Shell GM William Langin Sheds Light on the Energy Industry

BT: Shell is actively expanding the sources of energy it can provide as part of the energy mix. Could you please tell us a little about Shell’s global energy initiatives and how Shell is planning to supply energy? 

Langin: Society faces a dual challenge: how to make a transition to a low-carbon energy future to manage the risks of climate change, while also extending the economic and social benefits of energy to everyone on the planet. This is an ambition that requires a change in the way energy is produced, used and made accessible to more people while drastically cutting emissions.

This transition is under way. It will move at different paces and produce different outcomes in different countries depending on local factors such as available natural resources and weather patterns, national policies that address climate change and local air quality, economic growth, and which technologies and products companies and consumers choose.

Shell is already a willing and able player in the energy transition. We see commercial opportunity in participating in the global drive to provide more and cleaner energy solutions.

The greatest near-term contribution Shell can make is to continue to grow the role of natural gas – which emits around half the CO2 and less than one-tenth of the air pollutants (including nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide) that coal does when burnt to produce electricity – to fuel transport, heat and light homes, and power industries.

As well as gas, which comprises about half of Shell’s total production, we will also continue to produce oil and its related products to meet the needs and demand of our customers, today and in the foreseeable future. We aim to reduce the carbon intensity of our portfolio and will continue to work on improving the energy efficiency of our existing operations.

Shell is encouraging governments to put a price on carbon so that industry, the power sector and the consumer are all further incentivised to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions and help increase the number of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects. We also work with governments around the world to develop effective transition plans and policies.

We have invested billions of dollars in a range of low-carbon technologies, including biofuels, CCS, hydrogen and wind power that will all be necessary to enable the transition. In 2016, we set up a New Energies business, to better focus these efforts and explore new commercial opportunities. This business also includes identifying future opportunities in transport fuels. For example, Shell is putting electric vehicle charging points on a test basis as some service stations in the UK. We will do the same in the Netherlands very soon.

Our New Energies business will also develop ways of connecting customers with new low-carbon business models based on digital technology. In San Diego, London, and Hamburg, for example, we worked with customers to ensure they avoided charging their electric vehicles at times of day when there is most demand. We remotely controlled the charging of their electric vehicles and shifted it to times of the day when renewables made up a significant portion of the power generation mix.

The development of partnerships between different energy sources, such as solar and gas, is another potential opportunity the New Energies business is exploring. We expect to grow our investment in the New Energies business to up to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade.

I’m looking forward to being a part of Shell as it adapts, innovates and as we play our part in the global drive to provide more and cleaner energy solutions for all.

BT: Shell has a very large geographic footprint. You, yourself, have worked in the United States on both onshore and offshore projects, Oman, and, most recently, Australia. Can you please tell us about some of Shell’s unique and effective strategies for integrating the native population into your operations to make them sustainable, etc.?

Langin: Shell employs more than 85,000 people in more than 70 countries and territories. Our people are central to the delivery of our strategy and we involve them in the planning and direction of their own work. We create a work environment that values differences and provides channels to report concerns.

Shell provides its staff, both local and expatriate, with professional training and development programs and support and offers a variety of leadership programs. Working in international environments or abroad allows staff to gain new insights and knowledge. The company encourages creativity and innovative thinking and gives employees the opportunity to face new challenges by taking on increased responsibility.

Shell also aims to bring benefits to local communities and reduce impacts of our operations. One example is in the area of local capacity building and local content creation. Shell sets targets for local spending on goods and services and for social investments that have a strategic and sustainable fit to mitigate business impacts and community needs. Local capacity building is essential to Shell’s success around the world. By increasing capacity of locals, Shell:

• Creates employment and personal development opportunities for locals
• Maximizes the use of local manufactured goods & services
• Drives structured training and skill development for effective transfer of management and technical skills promoting growth of indigenous contractors’ base
• Creates employment and personal development opportunities for locals
• Maximizes the use of local manufactured goods & services
• Drives structured training & skill development for effective transfer of management and technical skills, and
• Promoting growth of indigenous workforce and contractor base.