Royal Dutch Shell has signed the sale and purchase agreements for all the Nigerian oil assets it put up for sale following a 2013 review of its business in the country, a spokesman said yesterday.
The assets include oil mining leases 18, 24, 25, 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line pipeline.
The company also said that, together with its partners Total and Eni, it had signed an agreement to sell OML 18 to a consortium led by Canadian oil and gas company, Mart Resources.
Mart confirmed it had entered into an agreement for the acquisition of OML 18.
In April this year, the Chief Financial Officer, Shell, Mr. Simon Henry, had said that the oil major might not complete its sale of assets in Nigeria until 2015, while expressing fears that the coming general elections might complicate the transactions.
Shell Petroleum Development Company has put up for sale four oil blocks, OMLs 18, 29, 25 and 24, and the bidders are Midwestern/Mart/Notore, Sahara Consortium and Dangote/Dansa for OML 18; Vertex/Seplat/Maurel&Prom/VP Global, Glencore/Neconde, Transcorp, and Aiteo/Taleveras for OML 29. Others are Lekoil, Crestar, GreenAcres/CCC/Signet Petroleum, NDPR/SAPETRO and Essar for OML 25.
Sahara Consortium, PanOcean/Newcross, and Shoreline Aiteo/ Taleveras are also bidding for OML 24. The company said it hoped to make $15bn in disposals worldwide in 2014 and 2015; the sale of its stake in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta are expected to generate part of the target revenue from asset divestment.
“We can come to a good commercial agreement,” Henry told Reuters in a conference call with investors.
“What is slightly more challenging and difficult to predict is how we can get the overall approvals across the whole of the stakeholder environment, including the government, because in previous transactions, that had taken …up to a year,” he added.
According to him, an election planned for February can have an impact on the sale process, without specifying in what way.
He said the Nigerian assets had attracted strong interest from potential buyers. Shell is divesting 30 per cent of the four blocks, along with the sale of 10 per cent from Total and five per cent from Eni. Analysts have estimated the value of the combined 45 per cent at around $3bn.
“We’ve had over 20 serious bidders mostly in consortium, with a Nigerian operator often with overseas operational financial or operational backing,” Henry said.
In the over 70 years that Shell has operated in the county, it has faced serious problems on the Delta with oil theft, environmental damage, political protests and attacks on its facilities.