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Posts from ‘June, 2005’

Shell symmetry

Financial Times: Shell symmetry

Thursday 30 June 2005

By Clay Harris

Next only to chairman Lord Oxburgh, Peter Voser, Shell’s chief financial officer, deftly carried much of the burden at Tuesday’s marathon session that approved the unification of its Dutch and UK arms. His brief ranged far beyond financial matters, reflecting his operational experience not only in a previous stint at Shell but also at ABB Asea Brown Boveri.

Something looks familiar about Voser. That’s it! He’s grey instead of ginger, Swiss instead of Scottish, but otherwise bears a striking resemblance to Charles Kennedy.

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Enjoy a free trip and get to ask Shell a question: By Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Financial Times: Enjoy a free trip and get to ask Shell a question: By Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Thursday 30 June 2005

From Sir Mark Moody-Stuart.

Sir, Attending my last annual meeting of Shell as a director, I was interested to note that almost half of the 20 or so questions asked came from individuals from areas in the neighbourhood of Shell operations in Sakhalin, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and the US. According to Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth (FoE), who summed up their concerns, these people had been brought to England by FoE to reflect locally held views.

While certainly there are problems that need addressing around Shell’s operations, and which are proper subjects for discussion at an AGM, in my experience the views expressed did not fully reflect the facts on the ground or represent a cross section of local opinion.

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Irish Times: Statement: Shell E&P Ireland Limited

Irish Times: Statement: Shell E&P Ireland Limited

Thursday Jun 30, 2005

“While the developments are most unfortunate, Shell E & P Ireland Limited has undertaken numerous efforts to meet with and reach agreement with this small number of landowners for access arrangements, however, the landowners in question have been unwilling to meet with us.

“The Company has the required consents to commence this work from the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. Regrettably, there is a minority of landowners and objectors who are unable to accept this.

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Business World: Five Mayo men jailed over Shell pipeline

Business World: Five Mayo men jailed over Shell pipeline

Thursday, June 30

(BizWorld)

Five local residents from north Mayo have been jailed by the High Court for obstructing the construction of a gas pipeline in the area.

The men were judged to have breached court orders barring them from impeding the construction of the pipeline through their land by the Shell company.

Mr Justice McMenamin said the men had indicated that they had obstructed the work and would continue to do so.

They could not, he said, take the law into their own hands.

He added that he had no alternative but to send them to prison until they purge their contempt.

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Irish Independent: Shell-shocked five jailed for obstructing new gas pipeline

Irish Independent: Shell-shocked five jailed for obstructing new gas pipeline

“FIVE men were jailed indefinitely yesterday…”

Thursday Jun 30, 2005

FIVE men were jailed indefinitely yesterday when they refused to stop breaching a court order restraining the obstruction of works for construction of the Corrib gas pipeline through some of their lands at Rossport, Co Mayo.

A number of other local persons are also facing imprisonment when proceedings alleging breach of the same order, granted on April 4, come before the High Court tomorrow.

One of those, Brid McGarry, told the court yesterday she believed she had no alternative but to go to jail as the pipeline placed the community at “unprecedented risk”.

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No Criminal Charges for Shell over Oil Reserves

The Scotsman: No Criminal Charges for Shell over Oil Reserves

“The prosecutor also cited the fine by the SEC for violations of reporting, record-keeping and anti-trust rules.”: “Any further penalties “would likely have a severe and unintended disproportionate economic impact upon thousands of innocent Shell employees,” Mr Kelley said.”

Thursday 30 June 2005

By David Winning, PA City Staff

Oil giant Shell learned today that it would not face criminal charges from federal authorities in the United States over the overstatement of its oil and gas reserves.

A federal prosecutor in the US said regulatory fines imposed on Shell and its willingness to co-operate with the investigation meant a prosecution would not be in the public interest.

Shell stunned the market in January last year when it disclosed its reserves were 20% lower than previously thought, causing a serious slump in its shares.

