Shell sells Canada oil sands assets


Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: 0LN9.L - news) has sold almost all of its Canadian oil sands (Other OTC: COSWF - news) activities in a $7.25-billion (6.9-billion-euro) deal, the Anglo-Dutch energy giant said Thursday.

Shell (LSE: RDSB.L - news) said in a statement that it has signed agreements to sell its interests in two oil sands projects, Athabasca and Peace River, to Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Toronto: CNQ.TO - news) for $8.5 billion in cash and stocks.

At the same time, Shell and Canadian Natural will jointly purchase Marathon Oil Canada Corporation, which holds a 20 percent interest in the Athabasca project, from an affiliate of Marathon for $1.25 billion each.

Shell will therefore receive a net $7.25 billion in the vast transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and pegged for completion in mid-2017.

The deal is part of a huge $30-billion divestment plan as Shell streamlines its portfolio following the blockbuster takeover of rival BG Group (EUREX: 1007667.EX - news) last year.

?This announcement is a significant step in re-shaping Shell's portfolio in line with our long-term strategy," said Chief Executive Ben van Beurden in Thursday's statement.

"We are strengthening Shell's world-class investment case by focusing on free cash flow and higher returns on capital, and prioritising businesses where we have global scale and a competitive advantage such as integrated gas and deep water."