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Shell contributes part of revenues to rebuilding New Orleans

U.S. delegation to visit Delta Works

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – How to rebuild devastated Louisiana dikes and infrastructure is the prime motive of a large U.S. official delegation for visiting the Dutch Delta Works, which itself was built following a major flood. Dutch Ambassador to the U.S., Boudewijn van Eenenaam, recently visited New Orleans where he reiterated his country’s offer of assistance to the stricken area. Van Eenenaam was shown the devastation by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Lousiana). A meeting at which the Ambassador spoke, was attended by over three hundred local leaders.

Representatives of Dutch-British oil giant Shell repeated the company’s commitment that it will not abandon New Orleans. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Shell had moved 1,000 of its local employees to other offices in the greater region. It plans to re-open its Louisiana premises shortly.

Shell also announced that the oil giant intends to make a contribution to the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans. From its remaining oil drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell now produces 200,000 barrels of oil a day, down from the pre-hurricane production averages of 460,000 barrels a day. This amount again could be reached by the middle of next year. A reliable and safe coastline of Louisiana is of utmost ‘social and economic importance’ to Shell, according to its Vice-President for production in the Americas, Frank Glaviano.

Senator Landrieu had invited Ambassador Van Eenenaam in preparation for the working visit of a large U.S. delegation to the Netherlands. The group of city and state engineers and authorities, and community leaders will visit the Delta Works, a massive upgrade of the region’s coastal protection which had failed in the 1953 storm, which started during the night of January 31 and February 1. The February Flood inundated large parts of southwestern the Netherlands, claiming nearly 2,000 lives. It also hit the eastern English coast.

In his remarks, Van Eenenaam identified large similarities between Louisiana and the Netherlands, and suggested his country could play a large role in the protection of the city and its surroundings. The Ambassador also reminded his audience of the centuries-long friendship between the two countries, including the fact that Dutch bankers had helped finance the purchase the then French territory - at the time much larger than the current state of Louisiana.