Shell Ready For Proposed Sale of Nigeria Oilfields This Week

Ogoni People To Receive N45bn Compensation From Shell

Shell Plc will receive two final offers this week for its onshore oil and gas fields in Nigeria. Nigerian companies Heirs Oil and Gas Ltd. and ND Western Ltd. are competing to buy Shell’s 30 per cent interest in the joint venture, which operates assets in the Niger Delta and nearby offshore areas.

The people said that bids are due June 10, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Last year, energy consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. valued Shell’s stake at $2.3 billion, assuming a long-term oil price of $50 a barrel. But with Brent now trading at about $121, the stake likely is worth significantly more. Shell, Heirs and ND Western declined to comment, the report said.

Shell announced its intention to sell the stake last year, saying its long-term energy transition strategy was incompatible with Nigerian operations prone to spills and theft.

Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden told shareholders in May that a significant increase in sabotage in recent years had resulted in a state of near-lawlessness that the company couldn’t control.

“In the end, we have to concede that this is beyond what we can do,” he said.

The planned divestments by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) go beyond the issues in the country’s Niger Delta.

Many Nigerians believe that Shell is leaving the region in a “mess” after the devastation of the environment for over 60 years and has no plan for cleaning it up or embarking on decommissioning and is now moving towards the deep offshore terrain.

According to a recent McKenzie document, 19 Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) are expected to be sold by the oil giant in onshore locations and shallow waters in the company’s eastern and western operations in the Niger Delta.

Two people said Nigeria’s crude production had fallen 25 per cent in the last decade. Data compiled by Bloomberg with potential future costs related to litigation and environmental liabilities likely affect the stake’s valuation.

Bloomberg said two other local companies, Seplat Energy Plc and Sahara Group Ltd., put in non-binding offers for Shell’s assets earlier this year, but the people said they were no longer running. The firms didn’t respond to requests for comment.

While Shell is retaining its deepwater oil assets and its large liquefied natural-gas presence, it’s not the only energy giant turning its back on Nigerian onshore and shallow water fields.

Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed in February to sell its shallow-water unit to Seplat for about $1.3 billion. France’s TotalEnergies SE wants to offload its 10 per cent interest in the same joint venture Shell is divesting from.

Meanwhile, the premium for Nigeria’s high-grade Bonny Light oil has surged this month to $4 a barrel, up from $2.50 a year ago, a separate Bloomberg report has stated. They are paying up to $5-$6 a barrel on top of current record prices to secure high-grade oil, traders said, double the level of a year ago, it said, with the mark-ups four times higher than the 2000-2008 average.

Oil refiners are paying record premiums for the high-quality crude oil they use to produce diesel and petrol, a sign of strong demand in the physical oil market that calls into question claims that speculators are driving soaring oil prices.

The movement in prices paid for physical barrels of oil has gone largely undetected outside the refinery industry because financial markets pay almost exclusive attention to the cost of oil futures traded in London and New York. It added that refiners are willing to pay a higher price for physical supplies than the futures benchmark lends weight to the argument that speculators are not the cause of record oil prices.

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