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Nigerian Tycoon Abdulrazaq Isa’s Group to Acquire Shell Assets for $1.3 Billion

A consortium of leading oil companies, including Waltersmith Group, led by Nigerian businessman Abdulrazaq Isa, has agreed to pay $2.4 billion for Shell Plc’s onshore oil business in Nigeria, signaling a shift in the Nigerian oil industry and Shell’s strategic retreat from the challenging operating environment in the Niger Delta region.

The deal accords with Shell’s long-term strategic goal of exiting the onshore oil industry in the Niger Delta, which has faced security challenges, environmental concerns, and community discontent.

Shell will receive an initial payment of $1.3 billion, with subsequent payments of up to $1.1 billion based on future developments, bringing the transaction’s total value to $2.4 billion.

The partnership, suitably titled Renaissance, includes both established and emerging businesses in Nigeria’s oil sector. The Waltersmith Group, led by Nigerian billionaire Abdulrazaq Isa, has vast experience with oil exploration and production.

Other consortium members, such as ND Western, First E&P, and Aradel Energy, have considerable presence in the local market. Petrolin, the oil conglomerate of Gabonese oil mogul Samuel Dossou-Aworet, brings worldwide knowledge and financial strength to the organization.

Shell intends to refocus its efforts in Nigeria on deepwater and integrated gas initiatives, which it considers more strategically important and commercially successful. In a statement, Shell’s Integrated Gas and Upstream Director, Zoe Yujnovich, stressed the deal’s significance in consolidating Shell’s portfolio and enabling “disciplined investment” in these critical areas.

The sales procedure, however, was not without its difficulties. In 2022, a court judgment temporarily suspended the divestment plans due to ongoing lawsuit over pollution claims. Nonetheless, the parties persevered, and the deal was eventually completed.

The purchase is likely to finalize in the following months, pending regulatory permission from the Nigerian government. This historic agreement marks the beginning of a new era for Renaissance, which will now play a key role in the country’s onshore oil production.

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