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Canada Pension Said to Join Bid for Shell’s North Sea Assets

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has joined a group that’s in advanced talks to buy a package of Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s U.K. North Sea assets for more than $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Canada’s largest pension fund has joined Washington-based EIG Global Energy Partners and North Sea-explorer Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. to bid for the operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

The sale is a key part of Shell’s plans to divest about $30 billion in assets through 2018 to help offset the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group, which increased debt and lowered its credit rating. Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has vowed to boost savings following a two-year slump in crude oil prices.

Representatives for Shell, Canada Pension, Chrysaor and EIG declined to comment.

Ineos AG and Blackstone Group LP-backed Siccar Point Energy were also invited to submit binding bids last year, people familiar with the matter said in October.

BG operated oil and gas assets in the U.K. North Sea including the Armada project and the Everest and Lomond fields. Shell also operates older fields in the U.K.’s North Sea, including the Brent project, which is used to set the global price benchmark, according to its website.

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