SHELL is selling its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada, as part of its ongoing reshaping of its business.
The multi-stranded deal with oil sands major Canada Natural Resources is worth US$7.25bn, and includes the reduction of its shareholding in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60% to 10%; though Shell will remain the operator of AOSP’s Scotford upgrader and Quest CCS project.
Furthermore, Shell and Canada Natural Resources will jointly acquire and own Marathon Oil Canada, which holds a 20% stake in AOSP.
Shell has been refocusing its business following the completion of its US$54bn purchase of natural gas giant BG Group early last year. The company has since said that chemicals and deepwater oil production are its priority areas for growth.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said: “This announcement is a significant step in re-shaping Shell’s portfolio in line with our long-term strategy…prioritising businesses where we have global scale and a competitive advantage such as integrated gas and deep water.”
Shell Canada president Michael Crothers noted the company’s 100-year history in the country and its ongoing commitment. He said the deal will enhance returns from its downstream business through the opportunities that come with continuing to operate the Scotford upgrader and Quest CCS project, located next to the Shell Scotford refinery and chemicals plants. The company owns shale acreage in Canada, and has gas interests through the proposed LNG Canada project.
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