Shell in court over refinery leak

Shell's Swedish refinery business, Shell Raffinaderi, has been charged with causing environmental damage and breaching regulations on flammable and explosive products.

Gothenburg district prosecutor Jörgen Lindberg has demanded that company pay a corporate fine of 1.5 million kronor.

On 1st June 2003 an external pipe burst at Shell’s industrial plant in Gothenburg’s Hisingen area. As a result, 600,000 litres of petrol leaked out over the course of the next 90 minutes, soaking into the ground and evaporating.

The prosecutor considers that from October 2000 to June 2003 the company’s management fell short of its safety obligations. However, no individuals have been accused of any specific crimes.

Shell Raffinaderi says it does not believe that the accident occurred because of any carelessness on its part. In a report to the police the company wrote that what happened on 1st June 2003 was the result of an accidental incident.

The company also said that it would try to learn as much as possible from the incident “to avoid a repeat”.

TT/The Local


‘KKK’ flag mishap messes up Swedish pump makeover

The chain of petrol stations formerly known as Statoil proudly displayed its new flags this week, until a passer-by spotted an unfortunate gaffe.

'KKK' flag mishap messes up Swedish pump makeover
Uh oh! New Circle K flags at the Länna service station. Photo: Alexander Lindell/TT

As The Local reported on Wednesday, Statoil’s stations in Sweden are in the process of being rebranded as Circle K. 

And everything was going according to plan until a 17-year-old Swede saw three new Circle K flags in a row and “immediately thought of the Ku Klux Klan”, he told newspaper Aftonbladet. 

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A picture he took of the petrol station caused much hilarity on the hugely popular Imgur picture-sharing site and on Reddit, where it was posted under the title: 

“Somebody clearly didn’t think this through…”

“Or they did,” replied one mischief maker. 

Another user elicited belly laughs with the comment: 

I can only imagine the call from corporate?

“How many K flags are you flying, Sven?”

“Six, sir. 3 on each side.”

“So you have three K flags hanging in a row?”

“… I gotta go, sir. “

Circle K’s spokesman Johan Backman said he was aware the flags’ meaning could be misconstrued. 

“We’re going to change how we flag to avoid interpretations,” he told the Nyheter 24 news site. 

The company acted fast, and Reddit readers were soon treated to what appeared to be an old Statoil flag flanked by a pair of Circle Ks.  

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Circle K hopes the rebrand will make women and young people think more about tasty roadside treats and less about North Sea oil fields. And, of course, it wants them not to think even for a second about an American racist hood-wearing sect.