Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Shell Warned About Reserve Estimates 18 Months Ago, NRC Reports


April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe's second-largest oil company, was warned about its oil and gas reserve estimates almost 18 months ago by a company accountant, NRC Handelsblad said, citing the accountant, A. Barendregt.


Barendregt said at an oil industry conference in September 2002 that the ``objectivity'' of oil and gas reserves estimates at the company would be endangered if linked to executive performance, NRC Handelsblad reported.


Bonuses related to the booking of reserves in recent years rose to 15 percent from 5 percent of annual salaries, NRC said.


Shell cut its proved reserves on Jan. 9 by 3.9 billion barrels, or 20 percent. The restatements, which excluded oil sands, contributed to a 10 percent drop in Shell's shares in London, led to the ouster of 58 year-old Chairman Philip Watts and has sparked both investor lawsuits and regulatory probes.


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