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Shell Won’t Face Criminal Charges In Reserves Probe

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell Won’t Face Criminal Charges In Reserves Probe

Thursday 30 June 2005

By KARA SCANNELL

Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

June 30, 2005; Page B2

Federal prosecutors said they won’t criminally charge Royal Dutch/Shell Group in a probe of its overstatement of energy reserves, citing the oil titan’s cooperation.

“Because Shell has cooperated fully with the government’s investigation, has implemented substantial remedial efforts to enhance its reserves reporting and compliance, and has paid a $120 million civil penalty to the [Securities and Exchange Commission], the public interest has been sufficiently vindicated,” David Kelley, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement yesterday. “Moreover, criminal prosecution would likely have a severe and unintended disproportionate economic impact upon thousands of innocent Shell employees.”

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THE NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. Won’t Prosecute Shell Over Reserves

THE NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. Won’t Prosecute Shell Over Reserves

Thursday 30 June 2005

By BLOOMBERG NEWS

Published: June 30, 2005

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe’s second-largest oil company, will not be prosecuted for overstating its oil and gas reserves, a United States attorney in New York said yesterday.

The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company, which own the group, had been under federal investigation since last year, when Royal Dutch/Shell disclosed that it had overstated its proven reserves as of 2002 by about 23 percent.

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Royal Dutch/Shell will not be prosecuted for overstatement

Financial Times: Royal Dutch/Shell will not be prosecuted for overstatement

“Shell self-reported the material mis-statements of its proved oil and gas reserves to the public,” US Attorney David Kelley said, in explaining the decision to go easy on the company.:

Thursday 30 June 2005

By Sheila McNulty in Houston

Royal Dutch/Shell will not be prosecuted for overstating its proved oil and gas reserves, for 2002 and prior years, by about 23 per cent, the US government ruled yesterday.

The decision ended fears that Shell, which has been under federal investigation since disclosing the overstatement last year, might have been convicted and fined.

That would probably have forced another round of selling in the company’s shares, which plunged last year when the overstatement first emerged.

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Shell evades US prosecution for overstatement

Financial Times: Shell evades US prosecution for overstatement

Thursday 30 June 2005

By Sheila McNulty in Houston

The US government said on Wednesday that it would not prosecute Royal Dutch/Shell for overstating its proved oil and gas reserves for 2002 and prior years by about 23 per cent.

The decision eases fears that Shell, which has been under US federal investigation since disclosing the overstatement last year, might have been convicted and fined for the offence. That would probably have forced another round of selling in company shares, which plunged last year when the overstatement first emerged.

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Ireland Online: Taoiseach admits Shell protestors jailing ‘regrettable’

Ireland Online: Taoiseach admits Shell protestors jailing ‘regrettable’

Thursday 30 June 2005

The jailing of five Co Mayo men for blocking work on a Shell gas pipeline is regrettable, but the court’s decision must be respected, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said today.

Mr Ahern added an independent report on the safety of the project, commissioned by Natural Resources Minister Noel Dempsey, would be published as soon as it was ready.

Efforts were continuing today between Shell executives and Mayo TDs to find a compromise which may lead to the release of the protesters.

Shell Ireland chairman Andy Pyle said the families had refused to meet the firm in the months before the High Court conviction for contempt.

But he hinted that some compromise may be still possible if contact was established.

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BBC NEWS: Shell escapes charges on reserves

BBC NEWS: Shell escapes charges on reserves

“US prosecutors have decided not to take Royal Dutch Shell to court for overstating its oil reserves by 4.47 billion barrels, the company has said.”

Thursday 30 June 2005

US prosecutors have decided not to take Royal Dutch Shell to court for overstating its oil reserves by 4.47 billion barrels, the company has said.

The threat was withdrawn after the company assisted an investigation into how it had overstated reserves by 20%.

The firm revealed the miscalculation last year, and agreed to pay a $120m (£66.9m) penalty to settle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Oil reserves can affect share prices as they indicate potential future income.

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ROYAL DUTCH SHELL NEWS HEADLINES JUNE 2005

The Guardian: Shell escapes charges over reserves reporting

The Guardian (UK): Shell escapes charges over reserves reporting

Mark Tran

Thursday June 30, 2005

Shell escaped criminal charges in the US today after a federal prosecutor decided that bringing the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to court over last year’s reserves scandal would not be in the public interest.

