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AFX News Limited: Shell settles oil reserves-related US lawsuit UPDATE

03.06.08, 12:02 PM ET

LONDON (Thomson Financial) – Royal Dutch Shell PLC (nyse: RDSA – news – people ) said it has settled the US class action lawsuit relating to the Anglo-Dutch oil group’s oil reserves downgrade in 2004.

Shell will pay over 80 mln usd to settle the claims from a class action filed by the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System.

This follows a similar agreement it made with the European investors last year. The 353 mln usd agreement with European shareholders is pending before the courts of appeals in the Netherlands.

The pact with US investors is subject to the approval of the US District Court of New Jersey.

About 80 pct of the group’s shareholders are based in the UK and Europe, and the rest in the US.

‘The proposed US and Dutch settlements, if approved by the courts, would put an end to all pending litigation arising out of the 2004 reserves recategorization,’ Shell said in a statement.

The US and European shareholders will collectively receive an additional payment of 35 mln usd, it added.

The European investors were led by Dutch pension funds ABP and PGGM, the Shell Reserves Compensation Foundation, and the Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB), which represents individual Dutch investors.

European investors don’t have the same option to pursue securities claims that are available to US investors through class actions.

Shell has set aside 500 mln usd in provisions for the reserves claims.

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