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• Shell Petroleum explores for, refines, and markets oil and gas in over 140 countries and territories globally.
• Shell encouraged the use of lethal force against environmental activists in Nigeria during the mid-1990s, and nine Ogoni leaders fighting to oust Shell from Ogoniland were detained by the Nigerian government and hanged.
• Shell continues to engage in the environmentally destructive practice of gas flaring, which has exposed Nigerians to dangerous levels of air toxins, though the company has agreed to phase out the practice over the next couple of years with a pledge of $700 million.
• Tell Shell to respect human health and the environment in the countries where it does business and use Go Green to meet your consumer needs without doing business with companies that have tainted records.
-- Profile Updated 04/20/2011
About Shell Petroleum
Shell Petroleum (formerly Royal Dutch Shell) explores for, refines, and markets oil and gas in over 140 countries and territories globally. The company has proven reserves of 11.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands, the company reported sales of over $306.7 billion and employed 109,000 people in 2005. Shell's U.S. operations are headquartered in Houston, TX with a workforce of 24,000.
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Contact Shell Petroleum
PO Box 2463
Houston, TX 77252 USA
In June 2009, Shell paid $15.5 million to relatives of executed environmental writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Nigerian activists, who were speaking out against the pollution of the Ogoniland region by Shell in Nigeria. In 1996, Saro-Wiwa and other activists death was prompted by a Nigerian Shell subsidiary. Saro-Wiwa’s death along with the environmental movement he promoted eventually led to Shell’s removal from the Ogoniland region. Shell maintains its innocence and explains the settlement as a humanitarian gift to the Ogoniland region of Nigeria.
-- CNN, 06/09/2009
A trial date has been set for the racketeering and human rights case against Shell and the head of its Nigeria division, Brian Anderson. On April 27th, 2009 the U.S. District Court of Southern New York will finally hear the case accusing the company of colluding with the Nigerian government in human rights abuses in the mid-1990s. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, the families of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and youth leader John Kpuinen, who were hung in 1995 after being found guilty of the murder of Ogoni tribal leaders by a Nigerian tribunal. The two men had actively protested against Shell over the company's environmental devastation of Ogoni tribal lands in the Niger Delta. The case was first filed in 1996.
-- Earth Rights International, 10/08/2008
Source URL: www.earthrights.org/content/view/578/41/
After a drawn-out appeals process, the Khulumani Support Group has won the right to have its case against more than 20 western companies heard in New York district court. The Khulumani Group originally brought suit in the name of thousands of survivors and victims of the South African apartheid regime, claiming in 2002 that not only had the accused companies profited from the apartheid system, but had been directly involved in propping up the regime. The New York Circuit Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling that dismissed the case, meaning that some of the most profitable companies in the world will have to confront allegations that they have been complicit in horrendous violations of human rights. Among the defendants are banking powerhouses Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, automakers Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and General Motors, oil companies BP, ExxonMobil, Shell Petroleum, Chevron and technology giant IBM.
-- Khulumani Support Group, 10/13/2007
Source URL: www.khulumani.net/content/view/1637/23/
On April 11, 2006, the Federal High Court of Nigeria ordered the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria to stop gas flaring in the Iwherekan community by April 2007 and to appear in court on May 31 2006 with a plan detailing the company's proposed actions. According to Alison Dilworth of Friends of the Earth, a Washington, DC-based environmental advocacy group, "Flaring is a human rights violation which damages the health and livelihoods of communities across the Delta, as well as significantly contributing towards climate change. Today's verdict puts Shell under a legal obligation to end flaring and is a victory in the campaign to end flaring." Shell was among a group of prominent oil companies implicated in a lawsuit brought forth by people of the Niger Delta and Environmental Rights Action/Friends of Nigeria. The case sought to end gas flaring in Nigeria, which plaintiffs argue violates their basic human rights by exposing them to highly dangerous levels of air toxins that result from the burning. Nigeria is estimated to lose $2.5 billion U.S. dollars annually due to the effects of gas flaring practices, in a country where two-thirds of the people survive on less than a dollar a day.
