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Memorable Shell headlines/stories/reports from 2004/05

The Times: How Shell blew a hole in a 100-year reputation

Financial Times: Observer Column: Shell-shocked  
(Corporate slogans consigned to the dustbin of history no. 94: "You can be sure of Shell.")
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Dutch/Shell Group exec was 'sick and tired' of lying
The Independent: Lies, cover-ups, fat cats and an oil giant in crisis
The West Australian: Investors howl for Shell's blood
Mail on Sunday: Chairman Jeroen van der Veer in frame over Shell scandal – could lead to 20 years in jail

The Independent: Bribery and corruption put fresh dent in tarnished image of Shell

Houston Chronicle: Shell's strategy led firm into decline, brokers say: "It's a disaster for their reputation..." ( 20 Jan 04 Shell admits blame in Nigeria: "Royal Dutch/Shell has taken responsibility for contributing to the fighting and corruption in oil-rich Nigeria".

Friends of the Earth: Behind the Shine - the Real Impacts of Shell's Work Around the World

London Evening Standard: SHAMED “Shell chairman Sir Philip Watts has secured a pay-off worth more than £1m in cash plus stock options potentially worth £6m more

London Evening Standard: Shell 'has lied for 10 years'

ChannelNewsAsia: Shell name dragged through mud after explosive report: “The closely guarded reputation of Royal Dutch/Shell was left in tatters as British newspapers accused the oil giant of lies and a cover-up after an explosive internal report admitted executives knew of problems with reserves over two years ago.”: “"Lies, cover-ups, fat cats and an oil giant in crisis," was the damning front-page verdict of the Independent newspaper, which said Shell was facing the "biggest corporate scandal for almost 30 years". ( 20 April 04

The New York Times: Shell Survives Shareholder Rebellion: “Not only has Shell been overstating its oil reserves, it has exaggerated its social and environmental performance too”

The Times: Investors snub Shell in vote on liability: “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.”

Paper by Alfred Donovan prepared for presentation at the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS International, USA) Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska, held on 26/27 June 2004

NEWSFLASH 4 JULY 2004: 8 DIFFERENT SHELL COMPANIES, ONE IN THE UK, ONE IN HOLLAND AND SIX IN THE FAR EAST, HAVE ISSUED A WRIT IN THE HIGH COURT OF MALAYA AT KUALA LUMPUR (CIVIL DIVISION) AND OBTAINED A RESTRAINING ORDER IN RELATION TO PAGES ON THIS WEBSITE THE LITIGATION (SUIT NO. S2-23-41-2004) RELATES TO DR JOHN HUONG AKA "Shell Whistleblower No2": Dr John Huong, is a former Shell geologist of almost 30 years standing. He revealed on this website his remarkable insider views about unscrupulous conduct within the Royal Dutch Shell Group, their underhand tactics and the intimidation which Shell applied to him and his family: Click here to visit the former WEB PAGES OF SHELL GEOLOGIST/INSIDER, DR JOHN HUONG on which his legal disclaimer and the relevant HIGH COURT DOCUMENTS are featured Shell takes profit hit: “profits being exaggerated”: "inappropriate accounting”: “profits being embellished”

The Times: SHELL SHOCK: The Money Programme provides a clear and merciless indictment of Shell, a company that prided itself on being a safe investment for widows and orphans


The Times: SHELL SHOCK:  BBC Two, 9.50pm:  “I am becoming sick and tired,” he wrote, “of lying about the extent of our reserves.”

Financial Times: Moody-Stuart talks: ‘said yesterday he felt "a sense of responsibility" for what had happened’ UNOFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT BBC2 TV “THE MONEY PROGRAMME”, BROADCAST 15 JULY 2004, 9.50pm

Financial Director: The incriminating 2002 Form 20F Sarbanes-Oxley certificates signed separately by Jeroen van der Veer, Sir Philip Watts and Judy Boynton.

The Business: The new king of the oil patch: "Shell, by contrast, was a sluggish competitor; its executives ended up creating oil on paper because they weren't finding it underground" Is Shell Ready to Rebound? "Forget Iraq and Iran," says Gheit. "Royal Dutch/Shell needs a regime change." Now If Only Shell Could Find Some Oil: Forget the reserve drama: At the current rate, Shell will run out of oil in a decade: “Shell will be a no-growth company at least for the next few years.

London Evening Standard: Shell pays over reserves scandal: “It still faces a host of multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuits and a US Department of Justice probe.”: "Shell revealed today production was likely to remain flat until 2007 at best"

Bloomberg: Shell Pays $150 Million to End Probe; Output May Fall: “hopeful step in ending the reserves debacle that led to the ouster of three senior executives, the loss of a top-tier investment rating and more than a dozen shareholder lawsuits” SEC Settlement With Royal Dutch Shell Fails to Fix Governance Flaws That Allowed Fraud to Occur and Fails to Hold Executives Personally Accountable for Over $150 Million in Fines

Financial Times: Setting the scene: "Shell expects hostile takeover bids from BP and ExxonMobil within the next few months. These bids will be followed by a successful 'white knight' bid from Total”

The Independent: Shell's road to redemption remains a long one: “An extradition battle involving Shell's former chairman Sir Phil Watts would provide splendid entertainment but it would also guarantee plenty more bad headlines”

The Wall Street Journal: Shell to Pay $150 Million in Penalties: “Shell also has arranged with U.S. authorities to grant Dutch and British employees special diplomatic safe passage to and from American shores”

New York Times: Shell to Pay $150 Million in Settlement on Reserves: "production fell 5 percent to the equivalent of 3.58 million barrels of oil a day": "The underlying numbers are 'pretty horrendous,' said Neil McMahon, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in London,": “Separately, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said… Shell's energy trading unit, Coral Energy Resources, had agreed to pay $30 million to settle accusations that it had submitted FALSE price data to publishers"

Financial Times: Lament of the Shell shareholder The penalty is the equivalent to the imposition of a fine on a victim of a robbery rather than on the perpetrator!

