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Natural gas

We are finding ways to open up new resources of natural gas, the cleanest burning fossil fuel.
High volumes of natural gas are trapped tightly in rock pores, as little as 100 times less the width of a human hair. Until recently these resources were considered too difficult or too costly to extract. Advanced technology is helping us to unlock the gas responsibly and boost energy security.

We have spent more than 35 years researching technology to convert gas to liquid products used for heating fuel, transport fuel and lubricants. In Qatar we have constructed the world’s largest plant to turn natural gas into liquid products, Pearl GTL.

Many large natural gas fields are far from customers. Cooling gas to liquid at -162°C (260°F) allows us to ship it to regasification plants where it is returned to a gaseous state and piped to customers. Shell is moving ahead to build the world’s first giant floating facility to turn gas to liquid, Prelude FLNG.

Deep water

Hundreds of metres below the ocean’s surface freezing temperatures and extreme pressure make gas and oil production a challenge. We have pushed the boundaries of what is technically possible in developing advanced technologies to help unlock these resources.

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Vast resources of oil and natural gas lie untapped in the Arctic. These could be vital in helping to meet rising global energy demand. We have decades of experience operating in Arctic and subarctic conditions. Our approach to developing these regions combines advanced technologies and extensive knowledge to help balance economic, environmental and social challenges.


New drilling technologies and techniques have extended the length wells can reach to more than 10 kilometres. We have developed snake wells to reach small pockets of oil. Engineers drill the wells horizontally so they can turn corners and snake from one pocket of oil to another.

We have also designed special metal casings called expandable tubulars that help us to build longer wells.

Our Smart Fields® technology integrates digital information from sensors deep down in the ground and various other reservoir monitoring techniques to continuously optimise our operations, such as using remotely operated valves installed in the depth of the wells.

Enhanced oil recovery

When an oil field reaches the end of its normal life, up to two-thirds of its oil is left in the ground because it is too difficult or too expensive to produce. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) involves injecting steam, gas or chemicals to bring more oil to the surface. Boosting production in this way could unlock some additional 300 billion barrels of oil, according to the International Energy Agency.

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