Dangote Group considers buying Nigeria Oil Fields
BY CHRIS KAY
LAGOS (Bloomberg) -- Dangote Group is considering the purchase of Nigerian oil fields as international companies plan to sell onshore assets in the continent’s top crude producer.
The company, which has interests from cement to sugar, needs to secure a supply of crude oil and a “substantial amount of gas” for a $9 billion oil refinery and petrochemical complex it plans in southwest Nigeria, Group Executive Director Devakumar Edwin said in an interview in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital. The company also needs energy for its cement plants in Africa’s second largest economy, he said.
“We’re seriously thinking of investing in oil blocks both for gas and for oil,” Edwin said. “We’ve started talking with some companies who are divesting from onshore,” he said, declining to name them.
International oil and gas explorers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and San Ramon, California based Chevron are selling onshore and shallow water fields in Nigeria amid persistent violence and crude theft in the oil rich Niger River Delta, with smaller Nigerian companies taking their place.
Dangote Group believes it can manage unrest and aggrieved communities in the region with corporate social initiatives, Edwin said.
“We know the terrain much better, we know the risks and we believe that the risks can be managed,” he said. “The primary risk is people blasting your pipelines. I wouldn’t like to go and invest in a block which is totally inland and then I have to start buying inland pipelines.”