Shell makes $7.25 billion sale as it works to reduce debt

Shell, headquartered in The Hague, has said that all of its oil-sands interests, with the exception of a 10% stake in the Athabasca mining project in Alberta, will be sold to Canadian Natural Resources. The Anglo-Dutch producer is currently two-thirds of the way through a $30 billion divestment programme to reduce debt.

Ben Van Beurden (pictured), Shell CEO, said in a statement:

"This announcement is a significant step in re-shaping Shell's portfolio. The proceeds will accelerate free cash flow and reduce gearing and make a meaningful contribution to Shell's $30 billion divestment programme."

According to Bloomberg, the deal is yet one more step toward Van Beurden's goal of readying Shell for a future of lower oil prices and tighter restrictions on carbon emissions. Last week, Shell ended an almost 20-year-old old US refining partnership with Saudi Arabian Oil. This after it sold a collection of oil fields in the UK North Sea earlier this year.