Shell offloads its New Zealand assets to Austria's OMV

A Shell logo is seen reflected in a car's side mirror at a petrol station in west London, Britain, January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDSa.L is selling its upstream assets in New Zealand to Austria's OMV AG OMVV.VI for $578 million, the companies said on Thursday.

“Today’s announcement is another step towards reshaping and simplifying our company,” Shell’s Integrated Gas & New Energies Director Maarten Wetselaar said.

Thursday’s agreement includes the sale of Māui, Pohokura and Tank Farms. After deal closure, Shell Taranaki and Shell New Zealand employees will become a part of OMV New Zealand, Shell said.

“This acquisition is an important step to develop Australasia into a core region in line with our new strategy,” OMV CEO Rainer Seele said.

Shell has sold or agreed to sell over $25 billion of assets as part of a three-year program to dispose of $30 billion by the end of 2018, following the acquisition of BG Group in 2016.

Shell sold its stake in Kapuni gas field, New Zealand’s second-largest, for an undisclosed price in 2017.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Roche