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Shell News Archive Friday 12 November 2004

From our Shell News Archive Friday 12 November 2004

Daily Telegraph: Sterling work on Shell’s divi: “Lord Oxburgh has written a valedictory letter dated 2 Nov 04 to the shareholders of Shell.”: “Sounds like an Ernie Wise composition… (One half of the late great British comedy duo, Morecambe & Wise, famous for the “plays what I wrote”. ( 12 Nov 04

File One: Click here to access letter from Lord Oxburgh dated 2 Nov 04 and associated 16 page document announcing the proposal (on 28 Oct 04) by Royal Dutch/Shell for one company, one board and one chief executive. This is the letter which amused The Telegraph “City diary” so much that it was the subject of features on two successive days, 11 & 12 November 04. If you are a Japanese or Canadian national, Royal Dutch/Shell does not want you to read this document.

File 2: Shell World Introduction and Article entitled “Going Forward” by Royal Dutch/Shell Group Chairman (now Chief Executive) Jeroen van der Veer: “We are all shocked and saddened by what has happened”: “I do not underestimate the scale of the task of restoring credibility” (Shell World is an in-house magazine for Shell employees – relevant issue published by Shell May 04) ( Posted 12 Nov 04

The Herald (Scotland): Shell pledges to keep investing in North Sea projects: “SHELL, the UK-Dutch petroleum company, celebrated the inauguration of its £300m Goldeneye project in the North Sea by sending a clear message that its plans a long future in UK waters.” ( 12 Nov 04

The Scotsman: Botts scotches talk of North Sea retreat: “TOM Botts, the chief executive of Shell Expro in Europe, yesterday firmly scotched suggestions that the oil giant is preparing to retreat from the North Sea. It was revealed that the company is planning to invest $4 billion (£2.2bn) a year in its European operations, including the UK Continental Shelf, for at least the next ten years…” ( 12 Nov 04

The Economist: The next scandal? In the wake of the Shell scandal, there are doubts about reserves at other firms: “THERE is something strange going on in this industry,” says Jeroen van der Veer, the boss of Royal Dutch/Shell. He suspects that his firm, far from being the nasty exception it has been portrayed as being, is merely the first to face a problem that is industry-wide.” ( Posted 12 Nov 04

Two related archive articles from The Economist:

1. The Economist: Humiliation: A once proud firm, brought down by its own flaws, needs a thorough shake-up: “IT IS the corporate equivalent of a Shakespearean tragedy. For more than a century, Royal Dutch/Shell was one of the proudest and most admired companies in the world.”: “Its old corporate slogan, “You can be sure of Shell”, seemed a mere statement of fact. Now it seems as if the opposite is the case.”: “this week’s gale of bad news has shattered the firm’s credibility”: ““I am becoming sick and tired about lying”, the striking phrase in an internal e-mail from Shell’s second-ranking executive to its top-ranking one, has been broadcast to the wide world, and will now be associated with the company’s name for years to come.” ( Reposted 12 Nov 04

2. The Economist: Royal Dutch/Shell: Sick and tired about lying: “I AM becoming sick and tired about lying.” Those are not words shareholders want to hear from a senior executive. They are certainly not words anybody ever expected from an heir-apparent at Royal Dutch/Shell, one of the world’s largest—and until recently, one of its most admired—oil companies.”: “The report into how the phoney numbers emerged paints a picture of deception and backbiting at the top—and, despite ongoing board efforts to exonerate the new management, contains plenty to encourage shareholder lawsuits and, maybe, criminal prosecutions, not least in America, where jail may await. More senior Shell people may yet have to quit.” ( Reposted 12 Nov 04

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Exit Yukos, Enter Conoco? “For oil multinationals eager to invest in Russia the lesson to be learned from the Yukos case is indeed a simple one: Stay out of politics and on the right side of the Kremlin — and be sure to pay your taxes on time.” ( 12 Nov 04

Financial Times: BASF in talks to sell its Basell venture: “Shell has said it favours an outright sale of the unit, valued by analysts at €2.5bn-€6bn.” ( 12 Nov 04 and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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