The Beginning

Aeilko Jans Zijklert, a 20-yer-old tobacco planter in East Java, moved to Sumatra's East Coast in 1880 as soon as government declared this area open for plantations . During his travels around the island, he had come across traces of oil which on analysis proved to contain about 62 per cent paraffin (sometimes called kerosene).

Delighted with his discovery, he resigned his position, acquired a licence from the local ruler, the Sultan of Langkat, and by 1884 had raised sufficient money to drill his first well. It was dry. In the following year, he tried again at Telaga Said near the village of Pangkalan Brandan in North Sumatra.

This time he was sucessful. He struck oil and his new well, known as Telaga Tunggal No 1, began to produce in commercial quantities. this well is called Telaga Tunggal No. 1, located in the Telaga Said concession area.

By 1890, Zijlker felt confident enough to convert his "Provisional Sumatra Petroleum Company" into something more substantial, and on June 16 the company charter of the "Royal Dutch Company for the Working of Petroleum Wells in the Dutch Indies" was executed in The Hague.

When Zijklert died in December 27, 1890, his colleague De Gelder tackled the job of finding new oil fields and developing the company. The company's administrative's base was established at Pangkalan Brandan. Work began on building facilities nearby Pangkalan Susu to handle ocean shipments.

By 1898, Royal Dutch has completed construction of the storage and harbour facilities that were to make Pangkalan Susu Indonesia's first oil shipping port. Meanwhile in Kalimantan in 1897 Shell Transport and Trading Company Ltd. discovered oil in Eastern Borneo (East Kalimantan) and in the same year it set up a small refinery at Balikpapan, which started in 1899.

Dawn of the 20th Century

By the turn of the century, oil had been discovered in north Sumatra, South Sumatra, Central and Eastern Java and East Kalimantan, and refineries had been established in each area. There were, at that time, 18 companies exploring for, or producing, oil in Indonesia.

In the first years of the century, two of these companies emerged as leaders -- Royal Dutch in production and refining and Shell in transportation and marketing. The Shell company had been founded in 1897 by Marcus Samuel, an Englishman who also traded in shells - hence the name of the company - and spices.

In 1902 Shell and Royal Dutch formed a joint company to handle shipping and marketing for both firms -- The Shell Transport and Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. Ltd. After a few years in which Royal Dutch far better than Shell, Marcus Samuel proposed to De Gelder from Royal Dutch to merge in which each company.

Thus On 24 February 1907, was formed the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group of Companies that was soon known worldwide simply as "Shell". Three years later, in 1910, the Shell group absorbed another producing company in Indonesia and on 24 June 1911 bought out the last independence producer -- The Dordtsche Petroleum Mij -- and Shell's domination of the oil industry in Indonesia was complete.

Timeline

Year Events
1885 Aeilko Jans Zijlker drilled Telaga Tunggal 1 Well in Telaga Said village, North Sumatra.
1890 Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was established in the Hague.
1892 Royal Dutch’s first refinery put up in Pangkalan Brandan in North Sumatra.
1897 The "Shell Transport and Trading Company” was founded by Marcus Samuel.
1899 Shell Transport and Trading built refinery in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan.
1902 First joint venture Royal Dutch and Shell Transport and Trading to handle shipping and marketing of both companies.
1907 The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies was formed with 60:40 interest.
1965 Shell sold all assets in Indonesia to Pertamina. Representative office of Shell set up in Indonesia.
1969 Shell restarted Exploration and Production (EP) activities with Kaltim Shell PSC.
1977 Shell and Pertamina signed Technical Services Agreement for lubricants.
1989 Shell started developing Petrochemical project in Cilacap. The project was discontinued in 1993.
1990 SNT (Shell Nusantara Trading) was founded to handle petrochemical imports.
1994 Shell and Pertamina signed Memorandum of Agreement for joint venture in Lube Oil Blending Plant. The project was discontinued in 1998.
1995 PT. Kridapetra Graha (KPG) was initially founded to manufacture and market bitumen. A blending plant was established in Merak, Banten.
1997 Shell launched the marketing and distribution of world known high-grade brands of lubricants, Shell Helix Super, Helix Plus and Helix Ultra.  Lubricants TSA with Pertamina was discontinued.
2001 EP business in Indonesia formally closed down.
2001 Shell Gas and Power (GP) established a business development team in Indonesia to explore opportunities. New Oil and Gas Law No. 22 was signed into law, signaling end of Pertamina’s obligation as single distributor of fuel in the country.  Licences for retail business for private companies are opened.
2003 Bitumen plant in Merak was closed down due non-viability. Bitumen specialities business successfully started with launch of Flintkote product line.
2004 Shell’s world known transport lubricant brand, Rimula, launched in Indonesia. Shell’s motorcycle oil brands, Advance S2 and S4, launched.
2005 Shell Solar opened its Sales Office in Jakarta under PT. Shell Solar Indonesia. Its first distributor was established in Baturaja, Palembang, South Sumatra. On November 1st, the first Fuel Retail Outlet (SPBU) was opened in Lippo Karawaci, Tangerang. This was the first internationally-branded fuel retail station after 40 years in Indonesia. In November, an MOU between Shell and PT Pertamina was signed to explore cooperation in aviation fuels business in Jakarta. In December, Shell submitted a tender for new fields in West Sulawesi.
2006 Shell successfully launched Shell Helix RRR (Refresh, Revive, Rejuvenate) campaign, or “Bersih, Segar, Seperti Baru Terus”. In February-March, Shell opened up 2 more Fuel Retail Stations, in S. Parman and Warung Buncit.

More in about us

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Learn about our business and people, and how we grew from a small shop in London nearly 200 years ago.

What we do

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies. We employ around 270 employees in Indonesia.