THE HAGUE, Netherlands (
Royal Dutch Shell
has put 10 of its Nigerian onshore oil-production assets up for sale following years of militant attacks on its facilities that have squeezed profits, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
The oil fields have a market value of $4 billion to $5 billion and proven oil reserves of about 100 million barrels, one of the people told the newspaper.
"I think one can say that Shell is looking to throw in the towel for its onshore Nigeria operations to focus on the offshore, where it doesn't have the problems it has onshore," one of the sources told the
. The move wouldn't affect its natural-gas export business in Nigeria, another person said. Shell operates a joint venture with a 26% stake in state-owned Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, which ships gas to Europe and the U.S.
Shell is reportedly looking to dispose of the assets in the first two quarters, following hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits since 2006.
A Shell spokesman declined to comment for the
A Nigerian oil-ministry official told the newspaper that Shell had informed it of its plans to sell the onshore blocks.