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Deep water

Shell is a pioneer in developing energy resources in deep waters. We introduced many of the advanced technologies, processes and safety procedures in use by the industry today. In 2012, Shell’s share of global deep-water production was 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day. We continued to reach into ever-deeper, more challenging environments off the shores of Malaysia, the USA, Brazil, Nigeria and French Guyana. We also worked to develop these resources responsibly by reducing our impact on the environment and being a good neighbour to the coastal communities closest to our operations.


Only around a third of the oil in a field, on average, can be recovered economically using conventional methods. One way to help meet increasing energy demand is to boost oil recovery with the aid of steam, gas or detergent-like chemicals. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) usually raises the amount of oil recovered by 5 to 20%, and in some cases by significantly more.

Working with partners, Shell applies EOR techniques in projects around the world. In 2012, we signed agreements for potential chemical EOR projects in offshore fields with Petronas, the Malaysian national oil company. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO, Shell interest 34%) operates several EOR projects. Some rely on steam to heat the oil. PDO is finding energy-efficient ways of boiling water to produce this steam. At Qarn Alam it is capturing waste heat from neighbouring power plants. At Amal it plans to use mirrors to capture energy from the desert sun.

Advanced technology also helps us to manage our resources more efficiently. Our Smart Fields® technologies allow engineers to monitor and control production remotely using a network of sensors, valves and other instruments.