Shell Puts Texas Assets on the Block

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Anglo-Dutch oil supermajor Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) announced Monday that it will sell its assets in the Eagle Ford shale play in south Texas. The sale follows an announcement in August that Shell would write down $2.1 billion in the value of its North American assets.

Shell holds leases on 106,000 acres in the Eagle Ford play and currently operates 192 wells in the region. But the company did not acquire the leases until 2010, by which time the price of natural gas had begun falling. Shell said its Eagle Ford assets did not meet the company’s targets for scale and profitability.

When the company took the write-down on its North American assets, it laid the blame squarely on the low price of natural gas. At the same time, the company dropped its production targets for oil production from the shale formations. The writing was on wall at that point.

Some natural gas producers, like Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK), have successfully ridden recent high oil prices from the liquids-rich plays in the Eagle Ford play. Shell has been unable to do so.

Shares of Shell are down about 0.3% on Monday morning, at $65.67 in a 52-week range of $62.65 to $73.00.