Oil Giants Get 20-Year License Extension from Nigeria

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has signed a contract with its partners on oil mining lease (OML) 118 to expand the Bonga oilfield and unlock a U.S.$10 billion investment in the country's deepwater resources. The OML license for the block partners Shell, Total, Exxon Mobil and Eni were renewed for another 20 years, and five agreements including settlements on a tax dispute and production sharing contracts were finalized. The deal signals the end of "long-standing disputes over the interpretation of the fiscal terms of the production-sharing contracts" between the investors in the field.

Meanwhile, Shell is currently working on divesting from Nigeria's onshore oil asset as it pushes for a future of investment in renewable and cleaner energy. Shell is Nigeria's biggest oil producer, but relations have soured over recent years. Shell and Eni were implicated in the Malabu oil bloc scandal, which allegedly saw huge bribes being paid to government officials for the rights to explore for oil. They were later let off the hook by an Italian court of all corruption charges related to the oil exploration deal.

InFocus

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