London listed oil super-major Shell (LON:RDSB) today said is planning to spend US$4bn assessing new opportunities this year with a focus on Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Iraq, the Arctic and heavy oil, reports investors news media proactiveinvestors.co.uk.
This comes as part of the group’s broader exploration and development plans, which comprise net capital investments of US$33bn this year.
While US$12bn is assigned to the group’s mature businesses, Shell plans to invest US$18bn in its ‘growth priorities’.
These priorities breakdown into three categories: integrated gas, deep water exploration and what it terms ‘resource plays’ – which generally comprise tight gas and liquids-rich shales.
Shell says there will be a step up in exploration drilling activity, with over 40 high-potential wells planned across 18 conventional basins and 10 key resource plays.
This comes after Shell replaced just over 40% of 2012’s produced reserves.
With its fourth quarter update today, the oil super-major this morning reported on it performance over the course of 2012.
Fourth quarter profits fell short of expectations at US$5.6bn - versus predictions of US$6.2bn - although this still marked an increase on the US$4.8bn profit in the same period of 2011.
Shell, which paid quarterly dividends throughout 2012, said that 2013’s first dividend will be 4.7% higher at $0.45 per share.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is a major multinational energy and petrochemical company. In Kazakhstan Shell operates in several business sectors - oil and gas exploration, production and transportation, oil products marketing. In Exploration and Production, Shell has equity interest in four projects – North Caspian Production Sharing Agreement (16,81%), Arman Joint Venture (50%), Pearls PSA (55%) and Caspian Pipeline Consortium - CPC shareholding (5.5%). To date, Shell has invested into Kazakhstan’s economy around 3 billion US dollars.