Equinor Board of Directors: Jon Erik Reinhardsen (Chair), Jeroen van der Veer, Bjørn Tore Godal, Hilde Møllerstad, Tove Andersen, Rebekka Glasser Herlofsen, Finn Bjørn Ruyter, Stig Lægreid, Anne Drinkwater, Jonathan (Jon) Lewis
USA Consulate in Norway, [email protected],
Office of the Norway Minister of Energy, [email protected]
Office of the Norway Prime Minister, [email protected]
Office of PWC Equinor Audit, [email protected]
Equinor Board of Directors and USA Consulate in Norway:
My name is Steven D. Kalavity (SDK). I am a USA citizen and victim of crimes perpetrated against me and my family in retaliation for whistleblowing. For several years, I was employed by different subsidiaries of Norwegian company, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS). SDK was sponsored and employed by contract by PGS Exploration (UK) Limited, Weybridge, England, KT13 0NY (PGSUK). The original contract of employment (OCE) was governed by the laws of England and cited the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) intended to protect the integrity of personal data being processed by data controllers – employers, as well as the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) which is intended to protect retaliation for whistleblowing. Jon Erik Reinhardsen, is the current Equinor Chairman of the Board of Directors. Prior to 1 September 2017, Reinhardsen was PGS CEO and President. Reinhardsen also served as a director for PGSUK during that time, along with Gottfred Langseth, PGS CFO and EVP, and Christin Steen-Nilsen, PGS SVP Chief Accountant. Current PGS CEO and President, Rune O. Pedersen, replaced Reinhardsen as PGSUK director. Prior to being selected to be PGS CEO and President, Pedersen served as PGS General Counsel and Legal Compliance. Reinhardsen continues to be a director and chairman for PGS US subsidiary, Petroleum Geo-Services, Inc., in Houston, Texas, USA (PGSUS). Langseth and Steen-Nilsen also serve as PGSUS directors.
In September 2018, PGSUK directors, Pedersen, Langseth, and Steen-Nilsen had Thailand legal firm Duensing – Kippen deliver criminal defamation claims to the registered address attached to visa and USA passport. Prior to this delivery in Thailand, PGS UK Head of Legal and PGSUK secretary, Carl Richards, had threatened litigation in Thailand. In fact, Duensing – Kippen lawyer, Tippaya Moonmanee, also wrote to me ensuring that Duensing – Kippen was not representing PGSUK, but only Richards as an individual. Neither Moonmanee nor Richards ever confirmed their identities to me. Both demanded that all published content disparaging Richards be removed from nopgs.com be removed. There were many problems with this demand, which SDK regarded as blackmail/extortion. When the demands were made, Richards was an acting secretary of PGSUK. The OCE already contained contractual Confidentiality clauses that prohibited (former) employee’s from directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation or standing of the Company or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders. This begged the question, why would a lawyer, Richards, licensed to practice law in England, need the services of a Thai legal firm? Richards had both the authority and duty to invoke OCE breaches to safeguard the reputation and value of PGS.
The publication that provoked Richards to threaten SDK by e-mail was titled, Carl Richards, Arbitrary and Capricious Company Secretary, PGS Exploration (UK) Limited (24 Feb 2018). SDK first began publishing content that directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation or standing of the Company [PGS] or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders, 3 July 2015 while Reinhardsen served as a PGSUK director. No PGS directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders had ever even attempted to contact SDK prior to Richards unofficial e-mail contact in 2018. In fact, it was just the opposite. Content that directly or indirectly disparaged PGS or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders, was published on the LinkedIN™ Pulse platform: Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen Should Resign (6-Sep-2015) and Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen Should Resign 2 (20-Sep-2015). Richards had been cited within, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) and the Veneer of Governance (8-May-2016), and no breach in the OCE was ever cited. SDK tried to report concerns – protected public disclosure – to the PGS Compliance Hotline team, which was composed of Pedersen, PGS SVP Global Human Resources, Terje Bjølseth and Compliance Officer, and Silke Hitschke, PGS VP Compliance and Internal Audit. SDK also submitted another SAR. The PGS Compliance Hotline Team stated publicly within the PGS LinkedIN™ comment space that they had investigated my concerns. SDK wrote about this lie as well, The Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) Ambush Meeting and the Definition of Fraud (24-May-2016).
