From the Wires
Shell Celebrates 40 Years of Scenarios
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 18, 2012 07:01 PM
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, November 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Scenario planning helps Shell make critical business decisions
Forty years ago, in 1972, work began on what many people regard as the first Shell Scenarios document, published the following year, though the roots of this work lie even further in the past. Since then, scenario planning has been at the heart of Shell's business, developing senior leadership understanding of critical factors in the business environment and the possible directions which economic, geopolitical and social systems could take, decades into the future.
In the last four decades, Shell Scenario planners have highlighted many key world trends and discontinuities, ensuring that Shell as a business has been able to plan for several eventualities and maintain business continuity through even the most turbulent times. For example, the original Scenarios helped Shell's leaders to prepare for the possibility of an oil price shock - a prescient move given the Yom Kippur war, which broke out in October 1973.
Jeremy Bentham, Shell's Vice President, Global Business Environment, said: "Ever since our Scenarios programme began forty years ago, we have been creating and applying many different scenarios to anticipate global and local economic, social and political changes and how they could affect our business.
"Looking to the future, our scenario planners are now developing a new angle to their work, which recognises the even more complex nature of the modern world. It will provide clarity and insights by zooming in on specific details, then zooming out to give a broader perspective."
The next iteration of the Shell Scenarios, to be published in early 2013, will focus on areas that are fundamental to the development of energy and environmental systems in the 21st century. These include the connection between energy, water and food systems and the impact of growing global urbanisation.
To mark this major anniversary, we are publishing '40 Years of Shell Scenarios', a reminder of our Scenarios work over many years with illustrations of how scenario planning has had a positive impact on the world in a variety of areas.
Speaking ahead of a panel discussion to coincide with the booklet's launch today, Simon Henry, Shell's Chief Financial Officer, said: "Shell has a long and distinguished history of scenario planning, and the intelligence and innovation that our Scenarios teams have contributed over many decades has proved hugely beneficial to our business. By providing unique insights and detailed analysis into the ever-changing global landscape, and projecting forward possible outcomes, the Scenarios team helps Shell's senior leadership make better informed decisions about our current and future operations."
The Shell Scenarios methodology has been adapted by many different organisations and individuals worldwide to help them in their work.
Adam Kahane, Associate Fellow at the Saïd Business School, Oxford University said: "The Shell methodology has been one of the main building blocks for the 'transformative scenario planning' work that my colleagues and I have been engaged in for the past twenty years. The spirit of Shell's scenario practice - logical and rigorous, creative and open - has guided us throughout."
Peter Ho, Senior Advisor for the Centre of Strategic Futures, a think-tank of the Singapore Government, said: "The Singapore Government started using scenario planning in 1991. Shell strongly supported this effort. Today, scenario planning is embedded in the Government's annual strategic planning cycle."
Philip Bobbit, Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia University and Director of Columbia Law School's Center on National Security, said: "One thing that's always impressed me about the Shell people was that they did a whole new set of scenarios every five years, sometimes even less. Yet if you look at all their old scenarios, they are almost uncanny in showing how the world would change. Scenario planning is perhaps the most important analytical tool we have and Shell has been the most important innovator in that process."
Amory Levins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute, said: "Shell Scenarios are a unique resource for all of us who think about the energy future. Shell is the most far-sighted and strategic of the majors, largely because the Scenarios informed the thinking of Shell leadership and many others in the energy ecosystem. Without this exercise, people would have a much shorter and dimmer view of the future than they need to in a very long lead time business."
Notes to Editors:
For more information about Shell Scenarios, and to download '40 Years of Shell Scenarios', visit http://www.shell.com/home/content/future_energy/scenarios/40_years.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 80 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit http://www.shell.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management's expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "goals", "intend", "may", "objectives", "outlook", "plan", "probably", "project", "risks", "seek", "should", "target", "will" and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell's products; (c) currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell's 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 (available at http://www.shell.com/investor and http://www.sec.gov ). These factors also should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, 19 November 2012. Neither Royal Dutch Shell nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
ENQUIRIES: Shell International Media Relations, +44(0)20-7934-5550
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