Shell selling Nigerian assets valued at $5 billion
December 22, 2009
According to Reuters, Royal Dutch Shell is planning to sell oilfields in Nigeria valued at up to $5 billion, first reported by the Sunday Times, citing sources linked to companies interested in the asset. The newspaper said the auction comes as Nigeria prepares to impose harsher terms on foreign operators and hand greater control to domestic firms. The company is the biggest and longest standing Western oil producer in Nigeria. But production has been hampered by insecurity in the oil-rich Niger Delta, government funding shortfalls and an uncertain regulatory environment. The report coincided with a group led by Shell pledging to spend tens of billions of dollars developing Iraq''s Majnoon super-giant oilfield over the next two decades. Shell has switched investment from Nigeria, which supplied 16 percent of its 2008 oil production, in response to growing violence from militants and a souring of relations with the government.