Shell chairman's 'head is on the block'


The chairman of oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell believes his "head is on the block" over the company's review of its oil and gas reserves, the Financial Timesnewspaper has reported.

The paper reported today that Mr Jeroen van der Veer told a meeting of senior Shell executives in the Hague that he expected a well-by-well check to be finished by the end of the year.

The world's third-largest energy group shocked investors in January by slashing its proven oil and gas reserves by 20 percent.

Mr Van der Veer said checks of the company's oil and gas reserves must be done correctly or his job would be at risk, as well as that of Mr Malcolm Brinded, head of Shell's exploration and production division.

"We must get it right," he was quoted as saying. "My head, Malcolm's and those of the exploration and production leadership are all on the block."

Mr Van der Veer said he would "only sleep well" after Shell had ensured it complied with reserves regulations. He called on executives to speed up decision-making to make Shell more competitive.

Shell's reserves cut caused the ousting of its previous top directors, led to $150 million in regulatory fines and cost the group its "AAA" top-grade credit rating.