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Shell denies sale of onshore assets amid legal dispute



Shell denies sale of onshore assets amid legal dispute

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has refuted claims regarding the sale of its onshore oil assets to Renaissance Consortium for over $1.3 billion.

According to a legal affidavit submitted by SPDC on May 24, 2024, the company clarified that it “did not sell its onshore assets and facilities in Nigeria to anyone.”

This statement came in response to a lawsuit filed by Global Gas and Refining Limited against SPDC and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

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The lawsuit seeks to prevent NUPRC from approving the sale or divestment of SPDC’s assets, alleging that such a move could jeopardize an ongoing arbitration over a 2002 Gas Processing Agreement between Global Gas and SPDC.

SPDC’s counter-affidavit highlights that the transaction with Renaissance was a share sale, not an asset sale, meaning SPDC’s shareholder sold its shares in SPDC to Renaissance. SPDC itself remains a separate entity, with all its assets intact.

Legal counsel for SPDC, Kingsley Osuh, emphasized that the company’s ongoing legal disputes are before the Supreme Court and that the share sale does not affect SPDC’s operations or its joint venture interests in Nigeria.

Shell Plc, SPDC’s parent company, announced the sale of its Nigerian onshore subsidiary in a statement on its official website. The move aligns with Shell’s long-term energy transition strategy, which aims to reduce operational challenges in Nigeria, such as theft and oil spills.

Despite the transaction, civil society groups led by Amnesty International have urged the Nigerian government to halt Shell’s divestment plans, citing potential negative impacts.

Renaissance Consortium expressed satisfaction with the transaction, noting its commitment to connecting African business opportunities with global realities.

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