In this aerial view, cars line up to refuel at a Shell gas station in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, on June 14, 2022, before the price increases.
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Shell CEO Wael Sawan doesn’t know where oil and gas demand will be in 10 to 15 years, he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday. “To be honest, anyone who knows is going to be making a lot of money at this point. The reality is we don’t know,” Sawan told CNBC.
But in the short to medium term, Shell sees “very strong” demand for oil and gas, Sawan told CNBC. “And we’ve made it very clear, we’re going to be committed to our oil and gas businesses for a long time to come,” Sawan added.
Also, Shell will invest 10 to 15 billion dollars between 2023 and 2025 on low-carbon energy technologies, including biofuels, hydrogen, electric vehicle charging and carbon capture. Shell made more than $42 billion in profits in 2022.
One area Shell is “leaning into more” is building charging stations for electric vehicles, particularly in Asia, Sawan said.
“Today, we have 46,000 retail locations worldwide,” Sawan said. “There are many neighborhoods, because then you can put chargers in the same places where you sell internal combustion engines.”
In China specifically, there is “significant penetration” of electric vehicles, Sawan told CNBC.
“In fact, in China we’re seeing twice as many of our EV charging customers as our internal combustion engine customers.”
EV sales in China to reach 3.3 million in 2021, triple the number of EVs sold in 2020, reports data from the International Energy Agency. Europe is the next largest market for electric cars, according to the IEA.
Public charging infrastructure is in particular demand in China as the country increasingly prefers electric vehicles. In addition, many residents of China and other Asian countries who buy electric vehicles live in high-rise buildings, not in homes where personal charging setups are possible, Sawan said.
A second area of low-carbon investment for Shell is biofuels, which are made from organic and waste materials and then blended with petrol. Demand for biofuels is driven regulatory pressures in many parts of the worldSawan told CNBC.