|Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies|
|Address:||London, United Kingdom and The Hague, Netherlands|
|Competitors:||BP, ExxonMobil, Total SA, Petronas|
The company was founded in 1890 by Jean Kessler, along with Henri Deterding and Hugo Loudon, when a Royal charter was granted by Queen Wilhelmina to a small oil exploration company known as "Royal Dutch."
One of the original Seven Sisters, Shell is the world's third largest oil company by revenue, and a major player in the petrochemical industry and the solar energy business. Shell operates in more than 140 countries across the world, and has five core businesses:
- Oil exploration and production
- Oil products
- Downstream gas and power
- Renewable energy (Solar, Hydrogen)
Its headquarters are split between the Shell Centre in London, United Kingdom and The Hague, Netherlands.
Shell is a dual listed company. The two holding companies are the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and The Shell Transport and Trading Company of the United Kingdom. These two companies jointly own all the operating companies in the group. The Shell interest in subsidiaries is always divided 60/40 in favor of Royal Dutch. In many cases, subsidiary companies are held in partnership with other companies or governments.
Although to meet company law in all countries there are nominated directors, the Shell Group of Companies is in fact run by an executive body called the "Committee of Managing Directors", whose members are chosen from the overall group.
An original investor, the largest single shareholder of Shell is the holding company owned by the Dutch Royal Family, which was set up by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
Shell currently operates under a number of operating and shareholder agreements, although it was announced in November 2004 that the group would move to a single capital structure, with the new parent company named Royal Dutch Shell plc, incorporated in England and Wales, and with its principal listing on the London Stock Exchange but its headquarters in the Netherlands.