US lawyer David Kelley said yesterday that the world’s third-largest publicly traded oil company had cooperated with an investigation after admitting to an overstatement of its proven oil and natural gas reserves by 4.47bn barrels, or about 23%, from 1997 to 2002.

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The passing of national champions

Financial Times: The passing of national champions

“Senior figures from the company even had to approach Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, to gain her royal assent for the move. It is believed to be the first time the Dutch royal monicker has been applied to a UK-listed company.”

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By Thomas Catan, James Boxell and Ian Bickerton

In a historic vote on Tuesday, Royal Dutch/Shell shareholders bade farewell to a century of history, approving a plan to scrap the UK and Dutch parents of the group in favour of a single, unified company.

The vote had been locked-up with the aid of large investors ahead of Tuesday’s annual general meetings in London and Scheveningen. But the vote did not proceed before a handful of elderly investors in both meetings raised their objections to the passing of what they see as their national champions.

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Global village

Financial Times: Global village

“A Shell annual meeting is a snapshot of globalisation and of the reach of a multinational company.”

By Clay Harris

Published: June 29 2005

A Shell annual meeting is a snapshot of globalisation and of the reach of a multinational company.

From Sakhalin and São Paulo, Nigeria and the Philippines, Durban in South Africa and Port Arthur in Texas, representatives of areas affected by Shell operations came to make their points.

Even if the exercise had been orchestrated by Friends of the Earth, the clarity of argument – even through translators – appeared directly proportional to the distance travelled. It made a contrast with the usual-suspect nature of some of the UK shareholder questions.

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Royal birth

Financial Times: Observer: Royal birth

“It was not only a newborn Royal Dutch Shell that those in The Hague welcomed yesterday.”:

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Published: June 29 2005

It was not only a newborn Royal Dutch Shell that those in The Hague welcomed yesterday.

Down the road from the theatre where Royal Dutch shareholders bid farewell to a century of dual-headed governance by unifying their company with Shell, its British arm, the House of Orange – the most famous Shell investor – was registering the name of its own new arrival.

With Shell’s listing going to London, Alexia, born at the weekend and third in line to the throne, joins sister Amalia and father Alex, the crown prince, in ensuring the survival of at least one triple-A establishment in the Netherlands.

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It doesn’t add up

Financial Times: Observer: It doesn’t add up

“Even the commemorative mug given to shareholders as they left the meeting was a collector’s item of inaccuracy. Shell Transport and Trading’s lifetime was given as 1907-2005. In fact, it was born in 1897.”

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Published: June 29 2005

Shell demonstrated an admirable candour by including two of its reserves restatements in the illustrated display about the company’s meeting at the annual meeting.

Other parts of the timeline, alas, were chronologically challenged. The Wright Brothers’ first flight was attributed to 1900, three years too early. And the date of the alliance with Royal Dutch was shown as 1904, when it actually took place in 1907.

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The Guardian (UK): Rowdy meeting ends Shell’s 100-year split

The Guardian (UK): Rowdy meeting ends Shell’s 100-year split

Terry Macalister

Wednesday June 29, 2005

Shell shareholders voted by over 97% yesterday to end 100 years of dual company structure by merging the British and Dutch arms of the oil group into a £125bn business.

But the Shell board suffered a turbulent time at the company’s annual meeting in London before the vote was taken.

There was particular anger from small shareholders of Royal Dutch stock who accused the board of leaving them “hung out to dry” because they would have to pay capital gains tax of 40%.

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The Guardian (UK): Good and bad news in shares switch

The Guardian (UK): Good and bad news in shares switch

“From July 20, the new Royal Dutch Shell plc will start to trade…”

Terry Macalister

Wednesday June 29, 2005

The massive shake-up agreed by Shell yesterday will bring significant changes for individual shareholders, not least the possibility of a further rise in the value of their stakes.

Yesterday Shell Transport & Trading stock – the outgoing UK arm – rose 3% to 545p, which is its highest level since October 2001.

