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FG feigns ignorance of Chevronís plans to sell oil bloc stakes

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IMAGE: FG- Nigeria »

June 13, 2013


The Federal Government, the majority partner in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 35 and 38, on Wednesday, denied knowledge of plans by Chevron Corporation to sell stakes in two Nigerian oil blocks.

This declaration, may have however, swiftly heightened fears among prospective investors in the blocks.

Chevron is, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), expected to officially inform the government, which, through the NNPC owns about 55 per cent stake in the blocks purportedly up for sale before announcing such.

General Manager, Group Public Affairs division of the NNPC, Dr. Umar Faruq said at a dinner in Abuja: “Chevron is yet to table plans to sell OML 83 and 85 before partners. As it is today it is still been treated as a rumour,” Faruq said.

He expressed belief that the United States oil major would avert the controversy generated by a similar decision by Shell to sell stakes in oil blocks, and therefore do what is required under the law.

Efforts to confirm from Chevron on whether it is under any contractual obligation to inform partners of such sale, were not successful, as the cell phone of the company’s spokesperson, Deji-Hastrup was switched off, early Wednesday evening.

But Chevron had on Tuesday said it would sell its stake in two Nigerian shallow water oil blocks, Oil Mining Lease (OML) 83 and OML 85, which hold an estimated 200 million barrels of oil in reserves.

The oil major is the latest International Oil Company (IOC), operating In Nigeria’s multi-billion dollars oil and gas industry, seeking to dispose of assets in Africa’s biggest oil producer.

Joint blocks’ owners like Royal Dutch Shell, Italy’s Eni and France’s Total have sold several blocks.

The two newest blocks for sale also hold an unknown amount of natural gas but there has been no production yet, Reuters reported quoting two industry sources.

Chevron did not however give details of reserves.

“As part of a continuous process of portfolio evaluation and business prioritisation, Chevron Nigeria Limited … has put forward its interests in two oil mining leases for auction,” a company spokesman said.

“The assets are located in the shallow waters.”


Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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