The Guardian: Dutch state takes over gas network: “Shell has embarked on a programme to sell about £6bn worth of assets over two years as it seeks to rebuild investor confidence after the oil and gas reserves scandal.” (ShellNews.net)
Tuesday November 2, 2004
The creation of a single European gas market took a step forward yesterday with the Dutch government taking control of its country's gas transport network from Royal Dutch/Shell and ExxonMobil.
Shell and Exxon, the two partners with the Dutch state in dominant gas supplier Gasunie, sold their stakes in the company's pipeline business to the government for €2.78bn (£1.9bn).
Gas industry players have long criticised Gasunie's ownership of the pipelines as limiting competition. The sale also augurs well for the creation of a free market in natural gas across Europe, analysts said. As more countries separate ownership of transport assets and gas-supply businesses, it should become easier for companies to transport gas within and between countries.
Shell has embarked on a programme to sell about £6bn worth of assets over two years as it seeks to rebuild investor confidence after the oil and gas reserves scandal.