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The Scotsman: Shell Silent on Future of Finance Chief


By Phil Waller, City Staff, PA News

18 April 04


Oil group Shell today stayed silent on reports that its finance chief was on the verge of quitting.


Shell refused to comment on claims in several national Sunday newspapers that finance director Judy Boynton could resign as soon as tomorrow following the company’s probe into the overstatement of its oil and gas reserves.


The findings of the internal investigation by the company’s audit committee were believed to have made Ms Boynton’s position “untenable”, one newspaper said.


The review may also cast doubt over the future of the company’s chairman, Jeroen van der Veer, and vice chairman Malcolm Brinded, the reports claimed.


Shell has refused to say when the review will be published, or to give any indication of its likely outcome.


A Shell spokesman said: “There’s a lot of speculation about this, but we have nothing to say.”


Shell launched its investigation after revealing in January that its reserves were 20% lower than previously thought. It downgraded its estimates again in March.


The affair has already claimed the scalps of chairman Sir Philip Watts and Walter van de Vijver, the chief executive of Shell’s exploration and production business.


The pair were forced to resign last month after the board lost confidence in their leadership.


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