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Monday, January 13, 2014

Legal challenges delay Chevron's $1 billion Nigeria oil block sales, (NYSE: COP)

Chevron faces delays in closing sales of oil blocks in Nigeria worth up to $1 billion because of legal disputes involving potential buyers, industry sources say, highlighting a risk other oil majors could face.Chevron is joining competitors ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total and Italy's Eni in disposing of stakes in onshore and shallow water offshore fields in the Niger Delta region.OPEC-member Nigeria has the potential to double its 2 million-2.5 million barrel per day oil output in the next five years but problems with oil theft, pipeline sabotage and regulatory uncertainty are putting off investment.Oil majors want to keep hold of the biggest producing fields, offshore assets and key pipelines and export terminals. But they are disposing of less profitable onshore blocks and fields that the government could strip from them if they remain undeveloped for ten years, notably in the restive Niger Delta.

ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas and bitumen on a worldwide basis. Shares of COP fell by 0.99% or $-0.68/share to $68.19. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $56.38 and as high as $74.59. On average, 4549110 shares of COP exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2313449.