ConocoPhillips has agreed to acquire Royal Dutch Shell assets on Monday for 9.5 billion dollars (about 8.1 billion euros) in the region known as the Permian Basin, the largest oil patch in the United States. Following the closing of the deal, Shell said in a statement Monday that the proceeds will be used to pay out additional $ 7 billion to its shareholders and bolster its finances. “After reviewing multiple portfolio strategies and options for our Permian assets, this transaction with ConocoPhillips emerged as a very compelling value proposition,” said Wael Sawan, Principal. upstream de Shell.
The Permian Basin, located between Texas and New Mexico, is the world’s most active shale patch and accounts for nearly half of current activity in the United States’ oil fields. ConocoPhillips completed in January the purchase of Concho Resources, a company dedicated to the exploration of hydrocarbons, for about 9.7 billion dollars.
The agreement will give ConocoPhillips an additional 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil and will make it one of the largest oil producers, rivaling Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Chevron Corp. Shell’s withdrawal from the Permian Basin occurs when the Anglo-Dutch giant reconfigures its strategy in favor of less fuel-intensive emissions while targeting net zero emissions. A Dutch court in May ordered Shell to cut emissions harder and faster than planned after losing a case against Friends of the Earth.
As confirmed by the British newspaper Financial Times, the agreement highlights the growing gap between European-based oil companies such as Shell, BP and TotalEnergies, which are trying to pivot towards renewables and low-carbon electricity, and their US peers who continue to bet on the future. of oil and gas.
This acquisition is just the latest in a series of shale-related operations in 2021. Driven by higher cash flows as a result of the recovery in oil prices, US producers have sought mergers to cut costs and expand, with the stimulus. of investors who suffered for several years from disappointing industry results.
US shale put a brake on production last year, despite the rebound in prices, to avoid repeating the production boom during the previous cycle that led to overstocking and eroded profitability.