Nigeria has become the latest country to signal it wants to review its contracts with international oil companies as part of a major shake-up in the energy sector. It will inevitably lead to tougher financial conditions for the oil companies.

Rilwanu Lukman, chairman of Nigeria’s oil and gas reform committee, said in his first public remarks since taking the job in August that the country might have to revisit some of the ”generous terms” granted to Western majors.

“We’ve enjoyed a very fruitful relationship with them over a long period of time, and we want to continue to do that,” he said. ”But we have to look at what is on the ground now and see in which way, or ways, we can improve the conditions so the relationship will be even more mutually beneficial to both sides,” he said. ”We may have to give more favourable conditions, we may have to reconsider some of our generous terms.”

Mr Lukman said that agreements due for review included joint ventures signed between the NNPC and oil majors. Such arrangements have generally been used for oil projects in the Niger Delta, many of which date from the 1970s.

Oh, dear Shell could be in serious trouble….