LONDON Jan 14 Royal Dutch Shell could
look to sell $15 billion worth of assets over the next two years
including some North Sea fields, said a media report on Tuesday,
expanding on its existing guidance that divestments would
accelerate this year.
Shell, whose new chief executive Ben van Beurden took over
two weeks ago, will sell some of its North Sea oil fields as
well as parts of its refining portfolio and some early-stage
projects, reported the Financial Times, citing a person close to
The oil company, the world's number-three among
investor-controlled energy firms, declined to comment on the
Shell and its peers in the industry are facing increasing
investor pressure to hold down spending as costs rise and
prospects for oil prices wane.
The Anglo-Dutch company said in October that it would step
up divestments "significantly" in 2014 and 2015 to keep cash
flowing in, after forecasting that 2013 capital expenditure
would peak at about $45 billion.
Analysts and bankers say that some of the company's Nigerian
oil blocks plus Shell's 23.1 percent stake in Australian group
Woodside Petroleum - worth over $6 billion at current
prices - could be put on the block.
"It wouldn't surprise me if Shell were to sell some North
Sea assets," Santander analyst Jason Kenney said.
"In the North Sea, something like 80 percent of its
production comes from 20 percent of its asset base so there's a
long tail of smaller positions."
Since Van Beurden began working alongside outgoing boss
Peter Voser at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the company
has cancelled plans to build a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the
United States, raising investor hopes of a tighter spending
Kenney said he expected Shell under Van Beurden to focus on
capital discipline, better returns and selling peripheral
Van Beurden will face investors on Jan. 30 as the company
reports fourth-quarter results, and on March 13 at a planned
Shares in Shell traded down 0.9 percent at 1422 GMT,
underperforming Britain's bluechip index which was up