From: Daily Mail, London
Published November 27, 2004 12:00 AM

Uncertainty Lingers On Over Shell's Oil Reserves

Nov. 27—Shell jangled investors nerves by warning it will need two more months before its reserves controversy is settled — and before its historic move to unify its structure is put to shareholders. The 2005 annual meeting, due in April, is being put back to June 28.

The shares fell 1 pence to 447 1/4 pence on worries that reserve uncertainty will be prolonged. Shell says the delay is "prudent." It will give an update on February 3 with its annual profits.

Shell has revised its proven reserve figures four times since January, dropping them from 19.4 billion to 14.4 billion barrels. It is conducting a review which must go to its audit committee and to external regulators.

All these must clear the reserve figures before they can go into Shell's annual accounts — the main reason for the delay. Jonathan Copus at broker Investec said: "This buys them time to put their house in order."

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