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Posts from ‘May, 2004’

Mail on Sunday: £150m bonanza for Shell auditors

Mail on Sunday: £150m bonanza for Shell auditors

 

Patrick Tooher,

30 May 2004

Posted 31 May 04

 

ACCOUNTANTS who failed to spot Shell’s massive overbooking of reserves were paid more than £150m in the past five years by the embattled oil giant.

 

Most of the fees paid to KPMG and PwC were for lucrative consultancy work rather than the basic audit, which spectacularly missed major shortcomings in Shell’s own internal financial controls.

 

However, Shell says it has no plans to change its auditors, who will stand for re-election at next month’s annual meeting.

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BARRON’SOnline.com: Winds of Fortune

BARRON’SOnline.com: Winds of Fortune

MONDAY, MAY 31, 2004
By JACQUELINE DOHERTY

With oil at $40 a barrel, windmills and solar panels are getting a second look

IT USED TO BE A QUAINT DREAM of the granola and Birkenstock crowd: widespread use of windmills and solar panels to generate electricity. But now, lured by the potential profits, some big corporations are starting to plow billions into the field. Giants such as General Electric and Royal Dutch/Shell Group have jumped into the manufacturing end of the business, while wind farms are finding equity financing from the likes of FPL Energy, a unit of Florida’s FPL Group; PPM Energy, a unit of Scottish Power; and the Zilkha family of Texas, which made a fortune in natural gas in the 1990s.

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News.com.au: Shell cuts earnings $285m

News.com.au: Shell cuts earnings $285m

By Bruce Stanley in London
May 31, 2004

ROYAL Dutch/Shell Group has reduced its annual earnings by $US203 million ($285 million).

This was revealed in an annual report delayed by two months due to the scandal arising from the company’s downgrading of its oil and gas reserves. Yet even as it sought to restore its battered reputation, Shell suffered another blow when a US refinery said it had supplied Shell stations in the US state of Florida with petrol that contained potentially damaging amounts of sulphur.

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The Business: Benchmark Column: Shell

The Business: Benchmark Column: Shell

Edited by Grant Clelland 30 May 04

The oil industry is still essentially run by geologists, so Shell’s executives will have a ready analogy for the periodic tremors the seismic upheaval of Shell’s 3.9bn barrel reserves downgrade in January is still throwing out. Last week’s 120m barrel downgrade, Shell’s fourth this year, barely registered however.

The cut pushed Shell’s total reduction in proven reserves to a new total of 4.47bn barrels, and it was forced to trim earnings for 2001-03 by $402m. Shell Transport’s shares rose 2%. What really held up the share price was belief that Shell’s auditors, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, had decided to give the annual report a clean bill of health.

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Shell UK bosses join push for single board

The Business: Shell UK bosses join push for single board

 

By Richard Orange

30 May 2004

 

DIRECTORS of Shell Transport and Trading, the British side Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal-Dutch-Shell, have swung behind investors pushing for the company to unify its two boards.

 

A UK fund manager involved in meetings with directors on corporate government told The Business: “I’ve spoken to most of the Shell Transport board and they are very much in favour of changing the structure.”

 

British directors favour moving towards a unified structure, he said, but most would rather do so by appointing the same boards of Shell Transport and Trading and Royal Dutch. This would avoid the expense and legal headaches of unifying the UK and Dutch holding companies into a single listed firm.

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Hostages Are Released After Saudi Crisis Ends

The Wall Street Journal: Hostages Are Released After Saudi Crisis Ends

 

Associated Press

May 30, 2004 3:44 a.m.

 

Saudi Arabia — Saudi authorities freed American, European and other foreign hostages Sunday after a shooting rampage turned into a daylong standoff, and a Saudi security official said the lead attacker was in custody and two other suspected Islamic militants were being arrested.

 

The Saudi security official wouldn’t comment on the whereabouts or conditions of the hostages, saying only: “It has ended. One has been arrested and two are in the process of being arrested — they are surrounded.” With reports of up to seven gunmen, it wasn’t clear if some of the gunmen had been killed.