In August 2016, SDK was restricted from LinkedIN™ because the OCE Confidentiality terms and conditions were never invoked to stop the publishing of content disparaging PGS. Some director, officer, employee, agent or shareholder had complained about the publications to a LinkedIN™ gatekeeper. SDK began re-publishing content and writing new content disparaging PGS on nopgs.com the same month. The PGS Compliance Hotline Team was intentionally e-mailed the article and nopgs.com link, The Crimes of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) CEO Jon Erik Reinhardsen (4-Sep-2016). No comment. In late May 2017, Reinhardsen announced his retirement from PGS with his final day being 31 August 2017. While still with PGS, SDK published, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA (@PGSNews) CEO Reinhardsen Perverting the Course (1 June 2017), and then finally, Open Letter to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA Board of Directors (18 June 2017). No disparaged PGS director, officer, employee, agent or shareholder ever invoked a breach in the Confidentiality terms and conditions of the OCE. But, in April 2018, Richards was claiming that SDK had defamed him to a criminal level in Thailand, as defined by laws of the Kingdom of Thailand? It all seemed absurd, but it is real as the sunrise. Richards resigned from PGS 25 May 2018, on the same day that DPA was to be replaced by the new and improved General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR).
In June 2018, SDK submitted another SAR citing GDPR. PGS ASA had assigned Data Protection Officer (DPO), Daphne Bjerke, to address the SAR. John Francas assumed the role of PGS UK in-house counsel after Richards left. Again, PGS stated that no personal data was being processed by them. Francas also threatened to invoke the Confidentiality terms and conditions of the December 2013 signed termination settlement contract agreement (SCA). It should be noted that the subject of all of the online publications disparaging PGS directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders, challenged the legal validity of the SCA. In fact, SDK publications were intended to be substantive that they could not be ignored. In other words, SDK always wanted PGS to invoke a breach in the contractual Confidentiality terms and conditions! Duensing – Kippen arranged to have the criminal defamation complaints – one on behalf of PGSUK and the other on behalf of Richards – delivered to my registered residence in Thailand immediately after SDK had departed from Thailand. When SDK rushed and returned back to Thailand from the USA, having shortened his planned visit, he learned that PGS had illegally copied SDKs passport without consent and provided that data to Duensing – Kippen. PGS had also provided SDKs registered address information to Duensing – Kippen so that SDK travels could be stalked. Richards claim was also delivered from using the illegally obtained personal data which had been provided to PGS to process the 2018 SAR.
Reinhardsen has been the principal antagonist within my published narratives, which have contended and provided document evidence that I was illegally terminated from employment with PGSUK as a sponsored Tier 2 employee under contract governed by the laws of England for blowing the whistle. PGS retaliated through the use of bribed lawyers who uttered forged defamatory personal data to support a false basis for termination. SDK has reported these concerns multiple times to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and to UK ActionFraud™ (police). However, neither government institution has investigated. SDK publications have shown-up in first-page Google™ search engine results for the company executives and board members. The question for the Equinor Board of Directors is, what due diligence was done in respect to the owners of Equinor – the Norwegian people – prior to Reinhardsen being appointed as Chairman? How is it possible that most every clause of the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance could be ignored for the largest Norwegian company which is two-thirds (2/3) owned by the public? A USA citizen and his family want to know? My Thai mother-in-law was so traumatized by the delivery of the criminal complaints that she went into the hospital and almost died! What do you have to say to that, Jon Erik Reinhardsen, you lying criminal cunt? (This phrase has been published with a graphic. Is this disparaging and a breach in PGS contractual Confidentiality clauses governed by the laws of England?) Is publishing that Francas is a “Fuckhead” and a “Fraudster” a breach in the contractual Confidentiality clauses governed by the laws of England? No action has been taken by PGS under English or Norwegian law.
