Oil giant Shell looks at selling New Zealand assets

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Multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell is mulling the possibility of exiting New Zealand with the announcement Thursday that it is reviewing its interests there.

The review was in keeping with the company's strategy to become "a simpler, more profitable and resilient company," Shell New Zealand country chairman Rod Jager said in a statement.

Choices had to be made to streamline the global portfolio given the current environment, said Jager.

Shell was focusing on large growth opportunities, with deep water and integrated gas as growth priorities, he added.

The New Zealand assets were profitable, well maintained and an important part of New Zealand's energy mix.

"The Shell business in New Zealand is a great, but a small part of the global Shell business and hence the decision to undertake a strategic review at this time," said Jager.

Radio New Zealand reported Jager as saying the options following the review ranged from "business as usual to a full country exit" or anything in between.

Shell-owned ventures account for around half of New Zealand's total natural gas production and a significant proportion of its condensate (light oil) production, and hold exploration licenses in New Zealand, according to the Shell website.

Shell holds 83.75 percent of the Maui gas and condensate field, a half-share in Kapuni, New Zealand's oldest gas and condensate field, and 48 percent of the technologically advanced Pohokura field, which provides about 40 percent of New Zealand's natural gas requirements.

Shell sold its nationwide network of petrol stations, major commercial, aviation, marine, bitumen and chemical businesses, and a distribution network in 2010.

Shell's first investment in New Zealand was in 1911. Endit

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