Shell CEO: U.S. Could Be Energy Independent in 20 Years

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Shell CEO: U.S. Could Be Energy Independent in 20 Years


THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- The United States could be close to energy independence in the next 20 years, Royal Dutch Shell plc CEO Peter Voser said today during the company's second-quarter earnings call.

"This means petrochemical companies could come back to the U.S., due to cheaper feedstocks," he said. "That would bring more jobs to the United States."

Natural gas would be the primary source of the possible energy independence, the chief executive said, adding that Shell is working on many liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the United States. "LNG is a great opportunity for Shell. We need to link our LNG projects with our [petroleum] strategy," Voser said.

Specifically, he noted that he is pleased thus far with Shell's deal with TravelCenters of America LLC to sell LNG at 100 TA- and Petro-branded truck stops. The agreement was inked in June.

As for Shell's 2012 fiscal second-quarter results, Shell's downstream division, parent of its convenience stores, earned $1.296 billion, compared to $1.081 billion in the same quarter in 2011.

For the entire company, Shell's earnings dropped 53 percent when comparing quarter to quarter. The oil giant earned $4.063 billion for its 2012 second quarter, vs. $8.662 billion during its 2011 second quarter.

However, Voser said the company is doing well in tough economic times and on track to achieve $200 billion in cash flow from 2012 to 2015.

Shell continues to sell assets in what it considers slower-growth areas, or ones that are not directly related to its core businesses. In fact, the CEO said Shell has sold twice as many assets as the number of acquisitions the London-based company has made in the past 78 months.