Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell a stake of 26.25% in its fully-owned Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Common Facilities to infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners Australia (GIP Australia) for $2.5bn.

The QCLNG Common Facilities include LNG storage tanks, jetties, and operations infrastructure that cater to the LNG trains of QCLNG plant, which is majority owned by Shell under the QGC joint venture.

Following the closing of the deal, Shell will retain a majority stake and operatorship of the Common Facilities.

Shell said that the sale of the stake is in line with its strategy of divesting non-core assets for high-grading and simplifying its portfolio.

The transaction will contribute to the company’s expected divestment proceeds, without affecting the people or the operations of the QCLNG venture.

Shell stated: “Due to the advantages it offers as a complement to renewable energy and as the cleanest burning hydrocarbon, natural gas is a core component of Shell’s strategy to provide more and cleaner energy solutions.

“Global LNG demand is expected to outpace total demand for energy and the QCLNG venture is crucial in helping Shell meet the world’s growing energy needs.”

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval in Australia and meeting of customary conditions, is anticipated to close in the first half of next year.

Shell said that the transaction will not affect the ownership structure of QGC or QCLNG. The company will remain as the operator and hold a majority stake in QGC, along with CNOOC (50% stake in Train 1) and Tokyo Gas (2.5% stake in Train 2).

Recently, the company has concluded a deal with Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft to establish a joint venture for the development of a major hydrocarbon cluster on the Gydan Peninsula.