Shell Conducts Review of its New Zealand Business

Royal Dutch Shell plc, seeking to be a simpler, more profitable and resilent company, announced Thursday that it is conducting a strategic review of its business interests in New Zealand.

"Shell announced that its interests in New Zealand are under review," Shell New Zealand said in a press release, adding that the review arose as "choices have to be made to streamline the global portfolio given the current environment ... (and) Shell is focusing on large growth opportunities, with deepwater and integrated gas as growth priorities."

The supermajor is a notable player in New Zealand's upstream sector and the company-owned ventures account for around 50 percent of domestic natural gas production and a significant proportion of the country's condensate production. Shell has three major upstream assets in New Zealand, comprising stakes in the Maui gas and condensate field, the Kapuni gas and condensate field and the Pohokura field.

It is also the operator of New Zealand exploration license PEP 50119 in the Great South Basin -- its first New Zealand exploration outside the Taranaki region.

“New Zealand is a great place to do business and these assets are profitable, well maintained and are an important part of New Zealand’s energy mix ... but a small part of the global Shell business and hence the decision to undertake a strategic review at this time,” Rob Jager, country chairman of Shell New Zealand said in the press statement. 

Shell's options following the strategic review ranged from "business as usual to a full country exit" or anything in between, Jager said, as quoted by Radio New Zealand Thursday. However he emphasized that no decisions had been taken.

Meanwhile, the company has indicated that it planned to complete the review process as soon as possible.

“We are very conscious of the uncertainty this creates for local staff and New Zealand staff abroad, and we will commit to moving quickly through this review process and to keeping people informed on the outcome of the review,” Shell New Zealand added.

Shell, which has operated in New Zealand for around a century, sold its nationwide network of petrol stations, major commercial, aviation, marine, bitumen and chemical businesses, and a distribution network to Infratil Limited and the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation -- now known as Z Energy Limited -- in 2010.


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