The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, has highlighted the opportunity for local players in Nigeria’s oil sector following Shell’s decision to exit the country’s shallow water fields.

Shell
Shell

In an interview with the Arise TV crew at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Lokpobiri emphasized that unlike international oil companies (IOCs), local players are likely to reinvest their funds within Nigeria.

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According to Lokpobiri, there is a trend among oil companies, including Shell, to diversify into offshore assets rather than leave Nigeria. He expressed confidence in the capabilities of local players to efficiently and profitably acquire, manage, and operate these assets.

Lokpobiri stated, “No company is willing to leave, not even ENI. No company has said that we are leaving Nigeria.” He asserted that Nigeria stands to gain as local players take over these assets, ensuring that funds remain within the country instead of being taken abroad by IOCs.

The minister emphasized that Nigeria will not experience losses in terms of jobs or government revenue due to Shell’s departure, viewing it as an opportunity for local players to contribute to the industry. He highlighted the capacity developed by these local players and their ability to manage the assets effectively.

In the context of Shell’s recent announcement to sell its onshore oil assets to a consortium of local oil companies for $1.3 billion, Lokpobiri addressed the concerns of persistent insecurity in the Niger Delta, crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, and issues with local communities as contributing factors to the move by IOCs to divest from shallow water fields to deep water fields.

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