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Posts from ‘April, 2004’

National Post: Shell Canada distances itself from parent company reserves estimates scandal

National Post: Shell Canada distances itself from parent company reserves estimates scandal 

JAMES STEVENSON

Canadian Press

Friday, April 30, 2004

Shell Canada president and CEO Linda Cook speaks with the media after the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on Friday. (CP/Jeff McIntosh)

CALGARY (CP) – Shell Canada Ltd. distanced itself from the reserve reporting problems of its European parent Friday, saying the Calgary-based subsidiary is a separate entity that has full confidence in its own oil and gas estimates.

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BUSINESS WEEK: FSA LOOKS AT SHELL EMAILS

BUSINESS WEEK: FSA LOOKS AT SHELL EMAILS

By Alan Lodge
Apr 29 2004
Posted 30 April 04

Probe into oil giant after `lying’ revelations

THE Financial Services Authority has launched its own probe into oil giant Shell.

The move comes after it emerged former executives had lied about the company’s oil and gas reserves for many years

Last week the firm announced an internal investigation had shown investors had been misled about the company’s position and the company had overstated its reserves – a figure used by analysts and investors to value the company – by 20 per cent.

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TheMotleyFool.co.uk: Shell Fishing

TheMotleyFool.co.uk: Shell Fishing

By David Kuo (TMFDragon)
April 29, 2004

They say that one of the best times to invest in a blue chip firm is when the company is on its knees. In the case of Shell the scandal-hit oil giant is not just on its knees, it is writhing on the ground in agony following the exposure of five years of fishy management decisions.

So is Shell a buy?

As with all investment decisions there are never any straightforward answers. After all, if investing in shares is that clear-cut we would all be exceedingly rich people!

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The Times: CITYLAW – Shell

The Times: CITYLAW – Shell

Published 27 April 04

Posted 30 April 04

SHELL has drafted in Cravath Swaine & Moore to fight off claims by the US Securities & Exchange Commission – although the firm helped to write the report that led to the regulators’ probe in the first place.

Cravath, the energy company’s long-term legal advisors, co-wrote the memorandum that forced Shell to launch Project Rockford – codename for the energy company’s review of its reserves. (The Lawyer)

Financial Times: OBSERVER: Shell game

Financial Times: OBSERVER: Shell game

Apr 30, 2004

Shell’s new executives made investors twitchy this week.

Until late Wednesday afternoon the company’s first quarter earnings were to be discussed in a conference call by Tim Morrison, acting chief financial officer, alone.

The last time Shell chatted about its earnings was on January 9, when it said it was slashing 20 per cent of its reserves because they had been wrongly booked with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

By the evening, however, Shell had lined up Jeroen van der Veer, chairman, and Malcolm Brinded, head of exploration and production, as well. With its earnings as strong as they were, why were van der Veer and Brinded so shy?

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Financial Times: Lex COLUMN: Royal Dutch/Shell

Financial Times: Lex COLUMN: Royal Dutch/Shell

Apr 30, 2004

Surprises from Royal Dutch/Shell are not normally prefaced with the word “welcome”. Fortunately for shareholders its reserves debacle has played out against a backdrop of high oil and gas prices. First-quarter earnings are strong, enabling the oil group to announce a $2bn share buyback and an increase in capital expenditure of up to $2bn. Investors can also draw comfort from the fact that excess cash flow has not been directed towards costly acquisitions to address the problem of Shell’s paltry reserve replacement ratio.

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Financial Times: Strong results a respite for Shell

Financial Times: Strong results a respite for Shell

By Carola Hoyos and Friederike Tiesenhausen Cave

Published: April 30 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: April 30 2004 5:00

Royal Dutch/Shell, the embattled energy group, gained some respite from its reserves worries yesterday, reporting strong first-quarter figures and promising investors a $2bn (£1.13bn) share buy-back programme this year.

The move, which will be financed from strong cash flow thanks to high oil prices, sent the group’s shares to their highest levels since January 9, when Shell cut 20 per cent of its proved oil and gas reserves.

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Financial Times: Shell reassures with upbeat results

Financial Times: Shell reassures with upbeat results

By Carola Hoyos and Friederike Tiesenhausen Cave in London

Published: April 30 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: April 30 2004 5:00

Royal Dutch/Shell, the embattled energy group, yesterday gained some respite from its reserves worries by reporting strong first-quarter figures and promising investors a $2bn share buy-back programme this year.

The move, which will be financed from strong cashflow thanks to high oil prices, sent the group’s shares to their highest levels since January 9, when Shell cut 20 per cent of its proved oil and gas reserves.

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The Times: Shell share buyback looks slick move

The Times: Shell share buyback looks slick move

30 April 04

SHELL’S vanishing oil reserves did not amount to a death sentence for the company. It was still left with an awful lot of oil and gas at a time when prices for both are strong. But the rapturous reception that greeted the buoyant profit figures that the company announced yesterday, accompanied by an ingratiating $2 billion share buyback, showed the City at its most forgiving.

