Total has confirmed that the firm was in talks to sell its assets in Nigeria, worth about $2.4 billion. However, Total CEO, Christophe de Margerie, declined to name the potential buyer or value of the deal but saying he would not deny the earlier report about the sale. According to him, “it doesn't mean we are scared and intend to start some kind of walk out of Nigeria...Total is happy to develop its projects in Nigeria”.
Nigeria is Africa's largest crude oil exporter and oil companies operating there have long had to deal with attacks on their pipelines and staff, with the country's worst floods in 50 years seriously affecting their output in recent weeks.
Total declared force majeure in mid-October on gas supplies to the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas’ (NLNG) liquefaction plant, saying it had stopped oil and gas production from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 58, which was losing 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil equivalent, in which it has a 40-per-cent stake.