Our business activities

Key figures in 2018

Overview of taxes paid in 2018 - business items key figures in 2018: 82,000 employees; $15.7 billion in dividends to investors; invested nearly $25billion in capital projects in 2018; $3.9billion of share buybacks were also completed in 2018. (infographic)

Shell aims to meet the world’s growing need for more and cleaner energy solutions in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible. Our global group of energy and petrochemical companies operates in many countries and locations and across the whole energy supply chain.

We have the following strategic ambitions:

  • To deliver a world-class investment case. This involves growing free cash flow and increasing returns, all built upon a strong financial framework and resilient portfolio;
  • To thrive in the energy transition by responding to society’s need for more and cleaner, convenient and competitive energy; and
  • To sustain a strong societal licence to operate and make a positive contribution to society through our activities.

We describe below how our activities are organised into Integrated Gas and New Energies, Upstream, Downstream and Projects & Technology, which work together to help meet energy demand.

Shell business activities

  1. Exploring for oil and gas
  2. Capturing CO2 and storing it safely underground
  3. Producing conventional, deep water and shale oil and gas
  4. Extracting and upgrading bitumen
  5. Researching and developing technology
  6. Developing onshore and offshore fields
  7. Shipping gas and oil to where they are needed
  8. Refining oil into fuels and lubricants
  9. Producing petrochemicals
  10. Supplying products to businesses including chemical products for plastics, coatings, detergents and bitumen for road surfaces
  11. Support services
  12. Supplying aviation fuel
  13. Liquefying gas by cooling (LNG)
  14. Converting gas to liquid products (GTL)
  15. Producing biofuels
  16. Generating renewable power
  17. Providing mobility solutions for customers including fuels and lubricants
  18. Progressing electric vehicles and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure
  19. Regasifying LNG
  20. Trading oil and gas
  21. Supplying LNG for transport by road and by sea
  22. Trading power
  23. Supplying domestic electricity
  24. Supplying products to businesses including gas that will be used for cooking, heating, electrical power

Shell business model

Shell business model (infographic)

The business model, the stage in the investment cycle and business performance drives much of our taxes paid.

Our tax data reflect the varied nature of our activities. We have a large portfolio of assets and businesses in different countries and at different stages of the business cycle, from start-up to decommissioning.

Our business profits are closely linked to oil and gas prices and so are our taxes. When oil prices are lower, we expect a lower overall effective tax rate (ETR). When the oil price is higher, we see a greater proportion of profits being taxed at higher upstream tax rates. Further details on our ETR can be found in the 2018 Annual Report and Form 20-F.

Business activities are supported by centralised services, such as legal, human resources and others. For more details, see the chapter Supporting services.