Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc known as Shell, is a British-Dutch oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom. It is one of the six oil and gas "supermajors" and the fifth-largest company in the world measured by 2018 revenues. Shell was first in the 2013 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's largest companies. Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, transport and marketing, power generation and trading, it has renewable energy activities, including in biofuels, energy-kite systems, hydrogen. Shell has operations in over 70 countries, produces around 3.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day and has 44,000 service stations worldwide. As of 31 December 2014, Shell had total proved reserves of 13.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Shell Oil Company, its principal subsidiary in the United States, is one of its largest businesses. Shell holds 50% of Raízen, a joint venture with Cosan, the third-largest Brazil-based energy company by revenues and a major producer of ethanol.
Shell was formed in 1907 through the amalgamation of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and the "Shell" Transport and Trading Company of the United Kingdom. Until its unification in 2005 the firm operated as a dual-listed company, whereby the British and Dutch companies maintained their legal existence but operated as a single-unit partnership for business purposes. Shell first entered the chemicals industry in 1929. In 1970 Shell acquired the mining company Billiton, which it subsequently sold in 1994 and now forms part of BHP Billiton. In recent decades gas exploration and production has become an important part of Shell's business. Shell acquired BG Group in 2016. Shell is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index, it had a market capitalisation of £185 billion at the close of trading on 30 December 2016, by far the largest of any company listed on the London Stock Exchange and among the highest of any company in the world. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of January 2013, Shell's largest shareholder was Capital Research Global Investors with 9.85% ahead of BlackRock in second with 6.89%. The Royal Dutch Shell Group was created in April 1907 through the amalgamation of two rival companies: the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company of the Netherlands and the Shell Transport and Trading Company Limited of the United Kingdom, it was a move driven by the need to compete globally with Standard Oil. The Royal Dutch Petroleum Company was a Dutch company founded in 1890 to develop an oilfield in Pangkalan Brandan, North Sumatra, led by August Kessler, Hugo Loudon, Henri Deterding; the "Shell" Transport and Trading Company was a British company, founded in 1897 by Marcus Samuel, 1st Viscount Bearsted, his brother Samuel Samuel. Their father had owned an antique company in Houndsditch, which expanded in 1833 to import and sell seashells, after which the company "Shell" took its name. For various reasons, the new firm operated as a dual-listed company, whereby the merging companies maintained their legal existence, but operated as a single-unit partnership for business purposes.
The terms of the merger gave 60 percent ownership of the new group to the Dutch arm and 40 percent to the British. National patriotic sensibilities would not permit a full-scale merger or takeover of either of the two companies; the Dutch company, Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleum Maatschappij at The Hague, was in charge of production and manufacture. The British Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company was based in London, to direct the transport and storage of the products. During the First World War, Shell was the main supplier of fuel to the British Expeditionary Force, it was the sole supplier of aviation fuel and supplied 80 percent of the British Army's TNT. It volunteered all of its shipping to the British Admiralty; the German invasion of Romania in 1916 saw. In 1919, Shell took control of the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company and in 1921 formed Shell-Mex Limited which marketed products under the "Shell" and "Eagle" brands in the United Kingdom. In 1929, Shell Chemicals was founded. By the end of the 1920s, Shell was the world's leading oil company, producing 11 percent of the world's crude oil supply and owning 10 percent of its tanker tonnage.
Shell Mex House was completed in 1931, was the head office for Shell's marketing activity worldwide. In 1932 in response to the difficult economic conditions of the times, Shell-Mex merged its UK marketing operations with those of British Petroleum to create Shell-Mex and BP, a company that traded until the brands separated in 1975. Royal Dutch Company ranked 79th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts; the 1930s saw. After the invasion of the Netherlands by Germany in 1940, the head office of the Dutch companies was moved to Curacao. In 1945 Shell's Danish headquarters in Copenhagen, at the time being used by the Gestapo, was bombed by Royal Air Force Mosquitoes in Operation Carthage. Around 1952, Shell was the first company to use a computer in the Netherlands; the computer, a Ferranti Mark 1*, was assembled and used at the Shell laboratory in Amste
SSE plc is an energy company headquartered in Perth, Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in United Ireland, it is involved in the generation and supply of electricity and gas, the operation of gas and telecoms networks and other energy related services such as gas storage and production, contracting and metering. SSE is considered as one of the "Big Six" companies which dominate the energy market in the United Kingdom; the company has its origins in two public sector electricity supply authorities. The former North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was founded in 1943 to design and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland, took over further generation and distribution responsibilities on the nationalisation of the electricity industry within the United Kingdom in 1948; the former Southern Electricity Board was created in 1948 to distribute electricity in Southern England. Whilst the Southern Electricity Board was a distribution only authority, with no power generation capacity of its own, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric board was a broader spectrum organisation, with its own generating capabilities.
