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Type Public Limited Company
Founded 1907
Headquarters The Hague (Netherlands), London (UK)
Key People Ben van Beurden (CEO)
Revenue US $421.105 billion (2014)[1]
Net Income US $14.703 billion (2014)[2]
% change over previous year -10.1%[3]
Total Assets US $353.116 billion (end 2014)[4]
Total Equity US $172.786 billion (end 2014)[5]
Employees 94,000 (end 2014)[6]

Global Snapshot

Anglo-Dutch company Shell was ranked in second place on the 2014 Global Fortune 500 list of the world's most valuable companies.[7] It engages worldwide in the upstream, downstream and corporate segments, and also has interests in chemicals and other energy-related businesses.[8] In 2014 Shell was also ranked as the 8th largest oil company worldwide by production, with average daily production of 3.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day.[9]

The company name "Shell" and the corporate logo were decided upon due to founder Marcus Samuel's background in importing and exporting oriental shells. He and his brother renamed their oil transport company the Shell Transport and Trading Company in 1897. Royal Dutch was a company formed to develop oil fields in the Dutch East Indies and the two companies joined forces in order to protect themselves against competitor Standard Oil. The full merger of the two companies came in 1907.[10]

After the company had started to sell its US shale gas assets throughout 2013, a new CEO, Ben van Beurden, took charge in January 2014 prior to the announcement of the company's significantly lower performance in the same year. The appointment was immediately followed by the sale of the majority of the company's Australian assets in February 2014.[11]

In April 2015, Shell announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire BG Group for $70 billion.[12] The sale was completed on 15 February 2016.[13] Through the acquisition of BG, Shell strengthened its position as largest independent producer of LNG worldwide. Shell strategically invests in LNG as the company expects that the demand for LNG will surpass its supply within the next ten years and consequently lead to higher LNG world market prices.[14]

Company Report Highlights

According to Shell's 2014 CEO Review[15], the company had achieved 'better results despite the fall in oil prices during the second half of 2014'.

The company also reported 10 notable discoveries in the USA, Gabon and Malaysia, and new production from deep-water projects, including Gumusut-Kakap in Malaysia, which is expected to produce up to 135 thousand barrels per day of oil equivalent (boe/d) and the 40 thousand boe/d Bonga North West development off the coast of Nigeria. Due to the expiry of a licence in Abu Dhabi and the impact of asset sales, however, the company's overall production dropped by 4% compared to the previous year.

In 2014, Shell also reduced it's capital investment from $46 billion in 2013 to $37 billion.

Official Accreditations and Global Perceptions

EITI Supporter Status

As of April 2015, Shell is a supporting company of the EITI.

UN Global Compact

As of April 2015, Shell is a member of the UN Global Compact, having joined in July 2000.

CSR Review

  • According to company documents, Royal Dutch Shell's CSR activities include the Shell Foundation, which was established by the Shell Group in 2000 as an independent, UK registered charity operating with a global mandate. They received an initial $250 million endowment from the Shell Group and an additional 10 year commitment of $160 million.[16] and was set up after Shell was associated in public opinion with two damaging rows in the mid-1990s - the disposal of the Brent Spar oil rig and the execution of the poet and anti-oil activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in Nigeria.[17]
  • Another initiative from Shell is LiveWIRE, a social investment programme that aims to help young people around the world explore the option of starting their own business as a real and viable career option, launched in 1982 and now working in 21 countries worldwide.[18]

External Coverage

  • In 2004 Shell was fined £17 million by the UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA) and chairman Philip Watts was ousted after the company was found to have overstated its oil reserves. In 2009 an Amsterdam court of appeal cleared the way for approximately US $352.6 million in compensation to be paid out to non-US shareholders over the affair.[19]
  • In 2008 the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) decided that Shell should not have used the word "sustainable" for its controversial tar sands project and a refinery scheme, ruling that one of the company's adverts breached rules on substantiation, truthfulness and environmental claims.[20]
  • Industry watchdog Platform accused Shell in 2011 of funding armed gangs and fuelling human rights abuses in Nigeria, allegations which the company denied. The organisation stated that while primary responsibility for such violations falls on the Nigerian government and others, Shell has played an "active role in fuelling conflict and violence", regularly arming militias and transferring over $159,000 to a group credibly linked to militia violence.[21]
  • A 2011 report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) criticized Shell for contributing to 50 years of pollution in the oil-rich Ogoni region in the Niger Delta, stating that it calls for the world's largest ever oil clean-up and that it would cost an initial $1 billion and take up to 20 years.[22]
  • In 2012 Shell's subsidiary in Nigeria was ordered by a Nigerian court to pay over $25 million to five communities in Imo state for a 1997 oil spill.[23]
  • On 31 December 2012, Shell's drilling rig the Kulluk ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska, sparking criticism on Shell's controversial plans to drill in the Arctic. Such criticism rose again in 2015, after the Obama administration announced that it would let the company resume its operations off the Alaskan coast, if it met certain conditions.[24]

Global Operations by Country


Main article: Shell Operations in Egypt


Main article: Shell Operations in Iraq


Main article: Shell Operations in Iran


Main article: Shell Operations in Libya


Main article: Shell Operations in Syria


Main article: Shell Operations in Tanzania


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  5. Cosolidated financial statement 2014" Shell.
  6. Annual Report 2014" Shell.
  7. "Global 500:Royal Dutch Shell", Fortune 500, retrieved 22 May 2015.
  8. "Royal Dutch Shell Profile", Reuters, retrieved 20 May 2015.
  9. "The World's 25 Biggest Oil and Gas Companies 2015", Forbes, 19 March 2015.
  10. "The beginnings", Shell, retrieved 22 May 2015.
  11. "Vitol to pay Shell A$2.9 billion for Australian assets", Bloomberg, 21 February 2014.
  12. "Royal Dutch Shell to Buy BG Group for Nearly $70 Billion", “The New York Times”, 27 August 2018.
  13. "Shell Annual Report 2016 Note 4 -Acquisition of BG Group Plc", “Shell”, 27 August 2018.
  14. "Factors That Will Drive Royal Dutch Shell's Value In The Near Term", “Forbes”, 05 September 2018.
  15. "Chief Executive review 2014", Shell, retrieved 22 May 2015.
  16. "Home ", Shell Foundation Official site, retrieved 20 May 2015
  17. "Campaigners attack Shell's charity arm ", The Guardian, 28 September 2006
  18. "| Shell LiveWIRE International ", Shell LiveWIRE Official Site, retrieved 13 July 2010
  19. "Royal Dutch Shell to compensate shareholders for reserves scandal", Guardian, 31 May 2009.
  20. "Shell rebuked for 'greenwash' over ad for polluting oil project", Independent, 13 August 2008.
  21. "Shell fuelled human rights abuses in Nigeria - NGO", Reuters, 3 October 2011.
  22. "U.N. slams Shell as Nigeria needs biggest ever oil clean-up", Reuters, 4 August 2011.
  23. "[ Shell to pay $25m to Nigerian communities over oil spill]", Platform London, 21 March 2012.
  24. "[ Shell’s Record Adds to the Anger of Those Opposing Arctic Drilling.html ]", New York Times, 12 May 2015.