SOURCE: X PRIZE Foundation

X PRIZE Foundation

October 04, 2010 08:00 ET

Shell Collaborates With the X PRIZE Foundation to Advance Oil Cleanup Innovation Through the $1.4 Million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE

Joint Effort Will Spur Breakthroughs in Developing Methods to Remove Oil From the Ocean Surface

PLAYA VISTA, CA--(Marketwire - October 4, 2010) - Shell Exploration and Production Company, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, has pledged its collaboration and support to the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. The competition aims to inspire entrepreneurs, engineers and scientists worldwide to develop innovative, rapidly deployable and highly efficient methods of capturing crude oil from the ocean surface. As part of this collaboration, Shell will help with direct support for the technical, operational and scientific components of this competition, and strive to ensure that breakthroughs resulting from the X CHALLENGE will make it into the marketplace. 

The X PRIZE Foundation is best known for launching the ultra-fuel efficient vehicle market through the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE and for creating the private spaceflight industry through the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE.

Shell will work with the X PRIZE Foundation to bring in oil experts and other industry leaders to help promote, utilize and bring the winning technology to market. Additionally, Shell will have a representative on the competition's Advisory Committee and Judging Panel. 

"Shell is proud to support the X PRIZE Foundation on this important program. It reflects our commitment to invest in innovative oil spill containment and clean up technologies that will protect the environment. Let's face it, one spill -- no matter how small -- is one too many," said Dave Lawrence, Executive Vice President Exploration and Commercial, Upstream Americas. "Shell is committed to being among the industry leaders in oil spill preparedness and response -- to ensure that our spill response capabilities keep up as technologies and drilling environments change."

"We must find the most effective and environmentally-safe solutions for capturing oil from future spills," said Robert K. Weiss, President and Vice-Chair of the X PRIZE Foundation. "Shell's participation in this X CHALLENGE assures us that we have access to the experts who can help us clearly define the problem we need to solve, and also to insure that winning solutions make it to the marketplace. We are proud to team with Shell as we re-invent how to clean-up future spills."

Addressing the grand challenges of our time, the X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs through incentivized competition. Through the strategic design of ground-breaking competitions with significant, multi-million dollar prize purses, the X PRIZE Foundation spurs collaboration among the world's most brilliant minds to tackle the issues and also inspires the formation of new industries, jobs and the revitalization of markets that are currently stalled. Today, it is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition.

To learn more about the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE, including competition guidelines and registration information, visit

Founded in 1995 with a mission to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity, the X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit organization that creates and conducts large-scale, international prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization motivates and inspires brilliant innovators from all disciplines and socio-economic sectors to invest their intellectual and financial capital to solve the seemingly intractable challenges of our time. The X PRIZE Foundation conducts prize competitions in four groups: Education & Global Development; Energy & Environment; Life Sciences; and Space & Ocean Exploration. To date, the Foundation has awarded the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for sending the world's first private vehicle into space and back; and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE for creating safe, affordable, production-capable vehicles that exceed 100 MPG or energy equivalent (MPGe). Current prizes include the $30 million Google Lunar X PRIZE, the $10 million Archon Genomics X PRIZE and the $1.4 million Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X CHALLENGE. For more information, visit

Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America's leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell, a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employing approximately 100,000 people and operating in more than 100 countries and territories.

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