Royal Dutch Shell Group .com ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EXECUTIVES JET FUELLED ARROGANCE: Sunday 21 August 2005: 11.10 ET




By Alfred Donovan


A report published in The Sunday Times today, reveals that Shell senior management has bought three Falcon jet aircraft creating a Royal Dutch Shell plc boardroom fleet of 4 luxury executive jets.


The cash to buy the jets is being generated by the one element over which Shell management has no control - record high oil prices and consequential humungous profits. Shell recently announced profits of £5.6 billion for the first half of 2005. In other words, Shell is currently making almost £1 billion GB pounds per month (nearly $2 billion US dollars per month).


This scandal ridden company has a reputation for incompetence, misjudgement and dishonesty (and blatant ruthlessness towards some Shell employees). Bearing this backdrop in mind, a Shell management led by a CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, himself facing fraud allegations in the US courts, is demonstrating breathtaking arrogance by indulging itself in a fleet of luxury jets. This is at a time when according to The Sunday Times, other multinationals are getting rid of their executive planes.


It is incredibly unseemly given the controversies listed below, which all arise from the misjudgement/misdeeds of Shell management: -


  1. Shell has had five Irishman jailed since June for standing up for their principles in regards to the Corrib pipeline.


  1. Shell has threatened to have Dr John Huong, a reserves whistleblower and former Shell employee/geologist jailed for standing up for Shell's claimed core principles of honesty, integrity and openness.


  1. Shell has announced a cost overrun of $10 BILLION DOLLARS in respect the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia (and a delay).


  1. Costs have also spiraled on the Bonga field in Nigeria, the Athabasca oil sands project in Canada and most recently on the Pearl GTL project in Qatar — priced at $5 billion at its launch last year, but now already creeping up to around $6 billion.


  1. UK shareholders in Royal Dutch Petroleum are threatening legal action in regards to tax penalties arising from the unification of Shell Transport and Royal Dutch Shell. They are furious that Shell management was disinterested in their plight until the UK press took up their story.(Read)


  1. Shell management has been made to look like fools by the spectacular success of Cairn Energy to whom Shell sold off drilling licence rights for a pittance.


  1. Shell is faced with a continuing criminal investigation by the US Justice Department into the actions of former and current members of Shell senior management. Other investigations are still in progress including an FSA investigation into the conduct of individual Shell directors.


  1. Shell has deliberately delayed the implementation of a judgement in favour of Shell Malaysian employees where a Judge held that Shell had acted “unlawfully” in misappropriating funds from an employee pension fund.


  1. Shell is faced with a Public Inquiry after the deaths of two workers on the Brent Bravo offshore platform for which Shell has already admitted liability and paid a record high fine of £900,000 ($1,620,000 approx). (READ)


  1. Shell has agreed to a proposal to pay a $90 million dollars settlement in respect of a class action lawsuit brought against Shell by its own employees.


  1. Shell is faced with a separate US class action securities fraud case which has just been given permission to proceed by a Federal Judge - District Chief Judge John Bissell who has accepted that Shell and certain named directors including Jeroen van der Veer have a case to answer for alleged securities fraud in relation to the hydrocarbon reserves scandal.


  1. In a third US class action lawsuit fourteen individual plaintiffs have charged Royal Dutch Shell with violations of customary international law. This is in relating to Shell's oil operations in Ogoniland, an area located in the Niger River delta area of Nigeria. "The complaint alleges that Shell engaged in militarized commerce in a conspiracy with the former Military Government of Nigeria and that Shell knowingly instigated, planned, facilitated, and participated in unprovoked attacks by the Nigerian military against the unarmed residents of Ogoniland, resulting in extrajudicial murder, crimes against humanity, torture, rape, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced exile and the deliberate destruction of private property." Shell has already admitted after the leaking of a Shell internal report that the corporate behaviour of Royal Dutch/Shell in Nigeria fed a vicious cycle of violence and corruption.


  1. Shell management has lost its attempt via proceedings issued through the World Intellectual Property Organisation to seize the domain name for its own new company ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC: The fact that a private individual, the author of this article, owns and uses the domain name, stands as a monument to the blithering incompetence of Shell management. Jeroen van dr Veer and his colleagues knew before anyone else of their plans for the unified business to trade under the name ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC but failed to ensure that the domain name was secured.


For Shell senior management to reward itself with a fleet of luxury jets against the above backdrop of misjudgement and gross ineptitude is simply obscene and shows that it has learnt nothing from the series of dramatic revelations since January 2004 which have destroyed Shell’s reputation.


 The Sunday Times article:,,2087-1743713,00.html




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