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Shell: $40B in Nigerian investments in jeopardy

Associated Press

06.17.10, 08:42 AM EDT

LAGOS, Nigeria — Royal Dutch Shell PLC is warning Nigerian authorities that $40 billion of planned investments in the country could be jeopardized if lawmakers pass a new law overhauling the petroleum industry.

A Shell spokesman said Thursday that investments in offshore well sites are on hold as lawmakers discuss the Petroleum Industry Bill. Foreign oil majors warn the bill will cut deeply into their profits, while Nigerian authorities say the proposed law gives more money back to the oil-rich nation.

Shell, the company that discovered oil in the West African nation more than 50 years ago, has led a very vocal opposition to the bill. However, the bill appears to have faltered in recent months after the long illness and death of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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