Shell Receives Green Light from EU
The European Commission has cleared under the EU merger regulation the takeover by Shell Resources of Enterprise Oil PLC. The takeover will not create anti-competitive effects on the pipeline transport markets for crude oil or unprocessed natural gas from offshore fields in the UK North Sea, or for UK processing of crude oil or natural gas. The commission said its investigation focused on whether, after the merger, sufficient independent infrastructure capacity would remain to enable offshore field owners to continue developing new fields. It found the merged company will have an equity interest in only one processing facility and a limited number of pipelines and sufficient capacity will remain in the pipelines and processing facilities. The new company will be unable to control access to the infrastructure and so foreclose third party access. The same applied to the markets for transport and processing natural gas.
In the Northern North Sea new discoveries could facilitate the building of new gas pipelines, while in the Southern North Sea, fields are depleting and large amounts of spare capacity will become available in the future.