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Canoe.ca (Canada): Ex-oil exec sitting on Alta oil-rate review panel sells Shell stock options

2007-04-16 19:27:00 

EDMONTON (CP) – Controversy over a possible conflict of interest appears to have been staunched on a panel reviewing royalty rates on Alberta’s oilsands producers.

Panel member Sam Spanglet was accused by opposition politicians of conflict of interest because he was a retired Shell executive but still had millions of dollars in stock options in the oil giant.

But Finance Minister Lyle Oberg told the legislature Monday that Spanglet has sold all of his options.

The government had defended Spanglet’s appointment even with the stock options, saying his industry expertise makes him invaluable.

The opposition Liberals said a recent letter by the head of Shell Canada defending the current royalty regime made having an ex-Shell member on the panel even more problematic.

The government has been under pressure to ensure taxpayers are getting a fair share of lucrative oilsands profits. 

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