Royal Dutch Shell has sold its stake in the contentious Corrib gas project off the Republic of Ireland to a Canadian pension fund for up to $1.23 billion.

The Anglo-Dutch energy group agreed to sell its 45 per cent stake in Corrib, about 50 miles off Ireland’s northwest coast, to a subsidiary of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The latest deal in a $30 billion divestment programme comprises a $947 million payment up front and up to a further $285 million between 2018 and 2025, depending on gas prices and production.

Corrib, which lies about 10,000ft beneath the seabed, was discovered in 1996 by Enterprise Oil, which Shell bought in 2002. It came on stream in 2015 after years of delays and controversy over…