Banking Sources: Shell Looking to Sell Stake in Danish Venture


LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to sell its stake in Denmark's offshore oil and gas consortium for around $1 billion in what would mark the company's effective exit from the country, three banking sources said.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is running the sale process, according to the sources.

The Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) is a joint venture between operator A.P. Moller-Maersk, which has a 31.2 percent, Shell, with a 36.8 percent stake, Chevron (12 percent) and Danish state-run Nordsøfonden (20 percent).

The consortium, which started production in 1972, currently operates 16 oil and gas fields with an average production in 2014 of around 140,000 barrel of oil per day and annual sales of gas of around 4 billion cubic metres, according to Maersk's website.

The asset is valued at up to $1 billion, according to two sources.

Shell declined to comment. BAML was not available for immediate comment.

Shell said last week it is close to selling assets totalling $5 billion to cut debt following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group a year ago.

The Anglo-Dutch company has sold around $12.5 billion in assets since mid-2015 as it tries to reach its target of $30 billion in disposals by 2018. It has said it plans to exit 5 to 10 countries in the process.

Last September, Shell agreed an $80 million sale of its remaining Danish downstream business, including its Fredericia refinery, to Denmark's Dansk Olieselskab.

In March 2015, Shell agreed to sell its retail and commercial fuel marketing operations in Denmark to Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard.

(Editing by Jason Neely)


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