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Intense competition exists for access to upstream resources and to new downstream markets. But we believe our technology, project-delivery capability and operational excellence will remain key differentiators for our businesses. We expect more than 80% of our organic capital investment in 2014 to be in our Upstream businesses.

In Upstream we focus on exploration for new liquids and natural gas reserves and on developing major new projects where our technology and know-how add value to the resource holders.

We focus on a series of strategic themes, each requiring distinctive technologies and risk management:

  • Our upstream and downstream ‘engines’ are strongly cash generative, mature businesses, which will underpin our financial performance to at least the end of this decade.  Here we only make investments in selective growth positions and we apply Shell’s distinctive technology and operating performance to extend the productive lives of our assets and to enhance their profitability.

  • Our growth priorities are in two strategic themes, namely integrated gas and deep water. These will provide our medium-term growth, and we expect them to become core engines in the future. Here, we use the advantages of Shell’s technological know-how and global scale to unlock highly competitive resource positions.

  • Our longer-term options include future opportunities such as the Arctic, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, and heavy oil, where there are large reserves positions potentially available, with the pace of development driven by market and local operating conditions. They also include our resources plays such as shale oil and gas ("unconventionals").

Meeting the growing demand for energy worldwide in ways that minimise environmental and social impact is a major challenge for the global energy industry. We aim to improve energy efficiency in our own operations, supporting customers in managing their energy demands, and continuing to research and develop technologies that increase efficiency and reduce emissions in liquids and natural gas production.

Our commitment to technology and innovation continues to be at the core of our strategy. As energy projects become more complex and more technically demanding, we believe our engineering expertise will be a deciding factor in the growth of our businesses. Our key strengths include the development and application of technology, the financial and project-management skills that allow us to deliver large field development projects, and the management of integrated value chains. We aim to leverage our diverse and global business portfolio and customer-focused businesses built around the strength of the Shell brand.

See how this strategy fits in with Shell’s energy strategy.

Strategy summary

Perdido spar lying horizontal in Gulf of Mexico

UPSTREAM

- growth strategy, price upside     

- priority: deep-water, integrated gas

Pernis refinery, Netherlands

DOWNSTREAM

- optimise re-shaped portfolio

- selective growth

Organic fertiliser for sugar cane

CLIMATE CHANGE

- grow gas and biofuels

- CCS and energy efficiency

Affinity followed by Nanuq and escorted by Tor Viking

FINANCIAL OUTLOOK

- Investing for growth and competitive payout

- Through-cycle returns and risk management