Shell Oil doesn't shilly-shally around as it explores for, produces, and markets oil, and natural gas, and produces and markets chemicals. The company's Shell Exploration & Production unit focuses its exploration on the deepwater plays in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell partners with Saudi Aramco in a US refining and marketing venture (Motiva) and owns Motiva's sister company Shell Oil Products US. Shell also produces petrochemicals (Shell Chemical) and liquefied natural gas (Shell US Gas & Power) and markets natural gas and electricity. Shell's parent, Royal Dutch Shell, is the world's #2 integrated oil company (behind Exxon Mobil).
Shell Oil is the flagship of Royal Dutch Shell's US operations, and conducts activities through subsidiaries and affiliates. Motiva combines much of its parents' US refining and marketing operations along the Gulf Coast and the East Coast. Shell also operates downstream businesses in the West and Midwest as Shell Oil Products US.
In 2010 the company commenced oil and gas production at the Perdido Development, the world's deepest offshore drilling and production facility, located in about 8,000 ft. of water in the Gulf of Mexico.
However, the BP rig disaster in the Gulf led to the government placing a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling, forcing Shell to idle seven rigs operating in the Gulf, hurting Shell Oil's production output and financial performance for the year. The Gulf of Mexico produced 270,000 barrels of oil per day in 2010, or about 60% of Shell Oil's US production (15% of Royal Dutch Shell's worldwide production).
With the moratorium lifted, in 2011 Shell Oil affiliate Shell Offshore became the first company to get a permit for new deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
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