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Shell Seeks Commerce Commission Clearance

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-SHELL-NZ

SHELL SEEKS COMMERCE COMMISSION CLEARANCE

Shell Exploration Company BV is seeking clearance from the New Zealand Commerce Commission to acquire the New Zealand assets of the Energy Division (FCE) of Fletcher Challenge Limited (FCL).

Shell New Zealand Country Chairman, Ed Johnson said, "Should Shell obtain Commerce Commission approval and subsequently complete a deal with FCL and FCE's shareholders, we will not only increase Shell's investments in New Zealand but also strengthen our interest in a region that, with the recovery of Asian Pacific economies, offers significant opportunities for growth."

For Shell the opportunities from this potential acquisition are in the ability to apply international technical capabilities more widely to the exploration and production of gas in New Zealand.

Today, Shell companies have interests in exploration and production ventures in over 45 countries and employ around 30,000 staff. As operator, Shell is responsible for producing oil and gas in 21 countries.

Mr Johnson said, "The focus of Shell's acquisition would be the exploration and production assets of FCE, but given FCE's diversification, there are other assets that may have to be included in the deal."

FCE has already signalled its intention to focus on exploration and production and therefore to look for opportunities to divest some assets. Shell will take a similar position.

For example, Shell has no interest in and does not intend to purchase the FCE assets of Challenge Petroleum (Challenge!) or the equity holding in the New Zealand Refining Company. This ensures that the New Zealand motorist would be unaffected by the acquisition should it proceed.

Our application to the Commission presents a proposal to meet the needs of the New Zealand Commerce Act and has been necessarily framed in the broadest terms to cover the possibility that any of FCE's current assets form part of the final settlement.

This acquisition is also subject to approval of the Overseas Investment Commission. An application has been lodged with the OIC.

ENDS

MEDIA RELEASE FROM SHELL NEW ZEALAND LTD

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SHELL EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION IN NEW ZEALAND

* Shell technology discovered, developed and delivers energy to meet 57% of New Zealand's total energy needs.

* Shell holds interests in the Maui (18.75%) oil and gas and Kapuni (50%) gas field operations. These gas fields operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and together supply around 90% of New Zealand's gas.

* Shell has a 49% interest in the recently discovered Maari oil field. This field has estimated reserves of 57 million barrels of oil.

* Shell has been involved in the exploration and production of oil and gas in New Zealand since 1930 when several wells were drilled on the West Coast of the South Island.

* In 1959, Shell was involved in the discovery of Kapuni, New Zealand's first commercial onshore gas field.

* A seven year programme of offshore exploration during the 1960s ended with the discovery of the Maui gas field in 1968. At the time Maui was one of the largest offshore gas fields in the world.

SHELL IN NEW ZEALAND

* Shell has been in New Zealand for more than 87 years. New Zealand was one of the first markets outside Europe to see the Shell brand.

* Shell has over 350 retail locations nationwide. Shell service stations deliver over a quarter of New Zealand's fuel needs. We offer a range of convenience store products and reward customer loyalty with Fly Buys points.

* Commercial products account for around 55% of our total sales. From fuelling ships and airlines, to lubricating farm tractors, to powering dairy factories - Shell supplies commercial products to businesses direct in bulk or prepacked.

* Shell has had a major investment in forestry in New Zealand for 19 years. We established a forestry joint venture in Northland in 1981 to create a fast growing renewable resource for alternative energy generation.

* Shell owns 50% of New Zealand's Burger King Franchise. Bringing Burger King to some of our service stations is one of many ways in which Shell has diversified and enhanced its retail operations in the face of increasing competition.

* Shell Chemicals is New Zealand's leading manufacturer, importer and marketer of petrochemicals (chemicals based on refinery products) and surfactants (used in detergent products).

* Shell has one of the largest single floor open plan office areas in Australasia. Shell's new head office in Wellington's Queens Wharf Centre accommodates more than 250 people across one floor. The innovative design encourages open communication and helps create a flexible, team environment.

* Shell is the most family friendly company in New Zealand. A joint entry by Shell New Zealand Ltd and Shell Services International (NZ) Ltd won the 1999 Equal Employment Opportunity Trust Work and Family Award. The award recognised their commitment and innovation in enabling their staff to balance work and family life.

* Shell sponsors two full-time environmental teachers in New Zealand. Sponsorship, worth $500,000, allows the World Wildlife Fund - New Zealand to expand its environmental education programmes around the country.

RELEASED BY MEDIACOM


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