Following PGS’ response to the 2018 SAR and the delivery of the Thai criminal complaints, SDK wrote several queries to directors, officers, employees, and customers of PGS regarding the legitimacy of the claims which cost SDK thousands of US dollars to defend against in Thailand! Richards and PGSUK stated that they would drop the criminal cases in Thailand if SDK agreed to sign another compromise agreement demanding the de-publishing of content three-years after the initial publications were posted without challenge or comment? SDK signed the two Thai agreements 11 November 2018, mostly to soothe my Thai relatives. Even following the signing of the Duensing – Kippen agreements, which caused my family so much harm, no PGS director, officer, employee, agent or shareholder even contacted SDK and directly voiced any concerns about SDKs publications. The contracts were not signed by any director or (former) company secretary. At no time did any PGSUK director or PGS General Counsel, Lars Mysen, and Francas or Richards answer any questions about the litigation:
There was a ten (10) day period following the signing of the Thai agreement to confirm the terms and conditions. I did not believe that PGS or Duensing – Kippen has the legal authority to prohibit my contractual legal right under the laws of England to prohibit whistleblowing. SDK breached the Thai agreement and PGS again threatened to go forward with the two criminal complaints which held 2-5 years prison sentences. A new hearing was scheduled 29 January 2019. During September 2018, prior to PGS and Richards final decision about going forward with new criminal complaints, nopgs.com was stolen and taken down. PGS and Richards decided not to go forward with the new criminal trials. The Thai compromise agreements were ridiculous and were less powerful than the two prior contracts governed by the laws of England. The main difference is that the Thai agreements had no whistleblower protection. Also, the Thai agreements resolution venues were the Kingdom of Thailand and the Federal and state courts of Harris County, Texas (Houston), which was the US residence address attached to SDKs passport. No lawyer licensed to practice law in the US state of Texas was involved with forming the Thai agreements. PGS has no business address in Thailand. However, the PGS US subsidiary where Reinhardsen is a chairman, is located in Houston and they do have legal counsel.
Under Norwegian law (WEA), gagging clauses to prohibit whistleblowing are illegal. Under UK law (PIDA), gagging clauses to prohibit whistleblowing are not enforceable. SDK decided republish nopgs.com and LinkedIN™ content onto marineseismicsurvey.com in February 2019. Following this, Duensing – Kippen lawyer Moonmanee resumed sending legal notices to the registered address where SDK stayed in Thailand. SDK did not believe that the Thai agreements were legal and valid instruments. SDK and PGS were bound by two contracts governed by the laws of England which provided protection to whistleblowers (PIDA). Norway also has their Working Environment Act (WEA) that provides whistleblower protection. So, how was it that executives of a Norwegian company governed by the laws of Norway who serve as directors of an English company governed by the laws of England could legally litigate a criminal defamation case in Thailand citing the laws of Thailand? In May 2019, Francas became the first agent of PGS to have ever contacted SDK directly with regard to the content of online publications on marineseismicsurvey.com. There were many problems with the Thailand agreements. PGS demanded the removal of all content that even mentioned PGS.
The UK Limitation Act 1980 did not allow defamation claims for content published for more than one-year. There could be no defamation claim. There is not limit in time that PGS could have taken action with regard to content disparaging PGS. However, the only reason that there were so many online publications disparaging PGS is because no action had been taken when Reinhardsen was directly disparaged in 2015. PGS did not want to invoke the contractual Confidentiality clauses because the SCA was not a legal contract. The main objective for the SCA was to silence and get rid of the whistleblower without having to address the grievance which identified multiple illegal practices by PGS management and board of directors. PGS obstructed and ultimately denied SDK his legal right to fairly process a workplace grievance, which was actually whistleblowing, which claimed:
On 24 July I received a letter Investigation for Possible Implementation of a Performance Improvement Plan (Appendix 1).
