Potential projects can involve oil and gas fields, transnational pipelines, crude-oil refineries, natural-gas liquefaction trains or petrochemical plants. Teams of scientists and engineers must identify ways in which the project can be feasibly brought into reality and then select the best option for a positive final investment decision. P&T has the in-house expertise to do this in collaboration with Shell’s other businesses, often relying on the application of innovative technology delivered by Shell’s R&D programmes.
Collaboration and innovation are tempered with practicality, however. If an existing technology or engineering process works well, then making it affordable often is a matter of its widespread standardisation and replication. Wherever appropriate, front-end engineering is done by an in-house design team using a tried-and-tested design. Major items are procured and installed through framework agreements with one contractor.
P&T’s scientists and engineers also apply their expertise to create Shell’s technologically advanced fuels and lubricants, and to come up with proprietary processes for manufacturing derivative chemicals. They also supply catalysts, technology licensing and technical consultancy services to non-Shell parties. Finally, they help to develop a new generation of Shell scientists and engineers, equipping them with standardised practices and tools to pursue their profession.