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Delivery commitments and exploration

Delivery commitments

We sell crude oil and natural gas from our producing operations under a variety of contractual obligations. Most contracts generally commit us to sell quantities based on production from specified properties, although some natural gas sales contracts specify delivery of fixed and determinable quantities, as discussed below.

In the past three years, we met our contractual delivery commitments, with the notable exceptions of Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, and Malaysia. In the period 2022-2024, we are contractually committed to deliver to third parties, joint ventures and associates a total of 6,976 billion scf of natural gas from our subsidiaries, joint ventures and associates. The sales contracts contain a mixture of fixed and variable pricing formulae that are generally referenced to the prevailing market price for crude oil, natural gas or other petroleum products at the time of delivery.

In the period 2022-2024, we expect to meet our delivery commitments for almost all the areas in which they are carried, with an estimated 73.2% coming from PD, 5.0% through the delivery of gas that becomes available to us from paying royalties in cash, and 21.8% from the development of PUD as well as other new projects and purchases. The key exceptions are:

  • Egypt: The government decision to divert gas from the offshore West Delta Deep Marine fields to domestic use has caused a tangible shortfall of 502 billion scf (84% of the promised gas delivery), expected to continue in the near future leaving LNG gas commitment mostly under force majeure;
  • in Trinidad and Tobago (East Coast Marine Area and North Coast Marine Area), we expect to cover 91% of our delivery commitments from existing developed resource volumes and new projects, resulting in an expected true shortfall of some 62 billion scf; and
  • in Malaysia, one of the third-party gas supply lines which was under maintenance has not been repaired during 2021. Force majeure has been declared, and no penalties have been incurred, resulting in an expected true shortfall of some 54 billion scf (48% of the promised gas delivery).


In 2021, producible hydrocarbons were encountered in the US Gulf of Mexico and Brunei.

Gulf of Mexico

In 2021, we acquired 19 blocks in the US Gulf of Mexico in Lease Sale 256. We relinquished leases for 22 blocks ahead of expiration.

In August 2021, the Mexican regulator, Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos, approved the Shell farm-in transaction with China Offshore Oil Corporation E&P Mexico S.A.P.I. de C.V. into a deep-water licence in the offshore Mexico Perdido (Shell interest 30%).


In June 2021, the Brazilian government ratified a block in Outboard Campos Basin (Shell interest 100%), awarded in the second National Petroleum Agency permanent offer bid round in Brazil.

In October 2021, we secured five Southern Santos blocks in the 17th National Petroleum Agency bid round in Brazil (Shell interest 100% in four of them, 70% in the remaining one, operator in all cases), all of which are awaiting government ratification.


In July 2021, we signed an exploration production-sharing contract for an offshore Sarawak block (Shell interest 85%).


In 2021, we purchased exploration licences across multiple plays in the 32nd UK Offshore Licence Round (Shell interest 50-100%).

New frontiers

In January 2021, we entered into an agreement with Equinor and YPF for an offshore block in the Argentina basin (Shell interest 30%).

In March 2021, we reduced half of our interest, from 90% to 45%, in an exploration block in Namibia.

In August 2021, the South African government approved a farm-in transaction with Impact Africa Limited under which Shell acquired a 50% participating interest and operatorship in two frontier deep-water blocks off the east coast of South Africa.

We also received regulatory approvals and third-party consents for a portfolio transaction with Kosmos for one block in South Africa under which we acquired an additional 45% working interest.

In December 2021, we signed a farm-in agreement into a shallow-water block in Suriname (Shell interest 20%).

For further information, see “Supplementary Information – oil and gas (unaudited)”.

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