Exclusive-Shell considering possible sale of U.S. Permian assets



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Shell logo is seen on a fuel pump at a gas station In Warsaw, Poland June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

By Ron Bousso, Jessica Resnick-Ault and David French

(Reuters) -Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell (LON:) is reviewing its holdings in the largest oil field in the United States for a possible sale as the company looks to focus on its most profitable oil-and-gas assets and grow its low-carbon investments, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The sale could be for part or all of Shell’s position in the U.S. Permian Basin, located mostly in Texas. The holdings could be worth as much as $10 billion, the sources said, on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.

Shell declined to comment.

Shell is one of the world’s largest oil companies, all of which have been under pressure to reduce fossil-fuel investments to stem changes to the global climate brought on by carbon emissions. Shell and rivals BP (LON:) and Total have pledged to lower emissions through increased investment in renewables while divesting some oil and gas holdings.

Earlier this year, Shell set out one of the sector’s most ambitious climate strategies, with a target to cut the carbon intensity of its products by at least 6% by 2023, 20% by 2030, 45% by 2035, and by 100% by 2050 from 2016 levels. However, a Dutch court said last month that Shell’s efforts are not enough, ordering it to lower emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels.

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Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report that investments in new fossil fuel projects should stop immediately in order to meet U.N.-backed targets aimed at limiting global warming.

Oil majors, including Shell, say the world will need substantial new investment in oil and gas for some years to come.

Shell’s oil and gas production in the Permian from company-operated and non-operated rigs averaged 193,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020, around 6% of its total output that year, according to its website.

The Permian produces roughly 4.5 million barrels of oil a day, or about 40% of overall U.S. production.

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