Main content | back to top
History of Shell in India
Pre-1994: History of Shell in India - beyond selling petroleum
Set up in 1928, The Burmah-Shell Oil Storage and Distributing Company of India Limited was a pioneer in more ways than one, and began operations with import and marketing of Kerosene. It pioneered rural marketing by reaching out to people even in remote villages to ensure supply of kerosene. With motor cars, came canned petrol, followed by service stations which were built in the 1930s.
On 15th October 1932, when civil aviation arrived in India, the company fueled J.R.D. Tata's historic solo flight in a single engine de Havilland Puss Moth from Karachi to Bombay (Juhu) via Ahmedabad.
Then, the company introduced LPG as a cooking fuel to the Indian home in the mid-1950s. Besides selling bitumen, the company pioneered desert road construction in India. In 1955 the company commissioned what was then India’s largest refinery which was the first to process newly found indigenous crude (Bombay High), in the country.
On 24th January 1976, the Burmah Shell Group of Companies was taken over by the Government of India.