City analysts believe there are good reasons to suppose the shares will rise further as fund managers find themselves underweight in what will be a major new presence.

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Watchdog fines Citigroup £14m

The Guardian (UK): Watchdog fines Citigroup £14m

“This is the second largest financial punishment handed out by the City regulator after oil company Shell was fined £17m last year.”:

Jill Treanor

Wednesday June 29, 2005

Citigroup has been ordered to pay almost £14m to the Financial Services Authority as the penalty for a controversial trade in the government bond markets last year.

The world’s largest financial firm is being forced to hand over £9.9m of profits from the trade and pay a £4m fine because of failures to control its bond business. This is the second largest financial punishment handed out by the City regulator after oil company Shell was fined £17m last year.

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Lloyds List: Unified Shell group gives greater growth potential

Lloyds List: Unified Shell group gives greater growth potential

“Royal Dutch Shell is set to be reborn on July 20″

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Shareholders of Shell and Royal Dutch Petroleum approve joint structure, writes Martyn Wingrove

SHAREHOLDERS of Shell and Royal Dutch Petroleum approved plans to unify the corporate structure of the group, ending almost a century of duel ownership and creating a GBP120bn ($220bn) company.

Royal Dutch Shell is set to be reborn on July 20, when shares in the combined group will be issued on the London stock exchange, giving Shell a stronger position for organic growth and acquisitions.

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At a stroke, Shell opens new chapter

Financial Times: At a stroke, Shell opens new chapter

“The oblique stroke will not disappear from Royal Dutch/Shell until next month, when the High Court is due to approve the scheme of arrangement that unifies the two groups.”

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By Clay Harris

Published: June 29 2005

Shareholders in Shell Transport and Trading and their counterparts at Royal Dutch yesterday voted to remove the slash their fathers wore. The oblique stroke will not disappear from Royal Dutch/Shell until next month, when the High Court is due to approve the scheme of arrangement that unifies the two groups. But the annual meeting at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands marked the end of a very long era.

For one thing, unless the new company’s board decides otherwise, it will be the last annual meeting in the UK. Although a UK plc, Royal Dutch Shell will hold its annual meetings in the Netherlands, with a video link back to Britain.

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Shell to consider acquisitions under $9bn

Financial Times: Shell to consider acquisitions under $9bn

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By James Boxell and Thomas Catan in London and Ian Bickerton in Scheveningen

Royal Dutch/Shell is understood to be considering acquisitions worth up to $9bn (£4.9bn) in the immediate aftermath of the historic unification of its Dutch and British holding companies.

Shareholders brought an end to nearly 100 years of corporate history on Tuesday when they voted overwhelmingly to merge the two arms of the Anglo-Dutch energy group.

The overhaul was primarily in response to last year’s reserves scandal, which forced the company to cut its proved oil and gas reserves by one-third and led to the removal of its three most senior executives, $150m of fines and several class-action lawsuits.

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Renewed takeover talk fuels big rises at Shell and BG

THE TIMES (UK): Renewed takeover talk fuels big rises at Shell and BG

“…the recent surge in Shell also rekindled talk that the company may use the strength of its paper to mount a takeover of BG, its oft-mooted target.”:

Wednesday June 29, 2005

TAKEOVER favourite BG Group surged to a record high on the conviction that the oil and gas industry is on the verge of another wave of large-scale merger and acquisition activity.

In volume terms, it was Shell that dominated yesterday’s activity, with the Anglo-Dutch major gaining 17p to 545p on turnover in 110 million shares as shareholders approved the unification of its share structure, triggering further buying by fund managers to take account of an increase in its weighting within the FTSE 100 from 4 per cent to 10 per cent on July 20.

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Shell ends era of dual ownership

THE TIMES (UK): Shell ends era of dual ownership

Wednesday June 29, 2005

By Peter Klinger

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL shareholders voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favour of plans to scrap the oil and gas giant’s dual-ownership structure, closing a century-old chapter in British corporate history.

The restructuring, supported by massive majorities at shareholder meetings in London and The Hague, will result in the formation of a unified Royal Dutch Shell, based in the Netherlands but with a main listing on the London Stock Exchange. The votes bring an end to London-based Shell Transport and Trading as a standalone company, established in the late 19th century.

