The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, said it has sold 30 percent of its equity stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 17 and associated infrastructure valued at $533 million in the Eastern Niger Delta, to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited run by Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu.
The Dutch oil corporation disclosed in a statement Friday that the Elumelu-led firm had paid a total of $453 million, with the balance expected to be remitted over an agreed period.
“Completion follows the receipt of all approvals from the relevant authorities of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the SPDC said in the statement, while noting that it will “retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area.”
It was not immediately clear why the SPDC chose to trade off its stakes in OML 17, even though the firm has been largely controversial for its alleged hostility and environmental degradation of host oil communities.
SPDC has maintained gradual sale of its assets over the years, amidst unrest and escalated opposition by local militia groups in the Niger-Delta.
The company, which seeks to divest to other business interests following the recent sale of OML 17, however, operates other OMLs in the volatile region.