Shell considers selling New Zealand businesses
Oil giant Shell was considering selling some of its businesses in New Zealand as it begins a strategic review of its assets in this country.
Shell, which entered in New Zealand nearly a century ago, will move to concentrate on global oil exploration and retailing in high-growth markets.
Rival fuel companies already in New Zealand, other global oil giants or financial institutions could be possible buyers.
Shell's businesses under review include 215 service stations, its shareholding in the Marsden Pt oil refinery, a 36 percent shareholding in construction firm Fulton and Hogan and a 25 percent holding in the operator of Flybuys.
Its aviation, bitumen, chemicals, commercial fuel, distribution and supply and marine business could also be sold following the review, which should be finished around the middle of the year.
Its New Zealand Refining Company stake alone is worth nearly 300 million NZ dollars (156 million U.S. dollars). Shell will keep its holding in three gas and oil fields in Taranaki.
Shell New Zealand spokeswoman Jackie Maitland said possible sale of the "downstream" businesses - which last year returned profits of 100 million to 150 million NZ dollars - was part of a global review by Shell.
Shell has been in New Zealand for 98 years and is the second- biggest petrol retailer, behind BP.
New Zealand Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee received a confidential briefing from Shell on Wednesday afternoon about the review and said he was "comfortable" with it.
The review is likely to take several months, Xinhua reported.