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.