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Shell shifts focus to chemicals and refining

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Royal Dutch/Shell is shifting its focus toward downstream operations like refining and chemicals and away from traditional upstream activities like exploring for oil and gas, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday.

This shift is likely to become even clearer when the company publishes its second quarter figures on Thursday, the paper said.

Shell’s investment in exploration slumped to $157m in the first quarter of 2017 from an annual quarterly average of between $500m to $600m in recent years, the paper points out.  This is partly due to the group’s recent acquisition of the BG Group which has large deep-sea reserves off the coast of Brazil.

‘Some people think demand for oil will continue to increase. But I do not agree. There will be a peak in demand for oil in the next 10 to 20 years, Shell chairman Ben van Beurden said earlier this year at a large petroleum conference in the US.

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