Pulse Firing Shell’s Chairman? “Sir Philip the Finagler after it was discovered in an internal investigation that, on his watch, Shell had been cooking its books Enron-style”

The Independent: Michael Harrison's Outlook: Money talks for Shell's singing director: “Shell is hardly a byword for good corporate governance, and yesterday it lived up to its reputation by producing another stonker”

DAILY EXPRESS: BUMBLING SHELL BORDERS ON FARCE: “HAPPY memories of Peter Sellers' portrayal of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau”

The Independent: Michael Harrison's Outlook: An oil giant's road from Rajasthan to ruin: “Shell, by contrast, has endured the most humiliating, torrid and damaging period in its 100-year history. It is hard to think of a more spectacular fall from grace or a more abject example of management failure.”: “The deeper it dug itself into this hole, the more Shell was forced to lie”

The Observer: Ailing Shell braced for French bid: Oil giant 'could merge with rival Total': “the possibility of a deal is now the subject of fevered speculation in the City.”

Sunday Express: All’s well with Cairn in the Indian desert: It was an act of stupidity... You don't sell off your golden eggs like that. Shell's loss is Cairn's gain.”: "Oil minnow’s £4m field is worth billions"

London Evening Standard: Shell in the bid spotlight as oil price keeps climbing: “reports suggested top brass at scandal-struck Shell think a bid may be on its way from France's Total.” Shell oil scandal 'began in 1998': “the FSA said Shell made false and misleading statements between 1998 and 2003.”

The Times: FSA exposes long-running deception by Shell executives: “raises questions about the role of senior executives who led Shell in the late 1990s, including Sir Mark Moody-Stuart”

The Times: SHELL shareholders have demanded that more heads roll at the world’s third-largest oil company to regain investor confidence.: “The people who are in charge of Shell today ... were there when these activities were going on and are still involved at the highest level..."

The Guardian: Solitary part-timer conducted group audit:  “The FSA makes clear that Shell's reserves difficulties began in 1997”

The Guardian: Shell's shame: FSA spells out abuse: “Fadel Gheit, an oil analyst at broker Oppenheimer & Co in New York, said the latest revelations from the regulators proved this was a corporate scandal of "historic proportions". He added: "Short of Enron... I have not seen anything like this in 30 years of covering the market." Sir Mark Moody-Stuart - The Shell Chairman responsible for Shell’s descent into cover-up, scandal and shame on an epic scale

Financial Times: Governance: Managers look for the moral dimension: “Post-Enron, post-Shell, post-WorldCom, post-Parmalat”

Daily Telegraph: The landslide bringing down Shell grandees: “The SEC and FSA reports, however, go back to the previous regime, when Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was chairman.”: "The Shell Show, a tragicomedy in an unlimited number of parts..."

The Times: An auditor of no account: “the horror story that has emerged from Shell”: “determination to present the City with inflated numbers…widespread": "when the company, under the leadership of SIR MARK MOODY-STUART, established five Value Creation Teams, it was certainly looking for creativity. That a paper of May 1998 could have been entitled 'Creating Value through Entrepreneurial Management of Hydrocarbon Resource Values' is an eloquent indication of what was to follow"

Daily Mail: Shocking rebuke stings Shell: “Officials are said to have found Shell's behaviour particularly appalling given the fact that the Anglo-Dutch giant had appeared a pillar of respectability.”

London Evening Standard: Shell scandal 'could be repeated’: “Findings by regulators have widened the scandal by accusing Shell of giving false reserve figures from 1998 to 2003, raising questions about the role of executives, including SIR MARK MOODY-STUART"

London Evening Standard: Shell faces £830m Nigeria claim: “The FSA's conclusions will raise questions about the part played by Watts' predecessor, SIR MARK MOODY-STUART, chairman between 1997 and 2001.

The Times: The misreporting scandal: Shell penalties 'bolster' “BILLION-DOLLAR” class action lawsuits: “A source close to the SEC told The Times last night that a list of questions had been sent to all Shell executives involved in the inquiry. It is understood that those questions have been passed to, among others, SIR MARK MOODY-STUART..."

The Times: “FSA’s report accuses Shell of market abuse by announcing false oil reserves between 1998 and 2003, implicating several major executives in the scandal, including Sir Mark Moody-Stuart”

Financial Times: Shell-shocked: “Shell was found to have "announced false or misleading reserves and reserves replacement ratios throughout the period 1998 to 2003"…: “three heads have rolled… other people in key positions during that time remain. They include Jeroen van der Veer… and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart”

The Scotsman: Shell knew of error in reserves in 1998: “AUDITORS at Royal Dutch/Shell, the British-Dutch energy group, warned the company as early as 1998 that its reserves figures may have been overstated…”

The Scotsman: Auditors dragged into Shell lawsuit: “role of auditors KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers in the scandal that wiped £2.9 billion off Shell’s market capitalisation in one day.”

The Guardian: £17m Shell shock was just an early broadside in FSA war on abuse: “Shell's action was made more serious because false or misleading announcements on reserves were made from 1998 to 2003. Even though Shell had indications and warnings from 2000 to 2003 that figures for proved reserves were incorrect, its actions continued.”

Daily Telegraph: Boards beware: the road to Shell was paved with 'good' intentions: “This being Shell, everything was systematic, and was approved at the highest level, and had been going on for years.”: “On top of all this comes the loss to Shell's reputation - its ultimate hidden reserve.”: “It will have to be rebuilt and earned, and that takes time, if it can be done at all.”