Because of its history and location, the Hydro-Electric Board was responsible for most of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the United Kingdom. Both authorities were privatised in 1990/91 retaining their pre privatisation geographic and functional bases; the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board became Scottish Hydro-Electric, whilst the Southern Electricity Board became Southern Electric. Scottish and Southern Energy was formed in September 1998, following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric. In August 2000, Scottish and Southern Energy acquired the SWALEC energy supply business. SWALEC operate in Wales while SSE operates in Scotland and England. In July 2004, the company acquired the Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Stations for £250million. In January 2008, it went on to buy an Irish wind farm business. In August 2009, it agreed to purchase Uskmouth power station from Welsh Power Group Limited. In April 2010, the company purchased the natural gas exploration and production assets of Hess Corporation in three areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf – Everest/Lomond and Bacton.
In January 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy changed the core company branding from Scottish and Southern Energy to SSE. In November 2017, it was announced that SSE was looking to separate from its retail subsidiary which would merge with the npower division of rival Innogy, it is planned that SSE shareholders will own 65.6% of the demerged entity and Innogy would hold the remainder. The resulting company would be listed on the London Stock Exchange and include npower's residential and business retail business, SSE's residential energy supply and home services business, excluding its business in Ireland; the merger received preliminary regulatory clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority on 30 August 2018, full clearance was given on 10 October 2018. On 17 December 2018, the merger was abandoned, blaming "very challenging market conditions"; the company is the second largest supplier of electricity and natural gas in the United Kingdom, the largest generator of renewable energy in the United Kingdom.
Its subsidiaries are organised into the main businesses of generation, transmission and supply of electricity. Grid connections are more difficult in North Scotland, which receives funding from the rest of the United Kingdom to reduce tariffs. In March 2016, SSE announced it would be closing all branches of its Scottish Hydro Electric shops and the accompanying online store, citing "changing shopping habits and more customer choice meant the shops have been loss-making for a number of years". SSE had 2,975MW of renewable capacity at 30 September 2016, including its share of joint ventures, with 2,731MW of this in Great Britain; the British portfolio comprised: 1,150MW conventional hydro, 900MW onshore wind, 344MW offshore wind, 300MW pumped storage and 37MW dedicated biomass. SSE had 8,069MW of thermal capacity at 30 September 2016, comprising: 5,305MW of gas fired and oil fired generation and 1,995MW of coal fired generation. SSE is the largest accredited Living Wage Employer in the United Kingdom.
Nearly 20,000 staff across the United Kingdom are guaranteed to receive the living wage rate of at least £7.85 an hour. In October 2014, SSE became the first company on the FTSE 100 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark, an independent accreditation process for identifying companies making an effort to be transparent about their tax affairs; the SSE Hydro is an arena located in Glasgow, Scotland, on the site of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. The arena opened on 30 September 2013, has a capacity of 13,000, it was designed by the London based architects Foster + Partners. The SSE Hydro hosts international musical stars, global entertainment and sporting events, with an aim to attract one million visitors each year; the Odyssey Arena located within the Odyssey Complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is known as The SSE Arena and has a sponsorship agreement for ten years, which began in June 2015. Wembley Arena located in London, England, is sponsored by SSE, is known as The SSE Arena, Wembley since April 2014, has a sponsorship agreement for ten years.
Energy policy of Scotland Electricity in Northern Ireland Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom Green electricity in the United Kingdom Peterhead Power Sta
BP plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the world's seven oil and gas "supermajors", whose performance in 2012 made it the world's sixth-largest oil and gas company, the sixth-largest energy company by market capitalization and the company with the world's 12th-largest revenue, it is a vertically integrated company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining and marketing, power generation and trading. It has renewable energy interests in biofuels and wind power; as of 31 December 2017, BP had operations in 70 countries worldwide, produced around 3.6 million barrels per day of oil equivalent, had total proved reserves of 18.441 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The company has around 18,300 service stations worldwide, its largest division is BP America in the United States. In Russia, BP owns a 19.75% stake in Rosneft, the world's largest publicly traded oil and gas company by hydrocarbon reserves and production.
