Royal Dutch Shell, Europe's largest oil company, sold a 45% stake in a Nigerian oilfield to the Polish/Nigerian group Kulczyk Oil for a reported price tag of $600 million. That figure was not officially disclosed by the companies, but multiple press reports cited sources close to the deal as saying that is how much Shell sold the stake for.
France's Total (TOT), Europe's third-largest oil company, and Eni SpA (E), Italy's largest oil company, are Shell's partners on the project. Kulczyk Oil said in a statement it has acquired 9 percent of the OML 42 block, a stake which could produce 11.5 million to 46.4 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to Business Day.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., Nigeria's state-run oil producer, owns the other 55% of the project and must still approve the sale. Shell previously received bids in the area of $400 million, but was able to attract a higher price due to rising oil prices.
Shell (RDS-A), the Western oil major with the largest footprint in Nigeria, has been looking to shed some assets in the African nation amid rebel attacks on its employees and pipelines there. Nigeria, an OPEC member, vies with Angola to be Africa's top oil producer. The country is also one of the top exporters of crude to the U.S.