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From our Shell News Archive: Saturday 30 October, 2004

From our Shell News Archive: Saturday 30 October, 2004

Financial Times: Look under the Shell: “One conspiracy theory doing the rounds yesterday was that those Dutch chaps now running Royal Dutch/Shell were more cunning than they first appear, in spite of the company’s inability to count reserves over several years.”

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell’s credit rating goes back under review: “Standard & Poor’s yesterday put Royal Dutch/Shell’s AA+ credit rating under “negative” review because it may have to restate its proved reserves yet again.”: “Concerns were also raised about whether Shell tried to bury the bad news on reserves yet again by announcing its restructuring at the same time. “The information was found on page three, line 15 in one of the longest paragraphs I have ever seen,” said one London-based broker.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Moody’s Affirms The Aa1 Sr Unsecured And P-1 Commercial Paper Rtgs Of Shell Fin (NETHERLANDS) B.V. And Shell Fin (U.K.) P.L.C.; Maintains Outlook-Neg: “Moody’s is maintaining a negative rating outlook rather than downgrading the rating. The rating agency will monitor Shell’s progress on re-positioning the upstream over the next year or two. A material deterioration in Shell’s reserve replacement or production growth in the medium-term could pressure the long-term rating”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL/DOW JONES NEWSWIRES: S&P Places Shell Canada On CW Neg On Parent Actions: “The CreditWatch placements of both Royal Dutch/Shell and Shell Canada follow the Royal Dutch/Shell’s announcement that it is considering an additional downward adjustment of 900 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to its 14.35 billion boe of proven reserves. The overall revision would represent a 6.3% reduction in Royal Dutch/Shell’s current proved reserves base and would be in addition to the 23% aggregate recategorizations already implemented in the first half of 2004.” Archive Article: The crisis at Shell: Decline and fall: “The Royal Dutch/Shell scandal broke as the United States and Europe grappled with a plague of corporate corruption: Enron and Tyco International of the United States; Parmalat of Italy; France’s oil giant Elf; Norway’s Statoil; Halliburton, the US oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney; and the $11 billion accounting fraud by WorldCom.”: “But the Shell scandal was notable because it broke new ground and has reverberated internationally in the strategic field of energy.”: “Now there are allegations that van der Veer, a chemical engineer with such a modest public profile he is known in some quarters as “the low-flying Dutchman”… “had known about the huge shortfalls in proven oil and gas reserves since February 2002, two years before they were publicly disclosed.”

Financial Times: M&A in spotlight over Shell move

Financial Times: Distrust in the land of psychos and soya milk: By Mark Moody-Stuart

The Times (UK): Shell threatened with AA rating downgrade: “S&P said it had put the oil group’s long-term debt “on credit watch with negative implications” and hinted strongly that it could lose its AA+ rating. The trigger was Shell’s announcement on Thursday that it might have overstated its oil and gas reserves again, this time by 900 million barrels.”

The Times (UK): Need to Know: “Royal Dutch/Shell was threatened with a credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s after Shell’s announcement on Thursday that it might have to overstate its oil and gas reserves, this time by 900 million barrels.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Shell scandal ‘could happen again‘: “Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool, the UK chairman of Shell, yesterday warned that another reserves scandal could still strike the oil and gas giant despite the changes to the company’s structure.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Why oil is such a sticky business: “Mr Van der Veer spoke of Athabasca as if it was a fantastic new opportunity, but this Canadian sand pit has been in on-off development since 1883. It’s a filthy process to produce an inferior crude oil, and the gains are marginal.”: “…Shell is reportedly already $2billion over its $10billion budget for the second phase of its gas project at Sakhalin Island.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Why they decided to move their headquarters to Holland: “Shell maintained this week that “the choice of the Netherlands as the headquarters is natural given the group’s history and the businesses already based there”. However, it is a little more complicated than that.”

Daily Telegraph (UK): Wildcatter who came in from the cold: “Cairn bought out Shell’s half for £4 million and increased the drilling. By Christmas of last year, the Rajasthan field still wasn’t looking good. Cairn had spent £56 million – a fifth of the then value of the company – and still not found major strikes. Then in January, Cairn struck black gold – a billion-barrel oil lagoon.”

The Times (UK): Tempest: How trackers can lose out with the lopsided FTSE: “SHELL may be moving its headquarters away from London’s South Bank to the Netherlands, but the most significant decision taken by the oil major this week was to shift its primary listing to London.”

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia): Shell goes Dutch as reserves cut again: “the news was overshadowed by a further downgrade by Shell of its “proven” reserves of oil and gas”

Houston Chronicle: Royal Dutch-Shell to become one: Market cheers cleaner structure, but reserves loom: Fadel Gheit of Oppenheimer & Co. said…. “They’re still trickling down on shareholders bad news about reserve revisions.”: “Bennett, too, thinks a merged company could clean up its act, but he worries about lingering board members who were around during the days of overstating oil reserves.” Shell to become one giant company: “The overhaul was forced on Shell by pressure from investors after the reserves scandal which broke in January. The merger will create a unified business with a stock market value of £105bn – making it the second-biggest company on the London market.”

THE TIMES (UK): SHELL GOES DUTCH: Two Shell businesses to unite: DUTCH TAKE OVER – THE NEW SHELL; THE NEW BOARD; Job cuts at Shell — how the UK has taken the brunt again; The reserves crisis

ChannelNewsAsia: S and P watching Shell for possible debt downgrade: “LONDON : Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services said it had its eye on Royal Dutch/Shell for a possible downgrade of the oil company’s debt rating in case of a further restatement of its reserves.”: “This latest warning about Shell’s reserves represents the fifth such announcement about the company’s reserves base this year, S and P said.”

Reuters: S&P may cut ratings on Royal Dutch/Shell: “S&P said it may also cut its ratings on Shell units Shell Oil Co., Shell Petroleum NV and Shell Petroleum Co. Ltd.”: “New downward revisions in reserves represent the fifth such adjustment this year, S&P said in a statement. The latest revision could reduce Shell’s proven reserves life to less than 10 years, it said.”

Legal Week: Slaughters leads adviser trio on Shell shake-up: UK head of legal Richard Wiseman told Legal Week: “We looked at a number of options, which we worked out first internally then with a number of outside advisers and banks.” He added: “It is obviously friendly, but it is one of the biggest [transactions] ever affected.”

Daily Express (UK): Shell quits London HQ to go Dutch: “But managers’ credibility was further eroded yesterday by the revelation they had been premature by saying last month reserves were all accounted for. Malcolm Brinded, British head of exploration and production who will stay on the combined board, said Shell might have to write off a further 900 million barrels or 11 per cent of the reserves it has audited. Half the total reserves have yet to be checked.” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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