It’s not surprising how many Malaysian actually thought Shell is a Malaysian corporation. Well, they are not too far from the truth as its presence has been on our soil way before 1900.
1. The Shell Company started out as an antique store and an oriental shell store in London
The word Shell first appeared in 1891, as the trademark for kerosene shipped to the Far East by Marcus Samuel & Company. This small London business dealt originally in antiques, curios and oriental seashells.
These became so popular – the Victorians used them to decorate trinket boxes in particular – that soon they formed the basis of the company’s profitable import and export trade with the Far East.
The word was elevated to corporate status in 1897, when Samuel formed the Shell Transport and Trading Company.
2. The first logo in 1901 was a mussel shell
But by 1904, it was later changed into a scallop shell (or ‘Pecten Maximus’) to give a visual representation of the corporate and brand name.
When the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and Shell Transport and Trading merged in 1907, the latter’s brand name and symbol became the short-form name and emblem of the new Royal Dutch Shell Group. And so it has remained ever since.
The form has changed gradually over the years in line with trends in graphic design. The current emblem was introduced in 1971. Thirty years on it stands the test of time as one of the world’s most recognised symbols.
3. Shell built Malaysia’s first oil refinery in Miri
The group commenced operations in Malaysia since 1891, 127 years ago, when it first set up oil storage depts at various Straits Settlements ports. However, it was not until 1910 that it discovered Malaysia’s first oil well (currently known as the Grand Old Lady) on Canada Hill in Miri, Sarawak.
“Miri No.1” was spudded on 10 August, and began producing 83 barrels per day in December. 4 years later, the company then went ahead and built Malaysia’s first oil refinery there as well.
It also laid a submarine pipeline in Miri, which was an innovation breakthrough for transporting crude to tankers at that period.
4. As of 2018, it is the fifth largest company in the world and voted one of the best company to work in Malaysia
One of the world’s major energy companies, the company employs an average of 93,000 people and operating in more than 70 countries. Out of that amount, it employs 6000 people in Malaysia (Read about its projects and sites around the country here).
To date, the company has presence in North, South and Central America: in Argentina, Aruba, Barbados, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, the U.S. and Venezuela. It also has companies in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
5. The British-Dutch oil and gas company spearheaded Malaysia’s energy sector
There is no doubt Shell has helped pioneer Malaysia’s oil and gas industry and fuelled its growth. For one, it was the one who discovered Malaysia’s first oil onshore (remember the Grand Old Lady in Miri?), then took the industry offshore at Erb West, Sabah in 1971, and most recently into the technically-challenging depths of Deepwater.
Likewise, Malaysia has also played a significant role in the company’s progress over the century. For example, the British-Dutch company has diversified from a modest kerosene venture to a group of companies engaged in every aspect of the modern oil and gas business.