Case study: Australia
Shell is one of the largest foreign investors in Australia with a presence going back more than a century. Today, we are a leading gas producer and are playing our part in the transition to a low-carbon future by investing in the power sector, renewable energy sources and carbon abatement activities.
Shell Australia’s focus turned to natural gas after the divestment of the Australian refining and fuels businesses in 2014. We continue to invest in and operate two gas production and liquefaction businesses: QGC onshore gas in Queensland and the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility offshore of Western Australia.
In 2019, Shell Australia also entered the power sector via the acquisition of one of Australia’s leading commercial and industrial retailers and traders, ERM Power. In renewable power, we are building our first industrial-scale solar project in Australia in Queensland, which is designed to generate around 120 megawatts of solar electricity, and have taken a 49% stake in ESCO Pacific, a developer of utility-scale solar farms. Shell Australia is also a partner in the Gorgon carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, the world’s largest CCS facility to store carbon dioxide beneath the sea floor.
Shell Australia invests in projects which require significant capital investment during their exploration, construction and development phases and may take several years to generate profit. This affects the corporate income tax payable.
In 2019, the corporate income tax paid by Shell in Australia was $1.2 million. Although some projects did make a profit in 2019, adjustments for capital allowances and carry-forward losses resulted in taxable income being lower than accounting profit.
Shell’s Payments to Governments Report for 2019 shows that Shell Australia also made around $174.5 million in payments of royalties, fees and infrastructure improvements.
For more information on Shell in Australia see our separate tax transparency report which we publish as part of Australia's voluntary tax transparency code online: https://www.shell.com.au/sustainability/reporting.