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The Herald: Boost for Aberdeen as Shell prepares to build £25m campus

GRAEME SMITH July 25 2006
 
THE future of Aberdeen as a world centre for the energy industry was given a huge boost yesterday with the announcement that Shell UK is to build a £25m centre as a global hub.

BP is already building a £45m headquarters in the city and the Shell announcement helps destroy any myth that the industry in Aberdeen is in decline.

Campus Tullos will sit next to its current headquarters which incorporates five phases of development that started in 1973. Shell’s first office in the city was in an upper floor of a building in Union Street in 1964.

A planning application has been submitted and work is scheduled to start next year with completion in 2009.

Kieron McFadyen of Shell said: “This is excellent news for Shell, excellent news for the city and excellent news for the oil and gas industry. “The new building will be an iconic contribution to Aberdeen’s skyline . . . and will secure around 950 jobs for the city.

“Aberdeen is a fantastic situation for the industry, at the heart of the supply chain and with the capability to reach around the world. This is much more than just bricks and mortar, it is about a competitive way of working.”

He said it would allow the expertise built up in the North Sea over several decades to be developed around the world including west Africa, Russia, the Middle East and many other locations.

He expected the development would lead to new jobs but it was too early to say how many, and added that if operations did expand it could require further building but it was too early to say.

He said: “Our Aberdeen capability has been built up historically based on what we do in the North Sea.

“In recent years we have tried to extend that capability and apply it to our European operations.

“We have a really healthy portfolio of opportunities and large parts of the industry are constrained by industrial capability and not constrained by opportunity.

“By bringing people together in such an environment we are able to lever capability, able to lever sharing of best practice, not only locally but regionally and globally, and that has got to be the future.”

He said he believed the project would have gone ahead whatever the oil price.

“I think it’s a good thing to do in any oil-price environment whether it be low price, medium price or high price.”

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