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Shell will grow from familiar roots

THE TIMES (UK): Shell will grow from familiar roots

“After the merger, Shell’s seat of power moves to The Hague. This should not be surprising, given that the mistakes of the past decade were mainly the fault of deluded or inadequate British executives…”

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By Carl Mortished

LIKE KIDS on a see-saw, stock market investors are playing with Shell, rebalancing it in the FTSE 100 index, but precious few are paying attention to the cultural shift within the firm.

Shell is restoring engineering as its prime purpose, a change in the company’s equilibrium that will have more impact than a few billion shares bought or sold. There is now a capital flight towards Shell; the merger of its Dutch and British parents into a UK plc, agreed yesterday and to be completed late next month, has the happy consequence of enlarging Shell’s weighting from 3.5 per cent to almost 9 per cent of the FTSE. British funds that benchmark their performance on the index of leading shares must buy more Shell to keep their portfolios in balance.

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Shell mugs up on its history and pours oil on troubled waters: Shell merger approved amid fury over tax bill

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell mugs up on its history and pours oil on troubled waters: Shell merger approved amid fury over tax bill

“No wonder private shareholders are cross. They have been treated shabbily, particularly since they are long-term investors who stood by the company during its crisis when it lost one in four of its barrels last year.”

Wednesday 29 June 2005

City comment

Edited by Kate Rankine, Deputy City Editor (Filed: 29/06/2005)

Sometimes Shell just can’t seem to help itself. Investors trooping out of yesterday’s historic meetings were handed gold-rimmed mugs commemorating “The ‘Shell’ Transport and Trading Company plc, 1907-2004”.

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Daily Telegraph: Shell merger approved amid fury over tax bill

Daily Telegraph: Shell merger approved amid fury over tax bill

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 29/06/2005)

Shell yesterday came under fire from British shareholders who are nursing a £77m tax bill as a result of the merger of its British and Dutch companies into a £100billion oil and gas giant.

The news came as shareholders in Shell Transport and Trading and Royal Dutch Petroleum voted to merge, creating one company called Royal Dutch Shell. Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool, Shell Transport’s chairman, said: “This is not a day I ever thought I would see.”

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Daily Telegraph: Shell’s unification puts funds firmly in the ‘buy’ camp

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell’s unification puts funds firmly in the ‘buy’ camp

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Market report

By Caroline Muspratt (Filed: 29/06/2005)

The decision by Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell to unify its dual structure sent waves through the stock market as traders said funds would have to buy into the stock to adjust the weighting of their portfolio.

Dealers also said the simplified structure would allow Shell to offer paper rather than cash for potential acquisitions. They singled out BG Group and Spain’s Repsol as possible targets. Shell gained 17 to 545p, helping the FTSE 100 rise 46.9 to 5090.4. BG rose 18¼ to 472p, while high oil prices also helped Shell’s rival BP gain 11 to 595p. In the FTSE 250, Soco International rose 34½ to 605p as the oil and gas group reported the successful testing of a well in Yemen.

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Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell’s London dungeon

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell’s London dungeon

Wednesday 29 June 2005

City diary

Edited by Sophie Brodie (Filed: 29/06/2005)

Shell’s three and a half hour long session (one agm, one court meeting and an egm), which consigned its Transport and Trading arm to history, seemed too much for Lord Oxburgh. At one point, he introduced non-exec Sir Peter Job as Sir Peter Burt. Job grumbles: “He ought to know me by now.”

Meanwhile, next’s year’s agm is unlikely to be held in the stifling Exel Centre in the Docklands. First Oxburgh complained he couldn’t hear a shareholder over the din of a plane taking off at nearby City airport. Then another non-exec, Lord Kerr, said he hoped the next meeting wouldn’t be held in “this ghastly dungeon”. Everyone agreed.

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Daily Mail: United Shell aiming for a brighter future

Daily Mail (UK): United Shell aiming for a brighter future

“But it is also due to hopes that Shell, under the leadership of Dutchman Jeroen van der Veer, has transformed itself and that its new ‘one board, one chief executive’ structure will lift its performance and banish last year’s reserves scandal to a painful memory.”

