Europe is too emotional about fracking, says Shell chief
Shell's chief executive, Peter Voser, called on Europe for a less "emotional" response to fracking, as he outlined plans to accelerate the oil giant's use of the controversial technology used to release hydrocarbons from rocks.
Mr Voser said Shell would invest $6bn (£3.8bn) to appraise, explore and develop gas and oil reserves contained in rocks this year, as it looked to significantly expand the volume of hydrocarbons it produces.
About $3bn of the total will be invested developing sites in North America, which contain gas in shale and other rocks that is released by blasting a mixture of water, chemicals and sand into them at high pressure.
"I think it's a very emotional discussion in Europe, it's not very factual. We need to get back to analysis ... . They should not take fast and emotional decisions," Mr Voser said.
Fracking has been steadily gaining momentum in the US in the past decade, dramatically reducing gas prices but generating a stream of accusations that it contaminates groundwater supplies.
Gas and oil companies are now turning their attention to Europe, where the industry is just starting out. In the UK, the sole fracking site, near Blackpool, has been closed for the past few months, pending a government review of the practice, after it was found to have caused earthquakes in the area.
Although Shell does not currently frack for oil or gas in the rocks of Europe and is focusing most of its attention on North America, it has acquired "acreage" in Germany, the Ukraine and Turkey.
Mr Voser said he does not expect fracking in Europe to become anything like as big as in North America, in part because the continent is more densely populated.
Mr Voser was speaking after Shell announced a 34 per cent jump in profits for 2011 to $28.6bn (£18.1bn) as high oil prices helped to push up sales by 28 per cent to $470.1bn.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 3 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 4 Motorists taunt suicidal woman on bridge and tell her to 'get on with it'
- 5 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...