Shell CEO warns Brexit could slow $30 billion asset sale plan

Royal Dutch Shell’s Chief Executive, Ben van Beurden, has told investors that Britain’s decision to exit the European Union could slow its $30 billion asset sale plan, especially in the North Sea which had struggled to attract buyers for years.

The comment, made during an investor and analyst event at the Wimbledon tennis tournament this week, came as Shell mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) to find buyers for several key assets in the North Sea, including its stake in the lucrative Buzzard oilfield, hoping the sale would raise at least $2 billion.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major had previously targeted wrapping up the disposal of dozens of assets around the world by roughly 2018 to help fund its $54 billion acquisition of rival BG, which it completed in February.

Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry had previously indicated the divestment program could take longer than the initial time frame.