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Posts under ‘Shell Oil Reserves Scandal’

Firms pocket millions for Shell work

FROM OUR SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

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Firms pocket millions for Shell work: “Oil company Shell pays record-breaking amount for audit work during one of the most controversial periods in its history.”: “KPMG and PwC pocketed $70m (£37m) for their work with Shell during its troubled last 12 months, according to the oil company’s latest filing with the SEC.”: “During the last year Shell suffered its oil reserves scandals, overstating the number of barrels of oil it held in reserves by billions…”

Kevin Reed, 04 April 2005

Oil company Shell pays record-breaking amount for audit work during one of the most controversial periods in its history.

KPMG and PwC pocketed $70m (£37m) for their work with Shell during its troubled last 12 months, according to the oil company’s latest filing with the SEC.

The basic audit fee of £22m, awarded by Shell, is one of the biggest ever paid out by a British company, up from £17m in 2003.

The two auditors – Netherlands-based branch of KMPG and PwC in the UK – received millions of pounds for other tasks, such as diligence assistance and ‘special investigations’.

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Selection of links to Shell related articles 2 April 2013

Selection of links to Shell related articles kindly supplied by a regular contributor

Shell to invest in energy technology companies with new venture: FuelFix (blog)-Shell Technology Ventures’ focus will include enhanced oil recovery; natural-gas production and marketing; geophysical surveys; chemical …

ExxonMobil Joins LNG Rush With Barge 6X Bigger Than An Aircraft …: Forbes-by chris helman-Shell and ExxonMobil argue that without FLNG technology the gas in … as the world’s most expensive country for mineral and oil development.

Neste Oil’s sale of its Polish retail stations to Shell closed: MarketWatch (press release)-The Polish competition authorities have approved Neste Oil’s sale of its Polish station network (Neste Polska SP, Z.O.O.) to Shell.

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Shell Lent Former Directors $12M For Reserves Fraud Legal Costs In 2004

By John Donovan: As can be verified from page 81 of the Shell Form 20F 2004 filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission and a related Wall Street Journal article, Shell lent the fraudsters responsible for the reserves scandal $12 million to cover litigation costs. Almost a decade later, I have not seen any evidence that any of the money was ever repaid? Perhaps the Rev. Sir Philip Watts, or Simon Henry, the current Royal Dutch Shell CFO, who played a starring role in the scandal, can enlighten us?

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Extract from Page 81

Over the year 2004, the Group advanced a total of $12,048,441 (certain amounts have been converted at the average £/$ exchange rate for 2004) for litigation costs for former Board members under these provisions.

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Shell Lent Former Directors $12M For Legal Costs In 04

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES March 31, 2005

LONDON — Royal Dutch/Shell (RD,SC) said in a filing released Thursday it was in settlement talks on some of the class action litigation unleashed after it was forced to reclassify its oil reserves.

In a 20-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the oil giant said it was in talks with holders of various Shell Oil Company pension plans which had been launched in the U.S. under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

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Shell facing up to 15 fraud claims

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 17.38.03FROM OUR MARCH 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

EMBATTLED oil major Shell has been hit by at least 15 multi-billion-dollar claims of fraud, it has emerged.

London Evening Standard: Shell facing up to 15 fraud claims

James Rossiter, 10 March 2004

EMBATTLED oil major Shell has been hit by at least 15 multi-billion-dollar claims of fraud, it has emerged. Previously it was thought the group was the target of only one.

US class-action specialist Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach has attracted attention as it was the first to launch a $5bn (£2.7bn) claim against Shell and nine present and former directors of the Anglo-Dutch company, including former chairman Sir Philip Watts, within days of Shell admitting in January it had overstated its oil reserves.

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Shell seers who failed to predict Arctic debacle offer latest scenarios

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 22.08.52By John Donovan

Shell seers who failed to predict the reserves scandal and Shell’s Arctic meltdown, now offer their latest peek into the future. Past performance does not inspire confidence in their prophecies… The famed corporate crystal ball never revealed a world in which its so-called No.1 Enemy would be operating globally under the Royal Dutch Shell Plc top level domain name, dealing on Shell’s behalf with job applications, business proposals, complaints, invitations to speak at conferences, and even terrorist threats. This was a scenario apparently deemed too far beyond the realms of possibility to be contemplated, but it is nonetheless the incredible reality and has been for getting on to a decade. How on earth did such a supposedly far-sighted management end up in such a humiliating situation?

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With the world’s population headed toward 9 billion at mid-century and millions of people climbing out of poverty, global energy demand could increase by as much as 80% by 2050. That’s according to Shell’s latest , which look at trends in the economy, politics and energy in considering developments over the next half a century.

What might lie ahead 50 years from now… or even in 2100? We consider two possible scenarios of the future, taking a number of pressing global trends and issues and using them as “lenses” through which to view the world.

The scenarios provide a detailed analysis of current trends and their likely trajectory into the future. They dive into the implications for the pace of global economic development, the types of energy we use to power our lives and the growth in greenhouse gas emissions.

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Shell Buckets, Superbuckets and Rustbuckets

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51How come that nobody dared say what everyone in the world saw (thanks to the Donovans) that you simply cannot go to this most sensitive area in the world with a couple of old rustbuckets? The timing of the most recent Shell reorganisation to buckets and superbuckets was very opportune. I wonder if there now exists also a rustbucket? Not many other outfits (apart from the political world) would allow such incompetence without consequence.

From ‘an old EP hand’

Shell has suspended Alaska drilling operations. We knew that project management had gone down the drain over the years (by being over budget by a factor 2-6, delays of many years and under-performance) when political correctness and nice promises became more important than honesty and good delivery. Now it is also clear that technical competence has gone or at least is silenced and stopped from making itself heard.
 
