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Posts on ‘August 13th, 2004’

Royal Dutch/Shell Begins to See Advantages of Unified Structure

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Royal Dutch/Shell Begins to See Advantages of Unified Structure

Edited by Hugo Dixon

August 13, 2004

Shareholder pressure is getting somewhere with Royal Dutch/Shell. Only three months ago the Anglo-Dutch oil titan seemed impervious to calls to reform its cumbersome dual-headed structure. Now it has virtually accepted the argument that it must, at minimum, create a single unified board to run the group. It is also looking seriously at the more radical option of merging the two top companies into a single group. (See related article.)

What’s the advantage in going the whole hog? Well, there are really two. First, simplicity. Second, and most important, greater accountability. One of the reasons Royal Dutch/Shell has been so successful at resisting shareholder pressure for so long is that investors have had to lobby two separate groups in different countries. They have needed two keys to unlock the boardroom door. With a single company, shareholders would only have to concentrate on one pressure point. Royal Dutch/Shell’s parents are Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., of The Hague, and London-based Shell Transport & Trading Co. read more

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Shell to Pay $4.6 Million In Severance, Pension To Ousted Executive

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Shell to Pay $4.6 Million In Severance, Pension To Ousted Executive

“The SEC still is investigating individuals involved in the overstatement.”

By CHIP CUMMINS

Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

August 13, 2004; Page A6

LONDON — Royal Dutch/Shell Group said it agreed to a €3.8 million ($4.6 million) severance payment for Walter van de Vijver, a senior executive ousted in March after the company acknowledged that it had overstated its energy reserves.

Shell said it will pay Mr. van de Vijver in installments, subject to continuing cooperation with various authorities still investigating the reserves overstatement. Shell said Mr. van de Vijver, its former head of exploration and production, was also entitled to a deferred annual pension of €385,388, beginning in 2015. read more

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Los Angeles Times: Shell May Postpone Closing of Refinery

Los Angeles Times: Shell May Postpone Closing of Refinery

“The Federal Trade Commission is investigating Shell’s closure plan.”

By Elizabeth Douglass, Times Staff Writer

13 August 04

In what would be a victory for California motorists, Shell Oil Co. is considering postponing the Oct. 1 shutdown of its Bakersfield refinery to allow more time for talks with potential buyers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move would come as part of an accord between Shell and state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who has been pressuring Shell to keep the plant open or find a buyer for it, this person said. It wasn’t clear how long of a postponement Shell was considering. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Reuters: Shell-Led Russia Venture Vows to Protect Rare Whales

Reuters: Shell-Led Russia Venture Vows to Protect Rare Whales

“It is the most comprehensive and largest whale project funded solely by industry for whales anywhere in the world,”

Fri 13 August, 2004 09:36

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Royal Dutch/Shell -led group developing oil and gas fields in the Russian far east moved to assure worried ecologists on Friday it is doing all it can to protect rare gray whales living in the coastal waters.

Green activists have accused the oil major of endangering the future of the marine mammals by developing the oil-rich shelf near the whales’ only remaining summer feeding and migrating habitat just off Sakhalin Island.

Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., the operator of the multi-billion dollar Sakhalin-2 project, said it and its partners would spend more than $2 million this year to monitor and protect the animals. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Different dealings weaken Shell group

The Times: Different dealings weaken Shell group: “deemed responsible for the same horrendously damaging issue of cutting corners”

Business Commentary

By Robert Cole

August 13, 2004

SIR PHIL WATTS and Walter van de Vijver were ejected from the Royal Dutch/Shell group at the same time. They were deemed responsible for the same horrendously damaging issue of cutting corners on reported proven oil and gas reserves.

Mr Van de Vijver, we now learn, is to receive a £2.5 million payoff, more than twice as much as his former boss, as well as a deferred pension of £257,000 a year. Perfectly rational arguments could be made for this seemingly inconsistent treatment. The reality, however, is that although both superficially worked for the same integrated organisation, Mr Van de Vijver is a Royal Dutch man, treated according to Dutch law and practice, while Sir Phil was a Shell Transport chap and so dealt with in Anglo Saxon ways. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Royal Dutch Shell – Power of one

The Times: Power of one

“While it is a shame that it took this year’s reserves crisis to alert the group, and shareholders, to the threat of the 200lb gorilla in the room”

COMMENT: Royal Dutch/Shell has dreamed up a solution to its problems. Now it is time to deliver. By Mike Verdin

August 12, 2004

Posted 13 August 04

In Sleeping Beauty, it was a kiss from handsome prince which awakened the princess from a century of slumber.

