By ANGEL GONZALEZ
HOUSTON -- Rising US oil and gas reserves stemming from
shale, deep-water and Arctic discoveries are providing a
dramatic boost to the stability of the world's energy supplies,
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser said Wednesday.
"These developments promise to dramatically improve the outlook
for energy security here and elsewhere around the world," Voser
said in remarks delivered at the IHS Cambridge Energy Research
Associates conference in Houston.
The addition of these resources, especially natural gas from
shale, "is already changing global energy dynamics," Voser
said, adding that the amount of oil imported by the Western
Hemisphere will fall by up to 50% in this decade.
It is also contributing significantly to US economic
recovery, Voser said, by creating jobs, reducing energy costs
and boosting critical industries such as chemicals.
The exploitation of unconventional resources, however, faces
some challenges, including criticism of hydraulic fracturing
operations, which some environmentalists argue contaminate
water supplies and generate global warming gases due to methane
Voser said that so-called fracking techniques are safe and
have been tested for decades, and that when problems have
occurred, "they were simply due to poorly designed wells. When
a well is designed and constructed correctly, groundwater will
not be contaminated."
Voser said that he backed President Obama's call for rules
to disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations, and said
the company in the US already discloses that information on a
voluntary basis, "to the extent permitted under our supplier
The executive said that the industry needs "to take
seriously" the issue of methane leakage in fracking
Some studies have "greatly exaggerated" the emissions released in shale
production, and ignored steps taken by companies to control
these, Voser said.
Voser added that "clearly more research and hard data are
needed to understand the true extent of methane
Dow Jones Newswires
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