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Shell Sells Off More Assets In Nigeria

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Due to the rise in incidents of oil theft in the Niger Delta Shell is looking to sell of its assets in the region

Published: November 20, 2014 at 2:56 pm EST

By: Micheal Kaufman

Nigeria’s Niger Delta has been see a lot of oil spills over the last 30 years. According to statistics the Niger Delta has experienced more than 400,000 tons of oil spills during this period, and 70% of the oil has not been recovered. While some of the spills have been attributed to ageing facilities and human error, oil theft has also contributed significantly. Oil theft has also led to violence in the region which has caused many foreign investors to quit the region.

Royal Dutch Shell plc. (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) has also been on the receiving end of oil theft and has decided to sell all of its assets in the Niger River Delta. It has already been working on trying to reach agreement to this end, for a few months now.

On Thursday, Shell sold a 30% stake in Oil Mining Lease 24 (OML). The stake was sold to Newcross Exploration and Production Limited, which is based in Nigeria. According to Shell, OML 24 produces around 13,000 barrels of oil and natural gas per day. Shell sold its stake in an all-cash deal worth $600 million. Other companies such as Eni Spa and Total SA also sold smaller stakes to Newcross Exploration, which now has a 45% stake in OML 24.

Last month Shell signed agreements to sell all of its Nigerian assets which it had put up for sale last year. Shell, Eni Spa (ADR) (NYSE:E) and Total SA agreed to sell their 45% stake in Oil Mining Lease 18(OML 18) to a consortium including Mart Resources Inc. The majority of the stake, 55% was retained by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation which pumps around 30,000 barrels of oil per day.

Shell has now been a part of four sale and purchase agreements including that of OML 18. It seems that Shell is doing quite well in its objective of selling all of its Nigerian Assets this year. Shell also came to an an agreement with a consortium comprising three companies including the Taleveras Group, Aiteo Energy and Tempeo Energy for the sale of OML 29 along with a related pipeline.

OML 29 is larger than all the other assets that Shell has put up for sale or sold so far. The agreement was signed last year but it is still awaiting approval by the Nigerian government.

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