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Shell | Company Structure Information from ICIS


The Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies produces, processes and delivers energy in more than 110 countries and employs around 101,000 people. Shell is organised into five core businesses: Exploration & Production; Oil Sands; Gas & Power; Chemicals; and Other Industry Segments. Shell headquarters (Source: Shell)


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The Royal Dutch/Shell group of companies was formed in 1907.


The Royal Dutch/Shell group proposed to simplify its management structure and to merge the two holding companies Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading into one company. On 20 July 2005, the company started trading as a single, unified company for the first time in its 98 year history.


Unification under a single parent means that “Royal Dutch Shell” is headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the UK.


Company movements


Please see Arrow Energy shareholders approve takeover by PetroChina, Shell on ICIS news. For more on PetroChina click here.




The Chemicals business is one of the core businesses of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. Nearly 70 Shell chemicals companies operate around the world, making and supplying a range of petrochemicals that are then further processed by their industrial customers. Collectively, the Shell chemicals companies number among the largest petrochemical suppliers in the world.


In May 2009, Shell added its Trading and Alternative Energy (excluding wind) business to the downstream activities.

The products made by the Shell chemicals companies range from basic petrochemical building blocks, such as ethylene, propylene and aromatic chemicals, through intermediates such as styrene monomer, ethylene glycols, solvents and detergent alcohols. Three further joint venture companies - Basell, Infineum and CRI International - extend this range by making polymers such as polypropylene and specialities such as fuel additives and catalysts.


The chemical business is focused on six product business units, each of which encompasses activities relating to one or more different chemical products. The six product business units are:


Base chemicals; 

Styrene monomer/propylene oxide and derivatives; 

Ethylene oxide/ethylene glycols; 

Solvents/ phenol; 

Higher olefins and derivatives; and 

Propanediol/polytrimethylene terephthalate.


Shell chemicals companies have manufacturing facilities located close to all of the main chemical markets of the world. Shell researchers have developed many of the leading technologies used in these plants and process developments continue to be made at the main research centres in Texas and the Netherlands. A key driver for new technologies is a commitment to sustainable development, with new ways being sought to reduce energy, conserve resources and limit environmental impact.


Exploration & Production - Shell searches for oil and gas fields by means of seismic surveys and exploration wells. It has interests in exploration and production ventures in 36 countries. It carries out a broad spectrum of activities including drawing up contractual agreements; exploring; surveying and drilling; accessing the results; developing and planning for production; running production operations and maintenance; and decommissioning.


Oil Sands - This segment encompasses all the activities which translate crude oil from the wellhead into Shell products. It refines and processes crude oil and other feedstocks and markets fuels and lubricants.


Gas & Power - Shell processes, sells and delivers natural gas by long-distant pipeline or tanker. It has interests in five liquefied natural gas plants and also develops power plants and markets electricity. The company claims to be a leader in gas-to-liquids technology.


The Gas & Power business stretches across 35 countries and, to meet the anticipated doubling of demand over the next two decades. Most operations are joint ventures with governments or local and international partners.


A new business was created in May 2009, Projects & Technology, this combines Shell’s project delivery, technical services and technology capability covering both upstream and downstream. It will also oversee Shell’s safety and environment performance.


Other Industry Segments


Renewables - Shell aims to bring renewable energy resources into everyday life by developing viable businesses. For 20 years, it has been producing and marketing energy from solar energy. Other renewable energy sources include wind farms, sustainable managed tree plantations specialising in fast tree growing and harvesting and geothermal energy.


Shell Hydrogen - invests in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to act as mobile power generators.


Shell Consumer - focuses on understanding individual consumers and growing its consumer business.


Shell Trading - integrates Shell's worldwide trading activities including a global portfolio in crude oil, refined products, natural gas, electrical power and chemicals. It provides a single focus for controlling, measuring and managing the systems, processes and risks involved.


Shell Global Solutions - works with customers to optimise plant and process performance, to formulate and develop products, and to manage operational safety and environmental challenges more effectively.

Shell Strategy & Financial Highlights

Shell states that meeting growing global demand for energy in ways that minimise the effect on the environment is a key challenge for its future business and it is pursuing a range of opportunities to develop alternative energy that will both complement today’s core businesses and establish major new income streams over the long term. (Edited from annual report and company website). ICIS also provides you with key financial data listed in table form. More about Shell Strategy & Financial Highlights


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