Shell in $7.25 billion Canadian oil sands divestment

Shell in $7.25 billion Canadian oil sands divestment

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDS) has announced the US$7.25 billion sale of the majority of its Canadian oil sands ventures to Canadian Natural (TSX:CNQ).

The oil companies signed two agreements outlining the divestment, along with a joint venture deal.

In the first deal, the Anglo-Dutch oil major will sell its 60% interest in Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), along with its 100% interest in the Peace River Complex in-situ assets to Canadian Natural.

However, Shell said it will remain as operator of the AOSP Scotford upgrader and the Quest carbon capture and storage project.

Under the second agreement, Shell will acquire and own Marathon Oil Canada Corporation (MOCC) under a joint venture with the Canadian energy firm.

MOCC, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), will be purchased by both companies for a cash fee of $1.35 billion each, Shell said.

Shell chief executive officer Ben van Beurden said: “This announcement is a significant step in re-shaping Shell’s portfolio in line with our long-term strategy.

“The proceeds will accelerate free cash flow and reduce gearing and make a meaningful contribution to Shell’s $30 billion divestment programme.”