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Royal Dutch Shell has signed an agreement with Hess Corporation to acquire its interests in the Beryl fields and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation System (SAGE) for a total consideration of $525m.

The Beryl fields are located on the UK Continental Shelf and include 12 fields which are operated by Apache.

With the acquisition, Shell will increase its interest in the fields by a range of between nine to 65%, depending on the field.

Hess Worldwide Exploration and Production president Greg Hill said the sale is part of the company’s strategic portfolio reshaping.

"Including this transaction, we have announced asset sales year-to-date of approximately $2.4bn," Hill added.

The acquisition is expected to enhance Shell’s production in the Beryl area fields from currently nine thousand boe/d to 24 thousand boe/d.

Shell said the Beryl cluster has a long anticipated lifetime of operations and could produce for another two decades.

The transaction will also increase the performance and economic potential from the operated and non-operated assets of Shell in North Sea.

Subject to regulatory approval, the sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. The company also intends to invest in these assets to extend the production life for a further 20 years.

On 29 May 2012, the Shell and Hess Corporation signed an agreement to acquire Hess’s 15.67% interest in the BP operated Schiehallion field.

In the UK sector of the North Sea, Shell operates more than 30 platform installations, 30 subsea installations and one production vessel, while also maintaining interests in more than 50 fields.

Image: Royal Dutch Shell head office in The Hague. Photo courtesy of P.L. van Till.