Chevron set to divest interest in three more Nigerian oil blocs

There have been allegations of environmental and human rights abuses against multinationals in the

The transaction would be handled by a French bank.

Chevron Nigeria Limited, the Nigerian subsidiary of U.S. Chevron Corporation, said on Tuesday that it is divesting interests in three more Nigerian oil blocks.

The affected acreages include oil mining leases (OMLs) 52, 53 and 55 in the Niger Delta from where the company wants to dispose 40 per cent stake, just as it did last week on OMLs 83 and 85 which covers the Madu and Anyala oil fields, operated as a joint venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The oil blocks to be disposed are reputed to hold oil reserves in excess of 250 million barrels of oil and over 3.5billion cubic feet of gas.

The company said the transaction would be handled by French bank, BNP Paribas, which did not make details available immediately.

The General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Deji Haastrup, told PREMIUM TIMES last week that the decision to dispose part of its stakes in the oil acreages has nothing to do with any move away from Nigeria but to prioritize its portfolio to provide opportunity to smaller operators to grow.

Chevron said it would prefer to sell to local Nigerian companies in line with government’s policy to boost local capacity in the country’s oil industry; adding that First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, which has worked with London-listed Afren Oil on previous Nigeria concessions, has already indicated interest to acquire the interest in one of the oil blocks.

Chevron’s equity in the five oil blocks is estimated to be in excess of 250 million barrels of combined crude oil and condensate reserves.

Like in the previous sale, the company was not forthcoming with the details of what it would earn as revenue.

Chevron, which is ranked as Nigeria’s third largest exploration and production, E&P, multinational oil company behind Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and ExxonMobil Corporation, currently produces about 238,000 barrels of crude oil per day, according to available industry records.

Chevron joins some of the major oil companies that have also already disposed of some of their Nigerian asset amid allegations of uncertainty in the country’s oil and gas industry, including the issues affecting the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly.

The first companies to sell off their stakes in several onshore blocks include Shell which has blamed it on insecurity in the Niger Delta.

The other company that has also announced the sale of its 20 percent stake in its Nigerian offshore acreage is Total Upstream Nigeria, which transferred its interest to China’s Sinopec for $2.5 billion (N400 billion), while Oando E&P, Nigeria’s growing indigenous upstream company, last December announced the purchase of ConocoPhillips’ interests in the country.

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