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New Players in Nigeria’s Oil Fields

At least five Nigerian oil and gas companies are preparing to submit bids this month for Royal Dutch Shell’s onshore oilfields in a sale that could fetch up to $3 billion. Shell started talks with the Nigerian government last year about selling its stake in the West African country’s onshore fields, where it has been active since the 1930s, as part of a global drive to reduce its carbon emissions. The oil fim has also struggled for years with spills in the Niger Delta due to pipeline theft and sabotage as well as operational issues, leading to costly repairs and high-profile lawsuits. The sale has drawn interest from independent Nigerian oil and gas firms including Seplat Energy SEPL.LSEPLAT.LG, Sahara Group, Famfa Oil, Troilus Investments Limited and Nigeria Delta Exploration and Production, the sources said. No international oil companies were expected to take part in the bidding process at this point, the sources said, adding that bids were due by Jan. 31.