Shell takes further steps away from Nigeria

Yemisi Izuora

Royal Dutch Shell said it made further progress in its divestment strategy by selling Niger Delta assets from $1.7 billion.

Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria said it completed the sale of oil mining lease 29 and the 62-mile long Nembe Creek pipeline to Aiteo Eastern E&P Co., a Nigerian company.

“This divestment is part of the strategic review of SPDC’s onshore portfolio and is in line with the federal government of Nigeria’s aim of developing Nigerian companies in the country’s upstream oil and gas business,” the Dutch oil major said in a statement.

Shell has last week sold its stake in oil mining lease 30 to a separate rival for $737 million.

Divested fields produced around 43,000 barrels of oil per day for Shell last year. Infrastructure sold to Aiteo was commissioned in 2010 to deliver Nigeria’s Bonny light crude oil to process terminals.

Shell said the terminal itself was not part of the transaction with its Nigerian counterpart and remains in the hands of the Dutch supermajor.

Amnesty International expressed frustration with Shell and its Italian counterparts at Eni over the legacy of oil spills in the Niger Delta region. The rights group said the two companies combined to report more than 550 spills in the area last year.

Shell in 2013 said the rising operational challenges in Nigeria, including theft of crude by organized gangs and pipeline vandal attacks, had eroded its profit margin by $250 million.

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