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Winter 2004/2005
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Shell Signs Groundbreaking Enterprise Agreement

Building upon a successful Multinational Enterprise contract signed four years ago, Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. has signed an agreement with Esri to implement a comprehensive, enterprisewide agreement under which Shell worldwide can use the Esri suite of software products.

Those involved in the Shell International Exploration and Production/Esri contract signing include from the left: Roger Able, Shell; Thierry Gregorius, global GIS/spatial coordinator of Shell International Exploration and Production; John Darley, director of Shell Technology Exploration and Production; Jack Dangermond, president of Esri; Aart van Wingerden, regional manager of Esri-Europe; Frits van der Schaaf, manager sales, Esri Nederland; and Linda Dodge, Shell.

The global agreement allows Shell (which is formally known as the "Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies") to easily deploy and support Esri software throughout its entire organization. The enterprise solution comprises Esri's full suite of software, including the ArcGIS family of desktop (ArcView, ArcInfo, and ArcEditor) and server (ArcIMS, ArcSDE, and ArcGIS Server) products, closely integrated with a spatially enabled object relational database management system. Support will be provided by dedicated Shell and affiliates staff and a network of regional Esri distributor technical support centers to cover the multiple time zones of Shell's global business.

The Shell agreement is believed to be the first of its kind in the GIS and energy industries. Shell uses GIS technology to integrate and visualize complex business information from many different sources and to produce cartographic maps of its assets, operations, and environments around the world. The company's GIS framework is currently being extended into a corporate spatial data infrastructure in which any authorized user on the corporate Intranet is to have access to a one-stop portal, integrating GIS layers, documents, and company databases in a fully transparent manner.

With more than 20 years of experience in using GIS, Shell fully understands its capabilities, and the enterprise agreement allows it to easily implement the technology throughout its entire organization. Backed by a multitier, global support model, the agreement with Esri will help Shell control costs and eliminate deployment barriers in its GIS.

For example, Shell's geologists use GIS to compile extensive regional overviews of existing or prospective oil and gas reservoirs, helping them pinpoint any potential opportunities around the world; engineers employ GIS to plan and execute field operations, such as the positioning of a drilling rig offshore or infrastructure maintenance in a remote desert; environmental scientists utilize GIS to monitor emissions, wildlife, or biodiversity within the company's operating areas; legal staff members make use of GIS to keep landowners informed of pipeline inspections or activities affecting their properties; and senior management and stakeholders are informed of project updates through 3D GIS displays in virtual reality rooms.

More recently, GIS has also begun to play a role in the company's downstream operations, helping the planning and marketing of gas stations, as well as in Shell Renewables, where development managers have learned to employ GIS technology to identify sites for on- and offshore wind farms.

Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employs more than 119,000 employees in more than 145 countries around the world. Its aim is to meet the energy needs of society in ways that are economically, socially, and environmentally viable, both now and in the future. Esri technology has been deployed throughout the group worldwide. As this implementation has matured, the emphasis has shifted from interoperability at the data level toward a service-level architecture. This was made possible by Esri's and Business Partners' continued software development in this area, including ArcSDE and the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension. Shell's work flows and business processes require reliable database and client performance, as well as quick turnaround in making regular updates to its vast and diverse data repositories.

Concludes Esri President Jack Dangermond, "We are honored that Shell has chosen to further expand our relationship. This agreement demonstrates three vital aspects of an implementation of this magnitude: faith in the technology, faith in Esri and its Business Partners, and a true understanding of the corporate value of GIS."

For more information, contact Thierry Gregorius, global GIS/spatial coordinator, Shell International Exploration and Production (e-mail:

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