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Posts Tagged ‘Walter van de Vijver’

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: read more

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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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. read more

How Shell changed its culture and lost its way

FROM OUR ARCHIVES…

Financial Times: How Shell changed its culture and lost its way

By Ian Bickerton

Published: June 17 2004 21:36

Posted 18 June 2004

It is rare to find Royal Dutch/Shell in openly confessional mood. Yet as Jeroen van der Veer, its managing chairman, stood with the applause of the oil group’s 400 senior executives ringing in his ears at a conference in Houston, Texas, last month, he will have known that the response was an expression of relief that the century-old Dutch-British company had finally come clean.

“Did the mid-90s transformation bring the desirable behaviours?” asked Mr van der Veer. “Or did it erode professionalism, corporate cohesion, ‘enterprise first’ thinking and loyalty?” read more

Shell executives paid no bonuses in 2003

Jeroen van der Veer told staff in Houston, Texas, this week that he would not tolerate “bullying” within the company, and admitted that its dealings with business partners had often been “arrogant”.

FROM OUR ARCHIVES…

Financial Times: Shell executives paid no bonuses in 2003

By Adrian Michaels

Published: May 28 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell, the embattled oil company, on Thursday said it had paid no bonuses to senior executives last year, seeking to reassure investors after months of turmoil and resignations as it published its annual report.

The report, which was publised two months later than usual, also contained expanded information on Shell’s controversial oil and gas reserves. Reserves were separated out geographically by continent for the first time and there was a fuller explanation of reserve accounting policies.
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Shell seeks to draw a line after fourth cut in reserves

FROM OUR ARCHIVES…

Shell seeks to draw a line after fourth cut in reserves

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

25 May 2004

Royal Dutch-Shell, the crisis-torn oil giant, yesterday cut its proven reserves for the fourth time this year but then sought to reassure the City that it had drawn a line at last under the fiasco.

The latest downgrade means that Shell has now removed 4.5 billion barrels of oil from the proven category, equivalent to just under a quarter of its total reserves.

Malcolm Brinded, the head of exploration and production for Shell, said he was as sure as he could be that this would be the last revision to reserves estimates. “We are not planning to make further changes but you can never say never,” he added.
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Canada candidate for top Shell job

Financial Times: Canada candidate for top Shell job

By Carola Hoyos in London

Published: May 19 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: May 19 2004 5:00

Royal Dutch/Shell yesterday announced the first promotion to its committee of managing directors since the scandal over its oil and gas reserves cut its members from six to three.

The appointment of Linda Cook, president and chief executive of Shell Canada, requires approval by shareholders at next month’s annual meeting. If it is passed, she will take up her post in August.

She is to run the group’s natural gas and power operations – a position she held before her move to Canada in 2003.
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Shell Concealed Extent of Its Problems to Protect Nigeria Partnership

FROM OUR ARCHIVES…

International Herald Tribune: Shell Concealed Extent of Its Problems to Protect Nigeria Partnership.

Friday, March 19, 2004

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group has kept secret key details of its sharp reduction of oil and gas reserves for fear of damaging its close ties to Nigeria, whose oil production quota set by OPEC might be jeopardized if the facts were disclosed, internal company documents show.

Nigeria is seeking a significant increase in its quota with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which sets production levels for its members in an effort to control prices. A lower quota would mean less income for Shell and Nigeria and less Nigerian oil for the United States, the largest customer for its exports. read more

Shell reputation reserves close to empty

FROM OUR ARCHIVES…

Sydney Morning Herald: Shell reputation reserves close to empty

April 22, 2004

Posted 6 May 2004

The closely guarded reputation of Royal Dutch/Shell was in tatters this week as British newspapers accused the oil giant of lies and a cover-up after an explosive internal report admitted executives knew of problems with reserves more than two years ago.

