Perhaps the fall in share prices over the past six months and a lack of exploration opportunities has once again made mergers more attractive than organic growth. read more

CEO Ben van Beurden too honest to sign Shell’s Business Principles?

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Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 09.22.43By John Donovan

It is a year since Peter Voser left his job as Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell Plc to allegedly spend more time with his family. Soon after his surprise early exit, Shell announced a profits warning. 

Leaving that contentious issue to one side, I am puzzled that his replacement Ben van Beurden has still not put his name and signature  to the Shell General Business Principles document.

As can be seen, as of todays date, it is still displayed on signed by Peter Voser in his capacity as Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer. read more

Pending Vacancy for Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc?



  • 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.


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

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

Tesco overstatement debacle reminiscent of Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal

Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 14.03.36By John Donovan

Tesco admits a £250m mistake in half-year profit calculations

Tesco share value has plummeted after the supermarket giant announced this morning that it had overstated its half-year profit guidance by £250m.

Four senior Tesco executives, including a managing director, have been suspended.

In view of what happened to Shell when it overstated its hydrocarbon reserves, can we expect law suits, investigations, fines, credit rating downgrades and resignations?

Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman, Sir Philip Watts (right), was forced to resign and turned to religion. He is now a priest. read more

Royal Dutch Shell News Roundup 25 August 2014


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


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

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


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

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

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


John Alfred Donovan, Founder, Owner and Group Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

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3 July 2014

By John Donovan

Interesting to note that my association with Royal Dutch Shell is so strong after a three decade relationship, that according to current information listed on zoom info (screenshot below), I am credited as being the founder, owner and Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Guess it was only a matter of time. I now await the appropriate fat cat financial package with a multi-million pension pot.


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Jorma Ollila, tainted departing chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Plc

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“During Ollila’s time at the helm, Shell has spent hundreds of billions on new projects and lavished generous pay deals on its executives, leading to several protest votes by big investors.”

By John Donovan

The Sunday Times reported on the front page of its business section on 8 June 2014 the news that Shell has started a search for a new chairman to replace the tainted Finn, Jorma Ollila. 


“During Ollila’s time at the helm, Shell has spent hundreds of billions on new projects and lavished generous pay deals on its executives, leading to several protest votes by big investors.”

Mr Ollila was recently fined by market regulators for failing to disclose his ownership and control of a company in Luxembourg worth 8.2 million euros. He has admitted breaking the law. He prefers to call it “neglecting the law.” read more

Oil Giant Shell Kicks Off Hunt For New Chair

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 14.37.49Extract from a SkyNews article by its City Editor, Mark Kleinman, published Saturday 7 June 2014 

Royal Dutch Shell, the biggest company on London’s stock market, has kicked off the hunt for a new chairman. Sky News has learnt that the oil giant has asked Egon Zehnder International, the executive search firm, to identify a successor to Jorma Ollila, who is expected to step down next year. The leadership transition will represent another important moment for Shell, with Mr Ollila having taken over as chairman in 2006 in the wake of a scandal which involved the company dramatically overstating its reserves. read more

Manipulations by Shell and Exxon?

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 23.56.16By John Donovan

Shell and Standard Oil have been engaged in manipulating governments for over a hundred years.

The joint self-explanatory letter Shell and Exxon sent to the US Securities & Exchange Commission on 1 May seems to have good intentions –  concerning the timetable for implementation of transparency legislation – but the past track record of both oil giants brings to my mind, for more than one reason, the phrase “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”

Suspicion as to their real motive is heightened by the following extract from a related Reuters article published today. 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

Little known key role of Michiel Brandjes in Shell reserves scandal

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 23.42.12However, unbeknown to Van de Vijver, Michiel Brandjes (right), who was alarmed by the findings of the report, sent a copy to a New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore. This meant that events were no longer in the control of Shell. Instead, Shell’s most sensitive issue since its close association with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis several decades ago, had been disclosed to an outside firm, that had to consider and protect its own reputation.

