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Toronto Star: Shell operations to stay in Calgary

Dina O’Meara
Canadian Press

CALGARY – Royal Dutch Shell says it will base its North and South American conventional and unconventional oil and gas programs in Calgary as part of its integration of Shell Canada into the parent company’s global operations.

Shell Canada, which was recently privatized when majority shareholder Royal Dutch bought it out, will see its oilsands operations report to the de Haag-based petroleum products business unit, but run out of Calgary, president Adrian Loader said.

“Calgary remains a key business centre for us, not just here in Canada, but also in North America as a whole,” Loader told reporters on Tuesday.

The southern Alberta city will become the division centre for North and South American conventional oil and gas exploration, and natural gas production. Mined oilsands, or unconventional oil, will also be centred as a division in Calgary of Royal Dutch’s worldwide operations.

“This is a significant series of changes in terms of our organizational structure,” Loader said.

Loader, the executive in charge of handling Shell Canada’s transition into its parent’s worldwide operations, said Royal Dutch had not signed off on any Shell Canada project – yet.

The energy giant was part of the Canadian unit’s board prior to buying out the minority stakeholders for $8.7 billion, and is familiar with a proposal to build a new refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, and Shell Canada’s involvement in the proposed Mackenzie Valley natural gas pipeline.

“We’re not going to be making any sudden U-turns,” he said. “We need to sit back and take our time and consider what the potential is and how best to develop them going into the future.

“All things just have to be looked at in terms of the total picture. Clearly we have to look at are there efficiencies.”

Shell Canada’s Jewel in the Crown is its 60 per cent share of the 155,000 barrel per day Athabasca Oil Sands project. Royal Dutch will continue to invest in the project’s $12.8 billion expansion to add another 100,000 barrels per day production by 2010, Loader said.

The veteran Shell executive expects the transition to be complete by September 4. He would not discuss details of any staff cuts which could occur during the process, adding some of Shell Canada’s 5,000 employees will be transferred, while others could resign.

Loader will stay until the end of 2007, when “all the teething problems that might occur will have been addressed,” he said.

A Canadian executive will then assume the position of “country chair,” a Royal Dutch corporate designation for regional division heads.

Jul 17, 2007 07:24 PM and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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