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Shell eyes North Sea asset sales

January 20/2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell is looking to sell off some of its North Sea field interests as it targets asset divestments totalling USD15 billion over the next two years, according to Upstreamonline.

It follows the recent appointment of new chief executive Ben van Beurden who is expected to take a more investor-friendly approach than his predecessor Peter Voser, likely to involve generating cash from asset sales as Shell seeks to boost returns for shareholders while carrying out major investments.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor said in October that it would step up divestments "significantly" in 2014 and 2015 to keep cash flowing in, having made record capital expenditure last year of USD45 billion that was USD5 billion over guidance.

A source close to the company told the Financial Times it would divest mature upstream assets in the North Sea and elsewhere, more of its refining portfolio and some projects that have not yet reached final investment decisions and "make sense for others to develop".

Some analysts have suggested the supermajor could go even further, with JP Morgan Cazenove analyst Fred Lucas stating in a note the company could divest as much as USD30 billion in non-core assets.

Shell has insisted that it intends to meet its spending target of USD130 billion between 2012 and 2015, despite last years record outlay, but this is dependent on making asset disposals.

Major oil companies such as Shell and Statoil are facing increasing investor pressure to hold down spending as costs rise and prospects for oil prices wane.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2013, Ukraine took its first major step away from dependency on Russian gas imports when it signed a USD10 billion shale gas deal with Shell. The 50-year production sharing agreement marked the biggest contract yet to tap shale gas in Europe and the largest foreign investment in the former Soviet republic.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, slanceviy gaz, oil, neftehimiya, Shell, Ukraine.
Category:General News
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