TELLSHELL: Comment by former Shell geologist Dr John Huong on the Financial Times article: Governance: Managers look for the moral dimension: "Post-Enron, post-Shell, post-WorldCom, post-Parmalat" (

TELLSHELL: The unpalatable truth about Shell Management: "While the Ogoni people sit on top of oil fields, but remain abysmally poor, Sir Philip Watts sits on an $18 million (US dollar) pension pot. It is in my humble opinion simply obscene and indefensible."

Financial Times: TMT boom behind step up to respectability: “But the recent history of some corporations - think Shell, Marks and Spencer and Hollinger - shows only how things should not be done.” (this article is the first time that the Shell scandal has been bracketed with Hollinger - for background information on Hollinger, see "The Hollinger Chronicles" below)

(Financial Times: The Hollinger Chronicles: the dramatic story of a press baron's downfall)

ChannelNewsAsia: Shell hit by new lawsuit in US over reserves scandal:  “fresh lawsuit names 27 directors and officers of Royal Dutch/Shell, and also their accounting and audit firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers International and KPMG International” Cairn Energy Powers into FTSE 100: “Cairn has seen its shares more than triple since January when it announced the first of 10 finds in India on an oil field purchased from Shell for £4 million in 2002. The company is now valued at more than £2 billion.”

East Texas Review: Fired Shell CEO gets big severance: “Shell had been cooking its books Enron-style, claiming to own way more oil reserves than it actually has.": “Thieves In High Places”

The Independent: The $5m royal wedding: “…sponsored by local companies, including the oil and gas firms Brunei Shell…”:  “the royal family itself was hit by a major financial scandal surrounding the Sultan's brother, Prince Jefri…”
(Shell's contribution/gift/sweetener was reportedly $500,000!) News Analysis: Can Shell survive reserves affair? Last week, the FSA imposed the largest fine in its history on Shell for market abuse over the oil reserves scandal. A Shell PR veteran traces the firm's reputational demise.: “the reputation of Shell has been destroyed by hypocrisy, mendacity and deceit. Whether we will ever be able to be 'sure of Shell' again is very doubtful indeed.” 

The Observer: Our red badge of failure: “Did the great Shell really falsify its oil reserves over many years, with top people conniving at, instead of jumping on, the deceit?”: “Yes, they did.”

Financial Times: Shell faces new dilemma in south Nigeria: “Almost 10 years after execution of the Ogoni author Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight fellow rights activists caused international outrage, Shell is involved in another deepening dispute in the Ogoni region.”: “Shell does want to do essential maintenance in the region on the trans-Niger pipeline, which carries 185,000 barrels a day of production. It has just stationed members of Nigeria's paramilitary mobile police - whose public notoriety is such that they are nicknamed "kill and go" - to guard its facilities after it experienced problems with tampering.”

The Oregonian: Freedom gap, credibility gap near-cousins: “Royal Dutch/Shell agreed three weeks ago to pay the SEC $120 million to settle an inquiry into the company's vast overstatement of its oil and gas reserves. The fraud inflated profits. No admissions or denials of wrongdoing here, either, but the company nobly vowed not to violate securities laws in the future.”: “You've got to be awed by the corporate stealth operators. Even when they're conspicuously guilty, most of them prove themselves rich enough or influential enough to buy their way out of cell time.”

The Times: Shell inquiry widens as attention turns to executives: “THE US Attorney’s office in New York has demanded boxes of documents related to the alleged oil reserve fraud at Royal Dutch/Shell, signalling an escalation of a federal investigation into the scandal.”: “disgruntled American investors amended their lawsuit to include Sir Mark Moody Stuart…”: “The lawsuit also names PriceWaterhouseCoopers UK and KPMG”

The Independent: Outlook: Sir Phil Watts: “…if I were Sir Phil, I'd lie low and save my redundancy cheque for the welter of class actions that are already being heaped upon him. He's on a hiding to nothing defending himself against the FSA, for even if he does show abuse of process, he won't escape blame for this shameful episode. If Sir Phil's not to blame, who on earth is?”

London Evening Standard: Vision needed to revitalise Shell: “It is just six months since possibly the biggest post-Enron scandal erupted at Shell with the stunning admission that a group regarded as one of the most reliable in the world had lied about the health of its business.” Former Shell Chairman Appeals Censure: “The Financial Services Authority's final notice, issued on Aug. 24, said Shell had made false or misleading announcements in relation to its hydrocarbon reserves and reserves replacement ratios between 1998 and 2003, and had made those announcements despite indications and warnings that they were false.”



Scotland On Sunday: Eyes on Shell again as new boss tries to fight back: “…Cairn Energy - the Edinburgh firm which looks set to rake in bucketloads of cash from Indian assets it bought for a song from Shell - officially begins trading on the FTSE100 tomorrow.”

The Guardian: Shell's revival plan falls flat in the City: Oil group to invest $45bn with no guarantee that production will increase: “A crucial strategy briefing to reignite City confidence in Shell fell flat yesterday with investors "underwhelmed" by forecasts of flat production growth and no major commitment to share buybacks.”

The Independent: Michael Harrison's Outlook: Shell supertanker steers into deeper waters: “brotherly love has been notable for its complete absence inside the South Bank politburo, where the motto has been stab someone in the back before you are made to walk the plank yourself.”: “The truth is that Shell will not begin to emerge from the black cloud which enveloped it in January until it has fundamentally changed the way the business is run and governed.”

The Times: Pumping jargon but not profits: “…there is even a new mantra, Enterprise First, with which to goad the staff into “top-quartile performance”."

Daily Telegraph: City Diary: Shell shocked: “Is BP, Exxon or, er, Shell a "model company setting standards and behaviour and operating practices for a global company"? …which of them "demonstrates honesty, integrity and strong ethical thinking in the conduct of the business"? By this point I can contain myself no more. Shell hardly needs such a silly and expensive exercise to know the answers.”

