London — Nigeria has ordered foreign oil and gas companies to pay nearly $20bn in taxes it says are owed to local states, industry and government sources said, in a move that could deter investment in Africa’s largest economy. In a letter sent to the companies earlier in 2019 via a debt-collection arm of the government, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) cited what it called outstanding royalties and taxes for oil and gas production. Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil , Eni, Total and Equinor were each asked to pay the central government between $2.5bn and $5bn, said the sources. Norway’s Equinor, which produced around 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil in Nigeria in 2017, confirmed the request. “Several operators have received similar claims in a case between the authorities in Nigeria and local authorities in parts of the country,” an Equinor spokesperson said.

Exxon “is currently reviewing the matter”, a spokesperson for the US company said. Shell, Total, Eni...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.