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UpstreamOnline: SEC drops probe into ex-Shell boss

By Upstream staff

The US Securities & Exchange Commission has decided to take no action against former Shell boss Phil Watts over a reserves overbooking scandal, Watts’ lawyers said today.

Watts and other senior managers were ousted after Shell admitted in early 2004 that it had overstated the size of its oil and gas reserves for years.

The revelation hit the company’s shares hard and led to a loss of investor confidence.

However, Watts defended his record as head of the world’s third-largest fully publicly traded oil and gas company by market capitalisation.

“I am extremely pleased that the US authorities have closed the investigation … I had every reason to believe that all at Shell acted properly and in good faith when disclosing proved reserves,” he said in a statement released this morning.

Shell has already paid out tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits related to the scandal.

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