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Spain's Repsol sells off LNG assets to Royal Dutch Shell for US$4.1 bil.

MADRID -- Spanish oil group Repsol announced Thursday it has sold liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets to Royal Dutch Shell for US$4.1 billion (3 billion euros), slashing its heavy debt load.

Repsol handed over its LNG assets in Peru and Trinidad and Tobago to Shell, the world's biggest LNG supplier, as part of a huge debt-reduction plan.

The Spanish group has been fighting to regain its financial footing, and avoid a credit rating downgrade to junk-bond status, since Argentina's shock 2012 seizure of its profitable YPF subsidiary.

The sale of Repsol's LNG assets to Shell followed a smaller US$200 million sale of a Basque power plant to BP in October, bringing in a combined US$4.3 billion to the Spanish group.

The sale generated a net US$2.9 billion in profits and capital gains for Repsol, the Spanish group said, more than had been anticipated when the deal was first announced in February 2013. As a result, Repsol cuts its net debt by US$3.3 billion, “and significantly strengthens its balance sheet,” it said.

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