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All the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia

 From our Shell News Archive Sunday 31 October, 2004

The fallout from the Shell reserves fraud continues…

The Independent On Sunday (UK): Business View: Shell’s real location problem is finding more black stuff: “The misreporting of reserves scandal showed all the worst Shell traits – secrecy, haughtiness, inertia.”: “So what’s the hurry? Was it because Shell had to admit that it had uncovered another 900 million barrels of doubtful crude in its reserves and was likely to uncover 600 million more?”

Sunday Express (UK): Shell boardroom changes backfire on reserves news: “ONE OF the world’s most influential financial firms has given the thumbs down to an announcement from Shell it is to end its 97-year-old dual board structure.”: “…financial ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said it had adjusted Shell’s investment rating downwards to “creditwatch negative”, a status which implies there may be more bad news to come from the company.”

Mail on Sunday (UK):  Shell bosses in a charm offensive: “The Board, headed by Jeroen van der Veer, will see thousands of staff to explain the proposed changes and shore up the mood of the employees damaged by scandals over Shell’s inflated oil reserves.”: “Last week, Shell was forced to downgrade its estimates of proven oil reserves for the fifth time this year. Reserves are now a third lower than originally thought”

Scotland On Sunday: Shell is doing things by halves in going Dutch: “…it has to be said, Shell’s British management had done a pretty lousy job in recent years.”: “…those of a suspicious mind quickly spotted the reason. Although rescued by the booming world price of oil, the third-quarter figures were accompanied with the disclosure that there are still some 900 million barrels worth around $450m of questionable reserves sloshing around in Shell books. On its own that would have been enough to knock the shares of both companies for six.”

Sunday Herald (Scotland): Shell rallies to shake off its false reserves: “IT IS an ill wind that blows up nobody’s kilt, as Scandalmonger is fond of remarking, so at least some good has come out of the Shell reserves debacle.”: “But what will not be so welcome is the fact that the British arm of the company is to suffer by the headquarters moving to the Hague. And insult is added to this injury by the news that a further 6% downgrade to reserves is expected.”

THE BUSINESS (UK): It may be too early to celebrate Shell going Dutch: “Although rescued by the booming world price of oil, the third-quarter figures were accompanied with the disclosure that there are still some 900m barrels worth around $450m (£24.3m, €351m) of questionable reserves sloshing around in Shell books.”

Bakersfield Californian: Another view: Californian’s Prop. 64 stand called ‘wrong’: “The case over the closure of the Shell refinery was simply about deception in the marketplace.”: “Documents from whistle-blowers showed Shell was misleading the public…”

The Observer (UK): Unsure of Shell – still: “Shell’s presentation was marred by the admission that on top of the three announcements of reserve downgrades this year – totalling 4.47 billion barrels – there could be more to come.”: “Brinded was clearly embarrassed. The fiasco has dragged Shell’s name through the mud, and led to the departure of his and van der Veer’s predecessors amid allegations of cover-up and lying.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Anglo-Dutch oil giant casts off its old Shell: The recent reserves scandal and the subsequent pressure from shareholders have forced Shell finally to change its dual format.: “At the same time as it made the restructuring announcement, Shell warned yet again that it might have overstated the size of its oil reserves. Having already marked them down by about 4.5 billion barrels this year, the company admitted it was reviewing the status of another 900m barrels, with perhaps more to come as it continued an internal probe.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Agenda: Paul Durman: Reserves woes are still not over at united Shell: “Amid the euphoria over the creation of the new company last week, most people missed a worrying statement from Malcolm Brinded, head of exploration and development. The continuing uncertainty over the true level of the company’s reserves”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): New Shell may be radical, but can it cure its culture?: “While Jeroen van der Veer, the first ever chief executive, was unveiling New Shell last week, there was a painful reminder of Old Shell. The directors calmly revealed yet again – the fifth time – that the company’s “proven” reserves were questionable. Around 900m barrels may have to be reclassified, potentially bringing the amount overbooked to 5.4bn or almost one third of reserves.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): The day Shell bit the bullet: “Shell revealed that it may have to reclassify a further 900m barrels of proven reserves, bringing the amount of overbooked oil to a massive 5.4bn barrels, or almost one third of its reserves. Shell has just 10 years of reserves, compared with 14 years for both BP and ExxonMobil. Worryingly, Shell’s production is expected to be flat between now and 2009.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): Van der Veer and Shell bosses set for huge pay rises: “The shock revision to the company’s proven reserves – it has potentially overbooked almost one-third of reserves – means that Shell will have to find more oil. In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Telegraph, van der Veer said he would consider acquisitions and that Shell’s new plc structure would allow it to use its shares as an acquisition currency.”

The Observer (UK): Shell shock

The Observer (UK): In the companies of wolves: ‘The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power’: “…the likeable Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, former chairman of Shell. Sir Mark’s home (as shown in some TV footage) was besieged by ecological commandos, who ended up being entertained to a picnic-cum-seminar on the family lawn.”

The Sunday Telegraph (UK): Centrica tipped for BP stake in £400m gas field: “…Shell, which had revised its estimates down sharply in the wake of its overbooking of its proven oil and gas reserves earlier in the year.”

The Sunday Times (UK): Business Focus: Is the tide turning?: “In somewhat of an understatement Andy Pyle, the managing director of Shell Ireland, the operator with a 45% share of the field, described it as “a very difficult process”.: “The government is to advertise further licences for the Rockall basin — the so-called Dooish field — off the Donegal coast. Shell is already prospecting there and has declared some initial success.” Revamped Shell to widen drilling: Once internal merger is done, oil giant must gain reserves, CEO says: “After uniting its parent companies and boards, Royal Dutch/Shell Group must find the next generation of oil fields to rebuild reserves and gain investor trust, chief executive Jeroen van der Veer said Friday” and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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