ACCC: Shell given green light to takeover BG Group

GLOBAL gas giant Shell will be allowed to takeover BG Group, with the corporate watchdog approving the deal in part because of uncertainty about future gas supplies.

The takeover would mean multinational Shell would own its existing 50% stake in the currently shelved Arrow Energy LNG project and BG Group's QCLNG project in Gladstone.

Despite some market concerns about the potential future impact of the takeover for domestic gas prices, the competition regulator will allow it.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims said because Arrow was not considering supplying the domestic market, aligning the company with an existing LNG operator "would not change competition for the supply of gas to domestic customers".

The regulator also considered whether the takeover would lessen competition between BG and Arrow by selling excess export gas on the domestic market.

But Mr Sims said there was "too much uncertainty" about the future of gas supplies in Eastern Australia for the ACCC to be satisfied the two firms would be "meaningful competitors" in the domestic market.