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Bloomberg: Shell Says European Economy, Energy Demand Growing (Update1)

By Maher Chmaytelli and John Dawson

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Chief Executive Officer Jeroen van der Veer said Europe’s economic growth remains sufficient, while global energy consumption will continue to increase.

“Demand for energy this year will be higher than last year’s,” Van der Veer said today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. U.S. economic growth concerns won’t immediately affect demand for crude oil and gas because “the jury is still out” on whether the world’s largest economy will enter a recession, Van der Veer said.

The U.S. Federal Reserve yesterday cut its benchmark lending rate to 3.5 percent, the first emergency reduction since 2001, after global stock markets tumbled amid concern the U.S. is sinking into economic decline.

Shell, whose output has dropped for four consecutive years, plans to revive production growth through projects including a natural-gas-to-liquids venture in Qatar and Canadian oil sands.

The company, based in The Hague, remains “committed” to Nigeria, where oil production has been hampered by militant attacks and social unrest, Van der Veer said. Talk of a project to develop Russia’s Yamal peninsula is “too early,” he said. “It will take a long time to develop that.”

Shell, due to release fourth-quarter earnings Jan. 31, will “take into consideration” all economic concerns before increasing or starting new share buyback programs. “In the past when oil prices were high, we did buybacks,” Van der Veer said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fred Pals in Amsterdam at [email protected] ; John Dawson in London at [email protected]

Last Updated: January 23, 2008 05:22 EST and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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