Processes (the love baby of bearded Brinded) replaced skills. Technical know-how which had been carefully built up over many years was removed as less important and ‘the contractor would do it all’. I bet that all the boxes for the various VARs (Value Assurance Reviews) and other process controls were ticked off as necessary. No-one apparently dared mention ‘there is a moose on the table’. How similar to the reserves crisis of 9 years ago.
 
We have seen the disasters of these policies (all carefully hidden behind the correct words spoken by eloquent ‘leaders’, usually of British and American background, yes I am a Dutchman). The last ‘real’ drilling man in charge of Shell worldwide drilling (good old Coen) had his hand on the brake of all 125 rigs and nothing escaped his attention. He had a jobgroup of A. There simply is no way he would have allowed the crap in Alaska we have seen. And yes, we used to have more blow-outs than nowadays and safety standards have gone up as have the costs per foot drilled. But basic mistakes like the Alaska stuff would not have happened. This was the era where one could speak out as a professional and not be afraid to be fired.
 
I have lost count but in order to attract the right bullshitters in drilling, substantial promotions were handed out and now there are presumably at least 5-6 guys at the level of jg-B. About time to put a head honcho to manage this little group at an even more elevated position? It reeks of jobs for the boys. How come that nobody dared say what everyone in the world saw (thanks to the Donovans) that you simply cannot go to this most sensitive area in the world with a couple of old rustbuckets? The timing of the most recent Shell reorganisation to buckets and superbuckets was very opportune. I wonder if there now exists also a rustbucket?
 
Not many other outfits (apart from the political world) would allow such incompetence without consequence. It looks as if Shell has turned into a political party. The problem is that they operate in a highly technological world that politicians do not understand.

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Is Shell Executive Director Matthias Bichsel Trustworthy?

Matthias Bichsel, Executive Director, Projects & Technology, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

Irrefutable evidence proves that Matthias Bichsel knew years before Shell investors that Shell had a major problem over its proven reserves bookings, which were not in compliance with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Like his colleague Simon Henry, the current CFO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, he participated in the cover-up by not blowing the whistle, thus protecting his own ambitions inside Shell.  The evidence suggests he may have had a role in the reserves conjuring process and also has a memory problem. Lets hope it has not deteriorated further. He is not a man who can be trusted to look after the best interests of investors.

By John Donovan

Matthias Bichsel, a Swiss citizen, is currently an executive director of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. He joined Shell in 1980, rose through the ranks and was appointed as Director of Projects & Technology on 1 July 2009.

His current responsibilities include:

  • Project Execution
  • Global Technical Expertise
  • Research and Development
  • Third-Party Services
  • Safety and Environment
  • Contracting & Procurement
  • Technical IT

Can shareholders place their trust in Matthias Bichsel to protect their interests? The answer is absolutely NO, not if his track record is any guide.

Since Mr. Bichsel is the executive director responsible for safety and environmental issues, he may well have questions to answer about Shell’s Arctic debacle, with U.S. federal prosecutors currently being asked by the Coast Guard authorities to take legal action over safety and environmental violations committed by Shell and/or its contractor, Noble Corporation

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Matthias Bichsel and the Shell reserves fraud

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 11.44.36By John Donovan

Within the next few days we will publish authentic Shell internal confidential emails and documents that provide irrefutable proof that like his fellow Royal Dutch Shell Plc executive director, Simon Henry, Matthias Bichsel (right) was aware years before the Shell reserves fraud became public knowledge, that Shell was cooking the books. Many Shell executives, including Matthias Bichsel, knew group guidelines for booking proven reserves were no longer in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but withheld that vital information from investors. In other words, participated in the long-running cover-up, which after a hundred years of trading, destroyed the Royal Dutch Shell Group in its original Anglo-Dutch partnership form. It is breath-taking arrogance on the part of Shell senior management that Shell did not rid itself in 2004 of all executives tainted by the scandal. The smell lingers on and damages the reputation of the current executive committee, which has to put up with our articles on the subject because what we say is true and they know we have the evidence to prove it in court.

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SHELL’S DEFEATED ANCIENT ARCTIC FLEET

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 20.09.51BY JOHN DONOVAN

SHELL’S ARCTIC MELTDOWN: WHAT WERE WE ALL WORRIED ABOUT? THIS OIL COMPANY RUN BY A PAIR OF  BEAN-COUNTERS, PETER VOSER AND HIS SIDEKICK SIMON HENRY, BOTH TAINTED BY FRAUD & SCANDAL, HAVE MADE A GLOBAL LAUGHING-STOCK OF ROYAL DUTCH SHELL BY SENDING A COUPLE OF REFURBISHED RUST BUCKETS ON AN ILL-FATED ARCTIC FOLLY RESULTING IN SHIP BOARD FIRE, EXPLOSION, POLLUTION, GROUNDINGS AND PUBLIC HUMILIATION, FORTUNATELY WITH NO ONE KILLED OR INJURED. THE FATE OF THE ARCTIC ENVIRONMENT ENTRUSTED TO CORNER-CUTTING CLOWNS. IT HAS ENDED WITH SHELL’S DEFEATED ANCIENT ARCTIC FLEET RETREATING SLOWLY FROM THE SCENE, UNDER TOW, PERHAPS BOUND FOR THE SCRAPYARD, WHERE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN SENT DECADES AGO. VOSER SHOULD HAVE SPENT MORE TIME CONCENTRATING ON SHELL’S ARCTIC EXPEDITION AND LESS ON CRITICISING BP. NOW THERE ARE WARNING SIGNS THAT SHELL RISKS A DECLINE IN PRODUCTION. LETS HOPE SHELL SENIOR MANAGEMENT DOES NOT START COOKING THE BOOKS AGAIN. THERE IS SOME REMAINING IN-HOUSE EXPERTISE IN THAT REGARD.

