Shell boss calls for gas industry to innovate

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden has urged the gas sector to work harder at cutting costs to ensure it remains competitive with coal and renewables.

Mr van Beurden’s comments came at the LNG18 conference in Perth, where he told 2000 delegates, “LNG demand is expected to continue to grow steadily over the coming years. So the industry needs to keep investing to ensure that there is sufficient supply to meet long term energy needs ― especially in the developing world.”

Challenges of cost and the need for more innovation and collaboration remain, according to Mr van Beurden, who shared a panel session with Chevron CEO John Watson and Woodside Petroleum managing director Peter Coleman.

“LNG plants have become more expensive because we take more time to engineer them; because we face lower productivity when we build them; and because we’re often working in more complex locations. We need to reverse this trend,” Mr van Beurden said.

“Energy is at the heart of innovation. But innovation is also at the heart of energy and its future. In its fight against climate change, the world seeks to move towards an energy system with fewer CO2 emissions.

“Innovative thinking will be crucial in this. It’s about developing cleaner fuels for transport; about inventing new ways to store electricity produced by renewables; about capturing CO2 and storing it safely underground in an economically viable way ― to name just three examples.

“Yet, however important, finding long-term solutions through innovation isn’t the only thing we need to be thinking about. In the battle against climate change, existing, proven, shorter-term solutions matter too. The use of more natural gas is one of these solutions