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Nigerian court orders renewal of Shell oil lease, report says

A Nigerian high court ordered the government to renew Shell Petroleum Development Co.’s operating license for the Oil Mineral Lease 11 field, which was withdrawn earlier this year, Lagos-based Punch newspaper reported.

The Federal High Court in the capital, Abuja, ordered the license be renewed for the maximum 20 years, and not 30 years the oil major was seeking, the newspaper reported, citing Judge Taiwo Taiwo. Shell met all requirements for the renewal and the size of the field area cannot be reduced, Punch cited the judge as saying.

Presidency spokesman Femi Adesina declined to comment when reached by phone Saturday, while information minister Lai Mohammed did not answer calls. Calls to Shell’s spokesman in Lagos didn’t connect.

Shell was first granted the license for OML11 in 1989, which was up for renewal in June this year, Punch said. The government refused to extend the lease, arguing the size of the field was beyond what could be approved as a single oil block, Punch said.

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