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Shell Seeks to Sell $1 Billion Stake in Ho-Ho Pipeline

Source: Reuters 1/27/2014, Location: North America

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is seeking to sell a stake in its Houston-to-Houma crude oil pipeline, which Europe’s largest oil company recently reversed and renamed, people familiar with the matter said.

Shell is working with Barclays Plc (BARC) to solicit offers for a stake of as much as $1 billion in the conduit, which is known as the Ho-Ho system and valued at about $3 billion in its entirety, said one of the people, asking not to identified because the matter is not public.

The Anglo-Dutch company wants to raise money to cover the cost of reversing the flow direction of the 350-mile (563-kilometer) pipeline, the people said. It also wants to monetize part of the pipeline so that it can use the proceeds to invest in drilling projects that generate higher returns, they said.

The pipeline now carries crude from Houston to Houma, Louisiana, to give refineries on the Gulf Coast better to access to crude oil produced in the oil-rich Eagle Ford and Bakken basins. Previously called the Houma-to-Houston pipeline, it was renamed last year once the reversal was completed, Shell said in December. The company plans to add pump stations to increase its capacity.

Spokesmen for Barclays and Shell declined to comment on the Ho-Ho stake sale.

Shell on Jan. 17 warned fourth-quarter earnings fell to the lowest level since 2009 due to rising losses in the Americas and deteriorating refining markets.

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