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Shell Says SEC Questioned 30 In Reserves Probe

The Wall Street Journal: Shell Says SEC Questioned 30 In Reserves Probe

Investigators from the SEC and the Justice Department have teamed up in the probe”

By ALMAR LATOUR, MARK LONG and CHIP CUMMINS

Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

June 29, 2004; Page A2

Posted 30 June 04

Royal Dutch/Shell Group said 30 employees have been questioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the oil company’s massive overstatement of energy reserves this year.

Investigators from the SEC and the Justice Department have teamed up in the probe and are expected to request interviews with dozens of additional current and former Shell executives.

In a contrite appearance before angry shareholders yesterday at the annual meeting of Shell’s Dutch parent company, Jeroen van der Veer, Shell’s chairman, said he was surprised to learn that the number of executives interviewed in the probe was as high as it was. He said he wasn’t aware of the status of the SEC and the Justice Department investigations and said he hadn’t received an invitation to be interviewed by either agency. He declined to comment on whether he expected to be asked to appear. read more

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Investors stunned by Shell revelation

Daily Telegraph: Investors stunned by Shell revelation

By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 30/06/2004)

Major shareholders in Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, yesterday reacted with astonishment to the news that Shell’s Dutch chairman knew there was a problem with its reserves two months before its British chairman was told.

Aad Jacobs told shareholders at Royal Dutch’s annual meeting in the Netherlands that he was told there was a problem in November last year by Walter Van der Vijver, the head of exploration and production who was later fired. read more

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Investors snub Shell in vote on liability

The Times: Investors snub Shell in vote on liability

“Pointing to Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, a former chairman of Shell’s CMD who sits on the Shell Transport board, Mr Pal said: “When this scandal came up, Sir Mark was present. Why did he allow this departure from Shell’s business principles? He should resign from all his other directorships.”

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

June 29, 2004

SHELL’S directors yesterday suffered a humiliating rebuff in the Netherlands when investors in Royal Dutch Petroleum, representing almost 40 per cent of the Dutch holding company’s shares, voted against discharging the directors from liability.

The annual resolution to discharge managing directors and supervisory board directors is normally a formality at Royal Dutch meetings, but a number of Dutch pension funds yesterday took the chance to express anger over the misreporting of 4.5 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves. read more

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Toronto Star: Oil giant’s brass beg for pardon and time

Toronto Star: Oil giant’s brass beg for pardon and time: Contrition expressed at Royal Dutch/Shell: Reserve-booking fiasco stays at centre stage

Jun. 29, 2004.

LONDON—Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s top brass, chastened by this year’s reserves-booking fiasco, have begged shareholders for forgiveness and time to revamp the Anglo-Dutch oil giant.

At twin annual general meetings yesterday in The Hague and London, board members of the parent companies, Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. and Shell Transport & Trading Co., were pressed by both the usual coterie of individual shareholders and an uncommonly large number of institutional investors who have been chafing for structural change and greater openness from the oil giant. read more

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Shell chief ‘was told in advance’ of problems

Financial Times: Shell chief ‘was told in advance’ of problems

By FT reporters

Published: June 28 2004 12:25 | Last Updated: June 28 2004 13:25

The most senior non-executive director of Royal Dutch Petroleum, the larger arm of Royal Dutch/Shell, knew of an “imminent problem” with the booking of oil reserves two months before the company disclosed it publicly, it emerged on Tuesday.

The revelation, made at the annual meeting of Royal Dutch in the Netherlands by Aad Jacobs, chairman of the supervisory board, contrasted with comments made in London by Lord Oxburgh, chairman of Shell Transport & Trading. read more

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Testy Annual Meeting Focuses on Shell’s Scandal

The New York Times: Testy Annual Meeting Focuses on Shell’s Scandal

“A few of Shell’s top executives mislead shareholders and the financial world, he said. ”In the United States they’d have been taken away in handcuffs.”

By GREGORY CROUCH

Published: June 29, 2004

THE HAGUE, June 28 – At its first annual meeting since it became engulfed in an oil reserve scandal, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group on Monday tried to contain the fury of shareholders, but the company may have inadvertently made things worse after an executive raised doubts about when he was first informed of the reserve discrepancy.

Shareholders – demanding to know how the company could have overbooked 4.5 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves and also when company officials first knew about it – appeared surprised when Aad Jacobs, supervisory board chairman of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, said he was told of “an issue with reserves” in November. read more

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Daily Telegraph: Shell boards survive as showdown evaporates

Daily Telegraph: Shell boards survive as showdown evaporates

By Christopher Hope, Business Correspondent (Filed: 29/06/2004)

Shell’s embattled boards came through two stormy annual meetings in Britain and the Netherlands yesterday but a promised showdown with institutional investors failed to materialise.

In London, Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool, Shell’s UK chairman, was forced to deny there had been a board level “cover-up” over Shell’s announcement that it had overstated its proven reserves of oil and gas by more than 20pc.

Meanwhile, in The Hague, 40pc of Shell’s Dutch shareholders voted against a routine resolution “discharging” its directors and supervisory board of responsibility for Shell’s 2003 accounts. read more

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Houston Chronicle: Royal Dutch-Shell fuels doubts

Houston Chronicle: Royal Dutch-Shell fuels doubts

June 29, 2004,

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS – For the first time since it became engulfed in an oil reserve scandal, the Royal Dutch-Shell Group of Companies on Monday tried to contain the fury of shareholders at its annual meeting, but the company may have made things worse after an executive raised doubts about when he was first informed of the reserve discrepancy.

