July 13, 2020 Read More →

Shell chairman says oil major will soon be seen ‘as more of a power company’

E&E News ($):

Chad Holliday, the chairman of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, one of the world’s largest oil producers, said yesterday, “I think you’ll see Shell as more of a power company than an oil company.”

“I don’t think it’s too long before you’ll see that transition,” he added, speaking at Stanford Global Energy Dialogues, a webinar series hosted by Stanford University in California.

The word “power” implies production and delivery of electricity. Holliday straddled the worlds of old and new, laying out a future where Shell grows into a major clean energy producer while continuing to pump fossil fuels for at least three more decades.

Holliday, 72, sits at the awkward intersection of clean energy and oil and gas. He is a corporate titan who was one of the first advocates for the Department of Energy’s clean energy incubator, yet presides over one of the world’s largest carbon emitters.

He spoke of “the mammoth amount of work we have to get on with” to head off disastrous climate change. To get there, he laid out a role for Shell in wind, solar, batteries and a smarter electric grid. Meanwhile, it would rely on carbon capture, hydrogen fuel and other technologies that would have Shell continue its core business of making, refining and transporting liquid fuels, with continued reliance on fossil fuels.

The Dutch-British conglomerate is one of a number of European oil companies that are making public commitments to a low-carbon future while operating today’s business overwhelmingly on oil. Others include Britain’s BP PLC, France’s Total SA and Italy’s Eni SpA. U.S. oil majors like Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. have been more cautious. Critics of the plans of Shell and other companies say their policies may not lead to pledged emission reductions.

[David Ferris]

More ($): Shell to be less oil, ‘more of a power company’ — chairman

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