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Shell completes sale of stake in Iraqi oilfield for $406M

Shell EP Middle East Holdings B.V., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, has completed the sale of the entire share capital of Shell Iraq B.V., which held its 19.6% stake in the West Qurna 1 oil field, to a subsidiary of Itochu Corp.

As part of the $406 million transaction, Japan-based Itochu has assumed debt of $144 million.

This divestment, which is another step in Shell's plan to sell $30 billion of its assets from 2016 to 2018, will not affect Shell's other businesses in the country. Exxon Mobil Corp. will continue to operate the West Qurna 1 venture.

In a March 23 statement, Shell's upstream director Andy Brown said the company remains committed to Iraq and that exiting West Qurna 1, which Shell joined in 2009, "allows us to focus our resources on other assets in our Iraq portfolio."

"Shell remains committed to working with its partners to redevelop Iraq's energy infrastructure by capturing associated gas, through the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) Joint Venture, for domestic and regional consumption," he said.