The British energy giant, Shell, is concluding nearly a century of onshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria by selling its subsidiary, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), to the Renaissance consortium for a substantial $1.3 billion. This notable divestment signifies a strategic shift for Shell, as it aligns with the company’s intention to withdraw from onshore oil production in the Niger Delta.
The Renaissance consortium, a powerhouse comprising ND Western, Aradel Energy, First E&P, Waltersmith – all prominent local oil exploration and production companies – and the Swiss-based trading and investment company Petrolin, secured the deal. This acquisition underscores a changing landscape in Nigeria’s energy sector as Western companies, including Shell, strategically withdraw from onshore operations to focus on more lucrative offshore ventures.
The transaction, subject to approval by the Nigerian government, involves the transfer of responsibilities for dealing with spills, theft, and sabotage to the Renaissance consortium. Shell’s exit has prompted calls for accountability, with Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, insisting that Shell must take full responsibility for the environmental impact caused during its tenure.
The five key figures leading the Renaissance consortium are notable players in the Nigerian energy scene: