May 30, 2024
OIL DEAL: Abuja court restrains ExxonMobil from completing $1.3bn assets deal — Seplat
Seplat Energy’s gas revenue grows to $63.7 million year-on-year
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OIL DEAL: Abuja court restrains ExxonMobil from completing $1.3bn assets deal — Seplat

By Eyo Nsima

Seplat Energy Plc has disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) recently obtained a court injunction restraining ExxonMobil Corporation from selling its oil assets in Nigeria.

Seplat Energy Plc in February 2021 agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) from ExxonMobil for $1.3 billion.

But the federal government had declined to consent to the proposed acquisition as it intended to exercise a right of pre-emption on the assets.

However, in a statement on Monday, Edith Onwuchekwa, Seplat’s company secretary, said an Abuja high court had already granted the NNPC an “order of interim injunction” restraining ExxonMobil “from completing any divestment” in oil mining leases, OMLs 68, 69 and others.

Specifically, the statement stated: “Seplat Energy PLC recently became aware that, on 5 July 2022, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) commenced an action at the State High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, Nigeria (State High Court) in relation to the acquisition of the entire shares of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU),” the statement reads.

“MPNU, its shareholders (Mobil Development Nigeria, Inc. and Mobil Exploration Nigeria, Inc.), and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission are named as defendants in the suite.

“NNPC has requested the State High Court to declare that a dispute has occurred between itself and MPNU in relation to the interpretation of pre-emption rights under their Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) and order NNPC and MPNU to arbitration as required by the JOA.

“On 6 July 2022, the State High Court made an ex parte order of interim injunction restraining the Defendants from completing any divestment in MPNU, including the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement signed with Seplat Energy Offshore Limited (the SPA).”

In any case, Seplat Energy maintained that it, “remains confident that the matter will be brought to a proper conclusion in accordance with the law. Any further information will be provided if available to the Company and permitted by law”.

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