By John Donovan

In May 2003, Frank Coopman, the then Chief Financial Officer of Shell EP, delivered bad news about Shell’s operations in Nigeria to the Chief Executive of Shell EP, Walter van de Vijver.

Van de Vijver sent Coopman back to Nigeria to investigate further.

The subsequent findings, set out in a status report, were even more devastating, revealing an overstatement of 1.1 billion boe.

Van de Vijver had instructed a team led by Coopman to work on the reserves issues.

The team included a top Shell lawyer, Michiel Brandjes, the then Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Petroleum. read more

Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29It was 2am when a fireball pierced the inky night sky above a small community in the Niger delta. The explosion near Port Harcourt last June killed several people and released 6,000 barrels of crude oil. The cause: contractors hired by Royal Dutch Shell to stop pirates siphoning oil from a huge pipeline were themselves stealing fuel, and something went terribly wrong. The blast led to the shutdown… Shell, the largest foreign operator in the country, was responsible for more than 20,000 barrels of last year’s spills.

By John Donovan: Sunday 17 February 2014

The Sunday Times has today published an article by Danny Fortson under the headline: “Nigeria ravaged by $20bn oil robbery”

The article reveals information about a new website being launched next month by The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency as a result of an initiative by a group of interested parties, including the Nigerian Government and local communities. The website will publish searchable details about every oil spill in Nigeria. It is expected to shame big oil. read more

Shell’s fall from grace

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 14.32.05In May 2013, when Voser’s retirement was announced, he was described by Reuters as having been Shell’s “renaissance CEO”. Fast-forward eight months and Voser’s successor stunned the market with a profits warning. It was a remarkably quick fall from grace for both the former chief and the company… …the company’s misstatement of its proven reserves early in the century landed it with a multi-million dollar fine from stock market regulators and forced the departure of its chairman as well as shocking investors. Shell has had its own environmental problems in Nigeria. Now it is being severely criticised for overspending.

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By John Kemp

Feb 4 (Reuters) – “All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” wrote Enoch Powell, a former member of Britain’s parliament who held controversial views on immigration and national identity.

Much the same could be said of business careers, as Shell’s former chief executive Peter Voser has learned the hard way. His strategy of continuing to invest in complex megaprojects through the oil industry cycle is now blamed for the company’s recent profit warning and underperformance. read more

Ben van Beurden: Surely Shell could have chosen a leader untainted by scandal?

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 15.23.29Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. This was during the period when false information was routinely given to investors about Shell’s claimed oil and gas reserves. As private assistant and adviser to Watts, Ben van Beurden must have known what was going on and must have been complicit in the cover-up? Is it impossible to find suitable Shell leadership candidates untainted by failure and scandal?

By John Donovan

The Observer newspaper has today made the valid point that “Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.”

This startling fact has rightly been highlighted in a number of articles published since the appointment of Ben van Beurden as the new CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was first announced.

Ben van Beurden was private assistant and adviser to Sir Philip Watts during the two years prior to the shock announcement of the reserves scandal in January 2004, which resulted in a firestorm of devastating news coverage that still reverberates today, 10 years later. read more

Ben van Beurden will need more than PR skills to navigate Shell’s choppy seas

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 09.07.53Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices. He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. …he could not entirely escape personal responsibility, since he was formerly head of chemicals and, for nine months last year, head of the group’s huge downstream division. Pet projects of Voser’s will feel the axe. Divestments will be made, spending curtailed and writedowns – multibillion-dollar ones, clearly – taken. Van Beurden knows what failure looks like, as he was a personal assistant to former chairman Sir Philip Watts when Watts was axed over the reserves scandal of 2004.

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The new boss put up a brave showing last week, but he faces a battle to stop the oil firm from sailing into more trouble

The Observer,

Ben van Beurden gave a flawless performance last week as he stepped onto the public stage for the first time as chief executive of Shell and sought to explain how the company had cut its annual profits in half despite a year of sky-high oil prices.

