26 March 2015, Lagos – The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited has announced the completion of the sale of its interest in Oil Mining Lease 29, the Nembe Creek Trunk Line and related facilities in the eastern Niger Delta.
The NCTL, which is Nigeria’s major onshore pipeline, has been frequently attacked by oil thieves who drill holes into the pipeline to siphon fuel.
The persistent sabotage of the pipeline, according to industry analysts, may have triggered the company’s divestment of its interest.
Shell had on Friday announced the completion of the sale of its 30 per cent interest in OML 18 and related facilities in the eastern Niger Delta to Eroton Exploration & Production Company Limited for $737m.
“This divestment is part of the strategic review of the SPDC’s onshore portfolio and is in line with the Federal Government’s aim of developing Nigerian companies in the country’s upstream oil and gas business,” the company said in a statement issued by the Corporate Media Relations Manager, Precious Okolobo.
Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (a subsidiary of Italian Eni) have also sold their interests of 10 per cent and five per cent respectively in the lease, ultimately giving Aiteo Eastern E&P Company Limited a 45 per cent interest in OML 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line, the statement said.
OML 29 covers an area of 983 square kilometres and includes the Nembe, Santa Barbara and Okoroba fields, and related facilities.
The NCTL, which is 100 kilometres long and has a capacity of 600 thousand barrels per day, was commissioned in 2010 and evacuates crude to the Bonny Crude Oil Terminal.
According to the statement, the BCOT is not part of the transaction and will remain owned and operated by the SPDC Joint Venture.
The divested infrastructure includes flow stations together with associated gas infrastructure plus oil and gas pipelines within the OML, said SPDC.
It said the divested fields produced around 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (100 per cent) in 2014.
“Shell has been in Nigeria for more than 50 years and remains committed to keeping a long-term presence there – both onshore and offshore. Through the SPDC and its other Nigerian companies, Shell responsibly produces the oil and gas needed to help fuel the economic and industrial growth that generates wealth for the nation and jobs for Nigerians,” the statement added.
SPDC had in October last year announced the signing of sales agreements for all the Nigerian oil assets it put up for sale following a 2013 review of its business in the country, including OML 24 and 25.