By Our Correspondent
Oil giant, Shell has said it intends to exit Nigeria, Africa’s leading crude oil producer’s onshore oil sector as continuing was no longer in tandem with its strategic investment interest.
Shell’s CEO, Van Beurden, who made the decision known at the company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday, said he was in talks with the Nigerian government to work out how to exit its onshore licenses.
Mr Beurden, according to newsmen, explained that Niger Delta oil is no longer suitable for its business, adding that the incessant cases of oil theft and sabotage and spillage don’t fit with the organisation’s risk appetite.
“The balance of risks and rewards associated with our onshore portfolio is no longer compatible with our strategic ambitions. We cannot solve community problems in the Niger Delta,” Beurden said.
He further disclosed that Shell proposed disengagement from Nigeria’s onshore sector will not affect its offshore operations, adding that the organisation is still very much interested in exploring the country’s deep water and natural gas.
Shell, had in the cause of its onshore operations in Nigeria, encountered numerous problems ranging from oil theft and pipeline sabotage, as well as lawsuits instituted by local communities over oil spills.
In February, Mr Buren while decrying the increasing sabotage and theft of oil in Nigeria disclosed that the multinational giant was considering sales of its onshore assets in Nigeria.
He said that growing cases of theft and sabotage in the Niger-Delta region could force the organisation to reconsider its onshore operations in Nigeria.