Total has completed the divestment of its stake in onshore Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 to Aiteo Eastern E&P, a Nigerian indigenous oil producer, for $569 million. This deal will significantly improve Aiteo’s exploration and production capabilities and develop the nation’s local content, which is aimed at boosting local participation in the petroleum industry.
In recent times, Africa’s largest economy has witnessed a wave of divestment of oil producing assets previously owned by International Oil Companies (IOCs). Although these IOCs have cited a number of reasons, both positive and negative for selling out, their divestments greatly favours the indigenous oil producers who have wasted no time in acquiring the assets.
Patrick de La Chevardière, Total’s Chief Financial Officer, explaining the rationale behind the move said that these transactions also reduce exposure to non-operated blocks onshore Nigeria, and allows them to focus on core, operated developments.
Total is a major integrated energy company active in all segments of the energy value chain. With a presence in more than 130 countries, the company has contributed immensely to shaping the global oil landscape. In Nigeria, Total is the fourth largest oil producer by virtue of its involvement in more than 50 permits, including joint ventures with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
By Emmanuel Iruobe