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Shell Wants Its Oil Refineries to Make Things You Don’t Burn

Shell Wants Its Oil Refineries to Make Things You Don’t Burn

Bloomberg News: 2 December 2020, 07:51 GMT

  • Energy giant to focus on chemicals, lubricants and bitumen
  • Producer to eventually lower number of refineries from 14 to 6

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has a plan to reduce its carbon emissions — sell fewer products its customers can burn.

The European energy giant is reconfiguring — and shrinking — its refining and petrochemicals business to focus less on fuel that is combusted and emits greenhouse gases, and more on the chemicals, lubricants and bitumen that keep carbon trapped inside them, Huibert Vigeveno, the company’s downstream director, said in an interview at the BloombergNEF summit in Shanghai.

“The products and services we’ll be focusing on at our refineries are products our customers will be looking for, which have a technology that our customers want, and also the products that have a much lower scope 3 emission,” he said.

Scope 3 is the widest classification of emissions that captures the release of carbon by a firm and its suppliers and customers.

Shell set out new climate goals in April and has said it sees oil-product consumption peaking as the world transitions to a cleaner energy mix. The company plans to downsize its global refining footprint from 14 plants now to six in the future.

The company is also investing in alternative fuels and electric vehicle charging stations. At one refueling station in Xian, China, Shell has an equal number of petrol pumps and charging poles, Vigeveno said. The company is making the facilities more inviting for the longer 10 to 20-minute waits that charging entails.

— With assistance by Dan Murtaugh, and Qian Chen

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