Shell raises $1.7 billion through Woodside Petroleum share sale

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE:RDSA) has agreed to sell almost two thirds of its stake in Australian company Woodside Petroleum, in a deal which will raise US$1.7 billion for the Anglo-Dutch oil major.

The divestment was agreed with two investment banks and includes the sale of a 64% stake and 8.5% of Woodside overall, taking Shell’s holding in Woodside down to below 5%.

Shell is currently undertaking a $30 billion non-core assets divestment programme in an attempt to retrieve its cash position in a challenging environment for the resources industry after the recent oil price crash.

However, the oil sector has shown encouraging signs of recovery in 2017, with prices returning to above $60 a barrel and giants such as Shell and BP reporting increasing profits with every quarter.

Shell’s Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl, said the Woodside share sale was part of the company’s ongoing restructuring plan.

“This sale is another step towards the completion of our three-year $30 billion divestment programme, which is an important part of our strategy to reshape Shell, to deliver a world class investment case, and to strengthen our financial framework.

“Proceeds from the sale will contribute to reducing our net debt,” she added.