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Nigeria: Shell has had enough

Energy Report – 26 January 2010

Shell, the company most affected by the years of violence in the Niger delta and the other difficulties of working in Nigeria, has finally had enough

In December, it invited offers for a swathe of its onshore fields and last month underlined its new stance with a statement from Peter Voser, group chief executive, that “we no longer depend on [Nigeria] for our growth aspirations.”

In – for Shell – surprisingly forthright comments about the country in which it has been the dominant oil and gas producer for over 50 years, Voser cited “uncertainties about the future of the fiscal structure” and the government giving “priority to maintaining oil production over reducing gas flares”, in addition to the “sabotage and attacks on installations” as reasons for its decision. Not depending on Nigeria for growth “gives us more flexibility in deciding when and how to develop oil and gas resources” in the country, he said.

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