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Marine Log

April 30 2008

Shell inks MOU with AMO to add U.S. officers to LNG fleet

Shell Ship Management Limited (Shell) and the American Maritime Officers (AMO) union today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing the addition of U.S. seafarers to Shell's officer cadre.

A signing ceremony was held at the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD).

This follows an earlier announcement that Shell would begin a U.S.-focused recruitment drive to help meet its need for highly qualified ship's officers to fill positions on its fleet of international LNG carriers.

"We have worked to create an attractive and competitive package for qualified U.S. officers interested in international LNG assignments," said Bob Salmon, general manager of shipping for Shell Trading (US) Company. "We are pleased that MARAD has focused on LNG training, as the highly trained U.S. officers will enhance our existing skill pool, and that AMO has been proactive in working with Shell to develop international U.S. marine officers. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved."

The MOU between Shell and AMO begins immediately. According to Salmon, U.S. mariners will benefit from Shell's long experience in LNG shipping. Shell is proud of its leadership at sea and provides specific training well above the minimum IMO Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) 1995.

Shell companies have equity, management or chartering positions in around a quarter of the world's LNG carriers, either directly or through joint ventures and currently manage 31 LNG carriers. Shell also employs more than 700 fleet marine officers with LNG experience and a further 200 officers are also enrolled in Shell's LNG onboarding program.

The number of LNG carriers Shell manages will grow rapidly over the next two years as it has also been selected by Nakilat Shipping (Qatar) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd., to provide a full range of shipping and marine services including the management and manning of a further 25 LNG carriers.

"We've been working closely with the U.S. Maritime Administration and AMO to encourage the use of American officers in the specialized LNG shipping trade," said Salmon. "Shell is committed to securing the most qualified officers for its maritime fleet operations as a diverse skill pool drawn from the United States and other countries around the world is essential for us to manage this growth successfully. In return, we offer competitive terms and conditions and potential career development."

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