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Royal Dutch Shell has sold a series of its Canadian oil sands interests and trimmed its stake in another, in a set of transactions that will net it $7.2bn.

The oil major will sell all its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in the country, and its stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project will from from 60 per cent to 10 per cent. It will retain “significant” other resources in Canada, where it has had a presence for over 100 years.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said:

This announcement is a significant step in re-shaping Shell’s portfolio in line with our long-term strategy. We are… prioritising businesses where we have global scale and a competitive advantage such as Integrated Gas and deep water. The proceeds will accelerate free cash flow and reduce gearing and make a meaningful contribution to Shell’s $30 billion divestment programme.

In 2015, Shell took a $2bn writedown after cancelling its Carmon Creek project in western Canada – a decision it said was prompted by a shortage of pipeline capacity in the region.

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