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Proposed sale of Shell’s asset runs into troubled water, as oil workers kick, say buyers unknown



The proposed plan by British oil giant, Shell to sell its onshore assets, Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) to the Renaissance group may have run into troubled waters as oil workers have opposed the proposed sale.

Shell had on January 16, 2023, announced that it had reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore oil assets to a local consortium for over $1.3 billion, pending government approval.

Reacting to the development, oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) rejected the planned sale insisting that the group being speculated to acquire these assets is unknown to it.

A statement jointly signed by PENGASSAN’s President, Comrade Festus Osifo, and General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa on Tuesday raised the alarm that the purported group is an assemblage of unknown entities with no proven track record of managing such diverse assets.

‘’The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) ‘s attention has been brought to the press release announcing the intended sale of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) Onshore Assets to the Renaissance group.

‘’A group of consortiums consisting of ND Western Limited, Aradel Holdings Pic. The Petrolin Group, FIRST Exploration and Petroleum Development Company Limited and the Waltersmith Group.

‘’Our Shell/SNBO Branch of PENGASSAN has further communicated all subsequent information presented to our members by Shell Management on the planned sale.

READ ALSO:Shell assures workers as it sells SPDC to Renaissance for $2.4bn

‘’Having appraised the situation, reviewed the presentation and carried out preliminary findings, we wish to state as follows:

’The group is unknown to us and thus it’s an assemblage of unknown entities with no proven track record in managing such diverse assets.

‘’We reject without equivocation all the terms affecting employees that were communicated in the presentation to our members.

“One of the companies that made up the assemblage has a history of subjugating workers and subjecting them to untold hardship as exemplified in the current management of OML 34.

“Another company in the group has a penchant for preventing workers from unionising and thus stiffening their condition of services”.

Continuing, the union added, ‘’Any attempt to transfer the assets without resolving issues affecting our members will be met with the stiffest resistance the industry has ever witnessed.

‘’The group must come clean with its intention(s) and be ready to have serious engagement with the Association and not the jamboree that Shell Management is currently engaging in.We have communicated to our Shell/SNBO Branches not to be distracted but to focus on the CBA negotiation that is due about a week from now.

‘’The industry regulator, JV Asset partners (NNPCL, Non-Operated Asset Partners) and other stakeholders are hereby put on notice.’’

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