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With a population of about 167 million, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and seventh largest in the world. According to UN projections, Nigeria could have the world’s fourth largest population by 2030 and potentially surpass that of the USA by 2050. This burgeoning population is the country’s most important resource and also the most powerful incentive to make the most of its huge energy potential.

History and expertise

Shell companies have operated in Nigeria for over 50 years and have played a pioneering role in the country’s oil and gas industry throughout its history. Today they produce oil and gas from land, swamp and shallow water fields in the Niger Delta and deep water reserves in the Gulf of Guinea:

  • The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) is one of the largest oil and gas companies in Nigeria and the operator of a joint venture with the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and Nigeria Agip Oil Company Ltd. The joint venture produces oil and gas from land, swamp and shallow water fields in the Niger Delta. 

  • Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) produces oil and gas from deep water fields around 120 km off the Nigerian coast.
  • Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) distributes gas primarily to industrial customers in the Niger Delta.
  • Shell also holds a 25.6% stake in Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and has played an important role in developing Nigeria’s vast natural gas resources.

Collectively these operations generate billions of dollars of income for the Nigerian government, create jobs, provide energy for the country and supply international markets with oil and gas.

Shell Companies in Nigeria typically employ 30,000-40,000 staff and contractors at any one time, the large majority of whom are Nigerian.

Together with the government, communities, NGOs and civil society they support numerous social investment initiatives in areas such as education, community health and enterprise development.

Challenging location

The Niger Delta is one of the most challenging locations in which Shell companies do business. Crude oil theft, sabotage and illegal refining have become increasingly serious problems, with long-term social, economic and environmental impacts. SPDC is continually looking for new ways to protect the facilities it operates but, despite these efforts, the menace of crude oil theft and sabotage persists. Only a concerted response by everyone involved, including government, communities and civil society can end it.