Shell says its future depends on shale oil


Royal Dutch Shell said its oil and gas operations in the next decade will depend on shale production, the company’s chief executive has told the Financial Times.

According to Reuters, the energy major has inked a deal to offload a stake in a Dutch wind farm.

Shell’s share price has been little changed this morning, having inched 0.04 percent lower to 2,529.00p as of 08:24 GMT. The group’s shares are marginally outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.15 percent lower at 7,712.82 points.

Reuters reported that Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden told the FT over the weekend that he saw chemicals, electricity and biofuels as key sectors for the group’s long-term future. He, however, is also planning for growth in company’s traditional core oil and gas production business, focused on shale reserves in the US, Canada and Argentina.

He further told the newspaper that depending on how oil prices looked in the 2020s, Shell would probably want to keep investing in shale “because we will really want to grow this business quite quickly”. Van Beurden added that the oil major had been working hard in the past few years to cut shale production costs, and that with “a little bit of help from the oil price going up, we now see that we can significantly accelerate investment into this opportunity”.

In other Shell news, Reuters reported today that German investor Partners Group Holding had taken a 45-percent stake in a 700 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project in the Netherlands, buying partial stakes from Shell, Mitsubishi and Eneco. Project leader Shell cut its stake to 20 percent from 40 percent.

The news comes with the Anglo-Dutch group looking to trim its assets in an effort to shore up its balance sheet following its acquisition of BG Group. Last week, the company wrapped upthe sale of its liquefied petroleum gas marketing business in Hong Kong and Macau.