TotalEnergies to sell its Nigerian onshore oil business

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TotalEnergies has stated plans to offload its minority stake in a significant Nigerian onshore oil joint venture, a move following Shell’s recent divestment.

The CEO Patrick Pouyanne stated this during a presentation of the company’s financial results.

According to the CEO, the company is looking to restructure its portfolio since producing oil in the Niger Delta has become difficult.

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He stated,

  • “We want to divest our share of SPDC, and we are looking to reshape the portfolio,”
  • “Fundamentally it’s because producing this oil in the Niger Delta is not in line with our [Health, Security, and Environmental] policies, it’s a real difficulty.”

Retention of gas assets

Pouyanne further stated that the company intends to retain its Nigerian gas assets, considering them essential for the company’s future expansion in liquefied natural gas development over the upcoming years.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), in which TotalEnergies holds a 10% interest, has struggled with numerous onshore oil spills stemming from theft, sabotage, and operational challenges, resulting in expensive repairs and notable legal battles over the years.

What you should know

  • TotalEnergies joins the train of International Oil Companies (IOCs) seeking to divest from Nigeria’s onshore sector following decades of operations. Despite this move, the French conglomerate continues to be a significant player in the country’s offshore fields.
  • Earlier in the week, the company announced the start of operations at the 14000 bpd Akpo West oilfield situated 135 kilometers off the coast.
  • The Nigerian onshore oil industry has in recent times witnessed the exit of major international oil companies giving way to local players to operate in the space.
  • Last month, Shell disclosed its agreement to sell its 30% stake in SPDC to a consortium composed mostly of local companies for a sum of up to $2.4 billion.
  • Also, other international oil companies like ExxonMobil and Norway’s Equino have all sold assets in Nigeria in recent years to focus on newer, more profitable operations elsewhere.

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