Sunday, August 12, 2007

David and Goliath - How Alfred Donovan took on Royal Dutch Shell

Independent news website Huliq.com has the story of Alfred and John Donovan and how their small grudge-match against Royal Dutch Shell cost that corporation billions in Sakhalin-2.

Huliq accepts citizen-journalist news reports, of which this is article is one, and penned by John Donovan himself.

The tale is ultimately written as a warning
to all large corporations to not underestimate the power of private citizens in the internet age. For a meager $4/week, 90-year old Alfred Donovan, a disgruntled marketing consultant, was able to take on Royal Dutch Shell. According to One World Trust:
Donovan's battle with Shell began over breaches of contract with regards to sales promotions campaigns he and his father devised that were used to attract customers to Shell petrol stations. Shell and the Donovans settled out of court. But it was after Shell apparently made disparaging remarks about the Donovans that John set up Royaldutchshellplc.com.

Donovan "wanted the site to become a magnet for people who had a problem with the company." The site has not only cost Shell billions of dollars in Russia, but Prospect Magazine reports that the Ogoni tribe of Nigeria also use the website to spread information about Shell’s activities in the Niger Delta, and that even Shell insiders unhappy with the company use it.
It was these reported Shell insiders and the information they provided that would later prove to be crucial in deciding Royal Dutch Shell's withdrawal from the Sakhalin-2 project. Oleg Mitvol, a senior environmental official for the Russian government(a.k.a. the "Kremlin Attack Dog") admitted in a November 2006 interview with Argus Energy that information supplied by the Donovan's was crucial to his case:
Who will take Sakhalin Energy to court?
Mitvol:: "I will take them. I have documents proving that the Sakhalin Energy management was aware that the company violated technical standards, but carried on trying to meet project deadlines and refused to stop work. I am confident of winning my case in Stockholm".

What documents are these? Where are they from?
Mitvol: "I have email correspondence between executives in Sakhalin Energy management from 2002. I received these letters from John Donovan, owner of the anti-Shell website www.royaldutchshellplc.com. I received them on 19 October and forwarded them to Sakhalin Energy with a request for an official reply. But I have not received any reply so far. I presume that they are in shock".

How could you prove that these documents are genuine?
Mitvol: "They appear genuine and we have special services working to prove this. Once they have been verified, we will have enough evidence to take Sakhalin Energy to court. If we win, the Sakhalin 2 consortium should pay compensation for all the environmental damages — which will come to over $10bn — as well as compensation to the state for loss of revenues caused by the additional delays".

Where did you get the figure of $10bn from?
Mitvol: "This figure was calculated by a group of experts, including Rosprirodnadzor. It is a rough figure. In November, we will set up a special commission comprising Russian and international experts to assess the cost of damages".

Do you think that environmental approval for Sakhalin 2 will be revoked?
Mitvol: "I do not know. Sakhalin Energy has a strong lobby in the government. The fact that Rostekhnadzor [Russia’s technical watchdog] is reluctant to sign the document to revoke the environmental approval supports this view".
Reportedly, Royal Dutch Shell officials were stunned by the internal documents and information that Mitvol had obtained via the Alfred and John Donovan, and originally suspected industrial espionage. It was later revealed that the documents were forwarded by disgruntled or whistle-blower employees of Royal Dutch Shell.

For other significant details of the story, I forward readers to the original John Donovan article.

Digg!
Save to del.icio.us

3 comments:

gaohui said...

The holidays are a time ed hardy of getting together with friends ed hardy shoes and family, attending elaborate ed hardy clothing parties, and other exciting events ed hardy clothes that involves dressing up in stunning ed hardy store wardrobes. If you ed hardy Bikini are pregnant during ed hardy swimsuits the holidays, it does not ed hardy Caps mean that you are unable buy ed hardy to look fabulous and ed hardy swimwear stylish. Now, an expectant ed hardy sale mother has many styles of chic ed hardy glasses maternity clothing that allows cheap ed hardy her to show off her baby bump Christian audigier while looking spectacular.

chunxue said...

During the World War II, Art Deco jewellery was ugg sale a very popular style among women. The females started ugg boots wearing short dresses and cut their hair short. And uggs such boyish style was accessorized with Art Deco jewellery. They used cheap ugg boots long dangling earrings and necklaces, multiple bracelets and bold ugg boots uk rings.Art Deco jewellery has harshly geometric and symmetrical theme instead disocunt ugg boots of free flowing curves and naturalistic motifs. Art Deco Jewelry buy ugg boots today displays designs that consist of arcs, circles, rectangles, squares, and ugg outlet triangles. Bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings are added with long ugg boots outlet lines and curves.One example of Art Deco jewelry is the Art Deco ring. Art Deco rings have ugg mall sophisticated sparkle and bold styles. These rings are not intended for a subtle look, they are meant to be noticed. Hence, these are perfect for people with bold styles.

Steve Emanuel said...

I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.
penis enlargement and penis enlargement pills