Royal Dutch Shell Group .com

The Washington Times: Shell officials said warned of problems


NEW YORK, April 1 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch/Shell Group planners issued warnings as early as 2000 that the oil giant was headed for possible financial trouble, it was reported Thursday.


The warnings cautioned against overly optimistic assumptions about exploration-and-production projects around the world, according to internal Shell documents, the Wall Street Journal said.


The report is the latest in a series of documents to emerge that indicate senior Shell executives were warned about serious problems at the company long before they disclosed them publicly.


Those documents, along with the June 2000 presentation, were included in an initial briefing given to independent board members in early March by internal investigators investigating Shell's overbooking of energy reserves. Shell's twin boards subsequently ousted Chairman Philip Watts and Walter van de Vijver, former head of exploration and production.


On Jan. 9, Shell said it would slash its tally of oil and natural gas reserves by 20 percent.

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