TotalEnergies Seeks to Sell Stake in Nigerian Onshore Oil Venture

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French energy giant TotalEnergies is actively pursuing the sale of its minority stake in a significant onshore oil joint venture in Nigeria, following a similar divestment by Shell last month, according to CEO Patrick Pouyanne.

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TotalEnergies holds a 10% stake in the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), which has faced challenges such as onshore oil spills due to theft, sabotage, and operational issues. Pouyanne stated that the company aims to divest its share in SPDC as part of a portfolio reshaping initiative, emphasizing that the Niger Delta operations are not aligned with TotalEnergies’ Health, Security, and Environmental policies.

SPDC manages an extensive network of pipelines, oil wells, gas wells, gas plants, oil export terminals, and a power plant. Despite the divestment from onshore ventures, TotalEnergies remains a significant player in Nigeria’s offshore fields, producing 219,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2023. The company recently announced the startup of the Akpo West oilfield off the Nigerian coast.

TotalEnergies joins other international oil companies in seeking to withdraw from Nigeria’s onshore sector after decades of operations. In contrast, the French company maintains its focus on offshore activities. Shell had previously agreed to sell its 30% stake in SPDC for up to $2.4 billion to a consortium of mostly local companies.

The remaining partners in the joint venture are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with a 55% stake and Italy’s Eni with 5%. Other major oil companies, including Exxon Mobil, Eni, and Equinor, have also divested assets in Nigeria in recent years to concentrate on more profitable ventures.

Pouyanne highlighted that TotalEnergies intends to retain its Nigerian gas resources, emphasizing their importance for the company’s planned expansion of liquefied natural gas development in the coming years. Any potential sale of the onshore stake would require approval from the Nigerian government.

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