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Energy needs to drive future deepwater drilling: Shell CEO

More deep-water drilling is needed to meet growing energy demands despite the Gulf of Mexico spill, but the industry must beef up its disaster readiness, Royal Dutch Shell chief said on Sunday.

world Updated: Jun 27, 2010 17:23 IST

More deep-water drilling is needed to meet growing energy demands despite the Gulf of Mexico spill, but the industry must beef up its disaster readiness, Royal Dutch Shell chief said on Sunday.

"My expectation is that we will go forward with it but it will need some changes," Peter Voser, Royal Dutch Shell chief executive officer told the CNN Global Forum.

British rival BP is under fire in the United States for triggering the country's worst ever environmental disaster when a BP-leased rig exploded in the Gulf in April.

"It's clear, now some of the findings are coming out, that the oil response side has got some weaknesses and we as an industry have to come together in order to actually be better prepared in the future," said Voser.

"That we can actually prevent these things is also now the agenda."

The disaster prompted US President Barack Obama to order a temporary freeze on deep-water drilling, but his administration has been forced to consider alternative measures after a judge in New Orleans blocked the move on Tuesday.

"We would have not drilled this well in the same way," said Voser.

"We have got other safety procedures across the globe. But I think again that for some companies, there will be some learning in this that needs to be adapted."

Safety and design features needed to be constantly improved, said Voser, saying Shell's standards were in line with proposed regulation changes in the United States.

"By doing so we can actually prevent these kind of things happening much more and I think that's where we need to drive it even further on the global scale," he said.

Despite desperate efforts, BP is still not capping all of the estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil spilling into the sea every day.