Shell reaps $2.5 billion from sale of minority stake in Queensland Curtis LNG facilities

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A Shell logo is seen at a gas station in Buenos Aires

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Shell said on Monday it has agreed to sell a 26.25% stake in its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) facilities to Global Infrastructure Partners Australia for $2.5 billion, helping the oil major meet its annual target for divestments.

Shell, advised by Rothschild & Co, put a minority stake in the asset up for sale earlier this year, after infrastructure investors expressed interest in the asset which has a guaranteed earnings stream for 15 years.

The sale price was in line with analysts’ expectations.

“This decision is consistent with Shell’s strategy of selling non-core assets in order to further high-grade and simplify Shell’s portfolio,” the company said in a statement.

Shell is aiming to raise $4 billion a year from asset sales. The sale to Global Infrastructure Partners puts it on target for this year, following the divestment of its Martinez refinery and Appalachia shale gas assets.

The QCLNG plant is majority owned by Shell, with minority stakes owned by China National Offshore Oil Corp and Tokyo Gas Co.

The stake Global Infrastructure Partners has bought gives it a piece of a U.S.-dollar denominated, inflation-linked usage fee paid by CNOOC and Tokyo Gas over about 15 years, regardless of the LNG plant’s throughput.

Global Infrastructure Partners was not immediately available for comment on the deal.

Shell’s remaining 73.75% stake in the common facilities aligns with its stake in the overall QCLNG venture, which produces liquefied natural gas at an 8.5 million tonnes a year plant for export mostly to China and Japan.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Tom Hogue and Kenneth Maxwell)

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