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Chevron, Shell still deepening footprints in Nigeria—Minister

Contrary to media reports and trending speculations that oil giants, including Shell and Chevron are on the verge of toning down their investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva has brushed aside the rumours.

Speaking in Abuja at a recent media parley, the Minister confided exclusively in Business Hilights Abuja Bureau chief that “There is still a lot of confidence in the Nigerian environment, Shell is investing and all the partners of NLNG are still investing in Nigeria, so there is no sign of reduction of exposure in Nigeria.”

Continuing, the former Governor of Bayelsa State, added that “But in the rumour mill, I keep getting it that Chevron is trying to retrieve their footprint in Nigeria.”

But in his submission, the minister made it clear that “I have actually asked Chevron and they denied it and told me that they never contemplated reducing their footprint in Nigeria.”

“In fact when the facts are all right, they are even ready to invest more in the Nigerian environment.

“So I don’t really see any sign of reducing their exposure in Nigeria. Those are just stories we hear in the streets of Nigeria.

“But here in the oil industry, I am telling you authoritatively that Chevron is still a very strong partner and has never approached us to reduce their footprint in Nigeria.

“We are talking to investors from Russia, we had discussion with Gazprom, and already there were on-going discussion with Gazprom but we are strengthening those discussions.

Other international oil majors are also looking forward to taking very strong position in oil in Nigeria.

“As I told you, we want to expand the operating environment in Nigeria.

Chief Sylva averred that “We are looking at major investors like Gazprom and other world class oil giants because they are very strong investors that we would like to do business in Nigeria”