The donation was approved in March but was not disclosed in July when the academic year’s donations were made public, according to the Guardian newspaper.
The daily quoted the British university as saying that the cash injection was "the final gift" in a commitment made in 2014 before it had agreed to set out plans for divesting from energy companies.
The university reportedly argued that the Shell-funded research would look into ways of "making chemical processes for industrial use more sustainable" to back its zero carbon emissions goal.
However, the paper found that hydrocarbon recovery would remain among the researched areas. The university page of research leader Lynn Gladden lists magnetic resonance as a method used in oil recovery to assess the fluid composition within oil-bearing rocks.