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Shell Deeply Ashamed

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 15.29.55FROM OUR NEWS ARCHIVE: LONDON EVENING STANDARD Wednesday, 27 October 2004 page 42 BUSINESS SECTION

SPEAKING OUT

“I’m convinced we have a lot of strengths. All of us are deeply ashamed about what happened about the reserves, but we are determined to regain our, position.”

– Shell chairman Jeroen van der Veer on the oil giant’s attempts to put its misdemeanours behind it

Starring Role of Shell CFO Simon Henry in Reserves Scandal

By John Donovan

On 13 March 2009, the FT published an article about Simon Henry, who was about to become Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. It said that he had survived the Shell reserves misreporting scandal with his reputation intact. On the basis of irrefutable Shell internal evidence, we take issue with that conclusion.

We have today published evidence confirming his starring role in the scandal. It includes an email sent directly to Mr Henry by the then Chief Executive of Shell Exploration & Production, Mr Walter van de Vijver. The content removes any doubt that Simon Henry knew two years before the scandal broke that Shell had booked reserves it should not have booked.

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Verdict on Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. As can be seen in the email, Walter van de Vijver aggressively accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve. The question arises of whether Mr Henry was a culprit, an accomplice, or an innocent bystander.

By John Donovan

INTRODUCTION

We have published a series of articles about the starring role of Simon Henry in the Royal Dutch Shell reserves scandal.

Shell internal email correspondence irrefutably proves that Simon Henry was aware in March 2002 that “reserves bookings were made that should not have been made”. Walter van de Vijver, the “sick and tired” Chief Executive of Shell EP, gave the information directly to him. Walter van de Vijver accused Mr Henry of setting targets that were near impossible to achieve.

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Shell reserves fraudster Rev Sir Philip Watts

Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 22.07.58By John Donovan

An article published today by the Maidenhead Advertiser says the Rev Sir Philip Watts is taking up a new position as Priest in Charge of the Benefice of Waltham St Lawrence. He is still protesting his innocence in relation to the Shell reserves fraud and cover-up that resulted in him being forced to resign as Group Chairman of the Royal Dutch Shell Group. Sir Phil forgets to mention the $150 million worth of fines imposed on Shell by the US and UK financial regulators, the class action lawsuits that were settled and the overwhelming incriminating evidence against him, including internal emails.  When will he being suing for defamation all of the newspapers that have published articles correctly accusing him of cheating Shell shareholders? He was a fraudster then and remains a fraudster now, this time deceiving his flock, not investors.

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A word in your Shell-like

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 13.17.19FROM OUR FEBRUARY 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE: “…we learned last year that the company leadership had been systematically lying to itself, its shareholders and wider stakeholders about the size of its oil reserves.”: “for years Shell lied about its sustainability as a business while preaching principles that it was betraying.”: “Shell had knowingly overstated its reserves by a third, a monumental betrayal of trust that is Europe’s version of Enron.”

By John Donovan

We have printed below a brilliant Will Hutton article published by The Observer on Sunday 6 February 2005. As he correctly says, this was a company that was lying to itself. No wonder Sir Philip Watts is seeking redemption.

The Observer: A word in your Shell-like

By Will Hutton: Sunday February 6, 2005

There’s nothing wrong with making profits. But we deserve a more sophisticated debate about sharing them

There is nothing like the news of one of Britain’s biggest companies making record profits to bring out all our ambiguities about capitalism in general and profit in particular. The left’s traditional mistrust of corporate money-making still casts a long shadow and even capitalists are uncertain how to respond when their profits are booming.

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Unsure of Shell

Screen Shot 2013-01-23 at 13.17.19FROM OUR FEBRUARY 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE: A person close to the company said: “Without exception, every Shell person I have met recently has asked me if I am able to help them find something else. Others are leaving without even waiting to find another job.”

By John Donovan

Printed below is an article by Robert Peston in his then capacity and Sunday City Editor of The Sunday Telegraph. He is not the first to have been deceived by the Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer. Ask Bill Campbell, the former HSE Group Auditor of Shell International.

Sunday Telegraph City Comment, Edited by Robert Peston, Sunday City Editor: (Filed: 06/02/2005)

Jeroen van der Veer is not what you expect from the chief executive of the UK’s most profitable company – which is what Shell became last week, with its disclosure that in 2004 it generated net income of almost £10bn.

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Signs of failure of the Royal Dutch Shell Empire?

Screen Shot 2013-02-07 at 19.02.31The problem is when the corruption stems from the boardroom as witnessed by the lead up to the Shell reserves crisis and the protracted cover-up of the Shell Touch F*** All scandal, all is lost.  You only have to look at recent history of how organisations fail due to internal corruption of essential controls by the men in suits in the Boardroom.  Enron, the banking system on both sides of the pond, the current crisis in the NHS are just a few examples. 

COMMENT BY BILL CAMPBELL, RETIRED HSE GROUP AUDITOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL

The myth of governance

Many pages exist explaining the need for the Shell organisation to have effective governance over its worldwide operations if it hopes to meet its stated objectives across the business.  The governance process is owned by the Board, executive and non executive.  By having essential management controls in place is the fundamental safeguard to meeting objectives including compliance with the applicable laws in the regions in which Shell operate.

