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The Scotsman: Bill Campbell allegations regarding the Shell Brent Scandal

Published Comment 10 August 2006 

As a long term Shell shareholder I am extremely concerned by the serious allegations made by the former Shell International Group Auditor, Mr Bill Campbell, concerning alleged falsification of records in relation to the Shell Brent tragedy.

We really cannot have a distinguished former high level Shell official being allowed to make such accusations without Shell taking action against him for defamation if, as Shell claims, the allegations are untrue.

This is not a case of some outsider ignorant of the facts making wild accusations. The charges in this case are being made by a person of high reputation and considerable expertise following his authorised investigation as Group Auditor into the Shell Brent safety regime.

Since a number of “accidental” deaths have occurred on Brent Bravo, two of which resulted in a record breaking £900,000 fine imposed on Shell, the allegation of falsification of records could result in criminal charges if true.

Mr Campbell is on record as claiming that he has personally met with the Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell, Mr Jeroen van der Veer, to discuss these matters. If this is correct, then Mr Van der Veer must be fully briefed on the issues and the allegations he has publicly made. They have been repeated in various mass media sources and in trade publications including, for example, UpstreamOnline.

Mr Campbell says that ESDV leak-off tests were purposely falsified, not once but many times. He further alleges that the inaction of the relevant Asset Manager, the General Manager, the Oil Director and the Shell Expro Managing Director in 1999 (Malcolm Brinded), contributed in some part to the alleged unlawful killing of two persons on Brent Bravo in September 2003.

Surely Shell is not going to allow Mr Campbell to continued repeating these devastating allegations? If they are unfounded, why has Shell not already instituted libel proceedings? If they are true, why has Mr Malcolm Brinded not been sacked? Why has he not done the honourable thing and resigned?

The fact that Shell has not obtained an injunction to prevent Mr Campbell making his allegations speaks volumes. One has to conclude that he is plainly a man of great courage who is speaking the truth. Nothing else can explain Shell’s lack of legal action against him.

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