Shell CEO on the Future of Oil and Natural Gas

March 24 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 7

In a CNN interview last week, Jeroen Van Der Veer, CEO of Shell, briefly discussed the future of the oil giant, emphasizing a big focus on harder-to-reach oil and natural gas.

“There’s still easy oil and easy gas, but I think national companies can do that themselves,” spoke Van Der Veer, “So if we’re an international oil company we have to do things that others can’t do.”

Check out the video clip here:

Also of note, Van Der Veer added that Shell is betting that “world energy demand will grow by 50% by the year 2025.”

Considering exponential growth forecasts for technology and information, I’m rather skeptical about that figure. Frankly, I think our power needs may grow by several orders of magnitude more than that. Though we will consistently discover new ways to use less and less power, it seems likely that our addiction to computation and the mining of information will push us to use as much power as we can reasonably harvest apply. For that to occur, solar and/or nuclear power generation seem absolutely necessary.

This doesn’t mean that oil will lose value in such a scenario. Actually, it’s very likely that we’ll gradually need a great deal more of it to create the structures necessary to capture the sun’s energy more directly, in which case things should work out just fine for Shell and the other behemoths.

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