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Shell mulls $15bn investment surge in Nigeria

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Oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell, is mulling additional $15 billion investment in Nigeria. The company, which is the biggest international oil company (IOC) in Nigeria in terms of assets and oil production volume, a document sighted by New Telegraph at the weekend showed, would put the investments on offshore acreages in the country as well as increase in funding for its Liquefied Natural Gas. Shell, however, said that it did not rule out further divestment in the onshore fields where it held sway for decades.

Citing the Bonga South West Aparo project as part of the investment plan, Shell said it had met with President Muhammadu Buhari in London as part of talks for the country to secure the $15billion of investment. The Presidency had also confirmed this in a statement, stating that the President was excited by the talks of $15 billion investment.

“I saw Shell Group, they came here, they saw me, they are preparing to invest $15 billion in Nigeria… so, really, we are not doing too badly,” Buhari told CNBC. He was speaking as part of a panel on the ease of doing business between Commonwealth countries. Shell confirmed to CNBC that the meeting had taken place, but did not comment on the size of the specific investment.

“Nigeria is an important country for Shell. We see good opportunities there for potential investment,” a spokesperson for Shell said in a statement, referencing its Bonga offshore oil field and the expansion of liquefied natural gas as examples of this.

“Both projects are subject to a future final investment decision and we continue to work with our partners and government towards that in each case,” added. The company added that it did not rule out divestment in onshore field as part of funding model for the new investments.

A former Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, had earlier stated that all the onshore oil blocks belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and nine other blocks sold to indigenous operators by the oil giant and its partners would expire by 2019.

Ajumogobia, who is also the Chairman of First Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Limited (First E & P), which paid $300 million to Shell and partners for 45 per cent stake in OML 71 and 72, listed the divested assets expiring in 2019 to include Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 18, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 34, 40, and 42. In 2011, Neconde Energy paid $585 million to Shell, Total and Eni to acquire their 45 per cent stake in OML 42. Shoreline Energy Resources paid $850 million to Shell and its partners for their 45 per cent stake in OML 30. Eland Oil paid $154 million for Shell, Total and Eni’s 45 per cent stake in OML 40; ND Western paid $600 million for OML 34; while First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, partly owned by Afren paid $98 million to acquire Shell’s 30 per cent interest in OML 26. Under the more recent divestment, Erotron Consortium paid $1.2 billion to Shell, Total and Agip for 45 per cent stake in OML 18; Pan Ocean paid $900 million for OML 24. Creststar Consortium paid initial deposit of $100 million of the $500 million bid price for OML 25 before the NNPC came forward to exercise its right of first refusal, an action being challenged in the court by the Canadian firm-backed consortium. Of greater significance in the wave of divestments was the $2.562 billion paid to Shell, Total and Agip by Aiteo-led consortium for the plum OML 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunkline.

Meanwhile, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Operator of the Joint Venture with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has denied the alleged transfer of its interest in Oil Mining Lease 11 (OML) in Yorla Field, eastern Niger Delta to an investor.

A recent report (not in New Telegraph) had said otherwise. General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, said in a statement at the weekend that Chevron did not have any equity in OML 11 as alleged in a recent report. A group, the Ken Saro Wiwa Associates (KSWA), had alleged a plot by a minister “to unilaterally transfer CNL’s interest in the Yorla Oil Field (OML 11–Ogoni Fields) to an anonymous company in which he has interest.”

CNL, Brikinn however said, has 40 per cent equity in OML 51 in Rivers State in which the Yorla South Field is located. He disclosed that Chevron was not soliciting for expressions of interest (EoIs) for any of its assets. “While CNL regularly reviews its asset portfolio to seek opportunities for optimising its businesses, any decision on acquisitions or divestitures will be made after following its established processes,” he said.

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TCIP Customs explains cargo clearance delays at port

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The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said the recent in cargo clearance being witnessed by importers and Customs Brokers at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos is because the NCS Internet Server was down thus impeding cargo documents processing.

This was disclosed by the Tin Can Island Customs Public Relations Officer, CSP Tony Ejesieme during a chat with the Sunday Telegraph on Wednesday at the port city of Apapa.

Ejesieme noted that the internet network breakdown as experienced by the Service could cause delay at anytime and was not the fault of the NCS but that of a bad weather.

