During a presentation of its financial results, TotalEnergies CEO, Patrick Pouyanne, revealed the company’s intention to divest its minority stake in a significant Nigerian onshore oil joint venture, echoing Shell’s recent departure from the sector.
Pouyanne highlighted the company’s strategic decision to restructure its portfolio, citing challenges in producing oil in the Niger Delta that are not aligned with their Health, Security, and Environmental policies.
“We want to divest our share of SPDC, and we are looking to reshape the portfolio,” Pouyanne stated. “Fundamentally it’s because producing this oil in the Niger Delta is not in line with our policies; it’s a real difficulty.”
Despite this move, TotalEnergies aims to retain its Nigerian gas assets, recognizing their importance for future expansion in liquefied natural gas development.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), in which TotalEnergies holds a 10% interest, has faced challenges with onshore oil spills due to theft, sabotage, and operational issues, leading to costly repairs and legal disputes.
TotalEnergies’ decision to divest from Nigeria’s onshore sector follows a trend among International Oil Companies (IOCs) seeking to focus on newer, more profitable ventures.
The company remains a significant player in the country’s offshore fields.
In recent developments, TotalEnergies announced the commencement of operations at the 14,000 bpd Akpo West oilfield, located 135 kilometres off the coast.
The Nigerian onshore oil industry has seen major international oil companies exiting, paving the way for local players.
Shell’s recent agreement to sell its 30% stake in SPDC to a consortium of local companies for up to $2.4 billion reflects this trend.
Other IOCs like ExxonMobil and Norway’s Equinor have also divested assets in Nigeria to focus on more lucrative operations elsewhere.