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Shell sells 10% of Maui and Maari stake

Shell sells 10% of Maui and Maari stake

Shell New Zealand Country Chairman Lloyd Taylor today announced that Shell had concluded a sale and purchase agreement with OMV New Zealand Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV Australia Pty Ltd, whose ultimate parent is OMV AG, for the sale of 10 % of the Maui Joint Venture, including all associated infrastructure, and the Maui gas contract.

OMV is Austria's largest listed industrial company, and the leading Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) integrated oil and gas group. OMV has refining and marketing activities in 12 CEE countries and international exploration and production activities in 13 countries.

Also announced is a separate transaction involving the sale of Shell's 49% joint venture share in the Maari exploration permit and its potential oil field development, also to OMV.

The terms and conditions of both sales are confidential and are dependant on regulatory, Joint Venture and gas contract approval.

Dr Taylor said that the sale of the Maui interest completes the disposal of the physical assets required by the undertaking given to the Commerce Commission when Shell acquired Fletcher Challenge Energy (FCE) in March last year.

The sale will see Shell's stake in Maui reduced to 77.5%, with Todd Petroleum Mining holding 12.5% and OMV 10%.

Dr Taylor said the sale of Shell's interest in the undeveloped Maari field is part of an ongoing portfolio rationalisation, commenced after the acquisition of Fletcher Challenge Energy.

"We have decided to divest our 49% ownership of Maari to focus on our more material gas business. The divestment of our share of this potential oil development to an independent company of OMVs' size maximises the likelihood that this development will proceed quickly and efficiently.

"The divestment program, and associated portfolio rationalisation, undertaken by Shell since acquiring FCE, has seen the development of a more dynamic oil and gas sector in New Zealand. As a result, a range of parties has access to more material business positions in the oil and gas industry. This bodes well for the future investment and diversity that is necessary to underpin a vibrant energy sector," Dr Taylor said.

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