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Shell focus switches to security

THE TIMES: Shell focus switches to security

7 July 2005

By Peter Klinger

SECURITY threats are to supplant technological advances as the key consideration driving strategy in Royal Dutch Shell over the next 20 years.

Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive of the Anglo-Dutch group, said that national security and trust in the marketplace were the key issues that needed to be addressed as part of planning to 2025.

He said: “Western societies now look to the state more than in recent decades to lead the restoration of physical security and market integrity. This brings into sharper focus the power of the state to regulate and to coerce, in a role involving both the direct intervention to fight terrorism and police the market, and a more general emphasis on transparency, disclosure and good governance.”

Mr van der Veer referred to the September 11 terrorist attacks and the collapse of Enron as key factors in prompting Shell to change its outlook.

Shell has been using outlook scenarios for 30 years to try to help it to form strategies. In 2001, the last time Shell updated scenarios, Philip Watts, the then chief executive, focused on technological advances that could see a shift in fuel consumption from oil to gas, nuclear and renewable energy.

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