Submission from Shell Plc
I am writing in response to your recent request
for information about Shell's activities and investments in technologies
within the marine environment.
Shell shares the UK Government's vision of "clean,
healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and
seas", outlined in the recent Marine Bill White Paper. A
healthy marine environment based on these principles matters to
us for a number of core reasons. We have several businesses operating
in the UK marine environment:
Our Exploration and Production
(EP) business is engaged in the upstream activities of acquiring,
exploring, developing and producing oil and gas. Today we have
ventures in more than 36 countries, with a significant presence
in the North Sea, where we operate some 35 offshore production
and sub-sea installations.
Shell WindEnergy (SWE) focuses
on the development and operation of utility-scale wind farms that
add significant power, flexibility and capacity to the grid. It
is developing three major offshore wind farm projects in EuropeEgmond
Aan Zee in The Netherlands and two in the UK: London Array in
the outer Thames Estuary and Cirrus Shell Flat Array in the Irish
Shell International Trading
and Shipping Company (STASCO) has more than 100 years of shipping
experience transporting crude oil, refined products, liquefied
natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas by sea and is responsible
for managing and/or manning Shell's large portfolio of liquefied
natural gas carriers and tankers.
Shell has been at the forefront of innovation
for over 100 years. The launch of the Murex, the world's first
seagoing tanker, revolutionized oil product transport in 1892
and helped to establish Shell as the major force in the industry.
Today, investing in technology continues to
be central to our business strategy. For example, Shell has implemented
technologies in the North and Norwegian Seas that were unheard
of a few years ago.
Listed below are details of some of the most
significant technologies being applied across Europe:
(i) Maximising Recovery
Tubular technology is used in the North Sea
where there are many advantages. It can be applied both to upgrade
the performance of existing wells and to promote the development
of new wells. It reduces costs and, in some cases, increases productivity
by up to 70%. Depressurisationfor example, the Brent redevelopment
project was the largest offshore field depressurisation ever taken,
helping to prolong the life of the Brent Field.
Horizontal drilling helps to reduce costs and
improve recovery. The technology was swiftly implemented and has
been a huge success in the North Sea.
Monotower platformsthe Monotowers Cutter
and K17 deliver gas from separate sectors of the Southern North
Sea. Both are ultra-minimal Monotowers, a new low cost low maintenance
design, powered exclusively by renewable energy sources and with
reduced CO2 emissions. We believe this innovation was a world
first. There are plans to install four new platforms during 2007.
(ii) Bringing Gas to Market
Ormen Langea massive subsea development
in deep, harsh, northern seas, more than 600 hundred miles from
its customers. Its successful development will require the application
of a wide range of advanced technology. The wells that Shell is
now drilling are the largest deepwater gas wells ever installed.
Goldeneye platformdeveloped to be unmanned,
it serves as a safe and cost effective platform in challenging
(iii) Safety and planning
METNET 3G Real-Time Networkthis system
provides continuous measurement of wind, wave and meteorological
data at 25 offshore installations. This is the leading (and largest)
oil and gas industry metocean network in the UK and is used for
safety and planning of a wide range of Shell operations.
(The data also has many uses in the external
organisations including improving weather forecast accuracy, coastal
flood defences, flight planning/routing etc. http://www.metnet3g.com/).
In-house Load Statistics Module (LSM)a
system developed by Shell to derive the joint probability of extreme
events. It enables quantification of winds and currents associated
with a 100 year wave and factors the combination of wave, tide
and surge to derive the 10,000 year extreme water level used in
setting deck elevations.
(iv) Addressing the CO2 challenge
Carbon capture and storagecarbon dioxide
has long been injected into the ground to assist in enhancing
oil recovery from existing reservoirs. Now Shell is working to
develop cost-effective technologies to capture man-made carbon
emissions, (for example from power plants and refineries) and
store them safely underground.
I hope this provides you with a useful overview
of our marine activities and some of the key technologies we have
been helping to develop.