Shell's North Sea assets eyed by Maersk Oil ahead of split

Jessica Morris
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(FILES) File Photo taken in the North Se
Sources said the assets are worth up to $2bn (Source: Getty)

Maersk is reportedly in talks to buy Royal Dutch Shell's portfolio of North Sea assets as the Copenhagen-based shipping giant mulls splitting itself in two.

The conglomerate said yesterday it will split its energy and transport divisions, enabling them to focus on their respective markets. The former has suffered amid a two-year oil price rout, while transport has been stung by a global shipping slowdown.

Reuters reported today that Maersk Oil is considering buying a large part of Shell's North Sea portfolio, which the sources said are worth up to $2bn. It would go towards Shell's $30bn two-year divestment plan announced after its acquisition of BG.

Shell and Maersk Oil declined to comment.

"The industries in which we are operating are very different, and both face very different underlying fundamentals and competitive environments," Maersk chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen said yesterday.

"Separating our transport and logistics businesses and our oil and oil related businesses into two independent divisions will enable both to focus on their respective markets."