A wave of planned sales of onshore Nigerian assets by oil majors has prompted speculation that they are finally leaving the Niger Delta because of oil theft, gangsterism and political uncertainty, Reuters reports. However, according to industry source, foreign firms such as Royal Dutch Shell, Eni and Total have no intention of leaving just yet.
There is little doubt that the majors will sell off some small blocks that are realistically not worth their while – think those assets worst affected by theft and sabotage, or field that risk expropriation in a government push to promote local ownership.
However, the larger oil producing blocks, huge gas deposits, key pipelines and the export terminals that control the passage of onshore oil to international markets will most likely stay in their hands, which will enable them to retain infrastructure for which they can charge rent to other users.
Complaints by oil majors…
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