Shell calls off Panna-Mukta sale

Vol 21, PW 8 (25 Jan 18) News in Brief

Shell has abandoned plans to sell its 30% stake in the Panna-Mukta fields off Mumbai to Mumbai-based Oilmax Energy, raising the possibility the two depleting fields might be auctioned in an upcoming licensing round.

Shell has been in talks with Oilmax since mid-2017 but dropped the idea in December, according to industry sources. More, Shell has failed to apply for a PSC extension by the December 22, 2017 deadline as required - exactly two years before the PSC lapses on December 22, 2019.

Nor has it informed the government it wants to sell its stake. Things apparently fell apart with Oilmax when Shell and Panna-Mukta partner Reliance met in The Hague in November.

"Shell's lawyers raised some legal issues (with Reliance lawyers) and couldn't resolve them," we hear. "As no notice to extend has been given to the government the PSC will automatically be terminated." Neither Shell nor Oilmax offered to comment.

Shell inherited the 30% Panna-Mukta stake on February 15, 2016 when it bought BG's global operations.