Shell is considering pulling out of Nigeria, Group CEO hints

The Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden said the company needs to take another hard look at its onshore oil operations in Nigeria due to continued problems with theft and sabotage.

Mr. Beurden made the statement on Thursday.

RovingNaija reports that a Dutch appeals court on Friday held that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary responsible for multiple oil pipeline leaks in the Niger Delta and ordered it to pay unspecified damages to farmers, in a victory for environmentalists.

Shell maintains that the spills were caused by sabotage. In November, it also lost a Nigerian high court case that could lead to $44 million in damages for spills.

“Our onshore oil position, despite all the efforts we put in against theft and sabotage, is under challenge,” van Beurden told reporters, saying it was a headache.

The villages in question are located in the southern Bayelsa State in the heart of the Niger Delta region where Shall has around 340 producing oil wells as well as roughly 4,000km of oil and gas pipelines and flowlines. A league table of spills by the company published by the Nigerian National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency ranks SPDC top.

Van Beurden confirmed that Shell’s Nigerian onshore joint venture SPDC has sold about 50% of its oil assets over the past decade.

“But developments like we are still seeing at the moment mean that we have to take another hard look at our position in onshore oil in Nigeria,” he maintained.

The Nigerian Government has stepped up efforts to reduce the number of attacks on oil pipelines but sabotage and theft remain commonplace. NNPC’s latest report shows 363 vandalised points were recorded in January – September last years. This is almost one a day, although that pales in comparison to the 1,376 cases reported over the same in 2019.


Source: Reuters, Argus Media

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Olusegun Fayose

Olusegun Sunday Fayose, founder of RovingNaija.com is a Marketing Communication executive with experience in Corporate Communication, Public Relations, Branding and Advertising. He is also a seasoned media professional with roots in print, broadcast and online journalism. Segun, who last managed the Group Corporate Communication function of MultiChoice Nigeria, is upbeat that through responsible, fair, accurate and courageous reporting; and the support of readers, followers and patrons, Nigeria takes a step closer to a regime of accountability, fairness and equity in governance.

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