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Shell sells its stake in Wheatstone project

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Shell has sold its stake in the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project for $US1.13 billion as it looks to refocus its investments amid massive profit downgrades.

Kuwait's Kufpec bought a 6.4 per cent stake in the $29 billion West Australian project making it the second-biggest equity holder of Wheatstone behind Chevron.

At the close of the deal Kufpec will hold 13.4 per cent of the project.

The move comes after a profit downgrade was announced by Shell on Friday, with expectations its fourth-quarter earnings will come to $US2.2 billion, down from $US7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Full-year earnings were expected to fall almost 40 per cent, with speculation the company would look to sell-off more than $US15 billion of assets over the next two years.

However Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company was not looking to opt-out of its other Australian projects.

"Shell will remain a major player in Australia's energy industry," he said.

"However, we are refocusing our investment to where we can add the most value with Shell's capital and technology.

"We are making hard choices in our worldwide portfolio to improve Shell's capital efficiency."

Image: chevron.com

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