London - Royal Dutch Shell is planning to sell three oil and gas producing assets in the North Sea, the Guardian reported on Thursday, a move that supports the Anglo-Dutch oil major's existing plans to step-up divestments this year.
Glen Cayley, vice-president of Shell's upstream business in Europe, said the company had been talking to staff about the possible disposal of its Anasuria, Nelson and Sean platforms, the paper said on its website.
Shell, along with its peers in the industry, has been facing increasing investor pressure to rein in spending as costs rise and prospects for oil prices wane.
A media report said in January that Shell planned to sell $15 billion worth of assets over the next two years including some North Sea fields.
Britain's production from the North Sea has been in decline since 1999, with output plunging by a third from 2010 to 2012, acting as a drag on the country's economic growth.
Shell, the world's number-three among investor-controlled energy firms, could not be reached for comment outside of regular business hours.
Cayley said, the Guardian added, that this move had not been influenced by the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence, which other energy bosses have signalled is further undermining the North Sea investment climate.
The boss of BP, a big investor in Britain's North Sea waters and the country's second biggest oil company, warned last week that Scottish independence could cause his company “uncertainties”. - Reuters