Shell to add 10,000 gas sta­tions glob­ally

En­ergy gi­ant to fo­cus on high-growth mar­kets, in­clud­ing China, Rus­sia

China Daily European Weekly - - Front Page - By ZHENG XIN zhengxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Global en­ergy gi­ant Royal Dutch Shell PLC plans to set up 10,000 new gas sta­tions world­wide by 2025, with 5,000 in the five high-growth mar­kets of China, In­dia, In­done­sia, Mex­ico and Rus­sia.

The com­pany is also look­ing to in­tro­duce more elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tions, and in­crease sales of fluid process oils and grease to sup­port elec­tric-pow­ered trains and ve­hi­cles in China.

The move comes af­ter its first elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tion en­tered ser­vice in Tian­jin in Septem­ber.

“China will be a new, fast-growth mar­ket for our elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing sta­tion busi­ness, and we will also in­stall an­other 500 new charg­ing poles in Europe,” says Ist­van Kap­i­tany, Shell’s ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent for global re­tail.

Sales of new en­ergy ve­hi­cles in China ex­ceeded 700,000 in 2017, up by 53.3 per­cent year-on-year.

To fur­ther en­rich the ve­hi­cle charg­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Shell plans to bring more of its Shell Se­lect con­ve­nience stores to China to en­hance its non­fuel re­tail­ing in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Kap­i­tany.

Oil and gas gi­ants na­tion­wide have been ex­pand­ing their non-oil busi­ness in re­cent years to di­ver­sify their port­fo­lios and im­prove op­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity.

For ex­am­ple, China Pe­tro­leum and Chem­i­cal Corp, known as Sinopec, the world’s largest re­finer by vol­ume, is ex­plor­ing the non­fuel busi­ness based on its na­tion­wide gas sta­tion net­work.

Oil and gas com­pa­nies’ pro­por­tion of rev­enues from con­ve­nience stores re­mains low in China de­spite the fast de­vel­op­ment of the non­fuel sec­tor, es­pe­cially com­pared with de­vel­oped coun­tries, where the to­tal is at 64 per­cent in the United States and 35 per­cent to 40 per­cent across Europe.

Ac­cord­ing to Li Li, en­ergy re­search di­rec­tor at mar­ket con­sul­tancy ICIS China, the govern­ment’s scrap­ping of own­er­ship lim­i­ta­tion rules has en­cour­aged more global oil be­he­moths such as Shell to en­ter China’s oil re­tail mar­ket. Pre­vi­ously, a Chi­nese part­ner had to hold a ma­jor­ity share in a gas sta­tion chain with more than 30 out­lets.

More op­tions re­lat­ing to oil and gas sup­plies, high-end prod­ucts and value-added ser­vices are likely to be seen in the mar­ket soon, she says.

How­ever, Han Xiaop­ing, chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer of China En­ergy Net Con­sult­ing, says en­ter­ing the Chi­nese mar­ket will likely re­main chal­leng­ing, given the high en­try bar­ri­ers cre­ated by China’s three ma­jor oil and gas com­pa­nies, which have al­ready es­tab­lished solid re­tail chains.

China has 100,000 gas sta­tions na­tion­wide, with more than half of them owned by two State-owned oil gi­ants: China Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Corp, which is the na­tion’s largest oil and gas pro­ducer by an­nual out­put, and Sinopec.

MO XIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY

A Shell em­ployee re­fu­els a ve­hi­cle at a gas sta­tion in Chengdu, cap­i­tal of Sichuan prov­ince.

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