Shell plc (LSE:SHEL) has emerged as the lead bidder to buy assets of trading firm Pavilion Energy Pte. Ltd., in a deal that will bolster the supermajor?s liquefied natural gas activities. The company is in advanced talks to buy the LNG assets from Singapore-based owner Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, which was seeking more than $2 billion for the business, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private.

The owners have been working with Barclays Plc since last year on a potential sale that would exclude the gas pipeline business, which Singapore considers a strategic asset. While discussions are in advanced stages, no final agreements have been reached and other bidders could still emerge or Temasek may decide to retain the assets, the people said. Shell and Temasek declined to comment.

Pavilion Energy didn?t immediately respond outside of normal business hours. Shell and Saudi Aramco were shortlisted by Temasek among ?handful? of companies to purchase most of the assets, Reuters reported in March.