"The world needs more natural gas to meet rising energy demand, to complement renewables and to replace coal in power generation. And the opportunity for Russia is huge. It is already the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and it enjoys the world’s largest commercial gas reserves. It is the second largest producer of natural gas. It could be the largest," van Beurden said.
The Shell CEO recalled that Russia "has done so much with natural gas in very little time."
"That is just a taste of what has been achieved in only 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. And Russia has the potential to build up an industry which is not only good for Russia, but essential for the world’s push to tackle climate change," van Beurden argued.
The United States is currently the world’s largest natural gas producer.
On Thursday, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said the country’s production of natural gas grew by 10 billion cubic feet per day in 2018, which is an 11 percent increase from 2017, reaching a record high for the second year in a row.
According to the Russian official figures, the country’s natural gas production grew by 4.9 percent year-on-year to 725.17 billion cubic meters last year.