Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd. has announced that it will begin recruiting US seafarers for the company's growing portfolio of managed international LNG vessels, providing fresh opportunities for US mariners and expanding the company’s already impressive skill pool.

One of the first major oil producers to actively recruit US seafarers for LNG vessels, Shell is committed to securing the most qualified seafarers for its maritime fleet operations and the effort supports the company’s increasing vessel management portfolio, which was extended in November 2006.

This was when Nakilat Shipping Ltd of Qatar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd, formalised an agreement with Shell to provide shipping and maritime services to Nakilat's fleet of 25 new-build LNG carriers.

Bob Salmon, General Manager of Shipping for Shell Trading Company, commented, “The recruitment drive also provides an excellent opportunity for American mariners to enhance their careers through Shell's international businesses and domestic joint ventures, such as Broadwater Energy LLC in Long Island Sound. The addition of US mariners will positively enhance Shell's diverse seafarer skill pool and provide Shell and Nakilat with highly experienced personnel for their LNG fleets. We're excited to work with the US Department of Transportation's Marine Administration and the US maritime unions to encourage the use of US officers in the LNG industry.”

"We applaud Shell's announcement, which coincides perfectly with a universal training standards agreement facilitated recently by the Maritime Administration. That agreement standardized training and internationally accepted competencies for U.S. seafarers," said Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton.

Broadwater Energy has proposed the construction of an LNG import terminal and connecting pipeline that would help the Northeast region of the US meet its growing need for affordable and reliable natural gas supplies. The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued its Final Environment Impact Statement recently, stating that the terminal, with implementation of recommended mitigation methods, would result in fewer environmental impacts than any alternative energy sources considered.

Shell currently employs more than 500 highly qualified fleet marine officers with LNG experience around the world, and is looking to further expand its skills base in the rapidly growing field of LNG shipping.