Shell has been forced to pay out $9.2m in legal fees and make changes to its corporate governance structure as part of a settlement with disgruntled shareholders.
The case pending in New York and New Jersey courts followed the January 2004 statement from Shell that it had overstated its oil and gas reserves in filings with the US regulator, the securities and exchange commission.
Shell still faces a much larger and potentially damaging class action from a wider group of shareholders as well as investigations by the operator of the Dutch stock market, Euronext, and a state regulator in California.
But Shell legal director Beat Hess said the settlement was important. “We are pleased to have taken another step toward putting the reserves categorisation behind us and to have done so in a way that contributes to Shell’s commitment to the highest standards of corporate governance, compliance and integrity.”
The oil company was unwilling to provide details of the exact changes agreed in its structure, although industry sources believed they were relatively insignificant given a wider restructuring already undertaken by Shell.