The problem is when the corruption stems from the boardroom as witnessed by the lead up to the Shell reserves crisis and the protracted cover-up of the Shell Touch F*** All scandal, all is lost.  You only have to look at recent history of how organisations fail due to internal corruption of essential controls by the men in suits in the Boardroom.  Enron, the banking system on both sides of the pond, the current crisis in the NHS are just a few examples.  

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Desperation led to Shell’s plotting to exploit 9/11 attacks

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29BUILD UP TO SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL: Comments by leading Shell execs: “…the market will want to know whose head is going to roll for what they will see as blatant deception.”; “this is potential dynamite for management credibility and the share price”; “…how you have to break the detail of this news in September, assuming that there is indeed a firestorm of hostile comment…”; “why should we have any more confidence in these numbers than the previous ones…”; “…please don’t let the people who have got us into this mess be under any illusion that there is an ‘easy’ answer…”; “You will blight the relative TSR of the Group and everyone’s score card for years to come”; ‘So “blaming”’ it on field declines and slippage on growth in emerging markets is the least we should do in order to downgrade expectations.’

By John Donovan

When we published an article about Shell executives plotting to exploit the 9/11 attacks, we said that the motive behind the discussion was well founded internal and external concern about Shell production growth and problematic reserves.

We now publish Shell internal emails circulated in the months leading up to 9/11, which provide proof of the degree of concern over these issues that led to Shell executives considering such a distasteful strategy to manipulate the markets.

Some extracts:

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Shell slight of hand with reserve estimates

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 18.26.22By a former employee of Shell Oil Co (Name and contact details supplied to John Donovan)

Back in the 1980’s Shell (and other major oil companies) were having problems with one of the major vendors that provided borehole wireline logging services. There were three of these companies at the time, but we need not mention names. It is from the data gathered through these wireline services that reserve estimates are calculated on new discoveries, and often times on infill wells in existing oil/gas fields.

The services (data) supplied by one of these companies was notoriously suspect and Shell’s engineers routinely complained bitterly about the quality of the data this company provided. Shell engineering staff constantly bickered with technically ignorant middle level managers about using this vendor. Shell’s R&D lab eventually got involved in the matter and discovered very serious design problems with some of the devices built and used by this company. There were also serious operational QC problems in the field. As a result of these issues the laboratory refused to recommend or give its stamp of approval for the services offered by this particular vendor. Shell labs cannot tell the operating units how to run their business, but by refusing to recommend/approve the services of a contractor the operating units assume liabilities if ‘problems arise’.

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9/11 Terror Attack and the Shell Reserves Scandal

By John Donovan

On Friday we published an article revealing Shell internal email correspondence, which provided proof that three weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the USA, Shell executives were considering how Shell could exploit the horrific event for commercial reasons.

As can be seen from the correspondence, the objective was to “buy us a bit of time” in dealing with “production growth” … and “reserves replacement…” Both are key factors in assessing the value of an oil company. Shell was increasingly vulnerable to criticism on both issues.

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SHELL EP PRODUCTION FORECAST & TRAGIC WORLD EVENTS

“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)

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Simon Henry feared Shell would ‘score an own goal’ on reserves

Simon Henry was at the heart of what was going on, conveying reserves data to the market while dealing with colleagues engaged in the fraud. We have to assume that none of them confided in him and that he was an innocent dupe. He was asking questions about accuracy of the reserves information, but some investors may feel that he should have been rather more inquisitive given the gathering warning signals of which he was acutely aware, that were already reaching the markets. Perhaps he did know, but was in a state of denial about what was going on? That seems to have been the case even after news of the reserves scandal made headlines around the world.

Shell was given advance sight of this article and the opportunity to point out any factual inaccuracy.

By John Donovan

In March 2002, Simon Henry, the current Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc was head of Investor Relations for the Royal Dutch Shell Group.

Mr Henry was responsible for gathering reserves data and ensuring the quality/accuracy of the data before it was disclosed to analysts and investors. It turned out that some of the data was not only inaccurate, but also fraudulent.

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New article about Shell CFO Simon Henry

Subject to any intervention/response by Shell, a new article about the starring role of Mr Simon Henry in the Shell reserves crisis will be published here at 4pm UK time today.

By John Donovan

Subject to any intervention/response by Shell, a new article about the starring role of Mr Simon Henry in the Shell reserves crisis will be published here at 4pm UK time today.

Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Mr Henry (right), both have copies of the draft article.

This was the content of the covering email:

Dear Mr Brandjes

Printed below is a self-explanatory draft article.

Please let me know by 4pm UK time today if Shell wishes to point out any factual inaccuracy or supply comment for unedited publication alongside the article.

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Shell big investors in a revolutionary mood

Shell News, this day, 9 years ago: Shell investors were still in a state of shock over the dramatic disclosure that Shell had vastly overstated its proven oil and gas reserves. The main villain, the fraudster, Sir Philip Watts, was still Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman. Lord Oxburgh was still backing him.

Daily Mail: Rebels demand shake-up at Shell

By Brian O’Connor,

23 January 2004

DISSIDENT Shell investors are seeking a shake-up in the complex structure of the board and its committees. One result may be that an outside chairman is appointed when Sir Philip Watts steps down.

This would be a revolution for Shell, but big investors are in a revolutionary mood.

Though most boards now have a full-time chief executive and a part-time chairman, the UK company Shell Transport has traditionally had an executive chairman. So too has its sister company Royal Dutch Petroleum.

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Simon Henry and the reserves time bomb

Were they aware that Simon Henry was a key player, as Head of Global Investor Relations, in dealing with the reserves data and actually had responsibility to ensure the quality/accuracy of the data before it was disclosed to analysts and investors? As we all know, it turned out that some of the data was not only inaccurate, but fraudulent. He had been warned that a Gorgon 600 million BOE reserves booking was an IR time bomb.

