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Shell to Save Asia with More Pollution and Broken Promises

Posted by JOHN DONOVAN: 22 May 2024

In the latest episode of “How to Ruin the Planet While Making Billions,” Shell, the infamous oil behemoth, has announced that it will generously provide more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to emerging Asian markets. Because what could be better for countries like the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Bangladesh than a hefty dose of fossil fuels?

Asian spot LNG prices hit their highest levels since January last week, thanks to scorching weather that left everyone sweltering and clamoring for that sweet, sweet “super-chilled fuel.” Shell’s Country Chair in Australia, Cecile Wake, beamed with pride as she revealed this grand plan at the Australian Energy Producers Conference. According to her, “That combination of decarbonisation, and declining domestic production (will drive LNG demand growth).” Yes, nothing screams decarbonization like ramping up fossil fuel production.

Wake insists that these markets have “latent demand,” a term that seems to mean “we’re ready to sell more gas regardless of the environmental cost.” She went on to explain that Shell sees itself “competitively positioned” to meet this demand, boasting about their “high utilization” and “high reliability” of LNG assets. Sure, because who wouldn’t want to rely on Shell’s stellar track record?

Speaking of reliability, let’s talk about Prelude, Shell’s flagship floating LNG facility. This marvel of engineering, longer than four soccer fields and costing over $12 billion, has been a beacon of excellence—if you ignore the frequent outages and the 2021 fire that caused a full power loss. But don’t worry, Wake assures us that Prelude has emerged from its latest statutory shutdown with “higher reliability.” How reassuring!

“The volumes this year are of course anticipated to be higher than last year because it doesn’t have a statutory turnaround. It has come out of that statutory shutdown with both higher reliability and a much tighter band of where we think the performance range is,” Wake said. Translation: We’re crossing our fingers and hoping it doesn’t explode again.

So, there you have it. Shell is heroically stepping in to quench Asia’s thirst for energy with more LNG, ensuring that the cycle of environmental degradation and corporate profit continues unabated. What could possibly go wrong?

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