Critical investors are demanding that Shell carries out a proper assessment of the risks of extracting oil from tar sand in parts of Canada.
Up to 142 investors backed a motion demanding Shell present the research at the company’s annual general meeting in 2011. The motion will be debated at the oil giant’s AGM in May this year, lobby group FairPensions said.
According to the Financieele Dagblad, the giant Dutch pension fund APG is also critical of Shell’s role in Canada. In 2008, Shell was APG’s third biggest participation, the paper says.
The pension fund was one of 12 investors to visit the tar sands project in Alberta at the end of last year. Sustainable investment expert at the fund Erik-Jan Stork told the FD APG had raised concerns during that meeting and wanted to wait for Shell to take action.
‘For that reason we are unlikely to vote for or against the motion,’ he told the paper. But APG would ‘not hesitate’ to vote in favour if Shell did not take its concerns seriously, he was quoted as saying.
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK told the Guardian: ‘The exploitation of the tar sands is an environmental scandal on a massive scale, and is set to become a campaign battleground for years to come.’
In a statement, Shell told the paper tar sands represented less than 2.5% of total oil and gas production.
‘The resolution is basically a request for further information around the economics and other aspects of our oil sands operations. The resolution is submitted by shareholders representing some 0.15% of our total outstanding shares,’ it was quoted as saying in a formal response.
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