-- Friends of the Earth, 04/11/2006
In March 2001, the United States Supreme Court allowed Royal Dutch Petroleum and its sister company Shell Transport and Trading to be sued in the United States for allegedly encouraging the torture and murder of environmental activists in Nigeria by the Nigerian government. The 1996 case, filed in federal court in Manhattan, was brought by the families of Ken Saro- Wiwa and John Kpuinen, two activists who were executed for leading opposition to Royal Dutch/Shell Group's oil exploration activities in the Ogoni region of Nigeria. The Supreme Court rejected the company's claims that U.S. courts lack jurisdiction over alleged overseas violations of international law. The lawsuit alleged Royal Dutch/Shell Group's Nigerian affiliate, Shell Petroleum Development of Nigeria, took land for oil development without paying adequate compensation and then polluted the region's air and water.
-- Daily News (New York), 03/27/2001
Source URL: none available
Shell has released its Sustainability Report for 2010 and has underscored its commitment to safety and sustainability. 2010 was Shell's safest year on record, and environmental initiatives include increasing production of cleaner-burning natural gas, investing in lower CO2 biofuels from Brazilian sugar cane, working to advance carbon capture and storage technology, and involving communities to foster local development and company operations.
-- Ethical Performance, 04/14/2011
Shell was named the second “greenest” oil company out of the top 10 leading US oil corporations by Greenopia in 2011. Greenopia commends Shell for decent sustainability and data reporting, and for its steady improvement in greenhouse gas emissions, especially as the company has one of the lowest emissions per dollar earned out of its competitors. Shell had one of the lowest rates of water consumption per barrel of oil produced and has also improved in the number of spills each year and general resource consumption. However, despite its proactive role in alternative fuels, Shell has had issues with creation of solid and hazardous waste as well as numerous large spills in Nigeria, which may be possibly due to sabotage.
-- Greenopia, 03/01/2011
In June 2010, Congress assessed the oil spill action plans of the five oil giants of the United States (Exxon-Mobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, Shell, BP). All of the plans were written by the same tiny Texas subcontractor and three of them listed the phone number for the same marine science expert who died in 2005. Four plans discussed the need to protect walruses, sea lions and seals, which, as Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) dryly noted, "have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for 3 million years." All five plans were over 500 pages long each yet used the same reassuring language, yet the House Energy and Commerce Chairman deemed these "cookie-cutter" plans as inadequate and that each of the oil giants would have been as unprepared as BP to a major oil spill such as the one in the gulf.
-- Washington Post, 06/16/2010
In Brazil, Shell is creating a joint venture with Cosan, one of the world's largest ethanol and suger producers in a deal worth $12 billion. This venture will create a giant in the biofuels' industry and will be Brazil's third largest fuel distribution chain.
-- CNN Money, 02/01/2010
Four Nigerian villagers and Friends of the Earth (FoE), an environmental group, sent a letter to Royal Dutch Shell demanding damages for oil leaks caused by its Nigerian subsidiary. The spills have caused devastation to fish farms and crops in the Niger Delta. FoE and the villagers say if Shell does not acknowledge responsibility for the oil leaks, they will file a lawsuit in Dutch courts.
-- Business Week, 05/14/2008
Royal Dutch/Shell’s Sakhalin Energy Investment Corporation was denied legal approval to build a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant on Sakhalin Island off the Pacific coast of Russia. The company submitted an environmental impact review for the plant, which Russian courts subsequently rejected as insufficient for preserving the integrity of the environment around the planned facility. Opposition groups expressed concern over the plant’s impact on Sakhalin’s thriving fisheries and endangered gray whale population. Shell’s subsidiary has been illegally constructing the beginnings of the LNG plant, having already deposited nearly two million cubic meters of waste into Aniva Bay which is critical habitat for crab, scallop, and numerous fish including salmon and sole. International environmental groups predict that the Environmental Inspection Service of Russia will soon put a stop to the construction. However, Shell finished the construction and the plant on Sakhalin Island is its first LNG plant.
