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Shell promotes Qatar chief to head upstream unit

Royal Dutch Shell promoted the head of its business in Qatar to director of international exploration and production, replacing a veteran who lost the race to the top job at Europe’s largest oil company.

Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:04pm GMT

* Brown to become director, upstream international

* Malcolm Brinded to leave Shell by end of April

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell promoted the head of its business in Qatar to director of international exploration and production, replacing a veteran who lost the race to the top job at Europe’s largest oil company.

Andrew Brown, 50, is to become director, upstream international, on April 1. Shell also said on Wednesday Malcolm Brinded, who has worked for the company since 1974, would step down as executive director, upstream international on that date.

Brown currently leads Shell’s business in Qatar, where it has spent $20 billion including on Pearl, a plant to convert natural gas into liquid fuels, and projects that when on stream will represent about 10 percent of Shell’s output.

“Andrew Brown has truly delivered in Qatar, and his promotion should bring new blood to the executive board,” said an analyst who covers Shell and declined to be identified.

Brinded has worked for Shell in Brunei, the Netherlands and Oman and is a former country chairman for Shell in the UK. He was once seen by analysts as a possible future head of Shell, Europe’s largest oil company by market value.

In 2004 he was made the head of Shell’s global exploration and production division after a scandal over the company’s overstatement of its oil reserves led to the departure of Chairman Philip Watts and other senior executives.

Shell is aiming for a 25 percent rise in oil and gas output by 2017-2018 after struggling to expand supplies in the last decade. Apart from a 5 percent increase in 2010, production has fallen every year since 2002.

Brown, who joined Shell in 1984, will be based in the Netherlands in his new post. Brinded will leave the company at the end of April.

Ross Whittam, a Shell spokesman, said: “The board has initiated a change in leadership to take the upstream business forward in its next stage of growth and development.”

(Editing by Jane Baird)

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