Oil producing giant, Royal Dutch Shell has said that it will invest some $4 billion in project set to boost oil production in Africa’s most populous nation and cut flaring of associated natural gas, the Chief Executive Peter Voser said.
He explained that the projects should be completed by 2015, Reuters reported.
The company has suffered major criticism in Nigeria for environmental damages caused by oil spills from the company’s pipelines in the nation’s oil rich southern delta.
It has also been criticized for flaring gas instead of trapping it to sell as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or to supply to Nigeria, which suffers huge power shortages despite being Africa’s top energy producer, Reuters reported.
Flaring is a major complaint of inhabitants of the oil-rich Delta, whose labyrinth of creeks and swamps are often lit up at night by the bright orange glow of gas flares.
“Shell is assessing new projects for onshore Nigeria, which will add new production and reduce flaring. These projects could cost some $4 billion,” he said during a speech at a London event on sustainable energy the firm put up on its website.
No details were revealed by the projects but Voser did say the completion is dependent on approval by Shell’s partners and security in the Niger Delta where the company operates.
Violent activities by the southern militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, resumed earlier this year with the group claiming responsibility for recent attacks on oil pipelines.
Rise in attacks on pipelines, as well as a lack of clarity on regulations and the heavy presence of illegal refineries have hampered oil companies from investing in Nigeria.