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Shell News Archive Thursday, 30 December 2004

Shell News Archive Thursday, 30 December 2004

FINANCIAL TIMES: London’s winners and sinners of 2004: “And now the brickbats, where one company stands head and shoulders above the rest: Royal Dutch/Shell. Its oil reserving scandal revealed lying, duplicity, vicious infighting, smugness and incompetence at the very top of the company. Its initially complacent response – dismissing the affair as due to human failings, not structural deficiencies – revealed the depths of its cultural and governance malaise. As the year ends, the company appears to be getting to grips with the degree of change needed. But to it goes the Lombard reflecting glass trophy, the better to see itself.” (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

THE INDEPENDENT (UK): Jeremy Warner’s Outlook: Gaffes, duds and scandal: a year that had it all: “The biggest challenge to Lord Black this year came from Sir Phil Watts, former chairman of Shell, so to him goes the special consolation prize of “Grandest Deception” of the Year for the breathtaking discovery that Shell had been overstating its reserves of oil and natural gas by more than one-fifth. With characteristic arrogance, Sir Phil attempted to pass this off as little more than a bookkeeping error. He even failed to host the press conference at which the disclosure was made, leaving it instead to his head of investor relations to explain events to an incredulous world. For this, he said later, he was “very, very sorry” – not for the deception, you understand, but for his absence from the press conference. One of the characteristics of business leaders who fall from grace is that they can never admit to themselves the game is up. Sir Phil clung grimly to his position for a full two months after the announcement, and even then he had to be fired and given a £1m pay-off to persuade him to leave the building.” (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

Daily Telegraph (UK): City briefs: Shell wins US clearance (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

Oil&Gas Journal: Shell’s Hazira LNG terminal to miss commissioning deadline: “Contractor-generated delays have caused Royal Dutch/Shell Group subsidiary Hazira LNG Private Ltd. to miss commissioning the $680 million LNG receiving terminal at Hazira in Gujarat state by the yearend 2004 deadline” (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

FINANCIAL TIMES: Investors discover they have real power: “…2004 will be chiefly remembered for two extraordinary tussles that pitched City investors at the heart of events. In January, Royal Dutch/Shell alarmed shareholders by revealing that it did not own as much oil and gas as it had indicated. Shareholders soon blamed the disclosure problem on the Anglo-Dutch company’s bureaucratic dual-board structure. The result was another investor scalp. In October, Shell announced it was unifying its board structure and simplifying reporting lines.” (ShellNews.net) Posted 30 Dec 04

The Guardian (UK): This is what they said: “Niall Fitzgerald, chairman of Unilever, on other bosses: “The crooks should be driven out, tried and put in jail. The incompetents should be taken from their responsibilities and allowed to do something else” Shell’s exploration boss Walter van de Vijver to chairman Sir Phil Watts about the company’s stated reserves: “I am becoming sick and tired of lying” (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

The Guardian (UK): Review of the year: Store wars, goose-stepping bosses and a French revolution: “Cairn Energy announced its second oil strike in the Rajasthan district of India. The Mangala field was, as a result, said to be worth $500m (pounds 261m). Not bad, considering Cairn had bought it from Shell just 18 months earlier for a meagre $7m.” (ShellNews.net) 30 Dec 04

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