On 23 Jan 2012 the European Union placed a ban on Iranian oil imports, to become effective on 1 July 2012.
Royal Dutch Shell is using the sanctions right now as an excuse to stiff Iran for $1 billion.
Shell obtained four large tanker loads of Iranian crude oil (about 8 million barrels), and now refuses to pay for that oil, citing European Union and U.S. financial sanctions.
With daily contract volumes of 100,000 barrels, Shell ranked as Iran's second biggest corporate client — along with France's Total — behind Turkey's Tupras. Total bought about 100,000 barrels per day from Tehran.
Shell CEO Peter Voser said on March 7 the company would take its final deliveries of Iranian crude "within a matter of weeks.”
(But won’t pay for it.)
Reader comments almost universally praise Shell for its theft. (Imagine if the USA delivered $1 billion worth of arms to India, for example, and India refused to pay for them.)
One reader said Shell should, “Just keep the money in an escrow account until the crazy Arabs (!!) realize they should forget about nukes.”
Royal Dutch Shell is co-headquartered in London and the Hague (Netherlands). It is the fifth-largest company in the world (and the second-largest energy company), and owns Philips, Magnavox, and Norelco.
Despite record profits from high oil prices, and despite being a foreign company, Shell is among the recipients of billions a year in subsidies from US taxpayers (while social programs are slashed).
In the fall of 2011, thirty-six House Democrats tried to end subsidies to companies like Shell, which they said will cost at least $122 billion over the next ten years. They were voted down. The subsidies continue.
Estimates of subsidies vary, since Congressmen pocket some of that money, and they keep it secret. One estimate puts it at $41 billion per year.
The Environmental Law Institute says that companies like Shell received $72.5 billion in taxpayer subsidies 2002-2008, or just over $10 billion a year.
Shell made $17.6 billion in the first six months of 2011, almost as much as the $18.6 billion Shell made in all of 2010.
As a group, Exxon-Mobile, Shell, Chevron, B.P., Total S.A. and Conoco-Phillips, reported $78.3 billion in profits during the first half of 2011, compared to the $76.8 billion they made during all of 2010.
And still Congress gives them billions in subsidies (because Congress pockets some of that loot).
Shell is the largest international firm operating in Nigeria, and admitted liability for causing two oil spills in August 2011 that wiped out the livelihoods of 11,000 Nigerian villagers.
In Aug. 2011, the United Nations released a report saying Shell caused 50 years of pollution in the Niger Delta that could need the world's largest ever oil cleanup. The work would take up to 30 years and require an initial tab estimated at $1 billion, the report said.
YouTube has many videos about Shells’ destruction of Nigeria. One of them uses grim humor to expose the horror: “Shell Oil - The Awful Truth.”