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Royal Dutch Shell | Foundation for Defense of Democracies
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Royal Dutch Shell





According to Shell's website, it has four offices in Iran: Shell Development Iran B.V., Shell Overseas Services Limited, Shell Exploration B.V. and Shell Upstream Development B.V. (Royal Dutch Shell Website, accessed July 16, 2010).

In March 2010, Shell reportedly stopped selling gasoline to Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal (The Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2010). However, UPI reported that Shell had delivered three gasoline shipments to Iran in May 2010 (UPI, June 7, 2010).

According to Bloomberg, Iran blacklisted five companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, in February 2012 because they failed to fulfill their refinery project commitments (Bloomberg, February 6, 2012).

According to Reuters, an Iranian tanker delivered 1.5 million barrels of oil to Shell’s refinery in Singapore in March 2012 despite current sanctions. Shell stated that it complies with all sanctions and will find alternatives to Iranian crude when necessary (Reuters, March 2, 2012).

Date: 1966 – Ongoing

Deal: According to Shell's 2008 Annual Report, the company has maintained a 25 percent share in Iran's Pars Oil Company since 1966. Pars Oil Company owns 51 percent of Pars and Shell Company (PASH) which sells Shell lubricants in Iran. (Royal Dutch Shell 2008 Annual Report, December 31, 2008). According to Pars Oil Company's website, Poland Shell Company owns the remaining 49 percent of PASH (Pars Oil Company Website, accessed July 16, 2010).

Date: November 1999 - Unknown

Deal: According to the NPC News Bulletin, NPC contracted Shell Chemicals and Germany’s Elenac to do a joint study on the possibility of constructing an olefins complex in Bandar Imam in November 1999. The complex would include an ethane feed ethylene plant (NPC News Bulletin, January 2000).  Ethylene is used to produce petrochemical products. The current status of this project is unknown.

Date: 1999 – Ongoing

Deal: Shell signed a buy-back contract with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in 1999 for the Soroosh-Nowruz oil fields, with production beginning in 2001, Norton Rose reported (Iran Energy Report, August 2004).

According to Shell's 2009 Annual Report, it handed the facilities over to NIOC after completing the development phase in 2005. The contract will reportedly end when all costs have been recovered, which was expected in 2010 (Royal Dutch Shell 2009 Annual Report, December 31, 2009).

In 2006, the New York Post reported that oil production at the Shell plant had reached its expected capacity of 190,000 barrels a day (an 8 percent increase in total Iranian output) (New York Post, December 27, 2006).

Date: November 2004 – June 2010

Deal: In November 2004, Shell and Spain's Repsol YPF created the Persian LNG project, a $4 billion partnership with the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Iran, according to an industry publication (APS Review Gas Market Trends, November 29, 2004).

Asia News International reported that the companies aim to produce 10 million tons of gas per year for European and Indian markets by 2014 (Asia News International, October 20, 2008).

The Times of London reported that in 2007, after three years of discussions, Shell signed a service contract to invest in developing the South Pars gas field, and build an LNG plant (part of the Persian LNG project). The deal was signed with the Spanish company Repsol and was said to be worth over $10 billion (The Times, January 30, 2007).

In June 2010, Bloomberg reported that Iran had ended its ongoing discussions with Shell and Repsol on the South Pars gas project, replacing the European companies with the Iranian Khatam-ol-Osea group that includes Khatam al-Anbiya, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' engineering arm (Bloomberg, June 6, 2010).

U.S. Business Ties: Shell has an extensive history of operations in the United States. It first began doing business in the U.S. in 1912, and today it operates in all 50 states, employing over 22,000 Americans (Shell Website, accessed July 16, 2010).

Shell is active in several energy and petrochemical sectors. Its downstream business is comprised of the manufacturing and marketing of a wide portfolio of products, including aviation fuel, chemicals, commercial fuels, motor oil and marine fuels, according to its website (Shell in the U.S. Website, accessed July 16, 2010).

According to USASpending.gov, Royal Dutch Shell and subsidiaries have received millions of dollars in U.S. government contracts  (USASpending.gov, accessed August 13,2014).

Last Updated: August 13, 2014