March 7, 2018 / 4:34 PM / 3 months ago

Shell's gas production could be triple oil by 2050: CEO

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell could boost its share of natural gas production to triple that of oil in order to meet self-imposed goals to halve carbon emissions by 2050, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell, speaks during the 26th World Gas Conference in Paris, France, June 2, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

Speaking at the CERAWeek conference by IHS Markit in Houston, van Beurden outlined a series of measures the Anglo-Dutch company is considering to meet the ambitious targets, which include limiting emissions from its operations as well as emissions from the burning of its petrol and gas by customers.

“Over time, this net carbon footprint ambition will transform our company’s product mix,” van Beurden said.

Other than increasing the share of natural gas, the least polluting fossil fuel, from around 50 percent today, Shell could also sell energy from offshore wind farms, sell biofuels and use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, van Beurden said.

Shell is even rolling out a program charging customers 1 to 2 cents at the gasoline pump to be used to plant trees around the world to offset carbon emissions, he said.

Van Beurden however said that the energy sector will need gas production operations to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, or the case for the fuel as a lower carbon alternative would be “fatally undermined.”

Shell, the world’s top trader of liquefied natural gas, currently produces around 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which roughly half is natural gas.

Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by David Gregorio

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