The company will raise $2-3bn from the sale. The assets to be sold are not central to the company's growth plans, particularly downstream ones such as refining and marketing operations in mature markets like Europe. Shell also plans to sell some mature oil and gas fields in the North Sea and Nigeria.
Shell has invited buyers to submit indicative bids, due by 22 March. These are expected to be as high as €1bn for its European LPG business, which sells bottled gas to rural homes.
Axa Private Equity, PAI and Bain Capital are in the running for the business, which had ebitda of about €120m last year.
The Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners are also understood to be interested in the deal, but all the private equity groups declined to comment.
Analysts say Shell's LPG business is attractive to private equity because of its stable sales as the company has a captive customer base. There is also low competition because it enjoys a quasi-monopoly in some areas.