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Royal Dutch Shell


royal dutch shell

Royal Dutch Shell

The Royal Dutch Shell Group was established in February 1907 as a result of the amalgamation of two rival companies: the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (a Netherlands-based oil company) and the “Shell” Transport and Trading Company Ltd (from the United Kingdom).

This move was largely driven by the need to compete globally with Standard Oil. The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, just like its name explains, was a Dutch company created in 1890 to develop an oilfield in Pangkalan Brandan, North Sumatra.


The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was initially led by August Kessler, followed by Hugo Loudon, and then Henri Deterding.

The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company (its legal name contained the quotation marks) on the other hand was a British company; it was established in 1897 by three major people: Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted, and his brother Samuel Samuel.

Marcus’ father, back then, had owned an antique company in Houndsditch, London, and it was later expanded in 1833 to import and sell sea-shells, after which the company “Shell” took its name.

For myriads of reasons, Shell, after it was amalgamated, operated as a dual-listed company, whereby the combined companies maintained their legal existence, but they individually operated as a single-unit partnership for business purposes.

This was so because National Patriotic Sensibilities (NPS) refused to permit a full-scale merger or takeover of either of the two companies. The terms of the merger allowed 60 percent ownership of the newly formed group to the Dutch Petroleum Company arm, while 40 percent ownership was allocated to the Shell Transport and Trading Company.


Production and manufacture was done by Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij, a Dutch company which was located at The Hague. On the other hand, the British Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company, which was based in London, was given the mandate to direct the transport and storage of the products.

The name Shell can be traced to The “Shell” Transport and Trading Company. In 1833, Marcus Samuel Sr., Shell founder’s father, founded an import business that dealt with the sales of seashells to London collectors.

In 1982, while collecting specimens of seashells in the Caspian Sea area, the younger Samuel got a big idea; he discovered there was potential in exporting lamp oil from the region, and this commissioned the world’s first purpose-built oil tanker, the Murex (Latin meaning for a type of snail shell).

Despite the fact that for several decades, the company had a refinery at Shell Haven on the Thames, there is no solid proof of this having provided the name.

The Shell Logo

It is not a mistake to say that he Shell logo is one of the most prominent commercial symbols in the world. This logo is called the “pecten.” This was named after the seashell Pecten maximus (the giant scallop), on which its design revolves around.

The yellow and red colors used on the logo are thought to relate to the colors the flag of Spain carries, as early service stations was built in California by Shell, which used to be a Spanish colony.
In 1971, the current revision of the logo, which we are familiar with today, was designed by Raymond Loewy


Royal Dutch Shell Management

The board of directors announced the appointment of Jorma Ollila, chairman and CEO of Nokia at the time, to succeed Aad Jacobs as the company’s non-executive chairman on 1 June 2006. This announcement took place on 4 August 2005.

Ollila serves as the first Shell chairman to be neither Dutch nor British. Other non-executive directors include:

  • Wim Kok
  • Nina Henderson
  • Maarten van den Bergh
  • Lord Kerr
  • Christine Morin-Postel
  • Adelbert van Roxe

Ben van Beurden has been the CEO of Shell since 3 January 2014. He directly succeeded Peter Voser, who became CEO of Shell on 1 July 2009. Voser is Swiss, and he was the first CEO of the company to be either Dutch or British.

In an interview with McKinsey & Company in June 2014, Ann Pickard was announced to be appointed as the executive vice president of the Arctic at Royal Dutch Shell.

Shell Oil and Gas Activities

The management of a vertically integrated oil company is Shell’s primary business. This includes the development of technical and commercial expertise in every stage of this vertical amalgamation, that is, from the exploration for oil (exploration) through its production, transportation of crude oil, refining of gotten crude oil, and finally trading and marketing of the finished good (oil).

Similar expertise was needed for natural gas, which is now one of the most imperative businesses done by Shell, and which contributes a significant proportion of the company’s profits.

While the combined companies provided significant economies of scale and barriers to entry, each side of the business now seeks to be an independent unit without needing grants from other parts of the company. If you would like to learn more about Royal Dutch Shell, visit their website direct – http://www.shell.com/.


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