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European energy groups press on with multibillion-dollar disposals

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Andrew Ward, Energy Editor: August 7, 2016

Extracts relating to Shell…

Royal Dutch Shell says it is working on 17 potential disposals as it seeks to reassure investors that its target for $30bn of asset sales by 2018 is achievable.

This balancing act is especially tricky for Shell as disposals are crucial to reduce debts after its £35bn takeover of BG Group, completed in February.

“Shell is going to have to be flexible on price if it is to move forward with some of these deals,” said one energy banker. “They cannot just sit back and wait for oil prices to come back.”

About $3bn of disposals have been completed or announced by Shell so far this year, including the sale of its stake in the Japanese refiner Showa Shell.

Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, said last month that the group wanted to make “significant progress” on deals worth $6bn-$8bn by the end of the year.

Assets in Thailand, New Zealand and the North Sea are among those up for grabs, as well as Shell’s planned exit from its Motiva refining joint venture with Saudi Aramco in the US.

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