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Shell to sell 24% stake in Woodside

The share price of oil and gas firm Woodside dipped on Friday after oil major Shell announced it would sell its stake in the Australian company.

3rd February 2012

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The share price of oil and gas firm Woodside dipped on Friday after oil major Shell announced it would sell its stake in the Australian company.

Royal Dutch Shell CFO Simon Henry said overnight that its 24.27% stake in Woodside no longer fitted the company’s long-term plans, and would be sold when the time and price was right.

The oil and gas major said that divestments were expected to reach between $2-billion and $3-billion in 2012.

In its upstream portfolio, Shell was expecting some 250 000 barrels of oil equivalent a day of asset sales and licence expiries over the 2012/17 timeframe, and assuming that these impacts played out, oil and gas production was expected to average some four-million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2017/18, an increase of some 25% from the 2011 levels of 3.2-mllion barrels of oil a day.

Shell reported that during 2012, the company would invest some $30-billion in capital, of which around 60% would be spent in North America and Australia.

CEO Peter Voser said that the company’s strategy was innovative and competitive, with its improving financial position creating an opportunity to increase both its dividends and its investment levels.

“We have worked hard to generate a strong pipeline of investment opportunities for Shell, and we put the emphasis firmly on a competitive financial performance. Shell’s investment programme creates cash flow growth, which in turn funds our dividends,” said Voser.

“All of this is supported by efficiency gains from our continuous improvement programmes where the opportunity set runs to billions of dollars for Shell.”

Woodside fell to A$33.85 a share, from Thursday’s closing price of A$34.15 a share. By late afternoon, the stock traded at A$34.09 apiece.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb

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