Shell Nigeria sells OML stake to Elcrest

Shell has operated in Nigeria for more than 50 years. (Image source: Shell)Shell has operated in Nigeria for more than 50 years. (Image source: Shell)Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), has completed the US$102mn sale of its 30 per cent interest in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 40 in the Niger Delta to Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria

The divestment is part of Shell's strategy of refocusing its onshore interests in Nigeria and is also in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria's aim of developing Nigerian companies in the country's upstream oil and gas business. Including this license, six onshore lease assignments have been completed by SPDC in Nigeria since 2010.

"These divestments mark another step in the strategy to re-focus the SPDC portfolio,” said Mutiu Sunmonu, the company’s country chairman in Nigeria. “SPDC is positioned well for investment and growth opportunities in all areas, including domestic gas, which will be delivered with the support of our government, partners and the people of Nigeria."

Shell, which has been in Nigeria for more than 50 years, has stated that it remains committed to keeping a long-term onshore and offshore presence. Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited is a majority Nigerian-owned consortium consisting of Starcrest Nigeria Energy Limited and Eland Oil and Gas Limited.

OML 40 covers an area of nearly 500 sq km and includes the Opuama, Abiala and Adagbassa Creek fields and related facilities. Operations had been suspended since 2006 because of militant activity.

Total E&P Nigeria Limited (10 per cent) and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (five per cent) have also assigned their interests in the lease, effectively giving Elcrest a 45 per cent interest.

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