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Shell chief faces investors’ wrath over reform at annual meeting

The Independent: Shell chief faces investors’ wrath over reform at annual meeting

 

By Tim Webb

30 May 2004

 

Leading shareholders in Anglo-Dutch company Shell are threatening to vote against the chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, at its Dutch annual shareholder meeting next month.

 

Under Dutch listing rules, companies must ask shareholders to vote to “discharge directors of their responsibility” for their actions in order to approve its annual report.

 

Shell sent Royal Dutch shareholders the agenda last week for its annual general meeting. One prominent investor said he was considering not approving this motion as a protest against the board. Some senior Shell executives, especially Mr van der Veer, did not appear committed to significant reform, he said. It follows the scandal over Shell’s misreporting of its oil and gas reserves, prompting investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Financial Services Authority.

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The Andrew Davidson Interview: Life’s a gas for BG supreme

The Times: The Andrew Davidson Interview: Life’s a gas for BG supreme

 

30 May 04

 

Frank Chapman is the man his rivals would like to poach. But the man who loves sailing says he has already plotted a course for the next nine years

  

SIZE, says Frank Chapman, looking as lean and sleek as a greyhound, is not important. Well, you could have fooled me. For a boss whose business is sprinting ahead right now, you would think size is one of the mission aims carved above the firm’s front door.

 

For one thing, doesn’t size make you less likely to be taken over by someone bigger? “Well, maybe,” grins Chapman, “but it’s not something I spend a lot of time thinking about.”  

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The Observer: Don’t vote before you read this

The Observer: Don’t vote before you read this

 

Sunday May 30, 2004

 

Heather Connon hears fighting talk from bosses of two very pugnacious shareholder activists

 

‘Vote often, vote early and vote on an informed basis’ is a motto that Sarah Wilson hopes will become universally accepted. Wilson is founder and managing director of Manifest, the corporate governance and proxy voting agency, which aims to help institutional investors do just that.

 

Its team of 26 employees produces reports analysing the resolutions put forward at the annual meetings of every British company, highlighting where they do not comply with best practice, comparing salary and bonus levels with averages for the industry and the market as a whole, calculating what that complicated incentive scheme could mean in pounds and pence. When its clients have digested this and decided how to vote, Manifest then ticks the appropriate box – or, more frequently, presses the appropriate button – on their behalf.

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The Observer: Shell’s ground zero

The Observer: Shell’s ground zero

Sunday May 30, 2004

The reserves scandal has left the Anglo-Dutch oil giant a long way behind its rivals. Dogged by difficulties in Nigeria and elsewhere, can it ever catch up, asks Oliver Morgan

On Friday morning there were loud thumps across the City as oil giant Shell’s hefty annual report finally landed on desks. The long-awaited document, delayed thanks to the internal turmoil caused by four downgrades that have stripped 4.7 billion barrels of oil from the company’s proved reserves, was an attempt to ‘fess up and move on.

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Saudi horror sparks fears of oil crisis

The Observer: Saudi horror sparks fears of oil crisis

 

· Militants hold 50 hostages · £4 gallon looms as battle rages

 

Nick Mathiason and Mark Townsend

Sunday May 30, 2004

 

Oil prices are set to surge after al-Qaeda gunmen killed at least 16 people, including a Briton, and seized 50 hostages yesterday during an indiscriminate rampage through the Saudi Arabian city of Khobar.

 

In a day that left the oil city, in the east of the country, littered with bodies and bullet-riddled buildings and cars, the terrorists attacked four compounds housing foreign workers, seized American and Italian hostages and fought running battles through the streets.

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Shell Oil replaces sulfur-tainted gasoline

news-press.com: Shell Oil replaces sulfur-tainted gasoline

 

Staff and wire reports

Published by news-press.com on May 30, 2004

 

Shell Oil interrupted or stopped the sale of gasoline at more than 500 stations in the South because of high levels of sulfur that can damage vehicle fuel gauges and make an empty tank appear full.

 

The damage done by the bad gasoline could cause some drivers to run out of gas unexpectedly. Also, car owners may have to replace their fuel gauges — a repair job that easily can cost $400 to $600.

 

The tainted gasoline originated at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Norco, La., according to Shell. Motiva is the refining arm of Shell in the East and South, including Florida.

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