Shell Sells Some Nigerian Onshore Oil Fields
LONDON/LAGOS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell said it had reached deals on some of the four Nigerian oil fields it has offered for sale as the oil major pushes ahead with divesting global assets to cut costs.
Shell last year put up for sale its 30 percent shares in four oil blocks in the Niger Delta - Oil Mining Licences (OML) 18, 24, 25, 29 - as well as a major pipeline, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line.
"We have signed sales and purchase agreements for some of the oil mining leases, but not all that we are seeking to divest," a Shell spokesman said on Wednesday.
In several rounds of divestments, Shell has been moving away from Nigerian onshore oil, which is plagued by industrial scale oil theft, security problems and oil spills, the latter having become a growing legal liability for major oil companies.
Politics have also played a role. The government is keen to put indigenous operators in charge of onshore oil extraction, leaving the international majors to manage more difficult and capital-intensive deep-water projects offshore.
Firms have also been hampered by uncertainty over the particulars of an oil bill designed to overhaul the industry, which has been stuck in parliament for two years and looks unlikely to be passed before February 2015 elections.
Guaranty Trust Bank is among the banks financing the deals. The CEO of the bank, Segun Agbaje, told an investor conference call on Wednesday that two of them will close within the next two months.
Other companies including Total, Eni, and Chevron have also looked to dispose of assets. ConocoPhillips sealed a $1.5 billion deal with Nigeria's Oando last month.
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