Total looks to sell stake in Nigerian offshore block

French oil major Total wants to sell its 12.5% stake in a deepwater oilfield off the coast of Nigeria, industry and banking sources told Reuters.

The stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 118, which is located some 120 kilometers (75 miles) off the Niger River Delta, is valued at up to $750 million, two of the sources told Reuters.

Investment bank Rothschild is running the sale process for Total, the sources said. A spokeswoman for Total declined to comment, as did Rothschild, Kallanish Energy finds.

OML 118 is operated by Royal Dutch Shell, which holds a 55% interest in the lease. ExxonMobil holds a 20% stake in the block, while Italy’s Eni and Total each hold 12.5%.

The sale is part of Total’s plan to sell $5 billion of assets around the world by 2020, the sources told Reuters.

The block includes the Bonga field, Nigeria’s first deepwater project, which started in 2005 and produced roughly 225,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 150 million cubic feet per day of natural gas at its peak.

Output from the block is planned to grow sharply with the $10 billion development of the Bonga Southwest field, which is expected to produce up to 200,000 Bpd, roughly 10% of Nigeria’s current oil production.

Shell and its partners were expected to make an investment decision on Bonga Southwest last year, but uncertainty over its fiscal terms with the Nigerian government have delayed the process.

Shell in February launched a tender for bids for a 225,000 Bpd floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) for the new development phase. It has since pushed back the schedule for the bids.

The sale comes as Total prepares to expand its operations in Africa after agreeing earlier this year to buy Anadarko Petroleum’s Africa portfolio for $8.8 billion as part of its acquisition by Occidental Petroleum.

source: kallanish Energy

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