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Shell won’t stop oil production in Syria unless EU mandates a boycott

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 5:00 PM

AMSTERDAM — Royal Dutch Shell PLC will not stop producing oil in Syria unless it is directed to do so by the European Union, media in the Netherlands report.

National broadcaster NOS news cites Dick Benschop, head of the company’s Dutch arm, as saying Shell thinks halting its operations there would hurt the Syrian people more than its government.

Benschop’s remarks came after a behind-closed-doors meeting Tuesday with members of Dutch parliament who have called for a boycott to protest the Syrian government crackdown on an uprising the U.N. says has left 2,200 dead since it began in March.

Shell is the second-largest foreign oil producer in Syria after France’s Total SA, producing 7.3 million barrels of oil in 2010.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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