Shell Sells Nigerian Assets: Gov’t Backs Legitimate Deals—What Investors Need to Know

Shell Sells Nigerian Assets: Gov’t Backs Legitimate Deals—What Investors Need to Know.

The minister of state for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has affirmed the Nigerian government’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment in the nation’s oil and gas sector.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the minister addressed Shell’s decision to sell its onshore assets in Nigeria to a consortium of five Nigerian companies.

Sen Lokpobiri emphasised that the Nigerian government will not impede legitimate business transactions in the oil and gas sector.

He stated, “On the part of the government, once we get the necessary documents, we will not waste time to give the necessary considerations and consent.

Responding to concerns about international oil companies (IOCs) diversifying their onshore assets, the minister highlighted the positive aspects of the diversification. He noted that Nigeria loses nothing as such moves create opportunities for indigenous companies with the capacity to acquire and professionally manage these assets, leading to increased profitability and the maximisation of their potential.

Addressing potential negative impacts on the country, Lokpobiri reassured that the diversification would not adversely affect Nigeria. He emphasised the government’s engagement with International Oil Companies (IOCs) regarding the decommissioning of non-productive assets and abandonment issues.

The minister stated that concerns raised by IOCs, particularly with Nigerian banks, have been addressed, assuring a safe environment for the handling of funds related to decommissioning and abandonment.

“As a government, we will adhere to the law without jeopardising legitimate businesses,” he added.

Responding to questions on preventing IOCs from diversifying their upstream operations, the Minister clarified that companies have not left their upstream deepwater assets. Instead, they were diversifying their onshore assets, creating opportunities for local companies with developed capacity and financing to acquire and profitably manage these assets.

Lokpobiri reiterated the government’s commitment to addressing sector concerns, including insecurity and aging infrastructure, such as pipelines. He highlighted ongoing engagements with companies to invest in pipeline technology and other critical infrastructures within the oil and gas value chain.

The Minister concluded by announcing that the President has approved a licensing bid round, demonstrating the government’s dedication to initiating the process promptly.



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