Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) yesterday disclosed that negotiations on the planned sale of its stake in Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 86 and 88, were still ongoing.
Those with knowledge of the transaction, however noted that the deal had been in the works for a while, with Conoil Producing Limited, emerging the preferred bidder for the 40 per cent equity held by Chevron Corporation.
However, it was gathered that part of the payment for the purchase of the assets located in the Niger Delta basin, having been acquired by Chevron following its deal with Texaco 22 years ago, had already been executed.
While OML 86 comprises the Apoi, Funiwa, Sengana and Okubie fields, and the most recent discovery, Buko, OML 88 contains the Pennington and Middleton fields as well as Chioma field.
Chevron had been trying to dispose the shallow water acreages with plans by the oil giant to successfully divest of all the legacy shallow water assets it acquired when it purchased Texaco in 1999.
It had earlier between 2013 and 2015, sold its stakes in OMLs 83 and 85.
Chevron then re-launched sale of the 6,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day OMLs 86 and 88 last year, with the fields reported to have untapped potential of 55 million oil barrels and 2.8 trillion cubic feet of undeveloped gas reserves.
In an e-mailed response to THISDAY's enquiries, the oil company confirmed that there were plans to dispose of the assets, but noted that the process was still ongoing.
General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, also confirmed the 40 per cent stake was what was being negotiated.
He said: "The divestment process for the sale of CNL's 40 per cent interest in the Oil Mining Lease 86 ("OML 86") and Oil Mining Lease 88 ("OML 88") is still ongoing."
Aside Chevron, other multinational oil companies like Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Exxon Mobil had also been divesting from some of their assets, especially their onshore and shallow-water oil facilities to local companies in Nigeria.
Last week three international oil companies operating in Nigeria sold their combined 45 per cent interest in Oil Mining Lease 17 and related assets in the Eastern Niger Delta to TNOG Oil and Gas Limited, an integrated energy company founded by Mr. Tony Elumelu.
SPDC, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited assigned their interests of 30 per cent, 10 per cent, and five per cent respectively in the lease to TNOG Oil and Gas.