The Shell lifer was able to paper over the reasons for Shell’s “loss of momentum”, as he called it, through a mixture of boundless self-confidence and strong communication skills.

He should have been torn limb from limb, but instead City analysts were content to believe his well-spun litany of excuses, mostly blaming outside forces rather than the poor decision-making and performance of the team he now leads. The Shell share price has dipped a mere 3% since a profit warning two weeks ago. read more

CFO Simon Henry: Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, beset by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” He has had a hand on the helm throughout the long voyage, during the Sakhalin2 debacle, the Corrib Gas Corruption scandal and more recently, Shell’s Arctic ambitions hitting the rocks. As I have previously pointed out, he also had a starring role in the reserves scandal and managed to evade the flak on that occasion as well. Just how many lives has this Shell fat cat got?

By John Donovan

The role of RDS Chief Financial Officer, Simon Henry, in the instability that has overtaken Shell, thus far seems to have largely escaped scrutiny and blame?

He is the most senior remaining Royal Dutch Shell executive spanning the tenure of the last three top executives at Shell, Sir Philip Watts (dishonest bullying egomaniac), Jeroen van der Veer (dishonest and out of his depth) and Peter Voser (incompetent and ill-advised).

Simon Henry was CFO when the ship was set on its disastrous course of over-promise and under-delivery, bedeviled by project delays and cost overruns, resulting in the recent profits warning and the dramatic advice just issued by Zacks Investment Research that Royal Dutch Shell Plc is “a risky bet that ordinary investors should exit.” read more

New Shell boss spooks market with warning

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By Kate Holton: LONDON Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:26am EST

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Shell warns of ‘significant’ profit miss

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) issued a “significant” profit warning on Friday, detailing across-the-board problems and the extent of the challenges facing the oil major’s new boss Ben van Beurden, who took over two weeks ago.

The warning comes nearly *10 years to the day after Shell, the western world’s No. 3 oil company, revealed the so-called reserves accounting scandal, when the group dramatically downgraded its reserves estimates. read more

Royal Dutch Shell Profits Slump Debacle

Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Based on our insider information, we, and only we, raised the question of whether Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser jumped ship or was pushed. I think we now have the answer that explains his unexpected early retirement under the cloak of a change of lifestyle. How do you know that Shell is run by clowns? The continued existence of this website over the last decade proves that this is the case. One miscalculation after the other. Just over 2 months ago, we raised the profits warning issue:Why no profits warning from Shell?

By John Donovan

Just over 2 months ago, we raised the profits warning issue: “Why no profits warning from Shell?

I would now like to put a simple question to our visitors.

What news source has provided the most accurate assessment about Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the senior management?

Not the BBC, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Motley Fool or any other source. Certainly not

The most accurate assessment and information has consistently emanated from this website. read more


Screen Shot 2013-10-01 at 07.56.54Message from one of our sources…


How many warnings did we give about taking the financial hits in the final quarter before Voser left?

And yet the analysts are surprised!


Shell has that haunted look

THE TIMES: 1 November 2013

It is almost a decade since the reserves scandal exposed the old stock market adage “Never Sell Shell” as being rather less than failsafe. Yesterday’s results statement, appropriately scary for Hallowe’en, reinforced that, with third quarter earnings coming in a fifth lighter than the market was expecting for a second consecutive quarter. This was thanks to a witches’ brew that included weaker refining margins, disruptions in Nigeria and higher production costs.  Shell’s biggest offence, in the eyes of investors, appears to be that… read more

Shell’s giant floating refrigerator to tap new gas reserves

Chief executive Peter Voser tells Emily Gosden why the massive Prelude vessel is a game-changer

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Emily Gosden

6:00AM BST 21 Oct 2013

 Peter Voser is surveying the view from the Prelude vessel, which he has just boarded for the first time. “Now you see the difference,” he says, pointing out an oil tanker a few hundred yards away. “That’s a regular tanker. It’s a big one, yet a small one.”

