LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - Commodity trader and miner Glencore confirmed on Tuesday its interest in buying oil assets that oil major Shell is selling in Nigeria.
A source said last month that Glencore and commodity trading house Mercuria were among the short-listed consortiums expected to make final bids on Nigerian energy assets worth around $3 billion that Shell and another two oil majors are selling.
Shell is selling its 30 percent stake in four oil blocks, with France’s Total and Italy’s Eni also looking to divest their 10 percent and 5 percent stakes.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns the remaining 55 percent.
Shell is also selling the 97-km (60-mile) Nembe Creek oil pipeline, which has been regularly attacked by oil thieves.
“We are always interested in every assets that comes for sale. We always look at it and check if we can satisfy our returns criteria,” Glencore’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg said, when asked about the Nigerian assets at a presentation of results.
Together with Macquarie Group Glencore had also made an unsuccessful attempt to buy Shell’s downstream Australian assets, which were then sold to oil trader Vitol and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council for about A$2.4 billion ($2.2 billion) last month.
“It’s no secret we were looking at Shell’s disposal in Australia but we couldn’t compete. The number they bought at did not meet our return (criteria),” Glasenberg said.
Among other assets the trader and miner would look at is BHP Billiton’s loss-making Nickel West business in Australia, which Glencore said has some synergies with its own nickel operations in the area.