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Shell International Petroleum Co executive VP David Pirret says Shell to focus on India and China for future growth

Shell International Petroleum VP David Pirret 

Economic Times (India): Hard-Shell optimistic banks on India, China

17 Apr, 2008, 0439 hrs IST,Rajeev Jayaswal, TNN

Fuel retailing business in India is a losing preposition due to predatory pricing by public sector oil companies, yet Shell is determined to keep its 50-odd fuel stations open unlike its other private sector competitors With a hope for a better future in fuel retailing, Shell is now concentrating on consolidating its lube business in the country. Having bought BPCL’s minority stake in the joint venture company Bharat Shell Ltd, the company claims to have around 7-8% market share of the 1.7-billion-litres domestic lube market.

In an interview, Shell International Petroleum Co executive vice-president David Pirret says that the oil giant has adopted a look east policy for its future growth and India and China are the two identified locations.


Fuel retailing in India has marketing freedom, but predatory pricing by oil PSUs has made life difficult for private sector oil marketing companies. Some of them are downsizing their operations. What is your company’s stand?

We don’t intend to shut our fuel stations. We may go slow on our expansion plan (for setting up new fuel stations) for the time being but we are here to stay. In fact, India is one of our identified growth markets. We intend to expand our activities in the East. Growth is shifting from Europe to the eastern part of the world. Countries like India, China and Indonesia are growing markets.

Growth of fuel retail in India is constraint due to the government’s pricing policy, but the lubricant market is growing. How Shell would position itself in this segment?

According to reports, India is the fifth largest lubricants market in the world in terms of volume after USA, China, Russia and Japan. In 2007, the demand for lubricants in India was estimated at 1.7 billion litres. The (lubricant) market is growing at the rate of 6%-plus per annum at the time when global market’s growth is between 1% and 1.5%. This makes India one of the and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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