International oil companies (IOCs) operating in the country will continue to hold back on the divestment of onshore assets until after the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that governs fiscal terms, and the expiration of some of the joint venture onshore assets in 2019, THISDAY reports.

A former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia has also hinted that the asset disposals will continue in the foreseeable future, with up to $12 billion of the portfolio of oil multinationals potentially up for grabs. Investigations have revealed that the companies would not put more assets on offer until their licences expire in 2019.

A source close to the IOCs, who spoke off the record, said “The litmus test will come when the expiring concessions will be renewed. It is either the assets will be surrendered or renewed, depending on the terms of the renewals.”

“The companies are also concerned about the fiscal regime and are waiting for the passage of the aspect of the PIB that governs the fiscal terms..If the fiscal terms in the PIB don’t favour the IOCs, they will divest more assets,” he added.