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Shell leaves refinery business in Denmark

Company moving through rough financial waters with robust divestment strategy.

By
Daniel J. Graeber
Shell leaves refinery business in Denmark behind as it revisits its financial options. Photo by Oskari Porkka/Shutterstock
Shell leaves refinery business in Denmark behind as it revisits its financial options. Photo by Oskari Porkka/Shutterstock

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- For about $80 million in capital, Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it was keeping its upstream Danish interests in check, but unloading a refinery operation.

Shell said it reached an agreement with a Danish company to sell its refinery operations, which includes the Fredericia refinery that has the capacity to handle 70,000 barrels of product per day. The Dutch supermajor said its exploration and production interests in Denmark would not be impacted by the transaction.

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The deal marks Shell's departure from downstream operations in Denmark.

"The divestment is consistent with Shell's strategy to concentrate its downstream operations on areas where it can be most competitive," the company said in a statement.

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Shell said it was leaving oil and gas operations in as many as 10 countries, while focusing more heavily on gas-rich Australia and shale opportunities in the United States. In a deal that included $425 million in cash, the company said the sale of the 100 percent stake of three blocks in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico known collectively as the Brutus/Glider assets to EnVen Energy Corp. was in line with the company's divestment strategy.

Shell this year has moved away from other North American projects apart from the Gulf of Mexico decision, saying in July that capital constraints were in part behind a decision to delay a final investment decision for a gas export facility in Canada.

Mounting financial pressures brought on in part by lower crude oil prices and obligations following its merger with British energy company BG Group led the company to call for "lasting changes" in its operations.

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