Divestment of oil production fields by major oil companies in Nigeria has fetched some of the firms over $2 billion.
The sale of two oil blocks, oil mining leases (OMLs) 18 and 29, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) and related facilities in the Eastern Niger Delta, brought monetary returns of $2.437 billion to three oil majors.
The companies include the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of Nigeria Limited, Total Exploration and Production (E&P) Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited.
The firms completed the sale of their interests in the affected assets before the end of March bringing an end to the controversies that trailed the transaction since last year. The transaction on the two assets ought to have closed since last year alongside two other blocks, OMLs 24 and 25, but because OMLs 18 and 29 were considered bigger when compared to others and besides there were issues of capacity and capability on the side of the preferred bidders, the transaction lingered till last week.
Shells Corporate Media Relations manager, Precious Okolobo, said Shell’s interests in OML 18 were assigned to Eroton Exploration & Production Company Limited and total cash proceeds for Shell amount to $737 million while OML 29 and the NCTL were sold to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production (E&P) Company Limited and total cash proceeds for Shell came to some $1.7 billion.
Okolobo explained that the divestment was part of the strategic review of the SPDC’s onshore portfolio and is in line with the federal government’s aim of developing Nigerian companies in the country’s upstream oil and gas business, he added.
Shell, he said, has been in Nigeria for more than 50 years and remains committed to keeping a long-term presence there, both onshore and offshore.
Through SPDC and its other Nigerian companies, Shell responsibly produces the oil and gas needed to help fuel the economic and industrial growth that generates wealth for the nation and jobs for Nigerians.
This article originally appeared in Leadership Newspaper