The PRO, who admitted that there was delay in cargo release, said the command had not captured any importers for cargo release but was optimistic that the network would surge back and cargo clearance processing would commence immediately.

“We have not been able to work since morning as no importers have been captured. This is another delay; issuing debit note has become a problem. But the network will certainly come back and we will commence work immediately,’’ said he.

According to him, the major reasons for delay were non-compliance with import guidelines, wrong classification and declaration by importers, and lack of working scanners.

He, however, absolved the Service of any complicity and maintained that the NCS works based on procedure. ‘’Whatever we are doing is based on procedure and in accordance with the import laws. It is true that there is delay; if there are issues of infraction, there will be delay,’’ he said.

Ejesieme also caused by lack of scanners, saying that all scanners in all the ports in Lagos have broken down completely except only one in Apapa which could not handle all cargo in the port and that is why many cargos are routed to physical examination.

‘’Scanners are not working; only one is working in Apapa, no one in Tin Can. The issue of scanners has to be settled and we have engaged government on it.’’

Advising importers and customs agents to adhere to the import guidelines, he said that the security of nation as the nation approaches the general elections in 2019 would not be compromised as the Service is working with other government agencies to protect the territorial boundaries of the nation.

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UBA Foundation reading through regions in Africa

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As part of its mission to improve the lives of communities in which the United Bank for Africa operates, UBA Foundation said it has continued to encourage African youths to adopt the culture of reading through its ‘Read Africa’ initiative.

Read Africa aims to rekindle the reading culture amongst young Africans. Designed and introduced in 2011 by the UBA Foundation, the initiative has donated hundreds of thousands of books to African schools since its inception.

This past week, The Foundation took its initiative to the francophone city of Libreville to the students of the George MABIGNATH high school in Gabon.

The launch of Read Africa in Gabon saw in attendance, the author of the selected book Sidonie, written by famous Gabonese writer Chantal Magalie MBAZOO.

It was a colorful ceremony that witnessed the CEO of the Foundation, Bola Atta reading to and interacting with the students in high energy in the presence of their Principal, Mrs. Boudounghou Biboutou Isabelle and other staff members.

Bola Atta summarized the Foundation’s initiative saying, “At the UBA Foundation, we are committed to improving the lives of the youths on the continent and one of the ways we can achieve this is to help you read more. I am here to talk to you a little about the importance of reading and how it can radically change your life. Reading encourages you to dream, it expands your knowledge, your vocabulary. It is a path to achieving your ambitions”.

 

Chioma Mang, the CEO of UBA Gabon also reiterated the mission of UBA and emphasized the bank’s commitment to the Gabonese community. “ I love children and I am happy to be here with you all today. I’d like to encourage you to read very well so that you can reach great heights in your life like me. UBA is going to be there for you all the way. You can count on us”, she said.

 

The Read Africa initiative then moved on to Zambia to the Horizon Secondary School in Lusaka where the Director in the ministry of higher education in charge of Vocation, Education and Training, Mr. Alex Simumba, thanked UBA and the Foundation for the good work that is being done across Africa. He said, “To UBA Foundation, we thank you for your support to the institution today. We welcome this and many more collaboration in the field of literacy and other higher education programmes. We also further encourage other private sector organisations to take a keen interest in such programmes because the youths who are receiving these literary materials will be benefitting greatly from them,” he said.

 

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Shell has disbursed N1.88bn to GMoU clusters in Delta State

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The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli has said that Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) is still active in Delta State noting that the oil giant has executed a lot of projects in the state.

According to him, the oil giant has disbursed a total sum of N1.88 billion to Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in clusters.

Igo Weli, who disclosed this when he spoke with newsmen in Warri on Thursday, revealed that the GMoU funding covers the three clusters currently active in Delta State since the inception of the concept in 2006, adding that Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) like their counterparts in other parts of the Niger Delta, are implementing health and educational projects among others.

During the media presentation of the 2018 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes to Journalists, he also disclosed that Shell has established a Professorial Chair at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE,) as it continues to operate in the state and contribute to its development.

Weli explained that the Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development was activated at FUPRE in December last year and is the latest of six established by SPDC JV, noting that the Chair at Effurun is expected to contribute to the growth of local content in Nigeria’s automobile industry.

He added that in a bid to boost employment especially among youths, more than 700 young men and women have benefited from Shell’s LiveWIRE initiative between 2003 and 2017.

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