Shell to invest in energy technology companies with new venture

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s largest energy producer, set up a venture to invest in technology companies and venture-capital funds as oil and gas extraction becomes more costly and complex.

“Shell is ready to invest several hundred million dollars in emerging technology companies,” the company said today in a statement on its website. “Shell Technology Ventures will make investments over the next six to eight years.”

The oil company, which spent more than $1.3 billion on research and development last year, has helped fund production of transport fuels from sugar cane and tight-oil extraction in Siberia. Shell and its peers are investing in technology as a four-year surge in crude prices pushes global energy explorers to more remote, harder-to-tap deposits.

Shell Technology Ventures’ focus will include enhanced oil recovery; natural-gas production and marketing; geophysical surveys; chemical manufacturing; and water treatment. It’s a successor to Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 BV, which was set up in 1998 and managed by Kenda Capital BV.

The new venture is fully owned and managed by The Hague- based Shell, it said. Fund 1 will focus on its current portfolio of projects and won’t make further investments, according to the Anglo-Dutch company.