Shareholders demanding to know how the company could have overbooked about 4.5 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves and also when company officials first knew about it appeared surprised when Aad Jacobs, supervisory board chairman of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., said he was told of “an issue with reserves” last November. Shell’s overstatement of its reserve estimates did not become public knowledge until early January. read more

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Oil & Gas Journal: Pension funds sue Shell brass, auditors, seeking damages, policy changes

Oil & Gas Journal: Pension funds sue Shell brass, auditors, seeking damages, policy changes

Judy Clark

Associate Editor

28 June 2004

HOUSTON, June 28 — In a move that could indirectly impact a number of companies, two US-based pension funds filed suit Friday against 27 directors and officers of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and their accounting and audit firms PricewaterhouseCoopers International and KPMG International.

The action followed financial losses and scandal associated with Shell’s cutting its proved oil and natural gas reserves four times since Jan. 9 for a total downgrade of 4.47 billion boe for 2002 reserves—23% of its proved reserves as stated Dec. 31, 2002—and 500 million boe for 2003. The reserves debacle exposed an underlying industry-wide problem in reserves booking that many companies must now address (OJG, Apr. 5, 2004, p. 43). read more

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Thirty Royal Dutch/Shell employees questioned by SEC in reserves probe

San Francisco Chronicle: Thirty Royal Dutch/Shell employees questioned by SEC in reserves probe

Monday, June 28, 2004

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (Dow Jones/AP) — Royal Dutch/Shell Group executives said Monday that 30 employees have so far been questioned by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is investigating the Anglo-Dutch oil giant for improper reserves disclosure.

The executives were being quizzed at the group’s annual general meeting, which is taking place concurrently in The Hague and London.

Shell, the world’s third-largest publicly traded oil company by market capitalization, didn’t specify who those employees are. read more

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Sacked Shell boss walks away with £1m

Daily Telegraph: Sacked Shell boss walks away with £1m: “despite his role in the oil giant’s reserves debacle”

By David Litterick (Filed: 26/06/2004)

Sir Philip Watts: huge payout despite failure on reserves

Sir Philip Watts was paid more than £1m compensation from Shell despite his role in the oil giant’s reserves debacle.

The former chairman has been paid a lump sum of £1,057,971, which the company said was based on the amount he could expect to receive if he had stayed in his job until his normal retirement date of June 2005.

Sir Philip received an annual salary of £800,000 when he was forced to resign in March after Shell’s announcement that it had overstated its proven oil reserves by 20pc – the equivalent of 3.9billion barrels. read more

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The Independent: Investor fury over £1m pay-off for Shell chief

The Independent: Investor fury over £1m pay-off for Shell chief

By Michael Harrison, Business Editor

26 June 2004

Shell outraged investors yesterday by giving its disgraced former chairman Sir Philip Watts a pay-off worth more than £1m.

Sir Philip, who was ousted from the oil giant in March following a scandal over the misreporting of reserves, has also been allowed to keep 2.9 million share options in Shell and start drawing a £584,000-a-year pension immediately.

The size of the pay-off is certain to provoke fury from shareholders at Monday’s twin annual meetings of the Anglo-Dutch company in London and The Hague. Investors are still recovering from January’s shock reserves downgrade which wiped £16bn from Shell’s market value. read more

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Pension funds file suit on behalf of Shell

Financial Times: Pension funds file suit on behalf of Shell

By Sheila McNulty in Houston

26 June 2004

Two US pension funds have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Royal Dutch/Shell, seeking damages from its boards, current and past top executives and its accountants – PwC and KPMG – for overstating the group’s proved reserves.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Shell, seeking reparations for investors, but this is the first seeking to disgorge executive compensation back to the company. It also demands increased accountability, a vote on combining the boards and the right to nominate directors. read more

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Shell to give Watts £1m pay-out

Financial Times: Shell to give Watts £1m pay-out

By Gordon Smith and Sundeep Tucker in London

Published: June 25 2004 12:08 | Last Updated: June 25 2004 12:55

Sir Philip Watts, the former chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell who resigned earlier this year after it was revealed the oil group misbooked 20 per cent of its reserves, will receive a £1m ($1.8m) severance payment, Europe’s largest oil group said on Friday.

The £1,057,971 lump sum pay-out is based on the salary the former chairman would have received up to his retirement date of June 2005. read more

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The Times: Shell hires veteran as new chief of finance

The Times: Shell hires veteran as new chief of finance

By Ingrid Mansell

June 25, 2004

SHELL plugged the final hole in its top management yesterday by appointing a 20-year company veteran to replace its ousted finance director.

Peter Voser, who worked for Shell from 1982 to 2002, will rejoin the oil major in October, following a two and a half year stint as chief financial officer of ABB. He is widely credited with turning round the Swiss engineering group.

Analysts said Mr Voser’s most pressing task at Shell would be a “City charm offensive” to restore investor confidence in the company’s management. The boardroom was cleared out after it emerged that the group had massively overstated its oil and gas reserves. read more

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The Guardian: Shell veteran returns to fold

The Guardian: Shell veteran returns to fold

Mark Milner

Friday June 25, 2004

Shell has brought back one of its old boys as it rebuilds a top management team devastated by scandal over oil reserves.

The Anglo-Dutch group has recruited Peter Voser, a Shell veteran of 20 years, who has spent the last two years helping engineering group ABB to rebuild its balance sheet.

He will take over as chief financial officer of Royal Dutch-Shell and will be a member of its committee of managing directors in early October. He will also become a director of Shell Transport and Trading, the British arm of the Anglo-Dutch group. read more

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