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New York Times: Shell to Pay $353 Million in Overbooking Settlement

By REUTERS
Published: April 11, 2007
Filed at 4:09 a.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has agreed to pay $352.6 million to settle claims from European and other non-U.S. investors related to a reserves overbooking scandal, the Anglo-Dutch firm said on Wednesday.

Shell shocked investors in 2004 by slashing its proven oil and gas reserves by 20 percent in a scandal that cost three top executives their jobs, sparked a probe by U.S. regulators and sent its shares plunging.

The second-largest Western oil company by market value said in a statement that “without admitting any wrongdoing” it had agreed to pay $352.6 million, plus administrative costs, to non-U.S. institutional investors including ABP and PGGM, as well as organizations representing individual shareholders, such as Vereniging van Effectenbezitters in the Netherlands.

The agreement depends on the Amsterdam Court of Appeals declaring the settlement binding for all of the shareholders it covers, Shell said.

The company also said it intended to offer the same deal to U.S. investors in proportion to their shareholding in the company. A spokesman was not immediately able to say what proportion of the company’s shareholders were U.S.-based.

At 0745 GMT, Shell shares were up 0.4 percent at 16.93 pounds, valuing the business at about 108 billion pounds.

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