Shell Did Not Have a Great Week

Aaron Foyer
Courtesy of Know Your Meme

Shell is probably envious of Tom Brady’s cushy retirement announcement after it was hit by environmental activism from three different directions this week.

Greenpeace protestors board ship: On Tuesday to kick things off, a group of Greenpeace protestors climbed onboard a Shell-charted vessel in the North Sea. A floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) was making its way to the Penguins oil and gas field when it was approached on the sea by activists.

  • In a video released by Greenpeace, three boats tailed the giant FPSO like Russell Dalrymple trying to impress Elaine. Four activists eventually climbed onboard and hung a banner saying “Stop Drilling. Start Paying.”

According to Greenpeace, this is the first direct action taken against an oil and gas company in the North Sea since 2019.

Global Witness accuses Shell of misrepresenting renewable spending

The activist group filed a complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stating that Shell had materially mislead its financial commitment to renewable energy.

  • The group alleges that while the company says it has spent $2.4 billion in its Renewables and Energy Solutions unit, only a fraction of that is actually going towards renewables.

Shell responded saying it’s “confident that its financial disclosures are fully compliant with all SEC and other reporting requirements.”

Nigerians submit damages claim: To top it off, over 13,000 Nigerians from the Ogoniland region are filing a court case against Shell for environmental damages, saying its operations in the region have contaminated drinking water, hurt air quality, and more.

Shell ceased operations in the region in 1993, but still operates a pipeline through the area. The case will be held in the UK, but the company argues it cannot be held responsible for environmental damages caused by attacks on its infrastructure and oil theft.

Big picture: Climate activists have found new avenues of protest, including courtrooms and financial filings, to try and cease oil producer activity. 

To date, the success of litigating against Big Oil companies has been mixed, but at least Shell’s corporate lawyers know they have great job security going forward.