-- Global Response, 07/28/2005
Source URL: www.globalresponse.org/updates.php?record=2095
In August 2003, Shell Oil Co. agreed to pay $49 million to the federal government to settle a lawsuit over the unauthorized release and burning of large amounts of natural gas from seven of its deepwater platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the government, Shell did not have permission from federal regulators to burn off the gas, did not report the activity and did not pay required royalties to the federal government. The company said it was "pleased to bring the matter to conclusion," and that the dispute arose from "differences in understanding and in interpretation" of federal Minerals Management Service regulations regarding disposal of natural gas
-- Associated Press, 08/05/2003
Source URL: none available
In November 2002, air-quality regulators fined Shell Oil Products in Martinez, California $510,000, which brought the total of penalties paid by the Martinez refinery in one month to nearly $1.2 million. In the latest action, Shell settled two years of violations with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, some related to an accident in October 2001 that sent black smoke, gritty powder and a noxious yellow plume over the city of Martinez for six days. That October the refinery paid $675,000 to settle criminal charges of negligence brought by the Contra Costa County district attorney's office over a 2001 accident on a catalytic cracker unit, which converts crude oil into gasoline.
-- San Francisco Chronicle, 11/05/2002
Source URL: none available
Announced in 1998, the Cuiaba pipeline in South America has been controversial from the onset. Running through Bolivia's Chiquitano Tropical Forest, the 390 mile long natural gas pipeline was built by the now infamous Enron and is partly owned by Shell is part owner of the Cuiaba pipeline in South America. The pipeline has substantially affected indigenous communities that reside in the region surrounding the pipeline, threatened more than 90 endangered species living in the forest, and has led to an increase in illegal logging and poaching. Indigenous communities, NGOs and even the governments of the countries affected proposed alternative routes for the pipeline, but Enron and Shell claimed they would be too costly.
-- Amazon Watch, 05/01/2002
In April 2002, a Superior Court jury in California ruled that gasoline with the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether or MTBE is a defective product and that Shell, Lyondell Chemical Co. (formerly Atlantic Richfield Chemical Co.) and Tosco Corp. (now part of Phillips Petroleum) were aware of the chemical's dangers but withheld the information when they put the product on the market. The ruling came as part of a 1998 liability case brought by the South Tahoe Public Utility District over contamination of the district's groundwater. The district initiated the lawsuit after MTBE pollution forced it to close a third of its drinking water wells. In August 2002 Shell agreed to pay the South Tahoe Public Utility District $28 million to help clean up drinking water wells contaminated with MTBE.
-- San Francisco Chronicle, 04/17/2002
Source URL: none available
In February 2002, an appeals court found Shell and three other companies responsible for the majority of the $100 million cleanup cost of the McColl Superfund site in Fullerton, California. The ruling overturned a previous decision that put the onus of the clean-up costs on the US government. McColl was a dumpsite for spent aviation fuel and other oil byproducts during World War II era. The companies claimed the government was responsible or the clean up because the dumpsite contains an acid waste byproduct from a high-octane gas the companies produced during World War II for the U.S. military. However, the court noted the Superfund site contains other contaminates having nothing to do with the war. "The undisputed facts indicate that the oil companies ... dumped acid waste both before and after the war, that they dumped acid waste from operations other than Avgas production at the McColl site and that they were not compelled by the government to dump waste in any particular manner," Judge William A. Fletcher wrote. The companies said that they may ask the court to rehear the case or the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
-- Associated Press, 02/11/2002
Source URL: none available
In late April 2001, an abandoned and damaged Shell oil well in Nigeria spilled oil in a local village inhabited by 100,000 people. Before being capped, the escaping gas and fumes caused minor illnesses in the surrounding community. Local fishermen complained the deepening pool of oil ruined their fishing livelihood. The well had been abandoned by Shell in 1993 after it was forced out of the area because of protests by the Ogoni people who said the well was causing local pollution and leaving them impoverished. The company, which sent in a team of specialists to cap the oil flow, said that because it was forced to leave the area so rapidly it only secured two of its 16 wells properly. It also claimed that the leaking well might have been sabotaged. After capping the leak the oil specialists were briefly taken hostage by the Ogonis, but were released shortly thereafter.
-- Calgary Herald, 05/06/2001
Source URL: none available
In February 2001, Royal Dutch/Shell was one of 11 oil and gas companies named as defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by a Hyde Park, New York family and alleging that the companies had conspired to market and use the gas additive MTBE, used to make gasoline burn cleaner. The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled MTBE a possible carcinogen. MTBE has been found in drinking water in certain areas of Hyde Park. New York officially banned the additive starting in 2004.