Introduction: A draft of the article below was supplied to Shell in advance, namely to Mr Michiel Brandjes, the Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the CFO, Mr. Simon Henry. We invited Shell to point out any factual inaccuracy and/or supply comment for unedited publication with the article. No response other than an automated message has been received.

ARTICLE

By John Donovan

On 13 March 2009, the Financial Times published an article about Simon Henry, who was about to become Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. It said that he had survived the reserves misreporting scandal with his reputation intact. I wonder how much investigation of the facts was undertaken before arriving at that conclusion?

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Short list of praiseworthy senior Royal Dutch Shell executives

Now we have his equally scandal tainted successor, Peter Voser, Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee at the time when UBS was engaged in all kinds of criminal activity.

Posting on Shell Blog by LondonLad on Jan 17th, 2013 at 19:56

In all honesty can the Donovan’s kindly list some of the past and present senior executives of Royal Dutch Shell that they would support for their good work, honesty, ability to abide by country HSE requirements, etc. etc. More and more it seems that if you work for RDS at a (very) senior level they’ll get shafted via real AND tabloid reporting on this website, Greenpeace (dick-heads), and other tree hugging websites. We (the countries around the world) need to advance, risks need to be taken as a result….

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Chris Finlayson: One can of worms after another

Despite his scandal-ridden record at Shell, Chris Finlayson was recently appointed as Chief Executive of BG Group plc. We have already published articles relating to his involvement in the Shell reserves fraud and his time as head of Shell in Russia, when he played a starring role in the Sakhalin 2 debacle, which cost Shell untold billions. This article takes us back even further, to his time as a director of Shell’s North Sea operations and his involvement in the notorious “TOUCH FUCK ALL” policy…

CHRIS FINLAYSON’S SCANDAL-RIDDEN TIME AT SHELL: ONE CAN OF WORMS AFTER ANOTHER

By John Donovan

Despite his scandal-ridden record at Shell, Chris Finlayson was recently appointed as Chief Executive of BG Group plc.

We have already published articles relating to his involvement in the Shell reserves fraud and his time as head of Shell in Russia, when he played a starring role in the Sakhalin 2 debacle, which cost Shell untold billions.

This article takes us back even further, to his time as a director of Shell’s North Sea operations and his involvement in the notorious “TOUCH FUCK ALL” policy adopted by Shell Expro, which ruthlessly put production and profits before the safety of employees.

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Candid testimony of Simon Henry about disgraced Shell EP Boss Walter van de Vijver

As can be seen in his testimony, Simon Henry deliberately limited the amount of time that Walter van de Vijver spent with UK and US investors, almost as if there was something to hide? Wonder what current Shell investors will make of that revelation? An insight into how Mr Henry thinks shareholders can be manipulated and shielded from potential spontaneous outpourings of the truth. The Dutchman wouldn’t learn his lines.

“I am becoming sick and tired about lying,” said Walter van de Vijver (right), senior executive at Royal Dutch/Shell. Photo Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News

Candid testimony of Simon Henry about the disgraced Shell Exploration And Production Chief Executive, Walter van de Vijver (shown right).

Simon Henry became Head of Shell Group Investor Relations in March 2001. His predecessor was Walter van de Vijver.

Extracts from the sworn testimony of Simon Henry to the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 October 2004 in Washington D.C. The reference to “one on one” meetings, was in regard to Shell senior management meetings with analysts and investors.

As can be seen in the testimony, Simon Henry deliberately limited the amount of time that Walter van de Vijver spent with UK and US investors, almost as if there was something to hide? Wonder what current Shell shareholders will make of that revelation? An insight into how Mr Henry thinks shareholders can be manipulated and shielded from potential spontaneous outpourings of the truth. The Dutchman wouldn’t learn his lines.

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Candid testimony of Shell’s Simon Henry about Sir Philip Watts

Q: Do you like Mr. Watts personally? A: It was difficult to like Phil.  He was not a guy you go for a beer with. …he was still running with that chip on his shoulder… He was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks.

Candid (some might say indiscreet) testimony of Simon Henry about the disgraced Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts (shown right).

Extracts from the sworn testimony of Simon Henry to the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission on 19 October 2004 in Washington D.C.

Mr Henry is currently Chief Financial Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Q: With the benefit of hindsight, were there ever instances where you believed Mr. Watts provided the market with incomplete or inaccurate information?

A: With the benefit of hindsight, he answered a lot of questions about Gorgon, and with the benefit of hindsight, they could have been answered differently.

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Investors howl for Shell’s blood

By John Donovan

The current news about Shell’s Alaskan debacle is chilling, but not as bad as the news about the Shell reserves scandal exactly 9 years ago today.

Monday, January 12, 2004

The Australian: Shell chief faces the axe

Daily Mail: Heat is on Watts after Shell shock

The West Australian: Investors howl for Shell’s blood  

London Evening Standard: Shell pledges faith in Gorgon

The Times: Investors demand changes at Shell

The Guardian: Shell debacle leads to call for outside audits

Sydney Morning Herald: Shell rubs out 4bn barrels

Financial Times: Life of Shell reserves cut by 3 years

Financial Times: Call for oil giants to detail fields

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Devastatingly bad news day for Shell 9 years ago: 10 Jan 2004

Why Shell does not sue the Donovans

By John Donovan

I know that many people must be baffled why Shell does not take legal action against us bearing in mind that some articles authored by us may appear rather forthright.  The reason why we are not buried in Shell injunctions is because of meticulous research to ensure we can substantiate in court everything we publish. In other words, we have the documentary evidence to prove that what we say is true.  This thorough research will be evident in a pending article about Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry. We will put detailed information into the public domain about his involvement in the Shell reserves scandal. The third in our series of articles about the scandal mired years of Chris Finlayson at Shell is also in the pipeline. One can of worms after another. Not the ravings of disgruntled lunatics, but provable unpalatable fact.

