By OBAFEMI OREDEIN
IBADAN, Nigeria -- Chevron Nigeria has withdrawn from the
Olokola liquefied natural gas project intended to exploit
Nigeria's vast gas reserves after it failed to become
"The chairman, managing director of CNL, explained that the
business decision to withdraw from OKLNG is based on a review
of our investment portfolio, the lack of progress on the
project and a reprioritization of resources to focus on growing
domestic gas supply," Deji Haarstrup, Chevron's general
manager, policy, government and public
In a statement Thursday, Mr. Haarstrup said the withdrawal
was effective July 31. It follows reports of the decision in
the Nigerian media. He added that efforts over the last eight
years to move the project forward haven't resulted in a final
The OKLNG project company comprises the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corp., BG Group, Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell. Mr.
Haarstrup said that Shell also withdrew from the project last month, while BG left in
A Shell spokesman in Nigeria declined to comment on whether
the company has withdrawn from the project.
Mr. Haarstrup said the NNPC has been informed of Chevron's
decision to withdraw and the divestment process is being
managed in accordance with provisions of the shareholders'
agreement governing the project.
Chevron, he said, originally had a 19.5% equity holding in
the project, but this increased to 22.74% after BG Group's
The enouncement comes as Chevron seeks to sell several oil
and gas blocks in Nigeria, but Mr. Haarstrup reiterated the
company's commitment to the country.
"Chevron is fully committed to Nigeria and continues to
pursue its investments in the country's oil and gas industry,"
OKLNG is one of two large LNG projects that have struggled
to get off the ground in Nigeria. A Memorandum of Understanding
was originally signed for the project in 2005 with a final
investment decision intended for 2006, however the decision has
been consistently delayed.
Nigeria currently exports LNG from its Bonny Island plant.
Brass LNG, another major project, is still awaiting a final
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