BP is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange. BP's origins date back to the founding of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1908, established as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company to exploit oil discoveries in Iran. In 1935, it in 1954 British Petroleum. In 1959, the company expanded beyond the Middle East to Alaska and it was one of the first companies to strike oil in the North Sea. British Petroleum acquired majority control of Standard Oil of Ohio in 1978. Majority state-owned, the British government privatised the company in stages between 1979 and 1987. British Petroleum merged with Amoco in 1998, becoming BP Amoco plc, acquired ARCO and Burmah Castrol in 2000, becoming BP plc in 2001. From 2003 to 2013, BP was a partner in the TNK-BP joint venture in Russia. BP has been directly involved in several major environmental and safety incidents. Among them were the 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion, which caused the death of 15 workers and resulted in a record-setting OSHA fine.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters in history, resulted in severe environmental and economic consequences, serious legal and public relations repercussions for BP. 1.8 million US gallons of Corexit oil dispersant were used in the cleanup response, becoming the largest application of such chemicals in US history. The company pleaded guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanors, one felony count of lying to Congress, agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion in fines and penalties, the largest criminal resolution in US history. On 2 July 2015, BP and five states announced an $18.7 billion settlement to be used for Clean Water Act penalties and various claims. In May 1908 a group of British geologists discovered a large amount of oil at Masjid-i-Suleiman in Mohammerah, today located in the province of Khuzestan, it was the first commercially significant. William Knox D'Arcy, by contract with the Emir of Mohammerah, Sheikh Khaz'al Khan al-Kaabi, obtained permission to explore for oil for the first time in the Middle East, an event which changed the history of the entire region.
The oil discovery led to petrochemical industry development and the establishment of industries that depended on oil. On 14 April 1909, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was incorporated as a subsidiary of Burmah Oil Company; some of the shares were sold to the public. The first chairman and minority shareholder of the company became Lord Strathcona. After establishing the company, the British government asked Percy Cox, British resident to Bushehr, to negotiate an agreement with Khaz'al for APOC to obtain a site on Abadan Island for a refinery, storage tanks, other operations; the refinery was built and began operating in 1912. In 1913, the British government acquired a controlling interest in the company and at the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the British navy switched from coal to oil. In 1914, APOC signed a 30-year contract with the British Admiralty for supplying oil for the Royal Navy at the fixed price. In 1915, APOC established its shipping subsidiary the British Tanker Company and in 1916 it acquired the British Petroleum Company, a marketing arm of the German Europäische Petroleum Union in Britain.
In 1919, the company became a shale-oil producer by establishing a subsidiary named Scottish Oils which merged remaining Scottish oil-shale industries. After World War I, APOC started marketing its products in Continental Europe and acquired stakes in the local marketing companies in several European countries. Refineries were built in Llandarcy in Grangemouth in Scotland, it acquired the controlling stake in the Courchelettes refinery in France and formed with the Government of Australia a partnership named Commonwealth Oil Refineries, which built the Australian's first refinery in Laverton, Victoria. In 1923, Burmah employed Winston Churchill as a paid consultant to lobby the British government to allow APOC have exclusive rights to Persian oil resources, which were subsequently granted by the Iranian monarchy. APOC and the Armenian busines
Anglo American plc
Anglo American plc is a multinational mining company based in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest producer of platinum, with around 40% of world output, as well as being a major producer of diamonds, nickel, iron ore and metallurgical and thermal coal; the company has operations in Africa, Australasia, North America and South America. Anglo American has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index; the company has a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, a German Jewish émigré, founded the Anglo American Corporation in 1917 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with financial backing from the American bank J. P. Morgan & Co. and £ 1 million raised from US sources to start the gold mining company. This fact is reflected in the name of the company; the AAC became the majority stakeholder in the De Beers company in 1926, a company controlled by Alfred Beit a Jewish-German émigré.
During 1945, the AAC moved into the coal industry by acquiring Coal Estates. Twelve years Sir Ernest died in Johannesburg and was succeeded as head of the AAC by his son, Harry Oppenheimer, who became chairman of De Beers. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the AAC focused on the development of the Free State goldfields and the Vaal Reefs mine; the success of the mines enabled the company to become the world’s largest gold-mining group. In 1961, the AAC expanded outside of southern Africa for the first time and became a major investor in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company in Canada. In 1967, the company moved into the steel industry by acquiring Scaw Metals. From 1967 to 1975, it continued to grow and established a number of ventures, including the Mondi Group and Amcoal. In 1982, Harry Oppenheimer was succeeded by Gavin Relly. Two years Oppenheimer retired from De Beers and passed the chairmanship to Julian Ogilvie Thompson, who in 1990 became chairman and chief executive of the AAC. Anglo American Corporation merged with Minorco on May 24, 1999 to form Anglo American plc with its primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Its gold mining operations were spun off into the separate AngloGold corporation, which in 2004 merged with the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation to form AngloGold Ashanti. Anglo American reduced its stake in AngloGold Ashanti to 16.6 percent in 2008. In 2000, Julian Ogilvie Thompson retired as chief executive of Anglo American and was succeeded by Tony Trahar. Ogilvie Thompson retired as chairman in 2002 and was replaced by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. In the same year, Anglo American acquired Tarmac, a supplier of building materials, Shell Petroleum Company’s Australian coal assets In 2001, De Beers was privatised after being a listed company for more than 70 years. In 2002, South Africa’s Mining Charter was approved and Anglo American and other mining companies with operations in the country were mandated to transfer a percentage of their South African production to disadvantaged South Africans. From 2002 to July 2008 Anglo American carried out black community economic empowerment transactions totalling R26 billion.
