Shell sells some Nigeria assets

Sept. 4, 2012 at 8:47 AM
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ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Royal Dutch Shell said its Nigerian subsidiary sold a stake in an oil mining lease in the Niger Delta to make room for domestic companies.

Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd., sold its 30 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease 40 in the Niger Delta to Nigerian company Elcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. for about $102 million.

Shell said the divestment was part of its strategy to meet the Nigerian government's aim of getting domestic companies involved in the upstream oil and natural gas business. The divestment is Shell's sixth since 2010.

"These divestments mark another step in the strategy to refocus the SPDC portfolio," Mutiu Sunmonu, Shell's country chairman in Nigeria, said in a statement.

A Shell spokesman was quoted by Nigerian news agency PM News as saying a crude oil pipeline in the country was shut down after a leak was detected last week.

Nigerian oil remediation authorities in July recommended "an administrative fine" for Shell said to total $5 billion for a release at the Bonga field.

Shell in December closed operations at the offshore Bonga production platform following a leak from an export line feeding a tanker. The company said preliminary estimates indicated 40,000 barrels of oil spilled, making it one of the worst in Nigeria in decades.

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