-- Associated Press, 02/14/2001
Source URL: none available
Health and Safety
Russia’s state environmental agency has filed suit against a consortium of oil and gas companies led by Royal Dutch Shell to revoke approval for the construction of the Sakhalin Island pipeline. The suit was filed due to “unfulfilled recommendations,” in particular anti-erosion measures. Activity on the $20 billion project was suspended after the Natural Resources Ministry cited environmental violations at Sakhalin-2. According to a report from the Russian Academy of Sciences, approximately 20 kilometers of the pipeline are in danger of mudslide damages, particularly in the region where the pipeline meets the coast and traverses hundreds of rivers and streams.
-- Wall Street Journal, 09/05/2006
Source URL: none available
Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP, as well as a handful of other exploration and pipeline companies are being charged in a class-action lawsuit filed weeks after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of southern Louisiana. The class-action case faults oil and exploration companies for heightening the level of ruin caused by the hurricane. Plaintiffs claim that in efforts to uncover oil and natural gas, these companies indiscriminately and irresponsibly dredged the coastal wetlands of Louisiana, which serve as a critical natural buffer against storm surges and flooding. The case was filed on behalf of all Hurricane Katrina survivors. The lawsuit was initially rejected by a district court when it was first filed in 2005 but in 2010, several federal appeals court judges agreed that the case could be heard, eventually agreeing to set a hearing date and decide whether the case can progress by the end of the year.
-- AFX News Limited, 09/23/2005
In March 2004, a Nicaraguan court ordered Shell and two other US multinationals to pay $82.9 million dollars to 80 farmers made sick by the pesticide nemagon (also known as fumazone) on banana plantations in the 1970s. Nemagon's active ingredient is dibromochloropropane or DBCP, formerly classified "extremely hazardous" and now classified "obsolete or discontinued" by the World Health Organization (WHO). The pesticide was produced in the late 1950s by Dow Chemical and Shell, and was continuously sold to developing countries after the U.S. banned the chemical. According to the Organic Consumers Association, "DBCP is believed to cause sterility, testicular atrophy, miscarriages, birth defects, liver damage and cancer when inhaled or absorbed by the skin."
-- Organic Consumers Association, 11/12/2004
Source URL: www.organicconsumers.org/toxic/justice111204.cfm
In June 2002, Royal Dutch/Shell was fined $38,963 by a Brazilian state for contaminating the environment with unacceptably high levels of dieldrin, which was found in wells at a former pesticide plant operated by Shell south of Sao Paulo. The plant, which made the pesticides dieldrin, aldrin and endrin, was shut down in the 1990s when Brazil banned the chemicals. They are among the 12 persistent organic pollutants, dubbed the "dirty dozen," that remain in the environment for over 100 years without breaking down and accumulate in the food chain. Shell has made a commitment to clean the area, decontaminate the site and provide drinking water, social counseling and medical exams for residents. However, Sao Paulo Public Ministry has accused Shell of negligence in the exposure of at least 156 people to toxic pesticides.
-- Reuters, 06/18/2002
Source URL: none available
Ethics and Governance
Shell was named one of the "Ten Worst Corporations of 2002" by Multinational Monitor. Among the reasons the company was cited include an August 2002 accident at the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal, which is 50 percent owned by Shell, where 30,000 barrels of residual oil exploded; a June collision of a Shell-chartered bunker oil tanker that spilled about 450 tons of oil into port waters in Singapore; and the filing in May of a federal lawsuit over a 1999 gasoline rupture that killed three young people.
-- Multinational Monitor, 01/01/2002
Royal Dutch Shell spent $1.3 million on lobbying federal legislators and members of the executive branch in 2003. The company also contributed approximately $200,000 to political campaigns between 2000 and 2004.
-- Center for Public Integrity, 01/25/2005
According to 2003 figures, Royal Dutch Shell was the third largest supplier of oil and gas to the U.S. military, securing defense contracts totaling $545.84 million dollars.
-- Center for Public Integrity, 11/18/2004
In August 2004, Shell agreed to pay $120 million to settle charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including breaking anti-fraud and reporting rules. Shell also agreed to pay £17 million to settle the UK Financial Services Authority’s charge of market abuse. The company also faces a criminal probe by the US Department of Justice, an investigation by Dutch regulators and class-action lawsuits from shareholders, over the alleged inaccurate booking of 20 percent of its oil and gas reserves.
-- Ethical Corporation, 08/02/2004
Source URL: www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=2467