The oil and gas companies reconsider the stocksscandal
last week the Commission on securities and stock exchanges of the USA (SEC) has begun investigation of a possible material interest of company management Royal Dutch/ Shell in overestimate of oil and gas stocks. Estimations of the stocks have reconsidered also other companies, including BP that has aggravated a question of control over the account mechanism in branch.
we will remind that on January, 9th this year the second-large oil company of world Royal Dutch/ Shell has lowered an estimation of the oil and gas stocks on 20 % - to 16 mlrd barrels of an oil equivalent (see from January, 12th). All oil and gas companies which are quoted in stock markets of the USA, are obliged to submit annually in SEC the report on the size of the reconnoitered stocks is one of the basic criteria of appeal of the company for investors. Overestimate of an estimation of stocks to identically overestimate of profitableness with what all scandals about corporate swindle of last years - Enron have been connected, WorldCom and Parmalat. Market capitalisation Shell has already fallen to $15 billion
on March, 3rd board of directors Shell has made the decision on dismissal of chairman of board of directors Phillip Uotsa and its assistant on investigation and Walter`s extraction van der of Vejvera (wrote about it on March, 4th). After this The New York Times has published endurances from the documents, testifying that and Vejver in February, 2002 knew Lord Uots about discrepancy of real stocks to the data submitted in SEC. Now SEC tries to establish, how much the size of bonuses of management Shell depended on an estimation of stocks of oil. Internal investigation spends also auditor committee Shell. The company board has declared that the size of reserves directly did not influence management compensation. On Friday rating agency Fitch has lowered a credit rating of the company with stable on the negative. According to The Wall Street Journal, within the next few days can be dismissed new chairman Shell of Dzheroen van der the Fan and financial director Dzhudi Bojton.
The stocks have reconsidered also other companies. In the beginning of February the fourth on extraction volume the oil company of Canada Nexen declared reduction of authentic stocks on 9 %. On February, 10th American Forest Oil has lowered an estimation of the stocks on 25 %. On February, 17th American El Paso has reduced an estimation of stocks of natural gas to 34 %. In connection with revision of stocks El Paso has detained the publication of the quarterly account and has lowered financial expectations current year on $1 billion As a result of its action have fallen to 21 % and continue to fall.
last week one more world leader of branch - BP declared decrease in an estimation of the oil and gas stocks on 2,5 % that is equivalent to 445 million barrels of oil. And though as a whole the volume of stocks of the company has grown - c 17,57 mlrd barrels in the end of 2002 to 18,34 mlrd barrels in the end of 2003 - go, that is on 4,4 %, basically at the expense of the transaction from the Russian multinational corporation, - revision BP of earlier estimations has aggravated a problem of the account of stocks in branch as a whole.
the uniform system of the account does not exist. To it stir two factors: the limited number of independent sources and absence of an independent expert appraisal. The majority of analysts lean against the data American governmental US Geological Survey, researches of analytical company IHS Energy, calculations Oil and Gas Journal and some more trade papers. However they though make an independent estimation, frequently quote each other. The OPEC which supervises to 70 % of world`s reserves, reluctantly publishes the data. The laws regulating oil sector, do not demand carrying out of an independent expert appraisal of stocks of the companies. From nine largest oil and gas companies of a full cycle to such examination resort only Marathon Oil and Amerada Hess. In February general director Total SA of Teri Demare has supported standardization of a technique of the account but while this initiative remains a good wish.
NATALIA - SKORLYGINA