According to industry sources, Shell is preparing for the sale of stakes in two gas fields clusters in the southern British North Sea. This is part of a continuing retreat of long-time producers out of the ageing basin.
According to three sources, Shell plans to sell its 50% stake in the Clipper hub’s cluster of fields and the Leman Alpha complex. The assets could be worth up to $1 billion.
Shell declined to comment on the plans for the fields. The two supply natural gas via a pipeline from the east coast Bacton gas processing facility in eastern England.
Shell has sold many stakes in North Sea fields that are ageing in recent years, including a $3.8B package of assets to Harbour Energy.
North Sea production has declined since the late 1990s. This led oil majors to decrease their involvement there and focus on more lucrative business elsewhere.
The global transition to low-carbon, renewable energy sources has increased international oil companies’ focus on projects that can produce more oil and gas while reducing emissions intensity.
Shell is currently developing new projects in the North Sea, including the Penguins Project north of Shetland Islands and plans to build an offshore wind farm.
Jackdaw’s plans to build a new gas field in Shearwater were also thwarted last year by the British regulator who rejected plans for development on environmental grounds.
As Britain struggles with rising power prices, Shell and regulators have reopened talks about the gas field.
Shell’s Chief Executive Ben van Beurden stated earlier this month that it wants to sell on average $4 billion per year of assets.
Van Beurden stated to analysts that the oil price is at a seven-year high of above $90 per barrel.
Shell holds a 50% share in the Clipper, Leman Alpha and Leman Alpha fields. These were part of an extensive joint venture with Exxon Mobil that dates back to the 1960s. Last year, Exxon sold its British North Sea assets to Neo, a private equity firm.
Shell states that the Clipper hub can transport 400 million standard cubic feet per day and is approximately 41 miles (66 km) away from Norfolk’s coast.
The Leman Alpha complex consists of 5 platforms, located approximately 43 miles (69 km) from the coast.
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