Shell targets power trading and hydrogen in climate drive

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LONDON: Royal Dutch Shell is betting on its expertise in power trading and rapid growth in hydrogen and biofuels markets as it shifts away from oil, rather than joining rivals in a scramble for renewable power assets, company sources said.
Shell and its European rivals are seeking new business models to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels and appeal to investors concerned about the long-term outlook for an industry under intense pressure to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Shell will present its strategy on Feb 11 and unlike Total and BP the company will focus more on becoming an intermediary between clean power producers and customers than investing billions in renewable projects, the sources said, giving previously unreported details of the plan.
Shell announced in October it would increase its spending on low-carbon energy to 25 per cent of overall capital expenditure by 2025 and the sources said that would translate into more than US$5 billion a year, up from US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion now.
The Anglo-Dutch company will, however, keep its overall oil and gas output largely stable for the next decade to help fund its energy transition, though gas is set to become a bigger part of the mix, the sources told Reuters.
A Shell spokeswoman declined to comment on the details of the company’s new strategy ahead of its February announcements. BP, meanwhile, plans to slash its oil output by 40 per cent by 2030 and has swept aside its core oil and gas exploration team to focus on renewables, with spending on low-carbon energy set to rise 10-fold to US$5 billion over the coming decade.
While Europe’s big oil firms are all rolling out strategies to survive in a low-carbon world, investors and analysts remain sceptical about their ability to transform centuries-old business models and triumph in already crowded power markets. CNA
Source: Reuters/kv

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