In 2002, Anglo Base Metals acquired the Disputada copper operations in Chile from Exxon Mobil Corporation and opened a representative office in Beijing, China. In 2003, Anglo American acquired a major stake in iron ore producer Kumba Resources. In 2007, Cynthia Carroll succeeded Tony Trahar, becoming the first non-South African and first female chief executive of Anglo American; the Mondi Group, a paper and packaging business, was spun out in 2007. During the next two years, Anglo American opened a representative office in New Delhi, acquired control of the Michiquillay copper project in northern Peru and the MMX Minas-Rio and Amapa iron ore projects in Brazil and acquired stakes in the Pebble copper project in Alaska. Anglo American was accused in 2007 of damaging environmental practices: in order to complete its planned Alaskan Pebble Mine in collaboration with Northern Dynasty Minerals, the global mining giant may build a massive dam at the headwaters of the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, which it would risk obliterating.
Opponents are pointing to the use of cyanide, heavy metals, acid mine drainage which can all have devastating effects on the pristine environment of the Bristol Bay area. Opponents of the Pebble Mine created Ballot Measure 4 to impose additional water quality standards on new large-scale mines in the state. However, in August 2007, Alaskans voted against the initiative; the Pebble Limited Partnership has not yet put forward a project proposal and is working to prepare a Prefeasibility Study for the project in the second half of 2009. The mine proposal must still undergo environmental studies and the permitting process, including being subject to state and federal water protections. In December 2013, Anglo American withdrew from the Pebble Limited Partnership. Anglo American entered into talks in early November 2011; the Oppenheimer family divested their remaining shares of De Beers, whereby Anglo American acquired an additional 40% stake for $5.1 billion, which increased Anglo American stake to 85%.
This came at a time of increased labour strikes and international attention to Oppenheimer's involvement in blood and conflict diamonds. Anglo American Plc. sold a 24.5 percent share in its Chilean cop
Scottish Power Ltd. is a vertically integrated energy company with its headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but, in 2006, it became a subsidiary of the Spanish utility Iberdrola. ScottishPower is the distribution network operator for central and southern Scotland, North Wales and parts of Cheshire and Shropshire, it is the Transmission Owner for the south of Scotland. The company supplies electricity and gas to homes and businesses around the United Kingdom and generates power for supply to the grid, it owned PPM Energy in the United States. ScottishPower was formed in 1990, in preparation for the privatisation of the state-owned Scottish electricity industry the following year; the UK government had privatised the English and Welsh electricity industry by splitting the market into 12 regional electricity companies and two power generators. However, in Scotland, the industry was organised on an integrated generation and supply basis, this integration survived the privatisation to become a model for the rest of the United Kingdom.
ScottishPower was formed from the larger of the two Scottish electricity boards, the South of Scotland Electricity Board, whilst the other, the North of Scotland Hydro Board became part of the Scottish and Southern Energy Group. ScottishPower was the larger of the two Scottish energy companies and benefited from being both a generator and supplier of power. In 1995 it acquired the regional electricity company, MANWEB which supplied Merseyside, North Wales and parts of Cheshire. In 1996 the company diversified into the water supply business with the purchase of Southern Water; when the supply of energy into British homes was opened up to competition, ScottishPower entered this market, stealing share from the previous gas supply monopoly British Gas and building new market share in England and Wales. ScottishPower established the telecommunications company and floated it on the London Stock Exchange in 2002. In 2000, ScottishPower completed the acquisition of PacifiCorp, which supplies electricity in the western United States, which operates as Pacific Power, as Rocky Mountain Power.
