Donovan / interventions in former Royal Dutch Shell Sakhalin-2 Project



Alfred Donovan email correspondence with Shell International General Counsel Richard Wiseman: 11 November 2005 (note warning from Wiseman relates to Putin/Van der Veer animated article)

Email from Alfred Donovan to President Putin and automated response received 25 November 2005

Email to Oleg Mitvol, Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation 7 August 2006

Posting on Live Chat by The Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation 8 October 2006

Fax sent by John Donovan to Oleg Mitvol, headed "Royal Dutch Shell Sakhalin II project": 17 October 2006

Fax from John Donovan to Oleg Mitvol, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources of The Russian Federation: Wednesday 18 October 2006

Sakhalin II: Apocalypse Now? A potential environmental calamity on a scale never before witnessed by humanity!:18 October 2006

Email from John Donovan to Oleg Mitvol 19 October 2006

Email from John Donovan to Oleg Mitvol 19 November 2006

Email from John Donovan to Oleg Mitvol: 29 November 2006

Email received by John Donovan from Derek Brower, Senior Correspondent, The Petroleum Economist: 12 Dec 2006

John Donovan email correspondence with London law firm acting for Oleg Mitvol/RosPrirodNadzor: 21 December 2006 (Mark Stephens of
Finers Stephens Innocent)

The following files relating to the Donovan's involvement in the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia were supplied to the Donovan's by Shell as a result of a Data Protection Act application. There is a great deal of repetition but hidden in the pages is Shell internal correspondence relating to the Donovan's and their website. It includes a Shell internal email to David Greer, the then Project Director and Deputy CEO of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company. The handwritten numbering at the right hand foot of the documents were added by the Donovan's. All are pdf files and patience is needed when downloading.

Sakhalin-2 file 1: pages 1 to 31

Sakhalin-2 file 2: pages 31 to 70

Sakhalin-2 file 3: pages 71 to 109

Sakhalin-2 file 4: pages 110 to 150

Sakhalin-2 file 5: pages 151 to 193

Sakhalin-2 file 6: pages 194 to 218

Sakhalin-2 file 7: 5 pages Shell/SEIC internal emails concerning wish to "kill" Sunday Times story (it was "killed")


Argus FSU Energy: Mitvol Turns up the heat: 19 November 2006 (Interview with Mitvol in which Mitvol says he received evidence from John Donovan of the "anti-Shell" website,

Johnson’s Russia List (sourced from Russian news agency, Interfax: Nov 2006 (contains further confirmation of John Donovan being Mitvol's source of Shell internal emails relating to Sakhalin-2 project)

January 2007 BUSINESS NEW EUROPE: Shell gets stuck in a Sakhalin blog-mire

Prospect Magazine: Rise of the gripe site: February 2007

Accountability in Action: Between exposé and libel: online activity and the lack of institutional accountability: 27 July 2007(Also look at "Accountability in Practice – The power of a website" at foot of main article)

Prospect Magazine: Shell’s Colchester headache: 12 September 2007

Nikkei BP (Japan): Gripe sites are becoming more powerful: 13 November 2007

Sakhalin Losses

1. Extract from Royal Dutch Shell Annual Report and Form 20-F 2007 - 28 Minority interest


"In April 2007, Shell sold half of its interest in Sakhalin II, reducing its interest from 55% to 27.5%, for a sales price of $4.1 billion. As a result of this transaction, Sakhalin II has been accounted for as an associated company rather than as a subsidiary with effect from April 2007. The main impact on the Consolidated Balance Sheet was a decrease of $15.7 billion in property, plant and equipment and $6.7 billion in minority interest, and an increase in investments: equity-accounted investments of $3.7 billion."

2. Extract from Royal Dutch Shell Plc Annual Report and Form 20-F 2007 - Reserves


While proved oil and gas reserves attributable to Royal Dutch Shell shareholders reflected the net reduction of 402 million boe of proved reserves relating to Sakhalin...

3. Extract from Boston Globe article published 23 August 2008:

Russia has been particularly aggressive. In one of the most blatant instances, Shell Oil was forced to yield control of its operations off Sakhalin Island in exchange for a payment of $7.4 billion from state-dominated Gazprom. Most outside analysts estimate that Shell's share was worth $15 billion to $17 billion. Not only was Gazprom's payment far below the amount Shell had invested in the project, but it provided Gazprom with a dominant 51 percent share of the ownership. This heavy-handed offer from Gazprom came after state environment officials threatened to close down the entire operation because of supposed environmental violations.

Shell could hardly refuse the offer. It was either take in Gazprom as the dominant partner or risk losing the investment. Sure enough, once Gazprom took over, the environmental issue magically disappeared. Shell's CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, vainly tried to put a gloss on the whole episode by rationalizing that "the great news is that now there is stability so we can all work together, all the shareholders, to get the project up and running as soon as possible. . . . Thank you for suggesting this truly historic event." He even thanked Russia's Vladimir Putin "for your assistance.

David Greer Story: Project Director and Deputy CEO of Sakhalin Energy resigned after internal email was leaked to

'Pipeliners All! Shell's memo to Sakhalin: Financial Times 5 June 2007

Shell's team in 'hell' feels the heat: Financial Times 6 June 2007

Shell man's motivational memo is straight from the Patton script: 7 June 2007

Motivational memos must make their message clear: 11 June 2007

Memo writer in the Shell annals: Financial Times 22 June 2007

FT Online Poll on "Worst Motivational Memo": June 2007

Email from Sakhalin Energy to John Donovan 21 June 2007