International Oil Companies Propose Transfer of Oil Blocks To Local Firms in Nigeria

Proposed Transfer of Oil Blocks by IOCs in Nigeria

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has revealed that four International Oil Companies (IOCs) are planning to divest from 26 oil blocks in Nigeria. These IOCs, including Nigerian Agip Oil Company, ExxonMobil, EQUINOR, and Shell Petroleum Development Company, aim to transfer the ownership of these blocks to local firms. This move is expected to significantly enhance national oil production and provide substantial benefits to various stakeholders in the energy sector.

  1. Strategic Divestment by IOCs: The decision of major IOCs to divest from oil blocks in Nigeria signifies a strategic shift in their investment focus. By transferring ownership to local firms, these companies are not only complying with regulatory requirements but also fostering indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry. This divestment strategy can lead to increased efficiency, innovation, and job creation within the sector.
  2. Potential Impact on National Production: The 26 oil blocks in consideration hold significant reserves of oil, condensate, and natural gas, which play a crucial role in Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources. The planned transfer of these blocks to local entities is poised to boost national production levels, thereby contributing to economic growth and energy security. This move aligns with the government’s efforts to maximize the country’s energy potential.
  3. Regulatory Oversight and Consultation: The involvement of the NUPRC, alongside international consultants like S&P Global Commodity Insights and Boston Consulting Group, highlights the importance of regulatory oversight and due diligence in the divestment process. By engaging independent advisors, the commission aims to identify and address any liabilities associated with the transfer of ownership, ensuring a smooth transition and sustainable operations in the oil and gas sector.


In conclusion, the proposed transfer of oil blocks by IOCs to local firms in Nigeria represents a significant development with implications for both the economy and geopolitics. This strategic divestment is expected to enhance national production, promote local participation in the energy sector, and strengthen regulatory oversight in the oil and gas industry. As Nigeria navigates its energy transition, collaborations between international companies and local stakeholders will be crucial in driving sustainable growth and development in the sector.