Shell offloads remaining stake in Australia's Woodside

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Shell announced in London that it had agreed to sell down nearly two thirds of its remaining stake Woodside Petroleum for $US1.7 billion ($A2.2 billion).

Shell, which has been slowly divesting its Woodside holding, initially said its Shell Energy Holdings Australia Limited (SEHAL) unit had struck a deal with two investment banks to sell 71.6 million Woodside shares for A$31.10 ($23.79) apiece.

Owing to "strong demand from institutional investors", the Anglo-Dutch energy group said it had offloaded the entirety of its 13.28-percent stake, just hours after it announced that it had made a decision to sell 8.5 percent of Woodside.

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SEHAL will continue to own a 4.8% interest in Woodside.

A sell down of Shell's 98 million shares in Canadian Natural Resources, worth around $2.8 billion "is only a matter of time", TPH said in a note. But in 2010, it sold a 10% stake, and a further 9.5% in June 2014.

The sale is part of a US$30bn non-core disposal programme now being undertaken by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to shore up its cash position.

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It will use the $US2.7 billion ($3.5 billion) pre-tax proceeds of the sale, expected to be completed on Tuesday, to reduce debt.

The sale of assets is aimed to simplify Shell's upstream portfolio following the acquisition of BG Group for $70bn. As part of the sale, which was first announced at the end of January, 253 Shell staff will move to Chrysaor.

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