The Times: Oil's not well for Shell directors: “The debacle over the reserves lifted the lid on an organisation that appears to have knowingly deceived investors.”: “It was when Sir Mark Moody-Stuart was in charge in 1998 that a paper was produced under the title: Creating Value through Entrepreneurial Management of Hydrocarbon Resource Values. Inflating the reserve figures certainly did that.”

Sarawak News: 399 Ex-Employees Of Shell Win Suit For Refund Estimated At RM100 Million: “The Miri High Court has ordered Sarawak Shell Bhd (SSB), Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd (SSPC), the Trustees of Shell Sarawak and Sabah Retirement Fund (SSSRBF) and Shell Sarawak and Sabah Provident Fund (SSSPF), to pay nearly RM100 million to 399 former employees" (Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd is a UK company)

BP/SHELL MERGER? THE BUSINESS: BP seeks go-ahead for European oil mergers: "...has Royal Dutch/Shell in its sights...": "If they wanted to merge, they could find a way around competition hurdles."

Daily Express (UK): SHELL’S ANNUS HORRIBILIS: Jan 9, 2004: Reserves downgraded; shares slump: Mar 7: Chairman Sir Philip Watts ousted: Apr 19: E-mails about ‘lying’ revealed: Apr 24: FSA launches probe: Jun 6: Shell forced to speed up structural reform: Jul 29: Fined £84m by US and UK watchdogs: Sep 22: New investment strategy

Financial Times: How Shell changed its culture and lost its way: It is a tale of incompetence. Or, as a "shocked, dismayed and ashamed" Mr van der Veer put it: "We have more problems than just the reserves issue.": "While Mr van der Veer was preparing his admissions in Houston last month..."

THE NEW YORK TIMES/REUTERS: Nigerian Oil Delta Rebel Says Meeting Obasanjo: “A recent consultant report for Shell estimated that about 1,000 people die every year because of communal and political unrest in the delta, where the majority live in abject poverty despite the oil wealth under their soil”: “…his ideas are reminiscent of rebels such as… Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged by the late military dictator Sani Abacha in 1995.

The Sunday Times: The wonder fuels that don't deliver: “In February this year the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints against the claims Shell was making in its adverts, including that Optimax gives “an extra burst of power just when you need it”. The Great Shell Pluspoints Swindle: "A deluge of feedback to a simple web page launched in February 2004, entitled "The Great Shell Pluspoints Swindle", revealed that a badly flawed computer system, a disinterested customer service department, and the repeated failure by Shell's managers to act on problems have left the Pluspoints scheme in tatters; wide open to fraud and misuse by dishonest and careless petrol station staff." UPDATE, 2 October 04: BERNSTEIN LIEBHARD & LIFSHITZ LLP MULTIBILLION DOLLAR CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST ROYAL DUTCH SHELL, NAMED CURRENT & FORMER DIRECTORS, & SHELL AUDITORS/CONSULTANTS, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS & KPMG: CIVIL ACTION 04431 IN THE US DISTRICT COURT OF NEW JERSEY:

The Times: We need Dutch courage to compete with the US: “Even the great Dutch firms are looking a bit sickly: Royal Dutch Petroleum, the senior Shell partner, is low in oil and embroiled in scandal..."


Daily Mail (UK): The new Untouchables: “Sir Philip Watts, former chairman of Shell, plainly hopes that the checks and balances of British corporate justice will save him from the hands of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”: “The quarrel has a hidden significance. Watts is personally under investigation on both sides of the Atlantic. The SEC apparently is interested in extraditing him to the United States to face allegations. Watts and his lawyers are proclaiming his innocence, but their tactics may also tie the British regulators in knots and keep the Americans at bay.”

London Evening Standard: Market Report: SPEAKING OUT: “All of us are deeply ashamed about what happened about the reserves, but we are determined to regain our position. — Shell chairman Jeroen van der Veer on the oil giant's attempts to put its misdemeanours behind it”

The Guardian (UK): Things won't be so vague after move to The Hague: “Change happened for two reasons. First, the scandal of overstated reserves did not just require an apology but a full corporate grovel. The story is the biggest scandal of the post-bubble era and only the sky-high oil price prevented Shell's crisis descending into corporate breakdown. After yesterday's nasty little shocker -a fresh downgrade of 900m barrels of reserves - the investors could have asked the directors to perform public somersaults and expect to see them in gym kit by lunchtime. Archive Article: The crisis at Shell: Decline and fall: “The Royal Dutch/Shell scandal broke as the United States and Europe grappled with a plague of corporate corruption: Enron and Tyco International of the United States; Parmalat of Italy; France’s oil giant Elf; Norway’s Statoil; Halliburton, the US oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney; and the $11 billion accounting fraud by WorldCom.”: “But the Shell scandal was notable because it broke new ground and has reverberated internationally in the strategic field of energy.”: “Now there are allegations that van der Veer, a chemical engineer with such a modest public profile he is known in some quarters as “the low-flying Dutchman”… “had known about the huge shortfalls in proven oil and gas reserves since February 2002, two years before they were publicly disclosed.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip's reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received -- and dallied over -- warnings about the accounting problems.": " In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.": "Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can't seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: How Shell’s Move To Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal: “The root of the problem, however, goes significantly further back than Sir Philip's reign, which began in 2001”: “These deeper roots are significant because the company has yet to make a full break with its past. Mr. van der Veer is a longtime Shell executive who sat on the committee that received -- and dallied over -- warnings about the accounting problems.": " In addition to its ambitious plans to discover new oil and gas cheaply, Shell under Sir Mark was redefining how it counted existing reserves.": "Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman from 1998 to 2001, remains on the board of Shell’s English parent… He declined to comment about reserves issues. And Shell still can't seem to get a handle on its reserves.”