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Prophetic 2004 photograph of Shell Group Chairman Sir Philip Watts

Prophetic 2004 photograph of  the then Royal Dutch Shell Group Chairman and fraudster Sir Philip Watts (above) from a Sunday Telegraph article published on 18 January 2004 days after the Shell reserves scandal made news headlines around the world. Right, a photograph from 2012, also of Sir Philip, but rematerialized this time as the Rev. Sir Philip Watts. Personally, I think his most memorable role was when he materialized as a spaceman. Hope someone warns his congregation not to mention anything that might remind him of his colorful past, for example, when he was allegedly an arms supplier in Nigeria. (Article posted by John Donovan)

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Shell CEO Peter Voser tainted by UBS Scandals

Voser was said to have provided significant input to the stabilization of the scandal ridden Swiss bank. Ironic spin given that the Swiss Justice Minister warned only months later that UBS was in danger of collapse. It actually has a reputation riddled with more holes than Swiss cheese. In February 2008, Peter Voser was appointed as Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee.

By John Donovan

From April 2005 to April 2010 the current Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the Swiss national, Mr. Peter Voser, served on the Board of Directors of the Swiss bank UBS AG. He was a member of the governance and nominating committee and of the strategy committee. In February 2008, Peter Voser was appointed as Chairman of the UBS Audit Committee. A fact also confirmed on page 19 of UBS review 2008. He was well paid. For example, in the year 2008/2009, Voser received over $1 million USD (in Swiss francs) from UBS in “compensation” and shares.

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CHRIS FINLAYSON AND THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL RESERVES SCANDAL

“With regards to the reserves fraud, Mr Finlayson was either part of the cover-up, or negligent in his fiduciary duties as a senior Shell executive, supposedly protecting the interests of investors”; “That should be of great concern to investors in BG Group. Surely the company could have found a new CEO untainted by scandal?”

John Donovan

In January 2004 news broke about the Shell reserves fraud. These examples from hundreds of news reports speak for themselves:

Daily Telegraph: Shell drops ‘bombshell’ on reserves: 9 Jan 2004
The Times: How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation: 10 Jan 2004
The West Australian: Investors howl for Shell’s blood: 12 Jan 2004

Shell executives, led by then chairman Sir Philip Watts, who has recently repented by becoming the Rev. Sir Philip Watts, admitted they had repeatedly lied to investors about the true level of Shell’s oil and gas reserves. Shell senior management had engaged in a massive cover-up to fool the market i.e. deceive its own shareholders. Shell admitted that it had misled investors.

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Jeroen van der Veer exit from Shell

I am only surprised that an ex CEO of Shell leaves the board at a young age. Is Jeroen washing his hands in innocence or trying to put light between him and Shell?? In the past they used to hang in there for long periods until they had to get up too often to take a pee during shareholders meetings. But in recent times Herkstroter left premature, so did Moody-Stuart. And Watts sought salvation…

13/12/2012

Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced today that Mr Gerrit Zalm has been appointed a Non-executive Director of the Company with effect from January 1, 2013. Mr Zalm is the Chairman of the Board of Management of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., a position he has held since February 2009. Prior to that Mr Zalm was the Minister of Finance of the Netherlands from 1994-2002 and from 2003-2007. Mr Zalm will seek re-appointment by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM), scheduled to be held in May 2013. (information taken from Shell website)

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Shell delays shareholder meetings

From the BBC News Archive: Shell delays shareholder meetings

Oil giant Shell is pushing back the dates of its shareholder meetings amid ongoing uncertainty about its estimates of oil reserves.

Friday, 26 November, 2004, 10:36 GMT

The world’s third largest oil company said its shareholder meetings due in April will now take place on 28 June.

The company is in the middle of a shake-up after shocking investors back in January by slashing estimates of its oil and gas reserves by 20%.

Its latest review of its reserves will be completed by the end of the year.

If the company is forced to revise estimates further, previous financial statements may have to be restated, which could delay publication of its results.

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From Mammon to God: Oiligarchs beat the path from profit to pews

“Watts only ended his 35-year career with Shell because he was forced out over the 2004 oil reserves fiasco. News that the company had been overstating its reserves by 20 per cent caused Shell’s stock prices to fall by $15bn — yet Watts still walked away with a £1 million pay-off and a pension of more than £500,000 per annum…”

It’s not just Justin Welby – oiligarchs beat the path from profit to pews

5 November 2012

From Mammon to God. The Church of England seems to be flooded with former oil men at present.

Last week Justin Welby, who spent 11 years working as an oil executive, was appointed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury. What’s less well known is that another big name in oil has received a clerical promotion. Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chairman, is to become priest in charge at Waltham St Lawrence, Berkshire, after being a curate at another local church.

Although they worked in the same industry, the two men’s paths to salvation have been rather different. While Welby voluntarily swapped the high pay for pews because he was “unable to get away from a sense of God calling”, Watts only ended his 35-year career with Shell because he was forced out over the 2004 oil reserves fiasco. News that the company had been overstating its reserves by 20 per cent caused Shell’s stock prices to fall by $15bn — yet Watts still walked away with a £1 million pay-off and a pension of more than £500,000 per annum.

