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Posts on ‘January 9th, 2013’

Shell’s Arctic oil exploration operation faces multiple investigations

By Lisa Demer

The Anchorage Daily News: Posted on Wednesday, 01.09.135

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — As response teams continued Tuesday to evaluate Royal Dutch Shell’s once-grounded oil drilling rig, the Coast Guard, the Obama administration and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich all announced investigations or reviews taking a close look at Shell:

• Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced “an expedited, high-level assessment” of Shell’s 2012 offshore drilling program in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

• The Coast Guard commander for Alaska has ordered a formal marine casualty investigation into the circumstances of the Dec. 31 grounding of the then-unmanned Kulluk during a pounding Gulf of Alaska storm just offshore Sitkalidak Island, south of Kodiak. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Tom Botts

Botts was in charge of Southern as GasDirector UEG with his buddy Finlayson as Oil Director UED. It’s interesting the connection with Wood Group as one of the guys killed by the combined neglect of Birnie, Bayliss, Berget, Finlayson, Botts, Hill and their mentor TFA Brinded was a Wood Group employee, who of course was blamed for contributing to his own demise…

John,

Thought you may like this press release in todays Scotsman and also Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Botts was in Aberdeen following Finlayson so he continued the TFA policy during his tenure. Shortly after his departure the Brent B fatalities took place sliding the blame on his successor!  

Botts implemented Brindeds ruthless staff reductions and dilution of retained skill levels resulting in todays Management profiles of the inability to do anything.

Botts finished up in Houston overseeing the Motiva refinery expansion resulting in a massive cock up on start up costing many millions and months of delayed start up read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Selection of articles relating to Shell: 9 January 2013

Selection of links to current articles relating to Shell: kindly provided by a regular contributor

Weather models put Shell Oil on hook for irresponsible decision …: Alaska Dispatch-Jan 6, 2013: Shell Oil made a misguided and poorly informed decision to move a … Unbelievably, a Shell Oil spokesman said, that forecasts indicated a …

Deep In Canadian Lakes, Signs Of Tar Sands Pollution: WBUR-The Shell Oil Jackpine open pit mine uses trucks that are 3 stories tall, weigh 1 million pounds and cost $7 million each. There is explosive …

Shell Innovation Summit Puts Collaboration In The Spotlight: PR Newswire (press release)-The event brings Shell business and technology leaders together with … President of Shell Oil Company and Director of Upstream of Royal … read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

SHELL’S ALASKAN FOLLY

Do we really need to have another disaster on the scale of Piper Alpha or Alexander Kielland before Shell starts to apply the same standards to their Alaskan operations as are applied to their international operations? Has anyone ever heard of a 47 year old drilling vessel being used in the Arctic in Norway, or even a 30 year old drilling vessel? Or helicopters without de-icing equipment? Shell has lost control of both of their vessels in Alaska, leading to well publicised groundings. Why do we never hear of loss of control incidents and vessels running aground in the Norwegian Arctic?

COMMENT ON SHELL’S ALASKAN FOLLY BY AN EXPERT

Many of your readers will be familiar with the two major North Sea disasters (Piper Alpha and Alexander Kielland) which together resulted in 290 deaths in the 1980s. Those with longer memories will remember the Sea Gem which was lost (with 13 lives) while being moved in December 1965.
 
These vessels were all constructed in accordance with the standards in force at the time. The standards simply could not have anticipated the ferocity of the conditions under which the vessels would be used, or the specifics of the export system to which the Piper Alpha platform was attached.
 
As suggested by Tennille Tracy’s article, standards are created to address the circumstances of accidents/incidents that have already happened. They cannot anticipate new circumstances and are usually the result of compromises which try to balance the economic costs of applying new standards with the perceived benefits. The Cullen Report into the Piper Alpha disaster proposed the use of Safety Cases which would review both operating practices and equipment standards for specific anticipated circumstances. The Safety Case approach has been adopted globally (outside the US) and has undoubtedly contributed to the fall in the number of accidents/incidents in the offshore oil and gas industry.
 
The US should have learned a lesson from BP’s Macondo disaster, but continues to rely on standards which were written long before deep water or arctic drilling was even considered: fortunately most international operators have their own internal standards (which are required to support their Safety Cases) which far exceed the minima of the applicable statutory requirements, if indeed such statutory requirements exist. However, when no internal operator standard is available and costs can be reduced by applying legal minima, the application of standards written for a different world may result in a disaster. Most US standards are based on operations in the Gulf of Mexico or on land, so it is hardly surprising that they are inadequate for the Arctic.
 
Do we really need to have another disaster on the scale of Piper Alpha or Alexander Kielland before Shell starts to apply the same standards to their Alaskan operations as are applied to their international operations? Has anyone ever heard of a 47 year old drilling vessel being used in the Arctic in Norway, or even a 30 year old drilling vessel? Or helicopters without de-icing equipment? Shell has lost control of both of their vessels in Alaska, leading to well publicised groundings. Why do we never hear of loss of control incidents and vessels running aground in the Norwegian Arctic?
 
