Equinor is selling its Nigerian business Equinor Nigeria Energy Co. (ENEC) to Nigerian-owned Chappal Energies, Equinor announced Nov. 29 in a press release. 

Equinor has been operating in Nigeria since 1992, drilling approximately 10 wells with a 40% discovery rate and investing US$3.5 billion. This divestment comes as the company focuses on optimizing its oil and gas portfolio and boosting its core areas.

ENEC operates two exploration licenses—OML 128 and OML 129—and owns 53.85% interest in each. In the Agbami field, Nigeria’s biggest deep-water field, ENEC holds a 20.21% stake, while Chevron as operator holds 67.30% interest and Prime 127 holds 12.49%.

“Chappal Energies is a committed Nigerian-owned energy company with the ambition to develop the assets further, contributing to the Nigerian economy for years to come,” Nina Koch, Equinor senior vice president for Africa operations, said in the press release.

“We are excited to take over the baton from Equinor after three decades of enduring legacy,” Ufoma Immanuel, managing director of Chappal Energies, added. “Value creation, environmental stewardship and community engagement are at the heart of everything we do, and our social and development impact will be the most important measurement of our success.

The closing of the transaction is still subject to all regulatory and contractual approvals.