Norway’s Equinor plans to sell its stake in the Agbami oil field, off the coast of Nigeria, for up to $1 billion, Reuters reported, citing three industry sources.

The move puts the Norwegian company on the list of Western energy companies seeking to pull out of the West African country to shift their focus to newer, more profitable assets.

Investment bank Standard Chartered has been appointed by the Norwegian firm to execute the sale process, according to the sources.

Equinor currently owns a 20% interest in the Agbami deepwater field, which straddles Oil Mining Concession (OML) 127 and OML 128 in the central Niger Delta.

Chevron operates the field with a 67.30% working interest, while Prime 127 owns the remaining 12.49%.

In recent years, production from the oil field has declined rapidly to 29,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2020, from 36,000 boepd in 2019.

In 2022, Equinor signed an agreement with Nigeria’s national oil company, NNPC, to extend the license for offshore block OML 128 for 20 years.

Several Western oil giants, including Shell, Exxon Mobil and TotalEnergies, are seeking to exit Nigeria, mainly in onshore operations, in the wake of theft and devastating spills.

In October 2022, Bloomberg News reported that NNPC seeks to make an investment decision on the proposed $25 billion gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco by 2023.

NNPC is promoting the pipeline project to meet growing demand for new gas sources in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.