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Onshore oil and gas operating principles

If the benefits of natural gas for meeting global energy demand are to be fully realised, questions need to be answered on the environmental and social impacts of developing tight gas resources.

We believe that as Shell and other major companies continue to develop these resources, setting consistent and responsible industry standards will be vital. Having an open dialogue with those affected by natural gas development will also be essential.

In consultation with environmental regulators and non-governmental organisations, we developed and published our industry-leading five global onshore tight oil and gas operating principles. These set out how we aspire to operate as we develop natural gas resources.


  • designs, constructs and operates wells and facilities in a safe and responsible way;
  • conducts its operations in a manner that protects groundwater and reduces potable water use, as reasonably practicable;
  • conducts its operations in a manner that protects air quality and controls fugitive emissions;
  • works to reduce its operational footprint; and
  • engages with local communities regarding socio-economic impacts that may arise from its operations.

We continuously evaluate our operations. Since the launch of the principles, we have been working to close gaps in their application. We are also encouraging the joint ventures we do not control to adopt similar principles.

Our goal is to have these principles in place at all our operations around the world. As new challenges, technologies and regulatory requirements emerge, we will periodically review and update these principles.