Shell May Cut Upstream Oil Operations By 40%

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Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) said it would continue to optimise its onshore footprint while investing in gas development in Nigeria. This came as the company commissioned an indigenous contractor, Gredor Nigeria Limited, to begin the construction of the gas pipeline infrastructure to deliver gas to the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board Industrial Park in Polaku, Bayelsa State. SNG had earlier in the year acquired the lease of one hectare of land in Polaku for the gas project which will supply gas for industries in the park and the environs. The project is expected to be delivered within six months. Speaking at the commissioning, the Managing Director, SNG, Ed Ubong said the Polaku project would boost industrialisation in Bayelsa State and provide employment opportunity for skilled and unskilled local population in addition to directly improving internally generated revenues in the state. He said, “The project will increase the over 150 industrial and commercial customers in Nigeria who currently receive SNG’s supply of natural gas through gas infrastructure that we have built with our partners and local stakeholders.” Responding to the rapid expansion of SNG as distribution network, Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor said Shell was positioned to continue to optimise its onshore footprint while investing in gas. “For more than 50 years, Shell has been in the forefront of the campaign to develop and monetise Nigeria’s huge gas resources. SNG continues to demonstrate leadership in this space, growing the domestic gas market and also helping to improve lives in every state it operates.” SNG recently completed 20 kilometres domestic gas pipeline expansion project in Abia State, connecting Agbor Hill, Osisioma and Ariaria industrial zones. The expansion project has enabled the supply of pipeline gas to Ariaria Market Energy Solutions Limited, the Independent Power Project (IPP) consortium that provides electricity to the popular Ariaria market in Abia State. Ariaria International Market is one of the largest leather shoe-making and open stall markets in West Africa, with over 37,000 shops and an estimated one million traders.
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Shell is looking to slash as much as 40 percent of its upstream oil and gas operations as it is redesigning its business toward a greener portfolio, sources in Shell involved in the costs review revealed.

As early as in June, which capped one of the worst quarters for oil in recent decades, Shell was said to be planning to announce by the end of the year a significant restructuring to reflect its net-zero emissions goal for 2050 and to align itself with a green recovery from the pandemic.

On the Q2 earnings call at the end of July, chief executive Ben van Beurden said that the company had started a program “to redesign and restructure toward a fundamentally simpler, more effective organization that can deliver the very best from our traditional businesses, from our customer-centric businesses as well and rapidly and purposefully innovate for our future business models. You will hear more about all of this in time, but I can tell you now that besides reshaping and redesigning, we will also resize as appropriate.”

Shell is looking at ways to cut costs in its biggest division currently, the upstream, by 30 percent to 40 percent via cutting operating costs and slashing capital expenditure (capex) on new oil and gas exploration and production projects, two sources involved in the cost-cutting review told Reuters. The Anglo-Dutch supermajor will aim to streamline its upstream division by focusing on just a few hubs such as the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, and Nigeria, according to Reuters’ sources.

The gas division and the downstream are also looking at cuts, as Shell aims to save capital for boosting its renewables and power markets portfolios, the sources noted.

“We are looking at a range of options and scenarios at this time, which are being carefully evaluated,” a spokeswoman for Shell told Reuters, confirming that the group is undergoing a strategic review of the organization and its operations.

With the push toward a greener portfolio, Shell joins peers such as BP, which said in its new strategy last month that it would reduce its oil and gas production by 40 percent by 2030 through active portfolio management and would not enter exploration in new countries.  

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