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Reuters: Shell, Exxon to sell more North Sea assets

Wed Oct 17, 2007 3:48 PM BST
By Catherine Hornby and Tom Bergin

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile , Research) have put some Dutch North Sea fields up for sale, adding to plans to sell UK North Sea assets, as the oil majors focus on exploring regions offering more potential.

Shell said in a statement on Wednesday that its NAM joint venture with Exxon was selling a number of producing fields in the NOGAT area on the Dutch continental shelf.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major said the fields being offered for sale produced around 5.4 million cubic metres of gas and 1,700 barrels of oil per day.

The North Sea was a vital production area for oil majors like Shell after they lost rich fields in the Middle East through nationalisations in the 1970s.

However, in recent years the big international oil companies have shifted their focus to areas such as Angola which offer greater potential for discovering large amounts of oil and gas.

Shell said the sale would not lead to a reduction in overall employment.

In June, Shell said it and Exxon planned to sell fields in the UK North Sea producing 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of oil and gas.

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