Four International Oil Companies (IOCs), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Chevron Joint Venture (JV), and Conoco Philips, have collectively divested from 24 Oil Mining Leases (OPL) in the country.SPDC, for instance, relinquished its 55 per cent interest in OML 4, 38, 41, 26, 3O, 34, 40, 42, 71, 72, 18, 24, 25 and 29 to indigenous operators, Seplat, Afren, Shoreline, ND Western, Elcrest/Eland, West African E&P/Dangote, Eroton, New Cross, and Aiteo.
Also, Chevron has sold its 60 per cent interest in OML 83, 85, 52,53, and 55 to First E&P/Dangote, Amni, Belema and Belema/Seplat. Conoco Philips’ 20 per cent interest in OML 60, 61, 62 and 63 has been sold to Oando.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which made this disclosure in a presentation at the conference of the Society of Petroleum Engineer (SPE), believes the asset divestment will provide opportunity for the growth of independents.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) corroborated the DPR, saying the trend provides opportunity for indigenous oil and gas companies to become active players in the upstream sub-sector of the industry.
NNPC stated that the divestments by the IOCs are creating opportunities for indigenous oil and gas companies to partake of the upstream sector of the industry and grow capacity.
“The spate of divestments would not lead to crisis in the nation’s oil and gas industry. Rather, the divestment by the majors is changing the onshore corporate landscape and creating material brownfield opportunities for upstream players looking to enter the Nigerian upstream space,” it said.