Answering Energy Source readers’ questions, Peter Voser said:
Undeniably, the Macondo incident has greatly harmed the oil industry’s reputation. Our ablity to drill in deep water has been questioned, and that’s a serious matter.
He added that Shell was still waiting to be granted permits to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, even though the official moratorium has been lifted:
In terms of the Gulf of Mexico this year our exploration activity has been impacted of course by the BP Macondo oil spill, and we are still awaiting permits to drill from the US authorities.
But he insisted the industry would recover in the long term:
I believe that the energy sector has proved in the past that it can learn from incidents. This will help us to regain our credibility.
Voser also warned that oil prices could be forced upwards by demand from emerging markets and by environmental practices, and that the commodity price boom seen before the recession could soon return:
Emerging nations like China and India are going through their most materially intensive period of development and this puts pressure on markets. We can also expect more discontinuities to be generated from policies aimed at mitigating climate change and other environmental stresses. The longer the delay in climate policy action, the more likely that eventual policy actions create shocks.
The full transcript of the questions an answers will be posted on this site this morning.