BLOOMBERG Nov 4/04: Shell, ChevronTexaco Are Accused of Fixing Gas Prices (Update1):  Shell Oil Co., ChevronTexaco Corp., and a unit of Saudi Aramco were sued by a group of gasoline dealers who claim the companies conspired to fix the price of fuel sold to about 20,000 service stations nationwide.”: “The suit in Manhattan federal court claims that in 1996, senior officers of Saudi Refining Inc., ``Shell and Texaco met and entered into an agreement to raise, fix, peg and stabilize the price of motor fuel sold to Shell and Texaco dealers.''

The Observer (UK): Shell plays a blinder: “Once again, you have to hand it to Shell for foresight, intuition and perspicacity. Alone among the world's big oil companies, Shell managed to end up on the losing side of the American election…”: “But then again, not very surprising for a company that manage to lose billions of dollars of its own oil reserves” ( 7 Nov 04

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Loony Training Fads Are New Form of Snake Oil: “Your page-one article "Changing Drill: How Shell 's Move to Revamp Culture Ended in Scandal" (Nov. 2) is indicative of the loony and devastating training fads and cultural initiatives I've seen in Fortune 500 companies over the past quarter-century…” ( Posted 14 Nov 04 

The Times: “FSA’s report accuses Shell of market abuse by announcing false oil reserves between 1998 and 2003, implicating several major executives in the scandal, including Sir Mark Moody-Stuart”

Financial Times: Shell-shocked: “Shell was found to have "announced false or misleading reserves and reserves replacement ratios throughout the period 1998 to 2003"…: “three heads have rolled… other people in key positions during that time remain. They include Jeroen van der Veer… and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart”

The Observer: Bad publicity - not goodbye, but good buy: “Shell illustrates how a steady barrage of negative publicity can bring a company to its knees”: “The company's reputation is now in tatters”: "We list the latest batch of leaders and laggards in the corporate publicity league in the accompanying table. These rankings are based upon news reports in the last three months. The current '10 worst' list is led by Shell."

The Guardian (UK): Shell hits self-destruct button: “Shell will start the new year with a mountain to climb to re-establish its reputation after the most traumatic period in its 100-year history, with its chairman and two directors axed, legal action against it and condemnation by regulators.”: “An internal inquiry later came up with astonishing evidence that Sir Philip and Mr Van de Vijver were at war for years over the reserves issue. "I'm sick and tired about lying" said Mr Van de Vijver in one email.” ( 31 Dec 04

DAILY MAIL (UK): One year on and Shell is struggling towards a sea change: “Twelve months after the crisis began to unfold, Shell is at a crossroads. It has begun to take steps to rehabilitate itself with investors, but the jury is still out on whether it can restore its tarnished reputation. ( 7 Jan 05

The Guardian (UK): Northern Foods keeps to form by issuing profit alert: “Pat O'Driscoll, the new chief executive of Northern Foods, kept up an old habit when she issued a profit warning with her first major trading statement.”: “Asked whether bad luck had followed her from her previous employer, which has just been through its worst period in 100 years, she said: "I hope I have not brought the curse of Shell with me." ( 11 Jan 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Big potential profits outweigh high risks: “The reserves problem is just one of a host of issues facing Shell in Nigeria as it tries to restore its stock market reputation. ( 19 Jan 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell outlines strategy to restore its reputation: "Many investors blamed the reserves scandal on a lack of direct lines of responsibility, a criticism that led to the dismantling of the company's century-old, dual-board structure in October." ( 19 Jan 05

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell US Appointment Latest Step To Rebuild Reputation: “Shell's reserves scandal has dominated news about the company…” ( Posted 19 Jan 05 Will Shell sink or swim? Scandals, firings, fines and angry shareholders – it's been a tough year at Royal Dutch/Shell. As the energy giant prepares to make the Netherlands its world headquarters, Jennifer Hamm takes a look at the challenges the company will face in 2005. ( 28 Jan 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell staff unhappy with leaders: “Those that are in charge of change are themselves tied to the old culture." A person close to the company said: "Without exception, every Shell person I have met recently has asked me if I am able to help them find something else. Others are leaving without even waiting to find another job.” ( 2 Feb 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: From a handout to a hand up: “The reputations of both Shell and Citigroup are under fire - the former over its reserves scandal, the latter over its controversial bond trading. Many companies see social programmes as a way to improve their reputation, especially when trust has been battered by scandals.” ( 3 Feb 05

TimesOnline (UK): Shell's tragic touch: “You can be sure of Shell. The company which made 20 per cent of its reserves disappear at a stroke, which made its chairman vanish and is about to turn two organisations into one, has weaved its spell again” ( 3 Feb 05

London Evening Standard: Shell's £1m an hour profit: “Shell's financial performance will remain overshadowed by the events of its "annus horribilis" when its reputation as one of the world's most respected corporations was shattered.” ( 3 Feb 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell cuts reserves by another 10%: “The Anglo-Dutch oil group also warned that it had only replaced between 15 and 25 per cent of the oil it pulled from the ground in 2004. Rivals such as BP and ExxonMobil have reserves replacement ratios of more than 100 per cent.”: “…the scale of the downward revision and its reserves replacement figure is further bad news for the company as it struggles to rebuild its reputation.” ( 3 Feb 0

The Guardian (UK): Shell suffers fifth cut in reserves: Earnings record masks losing battle to replace resources: “Fadel Gheit, oil analyst with Oppenheimer & Co in New York, said he was "very disappointed" with the downgrade and poor reserve replacement. "I cannot remember in my 25 years of covering this sector any oil company failing to replace its reserves three years in a row like Shell has done. "It is also disturbing that Shell seems able to (continually) revise downwards its reserves figures as though it is nothing unusual.": “"The real fact is that the underlying fundamentals [at Shell] are deteriorating," said Mr Gheit.” ( 4 Feb 05