Brian O’Connor,

29 June 2005

SHELL shareholders have cast historic votes to bring together the British and Dutch branches of the company – ending nearly 100 years of believing that two heads were better than one. Shell Transport holders voted by an overwhelming 99.75% to 0.25% and Royal Dutch Petroleum by 97.4% to 2.6% to unify into a single company, to be known as Royal Dutch Shell.

They were immediately rewarded as Shell shares surged 17p to 545p.

That was partly due to crude oil’s rise to near $60 and partly because the new giant will loom very large in the Footsie 100 share index, so that investment funds which track the index must load up with stock.

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Ireland Online: Shell seeking to jail five anti-pipeline protestors in Mayo

Ireland Online: Shell seeking to jail five anti-pipeline protestors in Mayo

“The global oil firm Shell is due to take High Court action today in an effort to have five people jailed for protesting against a controversial pipeline in Co Mayo.”:

Wednesday 29 June 2005

29/06/2005 – 08:02:56

The global oil firm Shell is due to take High Court action today in an effort to have five people jailed for protesting against a controversial pipeline in Co Mayo.

The court has already granted an injunction preventing protestors from obstructing the company’s efforts to gain access to private land to lay the high-pressure pipeline.

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Shell makes historic leap to unified structure, but will it do any good? It’s a tough call

The Independent (UK): Jeremy Warner’s Outlook: Shell makes historic leap to unified structure, but will it do any good? It’s a tough call

Wednesday 29 June 2005

Shareholders duly voted through proposals to get rid of Shell’s dual domicile and capital structure yesterday, but if you can fully get your head around the supposedly simpler structure that’s replacing it, then you are a better man than me. For many shareholders, it looks as if one form of complexity has only been replaced by another, while a minority – admittedly smallish – is seriously disadvantaged by the changes.

The genesis of these reforms lie one and a half years ago in the revelation that Shell, up until then a presumed model of corporate rectitude and good behaviour, had been deliberately exaggerating its disclosed reserves.

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Unified Royal Dutch Shell steers clear of mega-mergers

The Independent (UK): Unified Royal Dutch Shell steers clear of mega-mergers

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

29 June 2005

Shell appeared to rule out any major takeovers at current oil prices yesterday as the company’s shareholders voted to end 100 years of tradition by unifying its UK and Dutch halves.

Speaking after shareholders in London and the Hague backed the move to a single company with one board by an overwhelming majority, the chief executive, Jeroen van der Veer, said: “We certainly have our eye on acquisitions but at the moment it’s too expensive and it doesn’t create shareholder value.”

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FINAL SHELL TRANSPORT AGM started and ended to refrain of Bing Crosby crooning: You can be sure of Shell

ARTICLE FROM OUR 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

(MICHAEL HOLLIDAY VERSION OF THE SHELL SONG)

ShellNews.net: The Shell Transport FINAL AGM resulting from the reserves scandal, started and ended to the refrain of Bing Crosby crooning: “You can be sure of Shell”:

Wednesday 29 June 2005

By John Donovan

Editor, ShellNews.net

Shell’s marathon AGM was held yesterday in sweltering conditions in what seemed like a large aircraft hanger (the ExCel Centre) adjoining the City of London Airport. It concluded after what seemed an eternity – over three hours of hot air.

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Stars aligning for Royal Dutch Shell

MarketWatch.com: Stars aligning for Royal Dutch Shell

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Rising crude price, index reweighting giving a boost

By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) — For a company recovering from a scandal surrounding its overstatement of proven oil reserves, the stars could hardly be aligning better for Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell (RD: news, chart, profile) (SC: news, chart, profile) , like the entire energy category, is benefiting from record crude-oil prices that have now topped $60 a barrel.

And, assuming shareholder approval Tuesday of the merger of its Dutch-listed company, Royal Dutch Petroleum, which presently holds 60% of assets, with U.K.-listed Shell Trading and Transport, which holds 40%, it should get a lift from index funds as well as more active investors having to meet the company’s increased standing in the FTSE 100 index as well as other European indexes.

