Norway’s Equinor is planning to divest its stake in the Agbami oil field, offshore Nigeria, for up to $1bn, reported Reuters, citing three industry sources.

The move puts the Norwegian company on the list of Western energy firms looking to retreat from the West African country to shift their focus to newer and more profitable assets.

Investment bank Standard Chartered has been appointed by the Norwegian firm to run the sale process, according to the sources.

Equinor currently owns a 20% stake in the Agbami deepwater field, which spans across oil mining lease (OML) 127 and OML 128 in the central Niger Delta.

Chevron operates the field with a 67.30% interest while Prime 127 holds the remaining 12.49% stake.

In recent years, production from the oilfield has been declining rapidly to 29,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2020, from 36,000boepd in 2019.

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By GlobalData

In 2022, Equinor signed a deal with Nigeria’s national oil company NNPC to extend the licence for offshore block OML 128 by 20 years.

Several Western oil giants including Shell, Exxon Mobil, and TotalEnergies are looking to exit from Nigeria, primarily in onshore operations, in the wake of theft and devastating spills.

In October 2022, Bloomberg News reported that NNPC looks to make an investment decision on the proposed $25bn gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco by 2023.

NNPC is promoting the gas pipeline project to meet the surging demand for new gas sources in Europe, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.