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Shell Considers Selling Australian LNG Assets For $3 Billion

Shell is weighing the sale of 26 percent in facilities of the QGC liquefied natural gas (LNG) project it operates in Queensland, eastern Australia, which could fetch up to US$3 billion, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing sources and a sale flyer it has seen.  

Shell is the operator and majority interest holder in the QGC venture, while China’s CNOOC is a partner in the LNG plant on Curtis Island with a 50-percent equity in Train 1, while Tokyo Gas has a 2.5-perent equity in Train 2.

Shell is now looking to sell a minority stake in some of the common facilities of the project, including two LNG storage tanks, terminals, water, fuel, and power generation systems, and a tanker-loading jetty, according to Reuters.

Shell is reportedly pitching the facilities to institutional investors and the sale flyer seen by Reuters says that “Royal Dutch Shell plc is considering a sale of a 26.25% interest in the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities - a multibillion dollar investment opportunity.”

Sources with knowledge of the sale process told Reuters that such a sale could fetch between US$2 billion and US$3 billion, while Shell declined to comment to Reuters on what it described as ‘market speculation.’

The QGC venture became majority owned by Shell after the supermajor bought BG Group in 2016.

Shell targets to continue divestments of non-core assets after the oil price crash and the uncertainty over near-term recovery forced it to cut its dividend for the first time since World War II.

In the natural gas business, Shell exited the proposed Lake Charles LNG project in Louisiana in late March, citing initiatives “to preserve cash and reinforce the resilience of our business.”  

In Australia’s natural gas sector, Shell announced in April the final investment decision (FID) on the US$6.4-billion Surat Gas Project in Queensland.   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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