Shell Australia

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Shell Australia Limited
Industry Oil and gas
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Products Petroleum products, lubricants, chemicals
Number of employees
Parent Royal Dutch Shell
Shell petrol station in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

The Shell Company of Australia Limited, the Australian subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, conducts a large range of activities. These include exploration for, and the production and commercialization of, oil and natural gas, the operation of two refineries, 19 terminals and 33 depots, for the manufacture and distribution of oil products. Additionally, the subsidiary markets lubricants, aviation products, marine oil products, bitumen and chemicals.

In February 2014, Shell sold its Australian refinery and petrol stations for A$2.9 billion (US$2.6 billion) to Vitol, a Geneva-based company.[1]

Service station network[edit]

Wesfarmers has operated most of Shell's retail service station network in Australia under the Coles Express brand since 2003, when (as Coles Group), it purchased the retail business of Shell Australia's multi-site franchisees for A$94 million.[2]

Shell is the exclusive supplier of fuel products to the Coles Express network,[3] leases the service station property to Coles, and maintains the presence of Shell branding. Coles Express sets fuel and shop prices and operates the business, provides convenience and grocery merchandise through its supply chain and distribution network, and directly employs service station staff.



On May 20, 2011, Royal Dutch Shell's final investment decision for the world's first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility was finalized. Shell first began exploring the concept of a FLNG in the 1990s for a potential offshore field in Namibia, but the project was abandoned due to unfavorable economic conditions. The initiative was relaunched following the discovery of the remote offshore Prelude field—located off Australia's northwestern coast and estimated to contain about 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent reserves—in 2007. FLNG technology is based on liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments that were pioneered in the mid-20th century and facilitates the exploitation of untapped natural gas reserves located in remote areas, often too small to extract any other way.[4][5]

The floating vessel to be used for the Prelude field, also known as "Prelude," was still being constructed in Geoje, South Korea in mid-June 2014. Promoted as the longest floating structure in the world, the vessel will consist of a processing structure, measuring 93 meters in height from the deck, that will take in the equivalent of 110,000 barrels of oil per day in natural gas—at a location 200 km (125 miles) off the coast of Western Australia—and cool it into liquefied natural gas for transport and sale in Asia. The hull of the vessel was completed in December 2013 and the Prelude is scheduled to start producing LNG in 2016—analysts estimated the total cost of construction at more than US$12 billion.[4][5][6]

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee of the Western Australian Parliament commenced the "Inquiry into the Economic Implications of Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Operations" on May 23, 2013. The Committee aims to ascertain the impact of FLNG upon the engineering and design; fabrication and manufacturing; and construction and ancillary services sectors; domestic gas supply and industrial gas users; and state revenue. The deadline for inquiry submissions is August 31, 2014.[7]


In July 2011, the Federal Government gave approval for the company to drill an exploration well 50 km to the west of the Ningaloo Marine Park. The drilling operation will occur at depths of around 1,300 metres, the deepest ever in Australian waters.[8]


Shell used to operate two oil refineries in Australia: one at Corio in Geelong, Victoria, and one at Clyde in Sydney, New South Wales. The Clyde refinery ceased operations in September 2012, and was converted to a fuel import terminal.[9]

In April 2013 Shell Australia announced that it would close its Geelong refinery, and in June 2013 a third consecutive annual loss was recorded for its refining and fuel marketing assets, along with an asset writedown of A$203 million, which had been preceded by a A$638m writedown in 2012 and a A$407m writedown in 2011 after the closure of the Clyde refinery in Sydney, Australia.[10]

In February 2014, Shell sold its Geelong refinery and 870 retail sites for US$2.6 billion (A$2.9 billion) to the Vitol Group, which said that the Geelong refinery would remain open. In a statement released on 21 February 2014, Royal Dutch Shell’s Australian unit said that the deal did not include its aviation-fuel business, and that it would continue to invest in the Australian market, with projects that involve Chevron Corp., Woodside Petroleum and Prelude.[1][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Vitol pays $2.6 billion for Shell's Australian refinery, petrol stations". Reuters. 21 Feb 2014. Retrieved 21 Feb 2014. 
  2. ^ "Fletcher upbeat about Coles Express". The Australian Financial Review. 2003-10-15. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  3. ^ "Downstream Operations". Shell Australia. Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Peter Staas (3 June 2011). "Shell’s Prelude FLNG Project: An Offshore Revolution?". Investing Daily. Capitol Information Group, Inc. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Reuters and Associated Press (3 December 2013). "Shell’s massive Prelude hull world’s biggest-ever floating vessel and first ocean-based LNG plant". Financial Post. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Ross Kelly (19 June 2014). "GDF Suez, Santos Halt Innovative LNG Plan in Australia". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Inquiry Details". Parliament of Western Australia. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Rebecca Le May (7 July 2011). "Shell to drill off Ningaloo without review". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 8 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "Shell brings forward refinery closure". ABC News. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Matt Chambers (4 June 2013). "Geelong refinery writedown hits Shell for $203m". The Australian. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  11. ^ James Paton (21 February 2014). "Vitol to Pay Shell A$2.9 Billion for Australian Assets". Bloomberg. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 

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