Shell says goodbye to New Zealand

Royal Dutch Shell has completed the sale of its assets in New Zealand for 578 million US dollars (£456 million).

The sale to OMV includes the Maui, Pohokura and Tank Farm units, as well as Shell’s interest in the Great South Basin venture.

The deal is part of a 30 billion US dollar (£23 billion) divestment drive that has seen Shell offload assets across the world.

The energy titan is also in the middle of an ambitious cost-cutting plan.

“We are proud of having worked in New Zealand for more than 100 years and completion of the sale to OMV marks an important milestone in the company’s history,” said Zoe Yujnovich, Shell’s vice president of Australia and New Zealand.

“Shell staff in New Zealand, past and present, have been key to building a successful New Zealand business. I wish our colleagues all the very best as OMV takes the business forward.”

In November, Shell hailed one of its “strongest ever quarters” as higher oil prices drove earnings up 37%.

The oil giant reported underlying earnings, on a current cost of supplies basis, of 5.6 billion US dollars (£4.4 billion) for the three months to the end of September.

On a reported basis, earnings jumped 51% to 5.57 billion US dollars (£4.33 billion).

However the price of Brent crude has since sagged and is set to end the year lower than in January.

One barrel is now trading at 53 US dollars, compared with 67 in January and 86 in October.