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Shell threatens to leave Nigeria over crude oil theft

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) Limited on Friday threatened to leave the country over theft of crude oil and production challenges.

The company’s Managing Director, Osagie Okunbor, who stated this at the just concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Port Harcourt, said the crude oil theft has resulted in the shutdown of two of its major pipelines.

He said oil theft was one of the reasons Nigeria could not meet its oil production quota of 1.8 million barrels a day imposed on the country Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Okunbor said: “Two of our most important pipelines in this country today are shut down with hundreds of thousands of barrels a day shut-in.

“It is a fact that the issue of theft, whether as a standalone or as the basis for us to meet our OPEC quota is an existential threat for this industry.”

Shell has been in Nigeria for more than four decades and together with other oil majors has decided to sell its onshore assets to focus on exploration in Deepwater.

The Shell MD said local companies which won licences to develop marginal fields would face challenges in transporting their crude once they start production.

Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks located onshore or in shallow waters and are typically developed by local companies.

Oil theft has resulted in the declaration of force majeure at Bonny Oil


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