Small compared with Prelude, that is. The same could be said of all the giant vessels here in Samsung Heavy Industries’ shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Among them are liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, some of the world’s biggest ships. Yet all are dwarfed by Royal Dutch Shell’s monster. It is, as Voser puts it, “massive” – and it’s still only half-built. read more

Speculation on hostile bids for Royal Dutch Shell?

Posting by “Outsider” on our Shell Blog Wed, 9 Oct 2013. 10.08 am

It is common knowledge that BP, Exxon and Total (and possibly others) planned hostile bids for Shell after the reserves fiasco. Shell’s current under-performance in comparison with the market, together with huge write-offs on unconventionals and the Arctic suggest that some of these plans may be under consideration once again, perhaps with Chevron added to the list of potential bidders. read more

Financial Times Assessment of Peter Voser

Screen Shot 2013-06-30 at 08.30.42…doubts about the performance of Shell have become more evident recently after Shell announced a 20% drop in second-quarter profits, plus losses and write downs in North America and disillusion with Shell’s big spending plans. Voser admits that Shell’s Upstream Americas business was in the red and that exploration results in US shales are disappointing. Shell’s huge bet on US shale is his biggest regret.  Voser further admits that Shell is yet to complete a single well in its Alaska drilling fiasco (despite already spending $5 billion on the ill-fated Arctic project). “That was a big disappointment to me personally,” he said.

By John Donovan: Sunday October 6, 2013

The Financial Times has published two articles today about Peter Voser, the departing Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

The first article claims that his vision has left Shell in “rude health” following Vosers supposed transformation of the oil giant following the hydrocarbon reserves fraud. The scandal was disclosed to shocked shareholders and the news media in January 2004. Jeroen van der Veer, who actually led the company during the years immediately after the scandal, might feel entitled to some credit. read more

RTE Radio 1: Philip Boucher-Hayes investigates the OSSL allegations

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By John Donovan

As can be seen from the transcript of a Drivetime segment broadcast on RTE Radio 1 yesterday evening, Shell has been cornered into making what is described as a much more robust denial of the allegations made by its former “Mr Fixit” in Ireland, OSSL.

In so doing, Shell appears to have given OSSL grounds for a defamation action.

I have redacted from the statement attributed to Shell the potentially defamatory words used by Shell and broadcast by RTE.

I am not a lawyer, but I do have experience in successfully suing Shell for libel. My late father did the same. Shell settled both actions as part of wider settlements. read more

Ben van Beurden is a Shell insider who made late rise to the top


July 9, 2013 10:16 am

Ben van Beurden is an insider who has made late rise to the top

By John Aglionby

He worked as private assistant to the chairman, Phil Watts, from 2002-2004, including during the 2004 accounting scandal, when it emerged Shell had overstated its oil reserves. This led to a major purge of senior management but Mr van Beurden continued to rise.


Shell’s new CEO reinforces gas technology focus

 Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 00.09.36…van Beurden is from the downstream part of the business which wrested control from the upstream oil and gas division in the aftermath of Shell’s reserves accounting crisis of 2003/2004. A chemical engineering graduate, van Beurden had a front seat for the crisis, in which the company was forced to downgrade its oil and gas reserves that top executives had over-estimated for years. He worked between 2002 and 2004 as management assistant to Phil Watts, the head of company who was sacked in the aftermath of the debacle in 2004.

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LONDON | Tue Jul 9, 2013 9:38am EDT

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) named refining head Ben van Beurden as its new chief executive, picking a man with little board-level experience but broad company exposure and first-hand knowledge of the gas technology it has bet its future on.

