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Shell Divests $1B Canadian Oil Assets

Shell has struck a deal with Canadian Tourmaline Oil Corp for the sale of oil and gas acreage worth over US$1 billion, as part of its US$30-billion divestment plan. The assets span 206,000 acres, both developed and undeveloped, in Alberta and British Columbia, with a total daily production rate of 24,850 barrels of oil equivalent.

The deal will comprise a cash payment of US$758 million plus US$279 million worth of Tourmaline stock, and is scheduled to close by the end of the year. According to the buyer, the acquisitions will raise its total output immediately by 13 percent and add probable reserves of 474 million barrels to its portfolio. Tourmaline plans to double the current output from the properties within the next two years.

Earlier this week Shell announced it has put up for sale another 16 non-core assets, expecting proceeds of over US$500 million.

The supermajor has been pressed to sell assets to reduce debt accumulated with the purchase of BG Group, which closed early this year. In addition to asset sales, Shell has shelved (or abandoned completely) several other projects over the last two years, including a US$7-billion Arctic exploration operation; a major LNG project in Australia, where it partnered with BP, PetroChina, and Woodside; and another LNG project, also valued at US$40 billion, in British Columbia.

Some of Shell’s North Sea assets are also up for grabs.

Earlier this year, CEO Ben van Beurden outlined Shell’s new “leaner and deeper” strategy, which would see the country exit between five and ten countries entirely. Under this strategy, Shell would also focus almost exclusively on deepwater oil and gas development and petrochemicals. Shale is also to join its priorities sometime after 2020.

In Canada, Shell will keep—at least for now—its 650,000 acres in two Albertan shale plays, plus its oil sands property in the northern part of the province.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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