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Shell to end onshore oil operations in Nigeria after almost a century

16 January 2024

Shell has reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), to Renaissance, a consortium of five companies comprising four exploration and production companies based in Nigeria and an international energy group. The $2.4 billion (£1.8bn) deal marks the end of the energy major’s onshore operations in Nigeria where it has operated since the 1930s.

Image: Shell
Image: Shell

In a statement, Shell said the transaction has been designed to preserve the full range of SPDC's operating capabilities following the change of ownership. This includes the technical expertise, management systems and processes that SPDC implements on behalf of all the companies in the SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC JV). The SPDC JV is an unincorporated joint venture comprised of SPDC Ltd (30%), the government owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (55%), Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd (10%) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company Ltd (5%).

Following completion, Shell will retain a role in supporting the management of SPDC JV facilities that supply a major portion of the feed gas to Nigeria LNG (NLNG), to help Nigeria achieve maximum value from NLNG.

“This agreement marks an important milestone for Shell in Nigeria, aligning with our previously announced intent to exit onshore oil production in the Niger Delta, simplifying our portfolio and focusing future disciplined investment in Nigeria on our Deepwater and Integrated Gas positions” said Zoë Yujnovich, Shell’s Integrated Gas and Upstream Director.

“It is a significant moment for SPDC, whose people have built it into a high-quality business over many years. Now, after decades as a pioneer in Nigeria’s energy sector, SPDC will move to its next chapter under the ownership of an experienced, ambitious Nigerian-led consortium.

“Shell sees a bright future in Nigeria with a positive investment outlook for its energy sector. We will continue to support the country’s growing energy needs and export ambitions in areas aligned with our strategy.”

The sale follows years of difficult operating conditions in Nigeria for the oil company, including hundreds of oil spills due to theft and sabotage that have led to costly repairs and lawsuits. The oil major will continue to operate in Nigeria by focusing on the offshore sector.


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