Royal Dutch Shell, typically referred to simply as Shell, is an international group of petroleum and energy companies with around 92,000 employees and business operations in over 70 countries. It is known to produce around 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent daily and has 44,000 service stations worldwide. The group is one of the six gas and oil ‘supermajors’ and was ranked by Forbes as the 9th biggest company in the world, as well as the largest energy company, in 2019. Additionally, Shell became the world’s fifth-largest company measured by revenues after reporting its annual earnings of over $388 billion in 2018.
The company is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, and is incorporated in the UK. Shell provides approximately 10% of Britain’s total oil and gas production. Around the world, some of Royal Dutch Shell’s major projects include the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility in Western Australia, the Trans Niger Pipeline and Cardamom oil and gas field in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Shell has four main business units: upstream, downstream, integrated gas and new energies, and project and technology. The Shell Oil Company is Royal Dutch Shell’s US subsidiary and its largest business. The company is active in every area of the gas and oil industry, engaging in exploration, production, refining, transportation, marketing, distribution, trading, petrochemicals and power generation. It also has interests in various renewable energy activities, including in wind, hydrogen, biofuels and energy-kite systems.
The origins of Shell date back to 1907 when the company was established through the amalgamation of the Shell Transport and Trading Company of the UK and the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands. It’s been a big presence in the energy industry ever since, though there have been a fair number of controversies along the way. In November 2004, after a period of turmoil following news that Shell had been overstating its oil reserves, it was announced that Shell Group would move to a single capital structure, creating a new parent company called Royal Dutch Shell plc.
Today, the Royal Dutch Shell plc share price is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and included in the FTSE 100 Index. In June 2019, the company had a market capitalisation of over £216 billion, making it the largest company listed on the LSE. The share price ‘Royal Dutch Shell B’ has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam.
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