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Shell Executive: No Emergency To Warrant Release From Oil Reserve

June 30, 2011

HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- There was no emergency in oil markets to warrant the globally coordinated oil release announced last week, a top executive from oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) said Thursday.

“That oil is there for emergency purposes. Do I consider now an emergency? I have to say I don’t,” said Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Co., the U.S. unit of the Anglo-Dutch giant. “It doesn’t change the middle- to longer-term picture. The conversation we need to be having is about the long-term supply issue.”

The executive said the best way to combat high oil prices was letting oil companies to increase crude production by tapping U.S. hydrocarbons resources.

The International Energy Agency said last week it would offer 60 million barrels of oil in an effort to offset oil supply disruptions in the Middle East. Half of these 60 million barrels will come from the U.S., which was accepting bids this week.

Separately, Odum said the company will make a decision in the next three or four months on whether it will be able to drill in Alaska’s Arctic waters next year. He said the company is hopeful it will be able to obtain the pending permits the company need in order to start drilling because there was a ” coordinated” effort from the Obama administration to help the company get through the process.

Shell still has to obtain a number of permits from the federal government in order to go ahead with its $3.5 billion investment to drill in the state’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Shell’s plans have been delayed by environmental lawsuits and permit issues on top of calls for better spill prevention and containment capabilities following BP PLC’s (BP, BP.LN) oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

-By Isabel Ordonez, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9207; [email protected]

(END) Dow Jones Newswires 06-30-111753ET Copyright (c) 2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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