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Shell executive resigns from Americas exploration post

Keywords: Tags  David Lawrence, Royal Dutch Shell, exploration, Arctic, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — David Lawrence, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s executive vice president of exploration and commercial, upstream Americas, is resigning from the company.

"Mr. Lawrence’s departure from Shell is by mutual consent," a company spokesman told AMM in an e-mail.

Lawrence’s responsibilities include Shell’s Arctic drilling program in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, which was idled recently after one of the company’s exploration vessels was damaged (, Feb. 28).

Shell, which failed to complete any exploration wells in the region last year, was chided by the U.S. Interior Department for its safety performance. "Shell’s difficulties have raised serious questions regarding its ability to operate safely and responsibly in the challenging and unpredictable conditions offshore Alaska," the department wrote.

Although Lawrence has tendered his resignation, he remains with the company and his last day has not been determined, the spokesman said.

His departure comes as the Hague, Netherlands-based company is planning to split its exploration and commercial portfolio in the Americas into three distinct units, each headed by an executive vice president, according to the spokesman.

"In the Americas, Shell’s exploration and commercial portfolio includes onshore and offshore exploration, commercial agreements, as well as business opportunities for increasing domestic natural gas production. Because each aspect of this portfolio continues to grow, Shell has made the decision to restructure the exploration and commercial organization," he said.

There will be one unit for the Arctic, one for exploration and one for commercial, new business development and integrated gas, according to the spokesman.

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