Riverstone Management Ltd, owned by British Petroleum (BP) Plc’s former Chief Executive Officer, John Browne, is to lead a group of bidders for $4 billion worth of Nigerian Oil fields being sold by Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Browne’s Riverstone Management Ltd is interested in bidding, alongside Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), and Blackstone Group LP. Other bid groups that have indicated interest in the assets include Perenco SA, Addax & Oryx Group Ltd, and Oando Plc.
Riverstone Management Ltd, which is registered in England and Wales, will however have an obstacle to cross as the Federal Government’s guidelines require that for any bidder to be successful, it must have a Nigerian as a local partner. ENI SpA and Total SA, partners of Shell have the right to buy Shell’s 30% stake in the fields and any deal must be approved by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), a major stakeholder in the joint Operating Agreement (JOA).
Shell plans to reduce its investments in Nigeria in response to the Federal Government’s decision to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which seeks to increase government take on oil investments.
Already, First Hydrocarbon, a Nigerian-registered company jointly owned by Afren Plc, First City Monument Bank, and Guaranty Trust Bank are to acquire a 45 per cent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 26 in Delta state, from the SPDC joint venture at $187.5 million.