Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell is to pull out of its oil activities in Niger Delta, its managing director in the country told the NRC in an interview on Friday.
‘We are leaving,’ Mutiu Sunmonu told the paper. The ‘recklessness’ and size of oil thefts are forcing Shell to halve its activities in the country.
On Thursday, CEO Peter Voser talked of ‘divestment’ in Nigeria during the presentation of the company’s second quarter results. He gave the ‘challenges’ in Nigeria as one reason why Shell booked disappointing results.
The Niger Delta has long been a problem for Shell, with local political unrest and large-scale leaks. Sunmona said earlier this year an estimated 60,000 barrels of raw oil was being stolen from pipelines every day.
The extensive trade in stolen oil has now become a smooth-running industry which Shell cannot deal with alone. However, Sunmona told the NRC he is confident Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan will take strong measures against the criminal gangs involved.
Shell will now concentrate gas drilling elsewhere in Nigeria and on oil drilling in deep sea off its coast, Sunmona said.