As the divestment of International Oil Companies (IOC) in Nigeria deepens, Norwegian energy company Equinor has hired Standard Chartered to assist in the sale of its principal interest in an offshore oil field in Nigeria.
The potential sale of Equinor’s 20 percent stake in the Agbami field on the Nigerian coast could fetch as much as $1 billion, according to Reuters sources.
Equinor is reportedly looking to sell its stake in the Nigerian oil field to focus on newer and more profitable projects, the sources said.
US giant Chevron is the operator of the Agbami field, which is located 70 miles off the coast of the central Niger Delta region and spans 45,000 acres. Chevron has a 67.3 percent interest in the field, whose production has been reduced in recent years. To offset the field decline, infill drilling continued in 2019, Chevron says.
In 2020, the field produced 29,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up from 36,000 boepd a year earlier, according to Reuters.
The rumored sale makes Equinor the latest oil major looking to exit or scale back operations in Nigeria.
ExxonMobil is seeking to sell Nigerian offshore shallow water assets, but President Muhammadu Buhari took a U-turn in August in his initial approval of the asset sale to Seplat after Nigeria’s Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission , NUPRC, will refuse to approve the agreement.
TotalEnergies and Shell are also looking to sell assets in Nigeria. In May 2022, TotalEnergies launched the sale of its 10 percent stake in a joint venture, SPDC.
Shell said as early as 2021 that it did not view its upstream oil operations in Nigeria as compatible with its strategy to become a net-zero energy business. Shell last year suspended the sale of its onshore assets in Nigeria to comply with a Nigerian Supreme Court ruling to await the outcome of an appeal over a 2019 oil spill.