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Dissolution of the Stichting
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Information on 3rd Distribution
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11 November 2011, Important information on distribution
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12 September 2011, Update Distribution Process
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Shell Settlement amounts expected to be distributed NOT before November 2011
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Press release Amsterdam Court of appeals declares shell settlement binding
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Case history

  • April 11, 2007: Settlement Agreement signed and Petition for Binding Declaration filed with the Amsterdam Court of Appeals.
  • July 12, 2007: Preliminary hearing at the Amsterdam Court of Appeals.
  • November 20, 2008: Hearing at the Amsterdam Court of Appeals.
  • May 29, 2009: Amsterdam Court of Appeals declare the Non-U.S. Settlement Agreement binding.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch Shell1) announced that it would have to reduce its "proved" oil and gas reserves by 3.9 billion barrels, from 19.5 billion barrels down to 15.6 billion barrels. This reclassification represented 20% of the Companies' proved reserves 2) The oil portion of the write-down alone, about two-thirds of the revision, represented $135 billion in potential future revenue, assuming moderate oil prices of $50 a barrel. The restatement related mainly to reserves booked from 1996 to 2002.

Shell was forced to cut its reserves three times in the months following the initial January 9, 2004 announcement. On March 18, 2004, Shell announced (1) that the equivalent of 250 million barrels of oil were being reclassified because they did not comply with SEC regulations and (2) that another 220 million barrels of oil equivalent would not be included in the Companies' reported proved reserves for the year ended 2003. On April 9, 2004, Shell cut its reserves by an additional 300 million barrels. On May 24, 2004, the Companies downgraded the size of their proved oil and gas reserves by 103 million barrels. On February 3, 2005, Shell announced yet again that it would have to restate its proved reserves, stating that it was removing from reserves 1.37 million barrels of oil equivalent of oil and gas that were reported as at December 31, 2003. In total, Shell has reduced its previously-reported proved reserves by approximately 6 billion barrels.

In addition to reducing its previously-reported proved reserves, Shell has twice restated its financial results for 2001 and 2002 and once restated its financial results for 2003. The restatements have significantly impacted the Companies' financial results. The first financial restatement, announced on April 19, 2004, caused decreases to net income of $42 million for 2001 and $108 million for 2002. The second financial restatement, announced on February 3, 2005, caused decreases to net income of $49 million for 2001, $66 million for 2002 and $189 million for 2003.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch ADRs on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) declined from $52.76 to $48.61. Shell Transport ADRs declined from $44.82 to $41.75. In Amsterdam Royal Dutch shares declined €3.17 from €41.43 to €38.26. In London, Shell Transport declined from 401.25p to 371.25p. Likewise, the various securities declined following the March 18, 2004, announcement. Royal Dutch New York ADRs declined from $48.31 to $47.71. Shell Transport New York ADRs fell from $41.05 to $40.50. In Amsterdam, Royal Dutch shares declined from €39.55 to €38.23. In London, Shell Transport fell from 372p to 361p.

On January 29, 2004, the first of several securities fraud class actions against Shell was filed in the United States District Court for the district of New Jersey. Subsequently, twenty one additional class actions were filed against Shell. The Court consolidated all of these pending class actions. The Court appointed the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System, two public pension funds from the State of Pennsylvania, as lead plaintiff and a New York law firm as lead plaintiffs' counsel. The case has been brought on behalf of all persons who purchased Shell securities between April 8, 1999, and March 8, 2004, including (1) ordinary shares traded on overseas markets and the NYSE; and (2) ADRs traded on the NYSE.

1) Formerly comprised of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading Company. In this text collectively referred to as Shell or the "Companies".

2) Proved reserves, discounted cash flow based on those reserves, and reserve replacement rates are the key indicators used to assess the financial health of an oil and gas company. The United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE) dictate the rules by which a company can classify its oil reserves as "proved". According to these objective criteria, oil fields can be listed as "proved" only if (1) there is data showing actual flows; (2) the fields will be actually developed; (3) and there is a "reasonable certainty" that the project is commercially viable. This typically happens only after companies have made a final investment decision to develop a field. Until then, the reserves are considered "probable" or "possible".