P&T develops and deploys technology to increase the value or reduce the cost of Shell’s energy projects, or otherwise enhance the performance and profitability of Shell’s own and its customers’ businesses. To this end, P&T operates a global network of technology centres, with major hubs in Houston in the USA, Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Bangalore in India. Thousands of people across the network work on various R&D projects that seek, for example, to turn natural gas into cleaner and more energy-saving fuels, to unlock oil from rock layers thousands of metres below the sea surface, and to reduce Shell’s net carbon footprint.
Overall, R&D spending in 2017 amounted to $922 million.
The majority of our R&D focuses on the near term. It is intended to help our existing businesses to reduce capital and operating costs, and to enhance customer products and services. This research also aims to reduce energy consumption and, consequently, Shell’s carbon footprint. For the long term, we seek to rapidly acquire deeper insights into the science and engineering that underpins new energy technologies that can help create a lower-carbon future.
Our R&D projects often involve collaborations with public or private entities, including universities, government laboratories, technology start-ups and incubators. We have three programmes through which entrepreneurs can share the rewards (and risks) of commercialising technology with us. These span both short- and longer-term technology developments.
This programme provides financial and technical support to prove the commercial and technical viability of ideas that could transform the energy industry. It connects with early-stage start-ups and new-business incubators around the world.
Shell Technology Ventures
This is our corporate venturing arm. It invests in companies that are developing promising technologies that complement Shell’s businesses – mainly in oil and gas, new energies and information technology.
Shell TechWorks (STW)
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, STW aims to accelerate the adoption of proven technologies from other industries and apply these to the energy sector. Since its founding in 2013, STW has collaborated with companies, universities, research institutes and start-ups to help develop and deploy technology quickly and cost-effectively.