Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Yet another PR disaster for Shell after Nigeria, Brent Spar, the reserves debacle and the $10 billion cost overrun on the Sakhalin-2 project: now the Corrib Irish pipeline "cause célèbre": 16.45pm: Saturday 23 July 2005


By John Donovan


The following article about the controversial Corrib pipeline project in Ireland was published by three weeks ago. This was before the shock announcement by Shell regarding the $10 billion cost overrun on the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia.


We launched a webpage under the prophetic heading of "SHELL PR DISASTER IN IRISH PIPELINE COURT BATTLE". It now contains getting on to 100 news stories.  (SHELL PR DISASTER IN IRISH PIPELINE COURT BATTLE)


The "Rossport 5" remain incarcerated despite the best efforts by Shell and the Irish government to find a way out of a predicament of their own making, which has resulted in major public protests, Shell boycotts and massive adverse publicity for Shell. The whole affair is now a "cause célèbre" on an international basis which is growing in coverage and potential scope for further damage to Shell's already wilting reputation.


The protests continue this weekend.


The following link are also relevant to developments in Ireland:

                                                            The Sunday Times article "Corrib threat to Shell sell-off: "Do we spy another PR disaster on Shell’s horizon after Nigeria, Brent Spar and the reserves debacle?": 17.40: Sunday 3 July 2005


By John Donovan



Do we spy another PR disaster on Shell’s horizon after Nigeria, Brent Spar and the reserves debacle?


During the Shell Transport AGM last Tuesday, Lord Oxburgh said that Shell had decided against becoming involved in the Corrib pipeline project in Ireland and only changed its mind because of pleading from local people. Shell management must be wondering whether it should have stuck with its first decision, as there appears to be all of the ingredients present for another Shell PR disaster al-la Brent Spar.


Even the political wing of the IRA has entered the fray with comments from Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, that the five men jailed for obstructing the construction of a Shell gas pipeline in Co Mayo are right to take a stand.


The gathering storm reminds me of an almost two hour meeting I had on 25 May 1995 with the then Shell UK Chairman & CEO, Dr Chris Fay, at the height of the Brent Spar affair. Although the meeting in his palatial office suit at Shell-Mex House had nothing to do with Brent Spar, Dr Fay brought up the subject. He confessed that he was wondering if all of the pressure on him was worth putting up with. He appeared totally fed up and depressed with his lot in life – butler and all.


If Shell does not get a grip on the Irish situation it could create similar difficulties in terms of more unwanted adverse publicity.



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