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Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer says growing world needs every form of energy

WSJ image Jeroen van der Veer

Reuters: Growing world needs every form of energy: Shell

Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:03am EDT

ROME (Reuters) – The world will need every form of energy available — from coal to biofuels — to keep pace with a booming population, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell said on Sunday.

Jeroen van der Veer also said record oil prices, which hit $117 a barrel on Friday, had yet to curb the thirst for fuel.

“… Despite high prices, demand is not dropping, there is only slower growth. Easy oil and easy gas cannot supply all that surge in demand,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum.

“So it is not a matter of choice, do we do coal, or oil, or nuclear? The world will need everything, including biofuels. You name it.”

Costly oil is starting to erode some demand in top energy consumer the United States, where the price of gasoline has shot beyond $3 a gallon.

But so far, consumers in emerging economies such as India and China have been shielded by subsidized fuel prices.

“We had expected maybe a bit more elasticity with the oil price (and demand). But it may come with a delay,” said van der Veer.

“Because certain countries, that are pretty large have subsidies — like India, like China. So you are still to have a reaction.”

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