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El Paso reports questionable reserves

Some El Paso Corp. employees used aggressive and unsupportable methods to book natural gas reserves, the company said on Monday, citing findings from an independent review.
/ Source: Reuters

Some El Paso Corp. employees used aggressive and unsupportable methods to book natural gas reserves, the company said on Monday, citing findings from an independent review.

The Houston-based natural gas pipeline operator, which slashed its proven natural gas reserves by 41 percent in February, also said some employees provided proven reserve estimates that they knew or should have known were incorrect at the time they were reported.

The questionable booking was done from the beginning of 1999 through the 2003, the company said.

But the review, conducted by Haynes and Boone LLP over the last two months, said the company's current senior executive management team did not participate in the reserves overstatement.

The company said the review confirmed its previous assessment that its financial statements, along with those of its El Paso CGP Co. and El Paso Production Holding Co. units must be restated.

El Paso said it would discuss its plans to restate its books with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and file the restated financials and its annual report for 2003 as soon as possible.

It said its first-quarter report would be delayed pending the filing of the annual reports.