Shell to retain Thai gas field after Kuwait firm delays $900 million deal

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSA) has cancelled a US$900 million deal for its shares in a gas field in Thailand, after Kuwait’s state oil company took too long to complete the purchase.

The deal for Shell’s 22% stake in the Bongkot natural gas field and adjoining offshore acreage was meant to be completed in the first quarter of 2017, but the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) delayed the payment.

“Although Shell and the Thai government have worked together closely and collaboratively on the matter, the different interpretations of the treatment of share sale transactions were not resolved within Shell and KUFPEC’s agreed timeframe,” said a Shell spokesperson.

“Therefore, both parties jointly decided to terminate the transaction.

“We would like to thank the government for the time and attention they have given to the matter and we look forward to continuing our collaborative working relationship going forward.”

Moving forward, Shell’s two Thai subsidiaries will continue to support operations at Bongkot with joint venture partners PTT Exploration & Production and Total.

The sale was initially agreed as part of a major $30 billion divestment programme by the global oil major, which has made good progress since the start of the year with more than $25 billion worth of sales already announced.