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Shell continues divestment streak with Thai gas sale

Shell drops its minority stake in a Thai natural gas field for $750 million, eating away at its effort to shed $30 billion in assets.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Shell continues divestment streak with Thai gas sale
Royal Dutch Shell continues to chip away at its effort to shed $30 billion in assets with the sale of a gas field in Thailand. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI

June 21 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday it made further advancements on its divestment effort by selling off its stake in a natural gas field in Thailand.

Shell's natural gas subsidiary said it sold its 22.2 percent stake in the Bongkot field to Thai company PTT Exploration & Production Public Co. Ltd., PTTEP, for $750 million. The Thai company increased its stake to 66.6 percent and became the operator, alongside minority partner Total.

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"Completion of this deal shows the clear momentum behind Shell's value-driven $30 billion divestment program and is in line with Shell's drive to simplify and refocus its portfolio, reshaping the company into a world class investment," the Dutch supermajor stated.

The Thai divestment followed Wednesday's announcement that its subsidiary in Norway sold its entire 44.56 percent interest in the Draugen field and its 12 percent in the Gjøa to Norwegian energy company OKEA, which said it grabbed "high-quality" assets offshore Norway through the acquisition.

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Shell sold its minority stake in a liquefied natural gas business in Malaysia earlier this week for $750 million.

Shell's remaining interests in offshore Norway represent about 14 percent of total production from the country. The sale from the Bongkot field doesn't impact Shell's other business interests in Thailand.

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Shell's divestment streak is part of its new strategy that was triggered in part by the 2015 mega-merger with British energy company BG Group.

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Shell's net income was $5.3 billion, up more than 40 percent from the same period last year. Production of 3.8 million barrels of oil equivalent marked a 2 percent increase. The Dutch supermajor's latest earnings report came two days after it sold off its refinery business, including its retail service stations, in Argentina for close to $1 billion in cash.

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