Shell PLC has announced that the major divestment from its Nigerian onshore services in 2021, has been put on hold, citing a Supreme Court suit over oil leak filed by a community in Bayelsa State.
The managing director of SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, announced this on Thursday, June 30.
Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd, was issued an order by Nigeria’s Supreme Court which is considering the company’s appeal of an oil-spill penalty of nearly $2 billion.
The Nigerian Supreme Court ordered the company to maintain status quo until October.
It should be recalled that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) asked the Federal High Court in Yenagoa to stay proceeding in the N700 billion oil spill compensation suit filed by members of Aghoro I Community in Bayelsa.
We have a strong belief in the merits of our case, which we are vigorously defending. SPDC will continue to comply with the Supreme Court’s order to maintain the status quo.
It said it welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to hear SPDC’s appeal and that it would not progress with the divestment of its interest in the venture until the outcome of the appeal.
Furthermore, it stated;
It remains Shell’s strategic intent to divest its shareholding in SPDC, while continuing to invest in Shell’s deepwater and gas positions in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, last year July, Royal Dutch Shell launched a major divestment of its Nigerian assets following the issuance of sale documents with the expressions of interest (EOIs).
The company had engaged Standard Chartered to sell its Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) subsidiary.
According to reports, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) asked the Federal High Court in Yenagoa to stay proceeding in the N700 billion oil spill compensation suit filed by members of Aghoro I Community in Bayelsa, people of Aghoro community had sued Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) over the May 17, 2018 oil leak from the oil firm’s Trans Ramos Pipeline.