Royal Dutch Shell Group .com Auditor refuses to sign Shell accounts - paper


Reuters, 21.03.04, 6:21 AM ET


LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Accountancy firm KPMG, joint auditor of Royal Dutch/Shell has refused to sign off accounts due last Friday because of worries over the quality of information, according to the Sunday Times. Both KPMG and Shell declined to comment on the report.


The newspaper, without giving a source for its information, said KPMG, which jointly audits the oil group's accounts with Price Waterhouse Coopers, refused to sign them off because they were not convinced the information was reliable.


Shell said on Thursday it was necessary to delay the release of its annual report pending a detailed review of the reserves position, led by new head of Exploration and Production Malcolm Brinded.


That news coincided with a fresh blow to investor confidence, as the firm cut its oil and gas reserves for the second time this year.


Two bosses have so far lost their jobs and billions of dollars have been wiped off Shell's stock market value since the first revision in January.


The company's senior non-executive directors are scheduled to meet with top investors on Monday.


Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

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