CBS MarketWatch: Shell may delay 2004 financials: Oil giant delays board unification: “Shell's annual general meeting will now be held on June 28 next year.”: Three senior executives, including former chairman Philip Watts, were ousted in the debacle. Shell agreed to pay the U.K. Financial Services Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a total of $157 million in penalties to settle investigations into its accounting practices. (ShellNews.net) Posted 27 Nov 04
By Kabir Chibber,
HONG KONG (CBS.MW) - Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell said Friday it has pushed back unifying under a single board to July in case its 2004 financial reports are delayed by any restatement of its proven oil and gas reserves.
Shares in Shell Trading and Transport (UK:SHEL: news, chart, profile) (SC: news, chart, profile) fell 0.6 percent in London to 445.5p per share.
Royal Dutch Petroleum (RD: news, chart, profile) (NL:00947: news, chart, profile) also was lower in Amsterdam.
Shell said its review of proved oil and gas reserves is "continuing on schedule" and it aims to review the remaining reserves by the end of the year. Any further restatements of previous oil reserves, which may result in having to restate earnings from previous years, would delay the publication of the group's financial statements for 2004.
"The shareholder documents relating to the (unification under one board) are required to include the group's 2004 financial statements," the oil group said.
A delay in publishing financials would also delay its bid to unify the Royal Dutch and Shell Trading and Transport boards.
It said given the potential for delay, Shell's annual general meeting will now be held on June 28 next year. Shareholders will vote on whether to approve the new board structure at the meeting.
Shell added preparations to unify the companies under a single parent company are "progressing," with draft shareholder documentation being prepared to submit to regulators in the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S and internal preparations underway to implement the new governance and structure.
The oil group announced Oct. 28 it planned to abandon its dual management structure and unite under one board and one executive team, with "real reforms in management and governance structure."
Shell came under pressure to reform its corporate structure in January when it announced it had overstated 20 percent of its proven oil and natural gas reserves.
Three senior executives, including former chairman Philip Watts, were ousted in the debacle. Shell agreed to pay the U.K. Financial Services Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission a total of $157 million in penalties to settle investigations into its accounting practices.
Kabir Chibber is a reporter for CBS MarketWatch in London.