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In 1833 Marcus Samuel opened a small shop in London, selling sea shells to Victorian natural history enthusiasts. It soon became a thriving import–export business. On a visit to the Caspian Sea coast, Marcus’s son recognised a huge opportunity to export oil for lamps and cooking to the Far East. He commissioned the first special oil tanker in 1892, and subsequently delivered 4,000 tonnes of Russian kerosene to Singapore and Bangkok. Meanwhile, the company Royal Dutch had been formed in the Netherlands to develop oil fields in Asia. By 1896 it had its own tanker fleet to compete with the British. In time, it became obvious that the competing Dutch and British companies would do better working together. In 1907, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was created to incorporate their operations worldwide. Throughout the early twentieth century, the Group expanded with acquisitions in Europe, Africa and the Americas. These were exciting times for the oil industry, as the mass production of cars had opened up a vast new market. The First World War years saw many of Shell’s operations closed down or confiscated; but others were added or expanded, particularly in North America. In 1919, Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic – powered by Shell fuel. Shell Aviation Services was established that same year. The 1920s and 1930s were expansion years, with Shell businesses in new regions and new industry sectors; Shell’s first foray into chemicals began in 1929. During the Second World War, Shell once again lost businesses, tankers and properties, but supported the Allied Governments with fuel supplies and chemical production.

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In 1833 Marcus Samuel opened a small shop in London, selling sea shells to Victorian natural history enthusiasts. It soon became a thriving import–export business. On a visit to the Caspian Sea coast, Marcus’s son recognised a huge opportunity to export oil for lamps and cooking to the Far East. He commissioned the first special oil tanker in 1892, and subsequently delivered 4,000 tonnes of Russian kerosene to Singapore and Bangkok. Meanwhile, the company Royal Dutch had been formed in the Netherlands to develop oil fields in Asia. By 1896 it had its own tanker fleet to compete with the British. In time, it became obvious that the competing Dutch and British companies would do better working together. In 1907, the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was created to incorporate their operations worldwide. Throughout the early twentieth century, the Group expanded with acquisitions in Europe, Africa and the Americas. These were exciting times for the oil industry, as the mass production of cars had opened up a vast new market. The First World War years saw many of Shell’s operations closed down or confiscated; but others were added or expanded, particularly in North America. In 1919, Alcock and Brown made the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic – powered by Shell fuel. Shell Aviation Services was established that same year. The 1920s and 1930s were expansion years, with Shell businesses in new regions and new industry sectors; Shell’s first foray into chemicals began in 1929. During the Second World War, Shell once again lost businesses, tankers and properties, but supported the Allied Governments with fuel supplies and chemical production. More...

 
    Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian Author
  Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian Author
Ken Saro-Wiwa was a Nigerian author, journalist, government official and political organizer who was brutally executed by the Nigerian dictatorship in response to a very successful campaign to challenge that government, Shell Oil Co. and the British...
 
       
 
         
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