UPDATE 2-Shell to sell at least 4 more Nigeria oil blocks -sources

Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:33am EDT
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* Oil majors scaling back onshore, shallow water Nigeria

* Two blocks lie in region hit by oil theft, spills

* Nigerian firms, partnered with foreign, expected to bid

By Joe Brock

ABUJA, July 31 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell will sell at least four more oil blocks in Nigeria in its latest divestment from Africa's top oil exporter, three oil industry sources familiar with the deals said on Wednesday.

The blocks are Oil Mining Licenses (OMLs) 13 and 16 onshore the Niger Delta, and OML 71 and 72, which are in shallow water, the sources told Reuters. A Shell spokesman declined to comment.

OML 13 and 16 lie in the Ogoniland region where Shell has experienced long-running disputes with local communities, multiple oil spills and widespread pipeline sabotage and theft.

OML 13 covers a large geographical area and has big gas reserves, while OML 16 is a much smaller asset, sources said. OML 72 has proven oil reserves of around 120 million barrels, while OML 71 has significantly lower reserves, one source said.

Shell has been discussing renewing these licenses with the Nigerian government for years but has yet to reach a deal.   Continued...