Royal Dutch Shell plc, commonly known as Shell, is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company incorporated in the United Kingdom and headquartered in the Netherlands. Created by the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum and UK-based Shell Transport & Trading, it is the largest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas “supermajors”. Shell is also one of the world’s most valuable companies. As of January, 2013 the largest shareholder is Capital Research Global Investors with 9.85% ahead of BlackRock in second with 6.89%. Shell topped the Fortune 500 list of largest companies in the world. Royal Dutch Shell revenue was equal to 84% of the Netherlands’s $555.8 billion GDP at the time.
Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It has minor renewable energy activities in the form of biofuels. It has operations in over 90 countries, produces around 3.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 44,000 service stations worldwide. Shell Oil Company, its subsidiary in the United States, is one of its largest businesses. Shell has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. As of 6 July 2012, it was the largest company on the FTSE, with a market capitalisation of £140.9 billion. It has secondary listings on Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Royal Dutch Shell Group was created in February 1907 through the merger of two rival companies – Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (Dutch legal name : N.V. Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij) and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd of the United Kingdom, founded by Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted. It was a move largely driven by the need to compete globally with the then dominant American petroleum company, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, and as a strategy to face the challenges brought by the crisis of 1907. The terms of the merger gave 60% ownership of the new Group to the Dutch arm and 40% to the British. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was a Dutch company founded in 1890 by Jean Baptiste August Kessler, along with Henri Deterding, when a Royal charter was granted by King William III of the Netherlands to a small oil exploration and production company known as “Royal Dutch Company for the Working of Petroleum Wells in the Dutch East Indies”. The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company (the quotation marks were part of the legal name) was a British company, founded in 1897 by Marcus Samuel and his brother Samuel Samuel.
Their father had owned a company, importing and selling sea-shells, after which the company “Shell” took its name.Initially the Company commissioned eight oil tankers for the purposes of transporting oil. In 1919, Shell took control of the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company and in 1921 formed Shell-Mex Limited which marketed products under the “Shell” and “Eagle” brands in the United Kingdom. In 1932, partly in response to the difficult economic conditions of the times, Shell-Mex merged its UK marketing operations with those of British Petroleum to create Shell-Mex and BP Ltd, a company that traded until the brands separated in 1975. Royal Dutch Company ranked 79th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. Around 1952, Shell was the first company to purchase and use an electronic computer in the Netherlands. The computer, a Ferranti Mark 1*, was assembled and used at the Shell laboratory in Amsterdam. In 1970 Shell acquired the mining company Billiton, which it subsequently sold in 1994 and now forms part of BHP Billiton. 21st century
In November 2004, following a period of turmoil caused by the revelation that Shell had been overstating its oil reserves, it was announced that the Shell Group would move to a single capital structure, creating a new parent company to be named Royal Dutch Shell plc, with its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, a secondary listing on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, its headquarters and tax residency in The Hague, Netherlands and its registered office in London. The unification was completed on 20 July 2005 and the original owners delisted their companies from the respective exchanges. On 20 July 2005, the Shell Transport & Trading Company plc was delisted from the LSE, where as, Royal Dutch Petroleum Company from NYSE on 18 November 2005. The shares of the company were issued at a 60/40 advantage for the shareholders of Royal Dutch in line with the original ownership of the Shell Group.
During the 2009 Iraqi oil services contracts tender, a consortium led by Shell (45%) and which included Petronas (30%) was awarded a production contract for the “Majnoon field” in the south of Iraq, which contains an estimated 12.6 billion barrels (2.00×109 m3) of oil. The “West Qurna 1 field” production contract was awarded to a consortium led by ExxonMobil (60%) and included Shell (15%). In February 2010 Shell and Cosan formed a 50:50 joint-venture, Raízen, comprising all of Cosan’s Brazilian ethanol, energy generation, fuel distribution and sugar activities, and all of Shell’s Brazilian retail fuel and aviation distribution businesses. In March 2010, Shell announced the sale of some of its assets, including its liquid petroleum gas (LPG) business, to meet the cost of a planned $28bn capital spending programme. Shell invited buyers to submit indicative bids, due by 22 March, with a plan to raise $2–3bn from the sale. In June 2010, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to acquire all of the business of East Resources for a cash consideration of $4.7 billion. The transaction included East Resources’ tight gas fields.