Shell share price: Group swaps New Zealand holdings

Move comes ahead of possible divestment

Shell share price: Group swaps New Zealand holdings

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) has sold its stake in a New Zealand gas field while taking over the field’s operating company, Reuters has reported. The move is part of a plan to possibly divest its holdings in the country later on, with the group looking to offload $30 billion worth of assets.

Shell’s share price rose in yesterday’s session, tracking oil higher, adding 0.67 percent to 2,113.50p, and outperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index which ended the session 0.13 percent higher at 7,331.68 points. The group’s shares have gained more than 26 percent over the past year, but have given up some five percent in the year-to-date.

Reuters reported this morning that Shell had sold its 50-percent stake in the Kapuni Gas Field in New Zealand, for an undisclosed amount, while increasing its holding to 100 percent in Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS), the joint venture which operates the field.

“This 100 percent ownership of STOS will simplify Shell’s operational structure in preparation for any possible portfolio changes to the remaining assets,” Rob Jager, Country Chair of Shell New Zealand, told Fairfax Media.

The news comes with Shell looking to divest $30 billion worth of assets between 2016 and 2018 in an effort to shore up its balance sheet following the acquisition of BG Group. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant announced yesterday that it had inked a deal to sell its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in Hong Kong and Macau to support services group DCC (LON:DCC) for a total enterprise value of $150.3 million.

Other recent divestments include Shell’s onshore assets in Gabon, which the company sold last month for $587 million. The FTSE 100 group also recently inked a deal to offload $7.25 billion of oil sands in Canada.

As of 07:46 BST, Thursday, 06 April, Royal Dutch Shell Plc 'A' share price is 2,122.38p.

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