Shell Plc will receive two final bids for its stake in its Nigerian joint venture from Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings and local firm ND Western Limited.
Bloomberg reported that the two are scrambling to procure Shell’s three-tenths holding in the JV located in the crude-rich Niger Delta region and offshore fields neighbouring it.
Shell will stop welcoming bids on Friday, according to the people who spoke on the condition that their identities will be concealed, given the sensitivity of the subject.
In 2021, oil and gas consultancy research house WoodMac estimated Shell’s own slice of the partnership at $2.3 billion based on a long-term oil price of $50 per barrel.
But as Brent now hovers around $121, the value of Shell’s interest is likely to be way higher.
Last year, the oil major said it was willing to divest its interest while noting that its long-term energy transition blueprint is out of tune with the operating environment in Nigeria, where oil installations and pipelines are target of vandals and where crude spills and theft are rife.
Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief, informed shareholders last month a steep surge in attacks recently has sparked off a near-chaos situation its firm could not handle.
“In the end, we have to concede that this is beyond what we can do,” Mr Beurden said.
According to two people privy to the transaction, possible future costs linked to litigation and environmental liabilities could influence the valuation of Shell’s stake.
Seplat Energy and Sahara Group, who this February launched non-binding bids for the stake are no longer in contention, the people said.
Exxon Mobil Corp is also walking that path having announced in February it planned to offload its shallow-water operations to Seplat for around $1.3 billion.
TotalEnergies is also on track to divest its 10 per cent holding in the same JV involving Shell