In May 2005, ScottishPower announced that it had agreed to sell Pacificorp to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a company controlled by Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, for US$5.1 billion in cash and US$4.3 billion in debt and preferred stock. The successful completion of the deal was announced on 21 March 2006, after securing regulatory approvals; the deal did not include PPM Energy. Following the announcement, the group's share price rose, but were now seen as vulnerable to a takeover, it was soon revealed that German energy group E. ON, who own Powergen, were interested in a takeover. On 22 November 2005, the board rejected an offer from E. ON of 570 pence a share, which would have valued the group at £10.7 billion. On 28 November 2006, the board of directors of ScottishPower agreed to a £11.6 billion takeover bid by the Spanish energy firm Iberdrola. The offer was formally approved by shareholders at an EGM on 30 March 2007 creating Europe's third largest utility company. In April 2007, the British government's energy regulator, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, urged customers of Scottish Power and EDF Energy to switch to a cheaper provider after the firms refused to cut prices in line with the rest of the industry.
In April 2008 Ofgem launched an investigation into allegations that Scottish Power abused their dominant market position relating to the electricity transmission network they own jointly in Scotland. Ofgem said it had launched its inquiry into Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy under section 18 of the Competition Act, "based on a formal complaint alleging abuse of a dominant position in the electricity generation sector arising from constrained capacity on the transmission network." The energy regulator believes that energy generators manipulate the power market for profit when supplies are tight because network operator National Grid has to pay utilities to turn their plants on or off to balance supply and demand. This resulted in companies deliberately shutting their plants down when supplies are tight in order to receive a higher payment to start up again, increasing the system balancing costs at the expense of consumers. Ofgem were alarmed that the cost of balancing the system increased from £70 million in 2007/08 to an estimated £238 million for 2008/09 and an expected £258 million in 2009/10, with most of the costs incurred in Scotland.
In January 2009, Ofgem suspended the investigation, saying it would be more effective to deal with the wider problem than pursuing the specific case further. In November 2012 the Information Commissioner's Office publicly listed ScottishPower as one of a number of companies that it had concerns about due to unsolicited telephone calls for marketing; the concerns were based on complaints. In response, ScottishPower said. In early 2015, Scottish Power was temporarily banned from sig
Scotland is a country, part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides; the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, thus forming a personal union of the three kingdoms. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain; the union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. In 1801, the Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland enacted a political union to create a United Kingdom.
The majority of Ireland subsequently seceded from the UK in 1922. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland; the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. The continued existence of legal, educational and other institutions distinct from those in the remainder of the UK have all contributed to the continuation of Scottish culture and national identity since the 1707 union with England; the Scottish Parliament, a unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, was established in 1999 and has authority over those areas of domestic policy which have been devolved by the United Kingdom Parliament. The head of the Scottish Government, the executive of the devolved legislature, is the First Minister of Scotland. Scotland is represented in the UK House of Commons by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs.
Scotland is a member of the British–Irish Council, sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland is divided into councils. Glasgow City is the largest subdivision in Scotland in terms of population, with Highland being the largest in terms of area. "Scotland" comes from the Latin name for the Gaels. From the ninth century, the meaning of Scotia shifted to designate Gaelic Scotland and by the eleventh century the name was being used to refer to the core territory of the Kingdom of Alba in what is now east-central Scotland; the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass most of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages, as the Kingdom of Alba expanded and came to encompass various peoples of diverse origins. Repeated glaciations, which covered the entire land mass of modern Scotland, destroyed any traces of human habitation that may have existed before the Mesolithic period, it is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, as the ice sheet retreated after the last glaciation.
At the time, Scotland was covered in forests, had more bog-land, the main form of transport was by water. These settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, the first villages around 6,000 years ago; the well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period. Neolithic habitation and ritual sites are common and well preserved in the Northern Isles and Western Isles, where a lack of trees led to most structures being built of local stone. Evidence of sophisticated pre-Christian belief systems is demonstrated by sites such as the Callanish Stones on Lewis and the Maes Howe on Orkney, which were built in the third millennium BCE; the first written reference to Scotland was in 320 BC by Greek sailor Pytheas, who called the northern tip of Britain "Orcas", the source of the name of the Orkney islands. During the first millennium BCE, the society changed to a chiefdom model, as consolidation of settlement led to the concentration of wealth and underground stores of surplus food.
The first Roman incursion into Scotland occurred in 79 AD. After the Roman victory, Roman forts were set along the Gask Ridge close to the Highland line, but by three years after the battle, the Roman armies had withdrawn to the Southern Uplands; the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall in northern England and the Limes Britannicus became the northern border of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on the southern part of the country was considerable, they introduced Christianity to Scotland. Beginning in the sixth century, the area, now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland; these societies were based on the family unit and had sharp divisions in wealth, although the vast majority were poor and worked full-time in subsistence agriculture. The Picts kept slaves through the ninth century. Gaelic influence over Pictland and Northumbria was facilitated by the large number of Gaelic-speaking clerics working as missionaries. Operating in the sixth ce