Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA) is working with private equity giant Blackstone on a joint bid for BHP Billiton’s (LON:BLT) onshore US shale assets, Sky News has revealed. Reuters has meanwhile separately reported that the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, which has been looking to shore up its balance sheet with a massive disposal programme, was selling out of several Norwegian fields.
Shell’s share price has slipped marginally lower in London this morning, having lost 0.18 percent to 2,261.00p as of 08:33 GMT, as compared with a 0.09-percent dip in the benchmark FTSE 100 index. BHP Billiton’s share price meanwhile is 0.48 percent down at 1,397.00 points.
Shell plots bid for BHP’s US shale assets
Sky News reported yesterday that Shell and Blackstone had agreed to work together on an offer for BHP Billiton’s US shale assets, which were put up for sale last summer amid pressure from an activist investor. Banking sources indicated to the newswire that the potential joint offer would be only one of several credible proposals which the Anglo-Australian miner is expecting to receive for the business, which includes a number of fields in the prized Permian Basin.
Sky News also quoted people close to the situation as saying that partnering with Blackstone would provide Shell with additional financing firepower for the assets. If successful, the bid would be the Anglo-Dutch group’s largest acquisition since the £35-billion purchase of BG Group in early 2016.
Oil major looks to sell Norwegian fields
In other Shell news, Reuters reported this morning that the Anglo-Dutch group was selling out of the ageing Draugen field in Norway and is also offering small stakes in a number of other fields, as part of its drive to sell $30 billion of assets by the end of the year following BG Group’s acquisition. According to a document seen by the newswire, Shell is offering its 44.56-percent stake in the Draugen field, which produces around 225,000 barrels per day, as well as a number of stakes in non-operated fields including Gjoa, where it holds 12 percent, Kvitebjorn, 6.45 percent, Valeman, 3.2 percent and Sindre, 3.2 percent, known collectively as NOV Assets.