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Shell to produce more gas than oil by 2012

LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- Shell by 2012 will produce more natural gas than oil in an effort to keep investing in new energy supplies, the company's chief executive said in London.

The International Energy Agency in a report Monday heralding the "golden age of gas" forecasts global use of natural gas to increase by more than 50 percent from 2010-35.

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Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said at a reunion of alumni of the Cambridge Sustainability Leadership Program that his company was keen to invest in new energy supplies that have a lower environmental cost. Natural gas is viewed as cleaner than other conventional energy forms.

Voser said his company believes natural gas will take up more of the global energy mix beyond 2030.

"By 2012, Shell will produce more natural gas than oil," he added.

Natural gas, he noted, isn't without its critics. Environmental groups worry the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing -- known as fracking -- in shale gas deposits could contaminate ground water supplies.

"Our aim is not only to set the standard but to raise the bar in extracting natural gas in the safest ways," he said.

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Shell said it "strongly" favors regulation that requires disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process.

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