Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) is ramping its shale output on the other side of the Atlantic earlier than planned, Reuters has reported. The move comes with the Anglo-Dutch oil major looking to lock in quick returns from what has become one of its most profitable businesses.
Shell’s share price has inched lower in London this morning, having shed 0.26 percent to 2,140.00p as of 08:28 GMT, slightly underperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.02 percent worse off at 7,337.81 points. The group’s shares have gained just under 30 percent over the past year, but have given up some four percent in the year-to-date.
Greg Guidry, head of Shell’s unconventional energy business, told Reuters in an interview yesterday that the company was planning to make shale oil and gas in the US, Canada and Argentina a key engine of growth in the next decade, targeting output of around 500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). The company aims to boost output by 140,000 boepd over the next three years in the Permian basin in West Texas and the Duvernay region in Canada, having previously expected to hit that target by 2020.
Shell, which has been hit alongside peers by the slump in crude prices in recent years, has increasingly been looking at shale which is cheaper and faster to develop.
The news comes with Shell also looking to integrate its downstream operations in the US. The Anglo-Dutch oil major announced yesterday that it had signed definitive agreements with Saudi Aramco which will see the companies split their refining joint venture Motiva. Shell will assume sole ownership of the venture’s two smaller refineries in Louisiana where the FTSE 100 group operates a chemicals plant.