Marvin Odum

President, Shell Oil; director, Upstream Americas for Shell

An excerpt from Washington Post Live’s recent Smart Energy conference.

We are in the early stages of a fundamental shift in our energy system. We think natural gas is playing a big role in that, and it will be highlighted in the near term by cleaner fossil fuels and, of course, an increase in renewables.

The push toward renewables will happen, needs to happen, to fill the total supply picture. It’s about bringing in biofuels and elements like that.

Just to give you an example, we recently started a joint venture, which would now be the largest biofuel producer in Brazil, which is one of the biggest countries in terms of producing biofuels. And this takes an existing technology — biofuels in an area where it doesn’t compete with food. And it’s an area that doesn’t require anything other than the natural water that it gets as a crop.

And so using those sorts of parameters that cross those three boundaries to choose which energy you want to push forward with is a key part of how we figure out how big that spectrum is and where we focus.