Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Shell fights shareholders' campaign for oil sands review

Photograph: John Vidal
• Investors table special resolution prior to May meeting
• Campaigners argue project is an environmental liability
Tim Webb, Monday 12 April 2010 21.29 BST
A group of institutional investors want Shell to review the commerical and environmental viability of its oil sands project.

Shell has dismissed shareholder calls for a review of its controversial oil sands developments.

A group of institutional investors, led by campaign group FairPensions, had tabled a special resolution ahead of the Anglo-Dutch company's annual meeting next month. They want Shell to review the commercial and environmental viability of going ahead with its new projects in Canada's boreal forests.

But the Anglo-Dutch oil company today urged other investors to vote down the resolution. "Whilst the issues raised by the group of shareholders ... are valid and appreciated ... it would set a precedent which, if applied more generally to the company's major investment opportunities, would add unnecessary costs and duplication of effort."

The letter to shareholders, giving notice of the meeting in the Hague on 18 May, added that the company had already provided all the non commercially sensitive information to shareholders about its oil sands projects. BP, whose annual meeting takes place on Thursday, is facing similar pressure from shareholders over its own oil sands activities. More>>>