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THE NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. Won’t Prosecute Shell Over Reserves

THE NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. Won’t Prosecute Shell Over Reserves

Thursday 30 June 2005


Published: June 30, 2005

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe’s second-largest oil company, will not be prosecuted for overstating its oil and gas reserves, a United States attorney in New York said yesterday.

The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the Shell Transport and Trading Company, which own the group, had been under federal investigation since last year, when Royal Dutch/Shell disclosed that it had overstated its proven reserves as of 2002 by about 23 percent.

For Shell, the decision not to prosecute removes the risk that it might face fines after any conviction at trial. The United States attorney, David N. Kelley, said the company’s cooperation in his inquiry contributed to his decision not to prosecute.

Shell agreed earlier to pay $151 million in civil penalties to end regulatory investigations in the United States and Britain into whether it overstated reserves by 4.47 billion barrels.

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