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Australian approval given to Royal Dutch Shell’s BG Group merger

Last Thursday, global oil company Royal Dutch Shell, the maker of products like Shell Tonna S3 M 68, was given clearance for its $70bn merger with BG Group.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the company’s proposed takeover of its rival BG Group, concluding that it was unlikely the prices of local gas markets would rise as a result of the merger, following a lengthy review process.

The Shell-BG merger has already received important approvals from around the world, including Brazil, the U.S. and several European countries, but it still needs to meet the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and the ministry of commerce in China if it is to go ahead.

Approval from the authorities in Australia is thought to be key to the deal, because both Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group PLC hold numerous interests in eastern Australian gas fields. Shell owns a 50% stake in Arrow Energy Pty Ltd., along with PetroChina, and the latter company holds the biggest uncontracted gas reserves in the area. Meanwhile, BG holds sizeable reserves in the Queensland and Cooper Basin areas.

In a press release, the Chief Executive of Shell, Ben van Beurden, said:

“The addition of BG’s integrated gas assets in Australia to Shell’s global portfolio is one of the main strategic drivers behind the recommended combination, making ACCC approval a major step forward for the deal.”

It is likely that approval for the merger in Australia will be given, allowing Shell to continue with its merger plans.

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