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North Sea sale move after Shell profit warning

Shell has issued a surprise profit warning. Picture: PA

Shell has issued a surprise profit warning. Picture: PA

  • by PERRY GOURLEY
 

Royal Dutch Shell plans to put three oil and gas assets in the North Sea up for sale as it seeks to ramp up disposals and focus on improving shareholder returns after a shock profit warning.

The Anglo-Dutch company has been facing increasing investor pressure to rein in spending as costs rise and prospects for oil prices wane.

Glen Cayley, the company’s vice-president of its upstream business in Europe, has spoken to staff about the proposed sell-off of its Anasuria, Nelson and Sean platforms in the British part of the North Sea. Together, the assets account for about 2 per cent of UK’s oil production. Shell said that despite the sale move, it remained committed to the North Sea.

“These changes are very much in line with our strategy and will allow us to shape our future and focus on where we can add value to ensure a long-term future for Shell in the basin,” Cayley said.

It is not thought the disposals have been influenced by the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence which other energy bosses have signalled is undermining the North Sea investment climate.

Shell, attempting to win round investors after a major profit warning earlier this year, is targeting $15 billion (£9bn) of disposals over the next two years.

Over the last four years, the group’s total average production from the North Sea has been around 136,500 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day out of total UK production of sbout 1.55 million boe.

 

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