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Posts on ‘July 25th, 2010’

Shell CEO speaks out on safety and reputation

By John Donovan

Printed below is a leaked 2007 Shell internal email from the then CEO with a bike, Jeroen van der Veer. He sent it to all Shell employees in an attempt to burnish and promote Shell’s reputation just a few years after his involvement in the Shell securities fraud, which put more nails in Shell’s atrocious reputation. Must have been hoping Shell employees had a short memory about his own track record of covering up management misdeeds. No wonder one high level insider branded him “demented and delusional”. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

The Arctic and Shell

Updated August 5, 2010, with extensive related links.

What makes the oil companies think they can produce oil and gas safely in the very harsh world of the Arctic oceans? They cannot do in the Gulf of Mexico, or the Niger River delta, or anywhere else for that matter.

This article is authored by a former employee of Shell Oil. His identify and background is known to us.

Back in the early mid-1980’s Shell Oil began to take a serious look at the hydrocarbon production potential of the Chukchi Sea. They formed an operating division and staffed it with management, albeit with no staff, except secretarial support for the managers. (These guys were referred to ‘managers without portfolio’).

Shell’s exploration and production research division began to investigate the regions of the Chukchi Sea where potential lease sales were likely to occur. Of interest were the basic oceanographic parameters; water depths, under topography, sea floor surface geology, ice pack characteristics, etc. The basic surveys revealed some interesting results. The sea flow was basically covered fairly deeply with soft sediment (marine mud) but the topography was highly unusual. Acoustic mapping revealed an ocean bottom that was scarred by all sorts of crisscrossing trenches from a meter or so in depth, to almost 20 meters in depth. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

America’s petro-state


Americans may be torn up by the BP oil spill and its destruction of the Gulf of Mexico’s natural habitat – and torn up we should be – but that habitat has not been pristine for decades. In many ways, Louisiana made its deal with the devil long ago.

“big oil plays an unnatural role in our politics. … Oil elects presidents, drives our foreign policy, our domestic policy, our climate change policy. … It’s led us to terrible energy policies and a breakdown of regulation. We look to the Niger Delta as an example of what an oil state does to its own environment, but it’s precisely what we’re doing to our own environment.”

Louisiana has paid a steep price for its bargain with the oil industry

Washington Post

July 24, 2010, 3:54PM

Huey Long, the famous Louisiana populist, launched his political career by waging war on the big oil companies, especially what he called Standard Oil’s “invisible empire.”

“I would rather go down to a thousand impeachments than to admit that I am the governor of the state that does not dare to call the Standard Oil Company to account,” he declared in a 1929 campaign circular.

But the threat of a thousand impeachments notwithstanding, Long later built his own invisible oil empire: In 1934, while he was a senator, he and his political associates formed the Win or Lose Corp. The company — which had a reputation of never losing – bought up state mineral leases and resold them to oil companies at a healthy profit, while keeping a share for itself. Although Long died in 1935, his family and friends received royalties for decades. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

‘The Well From Hell’


Published: July 24, 2010

Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg News


The News BP and the government decided to leave the cap closed on the company’s stricken oil well on the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, preventing any oil or gas from escaping the well.

Behind the News Initially, the cap’s valves were closed as a test to see if the well was intact below the sea floor, and the plan was to reopen them afterward to relieve the pressure, with escaping oil collected at the surface. Methane gas was found seeping up two miles away, but scientists concluded it was a natural occurrence. With the well apparently holding tight under the pressure, Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral in charge of the federal response, approved keeping the cap closed. read more and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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