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Ben van Beurden, 55, who was appointed downstream director and a member of the executive committee for Royal Dutch Shell plc in January, was named to succeed Peter Voser as CEO on Jan. 1 (see NGI, May 6). Van Beurden has been responsible for refining and marketing businesses, as well as overseeing the trading companies. He also is responsible for the petrochemicals manufacturing and marketing business, which has been eyeing expansions in the United States because of increased natural gas activity, as well as the gas-to-liquids business. He joined Shell in 1983 and has worked in Houston, the Netherlands, Africa, Malaysia and most recently, the UK. He is credited with helping to turn the petrochemicals operations to profitability after several quarters of big losses. The Dutch national earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

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