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Shell to purchase Gasnor

LNG Industry,

Shell, the current owner of 4.1% of the shares in Gasnor AS, has signed a Share Purchase Agreement for the acquisition of the remaining outstanding shares in the company for USD 74 million (NOK 455.5 million). Subject to Norwegian regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be closed in the 3rd quarter of 2012.

Gasnor is a market leader in Norway in small scale LNG, supplying LNG as a fuel to industrial and marine customers and operating an end to end supply chain, with three small scale production plants and distribution assets including two tanker ships, a fleet of trucks and a network of terminals. The acquisition of Gasnor is an important step for Shell towards creating an LNG sales business.  LNG will be a reliable new addition to Shell’s commercial customers’ fuel mix.

Colin Abraham, Shell’s Vice President for Downstream LNG, said, “The benefits of natural gas in meeting our future energy needs are well-documented. Shell believes the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in transport sector will develop into a sizeable market and given its industry leading expertise across the LNG value chain, the extension into this market is a good fit for Shell. The Gasnor acquisition provides Shell with invaluable customer and market insight built up over a number of years. This will help us to quickly develop and meet customer requirements for LNG as a transport fuel.”

Shell is hoping to capitalise on Gasnor’s experience on small scale LNG, which will be very useful to the company after new environmental regulations come into force in 2015.

New emissions regulations are coming into force which will require shipping to lower its emissions of SOx and NOx, many companies are interested in switching to using LNG as a shipping fuel due to its cleaner burning characteristics.

LNG as a marine fuel is not new. LNG has been used to power gas engines in LNG carriers for many years. Shell has been a pioneer in this area, and has an excellent track record in terms of the safe storage, handling and movement of LNG.

In September 2011 Shell took its first final investment decision on a LNG for transport project in Canada to supply LNG to Shell Flying J truck stops for use by heavy truck fleets. In June 2012, Shell signed a memorandum of understanding with TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) to sell LNG to heavy-duty road transport customers in the US through TA’s existing nationwide network of full-service fueling centers.

Adapted from press release by Peter Farrell.

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