UK - Oil giant Shell is facing mounting criticism from investors over rewards for former executives and pressure from Nigeria for compensation for pollution.
Shell, which was fined £17m by the Financial Services Authority for misleading the market over oil stocks ñ is currently reviewing its management structure.
The Nigerian senate has ordered Shell to pay compensation to communities in the Niger Delta affected by oil pollution which, it is claimed, has caused widespread disease and terminal illnesses such as cancer.
Shell claims the senate failed to follow due process in imposing the fine and says the spills were a result of sabotage.
Shell is also facing a backlash from investors over share option rewards for former executives Sir Philip Watts and Walter van de Vijver. Both resigned after the “recategorisation” of oil reserves earlier this year but are in line for windfalls of £3m each if the firms share price hits certain levels.
Investor lobby group Pensions Investment Research Consultants said that in addition to a yearly pension of £584,070 and a severance package of more than £1m, Watts could net £3.1m from his options if Shell’s stock rises by 40%.
Van de Vijver - who received a termination payment of £2.57m and a yearly pension of £260,400 ñ would need the stock to rise 70% to make £3.6m from the scheme.
PIRC criticised the exclusion of shareholders from the severance process, claiming they should be given the power to approve payoffs.
Shell will update investors on September 22 on plans to improve its corporate governance.
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