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IBADAN, Nigeria -- Chevron Nigeria has withdrawn from the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 operational.
"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
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the company has withdrawn from the project.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.
another major project, is still awaiting a final
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