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Shell completes $4.4 billion in sales a day before earnings report

Dutch supermajor trying to dump $30 billion in assets in order to shape the company “into a world class investment.”

By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Nov. 1, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Nov. 1 (UPI) — Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday it made further progress in a major divestment plan by completing the sale of assets in Gabon and in the North Sea.

For $628 million, Shell said it completed the sale of its entire Gabonese oil and gas interests to a company controlled by The Carlyle Group. The transaction includes the sale of all of Shell’s onshore oil and gas interests, which includes nine total fields, and the associated infrastructure, including pipelines and export terminals.

Shell last year produced an average 41,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Gabon. When disclosing the intention of the sale earlier this year, Andy Brown, a director for Shell exploration and production programs, said the decision “was not taken lightly.”

French energy major Total in February said it was taking advantage of improved market conditions by selling mature assets in Gabon to Anglo-French company Perenco for $350 million.

In a separate statement, the Dutch supermajor said it completed the sale of North Sea holdings to Chrysaor for a total of up to $3.8 billion. The sale includes Shell’s 21.7 percent interest in the legacy Buzzard field and the 10 stake in the Schiehallion field.

BP has produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil from Schiehallion since production started in the late 1990s and the company said redevelopment could yield another 450 million barrels and extend the field’s life into the 2030s.

Phil Kirk, the chief executive at Chrysaor, said in a statement the company is now a leading exploration and production company in the North Sea with the acquisition, with puts about 120,000 net barrels of oil equivalent per day in its pocket.

“With improving operating costs, competitive fiscal terms and a world class skills base, the North Sea is undergoing a period of rejuvenation,” Chairperson Linda Cook added.

Shell said the sales show “clear momentum” behind the effort to shed $30 billion in assets and “re-shape the company into a world class investment.” The company reports its third quarter earnings on Thursday. Net profit for the second quarter was $3.6 billion, up from the $1 billion reported for the second quarter 2016. From the first quarter, however, net profit is down about 4 percent.

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