Shell Oil Company
|Headquarters||Houston, Texas, U.S.|
|Marvin E. Odum, President|
|Revenue||$2.147 billion (2008)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Royal Dutch Shell|
|Website||Shell U.S. Site|
Shell Oil Company is the United States-based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational "oil major" of Anglo-Dutch origins, which is amongst the largest oil companies in the world. Approximately 22,000 Shell employees are based in the U.S. The U.S. head office is in Houston, Texas. Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America's largest oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.
Shell is the market leader through approximately 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations in the U.S. which also serve as Shell's most visible public presence. Shell Oil Company is a 50/50 partner with the Saudi Arabian government-owned oil company Saudi Aramco in Motiva Enterprises, a refining and marketing joint venture which owns and operates three oil refineries on the Gulf Coast of the United States.
Shell products include oils, fuels, and card services as well as exploration, production, and refining of petroleum products. The Shell Oil Refinery in Martinez, California, the first Shell refinery in the United States, supplies Shell and Texaco stations in the West and Midwest.
In 1997, Shell and Texaco entered into two refining/marketing joint ventures. One combined their Midwestern and Western operations and was known as Equilon. The other, known as Motiva, combined the Eastern and Gulf Coast operations of Shell Oil and Star Enterprise, itself a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Texaco. After Texaco merged with Chevron in 2001, Shell purchased Texaco's shares in the joint ventures. In 2002, Shell began converting these Texaco stations to the Shell brand, a process that was to be completed by June 2004 and was called "the largest retail re-branding initiative in American business history."
Relationship with Royal Dutch Shell
Until the mid-1980s Shell's business in the United States was substantially independent. Limited direct involvement from the main office in the Hague, Netherlands and having its stock "Shell Oil" traded on the New York Stock Exchange were factors. However, in 1984, Royal Dutch Shell made a bid to purchase those shares of Shell Oil Company it did not own (around 30%) and despite some opposition from some minority shareholders which led to a court case, Shell completed the buyout for a sum of $5.7 billion. Despite the acquisition, however, Shell Oil remained a fairly independent business. This was due in part to complex legal reasons as Royal Dutch Shell feared that there could be onerous liability problems if a closer control of Shell Oil's affairs was exercised by the "parent companies." One consequence of this independence was that the Shell logo used in the U.S. was slightly different from that used in the rest of the world. In the 1980s Shell Oil's independence began to gradually erode as the "parent companies" took a more hands-on approach in running the business. The logo used in the United States is the same as that used elsewhere since June 1, 1998.
- Aera Energy —joint venture with ExxonMobil operating in California.
- Motiva Enterprises —joint venture with Saudi Refining.
- Shell Development Emeryville —research facility that operated from 1928–1966 in California.
Shell Puget Sound Refinery, Anacortes, Washington, was fined $291,000 from 2006 to 2010 for violations of the Clean Air Act making it the second most-fined violator in the Pacific Northwest. As of 2011[update], it was listed as "high priority violator" since 2008.
In 2008, a lawsuit was filed against Shell Oil Company for alleged Clean Air Act violation. Shell Deer Park facility, 20 miles east of Houston, was the nation's eighth-largest oil refinery and one of the world's largest petrochemical producers. The facility was also the second largest source of air pollution in Harris County, which ranked among the lowest in the nation in several measures of air quality.[News 1] According to Sierra Club and Environment Texas, analysis of Shell's reports to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, air pollutants released at Deer Park since 2003 exceeded the EPA's emissions limits.
Will Oremus from Slate magazine states, "The company's business depends on being able to anticipate and respond quickly to seismic shifts in the energy market. So it employs a team of big-thinking futurists, called scenario planners, to keep it a step ahead. In 2008 the company released a fresh pair of scenarios for how the world might respond to climate change over the coming decades. Both were predicated on what the company called 'three hard truths': that global energy demand is rising, that the supply of conventional energy will not be able to keep up, and that climate change is both real and dangerous." 
Between 1978 and 1995, Shell Oil produced polybutylene pipes, which corrode when exposed to chlorine. A class action lawsuit was filed in 1995 against Shell Oil when the polybutylene pipes caused flooding in many households in the U.S. and Canada. The settlement required Shell Oil to pay for the re-installation of piping for millions of houses for claims filed through May 2009.
- Petroleum geology
- Fred Meissner, Shell Laboratories, Petroleum Explorationist, Professor Colorado School of Mines
- M. King Hubbert, Shell Laboratories, Petroleum Geologist, created the Hubbert peak theory model of oil depletion
- Motiva Enterprises
- Donovan, John. "Reporter". ABC News. Royal Dutch Shell. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- "Products and Services". Shell Oil Company. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "About Shell Martinez Refinery". Shell Oil Company. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Holusha, John (April 12, 1990). "Shell Offers a New Gasoline In 10 Cities to Aid Air Quality". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- "Aspects of the Refining/Marketing Joint Ventures of Shell Oil, Star Enterprises, and Texaco". U.S. Energy Information Administration. July 23, 2001. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Shell to brand new U.S. gas stations". Houston Business Journal (bizjournals.com). February 8, 2002.
- "Trust Your Car to the Man who Wears the... Shell". WCCB-TV. May 8, 2002. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Thomas C. Hayes (December 13, 1990). "Shell Oil Shareholders Awarded $110 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Tyler Priest (2007). The Offshore Imperative: Shell Oil's Search for Petroleum in Postwar America. Texas A&M University Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-58544-568-4.
- Robert McClure and Lisa Stiffler (November 7, 2011). "EPA's 'High Priority Violators' Scattered Across the Northwest". NPR. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Hsu, Nelson. "Poisoned Places Map". NPR. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Seba, Erwin (April 23, 2009). "Shell agrees to settle TX refinery pollution suit". Reuters. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "$20 million Settlement Announced in Class Action with Shell" (PDF) (Press release). Siskinds Law Firm. June 11, 2004. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- "Shell, Hoechst Agree to Pay $850 Million". Los Angeles Times. October 4, 2005. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
- Official website
- Works by Shell Union Oil Corporation at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Shell Union Oil Company at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)