Houston Business Journal: Royal Dutch/Shell suffers credit downgrade: “Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Friday it has lowered Royal Dutch/Shell's corporate credit ratings to 'AA' from 'AA+.'”: “S&P estimates that Shell's proven reserves amounted to only some 12 billion barrels, or about 8.5 years of production, at the end of 2004, a level S&P said is "significantly below that of most oil companies globally." ( 4 Feb 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell and BASF narrow down bidders: Shell has cut almost a third of its proved reserves. It received another blow to its corporate prestige yesterday after Standard & Poor's downgraded its credit rating for the second time in a year. The agency cut the rating from AA+ to AA because of Shell's continuing difficulty in replacing the oil and gas it extracts.” ( 5 Feb 05

The Scotsman: Calls for windfall tax on oil companies miss the point: “A YEAR of scandal, sackings and investor unrest ended with the biggest profits ever made by a UK or European company. There is something peculiar about one following the other, but that is the story of Shell, a company that last year could not shake off negative headlines” ( 6 Feb 05

THE LONDON TIMES: Moody's threatens Shell with downgrade: “…after the oil giant last week axed its oil reserves by a further 10 per cent”: “The comments come four days after Standard & Poor’s cut Shell’s debt rating to AA from AA-plus, citing the oil company’s latest reserves downgrade.” ( Posted 9 Feb 05

Suicidal Shell..."It looks like the Royal Dutch/Shell Group is committing suicide in slow motion."

THE GLOBE & MAIL (CANADA): Suicidal Shell's best hopes lie in slow-growth oil sands: “It looks like the Royal Dutch/Shell Group is committing suicide in slow motion. It vastly overestimated how much oil it has in the ground. It pumps more oil than it finds.” ( 8 Feb 05


The Observer (UK): A word in your Shell-like: “…van der Veer did not feel able to plough the profits back into his business, acutely under strain because of its fatally dwindling oil reserves.”: “…we learned last year that the company leadership had been systematically lying to itself, its shareholders and wider stakeholders about the size of its oil reserves.”: “for years Shell lied about its sustainability as a business while preaching principles that it was betraying.”: “Shell had knowingly overstated its reserves by a third, a monumental betrayal of trust that is Europe's version of Enron.”  ( 6 Feb 05

THE INTEGRITY OF VAN DER VEER IS CALLED INTO QUESTION AGAIN - See Sunday Telegraph article below. (He is already a named defendent in reserves related class action law suits)

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK): Unsure of Shell: “…I e-mailed an invitation to van der Veer to explain how the FT's report and his statements to me could be reconciled. His failure to reply makes me fearful about whether the essential cultural revolution at Shell really is taking place.” ( 6 Feb 05

From May, all decisions will be taken by the company’s new board in The Hague, which has seven Dutch members and four Britons (see London Times article below: "BOARDS SHOW DUTCH COURAGE")

THE LONDON TIMES: Dual chairmanship goes as Unilever delays over merger: BOARDS SHOW DUTCH COURAGE: “Shell proposed the merger of its two joint venture units, Royal Dutch and the Shell Transport & Trading Company, in October last year, in the wake of its reserves scandal. ( 11 Feb 05

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (UK): Shell needs to be more radical to save itself: “…severe crisis for much of the past year”: “Shell's reserve replacement ratio is a pitiful 45 per cent to 55 per cent”: “…to fix its operational woes the oil giant may need a new, more radical boss, one who is brave enough to slim down the business and rebuild Shell from the bottom up.” ( 13 Feb 05 Shell Rebuilds Itself: “How a crisis over oil reserves led the board to do what it should have done long ago—create an entirely new company.”: “The Shell board recognized that its top priority was restoring the company’s reputation.”: “Not everybody is happy with the... reforms. William S. Lerach—the California corporate scourge whose law firm brought a consolidated U.S. class-action suit on behalf of shareholders against Shell, its executives, and its directors for mismanagement and fraud—judges the reforms timid and inadequate.” ( 15 Feb 05

Reuters: Rare Whales Will Not Stop Shell's Sakhalin Gas: “Fears for the future of rare whales will not halt the Shell-led Sakhalin-2 gas project in Russia's far east, Shell's country manager said on Friday. John Barry told Reuters the $10 billion venture, one of Royal Dutch/Shell's biggest, was on track to deliver its first cargo of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in 2007 as planned. The consortium recognized environmentalists' concerns and was considering measures such as re-routing pipelines to avoid damage to the gray whales' habitat, he said in an interview. "The project is going ahead. I want to be unambiguous about that," Barry said.” ( Posted 26 Feb 05

The Guardian (UK): Fight to the death: As the 10th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa approaches, William Boyd remembers a courageous friend and fellow writer who took on Shell and the Nigerian government: “He became a David who challenged two redoubtable Goliaths: a multinational oil company and a corrupt military regime”: “He built a case against Shell and the Nigerian government that was impossible to refute” ( 23 March 05

BLOOMBERG: Shell Final Audit Shows 2002 Reserves Overstated 41% (Update2): “Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe's second-largest oil company, reported its oil and gas reserves as of 2002 had been overstated by 41 percent, the culmination of five cuts that led to investor lawsuits, the loss of three senior executives and more than $150 million of fines.”: “The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal inquiry of the matter. Shell last year lost its AAA credit ratings because of the reserves restatements.” ( Posted 8 March 05

The Guardian (UK): Fight to the death: As the 10th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa approaches, William Boyd remembers a courageous friend and fellow writer who took on Shell and the Nigerian government: “He became a David who challenged two redoubtable Goliaths: a multinational oil company and a corrupt military regime”: “He built a case against Shell and the Nigerian government that was impossible to refute” ( 23 March 05 (Ohio): County signs off on $10M Shell settlement: “…the county’s claim contends the defendants knew the pipes were unsuitable for water service, misrepresented the quality of the piping, violated expressed and implied warranties, committed fraud, engaged in deceptive trade practices, and created a public nuisance” ( 25 March 05

BBC NEWS: Shell guilty over gas leak deaths: “Oil giants Shell has admitted three charges over the deaths of two workers in the North Sea two years ago.” ( 30 March 05

