Oil reserves set to dominate Shell presentation
Royal Dutch/Shell's head of exploration and production, Malcolm Brinded, will be the headline attraction when the group announces its fourth-quarter results on Thursday.
Analysts and investors have been eagerly awaiting news on how Shell has progressed in booking its reserves, after it emerged in 2004 that the oil-giant had overstated reserves by 20%.
Expectations that fourth-quarter income will be between $4bn and $5.5bn have gone almost unnoticed, as market watchers focus all their attention on how many more barrels will have to be cut from reserves, and how Brinded plans to get reserves back up to par.
Analysts have been quoted as saying that Shell may have only replaced oil sourced in 2004 by between 40 per cent and 60 per cent. Oil companies need to achieve a 100% replacement rate to maintain their main asset bases.