For Royal Dutch/Shell, it has been a kick in the backside from shareholders and regulators which has awakened the oil giant to the idea that, 97 years on, the agreement on which the company was founded is flawed.

It was in 1907 that a tie-up was agreed between Royal Dutch, founded to exploit Asian oil fields, and Shell Transport, a sea shell importer which discovered greater prospects in the remains of long-dead marine life. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell director who was ‘tired of lying’ given £2.5m payoff

The Times: Shell director who was ‘tired of lying’ given £2.5m payoff

“Shell investors lost 50p for every barrel that went missing while Phil and Walter together earned 80p for every barrel mislaid”

August 13, 2004

By Carl Mortished, International Business Editor

THE Shell director who complained that he was “tired of lying” about the state of the company’s oil and gas reserves is to be paid £2.5 million in compensation for losing his job as head of oil exploration in the Anglo-Dutch multinational.

Walter van de Vijver’s settlement eclipses the £1 million paid to Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chairman, who, together with Mr Van de Vijver, was removed from office in March for the pair’s role in the misreporting of Shell’s oil and gas reserves. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell’s failure was huge but the rewards have been ample

Daily Telegraph: Shell’s failure was huge but the rewards have been ample

“It would be hard to imagine a more extreme form of top management failure than that at Shell”

City comment

Edited by Neil Collins, City Editor

(Filed: 13/08/2004)

It would be hard to imagine a more extreme form of top management failure than that at Shell, and the executives involved deserved to pay for it with their jobs and reputations. Sir Philip Watts will surely never get another senior post in a public company, and his successor in charge of Shell’s exploration and production is also likely to present a serious challenge to a recruitment specialist.

It all looks pretty harsh until you see what the pair have been paid to go away. We already knew about Sir Philip’s £1m, and now we are told that Walter van de Vijver is to be comforted with 3.8m, or about £2.5m in real money. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell boss to get £2.5m pay-off

Daily Telegraph: Shell boss to get £2.5m pay-off

“The final payment is likely to exceed 4m”: The pay-off is likely to be seen by critics as another example of “reward for failure”.

By Christopher Hope (Filed: 13/08/2004)

Walter van der Vijver, one of Shell’s two senior directors who resigned after the company’s reserves crisis earlier this year, has been handed a 3.8m (£2.5m) pay-off, worth four times his basic salary.

It is more than twice as much as the £1m given to Sir Philip Watts, Shell’s former chairman of the committee of managing directors, who also lost his job.

The pair quit after the Anglo-Dutch group shocked investors in January by revealing that its “proven” oil and gas reserves were 20pc less than it had thought. Shell then revised the figure a further three times before concluding that it had overstated its proven reserves by 23pc – or 4.47billion barrels. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Royal Dutch Shell – Conflict is not the only way

Financial Times: Conflict is not the only way: “When managers begin managing the company for themselves rather than for shareholders, conflict breaks out.”

By Morgen Witzel

Published: August 13 2004

Every business hasto deal with the views and demands of groups outside the organisation. Ultimately, businesses are part of society, and have to take account of society’s views. As businesses grow, their profile increases and they become better known, and this in turn leads to still greater external pressures.

The most important external group with which managers must deal are their own shareholders. Managers have a legal and moral duty to manage the company well and earn profits for this group. When managers begin managing the company for themselves rather than for shareholders, conflict breaks out. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Daily Express: Shell scandal boss wins £2.5m payoff

Daily Express: Shell scandal boss wins £2.5m payoff

“I am becoming sick and tired about lying about the extent of our reserves issues and the downward revisions that need to be done because of far too aggressive/optimistic bookings.”

By Andrew Johnson

THE former Shell exploration and production boss who admitted lying about the company’s reserves of oil has been awarded a pay-off worth €3.8 million (£2.5 million).

Walter van de Vijver will be given €1.9 million now and the rest after investigations into the scandal, depending on his co-operation with them and their results.

