Shell Plans To Exit Canadian Pipeline Project

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Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, said it will sell its stake in the $17 billion Mackenzie Gas Project, a Canadian pipeline project, the latest sign that the project, designed to bring natural gas from Canada's Arctic coast to North American markets, may be in danger.

Shell (RDS-A) owns an 11.4% stake in the project and said the decision to sell its stake was part of its normal review of its assets, the Wall Street Journal reported. Potential buyers for Shell's Mackenzie stake were not mentioned.

ConocoPhillips (COP), the third-largest U.S. oil company, and Canada's Imperial Oil (IMO) are Shell's partners on the project and neither have signaled a commitment to move forward with the project. Exxon Mobil (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, controls Imperial Oil.

Preliminary work on the Mackenzie gas pipeline was suspended in 2007 due to regulatory hurdles with the project finally gaining finally approval last year following a six-year review process, according to the Journal. Imperial holds a 34.4% stake in Mackenzie and is the project's primary operator.

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