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Edmonton Journal: Review panel member sold Shell stock

Archie McLean,
Published: Monday, April 16, 2007

A former Shell Canada executive now sitting on the province’s oil and gas royalty review panel has sold his stock in the company, Finance Minister Lyle Oberg said Monday.

Opposition critics had accused Sam Spanglet of being in conflict because he held “millions of dollars” in Shell Canada stock options while serving on the panel.

Oberg said previously he had no problem with Spanglet’s financial holdings. “He brings a wealth of experience to the job,” Oberg said.

But when asked about the appointment in the legislature Monday, Oberg said Spanglet sold his shares prior to the committee’s first meeting.

“Well done. Well done,” replied Liberal Leader Kevin Taft.

But Taft said he still has questions about Spanglet’s loyalties, particularly in light of a letter Shell Canada’s CEO recently wrote to the premier, which said the current royalty regime is fair. “We’re concerned that Shell’s opinions are embedded right in the panel,” Taft said.

But Spanglet said he disclosed all his oil and gas stocks at the outset, then sold his Shell Canada stock options when it was sold to its parent company, Royal Dutch Shell.

“This is my style. I’m honest, I’m up front,” Spanglet said. “Integrity to me is the most important thing.”

Spanglet said he made the disclosures and sold his stock options without prodding from Oberg or anybody else.

The royalty review was one of Premier Ed Stlemach’s campaign promises in his bid for Tory leadership. It will examine whether the province is getting its fair share from oil and gas extraction.

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