TotalEnergies, a prominent French oil corporation, has revealed intentions to offload its minority share in a significant Nigerian oil consortium. The company articulated its desire to divest from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), emphasizing its strategic goal to reshape its investment portfolio. This decision stems from TotalEnergies’ commitment to align with its health, security, and environmental policies, which are not congruent with the challenges associated with oil production in the Niger Delta region.

Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of TotalEnergies, conveyed during the company’s annual results presentation that the move to divest from SPDC reflects the company’s operational ethos. He highlighted the complexities inherent in producing oil in the Niger Delta, underscoring its inconsistency with the company’s policies. Pouyanne underscored the retention of TotalEnergies’ Nigerian gas assets, crucial for the forthcoming expansion in liquefied natural gas development.

TotalEnergies, operating in over 130 countries, recently pledged a substantial investment of up to $6 billion in Nigeria, particularly focusing on gas production to pivot towards cleaner energy alternatives, diminishing its investment in hydrocarbons. Having maintained a leadership position in Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas sector for over 50 years, the company embarked on the sale of its minority stake in a Nigerian oil joint venture in May 2022, encompassing interests in 13 onshore fields and 3 shallow-water fields with a collective production of over 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The divestment package encompasses essential infrastructure like 3,500 km of pipelines connecting to key crude export terminals such as Bonny and Forcados. TotalEnergies’ decision to divest aligns with the trend among multinational corporations relinquishing onshore assets in favor of deep-water fields. In January, the Nigerian arm of Shell Plc, headquartered in London, finalized a deal with a consortium of five companies to offload its onshore business in Nigeria, marking the culmination of years-long endeavors to divest from these assets.