Van de Vijver and ex-chairman Sir Philip Watts stepped down from the Anglo-Dutch oil giant’s board “by mutual consent” in March after an internal inquiry into what eventually resulted in a 4.5 billion-barrel downgrade to the company’s reserves. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

DAILY EXPRESS: BUMBLING SHELL BORDERS ON FARCE

DAILY EXPRESS: BUMBLING SHELL BORDERS ON FARCE

“HAPPY memories of Peter Sellers’ portrayal of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau”

STEPHEN KAHN
CITY EDITOR
13 August 2004

HAPPY memories of Peter Sellers’ portrayal of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau were brought to mind yesterday in Shell’s official response to talk that a merger of its British and Dutch companies is on the cards. This would be a much more radical step than simply to unify the two boards in its ongoing bid to pacify shareholders in the wake of the oil reserves scandal.

“Nothing’s being ruled in or ruled out,” said a spokesman for the troubled oil giant. In a cod French accent it would have been a turn of phrase worthy of the great detective himself. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Royal Dutch Shell – Easier to unify than to unite

Financial Times: Easier to unify than to unite

“The prolonged deception about the state of its oil reserves owed as much to corporate governance failures as to the wrongdoing of individuals.”: “the most important reform must be of its behaviour.”

Published: August 13 2004

Royal Dutch/Shell is doing the right thing in conducting a root-and-branch review of its structure. The prolonged deception about the state of its oil reserves owed as much to corporate governance failures as to the wrongdoing of individuals. But this does not mean that the most radical option for structural change is the best one. Nor does it mean that whatever new form it chooses will solve all its problems.

The easy thing to agree, apparently, is that the group should unify its Dutch and British boards. Having a single non-executive chairman and a single chief executive should improve leadership and accountability. By removing the need for a joint forum called the Conference and allowing the number of non-executives to be pruned it should speed decision-making and concentrate responsibility. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Shell to pay Walter van de Vijver €3.8m

Financial Times: Shell to pay Walter van de Vijver €3.8m

By Carola Hoyos and Sundeep Tucker in London

13 August 04

Royal Dutch/Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group, has agreed to pay Walter van de Vijver, its former head of exploration and production, €3.8m ($4.6m) in severance.

Shell investors, however, said they were more interested in the company’s new willingness to unify its boards and make other changes to its corporate structure.

William Claxton-Smith of Insight Investment said of the pay-off: “This is not a huge issue in the minds of shareholders. We believe Shell is doing what it has to do.” read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Money talks for Shell’s singing director

FROM OUR AUGUST 2004 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE…

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…”: “As usual, Shell is unable to cast any light in the darkness as to why the two men’s severance arrangements are so different in size and nature. Perish the thought that one of them is being paid to grass up the other.”

13 August 2004

Shell is hardly a byword for good corporate governance, and yesterday it lived up to its reputation by producing another stonker of a pay-off for one of the directors caught up in its reserves reporting scandal.

On this occasion, however, there is a twist in the tail. Walter van de Vijver is going to have to sing for his severance. In order to qualify for his full £2.5m package, the company’s former head of exploration and production will have to co-operate with the “relevant authorities” as they conduct their various criminal inquiries into how Shell came to invent quite so many non-existent barrels. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

Washington Times: Shell, Royal Dutch talk merger

Washington Times: Shell, Royal Dutch talk merger

Posted 13 August 04

London, England, (UPI) — Royal Dutch/Shell has a preliminary plan to unify its two boards and is studying a possible merger of its Dutch and British holding companies.

The world’s third largest energy group is made up of Royal Dutch, the Dutch holding company controlling 60 percent, and Shell Transport and Trading, the British side controlling the rest. The two companies have separate main stock exchange listings in Amsterdam and London.

The review, advocated by several important members of Shell’s steering committee, goes beyond investors’ expectations, the Financial Times said. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com

SKYNEWS: SHELL MAY MERGE GROUPS

SKYNEWS: SHELL MAY MERGE GROUPS

Shell may merge its Dutch and British holding companies to try to find a way out of its problems in the wake of its reserves crisis.

Posted 13 August 04

Shell may merge its Dutch and British holding companies to try to find a way out of its problems in the wake of its reserves crisis.

Reports suggest Shell has hired bankers to assess the possibility of a merger.

That is much more radical move than analysts had imagined – they predicted unification of the two boards only.

The company refused to comment on the rumours, simply saying it was considering a “broad range of structures”.

The Anglo-Dutch group is currently made up of Royal Dutch, which controls 60%, and Shell Transport and Trading, the UK side controlling the remaining 40%. read more

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net, shell2004.com, shellshareholders.org, don-marketing.com and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article: royaldutchshellplc.com
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