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Financial Times: Much agonising over what to do

Financial Times: Much agonising over what to do

Tuesday 28 June 2005

The shareholder base of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading is so varied that investors inevitably disagree on whether the restructuring marks the end or the beginning of reform for the group, writes Sundeep Tucker.

At the height of the scandal last summer over the level of oil reserves it had booked, Jeroen van der Veer, the group’s lead executive, held a number of meetings with shareholders in the US, The Hague and the City of London. The discussions centred on investor demand for a structure that would foster accountability and transparency in decision-making.

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Shell prepares for the next merger round

Financial Times: Shell prepares for the next merger round

“The reserves debacle had seriously dented shareholder confidence”

Tuesday 28 June 2005

By Ian Bickerton, James Boxell, Thomas Catan and Henry Tricks

On the top floor of London’s towering Shell Centre, a cavernous boardroom looms over the Houses of Parliament, filled with high-backed chairs and rows of angled microphones. For decades, British and Dutch directors from two separate companies have held eight “conferences” a year, alternating between there and The Hague, to decide on the business of Royal Dutch/Shell Group. But if shareholders on Tuesday approve the most radical restructuring in its history, the London room will fall into disuse. Instead, board members will assemble each time in a gabled building, topped by a clock tower, in the vicinity of the Dutch parliament.

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Shell merger poses new risk

Financial Times: Shell merger poses new risk

Tuesday 28 June 2005

By Paul Betts

Royal Dutch/Shell is expected to approve on Tuesday a corporate revolution by merging its two separately quoted arms into a single company headquartered in the Netherlands with its primary listing in London.

This is likely to double the Anglo-Dutch major’s weighting in the FTSE 100 index. In so doing, it will concentrate further the index of the UK’s leading 100 companies around a handful of big caps, reflecting a growing European trend contrasting with Wall Street and Tokyo.

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UK holdings of Shell far too low

Financial Times: UK holdings of Shell far too low

Tuesday 28 June 2005

By Tony Tassell, Tom Catan, Ian Bickerton, James Boxell and Sundeep Tucker,

UK institutional shareholders still need to buy billions of pounds worth of shares in Shell to pump up their exposure to the oil major following its planned merger with Royal Dutch.

Holdings are far below what would be required to match the enlarged market weighting of a combined Royal Dutch Shell.

The merger has to be approved by Shell and Royal Dutch shareholders at their annual meetings today. It is widely seen as the potential trigger for one of the biggest shake-ups of the London market since Vodafone took over German rival Mannesmann in 2000.

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Record gas discovery in India could hit projects

The Times (UK): Record gas discovery in India could hit projects

June 28, 2005

By Carl Mortishead, International Business Editor

INDIA has claimed its biggest gas discovery, a deposit in the Bay of Bengal that could double the country’s gas production and bring into question major projects to import liquefied natural gas into the country.

Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC), a state-owned enterprise, said that it had found 20 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Krishna Godavari Basin, an area offshore of Andhra Pradesh state in the southeast of the sub-continent.

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Shareholders Set to OK Shell Unification (AP)

Schaeffers Research, Ohio: Shareholders Set to OK Shell Unification (AP)

28 June 2005

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH Associated Press Writer

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

Shareholders are expected to approve the merger of the Anglo-Dutch parent companies of Royal Dutch/Shell on Tuesday, ending a century-old dual corporate structure at the world’s third largest oil producer.

Shell announced the plans along with its third quarter earnings on Oct. 28. The announcement came amid a scandal over the repeated downgrading of its strategic oil reserves, which form the backbone of its business.

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Shell investors set to ditch dual listed structure

Reuters: Shell investors set to ditch dual listed structure:nif

Tue Jun 28, 2005

By Tom Bergin, European Oil and Gas Correspondent

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch/Shell (SHEL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) (RD.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders are expected to end a century of history on Tuesday when they vote on scrapping the group’s dual-listed structure.

