ROYAL Dutch Shell set out “ambitious” production targets yesterday as it embarked on a fresh wave of growth to meet soaring demand from emerging markets.
The oil and gas giant plans to invest $100billion (£62.4billion) on new projects over four years, including developments in Qatar and Canada this year.
Shell set a target of 3.7million barrels of oil equivalent per day for 2014, an increase of 12% on 2010 levels, which it claims is among the highest growth rates in the sector.
Chief executive Peter Voser said in the company’s annual strategy update: “We have made good progress in 2010. Our profitability is improving and we are on track for our growth targets. There is more to come from Shell.”
The company has 20 new projects under construction, which will add more than 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, putting it on course to meet its target of 3.5million barrels per day (bpd) for 2012.
It plans to make final investment decisions on 10 new projects over two years in Australia, Malaysia, Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, it has more than 30 projects on the drawing board for the period until 2020 as part of “an ambitious phase of new growth investment”.
Shell said it was on track to achieve its strategic targets by 2012, including a 50% to 80% increase in cash flow from operations between 2009 and 2012, following a “strong all-round performance in 2010”.
The UK-Dutch company nearly doubled its profits to £11.6billion in 2010 thanks to higher oil prices. The results contrasted with those of its rival BP, which recorded its first annual loss for nearly two decades of £3billion as a result of clean-up costs following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding with Tullow Oil yesterday to let the UK-listed oil explorer proceed with a £6billion-plus project to develop the east African country’s oil reserves.
Tullow bought stakes in two oil licence blocks from former partner Heritage Oil early last year for around £900million, however, a long-standing wrangle over capital gains tax on the sale had stalled development plans.