Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies
Following the oral evidence on 20 November 2002,
the Committee Chairman requested further information on two specific
areas of interest.
1. SHELL SCHOLARSHIPS
1.1 Sheall currently provides a small number
of MSc and PhD sponsorships in areas associated with our UK businesses,
especially in the Earth Sciences.
1.2 Each year Shell Global Solutions (UK),
which has one of the world's leading centres for research and
development of oil products at Cheshire Innovation Park, has about
20 students on site for a whole year. Their Fuels and Lubricants
division sponsor one or two of the best students every year (£1,500
per annum) for the duration of their academic studies. Currently
there are four students on this scheme at various stages of their
degree working on different aspects of fuels development.
1.3 Shell Global Solutions also gets three
Industrial Case Awards a year for Postgraduate Students from the
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Current awards
of this type are:
Sheffield University: Fuel effects
on Diesel idle stability. Project establishes methodologies for
relating vehicle vibration to driver comfort. Currently in third
Birmingham University: Fuels for
solid oxide fuel cells. Currently in second year.
Cranfield University: Fuel for Lean
Premixed Prevaporised (LPP) aeronautic combustors. This emerging
combustor technology has substantial environmental benefits. Due
to start January 2003.
Cambridge University: Combustion
in Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines. This
new type of configuration of engine may enable both large fuel
economy and emission reductions issues around the control of the
combustion to be resolved. Due to start September 2003.
None industrial case studentships:
Loughborough University: Selective
Removal of Components from Gasoline Using Membrane Technology.
Currently in second year.
1.4 A range of Marie Curie options within
the Human Resources and Mobility activity of the EU sixth Framework
programme have recently been announced. Several of the host driven
initiatives, such as Research Training Networks, Early Stage Training
and Transfer of Knowledge, and the individual driven actions,
contain attractive features which should help strengthen academia-industry
partnerships across Europe. We are currently considering their
applicability to R&D themes relevant to our oil product activities
and will be giving serious consideration to submitting proposals
1.5 Shell is also currently investigating
the development options for a series of annual bursaries for students
of specific technical disciplines. These awards would be used
to encourage students to study courses such as Mechanical Engineering,
Chemical Engineering and Geology. We hope to be able to launch
a pilot scheme soon to test the idea and we are in discussion
with academics about how best to target such investments.
1.6 In 2001 Shell introduced its Campus
Ambassadors programme at six leading universities, aimed at strengthening
our position in the UK student market in order to increase the
attraction of top talent to the company. The programme is designed
to raise the profile of Shell on campus, organise and runs events
to attract students, be inspiring role models for young people
who are thinking about their future career options and to develop
good relationships with academics on campus.
2. THE CO2
2.1 Energy companies have been investing
in alternatives to fossil fuels, but believe that these are unlikely
to replace fossil fuels in the short to medium term if the world's
ever-increasing energy requirements are to be met at an acceptable
cost. Fossil fuels will still be in demand for the foreseeable
future and progressive energy companies have recognised that,
in supplying fossil fuels, prudent precautionary measures to limit
combustion emissions are required now.
2.2 CO2 capture and geologic
storage offer a new set of options for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions that can complement the current strategies of improving
energy efficiency and increasing the use of non-fossil energy
2.3 The CO2 Capture Project (CCP)
is an international effort funded by eight of the world's leading
energy companies (list attached). This project intends to address
the issue of reducing emissions in a manner that will contribute
to an environmentally acceptable and competitively priced continuous
energy supply for the world.
2.4 Three Governmentsthe US, the
EU and Norwayprovide matching funding. The CCP issues contracts
to (generally third-party) technology providers to perform the
development work. Employees from the eight companies serve on
CCP technical teams, managing contracts with the technology providers
and co-ordinating parts of the programme. Shell plays a very active
role on these teams.
2.5 The CCP will accomplish this by:
Performing benchtop research and
development (engineering studies, computer modelling, laboratory
experiments) to prove the feasibility of advanced CO2
separation and capture technologies, specifically targeting post-combustion
methods, pre-combustion decarbonisation and oxyfuel.
Developing guidelines for maximising
safe geologic storage, for measuring and verifying stored volumes
and for assessing and mitigating storage risks.
Developing an economic model to establish
lifecycle CO2 separation, capture and sequestration
costs for current and best technologies to compare alternatives
and direct the research and development towards the most promising
Actively transferring and making
available the new technologies to industry via publications, presentations,
conferences, an Internet website, patent licenses and commercial
2.6 These technologies will be applicable
to a large fraction of CO2 sources around the worldsuch
as power plants and other industrial processes. Implementing these
new technologies during this decade will reduce the impact of
continued fossil energy use while cleaner energy sources are being
2.7 In the case of capture, the obstacle
to deployment is cost. Conventional technologiy can capture CO2,
but the cost is much too high. The contractors work on new technologies
to reduce the cost of capturing CO2 from combustion
sources such as turbines, heaters and boilers and safely store
it underground. This may also involve developing industry standards
and suitable regulatory frameworks.
2.8 Three capture technologies and four
storage mechanisms are envisaged:
Considered the first step towards large-scale
capture, CO2 is removed from exhaust gas after combustion.
This technology can be retrofitted to existing equipment.
Pre-Combustion Decarbonisation (Hydrogen).
Natural gas is converted to hydrogen and CO2
in a reformer. The CO2 is compressed for storage and
the hydrogen is mixed with air for combustion, emitting only nitrogen
Oxygen is separated from air and then burned
with hydrocarbons to produce an exhaust with a high concentration
of CO2 for storage.
CO2 Stored in Saline Formation.
CO2 Displaces Methane
CO2 Stored in Depleted
CO2 Displaces Trapped
Oil (Enhanced Oil Recovery).
2.9 A distinctive aspect of the CCP is an
emphasis on collaboration and partnership with governments, industry,
NGOs and other stakeholders. The members of the project recognise
that the challenges associated with global climate change require
solutions that are economically and socially acceptable to all.
2.10 The timescale of the CCP programme
is April 2000 through December 2003. Shell is providing more than
$1.6 million in cash and a comparable amount of staff time. The
intention is to follow on with a demonstration project, but we
have not completed an agreement for that phase. We estimate commercial
deployment in the timeframe 2008 to 2010.