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U.S. Gulf still important to Shell

HOUSTON | Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:35pm EDT

(Reuters) – The Gulf of Mexico remains a “very strategically important” area for Royal Dutch Shell’s (RDSa.L) Americas arm both in terms of exploration and the company’s consideration of buying more assets, Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co, said on Monday.

We’ve been growing our business there, mostly through exploration,” Odum said at the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit. “If something becomes available, I guarantee we’ll be looking at it.”

Odum also said it was an opportune time to acquire more dry shale gas acreage despite low natural gas prices, as more drilling can help find “sweet spots” to improve Shell’s overall portfolio.

Odum said he expects “imminent” approval from federal regulators for a drilling permit in the company’s Appomattox field in the deepwater Gulf, and the company’s Perdido oil and gas platform is producing about 40 percent of its capacity of 100,000 barrels per day of oil from five wells.

(Reporting by Kristen Hays; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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