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Shell Pilot Schemes hint at mining direction change

2 Mins read

Shell have been ruffling a few feathers in the mining space since the turn of the Australian financial year. They have announced two new offerings to the resources sector which allow them to enter new markets beyond fuel supply.

The cynics amongst us, could say that this is a token gesture by a fossil fuel company, to realign its values and show that it cares about the environmental outcomes of the globe. However, I lean more toward the angle that Shell realises that growing pressure from all facets of society to reduce emissions, will start to affect their bottom line.

Divestment from Shell into alternative energy options for big business, is a strategic step that should deliver future revenue streams beyond oil and gas.

OREN, was the first offering announced, a joint venture between Shell and computing giant, IBM. This SaaS platform (Software as a Service) which is still in pilot stage, looks to deliver miners simplified metrics and dashboards for management of either carbon emissions or tailings management.

The OREN value proposition. Source: Shell

The system could deliver transparency on two of the highest focus areas of most mining operations, emissions, and tailings facilities.

With OREN still looking for a global pilot, it would be awesome to see it being tested first right here in Australia. And whilst it is still unproven commercially, the support and technical expertise delivered by two global heavyweights in Shell & IBM, should deliver a great product.

In other news, released last week, Shell announced a consortium they had formed with other specialists to deliver and end-to-end electrification system for mining vehicles.

Shell’s Mining Electrification Solutions for Off-Road Vehicles, is an interoperable electrification system that reduces emissions, while aiming to be cost competitive versus diesel-powered operations, according to the business.

A diagram showing Shell’s Mining Electrification Solutions for Off-Road Vehicles concept Source: Shell

 The pilot looks to offer a high-powered battery storage facility with ultrafast charging. This will be fed via a standardised micro-grid energy system where the whole solution can work in tandem with a renewable electricity generation on-site or through the grid.

According to Shell, mine operators can expect:

  • An end-to-end solution, covering the full journey of the electron from generation to delivery in the drive train
  • An interoperable solution between different equipment manufacturer make and models, giving mining operators greater flexibility
  • A modular design to allow mining customers the opportunity to tailor solutions to their specific needs
  • Reduced emissions without compromising on operational efficiency or safety

Members of the group who will deliver this solution include Skeleton, Microvast, Stäubli, Carnegie Robotics, Heliox, Spirae, Alliance Automation, Worley, and Shell.


Shell is without a doubt looking to future proof its revenue as big industry looks to burn less fossil fuels to power their operations.

This strategic move to position themselves at the forefront of, not only battery electric adoption, but also emissions monitoring, should in time, allow them to continue to deliver to the resources sector.

As both proposed solutions are pilots it would be great to see them being trialed and shaped for the wider industry here in Australia.


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