The letter was requested by me in response to an impromptu meeting that I was called to attend on 13-June-2013 with my workgroup Manager, Edward Von Abendorff, Vice-President Marine Contract – Africa, Simon Cather, Regional President, Marine Contract – Africa, and David Nicholson, Human Resource Manager.
During the meeting assertions regarding my performance and competency were discussed. Due to the gravity of these assertions and their impact on both my personal and professional well-being, I felt it imperative that this issue be formalized.
To the extent that Contract Sales – Africa Management has viewed my performance as debilitating to the function of the group, and moreover the deleterious impact of the assessment on my personal and professional well-being causing great uncertainty and stress, I thought that the process should have been managed much better and differently.
PGS management has breached in practice and principle UK Labour Laws, PGS Core Values, PGS UK Personnel Handbook practices, as well as established best practices as presented through PGS contracted training and development courses.
It is my contention that Contract Sales – Africa work environment is unsafe/unhealthy.
Further, the Contract Sales – Africa Manager has breached his trust and authority through exercising negative behaviors consistent with workplace bullying, harassment, discrimination, defamation and negligence.
The predicate for SDKs delivery of a workplace grievance was the receipt of a defamatory letter which impugned SDKs work performance. This official rebuke delivered on behalf of PGSUK directors, Reinhardsen, Langseth, and Steen-Nilsen, was delivered nine days after PGS had renewed SDKs Tier 2 sponsorship which allowed him and his dependent family members to legally remain in England for another three (3) years. Through Tier 2 sponsorship, PGSUK had committed to the government of England that SDK possessed qualifications and skills not available in the resident labor market. How could PGS legally employ a foreign worker who was a poor performer? PIDA defines protected disclosure as information about any failure to comply with legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, or criminal offences. PGS made a concerted effort to deny a victim of injustice voice. And when SDK threatened to disclose PGS indiscretions, PGS retaliated. Settlement contracts contain Confidentiality clauses which prohibit the publication of disparaging content regarding the company. However, settlement contract confidentiality clauses that prohibit protected disclosure are not enforceable under PIDA. SDK was coerced into signing a settlement contract agreement (SCA) which terminated his employment with PGS. The SCA references the presented grievance:
The Employee confirms and warrants that hereby abandons and agrees not to pursue the internal grievance raised by him against the Company by way of his grievance document dated 20 September 2013 (or any analogous or substantially similar or other internal grievance), and agrees that neither the Company, any Group Company nor any of the Related Parties shall have any further obligation to him with regard to such grievance proceedings.
This SCA references the content of the grievance document. However, the quoted content from the grievance document establishes that the grievance was protected disclosure, or whistleblowing. Clauses intended to silence protected disclosure are not enforceable under PIDA. Employees have a legal right to blow the whistle which supersedes a Company’s power to silence such disclosure. The main objective of the SCA that was employed by PGS illegally was to retaliate against a whistleblower and silence legally protected disclosure.
If the SCA is not a legal instrument, then every representation that it is by PGS is fraud. The settlement payment is money stolen from PGS (shareholders). However, this confidence fraud was not perpetrated by PGS alone. PGS hired law firm Watson, Farley, and Williams (WFW) to advise on matters of employment law. WFW was directly involved with advising for the successful Tier 2 application process and fully understood employer responsibilities for sponsorship as well as employee qualifications. As employment lawyers in England, WFW was also fully cognizant of PIDA and DPA. SDK contacted law firm Landau Zeffert and Weir (LZW), specifically named partner, Philip Landau, to advise on the initially proffered settlement agreement. Landau was aware that SDK was a USA citizen and sponsored Tier 2 employee. Landau had been provided with a copy of SDKs submitted grievance documents with names redacted. As a senior level employment lawyer, Landau would have also understood fully PIDA provisions and at least base Tier 2 visa employer sponsorship and employee qualification requirements. The submitted grievance cited managements misuse of the performance management system, SDKs Tier 2 status which provided PGS with undue influence in his employment options as a foreign worker. The submitted grievance cited the UK Health and Safety Act 1974, Equality Act 2010, an employer’s duty of care, duty of trust, defamation, and negligence. Landau advised that I leave by settlement contract agreement and not follow the legally prescribed grievance process described within the Handbook. (Landau was also provided with a copy of the Handbook.)