After what has emerged from the company so far, it is too early for investors to be sanguine once more about Shell. A culture that allowed shareholders to be deliberately misled over such a long period is not likely to have been eradicated with a couple of high-profile departures and one demotion. And, although Shell’s production for the first quarter was impressive, it remains a worrying fact that the company’s lack of new discoveries means that it is shrinking with every gallon of petrol it sells.

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The Times: Shell set to step up disposal of assets

The Times: Shell set to step up disposal of assets

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

April 30, 2004

SHELL is expected to accelerate a multibillion-dollar programme of asset sales in an effort to meet the cost of adopting a dramatic policy U-turn of handing cash back to investors.

The oil company yesterday revealed a new policy aimed at appeasing investors, and analysts believe Shell could further increase the size of the cash return by selling North Sea assets and non-core business. The oil company has begun the process of making amends with shareholders angered by the reserves misreporting scandal, announcing better than expected profits of $4.25 billion (£2.4 billion) for the first quarter and revealing plans to buy back some $2 billion in stock.

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Daily Telegraph: Shell pledges to buy back $2bn shares

Daily Telegraph: Shell pledges to buy back $2bn shares

 By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 30/04/2004)

Shell, the embattled oil and gas giant, yesterday announced plans to buy back $2billion-worth of its shares and said that plans to reform its unwieldy corporate structure were progressing speedily.

Shell said that it would spend $2billion on its buyback programme between now and the end of the year, the first buybacks since December 2002.

Jeroen van der Veer, chairman of Shell’s committee of managing directors, said Shell could buy back more shares because of the high oil price.

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The Guardian: Shell woos investors with $2bn buyback

The Guardian: Shell woos investors with $2bn buyback

Terry Macalister

Friday April 30, 2004

Scandal-hit Shell yesterday won back some of its lost favour with investors by announcing plans to launch a $2bn (£1.1bn) share buyback programme – something it had recently shunned.

Shares in the Anglo-Dutch oil company rebounded more than 3% to 399p, powered by a better than expected financial performance in the first quarter of the year.

Profits rose 9% to $4.25bn on the back of stronger crude prices, higher refining margins and improved chemicals performance.

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The Independent: Movement at Shell

The Independent: Movement at Shell

30 April 04

Like a supertanker in mid-ocean, it takes an awfully long time for a bureaucratic monolith such as Royal Dutch/Shell to change course. But yesterday it showed the first signs in months that someone may actually have their hand somewhere in the rough vicinity of the tiller. The share buy-back was a no-brainer for a business gushing cash on the back of $34 oil. The decision to run the company for value not volume is also a step in the right direction.

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The Independent: Shell fights back with $2bn share buy-back programme

The Independent: Shell fights back with $2bn share buy-back programme

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

30 April 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell, the crisis-stricken oil group, sought to regain investor confidence yesterday by unveiling a $2bn (£1bn) share buy-back programme.

Reporting better-than-expected first-quarter profits, the oil giant also pledged that its exploration and production strategy would be geared to achieving short-term gains for shareholders over the next 12 months.

The double bill of good news was designed to try to put a lid, at least temporarily, on the reserves scandal which has plunged Shell into the gravest crisis in its 96-year history.

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The Scotsman: Oil giant proves it’s still a winner

The Scotsman: Oil giant proves it’s still a winner

MARTIN FLANAGAN

CITY EDITOR

Fri 30 Apr 2004

Clearly, with these sorts of profits, to talk about Shell in the same voice as Enron and Parmalat is nonsense

I SUGGESTED here yesterday that Shell would be very lucky if the market focused on its first-quarter trading results released later in the day, given the billowing, dark clouds over the overstated reserves scandal.

I was very wrong. Shell came out swinging, like the big energy beast it remains, with stunningly good trading figures, strong cash generation that will underpin increased capital spending going forward, and a US$2 billion (£1.1bn) share buyback aimed pretty unsubtly at repairing relations with the City.

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New York Times: Shell to buy back $2 billion in stock

New York Times: Shell to buy back $2 billion in stock

By HEATHER TIMMONS

April 30, 2004

LONDON — The Royal Dutch/Shell Group said on Thursday that it would buy back $2 billion of its shares this year, the latest sign that the company is trying to placate shareholders after months of criticism.

Shell has been under fire since it unexpectedly cut its proven reserves estimates by 20 percent in January and is being investigated by regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and Britain’s market regulator, the Financial Services Authority.

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APRIL 2004 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS

The Times: Revival in the pipeline?

The Times: Revival in the pipeline?

 April 29, 2004

By Richard Irving, Business News Editor

Shell has shocked investors again, this time by revealing profits far better than they had hoped for.

For most of 2004, Shell has found buyers for its shares as elusive as its “proven” oil reserves.

It was not so long ago, in June last year, that the stock was trading near parity with BP shares at a little over 400p.