CNN: Shell pumps twice as much as it finds ( 31 March 05

THE LONDON TIMES: Directors strike it rich after Shell's investors lament their lost billions: “SHELL lost billions of barrels of oil, investors lost billions of pounds in value and the famous brand lost a century of hard-earned credibility but the directors profited handsomely in 2004, notwithstanding.” ( 1 April 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell's chief executive lands 90% bonus in spite of cuts in reserves: “Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of Royal Dutch/ Shell, was paid nearly €2.65m (£1.82m) in 2004, a year in which the Anglo/ Dutch oil and gas group had to cut its figures for proved reserves four times”: “The 20-F also revealed that Shell was in settlement discussions with counsel for plaintiffs in legal actions brought under the US Employment Retirement Security Act that it hoped would lead to a resolution. Shareholder class actions are also proceeding, as are separate actions against the company, directors and former directors.” ( 1 April 05

The Guardian (UK): Shell boss gets £1m bonus despite crisis over reserves: “Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Shell, took home a bonus of nearly £1m last year despite the reserves fiasco that made it the worst year ever for the company's reputation.”: “The SEC filing reveals that the Anglo-Dutch group's oil reserve replacement ratio was a dismal 19% last year…” ( 1 April 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Conchology: “Shell Transport and Trading, the UK arm of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group, last year chose Rhysota as the shell to feature on the cover of its annual report. Its elegant transparency was perhaps intended to signal the company's new openness after the reserves debacle. Unfortunately, as we noted at the time, the image also resembled liquid going down a plughole.” ( 2 April 05

Mail on Sunday (UK): Auditors clean up at Shell: “AUDITORS who failed to spot the massive overstatement of reserves at Shell raked in record fees from the oil giant last year. KPMG and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers earned £22m for preparing Shell's accounts… the highest amount ever paid by a British company for a basic audit.”: “In a series of downgrades, Shell was forced to slash its estimate of proven reserves by a staggering six billion barrels, almost 30%, after admitting it had misled investors for years.”: “Shell still faces a criminal investigation from the US Justice Department and class action lawsuits from disgruntled shareholders over the scandal”:  “The reserves scandal shattered Shell's reputation…”: “its ratio of reserve replacement, a key indicator, had collapsed to a paltry 19% - the lowest of any oil major. That means Shell is finding less than a fifth of what it produces. 'It is clearly a concern,' Shell acknowledged” ( Sunday 3 April 05

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Shell Inflated Reserves by 41%: “Royal Dutch/Shell Group reports its oil and gas reserves as of 2002 was overstated by 41 percent; Shell has made five cuts in reserve number, leading to investor lawsuits, replacement of three senior executives and more than $150 million in fines; US Justice Department is conducting criminal investigation into Shell's statements of its oil and gas reserves” ( Posted 4 April 05

Houston Chronicle: Shell is hoping to book disputed reserves again: Fields off coast of Australia had been overstated: “Shell, based in London and the Hague, last month said its oil and gas reserves as of 2002 were overstated by 41 percent, the culmination of five cuts that led to investor lawsuits, the loss of three senior executives and more than $150 million of fines. The Justice Department is conducting a criminal inquiry.” ( 7 April 05

Accountancy Age: Firms pocket millions for Shell work: “Oil company Shell pays record-breaking amount for audit work during one of the most controversial periods in its history.”: “KPMG and PwC pocketed $70m (£37m) for their work with Shell during its troubled last 12 months, according to the oil company's latest filing with the SEC.”: “During the last year Shell suffered its oil reserves scandals, overstating the number of barrels of oil it held in reserves by billions…” ( Posted 5 April 05

DAILY TELEGRAPH (UK): Shell leaps 48pc on buoyant oil price: “Shell, the oil and gas giant which is trying to recover its reputation after last year's reserves scandal…”: “Shell, which last year revealed that it had overstated its proven oil and gas reserves by over 25pc, is in talks with the US's Securities and Exchange Commission over its reserves statements for 2004.” ( 29 April 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Shell fined after oil workers' deaths: “Speaking outside court, Greg Hill, production director for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, said: "It is clear that we had failures in our systems and we feel 100 per cent responsible for the deaths of these men." ( 28 April 05

London Evening Standard: Shell to weather the storm: “Shell's underlying health is under question however.”: “…it was forced to slash its estimate of proven reserves by six billion barrels, almost 30%. The changes came as it admitted having misled investors for years. The scandal shattered Shell's reputation”: “Moreover, Shell revealed recently that its ratio of reserve replacement had collapsed to a paltry 19% - the lowest of any oil major.” ( Posted 27 April 05

The Independent (UK): Overhaul of Shell costs pounds 67m in fees: “Investment banks and other professional advisers have picked up $115m (pounds 63m) in fees from the corporate restructuring of the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell.” ( 20 May 05

Radio Netherlands: Oil giant goes on drilling despite bad press: “Despite massive attempts to change the way in which it is perceived, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is facing familiar problems once again. Having pumped money and effort into trying to shake off a negative image, the company is again attracting bad press.”: "In Argentina, too, Shell appears to have given the profit-goal priority over its reputation. ( Posted 15 May 05

THE BUSINESS (EU): Shell’s change of tack puts it back on course: “For the first time in what seems an age, the good news for Shell is beginning to outweigh the bad.” ( 8/9 May 05

THE NEW YORK TIMES: With Little Fanfare, a New Effort to Prosecute Employers That Flout Safety Laws: “…Motiva Enterprises, an oil refining company partly owned by Shell Oil, pleaded guilty to endangering workers negligently and committing environmental crimes in Delaware. The company was ordered to pay a $10 million fine and sentenced to three years' probation” ( Posted 3 May 05

Daily Telegraph (UK): Huge tax bills for Royal Dutch investors from Shell merger ( 31 May 05

