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Shell eyes sale of Australia downstream business

January 13/2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Vitol Group, the worlds largest independent oil trader, is considering a bid for some of Royal Dutch Shell's Australian downstream operations, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing

Shell, Europes biggest oil company, is stepping up asset sales after spending a record USD45 billion on projects and acquisitions last year. Its earnings from refining and marketing dropped by almost half to USD892 million in the three months to September.

The Hague-based companys Australian unit said in April it would sell the Geelong refinery to focus on larger plants, such as the Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore. The Geelong facility, which processes about 120,000 bpd of oil, may be converted to a fuel import terminal if a sale isnt completed, according to its website.

Shell also has a network of about 900 filling stations in Australia, two-thirds of which are operated by its retail partner Coles Group Ltd., owned by Wesfarmers Ltd. Spokesmen for Shell, Vitol, Macquarie and TPG declined to comment. Shell plans to sell about AD3 billion (USD2.7 billion) of Australian assets and is talking to parties including TPG and a group that includes Macquarie, the Australian Financial Review reported today, citing unidentified people.

Vitol agreed in 2011 to buy the bulk of Shells downstream business in 14 African countries, alongside Africa-focused private equity firm Helios Investment Partners, for about USD1 billion. The Swiss company owns and operates refineries in the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and the Netherlands with a refining capacity of about 150,000 bpd, according to its website. It also has a storage terminal venture with facilities in 14 countries.

Australias Macquarie Capital agreed in August to buy 45% of Singapores Helios Terminal Corp. from Oiltanking for an undisclosed sum, the closely-held German company said Aug. 12.  Oiltanking bought the terminal on Jurong Island, which comprises 18 storage tanks, from Chemoil Energy for USD285 million a year ago.

As MRC wrote before, Ukraine took its first major step away from dependency on Russian gas imports on Thursday when it signed a USD10 billion shale gas deal with Shell. The 50-year production sharing agreement, signed on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, marks the biggest contract yet to tap shale gas in Europe and the largest foreign investment in the former Soviet republic.


mrcplast.com
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:oil, neftehimiya, Shell.
Category:General News
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