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Shell plans sale of four more Nigerian oil blocks

By The Citizen
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Royal Dutch Shell has listed four more Nigerian oil blocks for sale anytime from now, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting sources familiar with the deal.

According to the report, the oil major has concluded plans to offload two onshore oil bocks and two offshore blocks.

Specifically, Oil Mining Licences 13 and 16 onshore as well as 71 and 72 offshore are being put up for sale as part of Shell's latest divestment from Nigeria.

The OML 13 and 16 lie in the Ogoniland region where, according to the report, Shell has experienced long-running disputes with local communities, multiple oil spills and widespread pipeline sabotage and theft.

The report further said that OML 13 covered a large geographical area with big gas reserves, while the OML 16 is a much smaller asset.

According to the report, OML 72 has proven oil reserves of around 120 million barrels, while OML 71 has significantly lower reserves.

'Shell has been discussing renewing these licences with the Nigerian government for years but has yet to reach a deal,' the report said.

The latest move, analysts said, was in tandem with the oil major's divestment programme in the country.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, the Nigerian subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, had in June said it was reviewing its stake in 28 oil blocks in the country.

The company announced it was embarking on a strategic review of its business, saying it would consult with its international and Nigerian partners over the future of the 28 oil blocks that produce some 750,000 barrels of oil a day.

The company said, 'Shell's 100 per cent-owned subsidiary, SPDC, announced the initiation of a strategic review, consultation with partners, and the potential exit from the interests it holds in some further onshore leases in the eastern part of the Niger Delta, subject to partner and regulatory approvals.

'The SPDC JV produced around 750 kboe per day of oil and gas in 2012 from 28 Oil Mining Licences across the Niger Delta, both onshore and in the near offshore. The SPDC has been following a strategy of selective divestments of its onshore portfolio, concentrating the operating footprint into a smaller, more contiguous area, while supporting the government's policy of encouraging investment by indigenous companies in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.'

The company said it had since 2010 sold its interest in eight OMLs for a total of $1.8bn. - Punch.