June 22, 2024
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Amidst US Campaign Disparity, Shell CEO Calls For Stability in Policy

The November election for the United States seems large especially for oil and gas, as the two candidates have different visions for US energy and environmental policy.

While republican nominee Donald Trump, has vowed to dial back environmental regulations and expand opportunities for US oil development, replicating the approach that marked his first term in the White House. President Joe Biden on the other hand, has prioritized the fight against climate change, targeting federal incentives to low- and zero-emission energy while pausing new authorizations to export liquefied natural gas.

Shell Plc’s chief executive officer, during a two-day visit to Washington DC, used the opportunity to plead for stability months before a US presidential election that threatens more upheaval in the global energy sector.

“There is nothing more important than stability and predictability,” the CEO said Tuesday during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The decisions made in Washington, Sawan said “the capital of the energy world” — will have “massive impacts” and influence spending around the globe. “We continue to look for the concrete actions that are going to be taken over the coming months — in particular post-November — to be able to then determine what moves we will make.”

Sawan said investments in other technologies, such as blue hydrogen produced using natural gas or green hydrogen powered by renewables, depend on “the appropriate signals” regardless of the administration.

“We cannot be myopic and just look at what’s the political narrative,” he said. “If we were to invest in green hydrogen here or in blue hydrogen, how competitive can we be against the alternative? If some of the incentives are taken away, are we able to continue to survive?” He went further to ask.

Sawan also criticized the US halt in new gas export permitting, saying the move undermines confidence in US LNG.

“If the US does not supply it, I believe others will supply it,” he said. “What a shame not to be able to create that opportunity in the US, not to mention the ability from a broader energy security perspective for many of the US allies to be able to receive US gas.”


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