Shell faces AGM protests over Arctic drilling

Oil giant also unveils sale of Butagaz for €464m

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The Independent Online

Shell was today poised to sell its French Butagaz liquefied petroleum gas business for €464m (£337m) to Ireland’s DCC Energy.

News of the disposal came as the oil giant was braced for criticism from campaigners at its annual meeting in The Hague today for its plans to drill in the Arctic this summer. The meeting comes after hundreds of people staged a protest in Seattle against Shell’s plans at the weekend. A flotilla of kayaks, canoes and sailboats gathered near Shell’s 400ft-tall Polar Pioneer Arctic drilling rig.

Shell said it had entered exclusive discussions to sell the business to DCC Energy, the largest  distributor of oil to petrol stations in the UK, and said it hoped to finalise a deal this year, pending regulatory approval.

“The transaction is consistent with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets where it can be most competitive, and is part of an ongoing exit from the LPG business globally,” a Shell spokesman said.