Washington (Aug. 25, 2004) -- Foreign-based oil companies Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company plc agreed to pay $120 million to settle fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission related to their overstatement of 4.47 billion barrels of previously reported proved hydrocarbon reserves.

Without admitting or denying the SEC's findings, Shell agreed to a cease-and-desist order finding violations of the antifraud and other provisions of the federal securities laws, and to pay $1 disgorgement and a $120 million penalty in a related civil action that the commission filed in U.S. District Court. Shell also agreed to commit an additional $5 million to develop and implement an internal compliance program under the direction and oversight of the group's legal director.

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