In another sign that the petroleum era is drawing to a close, Denmark is selling off its last oil company with barely a peep.
Once considered a strategic asset, on a par with national carriers or shipyards, the oil and gas division of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is being bought by French giant Total SA.
The $7.45 billion deal is expected to be completed by 2018, pending regulatory approval.
Coming just three months after the sale of Dong Energy’s North Sea oil and gas production to German-based Ineos AG, Maersk’s move to offload its oil division has been welcomed by the government and trade unions alike.
Even the nationalist Danish People’s Party, which supports the government in parliament, didn’t object.
The irony is that Denmark will need the income from oil and gas to finance its green transition and meet a pledge to stop using fossil fuels by 2050, and that will mean keeping up production from the North Sea fields, which Total has promised to do.