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Posts on ‘June 27th, 2011’

S.E.C. rule changes on estimated reserves: ‘Welcome back to Alice in Wonderland’

In 2004, the oil and gas industry faced one of its most embarrassing scandals. After whistle-blowers reported concerns about the size of Royal Dutch/Shell’s reserves, the company surprised investors by slashing reserve estimates. “I am becoming sick and tired about lying,” Walter van de Vijver, a senior executive at Royal Dutch/Shell, wrote in a November 2003 e-mail made public shortly after his company’s problems came to light. The episode led to the ouster of several of the company’s top executives and an investor lawsuit worth more than $350 million, and helped propel the S.E.C. rule change. read more

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