The Noble Discoverer was designed long before the Sea Gem accident, and the Kulluk long before Piper Alpha: the creation of new standards will not fix the shortcomings inherent in their designs.  read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Royal Dutch Shell tax dodging key factor in Kulluk debacle

Screen Shot 2012-12-07 at 01.26.25By John Donovan

Royal Dutch Shell has a history of tax avoidance stretching back many decades. A Shell spokesman has confirmed that the Kulluk was being towed from Alaskan waters for tax reasons. The timing was designed to take advantage of a tax loophole, which allowed the oil giant to avoid $6 million in Alaska state taxes. Should be no surprise since the company is infamous for putting profit before offshore safety. And the company is now run by a pair of ruthless bean counter fat cats, Voser and Henry. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Shell’s Alaska Rig Debacle — Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

While one Shell spokesman confirmed that the tax structure influenced the timing of the move, a second spokesman insisted it was driven by safety concerns for voyage, as two weeks of favorable weather were forecast for the trip. Worse than gales in the Beaufort Sea for Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the wake of the incident is the dreaded reappearance of corporate America’s most feared nemesis, Congressional oversight, a development that will earn Shell little gratitude from other energy companies.

By: John Daly: Published: Tuesday, 8 Jan 2013 | 1:38 PM ET

Whether one believes 100 percent in the science behind global warming, the fact is that the northern polar ice cap is in retreat, sparking an energy resource scramble among those nations with northern littorals. The U.S., Canada, the Russian Federation, Norway and Denmark (via Greenland) have all rushed to stake sovereign claims on previously ice-bound waters off their coasts, resulting in an energy land rush for subsea hydrocarbon riches.

But working in the extreme Arctic conditions brings its own set of technical hazards, highlighted by the grounding of Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk rig on the rocks off Sitkalidak Island on 31 December, after being battered by a northern Pacific gale. In a timeline of accidents, a line between the Aiviq tug and the Kulluk broke, as did four reattached lines between the Aiviq and other vessels in the stormy weather, and the Aiviq’s four engines failed. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

Interior Dept. Expedites Review of Arctic Drilling After Accidents

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department on Tuesday opened an urgent review of Arctic offshore drilling operations after a series of blunders and accidents involving Shell Oil’s drill ships and support equipment, culminating in the grounding of one of its drilling vessels last week off the coast of Alaska. Officials said the new assessment by federal regulators could halt or scale back Shell’s program to open Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil exploration, a $4.5 billion effort that has been plagued by equipment failures, legal delays, mismanagement and bad weather.

The Kulluk, a Shell Oil drilling rig, was checked for seaworthiness on Monday off the Alaskan coast after running aground.: James Brooks/Kodiak Daily Mirror, via Associated Press

By and

A version of this article appeared in print on January 9, 2013, on page A12 of the New York edition

WASHINGTON — The Interior Department on Tuesday opened an urgent review of Arctic offshore drilling operations after a series of blunders and accidents involving Shell Oil’s drill ships and support equipment, culminating in the grounding of one of its drilling vessels last week off the coast of Alaska.

Officials said the new assessment by federal regulators could halt or scale back Shell’s program to open Alaska’s Arctic waters to oil exploration, a $4.5 billion effort that has been plagued by equipment failures, legal delays, mismanagement and bad weather. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

U.S. to Review Shell’s Arctic Practices

Shell’s $5 billion Arctic drilling program has struggled with mishaps nearly from the start.

By TENNILLE TRACY And ALISON SIDER

The U.S. government has opened a high-level review of accidents and mishaps experienced by Royal Dutch Shell RDSB.LN +0.27% PLC since it started the process of drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean last year, the Interior Department said Tuesday.

The review comes after one of Shell’s drilling rigs broke free of a tugboat and wedged itself on rocks off Sitkalidak Island on Alaska’s southern coast. The drilling rig, known as the Kulluk, has since been recovered and arrived Monday in nearby Kiliuda Bay, where it will undergo assessment. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

U.S. Officials to Review Shell’s Drilling Efforts in Arctic Ocean

The U.S. government has launched a “high-level” review of accidents and mishaps experienced by Royal Dutch Shell PLC… The review, announced Tuesday by the Interior Department, comes after one of Shell’s drilling rigs broke free of a tug boat and ran aground on an island off the coast of Alaska…

By Dow Jones Business News,  January 08, 2013, 04:13:00 PM EDT

By Tennille Tracy

WASHINGTON–The U.S. government has launched a “high-level” review of accidents and mishaps experienced by Royal Dutch Shell PLC as it started the process of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean last year.

The review, announced Tuesday by the Interior Department, comes after one of Shell’s drilling rigs broke free of a tug boat and ran aground on an island off the coast of Alaska. Within days of the incident, environmental groups called on President Barack Obama to suspend all Arctic permits until safe operations could be guaranteed. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.
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