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Contenders for the tarnished Royal Dutch Shell crown

By John Donovan of

The Financial Times recently published an article revealing Shell’s intention to make “one-off retention payments to three Shell executive directors”, Malcolm Brinded, Peter Voser and Linda Cook; the three candidates vying to succeed Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer when he retires in June next year.

Financial Times Article

Not an inspiring trio

Brinded has a track record of turning a blind eye to corrupt management and has the blood on his hands of Shell offshore workers that lost their lives in a preventable accident on the Brent Bravo production platform for which Shell admitted responsibility and paid a record breaking fine. Brinded failed to take adequate action after a “Touch Fuck All” safety culture was exposed in a safety audit led by Shell International HSE Group Auditor, Bill Campbell.

Peter Voser, the Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, is up to his neck in the UBS Bank scandal. He is a member of the blundering board of director’s accused of serious wrongdoing, including misrepresentation and alleged fraud.

Linda Cook along with disgraced former Shell executive directors Sir Phil Watts and Walter van de Vijver, was part of a Shell management team which misled investors over the volume of Shell’s reserves. The securities fraud and the resultant scandal cost Shell shareholders $850 million in fines, class action settlements and legal costs. We have documents confirming her personal involvement in important presentations which contained materially false information.

A former Shell executive, Paddy Briggs, has already made the following comment about the proposed retention payments:

We shouldn’t be surprised by the “retention payments” story but my God how offensive it is that these already hugely overpaid people get more gold whilst the Shell Pensioner community has to be satisfied with the minimum that the company can legally get away with. The poorer Pensioners have been hit by the abolition of the 10% tax rate and by real inflation that far exceeds the RPI. Not that our mega-Rich (and soon to be even richer) leaders could give a damn.

Mr Briggs recently resigned from the Shell Pensioners Association on a point of principle because Shell management refused to make a once off payment to Shell pensioners hard hit by rising living costs, due in part to the increasing cost of oil. This is ironic bearing in mind that Shell is embroiled in the sinister events in Nigeria generating record high oil prices at the gas pump. As we have previously pointed out, Shell has a commercial relationship with the gangs attacking Shell infrastructure including pipelines. These attacks occur at a sufficient frequency to repeatedly crimp oil supply, thereby driving up global oil prices. There are articles published every day citing the attacks as being a contributory factor to high oil prices.

Is Shell capable of such skulduggery? The answer is yes, it has a track record of sinister activities and unethical trading, including being a “repeat offender” in setting up illegal cartels. It has been fined on that basis.

Wikipedia Article

Within the last few days, Shell has been accused of being a participant in more unlawful price-fixing, this time in respect of the sale of cigarettes.

And it already has a history of engaging in skulduggery in Nigeria.

Wikipedia Article

We are also talking about a company making massive profits but which has failed to ensure that lifeboats on a Shell North Sea platform were properly maintained. Once again profits were put before the safety of Shell employees. article

On the one hand Shell is intent on heaping huge retention payments funded from multibillion dollar profits on three fat cat executive directors of questionable integrity, all indemnified to the hilt against claims for any misdeeds, apparently including fraud, while refusing to make a once off payment to Shell pensioners and failing to spend enough money to maintain the safety of lifeboat’s serving Shell offshore employees.

What would be the most appropriate word to describe this situation: Wicked? Evil? Obscene? Take your pick.

I feel confident these matters will be raised at the forthcoming Shell AGM.

Background information about our website.

As the operators of a well known website described by the Financial Times as being “anti-Shell”, we have an unusual perspective on issues relating to the Royal Dutch Shell Group.

Because the domain name is the precise dotcom domain name for Royal Dutch Shell Plc we receive all manner of correspondence intended for Shell, including job applications and terrorist threats. Shell unsuccessfully tried to seize the domain name in 2005 but lost the case on a unanimous verdict.

As another Wall Street Journal recently stated, the site is regularly used by Shell whistle blowers.

Insider information and confidential Shell documents and internal communications are leaked to us on a regular basis. Information we have put into the public domain. The One World Trust, an independent research organisation affiliated to the United Nations and the UK Houses of Parliament, has indicated that our activities have had a profound impact on Shell costing the multinational billions of dollars.

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