Shell Plans Further Cost Cuts

Company expects to boost capital investments by $100 billion through 2014.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to cut downstream costs by $1 billion in 2011 and boost oil production 12% in the next three years, the company said March 15 in its annual strategy update.

Shell also plans to invest $100 billion over the next three years in capacity upgrades and exploration projects. Overall, the company expects multibillion-dollar cost reductions through continuous improvement programs in 2011.

Shell set a new production target of 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day for 2014, which would be among the highest growth rates for the industry, the company said.

The company's growth projections are based on the startup of a liquified natural gas well in Qatar, the restart of refinery catalytic crackers in Texas and the Netherlands, and the expected startup of a gas-to-liquids plant in Qatar. The company also is upgrading capacity in Canada's oil sands.

Shell plans to drill 25 high-potential exploration wells in 2011.

This year the company will make final investment decisions on 10 new projects, including Prelude Floating LNG in Australia, debottlenecking of the AOSP project in Canada oil sands, and deepwater oil and gas developments at the Cardamon discovery in the Gulf of Mexico and at Malikai in Malaysia.

The company has planned more than 30 new projects through 2020.

Shell is on track to meet its goals for 2012, including a 50% to 80% increase in cash flow from 2009 through 2012, the company said.

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