Five indigenous oil and gas companies are preparing to submit bids this month for more oilfields put on sale by Royal Dutch Shell.
The firms said to be eyeing the assets believed to be worth about $3 billion are Seplat Energy, Sahara Group, Famfa Oil, Troilus Investments Limited, and Nigeria Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP).
Shell has stakes in 19 oil Mining Leases in the country’s onshore oil and gas joint venture. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) controls a 30 per cent stake in the venture; the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), 55 per cent; TotalEnergies 10 per cent and ENI five per cent.
Shell opened discussions with the Federal Government last year on its decision to sell part of its stakes in the onshore fields where it has been active since the 1930s. The divestment from some of the assets is seen as part of a global drive to reduce its carbon emissions.
The firm has had issues with spills in the Niger Delta which have often been linked to pipeline vandalism, oil theft, and sabotage as well as operational issues with enormous repair costs and high-profile lawsuits.
According to Reuters, one of the firms positioning to take over the assets, Troilus, has hired Africa Bridge Capital Management- a company with interest in Nigerian investments to raise $3 billion for the assets.
Last August, the government announced plans to develop a comprehensive divestment policy to protect the oil industry’s dearth of technical, financial, and operational capabilities.
The NNPCL had hinted at plans to reject the arbitrary takeover of operatorship of oil assets divested by International Oil Companies (IOC) in the country to protect strategic national interest.
“We have engaged all our partners to ensure that while they have the right of divestments, that there should be no situation where this will become a waterloo of our industry. Therefore, NNPC will ensure Nigeria’s strategic national interest is safeguarded by developing a comprehensive.