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Green Shell Ads Stress Innovations to Increase Oil Supply





February 4, 2009

LONDON — In a new ad campaign, Royal Dutch Shell is stressing technology and innovation as potential weapons to fight global warming. The ads spotlight Shell’s efforts to squeeze out “difficult” oil trapped in sand and rock, and in the deepest seas. They also note Shell is trying to capture carbon-dioxide, a gas that causes global warming, and store it safely underground.

In contrast to an earlier campaign, only one ad in the new effort features alternative energy as a potential solution.

However, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the ads have also revived allegations of “greenwashing” by the oil company’s critics. A Greenpeace climate campaigner charged that Shell is trying “to hide the fact that the company is actually going backward when it comes to renewable energy.” He argued Shell last year spent “billions of dollars extracting dirty oil from Canada’s tar sands” while pulling funding from wind- and solar-energy projects in Europe.

In response to such criticism, Shell said its campaign “highlights our belief that the world will need many types of energy…to meet the energy challenge, including, for the foreseeable future, oil and gas. Accordingly, we are investing in a diverse portfolio of energy sources.”

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