Shell began its downstream marketing operations in Oman in 1958 when the Shell Company of South Eastern Arabia - the forerunner of Shell Markets (Middle East) Limited – obtained trading rights from the Late Sultan Said bin Taimur. The fuel was initially imported on trading dhows, the drums were tied with a rope and floated ashore and then hand-rolled inland. All trading was carried out through a local agent.
When in 1958 Shell obtained a contract from PDO to supply fuel it was decided to build a depot at Saih al Mailah Bay (now known as Mina al Fahal). The department had two bulk tanks for motor gasoline and Gasol, a two paint bulk filling gantry, a go-down for lubricants, a drum filling gantry, a small depot office and a house.