$1.28 Billion ExxonMobil Sale To Seplat Approved After Two-Year Legal Battle


The clearance of ExxonMobil’s $1.28 Billion asset transfer to Seplat Energy Plc has been announced by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.). After two years of legal challenges, this deal was reached.


A settlement that permits Seplat Energy to purchase ExxonMobil’s interest in Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPNU) has been achieved, according to a recent statement from NNPC.


ExxonMobil had initially revealed its divestment plan in February 2022, sparking a legal conflict with NNPC. The oil giant aimed to sell its entire shareholding in MPNU to Seplat Energy.


NNPC invoked its Right of First Refusal (RFR) outlined in the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with ExxonMobil, which led to the dispute. This legal right allows NNPC to purchase the assets before any other buyer.


In May 2022, the Nigerian government refused to approve the sale, citing national interest. This decision further delayed the transaction.


The legal issues intensified in July 2022 when a court in Abuja issued an interim injunction. This order prevented ExxonMobil from completing the divestment of its Nigerian subsidiary.


President Bola Tinubu recently intervened to resolve the impasse. He met with ExxonMobil executives, including President Liam Mallon, to expedite the settlement.


President Tinubu assured ExxonMobil of the government’s commitment to resolving the disputes quickly. His involvement was crucial in reaching the final agreement.


This divestment is part of a broader trend among international oil companies. Many are shifting their focus from onshore to offshore investments in Nigeria.


In January, Shell agreed to sell its onshore assets in Nigeria for over $1.3 Billion. This deal is still pending government approval.


TotalEnergies also announced plans to sell its minority stake in a major Nigerian onshore oil joint venture. This follows similar moves by other oil majors.


With the settlement now in place, Seplat Energy can proceed with the acquisition, marking a significant step in Nigeria’s evolving oil and gas sector.

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