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The Sins of The Reverend Sir Philip Watts

Update by John Donovan: Last week we revealed the latest incarnation of the disgraced reserves fraudster Sir Philip Watts, formally an arms supplier and human rights abuser in Nigeria, a spaceman and a notorious Group Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell Group. Sir Phil has now turned to religion in a big way.  Unfortunately the past penchant for cover-up associated with Sir Philip continues even in his new guise. One of the articles  cited as proof of his conversion to the path of righteousness has been speedily removed from the Waltham St Lawrence & Shurlock Row Parish Website. This is the only trace which remains and if past form is any guide, it too will quickly vanish, like Shell oil and gas reserves. This time I have retained a copy. Perhaps Sir Philip will include a reference to the unmasking of his past sins in his next sermon? Confession is said to be good for the soul.

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Ikea ‘deeply regrets’ use of forced labour: when is Shell going to apologise?

I wonder when Royal Dutch Shell is going to apologise for using Jewish forced labour at its German subsidiary Rhenania-Ossag…

By John Donovan

BBC News has reported that Ikea ‘deeply regrets’ use of forced labour.

According to the report:

Ikea gave contracts to the East German (GDR) government in the 1970s. Former political prisoners of the Stasi, the feared secret police, said they worked on the furniture, prompting Ikea to commission the Ernst & Young report in May this year.

The company said that although it took steps to try to ensure that prisoners were not used in production, “it is now clear that these measures were not effective enough”.

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Can Shell placate environmental critics?

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

BBC2 TV Newsnight: Can Shell placate environmental critics?

Hilton Kelley claims Port Arthur has been “devastated by pollution”. “We had a great community one time,” says Hilton Kelley “Sandwich shops, taxi stands, nightclubs – we had all these things. Now it’s devastated by pollution. “Many of the residents have died from cancer – kids have moved away – they no longer want to live here.” Hilton, together with 1,200 residents of Port Arthur, has launched a class action lawsuit against Shell, claiming breach of environmental human rights. So what are the facts?”

By Paul Mason, Business correspondent, Newsnight: Broadcast 28 Oct 2004

Residents of Port Arthur, Texas, claim the Shell-owned oil refinery bordering their town is damaging their environment and health.

With a major restructure underway after being caught mis-stating its oil reserves, how did a small US town’s problems shoot to the top of Shell’s corporate agenda?

Oil built Port Arthur.

It was the nearest port to the first Texan oil gusher in 1901. By 1903 Texaco had built its first refinery here.

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Editorial Integrity of “A History of Royal Dutch Shell”

In fact all three Shell members of the editorial committee, Watts, Van der Veer and Munsiff, had form in the culture of corporate cover-up and were therefore ideal from the standpoint of Shell to have editorial influence over inclusion (or non-inclusion) of the dark side of Shell’s history and how that information was treated (spun?)

By John Donovan

The official history of Royal Dutch Shell published in three volumes in 2007 was commissioned by the company and authored by historians associated with Utrecht University who were given unrestricted access to Royal Dutch Shell archives.

The relevant historians, who describe themselves as the researchers and authors of the work, say that none of them are Shell employees and claim that the work is “the fruit of our independent research” with their progress “monitored by an editorial committee, with an equal number of economic historians and company representatives.”

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How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip’s reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received — and dallied over — warnings about the accounting problems.”: “In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.”: “Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can’t seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

November 2, 2004; Page A1

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

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Disgraced former Shell Group Chairman ‘The Reverend Sir Philip Watts’

ITS NOT A HOAX. I’M NOT MAKING IT UP. THE MAN IN THE DOG COLLAR IS WHO YOU THINK IT IS: DISGRACED FORMER ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP CHAIRMAN SIR PHILIP WATTS, THE RESERVES FRAUDSTER ESCORTED FROM THE SHELL CENTRE BY SECURITY GUARDS. I WELL REMEMBER THE TRANSFORMATION PROCESS, BUT THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!

FROM A FORMER EP HAND WHO WORKED CLOSELY WITH WATTS

John
 
Perhaps you see fit to publish this unbelievable story. I nearly had a fit when I read it and was convinced it was a hoax. But apparently it is all true, proving that real life is more strange than the most far fetched fiction that Hollywood (or nowadays the BBC) can dream up.
 
Look at these links:
 
http://www.walthamstlawrence.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=341:appointment-of-priest-in-charge&catid=43:news-articles&Itemid=58

(The churchwardens are delighted to announce that the Rev. Sir Philip Watts has been appointed to be Priest in Charge at Waltham St. Lawrence.) For some reason forgot to mention in his CV the name of the energy company of which he was Chairman.

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Watchdog’s bark far worse than its bite

From our November 2005 Shell News Archive

The Times: Watchdog’s bark far worse than its bite

“In the Shell case, the FSA had plenty of evidence of a conspiracy at the highest level against the interests of shareholders. The company’s own investigation unearthed compelling e-mail evidence, not least former exploration director Walter van de Vijver’s infamous complaint that he was “becoming sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues”.: “…it looks downright embarrassing that the FSA official who fought Sir Philip, former acting enforcement head David Mayhew, will later this month wave goodbye to the FSA and walk straight into a highly paid job at Herbert Smith — the firm advising Sir Philip.”

Posted Friday 11 Nov 2005

SHELL, we were told by the Financial Services Authority last summer, was guilty of “unprecedented misconduct”. For five years, from 1998 to 2003, the company had repeatedly misled shareholders over its oil and gas reserves. It was so culpable that the regulator felt it had no choice but to fine it a then-record £17 million.

