Largest oil company in the world (as of 2010; in 2009, it was #2). Sales in 2009 were $285 billion. Worldwide proved reserves of 14.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Most of the oil giant's crude is produced in Nigeria, Oman, the UK, and the USA. Shell is also investing heavily in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which converts oil sands in Alberta to synthetic crude oil. The company operates 44,000 gas stations (the world's largest retail fuel network) in more than 80 countries.
Shell is implicated in exploitation and support for dictatorships in Nigeria, Angola, and elsewhere. It operates a huge, stunningly toxic facility in the Niger River Delta, but provides almost no compensation to the Ogoni people. In 1994, Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was arrested for allegedly inciting violence against Shell staff and executed, along with 8 other Ogoni.