Overcoming technology challenges
Innovation and technology are vital to providing a wider, more sustainable mix of energy resources for the world’s growing population. Thousands of Shell scientists, researchers and engineers around the globe are working to develop tomorrow’s ground-breaking solutions, collaborating with experts and specialists beyond our industry.
An animated look at innovation
Innovating to shape the world's energy future
Title: Innovating to shape the world’s energy future
Duration: 3:39 minutes
Facing energy challenges will require thorough changes in the global energy system as well as new energy sources. Here’s a short-animated video on how human ingenuity and technological innovation can help us address all our energy challenges.
00:02 The world’s population continues to increase, the increase is expected to reach nine billion people by 2050.
00:09 Three quarters of society will live in cities, and we will all need energy.
00:13 To live. To work. For moving.
00:18 In just 50 years, global energy demand will be 75% higher than today’s demand.
00:24 Meeting the demand will require radical changes
00:27 in the global energy system and new energy sources.
00:31 Innovation and technology are very important elements to achieve it.
00:35 Shell invests more than $1 billion in research
00:39 and development every year and take the lead in
00:42 Developing new energy products and technologies,
00:45 From biofuels and liquefied natural gas, to more efficient fuels and lubricants.
00:51 Scientist at our technology centers in Houston, Bangalore, and Amsterdam
00:55 and in our technical centers around the world,
00:57 work across time zones to ensure research never stops.
01:03 Pearl, the world’s largest gas-to-liquid plant
01:05 processes about 1.6 billion cubic feet of wellhead gas every day.
01:11 The factory makes quite a lot of synthetic oil every year
01:13 to produce lubricants for more than 225 million cars.
01:19 While Prelude, the first floating liquefied natural gas project
01:23 will open natural gas fields that were previously difficult to reach at sea.
01:27 The project is expected to be able to produce sufficient liquefied natural gas,
01:30 liquefied petroleum gas and condensate annually to meet annual demand
01:34 For a city the size of Hong Kong.
01:37 In Canada, the Shell Search Project will create
01:40 the world’s first commercial-scale facility
01:42 on oil sands operations to capture and store CO2 safely underground.
01:48 And Raizen, our joint venture in Brazil is
01:51 major producer of ethanol from sugar cane.
01:53 The biofuel emits about 70% less CO2 than gasoline.
01:59 We work with governments, world-class academics and industry specialists
02:03 to help meet the world’s growing energy needs.
02:06 Our collaboration includes the development of state-of-the-art fuels
02:09 to improving data processing in the IT industry.
02:13 We share ideas and expertise with partners
02:16 within and outside the energy sector to drive innovation forward.
02:21 We know some of the best ideas start outside our business.
02:25 Through programs such as Shell GameChanger,
02:28 we discover and nurture unproven concepts that can change
02:31 energy industry.
02:33 and through our Shell LiveWire and Shell Ideas360 programs we inspire
02:38 the next generation of scientist, engineers and entrepreneurs
02:41 to turn their innovative ideas into exciting reality.
02:46 We believe that we need a lot of contributors to really turn the old way into the new.
02:51 That is why we rally our partners in global culture
02:54 i.e. ‘open innovation’, to unite the organization
02:58 and individuals to develop future energy solutions today.
03:03 The world’s energy system will not change overnight,
03:06 but for three billion people without access to modern energy sources,
03:10 change can’t come fast enough.
03:13 At Shell, we will continue to push the boundaries of technology,
03:17 embrace human ingenuity and overcome these complex challenges.
03:22 shape our energy future through innovation.
Shell has been a technology pioneer for more than a century. Today we are one of the largest investors in research and development (R&D) among international oil and gas companies, spending more than $1 billion each year to turn ideas into commercially viable technologies.
Scientists and researchers at our R&D facilities around the world work across time zones to develop ground-breaking innovations. These range from fuels and lubricants that help customers use less energy to the world’s largest floating production facility to unlock and liquefy natural gas at sea, Prelude FLNG.
We work with governments, world-class academics and industry specialists, and we share ideas and expertise with partners inside and beyond the energy sector to drive innovation forward. Open innovation can help speed up and deliver more cost-effectively developments in areas such as natural gas, biofuels, solar power, water treatment, CO2 management and energy efficiency.
We also develop innovative ways to make our operations more efficient and help manage water consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Finding more energy
The era of easy-to-find oil and gas is coming to an end. We are developing new technologies to detect reservoirs that were once invisible, for example at depths of more than 3,000 metres, or hidden under thick layers of salt deep below the seabed.
Unlocking more energy
Once we decide to invest in an oil field our task is to drill the wells and produce the energy as safely and efficiently as possible, with minimum impact on the environment. To achieve these goals we continually develop new technologies and refine our safety processes, applying the same global standards to all our well designs and operating procedures.
Our innovations include technology to allow more oil and gas to flow from deeper wells, letting us tap otherwise uneconomical resources; smaller, leaner drillships that drill faster and use less fuel than comparable vessels; smart oil and gas fields equipped with sensors to monitor production in real-time; and mobile drilling rigs that drill faster and more efficiently on land than conventional rigs.
To find these resources we collect and process vast amounts of data from sensors to produce an accurate geological map of the site we are investigating. We then turn the data into images that can be analysed and interpreted quickly and efficiently. This ability to visualise and interpret lies behind our biggest successes in oil and gas exploration.
Making the most of resources
When an oil field comes on stream, it has enough pressure inside to push the oil up through the wells naturally. But over time the pressure in the field drops and the flow of oil slows. We have developed enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques to help us extract an additional 5-30% of the oil in place, increasing the overall recovery level from the field to 50-70% or even higher.