Yet we are now asked to believe that no one running the company at the time was actually to blame. The FSA yesterday dropped its investigation into and proceedings against the former chairman, Sir Philip Watts, and other unnamed individuals. After an 18-month inquiry the regulator’s enforcement arm had assembled a case against the individuals. But its Regulatory Decisions Committee, which makes the final judgment, was unconvinced. Or was it simply unwilling? For years the FSA has banged the drum about how it would hold senior figures to account when companies broke the rules. Yet time and again, the FSA finds companies guilty of serious offences while failing to secure individual scalps. The Citigroup bond trading scandal ended with all the traders who had been involved reinstated and no senior figure so much as formally reprimanded by the authorities.

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Shell plays a blinder

From our November 2004 Shell News Archive

Once again, you have to hand it to Shell for foresight, intuition and perspicacity. Alone among the world’s big oil companies, Shell managed to end up on the losing side of the American election, giving more to the Democrats than it did the (winning) Republicans, according to the US Centre for Responsive Politics. But then again, not very surprising for a company that manage to lose billions of dollars of its own oil reserves.

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How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

FROM OUR NOVEMBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal

Paddy Briggs, a retired Shell communications executive, recalls one event where he and about 40 executives were issued shovels and pick-axes and dispatched to a Dutch village to help it restore an old playground. The oilmen gave up around lunchtime amid heavy rain. Such gimmicks became the butt of jokes, “but nobody said, ‘Hey, have we lost our minds here?’ “says Mr. Briggs.

As New-Age Style Came In,
Geology Skills Lost Out;
Imitating Jerry Springer
Oilmen at a Rainy Playground

By CHIP CUMMINS and ALMAR LATOUR

Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

November 2, 2004; Page A1

In late 2000, the head of the Dutch exploration unit at Royal Dutch/Shell Group asked his planners to deliver five-minute skits pitching ideas for discovering oil and gas.

In one skit, a naked employee ran on stage to catch the boss’s attention, say two people who attended. Another featured a mock episode of the Jerry Springer show, the incendiary daytime TV talk program. A third, after a bit of fun and games, promised to extract large quantities of natural gas cheaply from seemingly declining Dutch fields.

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All the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia

 From our Shell News Archive Sunday 31 October, 2004

The fallout from the Shell reserves fraud continues…

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Business View: Shell’s real location problem is finding more black stuff: “The misreporting of reserves scandal showed all the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia.”: “So what’s the hurry? Was it because Shell had to admit that it had uncovered another 900 million barrels of doubtful crude in its reserves and was likely to uncover 600 million more?”

Sunday Express (UK): Shell boardroom changes backfire on reserves news: “ONE OF the world’s most influential financial firms has given the thumbs down to an announcement from Shell it is to end its 97-year-old dual board structure.”: “…financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it had adjusted Shell’s investment rating downwards to “creditwatch negative”, a status which implies there may be more bad news to come from the company.”

Mail on Sunday (UK):  Shell bosses in a charm offensive: “The Board, headed by Jeroen van der Veer, will see thousands of staff to explain the proposed changes and shore up the mood of the employees damaged by scandals over Shell’s inflated oil reserves.”: “Last week, Shell was forced to downgrade its estimates of proven oil reserves for the fifth time this year. Reserves are now a third lower than originally thought”

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A DREADFUL DAY FOR SHELL SHAREHOLDERS, ESPECIALLY UK SHELL SHAREHOLDERS

FROM OUR OCTOBER 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

Friday 29 October, 2004 – A DREADFUL DAY FOR SHAREHOLDERS IN SHELL TRANSPORT AND TRADING COMPANY PLC

The Times (UK): The Hague for head office: “ALTHOUGH it maintains otherwise, Shell is effectively going Dutch…”: “From May, the big decisions will be taken by a new board in The Hague, which has seven Dutch members and only four Britons.”: “…from 2006 it will hold AGMs only in The Hague.”

The Times (UK): Fear of new Shell reserves downgrade: “ROYAL Dutch/Shell yesterday raised fears that it may have to write down its reserves by more than 1.5 billion barrels…”: “With less than 60 per cent of its reservoir audit completed, Shell was unable yesterday to put a ceiling on the potential downgrade of its reserves…”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Dutch chiefs take helm of merged Shell: “The radical move, which needs to be approved by shareholders, is likely to be seen as a Dutch takeover of the energy giant…”: “The news was overshadowed by yet more revelations about the company’s “proven” reserves…”

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Shell stuns City with revamp

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

London Evening Standard: Shell stuns City with revamp

“The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.”: “Buried deep in the results statement, Shell said it was considering yet another downgrade after a review of 8bn barrels of reserves for the year to December.”

Steve Hawkes,

28 October 2004

ANGLO-DUTCH giant Shell stunned the City today by unveiling plans to scrap its century old corporate structure and create ‘one company, one board and one chief executive.

The troubled group wants to draw a line under its devastating oil and gas reserves crisis earlier this year by creating a new £100bn holding company, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

It will effectively take over the British and Dutch arms, which came together in a joint venture in 1907 with Royal Dutch owning 60%. The new group will be based in the Netherlands but listed in London.

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Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

From our October 2004 Shell News Archive

Royal Dutch/Shell to merge

Netherlands HQ ‘not a victory for the Dutch’: “Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.”

By Emily Church,

Oct. 28, 2004

LONDON (CBS.MW) — Oil major Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it plans to merge its Dutch and U.K. companies, breaking close to a hundred year tradition as a dual Anglo-Dutch group.

The move was expected and follows shareholder outrage after a shock downgrade of proven oil reserves in January. Yet Shell’s governance scheme wasn’t without a few surprises, chiefly that the headquarters will be based in The Hague, Netherlands along with two of the group’s three main businesses.

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