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    Shell to Reduce Output

    Company plans to drop oil production by 450,000 barrels per day by 2005.

    As a result of company projections that the world oil market is shrinking, the London-based Royal Dutch/Shell Group said by 2005 it would produce about 450,000 barrels a day (bpd) less of oil and natural gas than it previously expected, according to a company official.

    The world's second largest oil company, Shell currently produces about 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day of oil and gas, of which about 60 percent, or 2.25 million bpd, is crude oil. The company markets its petroleum products in the United States through a branded network of more than 15,000 stores.

    Total world demand for crude oil alone is 76 million bpd, and is forecast by the International Energy Agency to grow about 500,000 bpd this year, and by 800,000 next year.

    The Shell official was speaking to analysts after the oil giant's strategy presentation in The Hague, in which the Anglo-Dutch group reduced its growth forecast to three percent a year through 2005 from five percent previously.

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