Commodity trading and mining company, Glencore Tuesday confirmed it is interested in buying oil assets put up for sale in Nigeria by oil heavyweight, Shell.
A report by BusinessDay in February had quoted a source as saying Glencore and international commodity trading company Mercuria were among the firms short-listed as expected to make final bids.
“We are always interested in every asset that comes for sale. We always look at it and check if we can satisfy our returns criteria,” said Ivan Glasenberg said, Glencore’s chief executive concerning the Nigerian assets.
Shell had last year announced it would sell its $2 billion oil and gas assets in Nigeria’s Niger Delta in 2014 following weak refining margins and crude oil theft which has led to a sharp fall in the company’s profits.
The company is selling four blocks located in the western swamps of the Niger Delta, which it operates, with minority partners including France’s Total SA and Italian giant ENI. Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC has a controlling stake in the four blocks.
Shell has also put the 97-km Nembe Creek oil pipeline for sale after years of trying to ward off attacks by oil thieves.
“We are entering into a divestment phase like we had a few years ago. The net capital spending is considerably going to come down in 2014. We know exactly what we are going to do. Ben will introduce to the market new targets,” Shell’s former CEO Mr Peter Voser who was replaced by Ben van Beurden had said last year.
Glencore, together with Macquarie Group had last month lost to oil trader Vitol and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council in a bid to buy Shell’s downstream Australian assets for about $2.2 billion.