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Daily Mail: Shell settles after 2004 scandal

City & Finance, Page 96
Friday,March 7, 2008

ROYAL Dutch Shell is close to settling the last remaining legal action brought against it from the 2004 scandal where it overstated its oil reserves.

The Anglo-Dutch giant said it had reached an agreement in principle to settle a £40m pending American class action brought by two pension funds from Pennsylvania.

The deal, subject to approval from the courts, will bring to a close the incident which saw the departure of chief executive Sir Phil Watts and shocked investors as Shell was forced to restate its oil reserves on five different occasions.

Between 1998 and 2003 it claimed to have more ‘proven’ reserves than it possessed.

Regulators took a dim view of the deceit.

It was fined £17m by the Financial Services Authority and £60m by America’s Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors after initially having to restate 3.9bn barrels of oil.

A spokesman said: ‘We made a huge step towards closing the chapter of legal disputes and controversies around the recategorisation of our hydrocarbon reserves.’

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