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Fuelling development

Our biggest contribution to society is providing the energy the world needs for economic growth and development. Shell companies provide about 2% of the world’s oil and 3% of its natural gas. We sell transport fuel to around 10 million customers a day and enough liquefied natural gas to provide electricity for 34 million homes.

Today up to 2 billion people lack access to reliable modern energy. The world’s population is expected to grow by another 3 billion by 2050, mostly in areas without access to modern energy today. Our scenarios and the International Energy Agency say that twice as much energy will be needed by 2050.

In 2008, we invested $32 billion, to develop and bring new sources of modern energy to market. This level was higher than that of any other international oil company according to their annual reports, as was the more than $1.2 billion investment in research and development for technologies that will be needed to produce more energy and cleaner fuels.

Royalties and taxes

Our industry makes a major contribution to government finances: managed well the money can fund services such as schools and hospitals and diversify the economy. Managed poorly, the money can stimulate corruption, social inequality and conflict. The responsibility for turning these funds into social benefits lies with governments but we encourage and support host governments’ efforts to use energy revenues effectively.

Buying and hiring locally

We have a global tendering and contract management process and we actively promote the use of local suppliers and contractors. We train local companies to help them meet our standards so they can compete for contracts. We also help local communities set up businesses to sell us goods and services. In more than 90% of the low and medium income countries where Shell operates, we have programmes to attract and train local staff.

Social investment

Smiling boy

We have been involved in social investment programmes for many years and are working to make them more effective at delivering real benefits for the countries and communities where we operate. We support a wide range of community welfare initiatives and projects aimed at education or skills development; community development or social cohesion; health, environment and safety-related issues; and enterprise development and capacity building.


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