PGS enlisted WFW to negotiate the final terms and conditions of the settlement agreement on their behalf and SDK enlisted LZW. WFW and LZW never questioned that the letter which was the predicate for the grievance and defamed SDK contradicted PGS’ legal responsibility to qualify foreign workers for Tier 2 sponsorship. None of the experienced lawyers involved with forming the final SCA identified the grievance as protected disclosure. The settlement contract was retaliation for whistleblowing intended to silence the whistleblower, SDK. PGS, LZW and WFW all conspired to cooperate in the illegal retaliation which breached the terms and conditions of the OCE, notably the PIDA provision, and defrauded SDK in forming the SCA. Money paid to these lawyers by PGS to process a knowingly illegal contract is a bribe. PGS, LZW and WFW also all promised that contents of SDKs personal personnel file was legal and accurate on the day prior to SDKs signing the SCA. In fact, SDK would not have signed the SCA without this promise. (The without prejudice email communications memorialized this commitment made by PGS, WFW and LZW.) The SCA was signed prior to SDK and his family leaving England. However, the base terms and conditions of the SCA were not consummated until a few months later when SDK and his family were in the USA. Against SDKs desire during SCA negotiations, international moving expenses would be reimbursed and not paid out as a lump sum. Moving household items from England to Houston, Texas USA took several weeks.
PGS joined the UN Global Compact in December 2013, the day before SDK and his family left from England to the USA. PGS had just finished defrauding and defaming a whistleblower, the UK Border Agency, and the ICO (creating fake personal data). E-mail communications between PGSUK and SDK while he was in the USA, with regard to continuing to misrepresent an illegal or fraudulent instrument as a legal one, would violate several US statutes. Four to five months after signing the SCA and physically relocating to the USA, PGS reimbursed moving expenses. While in Houston, SDK began his job search and sensed that he was being blacklisted. SDK did not want to violate the SCA terms and conditions. But, ten-months after moving to Houston, SDK submitted a subject access request (SAR) citing DPA. The main person who processed the SAR was PGS UK HR manager David Nicholson. Nicholson was a principal accused of malpractice, defamation, and misuse of the performance management system, etc., within the submitted grievance. I copied his subordinate, Laura Haswell, in these communications. What I discovered upon receiving the personal data that PGS was processing as SDKs was a personnel file composed of inaccurate, defamatory, forged documents. No pertinent documents even bore SDKs signature and could not be verified. But, PGS Compliance Hotline Pedersen, Bjølseth and Hitschke provided no clarification? SDK also learned that this fake personal data and the SCA copy had been sent to the PGSUS HR supervisor, Gareth Jones, without my consent and knowledge throughout the period of SCA negotiation. (Nicholson told ICO that Gareth Jones was an employee of PGSUK when he processed the fake data.)
What SDK would come to realize much later was that the electronic and standard mailing of fake personal data would constitute US mail and wire fraud. Nicholson, Haswell, and PGS HR SVP Terje Bjølseth continued to factually misrepresent events and relate that the SCA was a legally viable instrument. PGS published their 2013 Responsibility Report around April 2014. The 2013 Responsibility Report includes a letter from CEO Reinhardsen filled with known misrepresentations:
Oil and gas remain essential to the security and stability of modern society, both today and tomorrow. Seismic is a small cog in that great machine, but an important one to help identify new resources and monitor efficient production of the resources we already have.