Yesterday Shell shares closed at 386.75p, more than 20 per cent below the price of BP stock.

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Forbes.com: S&P says it may still cut Shell’s debt rating

Forbes.com: S&P says it may still cut Shell’s debt rating

Reuters, 04.29.04, 12:02 PM ET

NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s on Thursday said it may still cut its rating on Royal Dutch/Shell after the Anglo-Dutch oil group reported first-quarter financial results at the top range of expectations.

S&P said that although some of the quarter’s news was positive, including a sharp reduction in debt to $11.7 billion from $18.2 billion, there were also negatives, such as an erosion in oil and gas production and a planned $14.5 billion to $15 billion capital spending program for 2004 and 2005.

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The Scotsman: Embattled Shell lifted by 9% rise in profits

The Scotsman: Embattled Shell lifted by 9% rise in profits

29 April 04

THE tide appeared to turn in Shell’s favour today as the troubled oil giant cheered analysts by reporting a nine per cent hike in quarterly profits.

The company, which has seen its reputation battered by a series of oil reserve downgrades, also bowed to investor pressure and restarted its share buyback programme.

Net profits for the first three months of the year rose ahead of market expectations to some £2.4 billion – despite the company recording a decline in oil output.

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Yahoo.com: Shell 1Q Net Falls 16%, Announces $2B Buyback

Yahoo.com: Shell 1Q Net Falls 16%, Announces $2B Buyback

By Mark Long Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Thursday April 29 04

LONDON (Dow Jones)–Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD, SC) Thursday said its first-quarter net profit dropped 16% from a year earlier’s record result that was skewed higher by more than $1 billion in special credits.

The beleaguered Anglo-Dutch oil giant also moved to win back wary investors with a plan to buy back $2 billion worth of its own shares this year, and said it would boost spending on exploration for oil and gas.

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Bloomberg.com: Shell Reports Drop in First-Quarter Earnings as Output Falls

Bloomberg.com: Shell Reports Drop in First-Quarter Earnings as Output Falls

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch/Shell Group, which faces regulator probes and investor lawsuits after cutting oil and gas reserves three times, said first-quarter profit fell 16 percent from a year ago as output declined.

Net income dropped to $4.43 billion from $5.31 billion a year ago, the company, based in London and The Hague, said in a PRNewswire statement. Profits from asset sales were smaller than in the year-earlier period.

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Financial Times: Shell ‘had systems in place’ to hear fears over reserves

Financial Times: Shell ‘had systems in place’ to hear fears over reserves

 By Carola Hoyos

Published: April 29 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: April 29 2004 5:00

A senior Royal Dutch/Shell executive has insisted that there were systems in place for any director to raise concerns over the oil group’s reserves position with the board.

John Hofmeister, Shell’s director of human resources, told the Financial Times that the issue could have been raised “through audit, human resources or the non-executive process” if it was not being addressed under normal reporting lines.

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Financial Times: Hollywood or bust . . . or For a Few Barrels More

Financial Times: Hollywood or bust . . . or For a Few Barrels More

By John Gapper
Published: April 27 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: April 27 2004 5:00

Posted 29 April 04

In mid-2001, Walter van de Vijver succeeded Sir Philip Watts as chief executive of Shell’s exploration and production unit . . . Virtually from [that] time, the two engaged in a pointed dialogue …

In a December 2003 memo entitled Script for Walter . . . the assumption was made that 2.3bn barrels of proved reserves were non-compliant . . . Mrvan de Vijver immediately e-mailed one of its authors: ‘This is absolute dynamite, not at all what I was expecting and needs to be destroyed.’ – Report of Davis, Polk & Wardwell to Shell’s group audit committee.

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London Evening Standard: Huge profits at battered Shell

London Evening Standard: Huge profits at battered Shell

Sally Hamilton,

29 April 2004

SCANDAL-hit energy giant Shell finally gained respite from its reserves crisis today by stunning the City with huge profits for the first three months of the year and announcing a $2bn (£1.13bn) share buyback.

Shares in the troubled Anglo-Dutch group leapt 12 1/2p to 399 3/4p, catapulting it to the top of the FTSE 100 risers in early trade and a high since it revealed the reserves debacle in January.

Profits rose 9% to $4.2bn for the quarter to March, above City expectations.

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Royal Dutch Shell News Wednesday 28 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Tuesday 27 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Monday 26 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Sunday 25 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Saturday 24 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Friday 23 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Thursday 22 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Wednesday 21 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Tuesday 20 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Monday 19 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Sunday 18 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Saturday 17 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Friday 16 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Thursday 15 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Wednesday 14 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Tuesday 13 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Easter Monday 12 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Easter Sunday 11 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Saturday 10 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Easter Friday 9 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Thursday 8 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Wednesday 7 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Tuesday 6 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Monday 5 April, 2004

Royal Dutch Shell News Sunday 4 April, 2004