Russia can become world’s top natural gas producer – Shell CEO

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With the biggest natural gas reserves on the planet, Russia could become the world’s number one producer of the fuel, according to Ben van Beurden, the CEO of Anglo-Dutch energy major Shell.

The top executive says that rapidly increasing demand for natural gas has occurred due to the worldwide trend aimed at forcing out coal from power generation and the widening opportunity of available renewable energy sources.

“Russia’s chances in the field are huge,” van Beurden wrote in an article for RIA Novosti, stressing that the country is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas.

“It is the second largest producer of natural gas. It could be the largest,” he said.

Van Beurden stated that Russian energy giant Gazprom managed to implement the Nord Stream pipeline project over the past 20 years, as well as launching Sakhalin-2, Russia’s first facility for producing liquefied natural gas (LNG), in cooperation with Shell. The Russian state-run corporation is building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and is working on Baltic LNG, a new enterprise implemented in partnership with Shell.

“And that’s just a small token of what has been done over the past 20 years. The potential for the next 20 years is even greater. With Russia’s fine track record in the industry, with its superb academic strength driving innovation and with its sheer depth of natural resource, the opportunity is there for the taking,” the CEO said.

Van Beurden added that Russia has broad perspectives to build up an industry that would be useful not only for the country, but vital for the world’s push to tackle climate change.

According to Russia’s energy ministry, Russia produced 725.17 billion cubic meters of gas in 2018. The country was topped only by the US, which produced 861.5 billion cubic meters, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

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