By 2060, energy demand could rise by two-thirds from today’s levels, according to our scenario planners. Innovation and collaboration will play a critical role in meeting this demand sustainably. To achieve it will require radical changes to the global energy system and new sources of energy.

Shell has been a technology pioneer for more than a century. Today we are one of the largest investors in research and development (R&D) among international oil and gas companies. We employ around 43,000 technical and engineering staff and spend more than $1 billion each year to turn ideas into commercially viable technologies.

Scientists and researchers at our R&D facilities around the world work across time zones to develop ground-breaking innovations. These range from fuels and lubricants that help customers use less energy to the world’s largest floating production facility to unlock and liquefy natural gas at sea, Prelude FLNG.

We also develop innovative ways to make our operations more efficient and help manage water consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In Canada, for instance, our Quest project will capture and store up to one million tonnes of CO2 from our oil sands operations every year, and store it safely underground.

Working with others

We work with governments, world-class academics and industry specialists to help meet the world’s growing energy needs, and we share ideas and expertise with partners inside and beyond the energy sector to drive innovation forward. For example, we are openly sharing our knowledge and experience gained from developing Quest. Our collaborations range from developing advanced fuels to improving data processing within the IT industry.

We actively support such open innovation because it can help speed up and deliver more cost-effectively developments in areas such as natural gas, biofuels, solar power, water treatment, CO2 management and energy efficiency.

Researching around the world

We operate a global network of 10 R&D centres close to our main markets and production sites. These include three major technology hubs located in India, the Netherlands and the USA.

Around 5,500 scientists and technical specialists work at these hubs on a broad spectrum of projects, such as turning natural gas into more efficient and cleaner fuels, developing technologies to unlock energy thousands of metres below the sea surface, and improving energy efficiency in our own operations.

Shell Technology Centres

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Atrium in Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam

Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Shell founded its first laboratory in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1914. Nearly a century later, the new and completely redesigned Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam took its place. This large complex houses around 1,300 people in labs and offices, yet its efficient design means that it emits almost no CO2.

Research in Amsterdam has created technology turning natural gas into liquids for lower-emissions transport fuel and other products; concrete which uses sulphur for stronger, more environmentally friendly roads; and a more efficient chemical process for making raw materials for everyday items from pillows to plastic bottles.

Shell scientists also partner with local universities to share expertise and resources.

Houston, Texas, USA

Inside the Shell Technology Centre, Houston

Shell Technology Centre Houston, Texas, USA

More than 2,000 Shell scientists and engineers work at Shell Technology Centre Houston in Texas, USA, a laboratory and office complex of more than 90,000 square metres (one million square feet). Five Shell Chief Scientists have their base there, each an expert in fields ranging from catalyst technology to reservoir engineering.

Our world-class researchers are developing and advancing technologies to unlock tightly trapped natural gas, catalysts to speed up chemical reactions, and researching opportunities to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) into a transport fuel. Specialised equipment at the centre includes a wave tank for testing the design of deep-water structures.

Bangalore, India

Inside the Shell Technology Centre in Bangalore

Shell Technology Centre Bangalore, India

Our third large technology centre is nearing completion on a 40-acre site in Bangalore. It will replace two smaller facilities in the city.

Around 1,500 technology specialists run experiments and manage research projects in Bangalore. They work on a range of technologies, such as boosting oil production from existing fields more efficiently, improving water management in our operations, and making energy use more effective with smart grids.

Our Bangalore labs and offices support major projects including Prelude FLNG and the Sakhalin-2 integrated oil and gas project in the far east of Russia.

 

Technical Centres and offices

People working in a laboratory in technical centre

Network of technical centres and offices

Several smaller technical centres in our network are located close to our customers and other partners, and provide tailored services. Our technical centre in Hamburg, Germany, specialises in engine, gearbox and vehicle technology. Other centres are located in Canada, China, Norway, Oman and Qatar. 

We also have a network of offices across the world to support our research and operational projects.

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