Shell sets out 'ambitious' growth targets

Peter Voser
Image caption Shell chief Peter Voser says the company is sending more supplies of gas to Japan

Royal Dutch Shell has set out "ambitious" production targets as it embarks on a fresh wave of investment to meet soaring demand for oil and gas.

The world's second-largest publicly-listed oil and gas giant said it would invest $100bn (£62.4bn) over the next four years on new projects.

During a strategy briefing, Shell set a target of producing 3.7 million barrels of oil and gas per day for 2014.

This is a 12% rise, and comes amid surging demand from emerging markets.

Chief executive Peter Voser said: "We have made good progress in 2010. Our profitability is improving and we are on track for our growth targets. There is more to come from Shell."

The company has 20 new projects under construction, which will add more than 800,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Final investment decisions on another 10 key projects would be made over the next year or two, Mr Voser said.

The Anglo-Dutch company almost doubled its profits to $18.6bn last year thanks to higher oil prices.

The results contrasted with those of its troubled rival BP, which recorded its first annual loss for nearly two decades due to clean up costs following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Meanwhile, Mr Voser said Shell's three oil refineries in Japan were not damaged and were still operating following the earthquake.

He said Shell was sending extra supplies of gas to help make up the energy shortfall from damaged nuclear power generation.

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