US-based Chevron announced Tuesday it was selling its interest in two Nigerian oil blocks, becoming the latest multi-national to part with assets in Africa’s biggest crude producer.
The move will see Chevron sell its 40-percent stakes in oil mining leases 83 and 85 located in shallow water off Nigeria’s Bayelsa state in the country’s southern Niger Delta region.
The blocks contain the Madu and Anyala fields and are owned through a joint venture with Nigerian state oil firm NNPC.
Chevron declined to provide information on reserves. Local media reported that the blocks contain reserves of some 250 million barrels of oil.
Chevron has been Nigeria’s third-biggest oil producer, after Shell and Exxon, with daily output at 238,000 barrels of crude per day in 2012. It will continue to have a major presence in Nigeria.
The move marks the latest sale of Nigerian assets by a multi-national company and comes amid uncertainty in the country’s oil industry, with a sweeping overhaul of regulations, royalties and taxes delayed for years and still stuck in parliament.
Shell has been seeking to sell off its stakes in several onshore blocks, and analysts say the British-Dutch firm appears willing to shift more of its focus offshore, where the risks of sabotage, theft and militant attacks are lower.
In November, French oil group Total announced the sale of its 20-percent stake in a Nigerian offshore bloc to China’s Sinopec for $2.5 billion.
Meanwhile in December, Nigerian firm Oando announced the purchase of ConocoPhillips’ interests in the country.
Nigeria has been producing around 2.0 million barrels of oil per day.