Amid the clamour on Tuesday, a leading Shell shareholder publicly rejected the company’s claim that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with its structure. Robert Talbut, chief investment officer at fund manager Isis, said: “They have attempted to present this as being down to a couple of bad apples.
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Sadistic Sacking of Shell Exploration & Production Boss

We can now read in a court deposition given under oath, the dramatic and emotional account by van de Vijver himself of how he was brutally pressurised into resigning by his colleagues, including Jeroen van der Veer. A masterclass in backstabbing.

Tainted ‘symbiotic partnership’ between Brunei regime and Shell

His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei meeting Malcolm (TFA) Brinded, Shell’s Executive Director, Upstream International.

By John Donovan

On Sunday 1 January, the Borneo Bulletin published a gushing article under the headline “Oil & Gas continues to shower Brunei with benefits, opportunities“.

It described a claimed lovefest relationship between Royal Dutch Shell and the Brunei Royal family, which the Sultan of Brunei has summed up as: “the extraordinary symbiotic partnership between the Sultanate and the global oil giant… Royal Dutch Shell… read more

Royal Dutch Shell dirty washing hung out to dry here every day…

By Alfred and John Donovan

We have now published further parts of the deposition of Walter van de Vijver, the former Group Managing Director of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and Chief Executive of Shell EP. This is in connection with the Shell reserves fraud.

Some associated documents are marked “strictly confidential” and contain blunt criticism of Shell senior employees and how Shell proposes to pass the blame for misdeeds. There is also mention of “dirty washing”. It is a fascinating insight into senior management at Shell. Not a pretty sight. There is some duplication of documents we have already published. read more

Videotaped Deposition of former Chief Executive of Shell Exploration & Production Walter van de Vijver

Generous pension pots for the board while occupational schemes face shortfall

The Guardian (UK): Generous pension pots for the board while occupational schemes face shortfall

“Under Sir Phil’s leadership Shell was shaken by a crisis over the level of its reserves, which it eventually conceded had been overstated by some 25%. Investors were shocked to read a leaked email from former exploration boss Walter van de Vijver to Sir Phil, the former chairman, in which he said: “I am becoming sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues.”

Thursday August 4, 2005

Phillip Inman

Directors of Britain’s biggest companies can look forward to generous pension payouts, according to the Guardian’s survey of top executive pay.

The nine executive directors on the Unilever board have a pension pot worth £80m to see them through retirement – and the figure will almost certainly rise as the group makes more contributions before many of them retire.

Niall FitzGerald, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods firm’s former chief executive, is one of two directors who have already started taking their pensions. He retired last September after 37 years service with a pension pot worth almost £17m. His colleagues Keki Dadiseth and Patrick Cescau, have also grabbed the top 10 places in the league of corporate pension pots, though they have yet to retire. read more

Daily Express: Shell pays £52m to help settle reserves actions

Daily Express: Shell pays £52m to help settle reserves actions

Posted Tuesday 19 July 2005

By Andrew Johnson

Published 13 July 2005

SHELL is close to settling one of the three major class actions it was facing in the US in the wake of last year’s reserves scandal.

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant has agreed to pay, subject to court approval, $90 million (£52 million) to a clutch of pension funds run for its US staff.

It is the latest move by the group to draw a line under the affair which saw nearly 6 billion barrels wiped from its reserves which had been artificially inflated. read more

BLOOMBERG: Shell Stock Headed for Worst Week Since January 2004

BLOOMBERG: Shell Stock Headed for Worst Week Since January 2004

“The shares of Royal Dutch/Shell Group fell in London, heading for their worst week since the January 2004 disclosure that the company’s oil and gas reserves had been overstated for years. The reason now: soaring costs and project delays from Russia to Nigeria. Shell, Europe’s second-largest oil company, yesterday said an oil and gas development in Russia’s Far East is behind schedule and may cost $20 billion, twice original estimates. (Update1)

Posted Saturday 16 July 2005

(Bloomberg) — The shares of Royal Dutch/Shell Group fell in London, heading for their worst week since the January 2004 disclosure that the company’s oil and gas reserves had been overstated for years. read more

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