Shell Exploration & Production Ireland Limited (SEPIL) advised OSSL in late 2009/early 2010 that its services were no longer needed because main construction work at the Corrib terminal was completed.
OSSL did not accept the end of its contract and claimed there had been excessive tax with-holding on invoices from 2007. To resolve the claim, there was a full and final settlement of contractual matters in 2012 and a Settlement Agreement was signed by OSSL in the presence of its legal advisers.
In 2011 – during the contract dispute – OSSL alleged falsification of invoices and further alleged delivery of alcohol to the Gardaí, as well as non business-related works and gifts for some local residents. They claimed these activities had occurred in 2007.
OSSL was asked to supply written evidence (e.g. receipts) to support its allegations but was unable to do so. Given the gravity of the allegations, an independent internal investigation was instigated, during which many people were interviewed, including SEPIL staff, main contractor staff and OSSL themselves. The investigation team did not find any evidence to support OSSL’s allegations.
OSSL subsequently invoiced Shell for the alleged Garda alcohol deliveries. The invoice was generated on August 24, 2012 and sent to SEPIL on that day, for deliveries they claim were made in 2007. The production of this invoice coincided with the commencement of a campaign by OSSL demanding further monies from SEPIL associated with their former contract.
Since last August OSSL has sent hundreds of emails, conducted public demonstrations, made statements on Facebook and has engaged with media in relation to its allegations. Emails demanding money have been directed to SEPIL its staff and Royal Dutch Shell leaders. Emails have also been sent by OSSL to a number of journalists, with many senior Shell staff blind-copied on these mails. Local residents have also received emails.
SEPIL is satisfied that OSSL was treated fairly as a contractor on the Corrib project. Furthermore, SEPIL is satisfied that the allegations made by OSSL have been investigated and no evidence has been found to substantiate them, nor has OSSL provided any such evidence.
At Shell’s AGM in May 2013, a commitment was made for a senior Shell representative from outside Ireland to meet Mr. Kane of OSSL. That meeting took place in early June. No new information was provided by Mr. Kane at that time and Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) remains satisfied that the contractual dispute between the two companies has been closed.