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Shell News Sunday, 6 February 2005

Shell News Sunday, 6 February 2005

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK): Unity at last for Unilever as Burgmans becomes sole chairman: “Shell is to merge its UK and Dutch operating companies to create one company listed in the UK in the wake of a scandal involving overstatement of its reserves.” ( 6 Feb 05

THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY (UK): Postcards from the edge: oil giants go where the fires rage: Amid all the carping about the profits of Shell et al, the real issue is finding new reserves: “Accompanying Shell’s record results was the latest instalment in its reserves debacle. Despite having cut its proven reserves figure by more than a fifth last year, it wiped another 1.4 billion barrels off the figure last week. The Anglo-Dutch company warned that it had only replaced between 15 and 25 per cent of the oil it pumped last year.” ( 6 Feb 05


The Observer (UK): A word in your Shell-like: “…van der Veer did not feel able to plough the profits back into his business, acutely under strain because of its fatally dwindling oil reserves.”: “…we learned last year that the company leadership had been systematically lying to itself, its shareholders and wider stakeholders about the size of its oil reserves.”: “for years Shell lied about its sustainability as a business while preaching principles that it was betraying.”: “Shell had knowingly overstated its reserves by a third, a monumental betrayal of trust that is Europe’s version of Enron.”  ( 6 Feb 05

(He is already a named defendant in reserves related class action law suits)

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK): Unsure of Shell: “…I e-mailed an invitation to van der Veer to explain how the FT’s report and his statements to me could be reconciled. His failure to reply makes me fearful about whether the essential cultural revolution at Shell really is taking place.” ( 6 Feb 05

The Scotsman: Calls for windfall tax on oil companies miss the point: “A YEAR of scandal, sackings and investor unrest ended with the biggest profits ever made by a UK or European company. There is something peculiar about one following the other, but that is the story of Shell, a company that last year could not shake off negative headlines and last week confirmed it was gushing cash as well as oil.”: “The record profit and windfall debate overshadowed two other important announcements: the first was another cut in proven reserves, the fifth downgrade in a year; the second was the poor rate at which Shell is finding new oil to replace that which is currently being pumped out – far less than its rivals – resulting in the firm gradually getting smaller.” ( 6 Feb 05

The Observer (UK): Making a mountain out of Shell’s profits: “’Money isn’t lost or made. It’s simply transformed from one perception to another.’ Ah, that Gordon Gekko, he hit the nail on the head every time.”: “The slump in reserves – which has been forced on the company by its own over-optimistic assessment of the value of what it had in the ground – means it will have to spend more for years to come, just to stand still.” ( 6 Feb 05

The Sunday Times (UK): Nigeria looms as wild card in Shell recovery: “Despite the record profits, big trouble is bubbling up with the crude…” ( 6 Feb 05

The Sunday Herald (Scotland): BP bucks poor reserves trend despite demand: “The achievement is in stark contrast to Shell, which has reduced its reserve estimates by almost one-third to less than 13 billion barrels and has admitted that it has been replacing only 15% to 25% of the oil it is pumping from the ground. The reserves are seen as a key indicator to future profitability and show why BP still enjoys a premium stock market rating over Shell…” ( 6 Feb 05

The Sunday Times (UK): Shell pumps out £9.8bn profits: “ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL announced record pre-tax profits for a UK company of £9.8 billion but also cut its proven oil and gas reserves by a further 10%.” ( 6 Feb 05

The Sunday Times (UK): BP set to break record with £13.5bn profits: “…Shell last week announced that it had also enjoyed a record year in 2004, even though the company is still in turmoil over its lack of oil supplies.” ( 6 Feb 05 and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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