Shell Plans to Exit Pakistan


Shell said last month that it will sell its controlling stake in Shell Pakistan Ltd., divesting a lubricants business that is among the country’s biggest, along with other operations.

The company disclosed its plan in a short June 14 news release that did not provide a reason for the decision, although it noted that the action would simplify the company’s portfolio. Earlier this year, however, the Pakistan unit reported losses after tax for 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 – performance that it blamed on a series of calamities including record inflation, a sharp devaluation of Pakistan’s rupee and historic flooding.

London-based energy giant Shell owns 77.42% of the Pakistan business, and the remainder is owned by several individuals. In addition to its lubricant operations, the local unit sells motor fuels through a chain of retail stations and supplies other petroleum products.

Shell said it has been in Pakistan for 75 years.

In its announcement, Shell said it “is seeing strong interest from international buyers,” but it did not elaborate. The company did not mention a timeline for divesting its stake but said that any sale will be subject to regulatory approval.

Other leading lubricant suppliers in Pakistan include Chevron, ExxonMobil and Pakistan State Oil Co. and Hi-Tech, which manufactures and markets lubricants under SK Enmove’s Zic brand.

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