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Shell says would fight Chinese grab in Nigeria


Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:19am EDT

LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) will fight any possible efforts by the Nigerian government to hand control of its Nigerian fields to Chinese oil companies, the Anglo-Dutch oil major’s chief financial officer said on Thursday.

“One thing you probably will have seen, and can be sure of, is that both ourselves and the industry will defend our interests,”Simon Henry told analysts on a conference call when asked about recent Chinese approaches to Abuja.

China has indicated its desire to move in on oil blocks currently licensed to Western oil firms, including Shell, Chevron (CVX.N) and ExxonMobil (XOM.N). [ID:nLU515969]

Henry noted the speculation came against a background of Nigeria mulling an oil reform bill.

The proposed legislation could allow the government to renegotiate old contracts, impose higher costs on oil companies and retake acreage that firms have yet to explore.

(Editing by Simon Jessop)

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