The Anglo-Dutch oil company, Shell, has reached an agreement with a consortium comprising five firms, finalizing its long-anticipated divestment from onshore assets in the Niger Delta, one of the world’s most polluted regions. The iconic shell-shaped company is set to receive up to $2.4 billion from the sale of its onshore activities in Nigeria to the Renaissance consortium, a group consisting of four Nigerian companies and the Beninese firm, Pétrolin.
Shell aims to refocus its investments on deep-water drilling and gas production in Nigeria, endeavors associated with lower operational risks. In stark contrast, the Niger Delta is notorious for its challenges, with the region plagued by hydrocarbon leaks stemming from deteriorating infrastructure and sabotage of pipelines by oil thieves.
In June 2022, ongoing negotiations between Shell and potential buyers were abruptly halted by a legal intervention, pending a judgment on an appeal related to oil spills involving the company. Thousands of Delta fishermen are currently seeking nearly two billion dollars in compensation as part of this legal pursuit. The divestment marks a strategic shift for Shell, reflecting a calculated move towards ventures with more favorable operational landscapes in Nigeria.