Shell lied about oil reserves
Internal emails between senior shell executives have revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant deliberately misled investors over the level of its oil reserves, going back more than two years.
In an internal email dated 9 November 2003, former explorations director Walter van de Vijver told former chairman Sir Philip Watts that he was becoming ‘sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues’.
Another note dated 11 February 2002 revealed that senior executives at Shell knew of overstatement of oil reserves by as much as 2.3 billion barrels.
Initially it was thought reserves had been overstated by 20%, but now this is believed to be closer to 25%.
Yesterday, the company’s audit committee released proposed remedial actions.
As a result of this and other reviews, a total of 4.35 billion barrels of oil equivalent will be recategorised as at end 2002. Additionally, 2003 reserves will fall by 0.5 billion barrels.