Essar in 'Delta sale exit'

INDIA’S ESSAR ENERGY has reportedly pulled out of the bidding race for oil and gas exploration acreage being sold by Shell in Nigeria’s Delta State.


Upstream earlier reported that Essar was in the running for preferred bidder status on the producing and highly prospective OML 30, one of four Niger Delta blocks being disposed of by Shell as it looks to trim its asset exposure in the troubled oil region.


Other contenders for the promising block include Conoil, Shoreline Energy and UK-registered Afren, with the winning bid set to exceed one billion dollars.


"Essar Energy can confirm that it had bid, as part of a consortium, for Shell's blocks in Nigeria. However, it is no longer in the race," a company spokesman told Dow Jones via email.


He did not reveal the size of the company’s bid nor the reason for withdrawing its offer.

The other blocks up for sale are OMLs 34, 40 and 42, which are all operated by the Anglo-Dutch supermajor, with partners Agip, Total and state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.


Results of the bid contest are expected imminently after Shell held clarification meetings earlier this month to select preferred bidders.

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