Mergers & Acquisitions

Shell to Divest 1,000 Company-Owned Sites Through 2025

Energy giant is condolidating and upgrading its global retail network in response to changing customer needs
Shell gas station
Photograph: Shutterstock

Shell plc is pushing ahead with its growth of electric-vehicle (EV) charging and convenience-store offers but will divest around 500 Shell-owned sites globally in 2024 and 2025, the major oil company said on Thursday in its first energy transition update since the launch of its Powering Progress strategy in 2021.

"We are upgrading our retail network, with expanded electric-vehicle charging and convenience offers, in response to changing customer needs. In total, we plan to divest around 500 Shell-owned sites (including joint ventures) a year in 2024 and 2025,” the company said. “We are growing our premium lubricants portfolio to supply key energy transition sectors such as transformer oils used for offshore wind parks, and cooling fluids to support the development of electric-vehicle car batteries.”

The company did not specify which locations and in which countries, and it is unclear whether any U.S. gas stations would be affected.  It also did not state the reason behind the divestures, but did say that they are growing the company’s portfolio of low-carbon fuels and charging for electric vehicles in markets that meet the company’s investment criteria such as China, Europe and the United States.

“We are focusing on public charging, rather than home charging, because we believe it will be needed most by our customers,” the company said, adding it has other competitive advantages as well, such as “our convenience retail offering which allows us to offer our customers coffee, food and other convenience items as they charge their cars.”

 As the company grows its business offering charging for EVs, “we expect an internal rate of return of 12% or higher,” Shell said.

Between now and 2030, Shell said it is focused on three areas in which it has the potential to “positively impact the energy transition by reducing the cost for our customers—electric-vehicle charging, biofuels and integrated power.”

“By providing the different kinds of energy the world needs, we believe we are the investment case and the partner of choice through the energy transition,” said Shell’s CEO Wael Sawan.

Looking to the future, Shell also announced plans to create integrated energy hubs around “our energy and chemicals parks in North America and northwest Europe, and other locations where we see significant potential for high growth in demand in the future.”

Boasting of having a major competitive advantage in terms of locations, Shell serves about 8 million customers per day with a brand presence at approximately 12,000 gas stations across 49 states. Globally, Shell serves around 32 million customers per day at its mobility sites.

  • Shell is No. 45 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. convenience-store chains by total number of company-owned retail outlets.

The major oil company in recent years has established a company-owned retail portfolio.

Last month Shell signed an agreement to acquire 45 fuel and convenience-store sites through the acquisition of Brewer Oil Co.’s (BOC) retail division. The sites are located in New Mexico and include c-stores, traditional gas stations and cardlocks for fleet vehicles.

In mid-2022, Shell acquired 248 company-owned locations operating in Texas under the Timewise brand from the Landmark group of companies. The agreement also included supply agreements with an additional 117 independently operated fuel and convenience sites.

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