Finding new oil and gas reservoirs is getting tougher as exploration moves deeper, into more remote and often harsher environments. The structures that we seek to image are getting more complex. Projects and planning take longer and are more demanding than before. Each new frontier brings new challenges to our technology as well as our operations. These changes impact safety and security, and require heightened sensitivity to the world around us.
Our theme for this year’s report is ‘Evolution’ – reflecting those changing challenges and tracking our growth as a corporate citizen. In our second report, we have maintained a commitment to transparency with a focus on the organization and systems. We have made progress, but our journey is by no means complete.
Our key achievements since the last report in 2011 include maintaining an outstanding health and safety
record, strengthening our Anti-Corruption program, as well as our risk management process, securing our ISO 14001 environmental management system certification and reducing energy consumption. In December 2013, PGS signed the UN Global Compact – committing to ten principles in the spheres of Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anti-Corruption. We followed this up with a new PGS human rights policy in 2014. An international corporation like PGS is built of many people across many nations. Our business affects and impacts on even more. If you are one of them, then I would be very interested to hear your views on how we can continue to improve – whether you are a PGS employee, customer, shareholder or another stakeholder.
Jon Erik Reinhardsen
President and CEO
The binding nature of any settlement contract agreement has made it very difficult to challenge its integrity. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that all lawyers involved in forming the SCA remain silent and protected. PGS lawyers Larson, Francas, Richards, and Pedersen, WFW lawyers Rhodri Thomas (now with EM Law, London, EC1Y 8AF) and Neeta Aulak, and LZW lawyers Landau and Rushton are not compelled to invoke the Confidentiality terms and conditions in response to publications which disparage them. The criminal conspiracy does not only impact SDK and his family. Reinhardsen’s 2013 Responsibility Letter marginalizes and continues to damage targets of workplace violence and fraud, while intentionally lying to investors and the oil and gas industry regarding crucial commitments to worker health and safety and anti-corruption initiatives. Corruption loses money to the majority and concentrates money with the incompetent and corrupt such as Reinhardsen. Equinor posted huge financial losses in its overseas operations. Equinor and PGS are also laying-off a large percentage of its workforce. What is most repugnant is that those who disregard ethical business practices are shielded and promoted while honest, hard-working, and knowledgeable employees lose their jobs. The very worst in ability and character define the profession and industry.
The Norwegian citizens need to demand that their publicly owned corporations are important to a future of growth and opportunity. Norwegian corporations must be managed in accordance to the Norwegian Code of Practice for Corporate Governance. When accused criminals such as PGS Compliance Hotline members Pedersen, Bjølseth and Hitschke are allowed to defraud and defame a whistleblower along with global citizens inside and outside of Norway, futures are being robbed. Pedersen, Bjølseth and Hitschke were promoted for their lies. Pedersen is now PGS CEO and President. Bjølseth retired without incident. Hitschke is now Telenor SVP Compliance. PGS has acknowledged through their sponsored litigation in Thailand that reputation and value has been damaged. However, the PGS Board of Directors and several in upper management would like to blame a whistleblower and put him in a Thai prison all so they will not have to explain how the SCA was formed and what documents support it? Because PGS and Reinhardsen obstruct SDK from the fair legal process, they cannot stop publications that directly or indirectly disparages, is harmful to or damages the reputation or standing of the Company or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents or shareholders. Reinhardsen cannot do his job to the required standard deserved of investors. The same is true with PGS. Confidentiality agreements cannot be used to prevent employees from speaking up about unethical or illegal activities. Publications that expose Norway’s corporate corruption must continue until corrupt leadership is terminated and rightly prosecuted. Corruption must be replaced with professionalism and honor for a shared prosperity.
“Eli Moe-Helgesen (NO)” <[email protected]>,
Carl Richards <[email protected]>,
GDPR <[email protected]>,
John Francas <[email protected]>,
Landau Law <[email protected]>,
Tippaya Moonmanee <[email protected]>
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