Currently, Shell has major research and development facilities in the USA and The Netherlands, and Bangalore will take its place with these. The services will span upstream exploration and production activities as well as downstream refinery and chemical operations. STI will also provide access to cutting-edge Indian talent. Vikram Singh Mehta Chairman, Shell Companies in India said; "The Shell Technology Center in India, under the guidance of its new president, Bob Frith, aims to be world class, capable of producing leading-edge technical solutions to meet critical business challenges and to develop products that will be key to the future of the energy business."
The center is due to open in the second half of 2006 and will move to a purpose-built campus in 2009. Recruitment has already started for the initial phase. Greg Lewin, President of Shell Global Solutions says: "We are looking for the best talent and we are pleased with the rich number of highly qualified applications that we are receiving. We have developed a value proposition for our people, which comprises a career in a global organization from an Indian base."
The attraction and retention of top Indian technical talent has been a major driver in establishing STI, and the company aims to grow to over 1000 people as quickly as the business will allow. Bangalore has been selected as the base since the city has become an Indian center of science and technology development and offers an inspiring environment for top talent to work and live.
The new technology center will enhance the knowledge of the oil industry in India, it will also open doors for Indian graduates to work on assignments in India and around the world.
The technology center will look to establish close links with industry and academia. As part of this program Shell is starting a first joint project with the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, in the area of monitoring surface subsidence.
The world is facing an ever-increasing demand for energy, with demand estimated to grow by as much as 50% in the next 25 years. The challenges Shell faces to meet these needs includes extending the lives of existing fields, uncovering new resources and new processes, both conventional and unconventional, maximizing production of high value products, while taking the necessary measures to address issues of sustainable development. Innovation, technical development and rapid technology deployment will be key to meet these challenges.
Shell has always valued the role of technology in the delivery of its business results. John Darley, Shell's Executive Vice-president EP Technical, commented: "Research and development, and technology application are key strategic differentiators for Shell and we feel that our new center in Bangalore will significantly contribute to our ongoing success in this field. The rich so
urce of talent in India, will help Shell to continue to deliver on technical excellence in the future." Summing up the announcement, Vikram Singh Mehta said: "We in Shell are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. With nearly USD 1 billion already invested in India, we feel that Shell Technology India can be taken as evidence that Shell intends to be in India for the long run and we are determined to make the venture a success."
Royal Dutch Shell has made the largest Foreign Direct Investment into India among all integrated oil companies (around US $1 billion) and is the only global major to have a retail licence in India. Shell currently has interests in natural gas (in the form of liquefied natural gas - "LNG"), lubricants, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and automobile fuel retailing in India. The Shell companies in India also make their own contributions to Sustainable Development, a core Group value. In addition, the global Shell Foundation is an important vehicle for the Shell Group to reach out and contribute to society, India has been a focus country for such investments, which total USD 3.8 million to date.
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