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Shell has sold a 26-percent stake in an Australian LNG project to Global Infrastructure Partners for $2.5 billion as part of efforts to reduce the weight of non-core assets in its portfolio, the company said.
The price of the divestment, which will leave Shell the majority owner of the project Queensland Curtis LNG, suggests that the supermajor has picked a good time for the divestment. The outlook for LNG is still bright despite an extended price rout that started last year and continued into this year, and Australia is one of the focal points of LNG development globally.
“Due to the advantages it offers as a complement to renewable energy and as the cleanest burning hydrocarbon, natural gas is a core component of Shell’s strategy to provide more and cleaner energy solutions,” the Anglo-Dutch supermajor said in its announcement of the sale. “Global LNG demand is expected to outpace total demand for energy and the QCLNG venture is crucial in helping Shell meet the world’s growing energy needs.”
The stake sale will complete Shell’s divestment plan for this year, which set a target of $4 billion for the supermajor, Reuters noted in a report on the news, after Shell sold its Martinez refinery in the U.S. and its shale gas assets in Appalachia.
The Queensland Curtis LNG project has been in operation for years, converting coal seam gas from the Surat Basin into liquefied natural gas. Its two trains have an annual production capacity of 8.5 million metric tons, but there are plans to expand this to 12 million tons with another train.
Already a major player in the global LNG field, Shell recently expanded its footprint in a nascent market: LNG bunkering. Earlier this month, the supermajor said it planned to more than double its LNG-powered vessel fleet, Argus Media reported, adding this should happen by 2025.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.