Clash of the titans

Published: Monday 31 July 1995

-- After 30 long years of blissful co-existence, the honeymoon is finally over between esso and Shell, the 2 uk oil giants, who had tied the knot in 1965 and taken solemn oaths of exploring the North Sea together. Greenpeace International, the environmental ngo, is responsible for the rift.

Shell is sulking because it feels that esso failed it in its hour of need, during its recent duel with Greenpeace over the issue of dumping the Brent Spar oil storage installation in the deep waters of the Atlantic. It "failed to put its head over the parapet", complained the Shell executives, feeling positively betrayed.

But esso pleads not guilty. It claims that this was a part of the agreement; Shell was supposed to be the "public face", while esso operated as the passive partner.

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