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell to Start Talks With Nigeria, Ogoni Activists: ”Apart from helping Shell's business, the talks, if successful, would be a public-relations coup for the oil company. Shell has been accused of human-rights abuses and faces lawsuits in connection with Mr. Saro-Wiwa's death.” ( 31 May 05

FINANCIAL TIMES: Call for Shell to alter its plan to unify ( 31 May 05

THE TIMES (UK): Shell accused over tax on UK investors: “SHELL yesterday faced accusations of unfairly inflicting heavy bills for capital gains tax on some British investors who hold shares in the Dutch arm of the oil giant.” ( May 31, 2005

Gulf Times (Qatar): Shell reports fewer oil spills, but more bribes: “...Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, was fined last year for rigging jet fuel prices, a case that’s under appeal. Shell was also fined twice in Ivory Coast for anti- competitive behaviour.” ( 30 May 05

The Scotsman: Shell and North Sea: “LESS charitable views on Royal Dutch/Shell in the darkest days of last year had a lot in common with those of the North Sea. Like the company, the North Sea smacked of terminal decline, its glory days left behind some time in the 1980s, its talent moving on to new pastures.”: “So it must be gratifying for Shell's North Sea explorers to strike a blow against both preconceptions. Last week it revealed that it had stumbled upon what looks like Norway's biggest gas find in five years with its Onyx West well. It's good news for Shell's turnaround.” ( 29 May 05

Financial Times: Shell admits second downgrade more serious: “The second cut overshadowed the historic proposal to merge Shell's Dutch and British holding companies in response to investor criticism about the reserves scandal.” ( 28 May 05

The Guardian (UK): We'll miss our target to stop 'flaring' in Nigeria, admits Shell: “Flaring is considered a major contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming.” “The company suffered a severe dent to its reputation last year after making several downgrades to the levels of its oil and gas reserves” ( 28 May 05

Houston Chronicle: Shell has fewer spills, deaths among workers: But oil giant says it fell short of emissions goal; bribery cases rose: “Shell staff or intermediaries paid or accepted 16 bribes last year, contravening company policy, the report said. That was double the number in 2003, and four times the reported number for 2002.” ( 28 May 05

Daily Telegraph (UK): The week that was: “Shell, which is restructuring itself after losing 25pc of its proved oil and gas reserves last year, has announced one of its biggest finds of the year off the coast of Norway.” ( 28 May 05

THE TIMES (UK): The great oil rush of 2005: “Cairn Energy is moving one step closer to unlocking the riches it discovered under a plot of Indian desert bought at a knock-down price from the hapless Shell.” ( Posted 26 May 05

The Independent (UK): Shell discovers 'Big Cat' gas field off Norway coast: “Shell, the embattled oil giant, won some respite from its woes over dwindling reserves yesterday by announcing a significant gas discovery off the coast of Norway.” ( 24 May 05

Daily Mail (UK): Shell may ditch retirement at 60: "Shell set out the change in its plan to combine its UK and Dutch arms into one company, Royal Dutch Shell, by July 20." ( Posted 21 May 05

The Guardian (UK): Shell pays £63m in streamlining costs Shell has been forced to pay $115m (£63m) in advisers' fees and taxes to move from a dual-company structure to a more traditional unified board following its reserves scandal. ( 20 May 05

Sydney Morning Herald: Oil price surge fires up Shell: “Shell, the oil and gas giant which is trying to recover its reputation after last year's reserves scandal, posted a 48 per cent jump in first-quarter profits as a result of the surging oil price and high refining margins. However, overall production fell…” ( 30 April 05

THE TIMES (UK): Shell must stop tinkering and start delivering fast: “If Shell is not rescued by a deal, it must work its portfolio even harder and, unfortunately, this is not always its best suit.” ( 29 April 05

The Wall Street Journal: Shell wages legal fight over web domain name: ( 2 June 05 HUGE Embarrassment for Shell on the eve of the dual AGM’s proposing a unified company worth more than $200 billion (see above WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE): EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT MADE TO THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANISATION ABOUT AND ITS OWNER ALFRED DONOVAN (THE RESPONDENT) BY SHELL INTERNATIONAL PETROLEUM COMPANY LIMITED (THE COMPLAINANT): 2 JUNE 05

From The Observer (UK): It just won't work: By Ken Wiwa: “It will be 10 years in November since my father was murdered for daring to expose the complicity between Shell and the Nigerian military dictatorship to exploit the oil reserves of my Ogoni community.”: “Only last year, Shell admitted putting a false prospectus to investors…“: Posted Monday, 13 June 2005: Read the article A new company - Royal Dutch Shell plc is born tomorrow - but it will forever have a SECOND-HAND Internet URL if Shell wins domain name battle: 15.15pm: Tuesday 19 July 2005: Read the article ANOTHER BAD NEWS DAY FOR SHELL: LONDON TIMES ARTICLE IMPLIES THAT SHELL ISSUED A FALSE PROSPECTIVE FOR ITS MERGER: THE INDEPENDENT SAYS THAT SHELL IS “RUDDERLESS”: FT CLAIMS THAT INVESTORS DUMPED THE NEW UNIFIED SHELL SHARES ON THEIR DEBUT DAY AND REVIVES DESIRABLE PROSPECT OF TOTAL/SHELL MEGA-MERGER: 9am: Thursday 21 July 2005: Read the article

The New York Times: Blood Flows With Oil in Poor Nigerian Villages: "This region is synonymous with oil, but also with unbelievable poverty,": ""The world depends on their oil, but for the people of the Niger Delta oil is more of a curse than a blessing.": Human rights and environmental groups have long criticized the practices of Shell, the oldest and largest of Nigeria's oil producers. As a result of a stinging internal report in 2003 that said Shell, whether intentionally or not, "creates, feeds into or exacerbates conflict..." Sunday 1 January 2006: READ

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