Worker refilling a car with Shell Helix Ultra (photo)
Shell Helix Ultra is a motor oil made
from natural gas using patented
GTL technology.

Shell’s natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology makes it possible to use natural gas, rather than crude oil, as the raw material for a range of liquid products, including lubricants and chemicals. In 2014, Shell became the first company to offer natural gas-based fluids and solvents for the chemical industry, globally. These products are biodegradable and less harmful to the environment. They can be used in paints and coatings, inks, water treatment and consumer goods.

In 2014, we introduced Shell Helix Ultra motor oil (called Pennzoil Platinum in North America), with Shell PurePlus technology which uses a GTL process to convert natural gas into a clear base oil – the key component of finished motor oils. Its new formulations remove most of the impurities found in products blended from base oils made from crude oil. They provide higher levels of cleansing and protection against the build-up of engine deposits that can reduce engine efficiency.

Ships and aircraft

25 MILLIONRetail customers a day worldwide

43,000Shell branded retail stations worldwide

420,000Participants in our Shell Fuelsave Target One Million campaign to date

In 2014, we launched Shell Alexia S3, a marine engine oil that is designed for large ships using fuels that conform to the emissions limits within controlled marine areas. These apply to sea areas around the world in which limits are set for the amount of airborne emissions, including sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides, that vessels may emit.

Our collaborations with engine and equipment manufacturers are key to developing new fuels and lubricants. We have partnered with aircraft manufacturers, airlines and regulators for more than a century. In 2013, after almost a decade of research, we became the first major international energy company to develop a lead-free replacement of aviation fuel used in piston-engined aircraft. We are working with industry forums and regulators, including the US Federal Aviation Administration, to gain the necessary approvals so that the products can be used for both new and older aircraft.

GTL technology is also helping in the aviation sector. Our previous trials on GTL jet fuel with Rolls Royce, Airbus and Qatar Airways led to the approval of GTL Jet Fuel. This is a blend of up to 50% synthetic GTL jet fuel and conventional oil-based jet fuel. GTL jet fuel burns with virtually no sulphur dioxide and produces lower particulate emissions than conventional oil-based jet fuel. This can help to improve local air quality at airports.

Educating drivers

We also try to help customers become more energy efficient by changing their driving behaviour. The Shell FuelSave Target One Million campaign aims to help 1 million motorists save fuel and money. Interactive online games have been created to equip users with driving skills and other tips to reduce the cost of motoring and be more fuel efficient. To date, around 420,000 drivers have taken part.