The company also rejects any suggestions that its divestment exercise is illegal, non transparent or done to undermine the interest of any stakeholders.

And the company has re-assured stakeholders including staff and communities that appropriate consideration will continue to be given to their interests, within the scope of the joint operating agreements (JOAs), while all MoUs and other agreements would be respected.

“This is in support of government policy of encouraging the growth of Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector and will deliver many opportunities for them,” explained Tony Attah, Vice President for Safety, Environment, Sustainable Development and Communications, Shell Sub Saharan Africa.

Mr. Attah said “Suggestions that the company’s actions are driven by ulterior motives and being done secretly and illegally to the detriment of stakeholders are untrue. Since we commenced the process last year, we have been open and transparent and have given equal opportunities to all interested buyers. We went through very rigorous regulated processes, often spanning several months, before possibly reaching any agreements which are also subject to requisite government approvals.”

SPDC has repeatedly made it clear that the planned divestments do not mean it is leaving Nigeria, but a strategic refocusing of its portfolio, including investment and necessary asset sales aimed at strengthening “our long-term position in the country.”

Consultations are continuing and SPDC will share information as necessary.