Shell may drop the word 'oil' from its U.S. operations

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Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. unit is considering dropping the word “oil” from its name. 

The company’s director of upstream Americas business, Marvin Odum, told the Toronto Global Forum on Thursday that the name Shell Oil CO. is “a little old-fashioned, I’d say, and at one point we’ll probably do something about that,” Bloomberg reports

Shell has seen its natural gas production surge recently, with it overtaking oil in the company’s portfolio two years ago. The company has sought to acquire BG Group — a transaction approved by U.S. regulators last month and Brazilian authorities on Thursday, Yahoo reports — which would make it the world’s largest natural gas producer. 

Odum told Bloomberg that Shell has been focusing on diversifying its energy supply in the face of climate change.

“We spend a fair amount of time as an executive committee, as a board actually, looking at what that wider swath of investment opportunities out there are, including the alternative and renewable options,” he told Bloomberg. 

Despite any potential name change, Shell’s highest-profile American operation right now is its push to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. 

The company is sending oil rigs to the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska and hopes to begin drilling sometime this summer. Environmentalists oppose the plan, and federal walrus protections could complicate Shell’s plans to drill its wells.