Court halts sale of Shell’s assets in Nigeria as it plans exit

Shell Plc has been blocked from selling one of its assets in Nigeria as the oil company seeks to diversify from oil production.

The order was issued by an appeals court on Monday, which noted that the company could only sell after paying the appeal of the $2 billion penalty for an alleged oil spill.

Three-judge panel says Shell, acting through its agents or subsidiaries, was prevented from ‘selling, assigning, vandalizing or disposing of any of its assets/properties’ pending appeal decision .

A Reuters report, citing a copy of a March 11 court order, showed Shell was ordered to deposit the money in a court-monitored account within two working days.

The energy company’s appeal hearing is due to begin on May 5.

A spokesperson for Shell’s Nigerian unit said the company would immediately appeal the decision, Reuters reported.

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“We are disappointed with this result. We strongly believe in the merits of our case and will take immediate action under the law to appeal and suspend enforcement of the decision until the appeal is determined,” the spokesperson said.

Shell began talks with the Nigerian government last year over the sale of its stake in Nigeria’s onshore fields, where it has been active since the 1930s, as part of a global drive to cut its carbon emissions .

Last year, he agreed to pay $111.68 million to a Nigerian community to settle an oil spill case that occurred more than 50 years ago.

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