Royal Dutch Shell plc (NYSE:RDS.A) announced an update on its offshore Alaska oil and gas drilling program, commenting that it has a variety of oil spill response equipment in position. However, the containment dome on one of its barges was damaged during testing and now needs to be repaired; as a result the company has decided not to drill into hydrocarbon zones this year.
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Total began searching for a new joint venture partner to take a share of a shale gas exploration permit in France. The zone covered by the French permit obtained in March 2010, could contain up to 2,380 billion cubic meters of gas, this amount estimated by multiplying the average gas level in the area by the surface area.
International Energy Agency last week indicated that “three digit oil prices risk damaging” the economic recovery, offering a message that OPEC should raise output; however, OPEC responded the same day by saying that global supplies are sufficient to meet demand.
China has an enormous gas market to be filled, both in the short term and long term, where natural gas will account for as much as 12 percent of the primary energy needs over the next decade from the current 3.8 percent. Shell's Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry indicated that the company may invest $1 billion each year in China if PetroChina's two wells in Sichuan province prove they have the potential for commercial gas production.
Shell may spend $50 billion in Australia over the next decade as Europe’s largest oil company continues a shift to gas.