Shell planning to sell Malampaya stake

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Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. (SPEX) is eyeing the sale of its 45% interest in the $4.5 billion Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.

In a report from Reuters, the company said the proposed sale is part of its strategy to increase resiliency and ensure the long-term sustainability of its businesses in the Philippines.

No buyer has been named yet, but Shell said it would ensure the credibility of interested buyers, so they could optimize Malampaya’s value.

Last month, SPEX’s sister firm Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation announced the permanent shutdown of its refinery in Batangas, which would be converted into a world-class import facility. In a webinar last week, Shell said that the facility would no longer be profitable as a refinery.

Shell is looking to cut oil and gas production by up to 40% in a bid to focus more on power markets and renewable energy.

Malampaya’s natural gas, discovered by Shell in 1991, accounts for around 20% of the country’s electricity. Earlier this month, Senate energy committee chairman Sherwin Gatchalian filed a bill seeking for new sources of natural gas citing Malampaya’s depleting resources.

Shell’s divestment plan comes around a year after Chevron agreed to sell its 45% stake in Malampaya to Udenna Corporation of businessman Dennis Uy. The Philippine National Oil Company holds the remaining 10% stake.

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