Shell hopes the unification of its Dutch and British parent companies will help streamline its management structure, whose complexity was blamed for a damaging reserves overbooking scandal last year.

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BBC News: Shell investors to vote on merger: Shell is planning the biggest overhaul in its 100-year history

BBC News: Shell investors to vote on merger: Shell is planning the biggest overhaul in its 100-year history

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Investors in Shell will be asked to vote on a plan to merge the Anglo-Dutch oil company’s two management boards, creating a firm worth £120bn ($219bn).

It is currently 40%-owned by Shell and 60%-owned by Royal Dutch Petroleum.

The move aims to simplify the chain of command and boost transparency after management was blamed for a crisis that saw Shell slash its reserves.

The merged firm would be called Royal Dutch Shell and its bigger size would allow it to better compete with rivals.

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Financial Times: Lombard: Shell game that keeps investors guessing

Financial Times: Lombard: Shell game that keeps investors guessing

Tuesday 28 June 2005

By Martin Dickson

Forget Suduko. The mind-boggling numbers game that is currently occupying fund managers is how to rearrange holdings of Royal Dutch and Shell following expected shareholder approval on Tuesday of the merger of the Dutch and British companies.

Effectively, unification will bring a £73bn colossus, in the shape of Royal Dutch, onto the top table of the FTSE 100. At a stroke, the oil sector will gain a weighting of about one fifth of the FTSE 100, roughly equal to banks, making the UK market even more defensive, concentrated and top heavy than it has been until now.

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Financial Times: OBSERVER: Circular Shell

Financial Times: OBSERVER: Circular Shell

Tuesday 28 June 2005

ABN Amro has invested considerable energy down the years in its relationship with Royal Dutch/Shell, the oil and gas giant whose shareholders are today expected to vote to scrap nearly a century of dual-headed governance.

The Dutch bank is itself the product of a patchwork of mergers since the late 19th century, most recently the 1991 union of the Amro (Amsterdam-Rotterdam) Bank and ABN (Algemene Bank NL).

It was a banker from one of the forerunners of Amro bank that dreamed up Royal Dutch/Shell’s hydra-headed structure way back in 1907. When Shell’s Dutch supervisory board sought an adviser on the unwinding of the cumbersome governance model there was only one candidate . . ABN Amro

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Financial Times: Lex live: Royal Dutch/Shell

Financial Times: Lex live: Royal Dutch/Shell

Tuesday 28 June 2005

UK budgets under Gordon Brown’s tenure have shown that taxation and simplicity rarely go hand in hand. But the complexities produced by Royal Dutch/Shell’s unification give the chancellor a run for his money.

To avoid Shell shareholders having to pay Dutch withholding tax – and no doubt to appease British and Dutch interests – the company will retain two classes of shares. The A shares, representing Royal Dutch stock, currently trade at a 3.5 per cent discount to the B shares, representing Shell Transport & Trading. Is this discount justified?

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Channel4 News: Shell investors vote for merger

Channel4 News: Shell investors vote for merger

Tuesday 28 June 2005

Source: ITN

Shareholders in the Shell oil firm have voted 99.75 per cent in favour of a plan to create a new holding company, Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell is currently 60 per cent owned by Royal Dutch Petroleum and 40 per cent by the Shell Transport and Trading. But the vote, plus that of shareholders in the Netherlands, means RDP and STT are to merge so that Shell has one parent.

Trading in Royal Dutch Shell shares is due to start on 20 July. With a market capitalisation of more than £100bn it could be be the world’s third-largest publicly traded oil firm. It will be headquartered in The Hague but have its primary stock market listing in London.

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London Evening Standard: Shell and Royal Dutch merge

London Evening Standard: Shell and Royal Dutch merge

Robert Lea,

28 June 2005

STRONG share-buying in Shell is likely to continue for several days and weeks because of the unprecedented shake-up at the giant oil major, and despite fears from investors that the company could be on the verge of a rash acquisitions programme.

Shareholders in Shell Transport & Trading are in Docklands today at the company’s annual meeting, which will consign the last 100 years to the history books and rubber-stamp a full-scale merger with Royal Dutch, its sister company in Holland.

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