Three international oil companies (IOCs) – Shell, Total and Eni (Agip) – have raked in $2.569 billion (N411.04 billion) from the sale of a jointly held stake in seven oil blocks within the last two years.
The companies were said to have sold a 45-per-cent stake in the seven oil concessions in five transactions.
The oil blocks, which are now operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were acquired by local companies alongside their foreign partners.
Prior to their sale, NNPC was the majority shareholder with 55 per cent equity in the joint venture. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) was the operator of the joint venture with a 30-per-cent stake; Total Exploration & Production (Nigeria) Limited – 10 per cent; and Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) – 5 per cent.
But following growing attack on their facilities by militants in the Niger Delta between 2007 and 2009, the IOCs embarked on a divestment programme to sell some of their onshore assets in the
Seplat Petroleum Development Company, in partnership with French-based Maurel and Prom, paid $386 million to acquire OMLs 3, 38 and 41, while First Hydro Carbon Nigeria, alongside AFREN as foreign partners, bought OML 26 for $148 million.
Neconde Energy Limited and its foreign partners, Kulczyk Oil Ventures, paid $585 million for OML 42, while OMLs 30 and 34 were acquired by Shoreline and Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc (NDEP) at $850 million and $600 million, respectively. Shoreline was partnered by Heritage, while NDEP acquired its block with the Petrolin Group.
Managing Director of Oando Energy Resources Limited, Mr. Pade Durotoye, who gave the details on the acquisitions at the 19th Africa Oil Week in Cape Town, South Africa, noted that there had been an increase in divestment by the IOCs through bilateral agreements with indigenous companies and government bid rounds.
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