Here’s why Total is selling its 12.5% stake in Nigerian oil block

Total Group is looking for buyers for one of its major oil blocks in Nigeria. The oil company wants to sell off its 12.5% stake and has already contracted an investment bank to manage the sale process of the deepwater oilfield.

Total’s 12.5% stake in the deepwater oilfield, Oil Mining Lease 118, is estimated to worth $750 million. Part of the oil block includes Bonga field which began production in 2005. According to report, the Bonga field has produced around 225,000 barrels of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet of gas per day at its peak. And with the $10 billion development of the Bonga Southwest field, production output is expected to grow.

Total isn’t the only international oil company operating in the OML 118. The operators include Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Eni. While Royal Dutch Shell owns 55% stake in the OLM 118, Exxon Mobil has 20%, Eni and Total both own 12% in the oil block.

Why Total is selling: The decision to sell its stake in the OML 118, which is located some 120 kilometres (75 miles) off Niger Delta, is coming amidst Total’s expansion in Africa. The company was also reportedly planning to sell $5 billion of assets around the world by 2020; the sale of its stake in OML 118 is part of the assets’ sale.

The company appointed Investment bank, Rothschild to manage the sale process on its behalf.

Shell invites bids for Bonga oilfield: Nairametrics had also reported that Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) invited interested bidders for the development of the Bonga South West Aparo (BSWA) oil field in February 2019.

It was reported that the project’s initial phase includes a new Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, more than 20 deep-water wells and related subsea infrastructure. The field lies across Oil Mining Leases 118, 132 and 140, about 15km southwest of the existing Bonga Main FPSO.

But Shell disclosed days after that the directive by the Nigerian government to foreign oil companies to pay $20 billion in taxes owed would delay the final investment decision (FID) on its Bonga Southwest deepwater oilfield.

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