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              Hisrory of Shell in France


The shell is a "Pecten".

      The graphic for this emblems is extremely accurate and is subject to strict recommendations of the Group.

All activities of the Royal Dutch / Shell Group must use this emblem.
Two Group companies may use another logo:
- Butagaz Shell France (blue bear, created in 1969) - Sold in 2015 to the DCC group
- Billiton (mining company of the Group)


        The colors used :  red and yellow


         The exact origins of the Shell are hard to define, two théories :

          1)- Both colors are those of the House of Orange-Nassau who sponsored the Royal Dutch in its infancy and the shell is that of Shell Transport.

          2)- In 1915 when the Shell Company of California first built service stations, they had to compete against other companies. Bright colours were the solution

                 but colours that would not offend the Californians. Because of the stat's strong spanish connections the red et yellow of Spain were chosen.

History of Shell in France:



It is in 1919 that Shell is established in France, but a little history should be made:


It is necessary to go back to 1843, time when Alexandre Deutsch de la Meurthe built in Pantin (gates of Paris) a small vegetable oil factory intended for the oil lamps used for lighting and a spirits distilling of turpentine.

In 1851 it offer oneself purchaser of 224 wood barrels containing crude oil coming from the wells of Pennsylvania (the USA) on board Elisabeth Watts”, sailing ship American.

In fact it manufactures mineral wax candles drawn from oil and it studies the first oil distillation methods.

In 1876 Alexander Deutsch de la  Meurthe becomes the first refiner of France and installs a refinery close to Rouen, in Petit Couronne (Seine inférieure, at this time) where it produces among others the Luciline (paraffin oil).

This is the name given to the refinery, named after his little daughter Lucie.

A second refinery is built in St Loubet (Gironde), in the vines close to Bordeaux

The refining taking extend with the arrival of the first motor vehicles, it is necessary to supply France with oil and the house of Deutsch de la Meurthe approaches the Shell group to create in 1922 the Société des Pétroles Jupiter

The origin of Shell goes back in 1833 when Marcus Samuel run, in London, a small shop of odds and ends, selling in particular eastern shells very snuffed at that Victorian time.
English shell = Coquille in French
This activity, very profitable, was transformed into a company of import-export and some barrels of oil were part of the trade.
The son, also with first name Marcus, was interested in this paraffin oil market and made build a ship especially intended for crude oil transport: the tanker Murex of 5,000 tons, the first one of Shell.  He founds, in 1897, The Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd”.
On its side a petroleum group named Royal Dutch Petroleum Company exploited crude oil in Sumatra. These two companies were concurrent with the advantage for Shell to having tankers



Pour lutter contre leur principal concurrent, le géant américain : la" Standard Oil" de Rockefeller, les deux compagnies, qui étaient associées aux français  Rothschild de Paris (spécialisés dans le pétrole Russe), se rapprochent et fondent "The Asiatic Petroleum Company" en 1903

La Royal Dutch et Shell mettent en commun leurs activités  dans deux nouvelles compagnies : l'anglaise "Pétroleum company Ltd" à Londres et la Néerlandaise "Bataasfsche Petroleum Maatschappij" à La Haye.
Elles vont être à la base du développement du groupe Royal Dutch/Shell.


To fight against their main competitor, the American giant: the ”Standard Oilbelongings Rockefeller, the two companies, which were associated with French Rothschild in Paris (specialized in Russian oil), make it up  and foundThe Asiatic Petroleum Company" in 1903.
The Royal Dutch and Shell share their activities in two new companies: the  English company Pétroleum company Ltd in London and the Dutch Bataasfsche Petroleum Maatschappij in The Hague.
They will be at the basis of the development for the
Royal Dutch/Shell group. 

Well, in 1919, Shell is established in France by creating the “Société Maritime des Pétroles”, distributing lubricants, fuel oils and bitumen.

In 1922 alliance between the Shell group and Deutsch de la Meurthe to found la “Compagnie des Pétroles Jupiter”.

