Shell will sell $9.5 billion worth of oil and gas assets in the Permian Basin to ConocoPhillips, the companies announced Monday. The deal is consistent with the diverging trends of European oil companies moving away from investments in fossil fuels even as U.S. companies embrace them. Shell’s sale of its Permian fracking interests, from which it extracts more than 175,000 barrels of oil every day, comes as the Netherlands-based oil major is under increasing pressure to offload fossil assets following a major court ruling ordering it to take concrete steps to align its activity with the Paris Agreement.
Shell was also among the companies called to testify before the House Oversight Committee last week about the oil industry’s deception of the public regarding its causation of climate change. Despite these pressures, Shell said little if any of the proceeds from the sale would further clean energy development, with $7 billion going to shareholders’ pockets and the rest paying down existing debt. (New York Times $, Texas Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Axios, Bloomberg $, Argus Media, CNBC, FT $, AFP, Reuters, Wall Street Journal $)