Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) welcomed Qatar as an investor as the country’s sovereign wealth fund prepares to buy a 3 to 5 percent stake in Europe’s biggest oil company.
“We are delighted to welcome the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as a long term and major shareholder in Shell, and particularly given our excellent strategic relationship with the Qatari state,” said Ross Whittam, a London-based spokesman for Shell.
The company’s comments followed a report on the purchase today in the Middle East Economic Survey. Shell said it will issue a statement when any shareholder’s stake rises above 3 percent. The QIA didn’t immediately return calls or emails sent outside of office hours.
Shell rose as much as 1.7 percent, the most since April 26, and traded up 0.5 percent at 2,060 pence as of 11:22 a.m. in London. The company’s market value is 133 billion pounds ($214 billion), and a 5 percent stake would be worth $10.7 billion.
The QIA is also negotiating to buy a stake in Italy’s Eni SpA (ENI) after taking a 3 percent stake in Total SA (FP), the report said. A spokeswoman for Eni declined to comment.
Shell said last month that its Pearl gas-to-liquids venture in Qatar will reach full capacity by the middle of the year. The $18.5 billion plant, which converts gas to liquid fuels such as kerosene and diesel, began operating last year and is the most expensive energy project in Qatar’s history.
Once fully operational, it will be able to convert 1.6 billion cubic feet a day of gas into 140,000 barrels a day of liquid fuels such as kerosene and base oil that are normally produced in a refinery. The facility will also make 120,000 barrels a day of condensate and liquid petroleum gas.
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