“I found the emails interesting and indicative of the deception Shell management was clearly engaged in. They were trying to exploit the events of 9/11 to their benefit. What these emails could have done at the time they were written is cause Shell’s stock to drop significantly.“
By John Donovan
I stumbled across some intriguing Shell internal email correspondence while searching the US Court files for the class action litigation relating to the Shell reserves scandal. We have no comment whatsoever to make about the content of the email correspondence, which is self-explanatory.
The correspondence involved the following individuals with job titles at the time of the emails:
Aidan McKay: Manager Shell EP – The Hague (or Head Global Strategic Planning & Capital Allocation)
Dominique Gardy: Chief Financial Officer Shell International Exploration & Production
Lorin Brass: Member of EP Executive Committee. Head of Strategy Planning and Business Development for Shell EP. Reporting of oil and gas reserves fell under his supervision.
John J Bell: Head of Shell Global Planning and Strategy Team
Ceri Powell Shell executive (currently Executive Vice President, Exploration International, Royal Dutch Shell)
Alf C Thorkildsen: Treasurer and controller of Shell Global EP business
Robert Sprague: Director of Shell EP International BV
EXXON MOBIL EXECS MENTIONED IN CORRESPONDENCE
Lee Raymond: Chief Executive Officer Exxon Mobil Corporation (Retired)
Harry J. Longwell: Director and Executive Vice President Exxon Mobil Corporation (Retired)
A remarkably prescient presentation entitled “overpromise underdelivery” was published on this site a few years ago. We understand that Aidan McKay was the author.
RELATED COMMENTS POSTED ON SHELL BLOG
LondonLad on Feb 1st, 2013 at 19:42
BBC website today : “Detective jailed for News of the World leak” – I just wonder if and when we will read “Shell staff jailed for leaks to tabloid website”? Note : Shell staff have / had signed contract obligations that are / were in place……. However, I must say that these leaks do make for lovely tabloid reading / titillation – i.e. how much can you really trust them? Have to say that I am disappointed with Aidan McKay (who used to work for me when he was in New Orleans) for being such a prat.
Relieved on Feb 1st, 2013 at 20:57
I found the emails interesting and indicative of the deception Shell management was clearly engaged in. They were trying to exploit the events of 9/11 to their benefit. What these emails could have done at the time they were written is cause Shell’s stock to drop significantly. I don’t think they will have any impact now. However, the emails do give a clear indication of the attitude Shell management has for Wall Street’s superficial approach to investment strategies. I do know Bob Sprague, but not well. He was a typical Shell USA manager. It is obvious from these emails that Shell management was not telling the investment community the truth about reserves, rate of reserve replacement, real rate of return on investment (ROR), and so on. It is also obvious that they really didn’t care if they were being factual or not. Their primary concern seems to be about getting caught in ‘a big lie’ about all the above. They were also clearly trying to use the events of 9/11 to their advantage if investor ‘expectations’ were not met, and as a means of ‘covering their tracks’ regarding previous deceptions. It is an interesting set of emails and clearly indicates that Shell management deliberately misled their institutional investors. It seems they were trying to keep stock prices from taking a tumble if the investors knew things were as they had been told. These emails clearly indicate deliberate fraud on the part of Shell management.
An old EP hand Posted 2013/02/05 at 20:13
Londonlad, you call Aidan a prat when he worked for you. I know him very well and your remark reflects some deep frustration on your side. If you are who I think you are, this remark: you were once a very good project manager, you appear to have imploded in frustration. Would it be appropriate to change your name from Londonlad to Punkahwallah?