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Europe faces long-term pain from energy crisis: Shell CEO

AFP

Europe faces long-term pain from energy crisis: Shell CEO

23 Oct 2022

Doha (AFP) – Europe faces painful “industrial rationalisation” due to its energy crisis that risks political trouble, the head of Shell warned Sunday, as the oil giant joined a natural gas project in Qatar.

Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden agreed a deal for a 9.3 percent stake in Qatar Energy’s North Field South project, that will play a major role in the Gulf state’s effort to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) production by 50 percent in the next five years.

At the signing ceremony in Doha, van Beurden said European industry face taking a major hit from the energy crisis, worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Europe has reduced consumption “quite effectively, quite significantly” following the loss of 120 million tonnes of Russian gas a year, van Beurden said, but “a lot of this reduction is achieved by switching off industry”.

Europe has desperately searched for quick alternatives to Russian gas, but van Beurden said Europe would need large amounts of LNG for decades.

‘Pressure’

Van Beurden said there have been “some victory laps” in Europe over the way it has reduced demand, but added “some of it is actually bad news for the long term, namely economic or industrial rationalisation.”

The Shell chief, who will retire at the end of the year, said industrial cuts could spark some “rejuvenation”, but also brought risks.

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