Shell under pressure in China, says former manager

Oil giant Shell may have to pull out of a major petrochemicals joint venture in China, a former senior manager says in Saturday’s Volkskrant.

Frans van Gunsteren was responsible for building the complex but claims the Chinese now want Shell to go. ‘They think expensive expats are no longer necessary and they can do it themselves,’ Van Gunsteren is quoted as saying.
Shell and Chinese state oil giant CNOOC have each had a 50% stake in the joint venture since 2006. The $4.3bn complex is one of the biggest investments in China from a non-Chinese firm and a local partner, the paper says.
CNOOC now wants to expand a refinery for €7.3bn and Shell is keen to participate because it does not have any refining capacity in China.
However, local officials have spoken out against Shell’s involvement and want to keep the Anglo Dutch group to a 30% stake, the paper says, quoting local media.
At the same time, sources say Shell will have to reduce its stake in the petrochemicals complex to 30%.

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