Click here to read Reserves whistleblower quits Shell by Christopher Hope

“Mr Coopman rose to prominence when he compiled an internal status report that revealed the group had exaggerated its commercially exploitable oil and gas reserves by 2.3billion barrels (later increased to 4.47billion barrels).

He recommended in his review, carried out last autumn, that Shell was “under a legal obligation” to correct immediately the overstatement of the reserve. However Walter van der Vijver, the then head of exploration and production, replied to Mr Coopman in a now infamous e-mail: “This is absolute dynamite, not at all what I expected and needs to be destroyed.”

When the overstatement became public, both Mr Van der Vijver and Sir Philip Watts, chairman of the committee of managing directors at Shell, lost their jobs over the affair.”