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Now synonymous with the oil, gas and energy industries the world over, Shell was established following the merger of two smaller companies in 1907. In a bid to compete with their larger rival, Standard Oil, on the world stage, the Netherlands’ Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and the UK’s Shell Transport and Trading Company Limited joined forces.
Due largely to patriotic attitudes and sensibilities, for many years the two divisions retained separate identities, outwardly at least. The Dutch arm handled production and manufacturing from the Hague, while the British side oversaw transport and storage from London.
Officially headquartered in the English capital since 2005, Shell is now one of the largest companies in the world across all industries. It is the second largest investor-owned oil and gas company in the world by revenue after ExxonMobil and is active in every subsector of the oil and gas industry, from exploration and refining to distribution, petrochemicals and power generation.
With over 93,000 employees and operations in more than 70 countries, Shell produces approximately 2.9 million barrels of oil daily and 66 million tonnes of liquified natural gas annually.
Its network of 46,000 sites serves more than 32 million customers each day. On top of this conventional fuel business, Shell’s broader product portfolio includes low-carbon fuels such as biofuels, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, and electric-vehicle charging. The company also produces and sells lubricants, bitumen, sulphur and petrochemicals.
Shell has a keen eye on the future of its industry, spending over USD 1bn per year on the research and development of more efficient, renewable, alternative fuels. It also invests over USD 200m annually in social and welfare projects in underprivileged areas. In 2022, Shell generated over USD 381bn in revenues.