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Photo: Chet Strange/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell is selling its assets in the prolific Permian Basin shale oil-and-gas basin in Texas to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion.

Why it matters: Monday's announcement latest of several big deals in the U.S. oil sector that are bringing consolidation to the shale sector.

  • It also comes as European giants like BP and Shell are looking to speed movement into lower-carbon business lines, though oil and gas remain their main investments.
  • Shell has said its oil production likely peaked in 2019 and will slowly decline annually as it diversifies.

What they're saying: Wael Sawan, Shell's upstream director, said the deal "reflects our focus on value over volumes as well as disciplined stewardship of capital."

The company said that $7 billion of the proceeds will be returned to shareholders, with the rest used to strengthen its balance sheet.

By the numbers: The Shell-ConocoPhillips deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, involves 225,000 acres in Texas, which according to Shell currently produce roughly 175,000 thousand barrels of oil-equivalent per day.

The big picture: The deal is the second large shale acquisition for U.S.-based ConocoPhillips in recent years that together significantly expand its shale output.

  • ConocoPhillips bought Concho Resources, a large independent player, in an all-stock deal announced in October that closed early this year.
  • Other deals include Chevron's acquisition last year of the big independent Noble Energy announced in July (which also provided Chevron with new gas assets in the Mediterranean Sea).

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 14, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Biden's winter energy chill

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Higher home energy prices heading into the chilly months are the latest energy-related problem facing Joe Biden at a sensitive time in his young presidency.

Driving the news: The Energy Department's independent stats arm projects heating bills this winter will rise thanks to higher commodity prices and predictions of a colder winter.

Updated 24 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

28 mins ago - Health

Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy against COVID, large study shows

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 95.6% effective against the coronavirus, compared with those who only had the first two initial doses, according to a large study released Thursday.

Why it matters: The study, which had more than 10,000 participants aged 16 and older, is the first controlled, randomized trial looking at boosters and their effectiveness, the companies said.