Shell sells off two Nigerian oil blocks

City A.M. Reporter
NIGERIA’S state-oil company NNPC has said that two local firms have completed the purchase of 45 per cent stakes in two onshore oil blocks, previously owned by Shell, Total and Eni.

First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, owned by FTSE 250-listed Afren, bought a 45 per cent stake in the OML 26 block owned jointly by Shell, Total and Eni, NNPC said.

The block has target production of 50,000 barrels of oil per day by 2015, the state-owned firm said. No details on the purchase value of the oil block was provided in NNPC’s statement.

NNPC said the foreign oil majors sold 45 per cent of another block, OML 42, to Neconde Energy. Neconde at the bidding stages was a consortium including Nigerian firms Nestoil, Aries and VP Global and Poland's Kulczk Oil Ventures.

These blocks are among several put up for sale this year by Shell Petroleum Development Company 30 per cent-owned by Shell and 55 per cent-owned by NNPC. Eni and Total also own small stakes.

Shell has said that it still views Nigeria as a key part of its business and this is not the beginning of a wider departure from Africa’s most populous nation.