Van Beurden, who became head of refining, marketing and chemicals in January, has been at the Anglo-Dutch group for 30 years and spent a decade in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. read more

Shell’s Misadventures in Alaska

Screen Shot 2013-01-04 at 09.05.24Though Royal Dutch Shell has made major strides over the past decade in overcoming the negativity surrounding the 2004 reserve overstatement scandal, which led to the ouster of its CEO and other top executives, the company continues to be plagued by operational blunders that are straining its relationships with shareholders. At the company’s annual meeting last Tuesday, top executives were overwhelmed by a barrage of questions from anxious shareholders about the company’s beleaguered oil campaign off the northern coast of Alaska, which, despite nearly $5 billion of investment, has yet to produce a single drop of oil. read more

Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis

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LONDON | Wed May 29, 2013 7:31pm EDT

(Reuters) – A decade ago, Royal Dutch/Shell’s (RDSa.L) boss was fighting to close the gap between the truth about his company’s oil and gas reserves and the much larger figure in its accounts.

He lost the fight, and his job. Scandal engulfed one of the world’s biggest companies, exposing years of neglect.

Fast forward to May 2013, and the surprise news that chief executive Peter Voser will retire next year caused barely a ripple. Shell has recovered shareholder confidence. But while the risks may all be in the open now, they remain big. read more

Jeroen van der Veer: Hypocrite Supreme

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 23.12.50Mr Van der Veer (shown right) is no fan of this website. In January 2008, as was reported in The Times, we published a leaked email from him in which he forecast that world demand for oil and gas would outstrip supply within 7 years. Events has shown that he was talking nonsense on that occasion as well.

By John Donovan

The fuelfix headline encapsulated the theme of the speech given last Thursday by former Royal Dutch Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer at the KPMG Global Energy Conference in Houston:

Former Shell CEO: Safety must come first. And second. And third.

This qualifies as sheer hypocrisy on his part.

On his watch, Shell had an absolutely atrocious safety track record for which he was publicly criticised.

(Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer “hurt” by criticism: 3 Sept 2007)

On his watch, even lifeboats serving Shell North Sea platforms were found to be unseaworthy. read more

Oil companies face public and political backlash if found guilty


By Guy Chazan: May 15, 2013

Big Oil is braced for a big backlash, as the industry faces what could be its own Libor moment.

“…the allegations sparked a political firestorm…



Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 09.48.24With regard to your most obvious rivals, Simon Henry seems to be a very intelligent, competent executive, but comes with the baggage of his starring role in the reserves scandal. I published our verdict. Based on my strange experience of communicating with Marvin Odum via RDS Plc Company Secretary Michiel Brandjes, I reached the conclusion that Mr Odum is a creep. As the New York Times has correctly speculated, he carries “the stigma of the Alaska debacle.”

Email to Royal Dutch Shell Upstream International Director Andrew Brown

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Date: 3 May 2013 09:54:33 GMT+01:00
To: [email protected]

Dear Mr Brown

As you may recall, we published a leaked email from you minutes after you sent it, the content of which, with my normal lack of tact, I described as drivel.

According to press reports you are a candidate in the race for Peter Vosers job, along with Simon Henry and Marvin Odum.

Perhaps I have read too many gossip columns, but I find the carefully constructed formulation of the resignation quote attributed to Mr Voser rather odd. read more

Briton tipped to run Shell for first time in a decade as Voser steps down into retirement

Chief financial officer Simon Henry was made the front-runner by bookmaker Paddy Power, despite saying it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss his candidacy. The Anglo-Dutch firm has not had a British boss since Sir Philip Watts left in disgrace in 2004 after Shell overstated its oil reserves.

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Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 08.17.32By Rob Davies: PUBLISHED: 22:14, 2 May 2013 | UPDATED: 22:30, 2 May 2013

Shell boss Peter Voser has announced his retirement at 55, sparking a succession race that could put a Briton in charge of Europe’s largest oil firm for the first time in nearly a decade.

Chief financial officer Simon Henry was made the front-runner by bookmaker Paddy Power, despite saying it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss his candidacy.

Centrica chief Sam Laidlaw is also in the frame, alongside a host of Shell ‘lifers’ in various executive positions.

The Anglo-Dutch firm has not had a British boss since Sir Philip Watts left in disgrace in 2004 after Shell overstated its oil reserves. read more

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