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Shell is not leaving Nigeria, says Senate

By Onyedi Ojiabor 5 December 2011

The Senate has desrcribed as wrong reports that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is planning to move out of the country because it ceded some of its investment to local operators.

In an interview with The Nation, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Emmanuel Paulker, shed some light on the report that some International Oil Companies (IOCs) including SPDC may have concluded arrangements to leave  the country due to increasing insecurity in Abuja.

Paulker noted that instead of divesting, Shell is investing more in the country.

The lawmaker said what Shell did was to cede some areas it felt were too small for it to local operators to own and manage.

He said: “That report was a misnomer. What happened was that through our interaction, we got the true position of Shell.

“Yes, Shell did some divestment’s of their investments in Nigeria, which implies that they wanted to cede out part of their investments to local operators; more to local operators because they feel that, maybe, a marginal field is too small for them to manage and they are going into the deep waters. So, let them divest some of their investments and allow local operators to come and own them.

“They did explain during our interactive session that that doesn’t mean they are leaving the country. In fact, they are even investing more in Nigeria. They explained to us that Shell is not ready to leave the country.”

On Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), he noted that because it has not reached in the National Assembly does not mean the Bill is dead.

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