Shell to sell UK, Thai resources for roughly $5 bln

LONDON– Royal Dutch Shell PLC capped off a flurry of deals this month with sales in Thailand and a North Sea value scarcely $5 billion, imprinting critical milestones in a oil giant’s pierce to offload $30 billion in assets.


The Anglo-Dutch association is offloading oil fields, refineries, pipelines and other operations to assistance compensate for a roughly $50 billion merger of smaller opposition BG Group final year. It was a transformative understanding that increased Shell’s widespread position in tellurian natural-gas markets and snagged potentially remunerative oil fields offshore of Brazil, though also installed a association with a debt bucket that had ballooned to $78 billion during a finish of a third quarter.

The sales announced on Tuesday enclosed a understanding value adult to $3.8 billion for most of Shell’s British North Sea resources to Chrysaor Holdings Ltd.–an oil association corroborated by Harbour Energy Ltd., an investment car shaped by Washington-based EIG Global Energy Partners and a Singaporean line merchant Noble Group.

Shell also announced Tuesday a sale of a seductiveness in a Thai gas margin to state-owned Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. for $900 million.

Shell’s shares were adult 0.2% during 3:15 p.m. internal time in London.

The deals are among several widely approaching early this year, boosting certainty in a company’s debt-reduction plans. Shell’s joining to slim down has valid severe during a time of low oil prices that creates it tough to do deals. Last year, Shell fell brief of a sales idea of $6 billion to $8 billion though has now reached deals value about $11 billion overall.

The North Sea sale stands out for a size, a largest understanding nonetheless in Shell’s divestment program.

It is a latest understanding in a region, where many vast oil companies such as Shell are looking to sell off or restructure their interests after decades of pumping oil and gas from shrinking fields. This month, BP PLC concluded to sell a series of North Sea resources to scrutiny and prolongation association EnQuest PLC.

The North Sea was once one of a world’s premier reservoirs of wanton oil, though many of a fields have been emptied all though dry. The world’s biggest oil companies typically concentration on vast projects with poignant prolongation potential, rather squeezing some-more out of aging fields.

Until now, sales to smaller companies in a North Sea have valid tough given of high handling costs and intensity liabilities value billions of dollars for decommissioning huge offshore oil rigs.

Falling costs in a arise of a oil cost pile-up given 2014 are assisting change that equation.

“The North Sea is during a indicate of generational change,” pronounced Chrysaor Chairman Linda Cook.

For a association such as Chrysaor, a understanding brings a guarantee of solid income from prolongation of 115,000 barrels of oil homogeneous a day and a intensity for new oil finds from interests in several North Sea blocks. The association is approaching to take on around 400 Shell staff on execution of a deal, approaching in a second half of 2017, creation Chrysaor one of a largest producers of oil and gas in a U.K.

Chrysaor pronounced it skeleton to permit drilling activity to extend a life of fields it will work and has ambitions to make some-more acquisitions.

The deal’s structure illustrates how low oil prices are still inspiring a value of deals.

Chrysaor will compensate $3 billion upfront and another $600 million between 2018-2021 theme to oil prices. If prices tumble next a certain turn in that period, Shell will repay adult to $100 million to Chrysaor. An additional sum of adult to $180 million will tumble due to Shell if certain scrutiny milestones are hit.

Write to Sarah Kent during sarah.kent@wsj.com and Ian Walker during ian.walker@wsj.com


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