Shell has kickstarted the sale process for its 30 per cent stake in the Cambo oil project in the North Sea, following months of speculation over its future role in the project.
The energy giant has hired investment bank Jefferies to run the sale process, according to news agency Reuters.
The move potentially paves the way for the field’s development, which is located in west of Shetland region and is the second-largest undeveloped resource in the ageing North Sea basin.
It is operated and 70 per cent owned by Ithaca Energy, which is part of Israel’s Delek Group.
Ithaca took ownership of the field after acquiring rival Siccar Point for $1.1bn in April this year, and considers the field economically viable.
Its chairman Gilad Myerson told Reuters it could deliver up to 170m barrels of oil during its 25-year operational life
The field’s future was cast into doubt when Shell last year scrapped its development plans late last year.
Last month, chief executive Ben van Beurden confirmed he could not see Shell taking part in its development because its “economics are simply not supportive enough”.
This was despite media reports suggesting Shell was reconsidering its stance towards the project.
Alongside disagreements over its economic potential, the site has become the focus for climate activists seeking to halt the development of new oil and gas resources.
However, the Government has come out in support of developing North Sea oil and gas resources following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – with domestic fossil fuel generation an essential part of the country’s supply security.
A Shell spokesperson declined to comment.