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SHELL SHOCK: The Money Programme provides a clear and merciless indictment of Shell

The Times: SHELL SHOCK: The Money Programme provides a clear and merciless indictment of Shell, a company that prided itself on being a safe investment for widows and orphans

Television: Thursday, July 15 2004

BBC Two, 9.50pm on July 10, 2004

The Money Programme provides a clear and merciless indictment of Shell, a company that prided itself on being a safe investment for widows and orphans.

In the late 1990s, BP and Exxon expanded through acquisition, leaving Shell lagging behind. The then head of exploration and production, Sir Philip Watts, was determined to restore the company’s pre-eminence. Its proven reserves were exaggerated by 4.5 billion barrels. When Sir Philip became chairman, his successor, Walter van de Vijver, was appalled and fired off numerous warnings. “I am becoming sick and tired,” he wrote, “of lying about the extent of our reserves.”

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