Royal Dutch Shell was formed in 1907, although our history can be traced back to the first half of the 19th century.

Our headquarters are in The Hague, the Netherlands, and our Chief Executive Officer is Ben van Beurden. The parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell plc, which is incorporated in England and Wales.

Our strategy is to strengthen our position as a leading energy company by providing oil and gas and low-carbon energy as the world’s energy system changes. Safety and social responsibility are fundamental to our business approach.

Our purpose

Shell’s purpose is to power progress together with more and cleaner energy solutions. We believe that rising standards of living for a growing global population are likely to continue to drive demand for energy, including oil and gas, for years to come. At the same time, technology changes and the need to tackle climate change means there is a transition underway to a lower-carbon, multisource energy system.

Against this backdrop, we have the following strategic ambitions:

  • to provide a world-class investment case. This involves growing free cash flow and increasing shareholder returns, all built upon a strong financial framework and resilient portfolio;
  • to thrive in the energy transition by responding to society’s desire for more and cleaner, convenient and competitive energy; and
  • to sustain a strong societal licence to operate and contribute to society through a shared value approach to our activities.

Our ability to achieve our strategic ambitions depends on how we respond to competitive forces. We continuously assess the external environment – the markets as well as the underlying economic, political, social and environmental drivers that shape them – to evaluate changes in competitive forces and business models.

We continuously seek to improve our operating performance, with an emphasis on health, safety, security, environment and asset performance.

Our people

Our people are essential to the successful delivery of the Shell strategy and to sustaining business performance over the long term. Performing competitively in the evolving energy landscape requires competent and empowered people working safely together.

A diverse workforce and an inclusive work environment are vital to our success, leading to greater innovation and better energy solutions. We believe that diverse teams led by inclusive leaders deliver better safety and business performance.

Find out about diversity and inclusion at Shell

Learn more about careers with Shell

Shell at a glance in 2017

70+ countries we operate in

86,000 employees on average

66 million tonnes of LNG sold during the year

21 refineries we have interests in

3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent we produce per day

Financial performance in 2017

Revenue: $305.2 billion

Income: $13.4 billion

Capital investment: $24 billion

Investment in research and development: $922 million

Fast facts for sustainable development in 2016

$102 million spent on voluntary social investment worldwide. Of this:

  • around $44 million spent on local programmes for community development, disaster relief, education, health and biodiversity; and
  • around $58 million spent on our global themes - energy access, boosting local skills and enterprise, and STEM education.

We estimate that almost $96 million of our total spend in 2016 was in countries that are part of the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Index 2015, that is, those defined as having a gross domestic product of less than $15,000 a year per person. In 2016, Shell spent $45 billion on goods and services from 43,000 suppliers globally.

In 1950, Velutina was the largest tanker ever built at a British shipyard

Post-war expansion

Oil demand soars and Shell expands dynamically. The super-tanker is born, Shell extends its exploration overseas and forms a partnership with Ferrari.

The post-war expansion programme
The first consignment of liquefied natural gas was shipped in 1964 from Algeria in the SS Methane Princess.

1960s to the 1980s

Shell Chemicals enters a golden period of research; Shell produces its General Business Principles and diversifies its operations.

Innovation and diversification
Shell headquarters, The Hague

1980s to the new millennium

Shell grows through acquisitions and unifies Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading under Royal Dutch Shell plc in 2005.

Our history: 1980s to the present

More in About Us

What we do

Shell is an international energy company that aims to meet the world’s growing need for more and cleaner energy solutions in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.

Our values

Our General Business Principles, Code of Conduct, and Code of Ethics help everyone at Shell to act in line with our values.

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