Shell Relaunches Houston Tech Center

The largest of three operated by the energy company, it has more than 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space.

The world's largest energy companies have long used supercomputers to crunch the seismic data they analyze when planning exploration projects. Royal Dutch Shell plc is one of them, and now the company has expanded and modernized its Shell Technology Center Houston. The largest of three tech hubs operated by Shell around the world, it contains more than 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space and is the workplace of more than 2,000 engineers and scientists, including six of the 11 Shell Chief Scientists, according to a recent company announcement of the center's relaunch.

The announcement said the Houston team collaborates with colleagues worldwide "by linking up through 3D virtual reality systems."

"Shell has spent over a billion dollars a year on researching and developing new technologies -- more than any of our peers. This investment in innovation and a consistent commitment to collaboration are essential to spark new ideas and develop solutions to today's and tomorrow's energy challenges. They are the keys to delivering much-needed energy for a rapidly growing global population and ensuring improved living standards for millions of people, now and in the future," said Matthias Bichsel, director of Projects & Technology at Royal Dutch Shell.

It said about 60 percent of the center is new or renovated, and the LEED-certified facility will produce 30 percent fewer CO2 emissions and significantly lower chlorofluorocarbons from its operations. Its energy consumption has been reduced by approximately $2 million annually, according to the announcement.

The other technology hubs are in Bangalore, India and Amsterdam. Shell is building a technical center for lubricants technology in China.

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