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Shell Begins Recruitment Drive to Hire 1,000 Engineers

Shell Begins Recruitment Drive to Hire 1,000 Engineers

One year after Royal Dutch/Shell Group began downgrading its worldwide oil and natural gas reserves, the company said last week it has begun a recruitment effort to hire more than 1,000 petroleum engineers to bolster the exploration and production (E&P) unit.

Last January, Shell announced a 20% reclassification of its oil and gas reserves, and by May, it had downgraded the total reserves four times -- nearly 25%, or 4.47 billion boe (see NGI, Jan. 12, 2004; May 31, 2004). The downgrades triggered a massive executive shakeup, internal investigations and external investigations by European and U.S. regulators.

In a statement, Shell said that by this April, it plans to hire about 170 experienced engineers for its E&P unit, who would work specifically on proven oil and gas reserves. The engineers would be both contract and permanent employees. Nearly 800 more engineers would join the unit in other roles this year, the company said. No information was provided on when they are expected to be hired or where they will be based.

Shell said that the new hiring push was part of the company's annual strategy review, which indicated additional staff would be needed to improve its business strategy and to cope with normal staff attrition.

In a statement, the company said that its E&P unit "has significantly increased its planned capital expenditure and will require additional technical resources to execute our work plan over the next several years." The company is scheduled to announce its 4Q2004 and full-year 2004 results on Feb. 3.

In related news, Shell also has tapped an American-born executive to manage its U.S. division. John Hofmeister, currently Shell's director of human resources, will transfer from international headquarters at The Hague to Houston in early March, where he will serve as U.S. country chair and president of Shell Oil Co. Hofmeister, a Pennsylvania native, joined Shell in 1997. He will report to Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer.

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