London Evening Standard: Former Shell boss stokes the row
21 April 2004
THE ousted Shell executive at the heart of its reserves row stoked the controversy further by claiming that 'nothing was concealed or destroyed'.
A statement on former exploration chief Walter van de Vijver's role from his US lawyer claimed that he reported the problem to Shell's ruling committee 'as early as February 2002'.
Vijver's row with his chairman Sir Philip Watts (ousted at the same time) was vividly detailed in Shell's audit committee report, which quoted a memo from Vijver ordering a reserve warning to be destroyed.
His lawyer says that in fact, Vijver immediately called a meeting and ensured the reserve work 'progressed at maximum pace'.
Vijver was 'outspoken and persistent' and made 'extraordinary efforts' to examine the reserves issues fully, it is claimed.
Whether Shell accepts the claims or not, they keep the extraordinary row simmering.