Note from the editor: This year as part of our 20th Anniversary we are not only looking back at the past, but also setting our sights on the future. This new column, Future Fridays, will feature guest blog posts from WBENC’s America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises as they share insights on the future of doing business with them and their industry.
Fueling the Future
Regardless of ups and downs in the price of crude, it will take a lot of talent and innovation to fill the energy needs of the 21st Century. Shell is building the oil and gas supply chain of the future utilizing the skills and talents of our diverse suppliers – minority, women, LGBT and disabled veteran-owned businesses.
“It’s an absolute business imperative that not only are we recognized as a good corporate citizen, but we have a diverse supplier base and spend that reflects our customer base and society at large.” Shell U.S. Country Chair Bruce Culpepper
Shell is looking for experienced vendors in all business units to bid on projects in support of our diverse supply chain.
Here’s the short version.
You can break our operations and supply needs down into three major categories:
- Upstream – The beginning of the supply chain. In Upstream we identify and explore for oil and gas reserves, design and construct facilities to access them, and bring the energy reserves to the surface. The types of services we buy include engineering, procurement, drilling equipment and supplies, data processing, logistics and transportation to the “middle of nowhere”, housing, fabrication, maintenance, instrumentation, and food service. And if the project is offshore you can add to that; marine vessel, diving, and helicopter services. For fracking locations, you can add hydraulic services to release oil and gas reserves with greater efficiency, including providers of resources and services such as water and sand management and recycling.
- Midstream – We transport raw materials to the processing facilities and store them prior to processing. Midstream opportunities for MWBEs are in trucking, barges and vessels, railroad transportation, tank storage and all of the maintenance and logistics support that those activities generate. With the shift to domestically produced oil, transportation and storage become a high priority. Shell has taken a lead role in investing in pipelines and tankage.
- Downstream – The end of the line. We process raw materials into the products – fuel, chemicals and materials – that keep America moving and distribute these products to customers and end-users. And right now Downstream is experiencing a lot of growth. What does that mean for suppliers of pipeline equipment, logistics, heavy industrial construction, coatings and insulation, temporary and permanent personnel, transportation, temporary storage, electrical and instrumentation? It means there is opportunity. But again the bar is set very high for Health, Safety Security and the Environment.
According to Shell Manager Supplier Diversity and Diversity Outreach, Debra Stewart, “In the development and mining stages, we invest millions in projects that may or may not ever deliver substantial product. At best it can be years before we get the product out of the ground, processed and actually see return on that investment. And all along the supply chain, these flammable products must be transported and processed safely and in an environmentally responsible way.
“We want to grow our base of minority and woman-owned suppliers while maintaining and strengthening the safety and environmental stewardship of our operations. We are looking for MWBE's with great solutions who are ready today to help us win. We also aim to strengthen the pipeline of diverse suppliers for our industry by identifying MWBE's that we can either help connect with our prime suppliers for valuable experience, or work with them as they build the capacity they will need to compete on such a demanding stage."
Stewart adds, “We see our diverse supplier base as a tremendous asset in our efforts to build and maintain the safest, most efficient, environmentally responsible and innovative energy company in the world.”
We are looking for innovative companies to bring new solutions that improve safety, efficiency, environmental responsibility … and the bottom line. Find out if you can find your fit in our supply chain. Go to our website (Shell.US/GetConnected) and check our “What’s Hot” page to see more about the kinds of goods and services we anticipate buying in the near future.
Shell is a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.