1929: All the oils activities of Shell are gathered in Pétroles Jupiter, Construction of an important refinery In Petit Couronne (Seine inférieure) and another in Pauillac (Gironde)
After the war, the “Compagnie de Raffinage Shell Berre” was created by an association between the Shell group and a subsidiary of the French group Saint Gobain (the Company of the Chemical products and Refining of Berre) which brings its refinery of Berre (Bouches-du-Rhône)

1931 - Creation of the gas business the “Société pour l'Utilisation Rationnelle des Gaz” (U.R.G.) and in Petit Couronne creation of a center (storage, filling, distribution) equipped to supply liquefied petroleum gas in bottles of 13 kg, blue in steel (first bottles are white) or in bulk.
It is in boat, the gas tanker “Agnita” (the only one of this kind at this time), which arrived, coming from Houston (the USA), the first cargo of liquefied gas in Europe (There did not exist other filling center in Europe).

1932 - Construction of the building which will be the building Shell (8 000 m ² on the ground between the street of Washington, the street of Artois and the street of Berri in Paris 8th)
1933 - that were created the brands
Butagaz and Propagaz”, for butane and propane gas.
1934 Commissioning  of the filling center in Pauillac.
In 1948 the Compagnie des Pétroles Jupiter” took the name of
Shell Française .
In 1948 only two French tankers of 16,600 tons, the “Junon” and the Minerve was own propriety of Shell Française.

The petrochemical activity of Shell in France began in 1949 either in part alone, it is Shell Chimie”, and other with Saint-Gobain (Shell Saint-Gobain).
In 1951 creation of the Compagnie Maritime Shell(SMS), shipping department of Shell Française
In 1956 the total workforce of the companies Shell and Shell Berre, in France, amounted to 11,417 people. 
In 1958 the oil fleet of Shell Française consisted of 16 tankers ie  224,000 tons plus 226,000 tons in the chartered ships.
In 1960 appeared the notion of
Shell France.

In 1962 Shell Saint-Gobain became the
Compagnie Française des Produits Chimiques Shell”.
In 1963 Opening the refinery of Reischstett (Alsace, Bas Rhin)
1968: Opening the research center of Shell France in Grand Couronne (Seine maritime), Normandy)
In 1970 Saint-Gobain retired from activities refining/distribution and the company “Shell France becomes again Shell Française”.
In 1976 the manpower for companies Shell in France amount to 9,910 people.
1985 URG becomes
Butagaz - (See 2015)

In 1986 sale of the last ships of the fleet SMS and closing of the refinery of Pauillac (Gironde).
In 1988 put on sale Parisian building Shell, 57,000 m ² of floors, to settle Shell in Colombes and Butagaz in Neuilly (both in Hauts-de-Seine, western suburbs of Paris)
Shell France then counts 6,673 people including nearly 21% for the staff.
In 1998 the chemistry activity became predominant and Shell Française became “
Pétrole Shelland the name “Shell France recovered all the activities of Shell in France.
1999 Opening of the lubricants factory in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris).
From 2007, Shell France sells the whole of his refineries:
2007 - Berre l'étang (Bouches-du-Rhône) petrochemicals sold to Lyondell Basel (stopped in 2012)
2008 Reichstett (Bas Rhin, in Alsace) then Petite Couronne (Seine maritime, in Normandy)
Sold to Pétroplus.
Reichstett refinery closed in 2011 – Petit Couronne refinery stopped in 2013 (The demolition of the site began in 2015).
2009 closure of the research center of Grand Couronne (Seine maritime).
The service stations distribution network is being restructured to preserve only the motorway stations.
Today, in 2013, Shell France it is approximately 900 people in several companies:

SPS Société des Pétroles Shell (Shell Oil Company).
SEPF Exploitation et Production (Guyane) (In Guyana Operations and Production).

Société Provençale des Bitumes SAS in Château Renard (Bouches-du-Rhône) and the SEEB (European expertise in bitumens).
SLN lubricants in Nanterre.
Avitair SAS aviation fuel (Colombes).
Butagaz (LPG) in Levallois Perret.

2015 - Butagaz is sold to DCC group, based in Dublin. This group, which sells energy (gas, electricity, petroleum products), wants to take advantage of the notoriety
            of the blue bear to introduce, among other things, into the marketing of electricity.For the moment the 13 kg blue bottles "Butagaz" are preserved.

information brochure Shell France n°289 “double anniversary - 1989
Web site of Shell France September 2013 

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