Voser, in a speech posted on the company’s website on Sunday, said, “ the overall security situation in 2012 has worsened. The stealing and sabotage of crude oil intensified. It’s a multi-billion-dollar business.
“ Shell alone cannot solve these issues. It needs to be a multi-stakeholder approach, as we have been saying for many, many years. SPDC is prepared to do their share, but it needs more than just Shell’s support in Nigeria. It needs concerted government action to reduce theft of crude.”
He added there was some uncertainty in Nigeria ’s petroleum industry because of ongoing discussion about a new petroleum industry bill.
“That may change our views on investing in Nigeria, depending on how this is implemented. The current draft – which is still the subject of discussions and consultations – would make it highly unlikely that Shell – and the whole industry – could invest in offshore and domestic gas projects.
“This would be counterproductive to what Nigeria needs, which is gas for power generation and revenues to develop the nation.”
He, however, said that Nigeria had, from an oil and gas perspective, a lot of opportunities which SPDC was part of.
Voser added, “overall I am positive about the future of Shell’s continued investments in Nigeria.” Voser said the company had significant public discussions around the country, in the Netherlands and to a lesser extent in the United Kingdom.
He said,”I think the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd has made great progress over the last two years in terms of actually dealing with operational issues, and in cleaning up previous years’ sabotage and operational spill sites.”
On the global economic outlook for 2013, the Shell boss saw Asia recovering faster than the rest of the world.
Voser stated, “I see good potential in the United States for 2013. I’m more pessimistic on Europe. Europe will have a very slow growth year in 2013 and hopefully will recover at a later stage. So overall we are looking at one or two quarters with slower growth from a global perspective and hopefully then recovering in the second half of 2013.”
“For Shell, if you take a purely strategic view, short-term economic cycles do not have an impact in the sense that we do not change our investment policies. We will not change our strategic goals. We are a long-term industry and therefore we are investing throughout the business cycle.
“From an operational point of view, a downturn in the economy always gives us even more incentive to drive continuous improvement. So taking costs out wherever you can, or bringing in more value from the assets and the processes that we have today. Continuous improvement needs to be driven even harder.”