ConocoPhillips, the stronghold United States oil company is ceasing from oil exploration in Nigeria and thereby to dispose its asset in the country. ConocoPhillips is to raise about $2.5 billion, if not more from the sale of its Nigerian Assets.
ConocoPhillips will hold on to its investment in Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, while selling off its onshore and offshore oil and gas fields in Nigeria.
The state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) disputed the prevailing news that the company was divesting from the country as a result of social unrest and political instability. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reiterated that far from the truth that Nigeria remains the place to be as far as oil and gas exploration is concerned.
In the report by The Nation Newspaper, Emeka Ugwuanyi wrote that Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, NNPC stated that “ConocoPhillips’ decision to sell its assets in Nigeria was not as a result of internal business issues or adverse operating environment, noting that Nigeria remains the destination of choice for investment.”
According to The Nation Newspaper, Dr. Ajuonuma was quoted:
“I confirm that ConocoPhillips their assets in Nigeria but the sale is not as a result of adverse operating environment or internal business issues. You know Nigeria remains Africa’s oil and gas hub and destination of choice for investors.
“They (ConocoPhillips) are re-organising in line with a new business model approved by their board of directors. They are streamlining their assets not only in Nigeria but across the world where they operate.
“Their interest in the Brass LNG project is not affected. They will retain their interest in the project. But if they decide to divest it, there are many investors that will gladly jump to it.”
The Nation further reported that ConocoPhillips “has hired BNP Paribas to help sell the planned assets adding that Nigerian companies that are showing interest to acquire the assets include Conoil and Oando as well as China’s Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of India and Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC).”
Nigerian government and NNPC have to do a better job in the dissemination of the information that the problems of insecurity and social unrest are not effecting oil and gas exploration in the country. This is important in order to discourage the fight of capital and cold feet of investing in the industry.